Studio One Artist vs Professional: Which One You Should Get

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Are you having a difficult time comparing Studio One Artist vs Professional?

You’re not alone! Every day, many musicians and producers find themselves in the exact same situation. 

I know how difficult it can be to decide which version of the DAW better suits your needs. Especially considering that there’s a whopping $300 difference between them. 

But don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place for answers. 

Below, you’ll find some of the most obvious differences between one version of the DAW and the other to help drive your decision. 

Some of the most notable tools the Professional version includes are Presence XT, Ampire, Loops, and Multiband Dynamics. And if you’re into more technical stuff, you can also take advantage of the IR Maker, the 64-bit WAV export format, and guitar tablatures

Keep reading to discover if these are worth your while!


Making smart money decisions is essential at any time but especially with the current economy. 

After all, buying a new DAW is a huge commitment and a significant investment. Best case scenario, you’ll be using the program you purchased for the years to come.

When comparing the Artist and Professional versions of Studio One 5, you should expect a price tag of $99.95 and $399.95 respectively. And while the latter version is much more expensive as it packs several features the former lacks, is it really worth a $300 difference?

Well… I’ll leave that up to you. Let’s dive in.

#1 Presence XT

Having a wide range of options is essential to any producer. Sometimes you might want to write a Rock song and some other times you might be in the mood for a romantic ballad. 

Being able to choose from a huge list of virtual instruments to adapt to your every need can be very useful.

The professional version of Studio One 5 includes this wonderful instrument pack called Presence XT. It offers an incredible 14 GB of sounds and samples that can make your productions sound fuller and more interesting. 

So, if you like variety and not being limited by what comes in the box, this is definitely something that might prove useful to you. And when you think about the fact that this product alone costs upwards of $100, getting Studio One 5 Professional starts sounding like the better choice. 

#2 Ampire

Studio One Ampire
You can choose between several amps and cabs

Depending on how long you’ve been producing and recording music, you may or may not be familiar with Amp Sims. 

If you’re not, that’s ok! Let me briefly walk you through them. 

Amp Sims or Amp Simulators are copies of your favorite physical amplifiers. They mimic the sound and allow you to edit all the settings as if you were using the real thing. 

Over the last decade, they have become very popular, and these days, you can find them in all varieties. That is, if you’re willing to pay the price, as most of them are not cheap. 

Both Studio One Artist and Studio One Professional include Ampire, which is the company’s take on this technology. But while the latter includes the full version, the former only has a basic set of options. 

You should check out our piece on Studio One 5’s best stock plugins to get a better grasp of how to set a great guitar tone on Ampire. 

If you love playing and recording guitar and don’t own another Amp Sim yet, this might be a great option for you. And considering that the plugin costs about $60 if bought separately, it’s definitely something to think about. 

#3 Loops

It would seem like modern music is all about loops and samples. I can’t remember the last time I heard a song this last decade that didn’t use them at least once. 

And don’t get me wrong, I think they’re great. But having reliable sounds with good quality can be difficult. 

If like me, you just can’t live without adding samples to your music, you might be inclined to buy Studio One 5 Professional instead of the Artist version. Granted, the latter also has a large library of sounds you can use, but when you compare it to the former, it’s not nearly as complete. 

Now, I’m not saying that choosing the Professional version over the Artist one is the only way to get loops and samples. You can always subscribe to services, like Splice for $7.99 per month and access a world of interesting sounds. 

It’s all a matter of personal preference. 

#4 Multiband Dynamics

Studio One Multiband Dynamics
Successful mixing is all about precision and control

Mixing and recording music is all about control and precision. When it comes to creating new sounds or altering the ones you already recorded, being able to pinpoint exact frequency ranges to change them, can be very helpful. 

This is where the Multiband Dynamics stock plugin comes in.

Exclusive to the Professional version, this plugin allows you to select a specific frequency area on your sound so you can compress it individually. 

This can be really useful when you’re dealing with guitars with a muddy Low-end or vocals that need a little control in the Mids without affecting the air in the Highs. 

So, if you’re looking for a multiband compressor without having to spend any extra money on third-party plugins, this should be your go-to. Bear in mind, though, that you could also get the Studio One Artist version and use the $300 you saved to buy a bunch of other production tools. 

#5 IR Maker

Studio One IR Maker
Creating your own IRs opens up a world of possibilities

This one falls on the technical side of things. 

As a matter of fact, out of all the plugins included with Studio One Professional, I’d go as far as to say this is the only “niche” one. In case you have no idea what the IR Maker does, let me give you a brief explanation. 

IRs or Impulse Responses are, in a nutshell, an exact copy of a physical amplifier’s tone. Let’s say you own a vintage Marshall Amp and you just dialed in the perfect tone. 

By capturing the amp’s Impulse Response, you’re taking a “photograph” of it so you can load it on your computer in a matter of seconds whenever you want. 

This is not only convenient but also a great way to save money. You would not believe how many people rent $3000+ amps for a week, capture their Impulse Response, and then return the unit while keeping the tone stored in their computers. 

And while it all sounds great, not everyone’s interest is piqued by creating their own IRs. Paying $300 for Studio One Professional might not make sense based only on this. 

#6 64-Bit Wav Export

There are many reasons why you’d want to export your songs in 64-bit Wav format. 

Some people will argue that exporting in this format provides much higher sound quality, while others will tell you that you’re just using up unnecessary amounts of space on your hard drive.

And while it’s hard to determine who’s actually right, having as many options as you can while producing/recording music is always welcome. 

Granted, the situations where this format will be necessary are few and far between, in most cases, you’ll be exporting in 32, 24, or even 16-bit Wav. 

But hey! It’s better to have and not need than to need and not have, right?

If you feel like you might use this format sometime in the future, going for Studio One Professional makes sense. If not, sticking to the Artist version is a much better decision all things considered. 

Assuming that you’re still not convinced with the value for money Studio One Professional has to offer, you might want to check out our piece on Studio One vs Cubase. You might find yourself needing a different DAW altogether. 

#7 Guitar Tablature

Studio One guitar tablature
We all got our start reading tabs!

This one’s for my fellow guitar players out there. 

When learning a new instrument or song, you want to walk before you run. While some people get their start reading notes and partiture, most of us will likely learn the ropes of guitar playing through tablatures. 

They’re so much easier to understand!

And while there are other, cheaper alternatives to creating and playing along to your favorite tablatures, isn’t it more comfortable to be able to do this within your DAW?

Whether you’re just getting started playing guitar or trying to learn a new song you heard on Spotify, having a tablature creation tool is always useful. 

Is it worth $300? Well… that’s something you, and you alone can answer. 


Studio One Artist vs Professional, which one should you get? That’s the million-dollar question. What might be useful to you, might seem unnecessary and a waste of time to others. 

It’s all a matter of personal preference. 

I hope this article has helped you better understand the main difference between both versions of the DAW. You now have the tools and the facts to weigh your options and make an informed decision. 

I know it can be hard to make such an expensive commitment, but I’m sure that, when all has been said and done, you’ll make the right choice.

Thank you so much for sticking with me all the way to the end. If you found this article helpful, you’ll be glad to know that we upload new content every week. Please be sure to check out all our other wonderful resources below to become a Tech Detective yourself!

Best of luck to you.