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PreSonus StudioLive 16.4.2 Review

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[Music Playing.......♪♫♪♫] Hi! We're here at the <a href="">CCI Solutions</a> Tech Center reviewing the new PreSonus StudioLive 16.4.2 We're taking a look at how this mixer will work for live mixing applications. You've probably seen the video that's already on our Web site talking about the features of the StudioLive. It's a great new digital mixer designed for live use or studio applications. Today we want to focus on just the live aspect. Will this mixer really work to do a gig or to do a small or even a medium sized church? I've been mixing for 30 years for live application, primarily worship situations and used both analog and digital mixers. I love digital mixers because they can record the settings. They have a lot of different effects to use. But, I really don't like mixers that have a lot of layers in them. So you have to look for the auxiliaries on a layer, you have to look for your different channels on a layer, this mixer's a little different. They designed this with having a lot of the functions and features readily available right on the control surface. So the first thing you're going to notice from a live standpoint is it's a 16-channel mixer. It has 4 subs and it has a master. If 16 channels is enough for you, then great. No need to talk about it any further.

But most guys will say "You know what, for live applications I want a 24 channel mixer." "Or, I may want to have a 32-channel mixer." No problem. PreSonus has got you covered. All you do is take a second mixer, use the firewire output, the firewire connection between the two mixers, they have the software, everything ready to go. Now you have a 32-channel digital mixer. Your auxes are connected. Your subs are connected. Everything's all set. Easy then just to unplug it and take the two mixers into two separate venues for the rest of the time so you can have a 32-channel for some of your big events, Easter, Christmas, some big programs, and then break it down and have a 16 channel mixer in two separate venues. So if that's going to work for you then let's take a look at how this mixer might work for live.

First of all the preamps. We all want great preamps. Well, PreSonus has great preamps. It's the XMax Preamp. PreSonus is famous for preamps. They used to do preamps and still do preamps as a separate device that can plug into different digital consoles. We've used them with some of the other brand consoles. So we know that they work out well. In fact, a lot of the great recordings that are out today, some of the contemporary Christian recordings that are out today have used these same XMax preamps. So we're pretty comfortable with the fact that we've got 16 microphone inputs on the back with XMax preamps.

One of the big issues in Live is "Can I get to the Trim control right away?" Well you can see here, if you just go ahead and zoom on into the channel here, let's take a look. So the first thing you want for live mixing is you want to have instant access to your Trim control because that's where you set the level, right here, in live. You want to be able to adjust that instantaneously. You don't want to have to go into a menu or anything like that.

PreSonus has the Trim control right at the top of the channel strip. As you'd expect, right here. Mic or Line level. The next thing is a 48 volt phantom power switch on each channel right here. You can turn it on or off It's not a group switch, so it's not all 16 channels on or 16 channels off. It's right here on each channel. So that's great for live use. This next control, the Input control, selects whether you are going to be on your live input your mic preamp, or if you're going to come off the 16-channel firewire feed from your recorder. You might use a laptop digital audio workstation, or anything you want. That's also great for live use because we can record 16 channels from this console right into their Capture software and then bring it back, say, right after a rehearsal, take a listen to it, maybe adjust some EQ, listen to it over the house sound system, it's fabulous for a second chance at a rehearsal. That's this control right here. You select whether this input is coming from the 16-track recorder or whether it's coming from the mic pres.

So we'll go ahead and turn those on since we don't have a live band in here and we've got 16 channels coming in. Now, one thing this console has for live use that's fabulous your Aux controls, your monitors, your in-ear monitors any auxiliary feeds, are right here on top of the console. So I can get to them. I can get to the level control. On other consoles it's a layer down here on the faders that you have to select from right in this area. But on this console it's up here. So you have 6 independent auxiliaries plus two effects send as well. I can instantly get to those. Now of course you have "pre" "post" switching. Take a look at that right there and it happens to be that these are set up in stereo pairs. Which for live use we wouldn't typically use unless we were doing stereo in-ear monitors. I can select Pre/Post switching right here.

As we move down, this is the heart of the console. And for live use, again, this is fabulous. Every channel has the High Pass filter. Remember I was mentioning that before. We don't have High Pass filters here. We just select "High Pass" and that will High Pass this at 100 Hz. and take out all that rumble and noise that you might have on a vocal microphone. So there it is right there. We can also adjust the frequency. You can see that it will either be as low as 24 Hz or as high as 1K. So it's a variable High Pass filter. I typically like to set that at 100 Hz or so right here. Then you have Effect on every channel, but again, instead of going into a menu like you might do on some consoles over here on the menu area, you have the controls for the Compressor, the Limiter and the Equalizer right here on this section of the board, instantly available. How do you get to that for each channel? Well, you simply hit the "Select" switch for that channel. So if I want to do the EQ or levels on Channel 1, I hit Channel 1 on the Select Switch and I've got my EQ, Effect, High Pass Filter, Gate everything right here, instantly available. If I want channel 2, boom, I just hit "Select, you can see here where it will pop up. It says "Select a Channel," so you know what you're on and again, instantly accessible. You don't have to look in 3 separate places, maybe a control off to the left of the board, to a display on the right hand of the board, with the channel down at the bottom of the board. It's all right here. So it's fabulous.

The other thing I really like about this board is if we move down and take a look at the individual channels, is each of these selectors is a heave-duty push button. It's not an inexpensive or cheap button. This is a very heavy-duty, illuminated, almost a "rubberized" kind of a button. Very suitable for live use. You can see my big finger can select that without any problem at all. Plenty of room for live use. I really don't like small, compact consoles that don't have enough room to instantly press a button. Just like that. Or, you end up selecting the wrong button. So the Select button are right here where you'd expect it. They are right underneath the channel number. Isn't that great? So right where you'd want to look at it from a live standpoint. Now you can Solo just like in a live console. You can solo each individual channel. You can solo multiple channels if you want to solo an ensemble. Or you can solo in place. Fabulous, again, it's brightly lit, instead of some small little button with a small little LED somewhere else, I know exactly what's up in my solo mix. And my Mute button, see how that glows nice and bright red? I know if I have a channel muted. Again, a lot of mixers have a small little button and you have to determine whether it's up or whether it's down. You really can't see. Nice big button that's well-illuminated for my mute. and of course a fabulous, linear potentiometer here for a fader for your volume. And you've got lots of room to mix particularly in the critical zone between minus 10 and plus ten. This is not a small recording studio fader. This is a large, easily-usable live type of a fader.

So that pretty much covers how we might use the individual channels on the PreSonus StudioLive 16.4.2 Let's take a look over in this section. We have submaster, four different sub-groups. So, just like a large console, we can assign bands, we can assign vocal groups, band, drama groups to these different subgroups and then bring them out just like we would in live use. So, no problem there. Then as we move up, this section is primarily for our digital effects. We have two things that we can use this for: digital effects such as reverb, but we can also use this as a library for all the EQ settings and Compression settings on the board. So all these settings that are here, say I get a really nice sound out of a certain vocalist with that certain microphone. I can record that setting into my library. Two weeks later when she's singing on that same microphone, I put her on a different channel, I just pull back that same group of settings, and then bring them back up and I've got my EQ, I've got my Effects, everything right there. Isn't that fabulous? That is perfect for what we do. So we can run several different sets with this mixer. We can do Youth Groups on Friday night We can do a Saturday Night contemporary service, we can do a traditional service at 8:30 on Sunday morning, do a contemporary service again at 11:00 on Sunday and just keep pulling up all the different settings for each of the channels or the entire board other than the fader settings. Those are manual fader settings, these are not movable faders. You can't beat this board.

I encourage you to take a look at this for live applications as well as studio applications in conjunction with the included Capture software. This is what allows you to take your 16 channels out and record it into a digital format and then do these rehearsals where you set the board up, take a listen to what's gone on, feed it back through the channels, and then refine your mix. The PreSonus StudioLive 16.4.2. A fabulous console for live use. [Music playing.....♪♫♪♫]

Video Details

Duration: 10 minutes and 40 seconds
Year: 2012
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: CCI Solutions
Director: CCI Solutions
Views: 128
Posted by: ccisolutions on Nov 6, 2013

Join Ron Simonson, CEO of CCI Solutions for this expert overview of the PreSonus StudioLive 16.4.2 digital mixer. The perfect mixer for churches, this sound board packs a lot of professional features into a small, intuitive interface that's easy for volunteers to learn and use.

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