Studio Live: "My First Digital Mixer"

I really should have put this up some time ago. It has been a long time since a new audio mixing board has generated as much hubbub and interest as the PreSonus Studio Live boards have. And in a significant departure from previous "exciting new" consoles, these boards are actually affordable! Imagine that!

Their first board has already become an industry standard as a transition console from the analog world to "my first digital mixer". Many churches and touring groups are choosing the Studio Live board because they want the power, the audio quality, and the recall-ability of a digital board at the price of a small analog board; users particularly love the concept of a digital board that is as easy to use as an analog board! They've been delighted to learn that with a single cable, you can quickly and simply record up to 16 channels of digital audio on a computer, either Mac or PC; the raft of on-board compressors and effects just sweeten the deal (and save $$ on outboard gear)!

That original board was the 16.4.2, is a 16 channel board, and we sold many of our first few shipments of the 16.4.2 as standalone, 16-channel mixers. Gradually, people became aware of the fact that two of the boards could be slaved together to make a 32 channel board. An interesting thing happened: first, most sales were now for two of the boards, not for singles, and second, many of the folks that had bought a single board called back for a second one.

(The connection of two boards is remarkably simple: a FireWire cable connects the two boards. If you like, there is a gadget to physically attach them together to make one physical console as well.)

But the transition from analog to digital hasn't been without some challenges. A fair number of dyed-in-the-wool analog guys have had difficulty wrapping their mind around a digital board. More commonly, I get questions from users of earlier digital boards made by pioneers in the digital mixer world: they are afraid that the Studio Live boards will be as difficult to use as those boards.

And it was with these two scenarios in mind that my friend (and president of the sound company where I work) made this video to introduce the Studio Live board, not from a sales perspective, but from an audio engineer's perspective. Listen while Ron walks us through the Studio Live console:


More recently, PreSonus has introduced the big brother to the Studio Live 16.4.2, the 24 channel 24.4.2. It's not just "8 more channels" (though it is that), they've added quite a number of new features, and now people are having trouble deciding: do I choose the 24 channel board, or do I slave two 16's together to make a 32 channel board. And now two of the 24's can be slaved together to make a 48 channel mixer (though there are some recording limitations due to the 32 channel capacity of FireWire), so churches are beginning to buy this board in pairs and slaving them as well.

This is Rick Naqvi of Presonus introducing the 24 channel Studio Live 24.4.2 digital mixer. He really understands the board well (he should; he works for PreSonus), and can point out the difference between the boards.


If you're interested in one (or two) of either of these boards, give me a call (800/426-8664) or an email (churchsoundguy(at)gmail.com): we have "Try it Free" units for you to test, and we have the boards in stock, each with a "satisfaction guaranteed" warranty in addition to PreSonus's product warranty. Or call if you just want to talk about your sound system hopes and dreams.

2 comments:

Church Soundguy said...

I've since learned that "some recording limitations" turns out to mean "no recording at this time." Firewire's 32 channel limit prohibits recording all channels, and the boards have no method of choosing which 32 channels would be recorded. They're thinking about how to make it possible to record 24 tracks from one board, but that isn't even a priority yet in their development calendar.

anotherpilgrim said...

Hi! Thanks for your post. I'm very highly considering getting two of these 24 channel mixers and daisy chaining them for my church. The only thing still stopping me is the lack of recording once two of these are daisy-chained. You said they were thinking about making it possible to record 24 tracks from one board. Have you heard anything more on this now?