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PreSonus StudioLive 16.0.2 Reviews

4.5 stars based on 43 customer reviews
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  • from November 4, 2016Music Background:
    Pro

    Rock solid in studio and shows

    I've used this unit to record our recent CD release, and I can't say enough great things about this unit. It's built like a tank, super smooth faders, interfacing with the Mac FireWire was instant, clean work flow in the studio. Live stage, it's awesome! The fat channel is so easy to assign to each track, setting up on stage monitors was a no brainier, perfect sound quality with all the ease of use you could imagine. The way they laid it out is exactly what a pro needs, no endless lcd GUI's to scroll through, hard buttons and kinetic control, brilliant! Thank you Presonus! Thank you Stephen Opinhiem at Sweetwater. I will be buying more Presonus equipment in the future.

  • from August 3, 2016

    Absolutely excellent mixer and audio interface!

    I am *extremely* happy with the 16.0.2. I purchased it mainly for studio use rather than as a live mixer, to replace an older 8-channel rack-based audio interface that had failed as well as removing and redeploying another 4 channel interface by consolidating the channels it was servicing with the 16.0.2. I also planned to run some outboard hardware FX (guitar pedals) through the AUX channels + returns too. I managed to achieve all of that with ease with the 16.0.2.

    It's beautiful, rugged, lots of (useful!) lights! :-D

    Firewire into the Mac is being handled perfectly. Love that I can have independent Fat channel processing *per input channel* (or pair if stereo). Love that I can route the incoming signals post DSP as well to send that in via Firewire too to the Mac in order to offload some processing (compression, EQ, Gate, Limiter) to the mixer. Also, with some judicious channel routing, (by bypassing the AUX-based hardware FX I have) and routing sends from the DAW, I can also apply the 16.0.2's onboard FX, like delay, to the connected hardware and send *those* to the Mac as well.

    Love being able to choose among Line / mic inputs. Plenty of each. No Hi-Z inputs but that was OK for me; I already had a DI box for that. That might be an issue for some folks, but didn't matter to me since I was already set up for handling guitar DI.

    The hardware interface itself is very intuitive, once you have figured out a.) that you need to select the channel you are displaying, b.) what is being displayed on the meters. But, really, it's very easy - 30 mins work (18 1/2 if you read the manual ;-) ).

    The faders are slick to use. The LCD display is informative.

    Having the trim controls per channel on the mixer is very nice for gain staging sources. I have voice, guitar (DI and Mic'ed) and synths hooked up to the 16.0.2. All beautifully clear. The XMAX preamps were definitely clearer than what I was using esp for a ribbon mic input - lower noise floor. Nice!

    Also, the accompanying Studio Live software makes changing settings on the mixer and saving them a breeze, as does the iPad app that performs the same purpose - so you can offload any changes from the screen to an iPad. Neat!

    The quality is perfectly fine for my needs. I use this in an aggregate and don't go above 48k (it maxes at 48k) so that's absolutely fine for my needs. If you need (most of the time you don't :-) ) higher than 48k then look at a different mixer / audio interface.
    All-in-all

    Took me a little while to figure out the Firewire return routing (it's actually easy - turn it on for channels 1 & 2 ! :-) ) but the manual could be a tad clearer on it). That takes the manual from a 92% score to a 91.3% score in my book! ;-)

    I'm using this in a studio setup, but on the road it'd be a *great* live mixer too. Can save multiple scenes and recall them right on the mixer. The wireless iPad remote control makes for easy parameter changing live at a gig too without having to switch among channels to get access to the per-channel fat channel controls. Excellent idea.

    Very happy customer! :-D

    If I could give it 6 stars I would. Great job Presonus! (And, yes, I know it's a slightly older model, but still excellent today.)

  • from Seattle, WA February 3, 2016

    Studio Live / Sweetwater Customer Service

    After many years of having to shell out lots of money for studio time, I finally decided to take matters into my own hands about 2 years ago. The 16.0.2 is my first board, and I LOVE IT! I've had it for about a year now, and it fits my needs perfectly. I use it for both home and location recording.

    I rarely comment in such forums, but I feel the need to point out that Sweetwater has the absolute best customer service of any company in any line of business. Mark Stein has been everything anyone could ask for from a sales / customer service standpoint, and more.

    Also, as someone who still has much to learn about digital recording, and sometimes has issues getting different pieces of the system to play nice with each other, SW's tech support has been nothing short of brilliant. Just today, Michael McNees helped reconcile an issue that arose when I upgraded to El Capitan. The guy knows his stuff!

    Both Mark and Michael have been a pleasure to deal with. Thanks, guys - and thanks to Sweetwater for going the extra mile for customers.

  • from Graham, N.C. November 12, 2015Music Background:
    Producer/Remixer

    Best console ever!

    Bets investment ever. Works flawlessly with Studio One. I use this unit to produce and remix music. This unit has made things a lot easier for me. Plus I love that "hands on" feeling with the console. It has seriously helped to simplify things for me and I'm sure it will with you as well.

  • from Upstate New York September 16, 2015Music Background:
    guitar player, vocalist, small project recording

    Perfect

    I work on small mobile recording projects and I bought this board with Studio One Pro. I cannot say enough good things about this paring. Easy to use, very intuitive, and all the room I need, with a few extras. Love it. Well worth the price.

  • from Chula vista ca June 29, 2015Music Background:
    Maz tekila

    Presonus

    Great mixer, great service, thanks team!!!

  • from United States April 7, 2015

    Love it

    Still learning the ins and outs but so far it rocks!

  • from United States July 24, 2014

    Great Investment!!!

    I use the StudioLive for live play, studio recording and internet radio broadcasting. This is a versatile mixer that offers high end professional features. I strongly recommend the StudioLive for any environment, especially houses of worship.

  • from Cullman, Alabama April 25, 2014Music Background:
    High School string band teacher

    Customer Service is Amazing!!!!!

    I ordered the presonus studiolive 16.0.2 from sweetwater and we had an issue with one of the channels not working, so I contacted my sweetwater rep and they exchanged it for a new one in two days. This company has great technical assistance and customer service! As far as the presonus 16.0.2 mixer is concerned it does what it is advertised to do, but it is a little more complicated than you realize if you are a newbie to this type of mixer. There is a big learning curve and the software has to be updated right off the bat from presonus website. I love the remote control use of it through my ipad. We have a big auditorium and it saves me from having to walk back and forth to adjust the sound, saving me a lot of physical activity. Overall I am pleased with it. I haven't tried recording on it yet, but I am looking forward to it.

  • from Cottonwood, AZ March 16, 2014Music Background:
    Been in it for years, one way or the other...

    Just some more thoughts

    I still am amazed at how versatile this mixer is. Several ways to do mist everything you can think of...great unit has helped me become creative again. I walk in turn on the iMac and everything else, crank up the speaks and get to work...so nice....

  • from Tulsa, OK November 4, 2013Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Recording Muscian, Studio Owner

    Studiolive 16.0.2 one word - Awesome!

    I've been using Presonus products for over 3 years now. I'm a heavy user of Studio One 2 Pro in my Studio and decided on this mixer as an upgrade to use with it. I bought it with the intention of using it for live remote recording for use with a laptop. But after having it for 2 weeks I can't get it out of the Studio. The integration with Studio One 2 software is so amazing that if I ever want to get this out of the Studio I guess I'll have to purchase another one! (which was really my intention in the first place.)

  • from Amarillo , Texas August 6, 2013Music Background:
    guitar player, hobbyist livesound & recording engineer

    It's a greeeeeaaat mixer!!!

    I really hadn't read the manual through and through before I wrote my last review on June 17th. 2013, on that review I stated that there was no way to mute the effects on the mixer without buying a midi controller. Well, I was mistaken. You can mute the effects by simply de-selecting FXA or FXB or both from the mains. I want to apologize to presonus, they did think of everything. It's a great mixer!!

  • from Princeton NJ July 4, 2013Music Background:
    Pro Musician, Live Sound, Recording Engineer

    PreSonus Studio Live 16.0.2

    I love this mixer it makes me sound the way I sound in the studio live. I Amax preamps really are clean and sound great. The smaller size is what I was looking for. The other mixers were just too big with a case to lug around. I use this mixer with my band two flamenco guitars, with mic and pickups and one drives a synth, bass and percussion and 2 vocals. We also run backing tracks at times. We are all very happy with out Studio Live 16.0.2 our sound guy likes using the iPad with the mixer. We use the Studio Live with 2 QSC K10, QSC K8 and Ksub.

  • from Somewhere near Sedona AZ July 4, 2013Music Background:
    44 years of all manner of music, mostly performer

    Why did I take this long to buy it?

    Quality at every turn. Great faders, switches like I've never felt, the pre amps are as pristine as stated. Ease of use 12 stars. All in all it is what I have needed for along time.already it has made a big difference in the tracks I have recorded!

  • from Fayetteville,NC May 8, 2013Music Background:
    Mobile dj

    Presonus 16.0.2

    I am a DJ experimenting with a digital mixer..I wanted a product to use with modern technology..I haven't fully used all of the option
    available because this is my first time using a product of this type. I can say that it is very easy to figure out and is built very well. I am sure that my investment in this mixer will be money well spent.I spent countless hours reading about Presonus and feel it is one of the best companies that specializes in mixers.. Again...thanks to the Sweetwater company and Ms. Katie Stockman for her professional customer service..Customer service is more important than anything these days and your company ranks very very high...great quality products

  • from Cheney, WA August 30, 2012Music Background:
    Live Sound Engineer, Recording Engineer, Musician.

    A complete game changer

    I purchased the StudioLive 16.0.2 for one of the convention centers I manage. We were having problems with people scuffing their feet on the cable trays so the StudioLive was purchased with the intent of using the wireless iPad app to make things safer for our guests.

    The board: This is my first digital mixing board but I found the StudioLive to be very intuitive. I had to readjust my thinking a bit as the board is laid out so that you set up your EQ, gain, effects etc. by each channel and then dial it up as you want to use it vs. a traditional analog board where every channel has every control laid out on the board. Now that I have used it for a bit I really like the lay out.

    Software/Installation: I did have one minor but time consuming glitch as I brought everything online. Once I set up my Ad-Hoc network between the StudioLive, PC and iPad, the iPad SL Remote app had all the controls darkend and said I didn't have permission to access the board. I spent a day searching various forums and thought my trouble was with my network set up. Turns out that I wasn't running the latest edition of Universal Control even though I clicked on the update firmware menu and was told I was running the latest version. It wasn't until I visited the PreSonus website and downloaded the latest update that StudioLive recognized my iPad and made everything live.

    Wireless control: Once I got everything up and running, the wireless control features are amazing. hold the iPad in the horizontal and you have access to every channel for mixing. Turning it vertical and the channel you have selected comes up with full EQ, Compression, Limiter etc. control. A very impressive applciation.

    Overall I am thrilled with the purchase and would highly recommend this board for anyone looking to add the wireless component to their mixing.

  • from Clarksville, TN June 22, 2012Music Background:
    Pro Sound 25 years.

    PreSonus StudioLive 16.0.02

    No doubt about it. Dabbling in Music Gear for 25 years. I have owned several mixers, but this one for sure far exceeds my expectations. I needed something for the smaller venues and this jewel is no doubt the solution. Beats the heck out of carring around a 250 lbs rack of gear hosting basically the same componets. Highly recommend this piece of gear. NO REGRETS. If something larger is needed, do not hesitate to go with the 16.4.2.

  • from United States March 7, 2012Music Background:
    Audio Engineer

    I love this console

    I love how easy it was to set up. I had it set up and audio coming out in less than 10 minutes. I turned on Protools 9 and selected my device in the hardware setup section. All inputs showed up and worked. The Preamps sound better than the ones in my M-Audio Fasttrack Ultra.
    Can't wait to record with all 16 tracks.

  • from March 6, 2012Music Background:
    Recording, Live

    Love It!!

    This thing is awesome. Initial setup takes a while, but still less than a Yamaha 01. And the recording is stellar. I decided to record live on our second use and I'm hooked. It's so easy and so nice. I may try recording wet soon to see how it goes. Open TL files load up in Logic without any problem. This thing is the king of mixers in my mind. Next week in trying to set up an in-ear system which only requires a headphone amp and the iPhone I already own. How sweet is that!

  • from NC February 5, 2012Music Background:
    Producer / Songwriter / Musician

    Love it...alot.

    I really like this unit alot. The fact that I can save 100 scenes into the board is great, but we only use about 3. It sounds pretty good and I don't have any problems with it. We haven't used it to its potential at all and it's STILL great. We're running 8 cordless mics, 2 keyboard ins, and a bass guitar. Sounds awesome. The fat channel ROCKS. Good unit...

  • from Smithers, W.V. February 3, 2012Music Background:
    8 World Top 10 Hit Songs and Host of a few Huge worldwide radio shows

    Nashville Country Recording Artist

    First I'd like to thank the staff at sweetwater for getting the Presonus in 2 days! THIS MIXER ROCKS! I use this mixer on my radio shows plus I use it to record and jam on live. Let me tell you it is AWESOME! It not only sounds freaking awesome it is soild and very well built AND beautifully lit at night

  • from United States January 11, 2012Music Background:
    Drummer, Mobile Recording Engineer.

    Rock solid!

    This little guy is not so little, it really packs a punch for it's size. I use it with 2 QSC K10's and the K Sub, and found a combination that works well. Also, I recommend the case that SKB makes...had another brand, sold it and got the SKB one. It's 100% snug and waterproof.

  • from Mancos, CO January 5, 2012Music Background:
    Singer/Songwriter

    Fabulous Little Mixer

    This is one great little mixer, and it meets my needs perfectly. The quality of the preamps and the usefullness of all the features is absolutely top notch. I use it with a pair of QSC8 speakers, and a little Mackie SRM 150 Monitor. All together they make a very portable but incredible sounding live sound rig. I use a larger Presonus board for recording, but this little guy would work wonderfully for that application too. My Sales Rep was right on when he recommended this one.

  • from Philadelphia, PA October 25, 2011Music Background:
    Hobbyist

    Veratile

    It seems Presonus improves the software/functionality with each new mixer (16.4 to 24.4 to 16.0). Advantages for the 16.0.2 include the small size, the small price, and the same preamps as for the larger mixers. MIDI control is unique to this unit and great if you are a one-man-band guitar player. I assume, but have not verified, that MIDI control can be used at the same time as Studio Live Remote control with an iPad. The SL Remote is a great feature for all the Presonus mixers to be able to mix front-of-house without the mixer being FoH. Another plus is being able to use the mixer as a controller for Pro Tools 9/10. An important missing feature for the 16.0.2 is the lack of direct outs for my 16-channel Aviom personal monitoring system. However, since most my inputs are line level, I route them through the Aviom ADC to the mixer with 4 XLR mic channels going from the mixer to the Aviom through the Aux outs (not need for monitoring since using Aviom). I also miss the SPDIF out that the 16.4 has (don't need a laptop to record).

  • from Phoenix, AZ August 29, 2011Music Background:
    Full Time Musician (8+ years)

    Great Board - Some Compromises

    This is an amazing digital console at an incredible price. You won't find a better, more portable board at this price point. Also, I'd like to point out that I owned the 16.0.2 and the 16.4.2 and know them inside and out.

    I would like to point out that there are indeed some very major differences between the 16.4.2 and this new 16.0.2. Even though it's a small version of the StudioLIVE, there are some things that can be game changers to some people, and may not seem obvious up front. Here are just a few.

    Differences
    (16.0.2 vs 16.4.2)
    NO Level Metering without button press vs Full Time Level Meters
    4 Aux Sends vs 6 Aux Sends
    0 Sub Groups vs 4 Subgroups
    3 Band EQ vs 4 Band Semi Parametric EQ
    12 Mono XLR Channels vs 16 Mono XLR Channels
    4 Stereo Channels vs 0 Stereo Channels
    Multimode buttons for Mute, Solo, Firewire Return vs Individual Buttons
    60mm Faders vs 100mm Faders
    NO insert jacks vs Insert Jacks on Every Channel on .4.2
    All FX or nothing on .0.2 vs Individual FX Send Levels for each Aux

    Those are the major ones that come to mind.

  • from Columbus, OH July 23, 2011

    Sounds Great

    I was very impressed. It sounded great, and I received lots of compliments on how much better our band sounded. It was also real easy to set up to record, just plugged into my macbook pro, and was easy to start recording right away with Protools. It takes a little bit to get used to using the fat channel, but after a few minutes it was a breeze to navigate.

  • from Honolulu April 21, 2015Music Background:
    semi-pro

    Sounds better than old "first" version 16.4.2

    My original 5 year old 16.4.2 began "cutting out". I replaced with 16.0.2. I use for "seminar" type speech and questions and answer sessions. All equipment same as before except for 16.0.2 instead of older version 16.4.2.

    1] Sound is bigger and fuller. Less need for eq and compression (I had an additional outboard compressor in insert and now I do not).

    2] Inexperienced speakers often have poor mic technique, But the sound is solid with mic "farther away" and even from the "side" instead of the "top" of the mic.

    3] Trim pots seems more robust at low level settings. Previously, I had to use an attenuator from a hot line input. Now I can just turn the channel trim pot down and it effectively controls the hot input without attenuator.

    4] Much smaller and lighter than 16.4.2. This is very welcome. Makes me happy. But no subgroups and only 3 band eq. Also, need to share buttons among mute and solo functions.

    The most significant thing is the sound. Much more solid and full in mids and bass. But the recordings from Capture and the outboard recorders on the Aux's need a lot of "bass cut" (in post production) to sound the same as previous recordings on the older 16.4.2. I haven't heard the new 16.4.2 AI and would guess that it sounds as good as this model. My post is mostly for people who are thinking of upgrading form an older "original" model Studiolive 16.4.2.

    This is just my personal experience. Others probably have different points of view.

  • from Toledo, Ohio September 19, 2013Music Background:
    Vocalist, Teacher, Director of Worship Arts

    Nice options, good performance

    The PreSonus seems to have everything we need in our setting. It is installed in a multi-use room with fairly high traffic. We really like the option of operating the entire system via iPad. This allows us to use the room even when an additional audio technician is unavailable. I often use the room as a rehearsal space and can send mp3 rehearsal tracks to the mixer via bluetooth frrom the iPad and then make adjustments to the mix via the PreSonus app on the iPad. Very convenient and works flawlessly so far.

  • from Sterling, VA July 13, 2013Music Background:
    Professional musician, recording and live sound engineer, Producer

    Great value!

    I needed a larger interface for mutitracking drums in my studio amd this fit the budget and my needs perfectly. Then I discovered how functional this board is for mixing band live and tracking the show. The only issue I had was not running the firmware update before using the board. It's a must do step before you take it to a gig or session. All of the product videos are spot on with regards to what the board will do.

  • from Amarillo, Texas USA June 17, 2013Music Background:
    recording engineer, live sound engineer, pro musician

    Great compact digital mixer

    I love this mixer. It is so easy to use but the only reason I didn't give it five stars is that you can't mute the effects. You have to turn it down with a rotary knob at the master section. Being that this is for live sound You would think that Presonus would have put that in. I know you can buy a midi foot controller to do that with but, why not add it to begin with. All that said, it is a minor problem. I would highly recommend this mixer.

  • from Texas April 18, 2013Music Background:
    Singer

    Quality sound on a higher and different level

    The details and all the different features this mixer is capable to do for our group it's amazing and we are very happy with this new mixer.

  • from Columbus, OH July 28, 2012Music Background:
    Location Recording, Live Sound, Education

    A pro user opinion

    Often reviews in this price range are from the perspective of those who shop in this price range, so I'd like to give a review from a different perspective. I have used a variety of digital consoles like the Allen & Heath iLive, the Yamaha LS 9, and the like.

    For the money, this console is great. I think it is perfect for a small stage mixer - where speed and ease of use are paramount. It also works very well for church installations and educational facilities where either students or volunteers are running sound.

    At the same time it does fall short in some aspects for a pro user:
    EQ:
    -The Q width does not get narrow enough to effectively notch feedback without taking a big chunk of the tonality with it.
    -The AUX OUTs only have a 4 band parametric, while the main outs only have the 31-band graphics. I wish this was switched. (I think 31 band graphics ARE available on the bigger models though)

    DELAY:
    -There are no channel delays to help bring inputs into phase.

    I/O
    -This is obvious by the pictures, but no inserts or ADAT I/O means no upgrading....

    I still give it a high rating considering what it sells for, but don't be fooled into thinking this is equal to an o1v96 (which I have seen it compared to...)

  • from WI, USA January 26, 2012Music Background:
    Acoustic Guitar Player, Musician, Home Recording

    Pristine Sound

    This replaced my Behringer FX 2222 mixer, two Behringer Virt Pros for FX, a Behringer Ultra Curve for room EQ'ing, a sub mixer, and it sounds AWESOME playing through JBL JRX15's!

    The only thing that sucks is you CANNOT record FX out, and they sound sooooo good to.
    That winds up being not to bad because you can use the plugins in Studio One software but it's still a con.
    Otherwise it's very user friendly and the Fat Channel does make it all sound really good.
    If your using this live by all means go for it. I used to have all kinds of feedback issues with my old set up. This i can crank the vocal and still not get feedback. Nice!
    For in the studio still a nice choice for recording through Firewire, just remember dry.
    The included midi instrumenets are really nice in Studio One also.

  • from November 14, 2015Music Background:
    aze vision digital studio.artist gallery

    aze vision digital recording

    good for studio recording and live

  • from April 3, 2015

    A definitive review after 4 months of use

    I'm a Producer/Director, so I've worked with quite a few boards and great audio engineers over the past 4 decades, and I have to say this board has a lot going for it. I'll try not to duplicate what others have said, and give you a slightly different perspective.

    For the money, it's hard to beat, although some other companies are coming out with similar models now, which may be as good or better. I now use this primarily for my band, and since we've had a lot of trouble, and/or expense, in finding good audio engineers on a consistent basis, this board really does a great job for this particular situation. The key is that you can save almost all of the board's settings for each song (called a "scene"), so you've saved 99% of the mix for each song (all but the Input Trims). It's not a total replacement for a good FOH guy, nothing is, but it's the next best thing.

    We use some backing tracks, and we use all 16 channels. Using the Presonus-created "Capture" software (which is free with the board, and is a great little piece of software), we record a practice over Firewire, capturing all 16 tracks. That records only the channel's raw input signal... EQ, and even trim, has no effect. So it's like breaking out a mic's signal before it hits the board. Then you play back the 16 tracks, and mix. If you don't have an engineer, this is a god-send, since you hear exactly what the audience will hear (excepting the venue's acoustics of course). Save that song, and move on to the next.

    For sound checks, it's now a one-man virtual sound check... we play back our pre-recorded practice, and adjust for the venue as needed. Our goal is to always use the 31 band EQ on the Mains to adjust for the venue, leaving our saved mix untouched. This has been awesome, and only once did we feel that we needed to change the actual mix (turning up the vocals trim inputs a tad, which was essentially a global change so we could still keep the mixes unchanged)

    Other good stuff: Clean and quiet. Decent A/D converters. Very flexible. 4 Aux sends. Easy to use, even if you're an analog kind of person (you'll learn the hard way to ALWAYS select the channel before adjusting quickly. If you don't, you'll be re-doing EQ all day long). On board EFX. Etc., etc.

    The not-so good stuff:
    -Trim levels aren't saved. That really reduces the preciseness of your saved mixes. (workaround: playback a 1Khz tone into each input, note the level. Or use a pencil and mark the Trims. Or, as I've done, use both methods.)
    -A bug in scene backups, so if the board's memory gets whacked out (which I haven't heard happening to anyone yet) and you want to restore all your mixes that you saved to your computer, you'll still have to go through each scene and resave. Presonus' Tech support was pretty good, but they confirmed there's a bug that changes all your Aux Pre/Post settings when you restore a backup file of your saved mixes from your computer. The bug has been there for a few years, as far as I can tell, so why it's not fixed is beyond me. I also had another issue in restoring a backup, where the signal on the right Main outputs was also missing, which Tech support couldn't replicate. The fix for both of these issues is to restore the data then resave each song took me about 3 hours for 80 songs. But the good news is that I didn't really lose anything and my mixes were exactly back to where they were.
    -EQ and EFX are... OK. EQ is not as musical as many I've used, and it's hyper sensitive. The EFX are just reverbs and delays, and the reverbs remind me of some of the earlier digital delays, that sounded unnatural to me. While they're clean, I had to do a lot of tweaking to get them to sound decen'¦ but Presonus thoughtfully allowed all the Fat Channels adjustments for each effects channel (there are 2), and EQ-ing the Verbs really helped.
    -Compression is also decent but not great. I guess the only way to describe the Comp and EQ is to say that they're very "surgical", almost a little too digital and precise. They are clean, though. While I can usually get an outboard compressor dialed in pretty quickly, I found myself constantly tweaking the compressor to get the sound and amount I wanted.
    -No USB, only Firewire. Sorry, Presonus, but that's lame. It's challenging to get a PC to work' check the Presonus site for a list of PC Firewire chips that will work, but it's a short list. I did get it work eventually. And if you want to use an IPad (sorry, no other tablets allowed) for sound checks and everything else, you must have a Mac. Come on guys, no onboard Wi-Fi or PC networking compatibility? That part is, well, almost archaic.

    So, would I buy it again, after learning all this? Probably. But I might wait a few months for some of the other boards to come out, especially the host of boards designed to use a tablet as the entire interface. Still, for $999, I got my money's worth. The ability to save each mix, and do a virtual soundcheck, all for that price, is pretty cool. And our band never sounded better. In the end, I guess that's what it's really all about.

  • from LA MARQUE, TX November 18, 2013Music Background:
    Musician - Hammond B3, Yamaha Tyros 1 & Tyros 4.

    Excellent High Quality Device

    If this is the lower end (smaller) mixer from Presonus then it is a great example of their more featured units. This device is really over-kill for me because I am only using a keyboard workstation and a mike but, it will capable of any future needs I may have. I am still learning and getting familiar with how it operates and features by using the manual and You-Tube videos. No regrets with product or dealings with Sweetwater.

    W Brown.

  • from Chicago June 21, 2013Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    Excellent for live drums

    I use this board to submix my drums in a pop band I play in. It has worked flawlessly. I can use it for just a 3-mic setup (BD, SD, OH) or expanded with stereo OHs and tom mics, and I can set scenes for those various setups. The Fat Channels really allow me to gain precise control over the sound I send to the main board. I add a little compression on BD and SD, gate the toms to take the rumble out of the PA, para-EQ everything, etc. And of course, there's a nice plate reverb I can use for snare and toms.

    I run my in-ears through the headphone port, and my only gripe is that I wish the volume control for this was on a fader. It's a little hard to make the fine adjustments I often need with the small knob. Otherwise it's a great unit, and it does everything I need for Dave Weckl-like control over my live sound.

    My band uses the 24.4.2 as the main board, and we ran into intermittent power problems, where the board would make a loud noise and freeze up. Nearly ruined a few gigs at critical times. PreSonus replaced the board, but it's something to remain concerned about, as the company never explained (or even acknowledged) the problem, which is well-documented on message boards. However, I must add that this has NEVER happened with the 16.0.2; only the bigger board.

    I've recorded many of our gigs into Pro Tools and Logic, via FireWire and Universal Control. I've found setting up this process to be often very dicey. Sometimes it's worked perfectly, other times the audio would not come through. Re-booting the board usually fixed the problem, though on a gig that's not always an option. Works, but buggy. Perhaps future firmware updates will make live recording a bit more stable.

    Overall, this is an excellent live mixer. It's laid out well, easy to use, sounds great, and the Fat Channel controls are simple and clear. If you're a drummer looking to submix your own drums, the 16.0.2 is highly recommended. Loses one star due to the buggy recording operation and the problems with the 24.4.2 (perhaps that's not fair, but they're in the same series).

  • from North Carolina June 13, 2012Music Background:
    Hobbyist guitar player Jazz & Rock

    Awesome!!

    Small Foot print for live and studio. Perfect amount of XLR connectors for our 4 piece band. 4 Aux outs allowing each member of band to control their own monitor Aux mix with iPad and iPhone. Easy to work with. Great to be able to play and record at same time. Mix Front of House with iPad. Save and recall different mixes for venues or songs in seconds. Wish there was 4 band EQ and more options for limiter, gate and compressor. Also would be nice if each member could set their individual amount of effect for their Aux instead of sharing FX amount globally, but there is a FXA and FXB. All those options are available in the higher end models. This mixer has everything we need and more. Great mixer!

  • from Nashville, TN October 28, 2011Music Background:
    Live sound engineer

    Great product at a great price

    As an owner of a StudioLive 16.4.2, I quickly became a fan of this product line. But I fly alot, and the 16.4.2 was too heavy to put in a proper flight case and escape paying excess baggage fees. The airlines destroyed the case I had over time so when I heard about the 16.0.2 and saw how small it was, I was smitten.

    The smaller cousin sounds just as good as the bigger unit. There are a couple of differences, though... First, I miss the 100mm faders; this one has 60mm. Not a big issue, but it's a change that you have to adjust to.

    Second, there is no way to route the FX to a fader; they have to be controlled with knobs and buttons. As someone that likes to blend FX, it's kind of hard.

    And thirdly, I miss the metering that the 16.4.2 gives you on the selected input. You can't see gain reduction unless you change all meters to that function. I wish it showed that for just the channel you have selected.

    But all of these are small issues compared with the compact size and great sound. I'm a big fan!

  • from October 13, 2016

    Computer issues.

    Useing the board hands on is pretty simple and I like the quility of sound from the on board sound effects. My issues is PreSonus the company that makes the board is not very customer friendly. They will send you emails on how to try and fix the problems, even have you load progams on your computer to evaluated your situation.But they will not call or talk to you. I have called several times. But with all that said I recieved 6 emails from them. After I emailed them twice and then a Sweetwater tech had to call them for me it had already been 72 hours before I called the sweetwater tech. Who was very helpful and took remote control of my computer to help. As Sweetwater goes they are a five star, Tech support line, but as far as PreSonus. I give them a 2 star. But I have never and still to this date 10/13/2016 recieved a call from presonus.

  • from Albany, NY February 24, 2015Music Background:
    Producer, musician, songwriter, video director

    Great board but beware of software bug

    Had this board for a few months now, obviously it has a lot of great things going for it. But I contacted Presonus Tech Support regarding some issues when backing up, nad they confirmed that one of the issues is a software bug. After backing up all of your scenes and settings thru their VSL software, when you restore those scenes back onto the board, all of your Aux system settings are lost... they all revert back to "Post". Since I have them all set to "Pre2" (pre fader yet retains all EQ and Fat Channels), this means when restoring you ahve to go back through each scene and reset it. If you use all 80 scenes, that takes an hour or so. Not a deal breaker, since hopefully you only need to restore your backups if there's a catastrophic board failure, and in that case an hour or 2 is worth it. But if you're in the middle of a show and you rely on your saved scenes, that's a problem. They didn't give me a timetable on the bug fix, but the board has been out there a while and you'd think it woudl ahve been fixed by now if they plan on really doing it. And I also had a problem when restoring backed up scenes where i was only getting sound out of the L side, until I went into Locate mode and re-saved the scene on the board itself. But the cause of that is still TBD, and Tech Support said my scenes were fine, so it could be an issue with my OS or drivers, according to them. Given the bug, I havne't bothered to track that down since it's irrelevant until the bug is fixed. Still, it's a nice board, but if I'd known about these issues I would have gone with another company.

  • from Perrysburg, OH December 14, 2014Music Background:
    Pro musician, recording engineer, live sound engineer

    troubled mixer

    I purchased this board in 2012. It seemed to have most of the features I needed for live gigs with the exception of a simple effects foot switch port for the 2 effects channels. A midi pedal was a royal pain in the neck to configure for a simple on off reverb switch [which never worked]. But I worked around that by eventually using outboard effects that had foot switch capabilities. So everything went well until 4 weeks before the warranty ran out. At a gig, I went to fire my rack up and the board just gave me a blinking light show on the display and no signal. We were able to grab another mixer and started the gig 2 hours late. The warranty covered the repair; no problem there. Thank goodness for warranties.
    My next complaint is more annoying. A handful of times when turning the board on at a gig, I'll get a massive feedback loop with all faders down. Anyone that has gigged out a lot knows that will tick off a club owner faster than anything. We haven't lost any work yet, but I am wary about using this board anymore; or purchasing another Presonus product.

    Having registered a rather negative review on Presonus, Sweetwater has been stellar about addressing my issues over the years; even stretching the boundaries a bit here and there.
    Sweetwater will continue to be my first source for gear. But I will think twice about buying the Presonus brand again. In Presonus's defense, I realize I may have gotten a lemon.

  • from February 15, 2016

    Buyer Beware

    I liked my 16.0.2, I really did. But after 2.5 years in service, in a smoke free, clean, air conditioned studio, my 16.0.2 failed. Internal inspection showed the +5V power supply rail lost regulation, and went high. This burned up areas on the power supply board, and exploded capacitors (contaminating large areas inside) and damaged logic components on all three peripheral circuit boards. One capacitor that blew was rated 65V, so that give you an idea how high the +5V rail went. The mixer is a total loss, all apparently because a fan was not included in the design, leading to degradation and eventual thermal runaway in the power supply.

    A digital mixer is a computer, with audio interfaces. Any computer power supply of this size requires active cooling. The 16.0.2 not only lacks a fan, but the vents are very small and located on the sides where they cannot do much good for passive cooling. Very poor design. Restoring this one would be throwing good money after bad.

Reviews

  • Mitch Gallagher
    8-26-2011

    PreSonus raises the bar for affordable audio interfaces, with their new AudioBox VSL lineup. Available in 2-, 4-, and 18-channel models that come loaded with PreSonus's award-winning Class A XMAX preamps, there's an AudioBox VSL interface for any-sized rig. But the hardware is only the beginning. These great-sounding USB audio interfaces give you the power and flexibility of PreSonus's amazing Virtual StudioLive software.

    Have you ever tried to record vocals without having basic reverb or delay in the monitor mix? It's like trying to drive with one eye closed -- you can do it, but it's not comfortable. True, most DAW software will allow you to add processing to your monitor outputs, but the considerable delay this adds can be disorienting instead of helpful. The included Virtual StudioLive software sits between your AudioBox VSL interface and your DAW, providing you with the near-zero-latency monitor processing typically found on only expensive DSP-powered interfaces. Now you can get the same pro-caliber monitoring options you'd expect from a pro studio, without the added expense of onboard DSP processing.

    But that's not all! PreSonus's Virtual StudioLive software gives you the same high-quality Fat Channel dynamics processors and EQs featured in the StudioLive 16.0.2 recording mixer. You can even use these same processors to record and monitor, so you can produce polished recordings as you track. What's more, PreSonus's Virtual StudioLive software is fully compatible with their StudioLive Remote iPad app for hands-on control that's perfect for mixing and punching in from the vocal booth. To find out more about PreSonus's amazing AudioBox VSL interfaces, call your Sales Engineer today!
    PreSonus StudioLive 16.0.2
    Recently, I spent time with the PreSonus 24.4.2 digital mixing console -- the big dog in the PreSonus digital mixer family. I really enjoyed that console; it took me back to when I used a "real" board in my studio. The question was, would the new StudioLive 16.0.2 digital mixer, the smallest member of the StudioLive family would stack up?

    Well, I can tell you right now, it more than stacks up! The StudioLive 16.0.2 may be physically smaller than the 24.4.2, but that doesn't mean that it lacks power or features. With 16 channels, 16 line inputs, 12 mic preamps, four aux sends, and two built-in digital effects (with two additional dedicated sends and two stereo returns), the StudioLive 16.0.2 is equipped for a good-sized live sound situation. Plus, you get a full-featured gate, a compressor, a 3-band sweepable EQ, and a sweepable highpass filter on each channel; a talkback mic input with level control; two sets of stereo main outputs; a mono output; and stereo monitor and headphone outputs.

    In the studio, you can connect it to your computer via FireWire for remote control, setup, editing, and archiving purposes. (You can control everything from the mixer's front panel, but being able to see it all on-screen is very nice.) You can also use that same FireWire connection to route the 16 mixer inputs into your DAW, or to route 16 outputs from your DAW back into the mixer. The StudioLive 16.0.2 comes with PreSonus's Capture software for quick recordings, as well as their Studio One Artist software for applications that require a more full-featured DAW.

    I used the 16.0.2 with my MacBook and the PreSonus software, but also with Reason 6 (see page 8) and Pro Tools 9. It worked flawlessly in each case. I used it for simple stereo monitoring, for multitracking, and for sending 16 channels out from the DAW for mixdown. I found working with the digital mixer in conjunction with a DAW is a true joy! I substituted the onboard EQ and compression for the plug-ins I was using on my mixes, as well as the two onboard effects processors for plug-in reverbs and delays. I was pleased with the results in every case! There's just something that works about using a real mixer with your DAW.

    The combination of a laptop and the 16.0.2 (which doesn't have a much bigger footprint than the laptop itself) is a powerhouse -- you could easily base your entire studio around this pairing. And you still have a great mixer to take out to live gigs. That all adds up to a tremendous value and a very cool mixer.

Questions about the PreSonus StudioLive 16.0.2?

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