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Microphone Month 2

PreSonus StudioLive 16.4.2AI Digital Mixer Reviews

4.5 stars based on 21 customer reviews
Questions about the PreSonus StudioLive 16.4.2AI Digital Mixer?

Questions about the PreSonus StudioLive 16.4.2AI Digital Mixer?

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  • from Tampa Fl. August 26, 2016Music Background:
    Playing in bands over 50 years

    PreSonus Studio Live 16.4.2AI

    A great mixer for live sound applications. Love that Fat Channel! More than enough monitor Aux's for everybody

  • from New Milford, NJ March 21, 2016Music Background:
    Semi-pro musician and audio engineer

    Amazingly functional unit!

    I bought this mixer after much research on ease of use, applications and number of functions. I have to say that this mixer has exceeded my expectations.

  • from Atl January 25, 2016Music Background:
    Producer, Live and Studio Audio Sound Engineer, Artist

    Presonus is my choice!

    I use the Presonus StudioLive 24.4.2 as Sound Engineer to do sound for our 9 piece band and it is the truth for Live sound with an analog feel on a digital board, but I have to say after purchasing the Presonus StudioLive 16.4.2 AI board I am thoroughly intrigued with the quality, sound and features that this board does in the studio.......Wow! Clean and pristine on each channel! I have to say Im sold on Presonus, i would suggest or refer this board to anyone looking for a digital board that works and sounds well with any situation, live or studio!!!

  • from Honolulu HI January 11, 2016

    I too upgraded from older 16

    Love this board...love the ease at which I can tweak stuff on the fly. There is so much more that I could use it for but don't. I use it as an interface to my computer for recording, but also for live practice use in my home studio....the workflow of it is so conducive to just being able to play!. I like using some of the presets on the Fat Channels for vocals and guitar...it's a good starting point. Controlling it via my iPad...What?! It's awesome!

  • from Tomball, TX January 9, 2016

    Pro Sound Quality

    Now that I have had this since July 2014, I can tell you that it is FANTASTIC! We walk into a gig, plug in the cables, turn it on, and select the scene for that venue, or use one of 3 basic ones we have for new places, and we are ready to play in less than 5 minutes. The newer UC Surface software now has backup to the Ipad for the scenes & firmware. If something does go wrong, you can recover in about 3 minutes. Each band member has their own monitor mix using the free Q-Mix app, and loves it. We recently added a new member, and it took him less than 5 minutes to setup his 1st monitor mix after downloading the app. Had some problems when we first got in 1.5yrs ago, but Sweetwater & PreSonus support were excellent in helping us recover. Both problems were ultimately fixed with firmware updates, which are now automatic by simply powering up the board and letting it use my home wi-fi to seamlessly connect with PreSonus, requiring no action on my part. When it is done, it tells you on the board screen. Expansion is now available by using the RM series to create more channels locally or, remote from the board eliminating a snake, and the 16.4.2ai works with all the other AI models. This board has been solid for more than a year, and I don't forsee any problems with it in the future. Adding the new performer is so simple with the Fat Channel Copy feature. The learning curve was not as tough as I originally thought, and has ultimately proved to be time well spent for PRO Quality sound run from the stage or the house. Sweetwater is my 1st choice for all my equipment needs, and all I have to do when I need something is call my engineer, Ed Nystrom at Sweetwater for quick solutions, no matter what the need.

  • from Boston, MA December 26, 2014Music Background:
    Engineer, musician, producer.

    Why buy anything else?

    I purchased one of the first Presonus 16 channel mixers when it came out, and I haven't regretted it. A mixer / interface that acts like a real mixer? Each channel has its own slew of EQ and dynamic control? No more mixer-to-interface cables all over the place? Killer sound?

    This is a no-brainer if you're on the fence. The audio quality is stunning, and the features are light years ahead of every other mixer out there that can be purchased by poor boys like me. Get one now. You won't regret it.

  • from Columbus, OH December 6, 2014Music Background:
    Musician, hobbyist recording

    Upgraded from older 16

    I did the presonus upgrade last June and until recently had not had the time to actually use it to record. I recorded a friend of mine who is an Elvis impersonator. He immediately picked up on how much better his voice sounded in the newer recordings. I didn't hear it until I was mixing and mastering the final product and agreed the sound through the new board had improved. All recordings are done with ProTools 10.

  • from Belleville, IL October 15, 2014Music Background:
    30+ years of playing guitar, hobbyist recording


    I've been an owner of the 16.4.2 since it came out and just upgraded to the AI. Love the functionality, the pre-amps and the ease of use despite the wide range and depth of features. Love that I can control from my iPad if not right next to the board. Jason at Sweetwater has always helped me out and hooked me up, as are the folks at Presonus--always respsnice and are top notch with their customer service!

  • from September 24, 2014

    Great mixer.

    Great product. I am having fun with it.

  • from Ypsilanti, MI July 26, 2014Music Background:
    lol, seriously? Chief Cook and Bottle Washer

    Five Wows!

    We used Smaart to "pink out" the rehearsal space, then took the time to record every voice (each drum etc.) and while looping playback tuned them up in the fat channel. I've been running a project studio for a dozen or so years and always wanted to do just that for a live performance. Right down to full parametric eq using the control panel on the pc. Until now, the amount of equipment to do that was staggering. We recorded a couple of songs and listened back. Our jaws dropped. Now we hit a gig, pink out the venue and we're there. Our regular fans heard it to. Many WoWs, and "what did you change?" Per advertisement, one click in Capture at the gig and we're tracking the whole band. Put a video camera or two on tripods and we have everything we need for promo footage. Back at the rehearsal space we now have something to review to tweak our performances. I was so impressed, that I personally bought one for the studio. Smaart is a godsend in my little studio and the equipment footprint is tiny in comparison. Anybody want am MX9000 and a rack full of gear? Now comes the Ipad control. We are blessed to have a spouse in the band with an incredible ear. Instant FOH mixer with "on the fly" tweaking. No more extended delays between songs either to tweak monitors. The cost point for all of this is amazing in my books. Nothing on this board is "cheep" or of poor quality to achieve that cost point.

    Considerations: This unit is promoted using laptops. Good luck with that. Firewire 800 is not in vogue. I built a computer in a rack case for the one we use live. I don't use a laptop in the studio. You will need a router. Make sure you reference the Prosonus list of approved routers prior to purchase. The drivers and programs for this unit are Win 7 & 8 only. If your DAW is still on 98 you have additional expenses. Be prepared to spend some "quality time" with this little gem prior to hitting a gig. It is very intuitive once you get your head wrapped around using "select" to work on each function of this board. Coming from an MX900 where every function had a dedicated button or knob, that was a bit of a leap. I am still amazed at the space saved using this approach and it doesn't take me any longer than going on a search for that button. Finally, it does not have motorized faders. I do not consider this a downside as I would not have wanted to pay for them. In our case one does have to refrain from grabbing a fader in a rush to make an adjustment as it has probably been changed remotely. The fader locate function works very well allowing for calibration of the faders to the actual current levels, but it does take a second to achieve.

  • from Ann Arbor, Mi July 23, 2014Music Background:


    It's easier to use than it looks. This is being used in a church setting. We are still just learning the basics of this new mixer board but plan on using features that we only dreamed about having available to us. The preset mixes are really easy to program and use. Once you understand how the board works it's really easy to create your own custom mixes.

  • from Greensburg, ind May 29, 2014Music Background:
    bass & live sound

    16..4.2 AI

    presonus products are great. the best part is they stand behind them to help you all they can. i really like the a-b switch, it`s like having 32 channels.

  • from May 27, 2014Music Background:
    FOH Engineer/ Musician

    Presonus 16.4.2AI

    Owning the original16.4.2 for a couple years, Presonus really did an "upgrade" on the AI Series. The 2 extra effects are a welcomed addition for live mixing. Now you can hook your router directly to the console without your compuler in-line definately reduces the lag time when mixing on the Ipad and it's one less thing you have to concern yourself with. The new software is fast and very user friendly. There are so many things that seem to function better and faster from upgrades you can't see, but you know they are there! A true Power House for a compact 16 input console, Extremely happy with it.

  • from Fredericktown,OH May 8, 2014Music Background:
    Live performer and recording Engineer

    The perfect setup for me. 16.4.2. AI

    I sold my Allen and Heath mixwizard 3 and plan to sell my rack EQ, 2 feedback eliminators and dual compressor. I waited and waited on this, I a mac and the ipad with it. I have RME audio interface that does premium high conversion rates for recording if I need it. So far I have not. Once I figured out the gate settings, (range) and EQ , I can do whatever I want with this for live sound. I love being able to pull up a scene and save it, as I use this for recording and live. I have an awesome rolling case and a audiopile case for the mixer itself. May be 4 effects but only two types so unless you are used to using two delays and two reverbs on everthing,,they need to put a umod , flange , double and chorus on one of those, its a no brainer I am sure they are aware of it. I was so proud when a soundman was shoing me his Mackie system, with the ipad on the front. I just smile, yeah mine does all that plus tons of other things and its a real mixer with auxes and stuff.

  • from Lehighton, PA April 25, 2014Music Background:
    Pro Musician


    Seriously, PreSonus has really done it. Super simple workflow/UI. Fantastic sounding effects. Really can't say enough about this board. Great computer interface. No clicks on start up. Low latency. Included FireWire 800 cable and WiFi adapter? Really? What company does that!? Believe the hype, these things are fantastic.

  • from Easton PA November 14, 2016Music Background:
    Bassist, audio engineer

    Presonus 16.4.2

    Wow! So much in this thing. I haven't begun to find the hidden patching in this thing as a studio console, but it got me out of a jam live. Right out of the box it performed flawlessly and was easy to operate. A small venue gig, with 6 individual monitor mixes. That alone sold me.

  • from Houston, Tx July 8, 2014Music Background:
    Musician, sound engineer, singer, live performer 20yrs.

    Presonus 16.4.2 AI

    Overall, this board is fantastic. The signal processing takes a good bit of work to figure out due to the uniqueness of the individual characteristics of the processors...just like changing from one manufacturer to another in analog world. Took a lot longer to get the basic setup stuff working, as the presets for Fat Channel didn't work very well for us in a live environment. The Fat Channel presets are a great time saver for startup, but plan on changing everything in them. If you don't know how to run sound, allow yourself plenty of time to set this up before attempting to use it. If you do, you don't need a sound engineer any more, unless you have a large band. The studio live software is awesome. It is much more intuitive than the board control/display. Don't even think about trying to use this live without the ipad as it is too clumsy. The Ipad software is simple, fast, and removes the complications associated with mentally trying to remember the multi functions of the manual controls, as you switch from one thing to the next. The Ipad mini is well suited for it, the full Ipad is not necessary. It took us 2 gigs to iron out the kinks, and now that it is setup correctly, it is awesome. Great quality, easy to adjust on the fly, works well with everything. You need a wirerless router to make the ipad work. Make sure it is an "N" router, and don't hook it up with the ethernet cable. Router setup is simple if you know how to do it, so get help if you don't. Sweetwater pros are there to help too. Read the User Manuals thoroughly before you start.

  • from Memphis, TN January 15, 2015Music Background:
    All Purpose Keyboard Man


    This was my first digital mixer but I worked through the learning curve with help from groove3 and the youtube tutorials. This is an extremely versatile mixer once you get it down. I use it for recording and live performance. The firewire board however is extremely delicate. Never unplug the firewire cable with power on or you will be shipping it to Baton Rouge for repair. (from my experience). Support from Presonus is Awesome. They quickly helped me with every little hiccup through their website including troubleshooting over the phone and shipping it in for repair. The only issue I have with this mixer (found it by accident) is the sonic quality. I have a Mackie analog mixer I use for smaller gigs and just happened to have my powered mackie speakers hooked up to it for rehearsal. I didn't notice how warm sounding the vocals were on the mackie mixer compared to the presonus until I hooked up the presonus. I used VSL to access the 31 band EQ on my computer but could never get close to the warm sound on the mackie. Also tried the vocal presets on the Presonus with the same results. Talked to some old school recording engineers and they confirmed the mackie does have a great sound and every mixer tends to have its own "sonic personality". They suggested I try an outboard compresser, digital effects processor and equalizer. I had all these and didn't have to purchase them. Sound improvement was noticebly improved on the presonus on the next live gig. I wouldn't think this would be a problem with most bands unless vocals/harmonies are really important but I thougth it worth mentioning. I might consider looking at the Mackie 2404VLZ04 but I will have to give up some of the nice remote features of this unit. Hope this helps.

  • from Nevada May 11, 2015Music Background:
    Musician / FOH


    Purchased the board in July '14. It had been reliable up until the last two firmware updates. Since then, it has frozen twice on bootup, with the screen stuck on "Please Wait" which necessitated a factory reset on the fly then reloading the scene backups from the laptop. One of the lockups happened before a big-money gig, and I was fortunate to have packed the memory stick with the firmware. I spent the rest of the show expecting the mixer to freeze up during performance.

    On the plus side, the board is easy to use. Since I do most mixing from the computer or iPad, I don't mind the non-motorized faders. For live venue use, the effects are decent enough and the sound is clean.

    IF you do purchase this board, *always* carry the memory stick with the firmware, as it is necessary for a factory reset, and always back up your settings to a computer.

  • from Upstate Ny December 14, 2015Music Background:
    Professional bassist international recording artist


    Love the board itself but FireWire makes it nearly impossible to run remotely

  • from Benton, Illinois May 9, 2015Music Background:
    25 years live sound reinforcement


    Froze up in the middle of show, rebooted all settings back were set back to zero. Had to do a sound check again in the middle of show. Not good. These mixers fail with just a slight shift in ac power fluctuations. Also the FireWire connection is really flakey, that will cause mixer to fail. Just look at their forums.

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