I have looked at and read review for Studio One in the past. My impression is it is good but its designed as a basic no-frills DAW. That is, it will record, play and edit but it lacks plug-in extras,VSTs and virtual synths. This means you have to go out and buy anything for it.
From what I read the idea of doing this was to provide a DAW that was very high in performance and users would add what they wanted. Is this the kind of experience you've had with it?
BTW, I use SONAR X1 Producer which comes with many plug-ins and virtual instruments. I've not had any problems with it.
DAW performance is directly related to the computer it is installed on. Any modern PC with a good amount of memory and a clean OS install will work. By clean OS install I mean a retail Windows 7 64-bit OS. NOT an OEM OS install - eg. the OS that exists when you buy a new Dell or HP computer.
Also, dedicating the PC to being only DAW is crucial. If you dual-purpose a computer (eg. surf the web, check email, play games, etc) then you're going to run into issues. I don't care what anyone says otherwise - its a pipedream. The purpose of a DAW is to be creative, if you are spending a 1/2 hour each time "optimizing" a dual-purpose system before recording thats a 1/2 hour of wasted time.
Below is one article I was reading about it. I'll correct myself in saying it's included plug-ins are sparse. There are some other points the reviewer mentions in the last section in the below article.
Overall I think I'd try it if I were just starting out. Especially when the hardware is included. The hardware aspect combined with the software is what I'd really be interested in.
Darren, when you decide to upgrade check out Apple's Logic Pro 9! I use it and it's a complicated but very powerful piece of software that pretty much comes with anything and everything you will need to record! i know that is a bold statement, but I have had it a year now and it hasn't let me down yet! Every time I think I need a preset or plug in I find a Logic version was included! I started a group here in the AG Community for Logic Pro/Garageband users in case you would like to check it out! Thanks, Edward
There are a lot of happy Studio One users out there. It's still a very new DAW and has gathered quite a following already. Unlike Propellerhead's Record, S1 is open. Full VST support and a customizable interface. The interface itself is much cleaner than many DAWs right off the bat. It's particularly designed to work with their Studio Live interfaces, with full midi control and DSP features.
All due respect to the guys at SOS, they tend to hype up the highest bidder. Just read some of the reviews on MXL or Behr gear. I realize they need to make money but a review should be unbiased and I don't think that is always the case with them.
Studio One is more than capable of producing a quality recording. I have artist but never bothered to upgrade to Pro. I bought into ProTools a while ago but I've also used Cubase, (il)Logic and currently use Acid, Samplitude and Sonar Producer 8.5. All registered software.
In the end it's not the DAW that makes the music, it's the musician and the engineer. Good tools are great but a good musician will make good music with what he has.
For straight audio, I think it's great. I don't do a lot of midi so no issue there. I haven't tried a lot of the functions either but from what I've tried it's very functional. Even the limited version. However, I tend to stick where my investments lie. Unfortunately that binds me to ProTools to an extent.
I've been using Cubase as my DAW for years and have never felt there was a reason to consider another. Workflow brought about by familiarity is a big disincentive to consider changing. I use UAD plugins for the little EQ and compression needed.
Mind you, I only record acoustic and vocal and don't use virtual instruments, so I guess most DAWs would suit me fine.