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StudioLive AI-series mixer 96 kHz over the onboard FireWire 800 interface

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by audiokid, Nov 30, 2014.

  1. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    AWESOME NEWS for StudioLive AI owners!


    Baton Rouge, Louisiana, November 2014

    PreSonus® is pleased to announce the availability of HD mode for StudioLive™ AI-series mixers. Once updated, any StudioLive AI-series mixer can record and play back audio streams at sample rates up to 96 kHz over the onboard FireWire 800 interface. The number of recording and playback streams is unaffected.

    Designed with recording in mind, HD mode limits cascading and output processing while retaining bus mixing, Fat Channel processing on every input channel, and one reverb and one delay processor. Since included Capture™ and Studio One® Artist for Mac® and Windows® already record high-definition audio, no updates to these applications are required.

    Registered StudioLive AI-series mixer owners can update their StudioLive AI-series mixer firmware free by downloading the firmware from their My PreSonus account or by connecting their mixer to an Internet-capable network and updating over the Web. Information on how to update the firmware is available from the online PreSonus Knowledgebase.

    PreSonus also announced that its Nimbit® online, direct-to-fan music marketing, promotion, and sales service now supports high-definition (24-bit, 96 kHz) audio.

    Only PreSonus offers a complete, "riff to release" music recording, production, and delivery solution for high-definition audio. Record, mix, and master in 24-bit, 96 kHz with a PreSonus StudioLive AI-series mixer and Capture or Studio One, then upload your HD files directly to Nimbit for promotion and delivery.

    For more information about StudioLive AI-series mixers, please visit http://.

    For more information about Nimbit, please visit http://.
  2. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Well, how awesome is this! I just got a 24.4.2 AI and I'm feeling like I just got a Christmas gift from Santa. PreSonus, you sincerely ROCK.

    I would never have guessed you can increase the SR on these with a simple software update. I would have thought this was a hardware related design, part of the components?
    Can anyone explain that to me?
  3. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    There's something in my recent memory that's knocking on my skull, that says something about being sure to have a particular FW cable... something I recall reading or hearing somewhere regarding a special FW cable for HD modes/SR's... :confused:

    I dunno, maybe I'm mistaken... Bos might be able to chime in here on this... Or, I suppose you could always contact PreSonus and query them about it...
  4. pcrecord

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

    How would you compare or describ the sound of the preamps Chris, did you have time to track with it ?
  5. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    You need a FireWire cable specified to run FW800, otherwise no problem.

    You would also need a FW800 PCIe card, but I guess this is what your other thread was about, Chris.
  6. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Thanks guys, that was helpful. I'm surprised how reasonable these are priced too.
    Reading some users reports, I can apparently use my current 400 port if I get an adapter? They say one StudioLive tracks great on FW400. That the 800 was added to insure cascading 2 mixer together. I'm still going to look for a FW 800 but I assume its correct info and possible.
  7. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    FW400 was the standard on the original StudioLive mixers, and it will easily record up to 24 tracks (at 48kHz). FW400 could also be used to cascade two SL24.4.2 mixers together to make the equivalent of a 48 channel 8-bus. I have a feeling it would be pushing your luck if you tried recording all 48 of those tracks via FW400.

    You can get (the original versions shipped with) a cable that was FW400 on one end and FW800 on the other. But as with anything else, it's only as strong as its weakest link. In other words, data transfer will only be as fast as the slowest port (or adapter) - in this case 400mbps.

    Now that the new AI models are capable of recording at 96kHz, you have to figure you'll need double the transfer rate. The SL32 AI works great with FW800, but I haven't done this firmware update yet to start using 96kHz.

    I'm sure you can use FW400 with your new AI mixer, but at 96k you may run into some limitations.
  8. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Thanks Dave, I'm definitely going to get a FW 800 PCIe card.

    My subs just arrived the other day too. I haven't hooked them up yet but they sure looks good.What a nice rig this is.

    Hey, have you had the opportunity to compare the pre-amps between the older consoles to the AI series?
  9. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    The A/I uses the exact same preamps that are on most of the current Presonus's I/O-Pres... XMAX.

    Certainly not Millennia or Neve, or even RME, but still nice and powerful all the same. My 1818VSL, (which is essentially 8 XLR/Instrument input channels of the AI built into a rack) has absolutely no problems at all gaining up Ribbon mics... and it's quiet. The Fat Channel processing is kinda neat - with the exception of the HPF, I don't use it much for tracking, although once in awhile I'll add a tad of gain reduction to rein in transients on things like kick or snare.

    You also have the ability to monitor effects without printing them.

    As far as the pre's go, here's a review from SOS:

    "With manufacturers falling over themselves to emphasize the quality of their preamps, not to mention finding ever more important-sounding names for said preamps, it's good to report that Presonus's 'XMAX' design delivers on both fronts. XMAX preamps run on 30V power rails, while most preamps in this price class run on 10V-18V. I had absolutely no complaints about the audio quality, and with a gain range of -15db to +65db, there is noticeably more gain available than with other preamps that are similarly-priced, so it would also be a good choice for those who use a lot of ribbon and dynamic mics.
    XMAX preamps are not coloured, and some users have complained that the sound is too transparent, but Presonus didn't intend for this design to offer this type of sound. If you are looking for a character similar to what you would find in tube preamps, or other preamps with a "signature" sound, XMAX preamps would not be the best choice. However, if you want a preamp that is clean, transparent, powerful but quiet, the XMAX is a serious contender."

    I don't believe you'll be the least bit unhappy with that desk in either a live or recording capacity. ;)
  10. pcrecord

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

    What I found sad is that by it self, you don't have much expendability. No Adat inputs, No world clock sync...
    Unless the line-ins can go strait to the converters, as is, you don't have the possibility of adding some high end pre.
    Or you need external converters/interface and use the pre insert direct outs of the AI, but then, you won't be able use the mix features while tracking.
    Also if you'd want to mix through the AI, you'd need to switch the Asio back and forth between your other interface for tracking and the Ai for mixing.

    Sounds complicated, maybe I missed a feature and should read the manual ;)
  11. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I wouldn't use this or even a world class console to mix, I see no point in that anymore. I see no value using EQ's or console inserts during tracking so this is where those features in any console becomes a dead waste of money. Once ITB, stay ITB. I also have no need for faders OTB. That too is a complete waste of money.

    Right now I see the 24 pre's as another option of preamps. For this particular asset then, the need for addition syncing would be little concern. I'm thinking the direct outs can go uncoupled into an Orion 32 or any converter AD ( a nice Dsub to Dsub)?
    The StudioLive = pre-amps for tracking and a good live console. A killer demo tracking system and maybe even good enough for a lot of music.

    Capture, which is the basic tracking software that comes with this, which you do then need FW connection is crazy cool. I've never used anything so simple and stable. Puts Reaper to shame right there. Import those tracks into any DAW and you are sailing.

    IMHO, there is no gain with my workflow from any analog channel strip. I don't normally EQ or add effects during tracking . I see the StudioLive console as a very cost effective group of preamp's via the direct outs. I'm still playing around with the concept but it sure is a cool live console.

    But, I think I read somewhere that you can bypass the Pre and use outboard options? Dave?
    I'm hoping I'll have time to start playing around with all this in the new year.
  12. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    It works out to about $130 per preamp. Pretty cool.

    I wonder how the StudioLive AI Pre's match up to the MP32 . They are about the same price.

    Edit) Looking at this from another workflow, we could also patch hardware between the direct outs and the capture process. Easily strap a digital or analog patchbay between there. Its a pretty versatile product.
  13. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    FYI: Worth looking at, if you haven't seen this, FW compatibility list

    I have had an original series SL24 for 2-3 years now, and I've been very happy with it for recording and live PA use. I've installed a couple AI mixers recently and they sound just as good to me in a live setting, but I have not had an opportunity (or reason) to do any recording with any of those yet for further scrutiny. As near as I can tell they are the same beefy sounding XMax pres as the original. I recently picked up an SL32.4.2 AI for myself, but it currently sits still sealed in the box until I've got a better place to put it. At that point, if I'm sure the AI is in fact as cool as the original, I'll sell my older SL24 and replace it with the new RM32AI rack mount version for a one-rack wireless live rig.

    Exactly right on both counts. The StudioLive is NOT a control surface for recording, but DOES have good analog I/O to FW to get into your DAW. If you want to use esoteric high-end preamps, connect them straight to the DAW. I've had no reservations about using any of my pres (Avalon, Sebatron, Presonus) in-line in an analog channel.
  14. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Nice. The AI Racks look like an excellent mobile solution.

    So in other words, would I connect external pre's to the Line In?
    And that would translate out the Direct Outs?
    Would they also AD through Captured?

  15. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I think there is some confusion with the Inserts. The Inserts do not translate tracking or direct outs, correct? When they say,
    "The return goes straight to the digital bus" they are referring to live, not tracking or direct outs?

  16. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    I can't quite follow what you are asking here, Chris.

    The direct outs (balanced, on 25-way D-type connectors) and the insert sends (unbalanced) are basically the same signal. They carry the signal that comes out of the pre-amp, which originates from either the XLR mic input or the line in jack. The insert return goes only to the ADC for that channel. There's no usage-dependent variation.

    You could use the SL AI-series pre-amps to feed external ADCs by taking the balanced direct outs. As with any insert-equipped console, you could extract a pre-amp output via the insert send and return a totally different and unrelated signal to the mix section, if you so wished.
    pcrecord likes this.
  17. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    historically inserts are pre eq / fader while direct outs are post fader. it's been like that for a long time.

    i would imagine this is the case with StudioLive.

    you should be able to inject an external preamp through the insert return.
    pcrecord likes this.
  18. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Yes, I understand this but I am wondering when using external pre's, or inserted hardware, does this signal follow through the SL AD which can be captured in the DAW via the "Capture software? For some reason I'm thinking this is where SL's fall short.

    I really need to get this thing hooked up but its going to be a month or more before that happens.
    I can't find anything directly about this on their forums.

    Surfing through he forums though, this is a new possibility,
  19. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Sorry Bos, i know I'm confusing but that's especially because the relationship between the AD and FW isn't clear when external gear is inserted.
    I'm thinking once I bypass the onboard pre (insert a Neve pre) this also disconnects the rest of that channel going through FW to the DAW (SL Capture software).

    Which is why the Direct Outs are the solution.
    In a nut shell, I'm wondering if StudioLive "Capture" (see Capture), tracks the (example) Neve inserted, or does that channel become dead (not live to PA) thru the AD to DAW?.

    For some reason I was thinking/ hoping the AI addressed this.
  20. pcrecord

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

    If I follow correctly, you can put an external preamp to the line in but it will go through the preamp of the AI
    To bypass the preamp of the AI you can put the external preamp to the return of the insert using an insert cable without using the send, or a special build cable that only have the return connection.
    The question is, is there any circuitry after the insert point that can alter the audio quality? If you could choose to put the insert post fader, you would be sure of a clean path to the converter. But if it's pre-fader only, it goes through the EQ, pan and the fader. So the question remain; how much circuitry come to play after the insert point?

    I would ask the Presonus that question, just to be sure.

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