PreSonus has announced that after two years of intense R&D, it is shipping its new StudioLive 16.4.2 digital recording and performance mixer, designed for both studio recording and live sound.
The StudioLive sports a wealth of inputs and outputs. In addition to 16 mic inputs with XLRs, each channel has 1/4-inch TRS balanced line inputs and insert points. The four Subgroup outputs and six Aux bus inputs and outputs are also on 1/4-inch balanced jacks, and the main outs are on both XLR and 1/4 inch TRS jacks, along with a 1/4-inch mono output.
Stereo tape sends and returns are on RCA jacks. There’s a mic input for the talkback channel, 1/4-inch control-room outputs, a 1/4-inch headphone jack, and coax S/PDIF digital outputs.
The mixer also serves as a dual-port FireWire audio interface that can route all channels and buses to and from a Mac or Windows PC. It works with any ASIO-compliant audio application, including Logic, Cubase, Live, Digital Performer, Sonar, and Audition. Latency is so low that you can use your host program and plug-ins with your StudioLive in real time for live performances.
Further emphasizing its dual nature, StudioLive comes bundled with PreSonus’s new Capture recording software for Mac OS X and Windows XP/Vista. Capture is preconfigured to record with the StudioLive, so all mixer channels are correctly routed to Capture tracks. Launch Capture, open a new session, click once to arm all tracks, click on Record, and you’re capturing the audio from all 16 channels and the stereo bus.
Capture also can import WAV files so you can bring prerecorded loops and backing tracks to a live show, and is so quick and simple that it can also be employed in the studio for capturing basic song ideas.
Ease of use was a major consideration with every aspect of the StudioLive. Its innovative QuickTouch design allows fast access to every parameter, mix, effect, and aux bus. No surfing through menus, no confusing routing.
Once you have a setup you like, you can save scenes (all settings), Fat Channel settings, and individual digital effects and recall them at the touch of a button. Record at home and easily re-create the mix live, set up a mix in one venue and recall it for the next gig, and save your sound-check settings so you’re ready to go when the show starts—quickly, easily, and reliably.
The StudioLive delivers excellent audio quality, with 16 of the company’s award-winning, low-noise, high-headroom, Class A XMAX mic preamps. All mixing is done with ultra-high-headroom, 32-bit floating-point processing, eliminating digital clipping. The digital converters are also excellent, with 118 dB dynamic range.
A major contributor to the StudioLive’s sonic quality is the proprietary PreSonus Fat Channel, which provides a 4-band semiparametric EQ, high pass filter, compressor, limiter, and gate on every channel and on each of the four subgroups, six auxiliary sends, and main stereo outs.
The high pass filter and EQ are based on the custom-designed PreSonus EyeQ, and the compressors, limiters, and gates are digitally modeled to sound just like PreSonus’ warm-sounding, award-winning ACP88.
The Fat Channel algorithms deliver real-world control parameters and highly musical sound. As with the other features, it’s easy to use: engage the Fat Channel by pressing any Select button. You can even copy and paste Fat Channel settings between channels and buses.
Two dedicated stereo aux buses serve a pair of programmable, 32-bit, stereo effects processors that generate an assortment of reverbs and delay effects. The two effects buses can also be routed through the Fat Channel so you can apply EQ and dynamics processing and assign the outputs to subgroups and the main mix bus.
The parameters are very easy to use, and you get Tap Tempo and effects store, recall, and scene selection.
Soon after shipping the StudioLive, PreSonus will release a free firmware update that will enable you to use the two FireWire ports to daisy-chain up to four StudioLive mixers for 64 channels of recording or combine up to 12 StudioLive mixers for 192 channels in live performance, with sample-accurate synchronization between units.
When you plug in a slave unit, your master StudioLive detects it, gives it an address, and merges the buses to the master unit. So with three mixers, all 48 channels are sent to the master unit’s main bus, the six aux buses on the slave mixers are summed to the aux buses on the master unit, and the same is true of the subgroups. The mutes, solos, and PFL/cue also work together, like one large mixer.
StudioLive MSRP is $1,999.
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