Hi, not sure if this has been covered directly, please lead me to a discussion if that's the case. I'm interested in putting a small project studio together. I'm thinking I can get a board such as the StudioLiveso I don't have to worry about buying separate pre's, etc. I also want to be able to use this board for a band I'm in. I am very familiar with using the StudioLivefor live sound purposes and know it would work great for what I'm doing, but how about in the studio sense. Is the Yamaha 01v96vcm offer more options as a recording setup. I think it uses optical interface to track into computer..not sure? I know I can get more inputs into it with expansion ad/da converters, but not sure if I will need this, on second thought it is nice to have the option to expand. I also have a ADAT HD24 but now am thinking of just getting one of these consoles and a better computer and I can use something live and for recording. Which one of these consoles? I don't mind the learning curve you need to operate the 01v, I've been reading many live sound discussions on how it's more difficult to walk up to, but this is for me to use for a single band and operate to record and I'll get to know it. Looking for some info? thanks for the help.
In one sense it doesn't make any difference whether you have a digital mixer or an analog mixer in your studio. In another sense, they are chalk and cheese.
Let's start with your premise that, if you get a mixer, you "don't have to worry about separate pre's, etc". Well, there are very few mixers in your implied price bracket that have mic pre-amps that are in the boutique league for quality and headroom, but maybe you don't need to start at that level but aspire to work up to it.
Then comes the computer interfacing. You are clearly considering an analog board with built-in ADCs and FireWire interface , which is a good point of reference. The boards you should be looking at in this group are the A+H Zed-R16, Mackie Onyx 1640i as well as the Presonus Studiolive. I have not worked with the Studiolive, but I guess its pre-amps are similar to those of the Mackie, which is to say, very good. However, the A+H board's pre-amps are in a league above those in the Mackie, and rival anything available as external pre-amps until you get to the very high end. The A+H also has built-in ADAT digital I/O as well as FireWire interfacing. All these three boards are 16-channel units.
The 01V96 is a digital mixer with serviceable mic pre-amps, but it has no built-in computer interface (for audio). It needs either an ADAT expansion card together with an external FireWire ADAT box (M-Audio ProFire Lightbridge or Presonus FireStudio Lightpipe) for 24-channel interfacing, or the problematic Mlan expansion card on its own for a 16-channel FireWire connection.
Then you have your HD24. This is a good match for the 01V96 (when fitted with the MY16-AT ADAT expansion). You would use the ADAT direct outs on the 01V96 to record to the HD24, with ADAT expansion pre-amps to increase the number of mic channels beyond 12 if necessary. It is a perfectly viable work flow to replay recorded tracks from the HD24 via ADAT, mixing down on the 01V96 and capturing the stereo mix digitally on the computer (via ADAT or S/PDIF). Alternatively, the HD24 files can be transferred to the computer and you could "mix in the box".
Putting everything into the pot and stirring, my choice would be the A+H Zed-R16, with the caveat that it limits you to 16 channels recording at a time. It has the quality pre-amps, the ADAT interfacing for connecting to your HD24 and an 18-channel FireWire connection for the computer. In addition, it's a sparkling all-analog live board.
i have owned the Onyx boards, and just got a StudioLive.
both are nice and i cant compare them to the yamaha, since i've never used one.
the studiolive sounds just as good as the onyx, which (if you ask me,) rivals the A+H stuff (gl2200 series, which i've used a zillion times).
if you'll be doing a lot of live action with the board - then get the studiolive... it has all the effects, comps, gates, etc built in.
if you wont be doing a lot of live action, then any of the others are fair game.
if you have twice as much to spend, get the yamaha.
thanks for the replies! Boswell, thanks for the detailed info, I will be reading your response again in more detail. Quickly though,as rockstardave put it, I am looking to use this as a live board too and the appeal was the added digital processing(comps, gates). I think these are the only two boards out there in this price bracket. I mix live sound and have used the studiolive many times in a live environment and I must say it works great for the smaller corporate events or mixing bands using up to 16 channels. I really got use to it quickly and I think it's great for this type of gig. Can leave all the outboard in the shop. The yamaha is actually in the same price bracket, there's four less inputs but it will not cost a lot more for more inputs, but I may not require them. So, will I gain anything with going the yamaha route recording wise? I don't need the extra features (output routing, more fx,etc) of the Yamaha live and I know the Presonus will be perfect for that, but how bout on the recording end?
I was thinking of holding onto my allen and heath gl2400 with the hd24, because I have recorded with this and thought the preamps sounded great, but I think I'm selling that board and wanting to go this route, much easier, less space, and to the computer, where I would usually be going to the middle man of the hd24 and then out to the computer.
also, has anyone heard any news if presonus will be releasing a newer studiolive or different console. I'm thinking about waiting if this is the case and see what they have updated. I heard a rumor about this, so not sure how valid it is.