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These are musician’s mixers, packed with analog connections and digital tools, yet easy to learn and use.

PreSonus StudioLive AR USB Hybrid Mixers Make Mixing and Recording Easy

StudioLive AR16 USB
Baton Rouge, Louisiana—June 2016… Lightweight, versatile, and feature-rich, new PreSonus® StudioLive® AR USB hybrid mixers make it simple to mix and record. These are musician’s...


kmetal Wed, 06/08/2016 - 18:36

audiokid, post: 438941, member: 1 wrote: Pretty cool new mixers from Presonus. Reminds me of the Portastudio of the 80's, but much better.

I'm tellin ya man, as soon as theirs on board multitrack capture, and editing, the Portastudio will rise again!!!

If I have one complaint about SL mixers in genral it's, there lack of metering/visual readout. That always takes them down a peg in my eyes.

Cool stuff tho, great price, and the SL stuff records pretty well sonically. IMHO.

kmetal Sat, 06/11/2016 - 20:48

dvdhawk, post: 439091, member: 36047 wrote: Kyle, you know there's a button (actually several buttons) for that right?

Just for clairty I haven't used the new mixers, just the original SL. But yes, lol I know there's a button. I personally prefer metering that's 'always there' at a glance, pressing a button is a bit of a workflow killer for me. I understand digital console layers, and the button push is certainly part of my workflow/instinct working on them. Particularly w the original the graphic eq was awful when spread across the board, mostly, because the frequency numbers where just printed, not backlights, readout, no led scribble strip. So I found it rough in certain dark rooms.

I understand that's there's compromises both in physical footprint, and price point. Perhaps a meter bridge option would be a good compromise?

I think later versions of the app added improved metering, but the small led screen onboard (on the SL itself) was a bit rough I felt, and the original app didn't even show GR readout if I remember correctly.

These are old complaints, about the older stuff, so I'm not sure if they've been addressed, or are even relevant anymore.

That said. It wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility that I'd miss/complain about a big function that was a button push away. Lol I was born blonde, and remained so until my hair changed color around age 6. So I've defiantly got some residual blonde moments from time to time.

DonnyThompson Sun, 06/12/2016 - 07:24

kmetal, post: 438971, member: 37533 wrote: I'm tellin ya man, as soon as theirs on board multitrack capture, and editing, the Portastudio will rise again!!!

I'll start stocking up on cassettes. ;)

kmetal, post: 438971, member: 37533 wrote: If I have one complaint about SL mixers in genral it's, there lack of metering/visual readout. That always takes them down a peg in my eyes.

Well, even some "big name" boards in the past had meter switching functions to allow for visuals on different schemes; channel inputs, tape returns, buses and auggies... the fact that I'd have to select a particular meter function wouldn't be a deal breaker for me, but I do understand that it might bother some who desired more of an instant "at a glance" meter visual...

dvdhawk, post: 439091, member: 36047 wrote: Kyle, you know there's a button (actually several buttons) for that right?

kmetal, post: 439096, member: 37533 wrote: yes, lol I know there's a button.

LOL... I think Kyle is getting lazy ;) ... first he wants permanent instrument channel inputs, and now, completely switch-free meter read-outs... jeez... next he'll be expecting the instruments to play themselves via telepathy... LOL.

You know I'm just kidding ya, pal. I absolutely do understand that the less patching and switching you have to do, the more fluid the workflow is. ;)

kmetal Sun, 06/12/2016 - 10:01

DonnyThompson, post: 439112, member: 46114 wrote: I'll start stocking up on cassettes. ;)


DonnyThompson, post: 439112, member: 46114 wrote: LOL... I think Kyle is getting lazy ;)

I prefer "experienced". lol. Honestly I think it's a combination of laziness and practicality. You know, pushing that button, man, phew, what a workout.

In all fairness to the SL, I complain about this with a lot of boards. The A&H GL series being one of the few that had good metering at a glance (in a club style analog baord), in an otherwise average all around board. Mackie d8b being a digital console with good channel metering, albeit not necessarily flexible with no ability to switch it to monitor GR, or Channel output. On the mackie MCU, control surface it's got channel metering, which is useful in the sense that you tell if there's signal passing, but not a whole lot of detail, but on a scribble strip, there's not a lot of room.

The x32, has per channel metering, but with no scribble strip, makes it a mystery to me how you know what channels your on when controlling a daw with it. I'm not sure I understand this design omition. The AH qu32 also has per channel metering, and no scribble strips, despite being a daw controller as well.

Being so green with equipment design, I'm guessing, that scribble strips are expensive or difficult to incorperate?

The x32, and cu32, make use of motorized faders, in 'fader flip' for the graphic eqs and auxes, so there's at least a "mechanical visual layout".

I think becuas se of these issues, just imho, the SL has always been a better recording device, than live unit. I've spent many hours behind the SLs various versions, live and a couple recordings, and it's a decent board. Certainly I've had good experiences with it. Perhaps I'm jaded because of a few rough nights with it, where the metering, and non motorized faders would have made things smoother. Like when you make adjustments on the app, then move the board fader and nothing happens until you've crossed the point where the app fader is, then you hear a change. Again a button push or two, gives you the readout, but it's not super intuitive, and those moments seem to last forever, when a monitor is squeaking because of an over zealous band member, and you wanna steepen the notch, or whatever.

I certainly can't blame the board for user error, that's my fault. But it's definitely an area their competiors have caught on to. I think a meter bridge would be a welcomed option, and motorized faders I could take or leave. I know Chris felt/feels they are unnecessary.

I feel like the SL series is a great value, and a solid all around board, I just always wonder what it would mean to the bottom line price tag, if presonus included a metering or scribble strip option, or even motorised fader option.

kmetal Sun, 06/12/2016 - 10:22

kmetal, post: 439096, member: 37533 wrote: Just for clairty I haven't used the new mixers, just the original SL.

To avoid hypocracy, when I said "new mixers" I was referring to the AR editions of SL, not the various models/incarnations of the SL that came before it. I have used both 1st/2nd gen SLs.

dvdhawk Sun, 06/12/2016 - 11:26

I'm with Donny. After carrying everything else in and setting it up, pushing a button is just too much to ask? Man, you are spoiled.

I don't spend all night futzing with the fat-channel controls on the SL, so I leave it metering the Inputs most of the time. I'll gladly push a button for the multi-function metering.

Flying faders (although they would be cool) are largely unnecessary on the PreSonus mixers. They are absolutely essential on a layer based digital mixer - as has been the case since the days of the older Yamaha digitals. My o1v went on eBay the day I got my first PreSonus Sl24.4.2. My personal preference is 1:1 faders per input. I like multi-function metering, but I've never been too high on multi-function faders (data encoders actually).

Over half the stuff I'm doing these days though, I'm using one of the rack mount version and completely doing away with any physical console.

kmetal Mon, 06/13/2016 - 07:06

Well the button push isn't the big deal. It was the hard to dechiper readout on the graphic eq. Ditto for the fat channel eq. If you gonna have multi function buttons and knobs they should be adequately readable, which in the SL, they are not. With others offering touchscreen and full color displays, I think it's a shortfall of the SL, which is an otherwise decent little board.

Flying faders are just preference. i don't like that the moves I make on the iPad, require some bottom pushing, and lag time till the fader hits the point where it becomes active. When you need to make a quick instinctual move, it's just less instant with the Sl relative to its competitors, or a simple analog board.

I also would just bypass the whole mixer thing and use the rackmount version, if I were to own one.

I think largely because Sl was first in the game w this type of thing, it gave competitors a chance to improve subjectively or objectively, upon Sl standard.

dvdhawk Mon, 06/13/2016 - 19:40

kmetal, I'm not bustin' your chops Kyle, just showing my age. The Yamaha 02R and 01v came out mid 90's, followed by the DB8 you mentioned, a couple years after. And in my mind, those were 'first in the game' of digital mixers a project studio might be able to afford. And only the 01v would be suitable to consider leaving the house for a bar gig back then. I think in reality, the X32 and the like, are much more like the layered and menu-driven 01v - enhanced by the colorful tricks now possible with LEDs and a nicer display. My 01v usually played second string to any of several analog mixers, but when it was the right tool for the job, I'd use it.

Yeah, no doubt, controlling the 31-band EQ is awkward on anything less than the 32-channel version of the SL. On the smaller formats, it's much better to use UC or the iPad for the graphic EQs. But to be honest with you, in all these years, I think I've needed to resort to the graphic EQ twice. With a 4-band fully parametric on every input, subgroup, aux out, and the mains, I've never had a tone problem I couldn't do better with the parametrics.

At first, after switching to the original SL24.4.2, I would still take an 8U rack with hardware Klark EQs, a little LexiconMX200, and a dbx compressor - just incase…. Eventually, I got tired of carrying around a rack full of stuff I never needed. The onboard FX did just fine, the Klarks were almost always completely flat, and the dbx 160x was just getting used as an end-of-the-line watchdog limiter. Then again, I'm not working with musicians with sh#tty tone, inconsistent volumes, blistering loud monitors, or under-powered FOH. I recognize that thanks to what I do for a living, I'm in a rare-good position that allows me to afford really good gear that can be scaled to whatever the gig requires. And I understand that's a luxury not a lot of working musicians would have, but bringing the right tools (from the instruments & mics, to the amps & speakers) eliminates the need for radical EQ-ing. The rest of it comes from working mostly with veteran (geezer) musicians.

Several years ago we were first on the bill at an outdoor festival playing through a much larger sound company's system. Grade-A outdoor flying line array rig, (A-H, QSC, Martin) easily capable of the crowds between 1000-3000 at this particular outdoor venue. When we got there my drummer buddy asked the stage manager if he could just use his own mics. They were agreeable, so he used his. Nothing too exotic, for his simple 4-pc drum kit. An AKG D112 on the kick, AKG C418 micro on the snare, an old AKG D224e on the hi-hat, Senn e604s on both toms, and an e845 vocal mic - which usually picks up enough of the cymbals indoors. (The sound company may have had an overhead up outdoors, I can't say for sure.) During the time between our sound-check and show time I'm hanging out in my natural habitat, (checking out the gear at the mix position). The owner of the sound company, who's the FOH engineer said, "Dave, you gotta come see this!" He points to the EQs on the drum channels. "Look at that! Not a hint of EQ on ANY of them!" I said, "Yeah, I'm not surprised. His drums always sound great. Makes it pretty easy doesn't it?"

I work with that drummer 90% of the time, he is; A) a veteran player, B) a master at tuning any drum to suit the job, C) the owner of good mics that complement the drum tone he likes, D) consistent with mic placement, E) the first to suggest tweaking the tuning and damping on his end - before we dig into the EQ, and F) the owner of his own drum shop. And as a guy who owns a drum shop, he's liable to bring a different kit on any given night. In about 12 years, he hasn't brought a dud yet. He can bring a kit with an 8" rack, 12" floor, and 18" kick that sound as big as a more standard 12", 16", 24" kit.

The other drummer I've been recording with the past couple years is also all of the above, except for (F) owner of a drum shop - but he's got multiple kits each perfectly suited for different specific situations.

kmetal Tue, 06/14/2016 - 04:33

dvdhawk hey Dave I was gonna appologize for being a bit of a butt head. It was a rough weekend for me. I didn't think you meant anything personal. Lol feel free to intentionally bust chops anytime though, it's a sign of friendship.

You hit the nail on the head w the

dvdhawk, post: 439180, member: 36047 wrote: Then again, I'm not working with musicians with sh#tty tone, inconsistent volumes, blistering loud monitors, or under-powered FOH

That's exactly what I was dealing w for this particular bands. So i think I'm just a bit bitter from a couple disaster gigs w them. All the graphic eq in the world couldn't make it work. This was prob 5 years ago.

I've had mostly good experiences w the Sl in general. And I rarely use graphic eq, or compression live in general.

To be perfectly honest, my only experience w the x32 was a mucusian showing up on my doorstep, literally, saying my boards at the pawn shop (the an Sl), this guys got a x32 can you mix us tonight in a few hours? Ummm ok.

I wouldn't have been able to run the x32 w out the owner there doing most of the routing Ect, I simply played w the faders that night.

To the contrary the Sl I was running my first time in ten minutes, at a practice, then did a show that weekend, no hitches. So there's something to be said about the ease of use in a non layer board. And in fairness to the Sl graphic eq being a bit deep in the menu, you shouldn't really need fast acess to it, setup should be done at first, and the feedback readout was something I found cool.

It's when that particular band wanted to verbally mix thru me, and wouldn't work around the female vocalists power ability. Add to that burnt out eons for monitors, and well used main stacks, in addition to what you cited.

It's crazy how fast ive seen bands setup w their rackmount mixer units (no faders) when I had a tech gig at a waterfront bar one summer. W just two plugs on stage, one for each house main, they would com in w in ears, there presets from last time, and wow, like 15 min, w an on the fly sound check.

Oh forgot to mention I wasn't aloud to ring out the system w that band who I was talking about before. So I think I just over emphasize the graphic eq thing for no real reason, since it's only w that band, for those gigs that it was an issue. Not tha boards fault or mine. Over the years I've told the dude the deal, and actually quit on them, for which they immediately replaced me, then called me back. My rate went up, and we discussed my role and responsibility. Even now on my hiatus, they still call.

I can't empasize enough how much better it was when I first start w the iPad, to a fully mix from an appropriate place. As opposed to off to the side, or 5 feet from the speaker.

A good drummer like you've described is a rare breed, only one or two ive worked w are on that type of professionalism. Garbage in, garbage out eh?

Cheers Dave, i always enjoy your posts, whether I agree or not, which I usually do anyway. I think I blamed the Sl for something that was the bands fault, I mean really, adjusting monitor eq in the 3rd set??? Come on, lol, that's the kind bs the dude was having me do. Can't blame the arrow, it's definatly the Indian in that old case.

dvdhawk Tue, 06/14/2016 - 14:49

No apology necessary Kyle. I wasn't really getting any 'butt head' vibe anyway. I just wanted to set the record straight on the StudioLive's metering capability for anyone who might come across this thread later.

Compared to the other mixers I own, or have owned until recently, (3 analog Soundcraft, 1 analog & 1 digital Yamaha, and Mackie 32.8) the SL metering is phenomenal. The others are all affordable workingclass mixers, that have minimal metering, with the exception of the Mackie 8-bus, which I paid a lot of money to get the optional Meter Bridge.