[This just in from Shane Simpson of Express AV / Steele Creek Studios! These guys are using just about every product we make. I, for one, am impressed!]
In my opinion, PreSonus is the most forward-thinking company in the industry! They care not only about functionality, but also about workflow, ease of use, and cost! If you run a live production company or a recording studio, PreSonus offers many cost-effective solutions to our every-day needs. When it comes to signal flow, pre-amps, user-friendly layout, EQs, versatility, and price, the StudioLive mixers are some of the best desks on the planet.
The StudioLive package stands out for me for many reasons:
- They ship with a complete (free) software package for recording, mixing, and controlling the mixer! You won’t see other companies doing that!
- They include a version of Smaart in their Universal Control software! Smaart is one of the best Real Time Analyzers (RTAs) in the business. Smaart software is usually very expensive by itself, but comes free as part of Universal Control Software with every StudioLive desk! Allowing you to visually monitor your house and monitor mixes! Smaart also comes with a great setup tool that allows you to calibrate your speakers.
- The Studio One Digital Audio Workstation software (a version of which is also included free with every StudioLive desk) is fast becoming the industry standard DAW! Other DAWs are dropping like flies while engineers are discovering the great sound and workflow features of Studio One. Studio One is lightweight (meaning it uses less computer hardware resources) and it’s very fast! That would make it worth switching for me, but Studio One just sounds better. Clean, clear, and awesome! I now prefer it over the other majors.
- The Capture software is the easiest multi-track recording software you will ever use! Enable the tracks you want to record and press the record button, it’s that simple.
- One of the things that really floored me was that the new AI-series Studiolive mixers have an “A/B” button on every channel on the desk! That means two separate Fat Channel settings for every channel on the board! Let’s say you are mixing a live show and one band member plays acoustic guitar and mandolin. You can have two seperate EQ and compression settings for the guitar and the mandolin, by just A/B switching between the two.
We received a pair of PreSonus Sceptre studio monitors a few weeks ago—Wow! I never thought a co-axial monitor would even work, let-alone be some of the best sounding I have ever heard! They sound like monitors several times their cost, clean and powerful! That is not to discount the Eris series monitors, as they are awesome as well. Our local PreSonus rep demoed a set of Eris for us, and although we wound up with the Sceptres, the Eris blew us away for sounding so good at that price.
We have also been using the PreSonus Monitor Station; man is this thing cool! It makes switching between adjustable audio sources and monitor sets a breeze—we have our subs on one of the outputs, so we can bring them in or out with the touch of a button. The built-in talk-back mic is awesome, and the adjustable Dim feature is really cool as well.
Using the Presonus HP60 headphone amp has been very helpful to us as well. We were using a diffferent brand before we got the HP60, and we were not very happy with it. The HP60 is very clean with lots of headroom.
We also use the AudioBox 22vsl, which has been a great portable interface. We look forward to acquiring an ADL-series preamp (or two), some new A.I. series mixers, a set of Eris near-field monitors, a Temblor T10 Subwoofer, PreSonus StudioLive speaker cabs for our live production, and all the other goodies PreSonus has to offer. PreSonus is a great company that cares about its customers. Our PreSonus rep came to our shop and spent two days with us educating us on PreSonus products and getting to know our needs and our business so he could better serve us and help us grow. He offered invaluable information and insight and showed us how PreSonus products can help us succeed as a business.
Thanks, PreSonus. We appreciate a company that cares enough to spend time with a small company like us—keep on doing what you are doing: Providing us with useful, innovative products, and the help and know-how to implement them.
Senior Audio Engineer
Steele Creek Studios / Express AV
Category User Stories | 24 Comments »
Posted by Ryan Roullard
I recorded Steve Heron’s song “I Swear Blind” after-hours at Red Dog Music, the instrument shop I work at in Edinburgh, Scotland. I was an early adopter of Studio One. In more than two years of using it to track bands and songwriters, I’ve never experienced a glitch, crash or artifact in the recorded audio. I’ve worked with Steve before on full-band productions (the usual four-piece plus backing vocals and a horn section) but for this B-side track, he wanted something a little more raw and natural. Everything on this session was tracked in one take, with minimal editing.
I’m a huge fan of the in-house effects built in to Studio One. Pro EQ is ludicrously useful for subtractive EQ and I apply it as an insert to every track on the mix; its interface makes finding the mud and taming it a doddle. The Compressor plug-in is also a mighty beast! The knee parameter is really useful for making the compression a little more transparent and subtle. The Room Reverb plug-in also used regularly; I send the vocal, guitar and Fender Bass VI all to a slightly tweaked version of the “medium studio” preset.
One element that has a bit more going on is the ghostly sounding guitar, played with an E-bow. The E-bow guitar was processed via an insert chain consisting of: Autofilter, Compressor, Pro EQ, Beat Delay, Analog Delay, and finally Binaural Pan. Even though it sounds pretty extreme when you solo it, it works well as a subtle element in the whole mix. The whole master buss is then running through the awesome RedLightDist valve-sim plug-in on a very gentle setting to knock-off a little of the clarity and to excite the mids. The only non-PreSonus plug-in on the mix is iZotope Ozone, to provide some subtle multi-band compression and a few dB of loudness.
I find working in Studio One is an absolute joy, but it has slightly ruined me for any other DAW software on the market. I frequently face-palm when I see people fumbling around with the clunky menus in Pro Tools… If they only knew they could make things so much easier for themselves!
Well done, PreSonus! You’ve made producing music as fun and intuitive as playing it.
Category User Stories | 25 Comments »
Posted by Ryan Roullard
Who are you, where are you, and what do you do?
My name is Spud Too Tight based out of Minneapolis, MN, I’m a producer/keyboardist and host of The Producer’s Corner with Spud Too Tight—A celebrity-driven music production & tech talk show since 2009. It’s the new hot spot where Billboard chart-topping, award-winning, Grammy-award winning & platinum-selling icons sit down and discuss their craft. I’ve interviewed some of the biggest names in the business such as George Duke, Jeff Lorber, Larry Graham, Brian Culbertson, Gerald Albright, Fourplay, Marion Meadows, Gloria Loring, Mindi Abair, Joyce Cooling, DJ BattleCat, The Justice League, Cool & Dre, and a long list of others.
I am also the Inventor of V.S.C. (Virtual Studio Configuration) A new studio wiring configuration that allows musicians to stream audio directly from any DAW (PC or MAC) or analog setup over the Web in stereo without any feedback or audio looping issues. I use WebRTC chat services that provide real-time communication. As musicians, we can run into obstacles preventing us from making rehearsal or recording sessions that may require us to fly out of town. The traditional days of playing music over the Internet would consist of either using your internal microphone on your laptop or desktop, or using a USB microphone. It’s an instant turn-off to collaborate online effectively without good audio clarity. As musicians, we need to be able to hear what’s going on in the song. If we are going to collaborate online, we need to be able to hear the low end of the bass, some nice punch from the midrange and brightness from the high end of the mix. When your studio is configured with V.S.C., you will be able to stream and monitor music online directly through your studio. I also use various screen sharing and remote desktop control programs to give me more of an interactive experience working as a virtual musician.
How were you introduced to PreSonus?
I had the pleasure of chopping it up 1×1 with legendary music producer Teddy Riley. He introduced me to PreSonus and Studio One. Teddy Riley is my biggest influence as a keyboardist, producer and tech expert, so I was all ears when he started sharing with me what PreSonus had to offer! Our conversation got really HEAVY on production and engineering—and at that time, I was using another DAW for all of my work but I wasn’t truly happy or inspired to create. After my conversations with Teddy, I was eager to make a big change including switching from Mac to PC as well, which was a hard sell. So I purchased Studio One Pro and Teddy advised me for starters to first create some generic test tracks, tracking with my hardware and software MIDI instruments. He recommended to quantize them and listen to the timing of tracks on playback and compare it with my other DAW. The difference was night and day and worlds apart. I was immediately sold!
What PreSonus software/hardware do you use and for what purpose?
I use Studio One Professional for all of my tracking, recording, editing, and sound design projects. It is my main platform for all of my musical ideas. Studio One has changed the way I create as a composer. I feel more inspired as a musician than ever before. I have over 100+ plug-ins so the drag-and-drop functionality and the search bar in the browser for my VST’s and samples really helps me narrow the search down. The automatic time stretching feature and Melodyne integrated right in the DAW: priceless! I also use the PreSonus FaderPort to assist with my editing and recording tasks. I love having the layout and the feel of the FaderPort, excellent build quality, quick access to my Mix, Edit, and Browser windows, and adding a motorized fader was the icing on the cake! I also converted A.Rapheal, (film and music producer as well as my beta tester for V.S.C.) from another DAW over to Studio One and he hasn’t looked back since.
What’s so great about PreSonus, anyhow?
I see nothing but passion behind the extraordinary PreSonus products. From interfaces, mic preamps and headphone distribution amplifiers, and now the new Eris & Sceptre studio monitors, finally we have the perfect tools for musicians and recording engineers created and built by some of the most prolific tech experts, musicians, and recording engineers. It’s always exciting to see new product releases and it’s so easy to recommend PreSonus to other musicians… a true one-stop shop. I look forward to their new lines in the future!
Where can our readers learn more about you online?
Category User Stories | 136 Comments »
Posted by Ryan Roullard
[This just in from Edgar at Hermes Music, our distributor in Mexico. Their crew just went through a product training session with Mark Williams, and it was a smashing success! Thanks to everyone at Hermes who took part in this session—support for customers in Mexico is getting better by the day!]
Hello PreSonus team! We recently had a visit from Mark Williams, (PreSonus Director of International Sales and
Business Development) who gave us a product overview and discussed PreSonus products and their functions. Hermes Digital planned two different training sessions; one with the stores sales personnel and the other with the Hermes Music Pro Audio team, service department, sales department and digital audio personnel. People were excited about the products and had many questions about software and hardware.
Mark showed and explained every single PreSonus product in detail, showcasing the features and qualities that make PreSonus products unique in their class. Hermes Digital are constantly working for PreSonus, spreading information about the products and working on clinics and training in order to get PreSonus products into the users’ hands—with all important information in Spanish! Clinics and special events like these are critical to our market.
At the end of the training, the Hermes Digital team took some time to tour Mark around our stores. Some of our strongest points of sales are through the main musical stores located in the capital of Mexico. The historic center of Mexico City, AKA the “Centro” or “Centro Histórico,” expands in all directions for a number of blocks. The Zocalo is the largest plaza in Latin America and the second largest in the world! It can hold up to nearly 100,000 people. Bolivar street, placed in the historic center of Mexico City, is the most important location for selling instruments and audio equipment in Mexico City.
Mark was amazed by the branding, marketing and business strategies Hermes Digital has put into action in such a short time. He also saw lots of people in the streets and inside stores buying and constantly asking for digital audio products. It’s been an honor to have Mark visit us in Mexico!
-Edgar García Franco
Category User Stories | 23 Comments »
Posted by Ryan Roullard
Gene Baker over at Music Insider Magazine recently published this great two-part blog series on using the StudioLive mixers for silent rehearsals. The benefits of this are twofold: first is the critical importance of hearing protection; he looks at the steps you and your StudioLive can take to preserve what’s left of your precious hearing. Second benefit of silent rehearsals: no angry neighbors!
“PreSonus have basically blown everyone right out of the park. Their mixer has all your in-ear mixing problems already handled, not to mention, it works seamlessly with multitrack recording and live performances. You really should check into one, plus all the software and apps are free.”
Click through below to read the posts in their entirety.
Category User Stories | 25 Comments »
Posted by Ryan Roullard
[This just in from Jan-Arend, StudioLive Wizard at Large and Executive Cable Manager.]
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:
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!
Category User Stories | 815 Comments »
Posted by Ryan Roullard
Category User Stories | 21 Comments »
Posted by Ryan Roullard
Lynn Fuston, head honcho over at 3D Audio, posits a compelling question.
“Would it be possible to assemble a system that could record 16 inputs onto a multitrack for under $2000?”
The answer is… well, read for yourself. It’s a bit of a lengthy thread but well worth the time. SPOILER ALERT: His solution involves and iPad and the AudioBox 1818VSL.
Here’s a highlight:
"I ran a test last night. 16 tracks at 24/96. Recorded for a minute. Added another 16 in record for a minute while playing back the first 16. Then added 5 more stereo tracks. Hit record. Then added 6 more stereo tracks. Hit record. Several observations: 1) This is not real world because we don't record 1 minute songs. 2) CPU usage at its highest never exceeded 30%. There are CPU and Disk Space Usage meters right on the front of the mixer. 3) I got "Low Memory" messages at least four times, so I finally quit every other app BUT Auria. That seemed to eliminate the problem. 4) It only bailed on a recording one time, and that was when I had the buffer set to 128. I upped it to 256 and it seemed fine. By then I was playing back 42 tracks at 24/96 and recording 12 more. I considered doing a stress test and recording for a long duration but file management using iTunes, at least to someone accustomed to using a computer, seems like a real headache. I'm going to wait to do that test until after I finish my actual music recording. I don't want to fill up the drive with huge empty files. Like the guy at the Apple store told me, "the iPad is designed for GATHERING information." Fascinating. In the big picture, I think he's right. It's a content-vacuum. Videos, pictures, audio: it's designed to collect info. It's really easy to import stuff into an iPad. Exporting (apart from tossing it into iTunes), not so much. So far, it seems like the recording will be the easy part. At least to this seasoned pro who is accustomed to using multiple backup drives and backup utilities like SyncPro and drag and drop file management."
Read the entire thread over at 3D Audio! There’s some great mobile recording opportunities with this setup…