Andrew Hulshult is fortunate enough to live at the nexus of video games and heavy rock. More enviable, however, is the fact that he lives there professionally. Hulshult is the composer/audio engineer for Interceptor Entertainment and has been for nearly three years. When not tweaking the knobs on his high-gain amps, Hulshult sings for Dallas, Texas, band Burying the Trend, whose sound is best illustrated by the two-word band bio: “Chug life.”
Hulshult learned the inputs and outputs required of a pro-audio lifer via a seven-year tenure as a sales and training manager at Guitar Center. His life changed in 2010, when he composed a couple of tracks for a game, and the development team signed him up to score the entire project. Over time, the once-small development team grew to become Interceptor Entertainment.
Interceptor’s most recent release is the long-awaited, critically lauded remake of Apogee’s Rise of the Triad, a frantic, sensory-overloading gauntlet harkening back to the first-person shooter days of 1994: Click, bang, dodge, repeat. Hulshult forged more than 24 full compositions for the game. Most gleam with Hulshult’s signature metal/electronic alloy but some numbers gave him the leeway to explore more diverse sonic territory.
Given Rise of the Triad’s approach to hurried, bloat-free gameplay, it’s logical that Studio One Professional 2’s focus on quick results is only a rocket jump away. Hulshult has moved Studio One straight to the front line of his arsenal of sonic tools. Studio One was used not only for the game’s acclaimed soundtrack but also for Burying the Trend’s debut record.
“I use Studio One Professional 2 exclusively for all my applications—composition, sound design, and voiceover work. I also use it for live tracking and studio sessions,” states Hulshult.
Hulshult chose Studio One after exhaustive experience with other DAWs, and the decision came down to trimming the fat. “I was tired of other companies claiming to be the best and easiest DAW to use. I don't mind learning a DAW—I have learned the ins and outs of four major DAWs on the market—but I needed ease of control, a fast workflow, and most of all, stability. Studio One gave me all of these and more!”
When pressed for details regarding a favorite feature, Hulshult struggles. It seems he likes them all. “I enjoy how easy it is to work with third-party plug-ins, and the drag-and-drop functionality of instrument tracks is a huge time-saver,” Hulshult praises. “And I can’t say enough about the amazing algorithms used in Studio One’s time-stretching.”
A focused listen to Hulshult’s soundtrack for Rise of the Triad reveals an intricate, detailed sonic palette. There are myriad subtle filter sweeps and auto-panned, gated synth effects throughout his compositions. Much of this was made possible by Studio One’s powerful but intuitive automation workflow. “Applying automation curves by simply selecting a knob or fader on a particular plug-in to be granted instant automation access is a dream come true,” Hulshult enthuses. “I use this in pretty much every track I composed for the game.”
With Studio One, Hulshult’s got all his bullets in one bandolier—and he plans to keep it that way. “Studio One is a one-stop-shop DAW,” he asserts. “In the beginning, I used other DAWs alongside Studio One. Now, with the integration of Melodyne and the incredible time-correction technology, PreSonus has covered all the bases. I have no need for a second DAW anymore!”