StudioLive 16.0.2 – Audio Interface and Left-Field processing
Overview – The StudioLive 16.0.2 mixer was designed and built with the small live band and the singer/songwriter/performer in mind. It has many of the features of its bigger brothers (the 16.4.2 and 24.4.2) but lacks some of the features geared towards larger bands, front of house duties, etc. As is usual with music equipment, sometimes a piece of gear does things extremely well that it wasn’t necessarily geared specifically to do. Such is the case with the 16.0.2 mixer! For instance, unlike any of the other currently available StudioLive mixers, the 16.0.2 has midi in and out. This places it in a category all by itself, since it can act as a the central hub of a project or home studio without the need for any other audio or midi interface! In this tutorial, we will cover some of the more esoteric uses for the 16.0.2 along with the common studio functions that this mixer is excellent at performing.
StudioLive 16.0.2 as a front end for your DAW
Connected via Firewire 400 to your compatible PC or Mac desktop or laptop computer, the 16.0.2 becomes a powerful audio interface with features unheard of at this price point:
12 class A XMAX mic pre’s
8 1/4” Mono Line Inputs
4 1/4” Stereo Line Inputs
2 RCA Stereo Line Inputs
Stereo 1/4” Line Outputs (mains)
Stereo 1/4” Line Outputs (control room)
Stereo XLR Outputs (mains)
Mono XLR Output (mains)
4 Mono 1/4” Auxiliary Line Outputs
2 Firewire Ports
That works out to 32 inputs and 11 outputs + midi in and out! The challenge is finding any other audio interface in this price range with even close to this kind of in/out capability!
For instance, you could use 8 Mic Pre’s for drums, 1 mic pre for vocals, 1 line in for guitar, 1 line in for bass, and have a stereo input channel open. Then you could use send a pair of Auxes to an HP4 to create a headphone mix for your players, send the Control Room outputs to your studio monitors, send the other pair of Auxes to outboard effects and then return those fx back to that stereo channel you’ve still got open for additional processing. All this time, your keyboard player can be playing virtual instruments via the Midi input, with extremely low latency. With a bit of knowledge and creativity, this little mixer can literally work wonders for you in the studio!
Lets not forget that the Fat Channel, with its great sounding compressor and equalizer, can save you precious processing power by allowing you to shape your tone on the board instead of in the box! All you’ve got to do is press the “Post” button in the Dig Out section of the Fat Channel and highpass filter, gate, compressor, limiter, and eq are all recorded in your DAW. In addition, you’ve also got a healthy dose of great sounding reverbs and delays onboard via 2 FX busses. Again, this isn’t your Grandpa’s audio interface!
2)StudioLive 16.0.2 as a Guitar/Bass/Synth processor
The following scenario is just an example of one of the many ways the 16.0.2 mixer can be used as a sound design tool. In this example, we’ll be using the 16.0.2, a Guitar, various foot pedals and/or external processors, Studio One Artist and its internal effects.
First, lets wire up all our gear. In addition to the 16.0.2 we’ll use our Strat, a digital mutli-fx pedal, a Wah pedal, and a digital guitar amp with a direct out.
a) Guitar will be plugged into 1/4” line-in on channel 1
b) Aux 1 on the 16.0.2 will be plugged into our Digital Multi FX pedal (which will then be plugged into Channel 2’s line in)
c) Aux 2 will be plugged into our Wah pedal (which will be plugged into Channel 3’s line in)
d)Aux 3 will be plugged into our Digital Guitar Amp (the amps direct output will be plugged into Channel 4’s line in)
e) Aux 4 will now be plugged into Channel 5’s line input (We’ll blend our various guitar sounds together using this aux and record the output into this channel!)
Using the Aux encoders we can now blend in Channel 1 to each of the first 3 Auxes which will send the Guitar to each of our 3 effects processors. Using Aux 4, we can blend in mixer channels 2, 3, and 4 as desired to achieve a plethora of guitar FX! Now, we can use the Aux Faders to further blend these signals together along with Fat Channel processing to come up with some very interesting tones. With creative use of panning and the reverb and delay FX on the 16.0.2 we can further process our signals, all while recording discrete channels to our DAW of choice (Studio One Artist, of course). This will give us the following tracks with a single recording take:
Digital Amped Guitar
Sum FX Guitar
This same methodology can be applied to Bass, Synth, Vocals or any other signal you want to process to the max! Again, creativity and out-of-the-box thinking go along way when doing this type of processing. A midi controller could also be used in this same example, with its knobs Control Linked to parameters in Studio One’s effects and modulated either while playing or when playing back and re-processing these signals using the StudioLive’s Firewire Returns (and another set of outboard effects as well!).
This tutorial barely scratches the surface of what is possible with this little mixer, but hopefully it opens up the door for you to try your own recording and sound design projects using this powerful tool. Whether it is used for “normal” recording, left-field sound processing, or as a band’s live FOH mixer, the 16.0.2 is a flexible, powerful, and elegant solution.
Join us at http://forums.presonus.com and share your uses for the StudioLive 16.0.2 mixer!