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NAMM Show Report

PreSonus StudioLive 16.4.2 Reviews

4.5 stars based on 53 customer reviews
  • from United States October 7, 2013Music Background:
    Live Sound Engineer

    GREAT piece of gear!

    I was astounded at the sound and the build of this product. Does a fine job and very well designed. Its a pleasure to use it. Linking to a computer is iffy. But other than that it is perfect.

  • from United States September 25, 2013Music Background:
    Pro Musician-Recording Engineer-Student Of Life for 40 Years

    Buy this board!

    I purchased this board to replace an old analog mixer I had in my small studio and am very impressed! It took me about 5 minutes to be up and running. Sound quality is incredible and the dynamics section is amazing! Great sounding FX and the ability to load and store channel presets make this a winner!

  • from stewartsville nj August 7, 2013Music Background:
    recording engineer

    STUDIOLIVE 16.4.2

    INCREDIBLE MACHINE--AWESOME SOUND QUALITY

  • from Oklahoma City July 26, 2013Music Background:
    Performer (multi instrumentalist), writer,40 years+,ect...

    StudioLive 16.4.2

    This is an awesome live and studio board with so much to offer...I am so pleased to have it...

  • from United States June 13, 2013Music Background:
    Amateur player, composer, producer, recording engineer, live sound

    Deep

    Bought this mixer and a Mac Mini for a church installation, replacing an analog system. After some initial difficulties getting all software updated to the latest revision, this system is awesome. The Capture software just works, the Smaart room analysis software works as advertised. It took me about ten minutes to adjust the house speakers and the stage monitors. There is so much inside this mixer/software we are not using all it can do.
    NOTE - the mixer manual says that the mixer comes with a 6ft FireWire cable - not so. It came with a 5ft FireWire cable. We had to buy a 6ft cable to get the equipment arrangement we needed.

  • from Albany, NY April 2, 2013Music Background:
    Hobbyist, Drummer

    Insane

    I'm a self taught and a still learning operator. This thing has everything I need and more. Once I got the hang of it, there is nothing this board can't do.

  • from Fort Lauderdale January 24, 2013Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    So COOL you have to get one

    All I can say is Wow!!! My only complaint is the price dropped by a lot shortly after I bought it :( Maybe the guys from Sweetwater will read this and send me some more free candy LOL

  • from Rapid City SD December 27, 2012Music Background:
    Hobbyist

    Buying the added in for my studio got to be too mach.

    Getting EQ, GATE, LIMITING, COMPRESSION, and a HIGH PASS FILTER on every channel got to be a lot of expos and a lot of rack equipment to move about. So I got a studiolive 16.4.2 instead of the other equipment. I Sold my compressor I had for one channel.

    I went with the 16.4.2 over the 16.0.2 because it has more channel in it the the 16.0.2. I also liked the lay out a bet better. It is harder to move about then the 16.0.2 though.

    Going to get a Mac Mini to go with my 16.4.2 as I now have a Mac Pro.

  • from Dallas\Ft.Worth November 9, 2012Music Background:
    Live Sound, Musician, Recording

    BLOWN AWAY !!!

    As a long time analog mixer type, I had avoided the plunge into the digital world as I hated the "layers" I found on most. This is the first affordable mixer I found that doesn't have multiple layers/screens to page thru to get to a compressor or EQ setting.

    With compressor, gate and multi-band EQ on every input channel, the Fat Channel concept that puts everything right at your fingertips is excellent. Select a channel and all your effects and buss routing are right there.

    Aux mixes are simple, the 8 onboard 31-band EQ's, the ability to recall and save channel effects PLUS the entire board settings make moving from venue to venue a breeze for working bands.

    Add in simple 16-track recording/playback via firewire, remote iPad control of Aux mixes or FOH (w/ wireless router), and you have value for $$ than can't be beat.

    Only thing it's missing is variable Q on the Fat Channel EQ that is on the 24-ch model, but I can live with it !!

  • from Stockbridge MI October 30, 2012Music Background:
    Weekend warrior, basement hero and part time Studio RAT

    Just what I wanted plus more I need to learn.

    Amazing! Bought it in early September but wanted to play at least one show (and countless practices) before I did the review. Awesome is all I can say. Even under the worst conditions (played in a 40x40x25 polebard w/ OSB walls/ceilings with concrete floors) there was no problems. Gates on every channel and the VSL kept feedback at zero. As far as ease of use, I'm the drummer/soundguy, so its nice to have one less thing on my plate and being able to set everything and forget it, is worth its weight in gold to me. QMIX for the band and the simplicity of only raising the main fader as the night progresses...perfect for what I need. Add the ability to recall a scene in seconds that 'worked' for the club is worth at least a grand of my time IMO.

  • from Joliet, IL October 20, 2012Music Background:
    A little bit of everything

    Unbelievable

    Purchased this mixer for use in our church. Previously, we were running a Yamaha 01v96 ver 2. The 01v96 worked well enough, but it was a little too complicated for some of our soundboard operators (all unprofessional volunteers - that's how it goes in smaller churches). I also wanted something with easy remote mixing capabilities as our mixer is in an awful position and there is no changing that. Finally, I was intrigued by the recording capabilities of the PreSonus for training purposes.

    All that to say I was confident the StudioLive 16.4.2 was going to be invaluable to our church both in having an easier learning curve and in freeing us up to mix in the best possible position. The StudioLive has delivered in flying colors on both accounts. It truly is simpler to use than the 01v96, and remote mixing is unbelievably simple. Multitrack recording via Capture is also stupid easy.

    Here's what I did not anticipate: this board sounds AMAZING. I was always content with the sonic quality of the 01v96. It was good value for the money, and it worked for our application. When I purchased the StudioLive, I assumed it would be on the same level of the 01v96. It's not. The StudioLive - to my ears - is a SIGNIFICANT step above the 01v96. The difference in quality is large enough that the first week I ran the StudioLive at church, I had members of the congregation approaching me to tell me how good the sound was that day. They didn't know that we were using new equipment. And for whatever their untrained ears heard, mine were rejoicing.

    Sound sources that I really had to work to get to sound good on the 01v96 sat so nicely in the mix with the StudioLive. I used to have to really fight to get good separation on the low end of things between our drums, keys, and bass. With the StudioLive, there is a much greater level of separation between sound sources in the lows, much greater clarity from instrument to instrument. It's made mixing so enjoyable compared to the 01v96.

    The Yamaha board has it's place, no doubt. There are several things it can do with elegance that the StudioLive does not. However, for my specific needs, the StudioLive is perfect, and it stands head and shoulders above the competition. I had high expectations for the StudioLive, and it has exceeded every one of them. I could not be happier with the board.

  • from Oshkosh, WI October 16, 2012Music Background:
    Guitarist, Live Sound and Recording Engineer -semi pro

    PreSonus StudioLive 16.4.2

    I have about 26 years of live sound and recording experience with anything from concert bands, rock, blues, country, classical and contemporary worship music as well as presentations. . It is truly an excellent sounding piece of audio equipment. Despite the horsepower under the hood, it is very easy to use. PreSonus did a great job with this line. I love the recording interface and remote control through free iOS apps. The Firewire hardware might be an obsolescence issue in the future...

  • from Novato, CA September 13, 2012Music Background:
    Live Sound at Churches and Concerts for 15 years

    Best board for a Church I have seen

    We own two StudioLive 16.4.2 boards linked to make a 32 channel mixing platform. I would recommend this board to any Church using volunteers for sound. Prior to purchasing a new sound board, I read the manuals of four different digital boards. There are boards with more features and power, but they were beyond the abilities of most volunteers to learn or my ability to train. There were just too many menus, submenus, and places to mess up a service. Training volunteers is a snap with this board. I used the Capture software that came with the board. Capture easily records every channel and plays back every channel as if it is live later. I recorded several Sunday services with different band configurations. With the building empty, the volunteer learn to mix a service without fear making a mistake. . I canít remember the last time I had run back to board to save a struggling volunteer. The mistakes were made and learned from out of the spot light.
    When I purchased the board I thought I was choosing ease of use and sacrificing sound quality. I was shocked at how great a board at this price sounded. I donít know when like I got a better deal buying sound equipment. I had good compressors before, but could not afford them on every channel. I would spend at least five times the money in the analog world to get the same features. We have been using these boards for two years. I have yet to see a digital board I would replace my StudioLive boards with at any price. Well maybe the StudioLive 24.4.2. Iím a little envious of twelve aux channels.

  • from Coral Springs FL August 5, 2012Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Live Sound Engineer, Pro Musician,

    AWSOME!!!!!!!

    I'm a profecionaI sound enginner for many years and was looking for a digital mixer for my studio and live aplications.. And I'm surprised with the results!!! It sounds amazing! Easy to set up. This is a highly recomended digital mixer for any application. Don't think about it, just buy it! I'm loving it!

  • from Knoxville, Tennesse July 24, 2012Music Background:
    Production Engineer

    Fantastic

    This board does so much. It is also very easy to operate. Great starter console for breaking into the digital world.

  • from Phoenix, AZ / Los Angeles, CA May 11, 2012Music Background:
    Audio Engineer, Performer

    Mixer of the Decade

    I've replaced a whole host of gear with this unit, both for live sound and recording purposes. Very stable when used with recording - drivers are very solid. Routing is stupid simple. Features are amazing - second headphone output would be nice, but I'm nitpicking. Overall, this unit is a game changer and if it is within budget, there is no other unit to even consider. Kudos Presonus, kudos!!!

  • from Grand Lake, OK March 22, 2012Music Background:
    Musician, Part Time Live Sound

    Hands down the BEST!!!

    This board exceeded my expectations... And they were pretty high! The preamps are very natural sounding and have insane headroom. I've only used it for live sound a few times and the sound clarity/quality was amazing. Having a gate and compressor on every channel is a huge plus, especially on drums. The presets are an advantage to anyone with limited experience running sound. Just hit a button and it's done! The board is very easy to learn and tweak on the fly. I have a few friends that have been running live sound for way longer than I have (and who have spent a TON of money on their gear) and they are equally impressed with this board. It easily pays for itself with the money you save on NOT having to buy thousands of dollars of rack gear. If you have the money than BUY IT! Seriously, stop reading about it and just BUY!

  • from Bellingham, WA March 22, 2012Music Background:
    Home recordist, gigging musician

    The best multi-tasking mixer out there.

    I've used this mixer for a couple years now and it still continues to save my butt. "Hey, can you record my band?" Easy. "Hey, can you help me with a pro-quality podcast?" Done. "Hey, our PA sucks, can you do sound for us?" Yup. "Hey, our drummer, bassist, and guitarist/singer need separate monitor mixes!" Okay. "Hey, we need someone to do sound for our local county council, we're tired of it being so inconsistent." I can help. "Hey, we have a Roland Space-Echo we want to run a bunch of stuff through at different levels!" Not a problem. "Hey, can you run a mix to my camera while we record so it doesn't affect anything?" Can do. "Hey, we want to use software synths in our live show, can we do that?" You can. And so on, and so on. The vast number of uses for this mixer won't be truly apparent until you've had it around for a while. It alone, and the software it comes with, match many full studios 20 years ago. If you can't find a use for this mixer, then you're crazy.

  • from Wheeling WV March 19, 2012Music Background:
    Live Sound Engineer, Recording Engineer

    Fantastic Board

    This board is absolutely incredible sounding for the price range. Were talking 3k for a board that does almost as much as a Yamaha LS9 that cost 7k more. Now duh the LS9 sounds better (better rounder preamps) and has more outputs but again were talking 3k for a board that is a work horse. We've used for FOH on small gigs and at the monitor position on slightly bigger gigs and tracked some bands while running FOH from the board and it does it with ease. I've been on all the big boards (M7, 5D, Profile) and of course those boards sound better, but the thing that i cannot state enough is those consoles cost way more than this one.

    Some things to note, the verb and delays on this board are halfway decent but you definitely want to EQ them a bit so they arent slamming you in the face. Also the gates can be a tad finicky if you don't treat them with care. Other than that there is no complaints from me.

    Justin Malarkey
    Engineer @ BG Audio

  • from Chattanooga, TN February 1, 2012Music Background:
    31 years studio/live sound

    This is the iPAD of the mixing board industry!!!

    For 31+ years I have been working with every kind of board you can imagine and this board, when hooked up to my iMAC, is the overall best...I have replaced about 200lb of equipment with just a 21lb workhorse...Any working band needs this board and the Sweetwater folks are great to work with...Right place, right product...BUY ONE!

  • from Santa Fe New Mexico December 17, 2011Music Background:
    Recording Engineer

    Great desk!

    I just used this desk to record a live show at a theater along with Protools 9 and a MacBook pro. The console integrated seamlessly with my setup and gave me no trouble. I was happy with the preamps as they sound a bit rounder than other consoles in this price range. I tracked with eq and compression and the results were great. I like that the compressors will do ratios under 2:1 which were transparent on the tuba and trumpet. All in all I couldn't be happier. Thanks again Sweetwater.

  • from Fx, MN October 7, 2011Music Background:
    Musician, DJ, Production Student, Hobbyist

    Epic

    Words can't describe how awesome this board is. And don't let the price get to you. This board pretty much replaces its own cost in outboard signal processing and racks - not to mention the HUGE time it saves setting up live gigs. Everything is right there in front of you, in one unit, at the touch of a button. And it's actually very, very user-friendly, which really impressed me! Spend a weekend with the board and the owner's manual, and you'll pretty much know everything there is to know about operating this processing powerhouse.
    Onboard EFX sound great and are easily adjustable. Saving and recalling scenes and other parameters is cake! Even the 'System' menu is user-friendly. (Typically, that's the scariest part about a digital board...)
    As for recording, I've only used this with the accompanying software and Logic 9 so far, and everything works great! Very seamless and easy setup. If you've been looking for THE board and not just A board, the StudioLive is it.

  • from Texas September 7, 2011Music Background:
    Live Sound Engineer

    Turn a live sound guy to Recoring, in one BOX!

    This machine is awesome. Just dont look for the owners manual for help. I learned all about it from videos on the internet. Also It should come with more than one demo song, when I was trying to learn how to use this machine the one some provided gets old quick.

  • from Michigan July 14, 2011Music Background:
    Live sound and Recording Engineer

    Amazing Versitility

    Bought this 3 months ago for recording studio and live gig's, I use sonar 8.5 seamlissly with this board, also record live, in capture, than import aduio directly to sonar for mix down. Easy to use and set up.

  • from Mahwah, NJ USA July 6, 2011Music Background:
    Sound engineer

    StudioLive 16.4.2

    On of the best mixer ever used.

  • from Texarkana, Arkansas June 28, 2011Music Background:
    Musician, steel guitar, fiddle and sound man

    Just The Greatest

    I use the StudioLive for a live country music show and I am just blown away by the sound and versatility of this board. I replaced probably $10,000 worth of equipment like effects and snake, etc. with this board and sound is much better. I use Ipad for mixing out front and also record the show and folks cant believe recording is from live show. Sounds like done in a studio, this board is awesome.

  • from Moore, OK April 29, 2010Music Background:
    Producer, Live & Studio Engineer

    Solid Center Piece for any Studio

    Used this console to replace both my M-audio 2626 and Presonus FS. My second engineer kept his M-audio 2626 so we can still use Pro-Tools, but since our customers prefer Sonar and Logic we see that unit collecting dust, cause the StudioLive is a BEAST.

    Out of the box (got it the day of), we did a live TV show (think Story Tellers) and not only did it provide Awesome live sound, but the Pre's gave us transparent tracks to work with back at the studio. This is a must have. We plan on getting another to Daisy Chain.

  • from Grand Junction, CO April 28, 2010Music Background:
    Touring band, Live sound engineer, producer

    Amazingly powerful!

    This is hands down, the best digital mixer for the price out there.
    It sounds incredible and has all the features you need to pull of a great mix for any small band/event/church. For an appropriate sized gig where I don't need a ton of channels, I roll up needing nothing FOH but the mixer itself. It is very easy to use and the recording features are much more than just an afterthought, it can be used as an incredible recording interface. This mixer has proved to be one of the best purchases I have made in a while.

  • from New York, NY April 2, 2010Music Background:
    Engineer

    Spectacular

    Just awesome. Clean as can be. No noise whatsoever! Too much control per channel (EQ, gate, compression, etc) it really must be against some secret audio industry code to put this much power into someone's hands. We are so glad we chose this over an analog A&H.

  • from Cambria ca December 15, 2009Music Background:
    hard rock soundman

    Ebay all your rack gear and mixer to get this asap

    Rubin was my sales rep A+. I run the Sound for a rock band that covers Tool, Rage and will also play soft rock all in one gig. The band members are always showing up with different EQ settings and love to turn up and down during the night . I do a full light show all thru the night with little time to spend riding the faders. My gear was mounting up in atempt to compress and dial in the EQ settings . Then I saw the Presonus Studiolive. I sold a rack full of gear and my 5th mixer to get this unit on faith that I would carry around less and sound better. Can this mixer do all this ? Yes. First - The preamps are worth the money alone. I dont run the vocals thru a 12ax7 tube any more. The Fat Channel should be called the super channel. THE GATES tighten up the stage and FOH sound. More effect without feedback. No stage talk bleeding between songs. No ambiant noise period.
    THE COMPRESSORS . Our singer goes from loud to soft all night long . The compressor has no masked sound on peak compression. Thats the first time for me. I used two compressors to get this result before. THE PAR EQ. Ez to tune and has loads of features that work so well I can get warmth ,growls, clears,Not once have I wanted to get any other sound prosessing equipment sence. 2 CHANNEL EFFECTS You can do anything during a gig on the fly all night long with huge crowd responce. I have bought ,tried and sold alot of top brand gear and the presonus does as good of a job and in a lot of cases much better plus it is all in one location. I would need a 12 foot rack to house all the gear to equal what you will get with this one unit. Pull up Presonus studiolive on youtube and see how great and ez this unit is. One last thing for all live bands get the cabs off the stage floor.
    Thanks Presonus, Sweetwater and Rubin.
    HD
    HD

  • from Kinnelin, NJ October 1, 2009Music Background:
    Live Sound Engineer,Recording Engineer, Live Broadcasting

    A True Fan

    The move from my A&H analog board was a very tough decision. That board was an extension of my arm for years. Made the swith and no regrets on my decision at all! Clean warm sound and all the goodies also. The fat channel is a dream come true as all of my outboard gear is now on ebay.

  • from USA September 1, 2009Music Background:
    Recording and Live engineer

    Great Sound Easy

    I have worked with Mackie Boards for years and they a fine boards. I also had been recording with the Firestudio with the Mackie.

    When I saw the Presonus 16.4.2 I had to investigate cause Presonus has been very good to me when I needed an answer about something and everything got from them was awesome.

    A compressor on the mains and every channel and submixes (WOW) a Limiter on the mains and Every Channel and submixes (Wow) 2 stereo Effx on each board (Wow) a Thirty one band eq on the mains (wow)
    Hi Pass on every channel

    If I ran all that on seperate outboard gear I would have cords everywhere...Trobleshooting would be a nighmare at times. The price to buy that stuff would be more than most people would want to pay.

    Not only that but these boards sound great...clean...the preamps are wonderful...I love to just recall a whole scene when mixing two different bands at the same venue.

    Buy the board...I got 2 of them and record 32 channels live with my creation station and cubase 4 and if a band wants me to I can mix it down for them or they can buy my waves files from me...and mix it themselves.

    So much to say and not enough time to rave about and honor presonus for their great product. And no they aren't paying me for this but I could sell it...man could I.

  • from Nashville, TN June 30, 2009Music Background:
    Live Sound Engineer

    The StudioLive is Amazing!

    I've been one of the last holdouts on moving from an analog to digital mixer. My experience with them has been less than enjoyable... having to drill down four menu layers to change my monitor mix made me crazy! But I just bought a Presonus StudioLive and that attitude has changed.

    The StudioLive is the closest thing to analog that I've found in a digital board for a price that I can afford. I had been looking at a Yamama LS9-16 but it was more than twice the price of the StudioLive, and you still have to deal with those crazy menus.

    Presonus did their homework when designing this console. The layout is amazing; everything is right where you need it to be, no layers to flip. Having dynamics and EQ processing on each input and output bus was a big selling point for me, and the board sounds amazing!

    One last thing; recording onto Capture couldn't be easier. And after the show, I changed the inputs to Firewire and listened back to the show we just did in multitrack... very easy.

    I'm sold on this board, and will recommend it, and Sweetwater, everywhere I go.

  • from Galesburg, IL June 14, 2009Music Background:
    Church Sound Engineer

    THE mixer to get

    I have had little to no experience in recording and mixing except in my church. This board is so logically arranged it just makes sense. I highly recommend this mixer to anyone who might be a little uncomfortable upgrading to a digital mixer. You will hardly realize that you did upgrade, except, the sound quality simply blew away our old analog mixer. And, all the bells and whistles that comes with this mixer, no analog can compare. Read all the other reviews from sound technicians, recording professionals, etc. and remember this, you will love the ease at which you and your staff can make the transition if you have been using an analog system. The manual that comes with this mixer is much better than the one that came with our analog. Last thing, I've always enjoyed running the sound at our church. Now, I just can't wait for Sunday to get here so I can use this mixer.

  • from Los Angeles CA June 3, 2009Music Background:
    Liv eosund Engineer, Recording Engineer

    StudioLive a must have mixer

    StudioLive was love a first sight, I went to Miami touring with a band and discovered this baby.. This board is what I was waiting for, for a long time, all the goodies, are in one single package for an affordable price.... The StudioLive is so easy to use and to understand, it simplify my work of bringing the extra gear, as on the fat channel you can find besides HPF, Gate, compressor, EQ per channel. It has 6 auxs for monitors and two channel effects. You have the option to save and recall your sound checks.. You have EQ presets, so you can have a good starting point when on the run.. Last but not least the option to record live while mixing, with Capture so easy to use as well and transfer all tracks to your favor platform or just mix them back on the board.. In conclusion you get way more for what you pay. This is an investment and you'll probably will get more gigs because it looks good.. All my friends were impressed once they saw it..

  • from Minneapolis, MN May 4, 2009Music Background:
    Live/Recording Engineer, Editing and Mastering, Teacher, Pro Musician

    THE Must Have Device

    Can't add too much to what has been said already, but I must join the chorus of happy campers! This replaces many other pieces of gear for me. I won't miss the constant battle of trying to get all of the separate components I had to deal with to play nicely with each other. The frustration of things not working predictably and as they ought to in pressure situations is very real to those of us entrusted with handling critical audio work, and the fear of technical snafu's has led me on a personal quest for the most reliable equipment I can find. The drivers play better with my MacBook than any other I have tried (and I have tried the devices/drivers of 4 other manufacturers -- none of which offered the level of performance and stability that I'm getting with the Presonus. This thing has got everything going for it: ease of use/intuitive operation and believably good sound and flexibility at a price that is simply astonishing. Presonus have been great about support, and are fully committed to development actively working with users to improve the product thru firmware/driver updates. I know think of this as my audio "Swiss Army Knife." It has plenty of I/O, and if you really need more, the first firmware update promises the ability to gang two units. The Capture recording software is great, too, and oh so hassle-free. I can't think of a piece of gear that has lived up to its pre-release promises so well. Highly recommended. Once in a great while a piece of gear comes along that is truly revolutionary and makes it to a legendary status. My humble prediction is that this piece is going to solve so many problems for so many people, and do it so well, that it will be quickly catapulted to the fore as a tool of choice, and have many loyal users for years to come. (Thanks, Presonus!) What, you haven't placed your order yet? Carpe!

  • from Baltimore, MD March 24, 2009Music Background:
    Live sound engineer, Musician, Recording hobbyist

    Goodbye side rack....hello Studio Live

    I was looking for a solution to minimize the gear I have to take along at gigs. Not only do I play in the band, I also run sound for it. I needed something powerful enough to give me compressors and eq's on every channel, aux out, sub, mains, etc. The only thing I could find was the Yamaha LS9 consoles which were WAAAY too much for me to buy. Enter the StudioLive. As if the sound gods heard my prayers and delivered the answer to me. The board is super intuitive but doesn't skimp on features. I can go on all day about how powerful this thing is and I haven't even talked about recording with it yet. On top of all that, PreSonus didn't fool around with crappy preamps. The StudioLive has a ton of headroom and sounds super musical. Very impressed, indeed.

  • from Atlanta, GA March 2, 2009Music Background:
    Guitar player, High Cotton Band, Americana Music

    Presonus StudioLive - It's a Bomb

    The first thing that caught me when I opened the box is how good the unit looks, as good in person as it does on the Internet. Everything is laid out in a way that makes perfect sense so hat's off to the designers. I have used it for a couple of days now so I can add that the StudioLive is built like a tank. Everything is solid and the moving parts have a quality touch to them. My band plays the Southeastern festival circuit and I have a home recording studio so the StudioLive seemed like the perfect choice. I have been using an A&H board with a Firepod interface with great success. Since I ordered the unit, I have worried that because it's a digital board, it might be too complicated or it might not sound as good as my current analog set-up. I used to have a Yamaha AW16 digital recording board that frustrated me because everything was done through complex menus. I had to sell it. I set the StudioLive up, connected my snake and was recording in about 20 minutes. Sonar 8 recognized the drivers and there were no issues.

    Every feature of the board has been simple and right in sync with the documentation. It combines the power of a digital mixer with controls you can actually touch and move. I think the right word is tactile. By the way, I'm a guitar player, not an engineer.

    The sound of the board is absolutely wonderful. Quiet as a church mouse with all of the vibrancy I learned to love with the Firepod pre-amps. I think sound quality is better than my previous set-up.

    The Fat channel rocks. Here again, it's so easy to see and comprehend what you're doing.

    The on-board effects are as good or better than the A&H. I tried most of them and fell in love with a plate reverb pre-set for vocals called ‚ÄúPlate Vox‚ÄĚ.

    I would like to give you a negative so you know this is sincere but I can't. It's great.

  • from Florida USA February 23, 2009Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Live Sound Engineer, Producer, Musician

    StudioLive * Great Digital Console With An Analog Feel

    The perfect console for those making the transition from analog to digital, as well as those already established in the digital world.
    PreSonus has succeeded in creating an affordable digital mixer that is EZ to use, has an analog feel and rivals the sound of mixers costing much more.
    The Fat Channel puts everything right in front of you.....No more squinting trying to read a tiny screen. No more trying to find the right processor page. Push the channel select button and set it up in the Fat channel. Use the copy function to duplicate settings into another channel. Everything about this mixer is User Friendly and EZ to use.
    The StudioLive is as versatile live as it is in the studio. 16 great sounding XMAX preamps, 22 compressors, 22 limiters, 22 gates, 22 high pass filters, digital effects the list goes on and on. But wait, it doesn't stop there...How about a/d converters with 118dB dynamic range!!!
    Equally as simple to use is Capture, the recording software that is included with the StudioLive.
    Press 2 buttons and you're recording. When the gig is over send all the tracks back into the StudioLive for final mixdown. Or if you prefer Logic, Cubase or some other DAW....go for it.
    If 16 channels are not enough for you or you're thinking about needing more channels in the future, the StudioLive will grow with your needs. Link 2 StudioLive mixers together for 32 channels.
    The StudioLive layout with it's lighted buttons make this mixer perfect for the band that is doing their own mix from the stage too. Fixes are easily made between songs.
    PreSonus support is second to none in my opinion. Any questions I've had in the past were quickly answered with one telephone call.
    Overall, The StudioLive is the best value to cost purchase I've ever made.
    Buy one today. You won't regret it.

  • from Yelm, WA February 22, 2009Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Live Sound Engineer, Producer, Musician

    A mixer worth having

    Everything about the StudioLive is awesome. The preamps sound great and they are very quiet. The FAT channel is musical and easy to use. Getting around on the mixer is way easier than on a Yamaha LS9. As a live mixer is works wonderfully. Troubleshooting problems is quick. You don't have to search through menus to find what you're looking for. In the studio, it works great too. I was able to install the software and start using it in Logic within 10 minutes. I have recorded radio spots with this mixer and used it for some aduio-for-video post-produciton. I highly recommend the StudioLive

  • from Tampa, FL September 23, 2013Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    Huge Bang for the Buck

    Active local cover rock/metal band full of seasoned musicians with a sound guy that runs sounds for touring professional acts... so here's the mixed review.

    The functionality of this thing can't be beat... being able to save scenes is VERY helpful and the tonal quality output is excellent. Once you get used to using it, it's quite simple to use. There are tons of video's online and Sweetwater technical support is unprecedented!! I will ALWAYS shop there. We are still learning and want to run it to a laptop next to take full advantage of the apps PreSonus offers for FREE. Should make an already powerful tool about 10X more so. Finally, having 6 aux's is killer, because we all run in ears and intend to mix in some offliine effects too.

    Drawbacks - the delay and verb are a little basic and unimpressive. Would love an improvement there. Also, our sound guy doesn't like the horizontal feel of some of the operations. He's used to running/thinking vertically on Yamaha digital boards. He's good so we trust him.

    All in all... I'd recommend this board to EVERYONE.

  • from Sparks NV August 10, 2013Music Background:
    Musician 50 years Keyboards/guitar

    great live mixer

    Beats carrying racks of effects processors & EQ's & ....
    Its digital, so it has its "quirks".... but... when you FINALLY start figuring it out.... its pretty intuitive (you know... when your looking to do something, your figuring its going to be a hassle and find its too damn easy
    Long as you treat it as a computer, and not a mixer... you'll get along fine.
    Very happy with the purchase

  • from Tamarac, FL July 1, 2013Music Background:
    Hobbyist

    It was time.

    It was time to move up from my old analog mixer and the Presonus fit the bill. It is quiet, loaded with features, and the fat channel makes it a dream to use. I have a small home studio and look forward to eventually chaining 2 of these babies as my needs grow. I thank Sweetwater for their great customer service and best price in the nation.

  • from Upstate New York January 29, 2013Music Background:
    25 year church Worship Leader and live sound guy

    Powerful piece of gear

    This a very powerful mixer with amazing depth and extras. I came from a well known analogue 12 channel board and the step up was night and day. The clarity, the lower noise floor, the FX, the routing, the computer control. All are just great. The only reason I am giving it a 4.5 is that I am still wrestling with the SL Remote iPad control. That was one of the big selling points for me and so far it has been very unstable. I have been working with Presonus and they have been responsive but still no resolution. It works, just not all the time so if that should get dealt with, 5 stars all the way!

  • from Montana September 4, 2012Music Background:
    Musician

    Good one.

    Great board. Easy to get up and running. We are going in to powered JBL's, love the sound. You can run 6 monitor's each with their own setting witch is something we could not do before. So far just live playing hope to do recording with it in the near future.

  • from Florida August 10, 2012Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    PreSonus 16.4.2 with ProTools

    Seamless FireWire integration with ProTools 10.
    Mic preamps are awesome with lots of headroom.
    The Fat Channel is great for live applications.
    I've used it myself in rehearsals and heard it in live venues.
    Allows wonderful control of the tonal characteristics of all instruments and vocals that you can throw at it.

  • from New Jersey March 4, 2010Music Background:
    Dj/Remixer/Producer

    StudioLive Hands down

    I had to find out the hard way. So I hope I can help someone out when weighing the pro & cons out about the two mixers. StudioLive or 01V96. StudioLive, any day over Yamaha's 01V96v2. I have had them both in my studio. The preamps on the StudioLive are priceless. With the 01v96, the moving faders was fun to play with, but I was in the need of a Studio/Live recording mixer. The 01v96 is not a digital audio interface, you CAN Not record straight into Logic. On the other hand, with StudioLive you can record audio into Logic. Not to mention Capture for your live recording. The only thing I feel StudioLive is missing, would be midi support. Yes StudioLive works flawless with Logic Pro if setup correctly. StudioLive has become the work horse behind all of my production. In & out of the studio. I would highly recommend purchasing a PreSonus Fader Port for a $129. To control your faders while working in your DAW . The two items together are still cheaper than one 01v96($2130 vs $2400) For the record, I'm not a Yamaha hater. I do own a Mostif & love it

  • from Knoxville, TN November 26, 2012Music Background:
    Sound for film and television, live stage production, studio recording.

    Capable, flexible, intuitive.

    I decided to take the leap into digital FOH this year, and sold my analog console and rolling effects rack to pay for it. The board arrived just over a week ago, and I had it out of the box for the first time only 24 hours before my first event with it.

    I was up and running very, very quickly. Even without the manual, many of the basic functions are easy to figure out. The headroom on this board is stunning, and the signal pass-through is very clean. The board is very capable, and offers some great configuration options to suit most any event.

    The 100mm long-throw faders are smooth to use. The flexible metering modes are also very handy, providing input metering on all 16 ins at the touch of a button.

    The included software, however, is where this board really starts to shine. Universal Control Virtual Studio Live opens up more finite control and access to more of the features that are harder to navigate on the console. Signal routing and DSP control are the first two features that benefit greatly from VSL. The other greatest benefits are Smaart setup and the graphic EQ control with RTA and spectral representation. I didn't really even have to crack into Smaart setup with the visual metering modes on the GEQ.

    After installing Capture, the ability to record in multi-track format directly from the console completely changed my workflow this week. For this annual event, we run pre-recorded announcements throughout each day. Sometimes, last-minute changes or additions require live announcements. The ability to record those on-site and have complete control over playback, however, made that so much easier. It's also nice to be able to track a band with two clicks of a mouse (arm all, record).

    The best part of this last week, however, was the wireless control through iPad using the free SL Remote app. It took very little time to set up, and once I had it running I used the iPad more than I did the mixer or the computer interface. The ability to step up on stage and work with performers on a sound check and on monitor mixes was worth its weight in gold, and the ability to roam the venue and mix from anywhere in the room proved invaluable.

    There is some room for improvement, though, and a few things any potential buyer would benefit from knowing ahead of time:

    - The manual has lots of good information, but doesn't cover everything. It has no index, so finding information can be frustrating. You have to know exactly what you're looking for.

    - The faders are not motorized, but are touch-sensitive. This isn't a huge deal if you're mixing from the console, but if you make a chance using VSL or SL Remote, the console faders don't follow. If you then touch the faders on the console, the signal will follow the touch. This can create some severe jumps in level.

    - If the console is in a metering mode other than "Input" then this will be reflected in VSL and SL Remote. This threw me for a loop the first time I discovered it... the iPad display was not making sense at all, and when I realized what had happened I made sure to flip to Input metering before I left the board.

    - Routing the two internal FX channels into the Aux mixes (to give musicians reverb in their wedges) doesn't seem to be working, but there's nothing in the manual that covers that feature. Further, it seems to be a feature only available through VSL and SL Remote, if I'm even reading that feature correctly, and without anything in the manual about this I cannot figure out what's going on.

    - Controlling the graphic EQ on the console is clunky at best. This is best left to VSL and SL Remote.

    - The ability to custom-label the input channels in VSL is fantastic and makes the use of SL Remote and QMix much easier, but the labels won't stick. Save the console setup once the inputs, Auxes, and sub groups are named. If the board is powered down, it won't remember the names the next day until the preset is dropped into VSL.

    In all, this is a great board. The list above is what gives it 4 stars instead of 5. Despite a few places that need either better documentation or a little bit better design, this console has completely turned my live workflow upside down, and that's a good thing! I know I have just barely scratched the surface of what it can do, and I cannot wait to delve into some of the other features, but so far it's been everything I need in a live console and effects rack, all in one tidy package!

  • from Tampa Bay, FL November 15, 2011Music Background:
    Professional Musician and Recording Hobbyist

    This board does everything.

    I would give this a 5 star rating for it's price range, but 4 overall. If you're upgrading from something like us (a mackie), you are going to be thilled. The preamps sound great but not as good as some boards in this price range that don't come with compression, recording or fx. The control software is a breeze and so is recording. I've had a handful of fans compliment us on how much better we sound the last 2 weeks. I believe it is the compression, which we did not have before on any channels. I also think the preamps are a huge upgrade from our old mackie 24-8 board (which has full parametrics unlike this board) and sound a lot better through our QSC kw153/181s. If you already have compression units and a 16 channel recording interface, I think there are better choices in this price range. If you want all your compression and fx in one nice little package that makes recording simple, I don't think you'll find anything comparable in this price range. We love it and would recommend it to anyone.

  • from New Hampton, NH July 17, 2011Music Background:
    Church audio tech & musician

    Bought it for the digital, keeping it for the manual

    At last, a piece of technology that comes with a HELPFUL owner's manual! I was so proud to have gotten my church's band gear switched over [from a Behringer analog board] & tweaked nicely before I had to call Sweetwater for some detailed help. Alan at Sweetwater got me going again, and I'm excited to find out if anyone else notices how much better everything sounds. The StudioLive may have just saved the church some money, too, because our 40-year-old speakers actually sound good--they were slated to be replaced in the next few months!

    The PreSonus "Studio One (Artist)" software that comes with the board has some wonderfully informative tutorials for novices like me...I'm already intersted in upgrading the software!

    And remember, the board has the standard FireWire outputs, but your Mac needs an adapter. Save yourself a trip to Bestbuy and order the one from Sweetwater while you're at it. (9-pin to 6-pin)

  • from Exmore, Va. June 16, 2013Music Background:
    Worship Leader

    be sure you have firewire

    Based on the board itself, it appears to be a nice board but have been unable to use Capture and all functions that work off a FireWire conncection. I have three laptops Tohiba, Hp two with windows 7 and one with windows 8. Neither has the FireWire port and neither has an Express Card slot which is required to connect the board to the laptop and use Capture. Have been unable to find a new laptop that has either Firewire or Express Card slot on them. Working with Sweetwater to reselove the issure but be sure you have the necessary ports and connnection before you buy this board.

  • from SE PA March 6, 2011Music Background:
    PRO RECORDIST / LIVE SOUND MIXER

    It will fail

    This would be a great mixer if it actually worked reliably. Read the presonus forums very carefully. You will find that there are MANY users who are on their second or third board from presonus OR they have had to send it to the factory for repair. Save yourself the trouble. It is an attractive and nice sounding board, but the system is far from stable. Consider yourself warned. Mine is now permanately locked up and going back to the dealer.

  • from Houston Texas December 27, 2010Music Background:
    Singer Guitarist Engineer

    Something missing

    I have a two piece group so that means we are both really busy playing singing and between songs talking to the crowd. The Studio Live has everything you can imagine EXCEPT a simple foot switch to turn effects on and off for when you want to talk . Or A foot switch to step through the presets so you can setup different effects without having to call it up from the mixer. Performing live, and this mixer is called Studio Live. Having this foot control feature would have probably been so simple for Pre Sonus to do,I cant believe they didn't. I was really interested in purchasing this mixer.
    I am so disappointed I have never owned a mixer that didn't have that feature.

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