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Studiolive vs. Apogee Ensemble

Trumpetguy7

Howdy!
I currently have an apogee Duet and the sound quality on the coversion is outstanding.
Do y'all think the conversions in a Presonus Studiolive would make a noticeable difference to those in the apogee ensemble?
I'm well aware of the advantage of having the studiolive where as the Ensemble only gives you 4 mic preamps and you have to find 4 other preamps on your own(plus other advantages the studiolive has).
But Apogee quality to me is so good. I'm wondering if I'd notice a "degredation" in quality using the Studiolive, since I'm used to the quality in Apogee.
What are your thoughts? Any experiences with conversion qualities in any products?
June 5, 2012 @07:13am
bobbymars

could you not take advantage of both ?
June 5, 2012 @12:11pm
Andrew_Malloy

You couldn't take advantage of both because the StudioLive doesn't have multichannel digital outs or ins.
They are completely different products. Think of the StudioLive as a Live Digital mixer that also happens to have great audio interface capabilities. The Ensemble is a great audio interface that also happens to do mixing.
As far as the sound of the conversion goes, the Ensemble does sound good. Apogee has a sound that lends it self to being more analog in tone. Presonus' philosophy is more that they are trying to be transparent. This really isn't perfectly apparent when you just listen to stereo in and stereo out, it is really when you start to spread this over many, many inputs and outputs.
June 5, 2012 @01:30pm
jpleong

I wouldn't forgo the Apogee for a Studiolive just to up the preamp count. The preamps on the Studiolive consoles are the same as those on pretty much every other Presonus product, that is to say useful but not great. Those four preamps on the Apogee probably smoke the XMAX pres (conjecture, as I've never used the Ensemble). Conversion and clocking on the Studiolive is, again, only okay compared to the conversion and clocking on Apogee products, which are quite good. You'd be better served just getting a couple rackmount pres. If you need more preamps on-the-cheap, just get the low level MOTU or Presonus pres.
The Studiolive is also not a worthy recording interface replacement, as Andrew mentioned. It has very limited expandability and flexibility with routing. It is an excellent all-in-one live mixer.
JP
June 5, 2012 @03:18pm
Trumpetguy7

Yeah thanks guys.
I'm trying to settle for functions and ease and stuff, but I know how good Apogee sounds. I'm glad I asked y'all. I know using the Studiolive to record on the go is easier, but when it comes down to it, I want the quality. If I'm patient, I can get a used Ensemble for 50% off.
Our jazz combo recently recorded a demo of 9 jazz tunes using my Duet with a Macbook Pro and quality is so nice and neutral. The 2 mics I used (for an XY stereo of the entire group) were AT 2020 and the quality is still pretty darn good. Luckily the room we used is a nice sounding room.
So to answer my question(which you did), I'd probably notice the "degradation" in quality if I went with the Studiolive coming from Apogee.
Many thanks again! :)
June 5, 2012 @07:15pm
Andrew_Malloy

The honest truth to where the quality in that recording lies is not with the Duet or the mics. In ascending order, it's the recording technique, room, instruments and players that makes the difference.
June 5, 2012 @07:24pm
Trumpetguy7

I have to agree with you. That room sounds very nice. The drummer has his set nicely tuned and plays very balanced and very well.
The bassist is very disciplined and the piano was an actual acoustic(baby grand).
I'm sure those were the biggest contributers.
June 5, 2012 @07:50pm