StudioLive AI hybrid

Discussion in 'Tracking / Mixing / Editing' started by audiokid, Jul 13, 2014.

  1. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    (I'm searching for the manual)
    Man, I am seriously looking into a 32 channel. I'm wondering about the dsub outs here. If anyone here understands my current hybrid system, I'm wondering if I could track with this, then mix ITB/OTB > send the mix via SL AI dsub outs to an analog matrix like I do in my hybrid summing process > AD into my capture DAW ?

    In other words, reading below sounds like we can track and mix either console or computer but are those dsubs sending the DAW mixed tracks out there?
    Bidirectional control means you don't have to choose.
    Since VSL-AI control is bidirectional, you can control the mixer directly from the mixing surface and from a computer at the same time.

  2. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    So I'm wondering if I could jam up the digital audio by sending the StudioLive dsub mix into my Neos analog console. Follow?

    Is this like Pro Tools (a DAW) with a console? I can even do some hybrid mojo?
    Look like a No brainer if this does what I just discovered.

    So then I'm thinking, okay, 32 channels, that is usually plenty for me. But if I needed more, could I be using Studio One and cleaning up whats needed to get it to 32 channels anyway. So this console is looking like a DAW with Pre's and the ability to mix both ITB/OTB, yes?
  3. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    I'm not sure I'm fully understanding what you would like to do with this, but I didn't see the route you suggested as being possible. The D-sub outs are purely the raw analog outputs of the SL pre-amps, and are not involved in the digital routing.

    What would work is to use the SL to receive raw digital tracks from your DAW and mix down from tracks to stems, then use the (14!) AUX outs on the SL-32 to feed the stems to your Neos. However, this would rely on the SL D-A converters at the stem level, which you may find a backward step.
  4. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    For what you want to do, I guess, sending a subgroup to your OTB gear and back to 2 inputs or independent converters could be an option(for mastering) . Or if you want to mix every channels OTB, they all have inserts.

    I had a 32ch mixer in the past which I sold. My minding back then was, 32 preamps on a 4000$ unit = 125$, minus all the guizmo digital mixing : I consider less than 100$ per preamps. Since I rarely need more then 16ch to record, I when to the path of having external preamps with better quality. To me, it wouldn't be the best choice for recording unless the line inputs goes strait to the converters (depending on the quality) so I can use all my external preamps.

    But for mixing? If all the channels in my DAW can be sent to the mixer and I can use it to mix outboard, It'd start to get interesting. It is just sad that they didn't put transport controls as well.

    I realise my post is full of doubts and presonus gets great reviews all the time, but I know you have great gear already and just ask myself if there's other avenue you haven't yet investigate. Also, you may already use better converters than the presonus, loosing quality is certainly not what you're looking for... ;)
  5. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    For some reason I was thinking the dsubs would route the mix out. Damn. I want one of these to use it for my daughters new career ( performing live) but also to capture and attempt what I am doing with my big system.
    Hearing voiceofallanger mixes,
    pretty impressive what he's getting on the older StudioLive 16.4.2! The new AI apparently sounds better and has double processing which is a bonus. I tend to use as little of that already so this simply means a smoother workflow for me!

    Now that I understand hybrid and have a workflow that works for me, I can't help but try and find other systems along the way.
  6. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Thanks guys: I am 100% with you on that pcrecord. These are apparently 30v rails and from my way of thinking, as long as we don't get all goofy on processing and pushing gains (like everything), this should be every bit as good as UAD and the past Pro Tools systems. I'm determined to prove it to myself. I don't believe most plug-ins UA is selling is actually all its claimed. You can do most of what you need manually and with the basics. So, all these basic plugs (EQ/Comps,Delays)... are either redundant code with a different picture or something to replace manual edits.
    Once you use real, and put real into a workflow, its the workflow at the front end or on the master that makes the value. Plugs are plugs and pretty graphics more than the real deal.

    Dave, you sell these correct.? What has changed in the AI, anything you can shed as far of integrating closer to what I do and in general?

    PreSonus has a slot for options. I wonder what this means? Thunderbolt I suppose.

  7. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    a stand alone digital mixer is a different beast than mixing itb. the mixer itself provides the processing power for the two bus and helps avoid taxing the CPU in a DAW. you are still using the DAW as a glorified tape machine. something like the Studio Live with inserts on the channels is a great way to integrate outboard processors in a mix. i assume there are aux sends / receives for reverbs and echo as well. for a number of reasons, i'm a big fan of real hardware outboard gear. i want to avoid plugs like the plague. i see no reason great mix's can not be done with a piece of gear such as this. it's just not a true hybrid rig like you are used to. but it's not itb either.
  8. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I agree 100 percent

    I'm assuming the inserts are only active on the preamps
  9. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    looks like all there is are channels and 2-bus. no bus's. you have to get creative and use the stereo channels or channel strips for routing.

    you could use an outboard mixer like your Neos for processing and then return the outs from that to the Studio Live through the stereo channels?
  10. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    That's what I'm thinking
    I need one here.

    I can see how the gap is closing in on all this. If this became the daw and control surface with great conversation and the ability to insert hardware like an analog console. That would be cool.

    PreSonus is getting closer. Smart guys running that company
  11. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Imagine if they made a console that we could load our daw in

    Similar to a control surface but the console running as the dedicated daw, our computer are the storage and online bridge

  12. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I guess it's just a different way to the same which is a controller that we all want to touch
  13. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Take care with this, Chris. Mixers like the SL series are great for their intended purpose, but they are not really designed for what you are wanting to do.
  14. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Why wouldn't the A&H Zed be an option for him to consider? I've heard nothing but great things about it in terms of pre's - and flexibility - plus, as you've mentioned in previous posts, doesn't it also make a good control surface as well?

    Just askin'...

  15. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    I had refrained from mentioning the Zed-R16! But, seeing as you did:

    Sonics: great
    EQ: lovely
    DAW control: functional but not extensive
    Bus flexibility: very limited
    Channel count: hard limit at 16

    So my judgement was: Zed-R16 is unsuitable for this application, but GS-R24 might be worth a look.
  16. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    when you say "not extensive" on the DAW control, could you elaborate a bit?
  17. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    never used a Zed so i would ask how is the headroom? how many volts in the rails and are the rails carried on Ribbons or on traces on the MB?

    volts swing is what makes or breaks a board. most table top consoles fall on their faces on this point.
    moonbaby and bigtree like this.
  18. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Neos = 120 rails. Delightful :) This looks great, well thought out. I wonder why its been discontinued?
  19. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    I use the analog DB25 Direct Outs to the Alesis HD24 for redundancy. They are balanced outputs that are inline right after the preamp. The signal coming out will not include any hardware you might have plugged into the channel Insert, or any of the digital processing that takes place in the mixer. It is strictly an amplified version of whatever signal came in the Input Jack(s).

    With a computer connected you can chose the Digital Returns and playback directly from the DAW, without the signal being converted two more times ( D-A then back A-D ), but the Digital Returns are not capable of then being sent out the analog DB25 Direct Outs, if that's what you were thinking.

    I'm not entirely clear on how you breakout out of your playback DAW -> to your summing mixer -> to a separate DAW recording the stereo result.


    They've doubled the horsepower of the internal digital processing, although the relevant bit-rate / sample-rate specs stay the same. So the built-in computing power that runs the mixer itself and fat-channel processing has doubled. Then on top of that they added two more internal multi-effects units for a total of four reverbs and delays available for mixing. These reverbs etc. are perfectly adequate for live performance, I doubt they will make anyone with your ear and high-end tastes forget their Bricastis or Lexicons in a recording situation. Not to worry though, in addition to the internal FX sends, the SL32 has 14 mono Auxes, (linkable to stereo pairs as needed) assignable pre or post, for your favorite hardware outboard effects. The SL24 has 10 Auxes in addition to the FX.

    Specification-wise, there are only a few improvements in S/N Ratio, Max. Input Level. Relevant to your situation/question, the signal to noise at the Direct Outputs has improved from 97dB to 105dB.

    They put a lot of thought and effort into integrating the AI mixer with their live performance powered AI speaker line - which is of no real benefit to you. Although just about anyone could benefit from the SMAART room analyzer that is built-in to analyze their listening environment.

    They've also made several significant improvements to the wireless iPad mixing capabilities - also probably not a big deal for you. But in a recording situation, the capability of letting the musicians adjust their own monitor mix with their iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch is pretty slick. The big change in the AI is you don't need a computer to host the wireless network, you just plug a wireless router directly into the SL to create the private wireless network.

    The addition of 6 Mute Group Buttons and 6 dedicated Scene Buttons (only on the SL32) are great for live sound, and useful in the studio - but probably to a lesser extent. The additional space of the 32-channel wide frame, gave them a place to put in some more buttons. 6 Group Mutes and your favorite 6 Scenes were a good use of the space. The extra real estate of the 32 channel frame gave them room to add knobs to eliminate the awkward scrolling left and right that is necessary to access all freqs. of the built-in graphics. The graphics are still easier to use when you're going wirelessly on the iPad. Using the graphics on the SL24 or SL16, still involves the nuisance of scrolling, but as I've said before if I almost never touch the graphics. If the 4-band fully parametric EQs on every single input and output can't get you where you want to go, you might be better off repositioning the mic or speakers.

    They've upgraded to Burr-Brown A/D D/A Converters, but again it doesn't change the sample-rate or resolution. You would still be limited to 48kHz 24-bit max.

    And they've moved from Firewire 400 ports to Firewire 800 ports. And you're right, the optional I/O cards will include Thunderbolt, a Dante option, and a AVB [Audio Video Bridge] option.


    Integrating the SL to be a Control Surface for even their own StudioOne DAW software must be a lot more complicated than it appears. Even on the original series SL mixer like I have, when I'm connected to the laptop I have 100% bi-directional communication between the SL mixer and the generic Universal Control software. Every button, every fader move, every-everything except the physical Gain Knob can be instantly communicated mixer to laptop /laptop to mixer. Again, I'm completely ignorant when it comes to computer coding, drivers, etc. - but to my simple mind, it seems like they've already done the heavy-lifting part of giving the SL control surface capability via Universal Control.

    Even though the Firewire 400 technology was essentially outdated from the introduction of the SL mixers, I will say that with the older FW400 ports I have had ZERO trouble streaming 24+2 tracks of 48kHz tracks to the Capture software. I've been using the SL24.4.2 for a couple years now and it's been 100% glitch-free with FW400. The newer AI version has Firewire 800 ports, which have twice the data-transfer rate of FW400, but to me it still seems like a short-sighted step to adopt FW800 at this point in the game. Even though anything faster than FW800 (like Thunderbolt) would force me to get a newer laptop, it would be worthwhile if it improved performance. I'm probably due for a new laptop anyway.

    I'm looking forward to the day they can support 96kHz 24-bit or better, some Lightpipe I/O options would be handy, and obviously motorized faders would be a plus. And I'd like to see them put a drop of #&@% Threadlock on the nut holding the BNC light connector on the top panel.
  20. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Thanks for that Dave, I know that took time to write so well :)

    So, the dsubs would be like having 32 preamps available that could AD into example, the Orion32 96/24 > DAW of choice?

    I'm also thinking of this for my daughter's performing future and preparing her for live via our practice room in the studio. I want my kids to become familiar with a PA and to help prepare them for the next step. I think this would be excellent for that, plus, Capture is so slick, it would be easy for them to record what they are doing in comparison to learning what we do. :eek:

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