If you’ve turned on a TV at some point in the last few years, you have, perhaps unknowingly, been exposed to the work of British Columbia’s Andrew Oye. His credits include Disney, Pan Am, Sprint, and Microsoft, to name a few. The latter half of his resume might be easily confused with a Nielsen-ratings chart: The Tonight Show, the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, CSI NY, Lost, Dexter, Burn Notice, Californication, and more. Although his work is heard worldwide, Oye gets to walk down the street without all those pesky autograph requests that come with more visible forms of celebrity, like rock stardom.
Inspired by Marty McFly’s shred prowess in Back to the Future, Oye first picked up a guitar at 13. Five years later, he studied jazz at Malaspina College, graduating in 1995. Oye taught at various music schools on Vancouver Island, then founded a production library, Direct Composer. Since then, Oye has composed over 1,000 pieces of music that have been used in hundreds of productions throughout the world.
Naturally, Oye uses PreSonus Studio One 2 for his composing, recording and mastering needs.
“I recently made the switch from one of the other major DAWs,” begins Oye. “I became frustrated with insane upgrade prices and the lack of such standard features as 64-bit support — a must for today’s sample libraries! I had heard good things about PreSonus Studio One, and knew about their great reputation in the pro audio world.
“I was turned on to the software by a friend of mine who is a mix engineer up here in Canada,” continues Oye. “After playing around with the software for a couple hours, I was disheartened that I had spent so much money on the other DAW. The nail in the coffin for me was when I compared the sound engines by rendering a file in both and hearing them side-by-side. Studio One sounded better! The quality of the sound engine combined with the software’s ease of use makes for an amazing package.”
Oye is quick to point out some of the features that keep him coming back to Studio One. “Pro EQ is great,” he says. ”The built-in spectrum analyzer is accurate, and the cutoffs are super smooth. The audio quantization and Audio Bend are extremely powerful, easy-to-use tools. Melodyne integration is also a real game changer—it’s brilliant!”
Oye is happy to share a few production secrets. “I’ve found a way to make MIDI strings sound more realistic in Studio One!” he says. ”I record the part, then I slow down the tempo to about half and re-record automation to the track using a volume pedal and/or the mod wheel. Creating slight volume and modulation crescendos and decrescendos makes the track sound more like real stings. I then fine-tune the velocity and modulation by hand in the MIDI window. Next, I add a reverb bus. I crank the ‘verb to 100% wet and send the string track to it, blending in a fair amount of reverb.
“One trick I often employ to help de-clutter the bass in a mix is to apply a multiband limiter and put it on the master bus. I then solo the low band and check my tracks against each other for weird bass clashes,” Oye reveals. “With a subwoofer or good headphones, I can hear weird frequencies in the bass guitar against the drums or guitars, and from there I can start cutting frequencies to make them all fit. It works like a charm!”
Concludes Oye, “The drag-and-drop VSTs and simple bus setups are better than anything I have seen in other DAWs, and the sound engine just sounds better. I can’t find a feature that is better in competitive software. That’s why I switched!”