PreSonus Blog

Category Archives: Mixing Systems

Leading by Example in the Dog-Eat-Dog World of XLR Cable Management

[This just in from Jan-Arend, StudioLive Wizard at Large and Executive Cable Manager.]

IMG_3330Hey guys,

Want to show you something. I saw Big Joe Daddy’s Big Multi-Pin Panel-Box Thingy post on the PreSonus blog. It looked very professional! I too use the StudioLive 24.4.2 on various occasions and locations.
We all want to get the best mixing position for our bands and the easiest place for the console. But having said this, we all know that having at least 30 cables to the mixer on the other end of the stage isn’t easy. It gets messy. So I wanted a flexible solution for my band(s).
One band is very different from the other. One is almost completely acoustic, with 3 vocals, acoustic/electric bass and guitar, accordion, and drums. We use two auxes for wedge mixes. The other band is completely electric, with 3 vocals, drums, electric piano, guitars, and basses. No amps on stage, and four stereo in-ear mixes for monitoring. My StudioLive is also used in churches and other events.

I wanted to make a flexible and very compact snake-system that I could use in both situations. I wanted to have the possibility to get all 24 channels from the stage to the Studiolive, and to get the main and subgroup-outputs plus all the aux outputs back to the stage. Ordinarily, this would require a single 40-channel snake. Everybody knows that these cables are heavy, and not easy to use at all. And every time, I would have to plug in 40 cables into my mixer.
Now my solution:IMG_3334
I had a 30-meter 16.4 snake for a couple of years, and I thought, ”Why not have two of these 16.4 cables, with multi-pins in the mixer case?” So, I bought another 16.4.2 multi-core cable to make a total of 40 channels.
I keep my StudioLive 24.4.2 in a Thon mixer case, from Germany. This case was made for the SL and it fits perfectly. Nice thing about this case is the “semi” doghouse configuration. This gave me room to mount the multi-pin connectors in the case. It took me a week or two to make all the connections and to change connectors of the second stage box. Stage box one has 16 inputs and four outputs (A, B, C, and D). Stagebox two has eight more inputs, all 10 aux outputs from the mixer (with Neutrik combo sockets) and two more outs, E and F. This all gives us 24 inputs on the StudioLive and 16 outputs from the mixer on stage.
With our acoustic band, I only need one snake, and with the other band I use both snakes. Now we can put the mixer anywhere we like, setup time is much quicker than before and we don’t have to carry very heavy cables.
See the attached photos for the result. Maybe this helps other StudioLive users to get ideas about their set-up.

Greeting from a very happy StudioLive user!

Jan-Arend Blok

Jan’s bands:

“De Duifies” are singing Dutch songs from a very popular tv series “ja zuster nee zuster” back in the sixties in the Netherlands.
“Spoetnik” started in 1980 and plays mostly covers nowdays.
thanks and best to you too!!

MultiTracks.Com Interviews Rick at NAMM 2013 About the StudioLive 32.4.2AI!

Big thanks to MultiTracks.Com for their NAMM 2013 coverage of the StudioLive 32.4.2AI!

StudioLive Spotted at the Big Game Media Party

This just in from a friend of a friend… They spotted a StudioLive 24.4.2 in use at the Big Game’s Media Party! Thanks!

StudioLive 32.4.2 Official Release Video

Here it is: The official release video for the StudioLive 32.4.2AI!

Sam Ash’s NAMM Coverage of the StudioLive 32.4.2AI

Thanks to Sam Ash for this!

Andy Needham Band’s “No Love Song,” and Why PreSonus is the Right Choice

[This just in from Jonathan from the Andy Needham Band. Jonathan serves as the band’s bassist, manager, and booking agent. We heard that he liked PreSonus, so we sent him a couple questions, and received a great many answers. They follow.]

How and when did you get involved in music? 

I personally got involved in music back in the 5th grade, when my aunt bought me my first snare drum at a local flea market. I played drums all through elementary and high school in the school band, and then picked up other instruments along the way, mainly guitar and bass. I got involved with Andy Needham about 10 years ago at a Christian camp in Southern New Hampshire. I started with the band just filling in for the drummer, then moved to the electric guitar, before finally becoming the band’s full-time bassist. All along the way I was always an all-purpose man who owned much of the band’s live sound equipment. I find just as much satisfaction behind a soundboard as I do on a stage.

What PreSonus stuff do you use?

We traveled for the past year with the StudioLive 16.4.2. Over the past year, our live event has taken on more elements that require more channels, so just this week we upgraded to the StudioLive 24.4.2. Our drummer, a production graduate from Berkelee College of Music, also uses PreSonus FireStudio Project in conjunction with Pro Tools 10 for recording purposes along with Ableton Live and Reason to create the band’s many backing tracks. We also use that for quick overdubs when working on promotional projects.

What are some of your favorite features?

All of them!

It’s hard to narrow things down. I don’t know if this would be classified as a “feature” but I am so impressed with PreSonus’ continued customer support and free upgrades to equipment already sold. When I bought my original 16.4.2 for the band, it didn’t have a lot of the things that I now can’t see myself living without. The value that is packed into the StudioLive blows my mind when compared to other mixers on the market. More important than the value—it just sounds great.

A particular favorite feature with our band: wireless mixing via StudioLive Remote on the iPad has been a huge help. Also, QMix allows for everyone in the band to control our own separate monitor mixes on our iPhones/iPods. This is crucial, as we can’t afford to have an monitor engineer on the road with us.

Another thing I would consider a “feature” would be in regards to the “ease-of-use” side of things. We can’t afford to always have the same sound guy on the road with us, but because the learning curve of this board is so easy, we can often utilize sound personnel at venues.

Lastly, I love that everything I need is packed into a single case—I don’t have to travel with extra racks of compressors, gates, effects, etc! Furthermore, I can save everything I do. Time is so important when we travel, and because all our settings are is internalized in the StudioLive, we can be sure that our sound will be consistent night after night.

Any tips’n’tricks or production secrets you can share?

As far as tips’n’tricks go, I find that everyone I talk to is in a different place. My biggest encouragement when people ask about this product on the road is to check out the depths of the free tutorials online. There is a free school at your fingertips 24/7 to learn the ins and the outs of this board.

I love the convenience of the stored Fat Channel settings (i.e. loading presets for instruments, vox, etc). When a band opens up for us, I can save a new scene for them and load each individual instrument to get a starting point.  It makes sound checks go a lot quicker and smoother when things sound fairly good from the get-go.

As I mentioned before, we outgrew our board due to some new aspects of our live event. Something we ended up doing (that is probably a little outside the norm) is routing our stereo backing tracks through Aux A and Aux B inputs and then assign those to Subgroup 1 and 2. By doing this, we expanded the board’s capabilities by two channels, though welimit the available subgroups. We were in a pinch and had to think outside the box to make it work—but it works!

We also regularly utilize Capture alongside with the StudioLive for helping with sound checks when we don’t have our sound guy on the road. We can run a sound check (or even recall a sound check from a previous night) and get things sounding pretty good before we have the stand-in person touch the board. It lowers the pressure on someone that has never ran our sound before.

We also have been utilizing the board’s GEQ for fine-tuning the system from venue to venue. Prior to Smaart Measurement Technology being available on the StudioLive, we would use a DriveRack PA+ for the general setup of the system and then play a couple of our standard tracks and walk around the room with the iPad making GEQ adjustments. By fine-tuning the system with the board’s GEQ on the iPad, it allows us to use our ears in all areas  of the room so we are hearing things as the crowd will hear it, not just at the FOH board. Usually the adjustments are minor, but by using our ears it can really separate a decent sounding system from a great sounding system. I always save each venue’s GEQ settings because we often play the same places year after year.

Along with saving each venue in the GEQ, a good tip is to always make a practice of saving your Fat Channels individually. The reason I do that is simply because things change tour to tour. By having each individual channel saved respectively, it makes it easier to move people around on the board. Once could also just copy and load the Fat Channels, but I find when I’m making drastic shifts, it’s nice that I don’t have to start any from scratch.  I just hit select,  load the channel I have saved the Fat Channel for, and I’m in business!

Keep up with the Andy Needham Band on the platform of your choice:




You’ve Got it Covered


We'd prefer a photo of the mixer, not the box, but if your photo is this awesome it just may qualify.

We’d prefer a photo of the mixer, not the box, but if your photo is this awesome it just may qualify.

Over on our Facebook page, one of our most popular albums is our ever-growing collection of PreSonus User Studios. There’s some great comment threads there in addition to some cool photos, obviously.

So, in the spirit of all things social, we’d like to share your photos of your handsome face and your StudioLive mixer with our Facebook community. If you’re glad to be a StudioLive owner and feel like representing accordingly, now’s your chance!

We want to see some photos of smiling StudioLive owners. If you kind folks are feeling shutterbuggy, we will pick a user-submitted photo for our Facebook cover graphic—once every couple of weeks or so. If we pick yours, we’ll get in touch—and we just might send you a highly fashionable PreSonus T-shirt.

It’s easy to be a contender. Here’s all we ask:

  • Post a photo of you and your StudioLive mixer to your Facebook Wall. It’s important that you are in the photo, too.
  • Tag Yourself in the photo.
  • Share the photo to our Wall.
  • A comment or description indicating that you’d like the photo set as our cover graphic would help.

Keep in mind that in order to qualify for the cover photo treatment, the image must be at least 850px wide by 315px tall.

Photos that are really interesting, funny, or astonishing will of course be given preference.

Have fun!

Imogen Heap and the StudioLive 16.0.2 Doing Science

This is a triumph. Imogen Heap recently showed up on Dara O’Briain’s Science Club, and she brought her otherworldly Power glove 2.0 MIDI gyro-accelerometer Kinect-handwear with her. We’re flattered and honored that she’s entrusted the StudioLive 16.0.2 to corral her abstruse mad-science signal chain.

Seriously, how many different technologies do you think are collaborating in tandem here?

Wishbone Ash and the PreSonus StudioLive

Joe Crabtree, Live Sound Engineer for Wishbone Ash, picked up a StudioLive 24.4.2 for Wishbone Ash’s most recent tour. He’s running front-of-house from his StudioLive, and—like many StudioLive owners before him—was able to offload a rack full of old compressors, reverbs, gates… the usual suspects.

Furthermore, he’s really using the board to its fullest. He records every show to Capture, and his band is taking advantage of the remote in-ear monitor control features available via QMix.

Enough chit-chat, just watch his vid. Joe, thanks so much for this!

Big Joe Daddy’s Big Multi-Pin Panel-Box Thingy

[This just in from Big Joe Daddy, PreSonus forum regular, guitarist, industrious cable-wrangler, and all-around great guy.]

Hey PreSonus, I finally got my multi-pin panel built and installed. The rack panel sits in a road case that serves as a stand for the StudioLive 24.4.2 mixer. The road case also has a power conditioner, a couple of drawers, wireless in-ear transmitter, etc, and the stage snakes are stored in the bottom of the case during transport.

The big cable on the left in the photo below feeds a fan-out to the mixer. The two smaller multi-pin cables feed 12×4 stage boxes. The XLRs are main outs, sub outs, and Auxes 9 and 10. (Auxes 1-8 are fed to the stage boxes. The mixer sits in a Gator case with the doghouse. Setup is a snap. The large multi-pin cable is stored in the doghouse for transport, so I never have to mess with plugging things in to the back of the mixer!

I play guitar in a band made up of weekend warriors like myself. We play small venues, mostly bar gigs and winery gigs, with an occasional barn party thrown in for good measure.  In addition to my guitar playing duties, I’ve also fallen into the role of ‘sound guy’, audio engineer, roadie, booking agent, transportation coordinator, finance manager, and marriage counselor. 😉 

Since I’m not as energetic as I once was in my teens, I’m always looking for ways to simplify the transport and setup process of all our gear. We have a tandem-axle trailer with a ramp door, e-track, interior lighting, etc. It holds all our gear in road cases with casters. If it doesn’t have wheels, we burn it. We joke with folks telling them that we play for free, and that we only charge to move all the gear in and out! 😉
Part of the burden of setting up our 5-piece band is to ensure that all the cabling is set up properly. We run with five wedges (or in-ears), a couple of mains, and a couple of subs, in addition to a full suite of drum mics, two Axe-FX II guitar rigs, keys, bass rig, etc, etc. Everything is run through the StudioLive 24.4.2.
Inevitably, especially when it’s dark, there are ‘gremlins’ that sneak their way into the setup process wreaking havoc at the last minute, typically from a cable getting plugged in incorrectly, or something of that sort. I often use gaff tape to cover any unused jacks on equipment to avoid mistakes. And of course everything is labeled.
My latest effort to help make our setup and breakdown process as easy as possible has been the introduction of a multi-pin snake system. Basically it’s made up of the following components:
  1. Multi-pin fan out snake that plugs in to the rear panel of the StudioLive, and the other end plugs into a large multi-pin connector on the rack panel.
  2. Two 12 x 4 stage boxes that connect to 35′ multi-pin snakes and also connect to the rack panel.
  3. A rack mount panel that houses all the multi-pin connectors and is mounted in a road case which serves double-duty as a rolling stand for the StudioLive mixer and case.

When we roll in to a gig, we merely open the doghouse of the mixer case where the fan out snake is stored and always stays connected to the StudioLive. We plug in the big multi-pin to the rack panel, and then roll out the two 35′ sub-snakes and stage boxes that are stored in the bottom of the road case for transport.

The stage boxes are positioned at the front of the stage and the back of the stage. This lets us run relatively short XLR cables to everything and keeps the stage clutter to a minimum. The stage boxes are clearly labeled so there’s a lot less chance of error when plugging things in.
We position the StudioLive 24.4.2 on the side of the stage next to me so I can access it if needed. I’ll do a quick virtual sound check with the iPad running a Capture recording created previously. If we’re lucky enough to have someone running sound for us, we’ll put them on an iPad. All of our monitor settings and Fat Channel settings are saved to a scene before we hit the venue, so most of the time, it’s turn it on and roll with very little tweaking.
I’ve got to give credit to Papa John of Papa Grows Funk for the ideas and guidance in putting this multipin system together. He has a similar setup that he demonstrated during Presonusphere. He took the time to answer my questions and make suggestions prior to placing the order.  All the boys in Papa Grows Funk are great guys. Many thanks.
When I got on board with PreSonus a few years ago, I started with the StudioLive 16.4.2. Instantly I was sold on the features, and ease of use, but most of all the improved sound quality over my old analogue board. Later I added the StudioLive 16.0.2 because the darn thing was so small and portable. It’s perfect for all sorts of venues when size and portability are important. Lastly, I added the StudioLive 24.4.2 to the quiver and I couldn’t be happier. The added features on the StudioLive 24.4.2, along with all the cool software PreSonus keeps releasing, makes me wonder what more I could ask for.
I’ve become extremely passionate about live sound, audio engineering, and pursuing the best possible sound quality for FOH. With the constant upgrades to the software and firmware, it’s like getting a new piece of equipment with each release. Kudos to all the folks at Presonus for such wonderful products and for listening to your customers. You’re providing incredible value to folks like me.  You’ve earned my business.
Joe “Big Daddy” Hinkens