Serbian-born composer, producer, and rocker Nikola Jeremić started out in music the way many self-taught musicians do: He grabbed a guitar and assembled a metal band in high school. Over time, his interests expanded from shredding to scoring, and he soon launched OARA, a solo project exploring ambient and cinematic soundscapes and all of the curious amalgams that occur where the two idioms meet.
At the Audio and Video Technologies department of the Advanced School of Electrical Engineering in Belgrade, Jeremić continued to create, sharing his work online. Lo and behold, one day the Hollydan Works film studio gave him a call, and Jeremić agreed to score a feature-length film. In 2012, he won the Audio Engineering Society Gold Award in Sound for Visual Media at the society’s 132nd convention in Budapest, Hungary.
While serving as an in-house composer at Hollydan Works, Jeremić continues to produce for other clients. His scores are highly diverse; he’s equally comfortable creating inconspicuous synth ambiance and full-on orchestral bombast. Jeremić’s consistent signature throughout these sonic endeavors remains the guitar—though its sounds are often subjected to such digital trickery that it may be difficult for the listener to recognize!
Among his main tools are the PreSonus® Studio One® Professional 2, FaderPort, and FireStudio™ Project. “I think that the fact that I’ve uninstalled all other DAWs speaks very highly of Studio One,” Jeremić asserts. “I am using Studio One Professional 2 and the FaderPort for everything when it comes to working with audio. Studio One is a real workhorse. Being a composer/sound designer/audio engineer requires using many different types of software, so I’m happy to see that finally somebody got the idea of placing useful tools and options for every aspect of audio production in a single package. I even do a lot of audio editing for visual media in Studio One.”
Jeremić champions the software’s accessibility and ease-of-use. “First of all, Studio One’s price is very affordable compared to other DAWs,” he says. “Studio One is very user friendly, and it doesn’t use large amounts of CPU power. Everything that I bounce from it sounds just the way I want it to sound. Sometimes I even think that the damned thing is reading my mind!”
When prompted to name favorite features, Jeremić struggles to pick just one. “Composing MIDI scores for films and video games is a breeze in Studio One,” he notes. “Assigning MIDI CC messages via hardware controllers has never been easier. Finally, somebody did it right! Melodyne is just awesome, Folder Tracks are very helpful, and quickly grouping tracks and sending them to buses with just a click is very time-saving. I am even using Studio One bundled plug-ins for mixing. Pro EQ does magic on my string and brass sections. Being a guitar player, Ampire XT is an important tool for me as well.”
While many producers keep their sonic trickery close the chest, Jeremić shares a synthy secret. “I needed to make my own synth pad for a sound-design project I was doing, and I realized that I can do magical things using Presence and a very wet mix of Room Reverb with a nearly 20-second long tail,” he explains. “After making the sound that I liked, I bounce the selected track and import it into SampleOne. Now it’s my go-to pad synth.”
Despite industry accolades and a growing client roster, Jeremić remains humble. “I am very honored and proud to be a part of the PreSonus family. As I’m still a noob in this music-for-visual-media business, PreSonus’ support has meant the world to me. If it weren’t for Studio One, I’d definitely have to think of a whole new way of writing music and mixing high-quality projects. Hey, thanks to Studio One, I won the Gold Award in Sound for Visual Media competition at an AES convention!”
Check out Jeremić's five-part series on orchestral composition in Studio One.