Jonathan “Jon-John” Robinson
A bona fide hitmaker, 20-year producing/songwriting veteran Jonathan “Jon-John” Robinson has two Grammy Awards for recordings from TLC and Gladys Knight. His client roster also boasts luminaries like Diana Ross, Lady Gaga, Babyface, Paula Abdul, 3LW, and K-CI & JoJo.
In 2010, Robinson launched Box Car Digital in an effort to bring new exposure and development to artists with raw talent. More than a mere record label, Box Car leverages cutting-edge social-media marketing to bring new life to good old-fashioned word-of-mouth marketing tactics. Box Car Digital currently has three artists on its growing roster, and its works are distributed by Sonic Flux Music and Sony Music.
Robinson has chosen PreSonus® Studio One® Professional 2.5 and the FaderPort as two of his many tools of the trade. Why? “Studio One is a one-stop-shop for me,” he explains. “I use Studio One for composing, recording, arranging, editing, mixing, and mastering. I use the Project page in Studio One to arrange projects, insert UPC and ISRC files, and place it in DDP format to send off projects for manufacturing.”
Robinson discovered Studio One the same way many producers have of late: via PreSonus Artist Teddy Riley. “Prior to Studio One, I was using Logic Pro,” Robinson recalls. “Teddy Riley had been trying to get me to switch from Logic for a while. He came to me and finally said ‘Listen, you need to check out this DAW called Studio One, it's very intuitive. You can drag-and-drop everything.’ I said, ‘Wait a minute drag-and-drop everything? All plug-ins?’ Teddy went on to explain the workflow of Studio One, and how I could easily go back and forth between projects. That was enough to at least get me to try it.
“When I opened up Studio One and began to mess around with it, I noticed how intuitive it was; there was basically no learning curve! I could work from the moment I first used Studio One.”
Ease of use is one thing, but what really matters to the best producers should be obvious. How does it sound? “What I like most about Studio One is the ease of use, the way I can drag-and-drop plug-ins in the Mix and Arrange windows,” Robinson explains. “But what I love most about Studio One is the sound! The sound is amazing! It sounds transparent, with a nice, round bottom, and it is open on the high end. Studio One sounds nice and wide and much cleaner than Logic. I had been using Logic for ten-plus years and had already made the switch to Logic from Pro Tools. So for me to make the switch again, it had to be something that was a game-changer.”
Once partnered with Studio One, Robinson found himself with a limitless sonic palette at his disposal, making use of nearly every feature. “My favorite feature is being able to seamlessly switch between songs,” Robinson explains. “Sometimes when I’m in a creative mood, I might start working on one song and then get an idea for new song. Being able to start a new song and make the switch from the old song without having to shut down the DAW proves to be very efficient.
“With Studio One they've taken the best of every DAW, without copying, and created a one-stop shop,” Robinson continues. “Studio One has made my workflow so much more simple, there really is no comparison to Logic. Another thing I think that is incredible about Studio One is the ability to use both VSTs and AUs in the same DAW. I really love the Audio Bend feature, and I frequently find myself converting MIDI to audio. That is one of the greatest features in Studio One. Get to know it!”
Robinson concludes his praise of Studio One with a look back—and a look forward. “I've been producing and songwriting for over 20 years, and in my honest, humble opinion, Studio One is a game-changer. PreSonus understands where music is going and has set itself up as a company to help usher in the future of music with its products. For any serious producer or beatmaker, Studio One has to be a part of their workflow. I wouldn't have it any other way.”