PreSonus Blog

Christopher McGilvray’s First StudioLive 32.4.2AI Experience

[This just in from Christopher McGilvray of Magic Wing Entertainment!]

Ladies and Gentlemen,

My StudioLive 32.4.2AI arrived yesterday, and after a long wait, you came through big time. Thank you. The same quick and familiar workflow on the desk, coupled with the VSL software makes this a world class mixer, for sure. I held out all summer waiting for this board, and as the minutes passed, I have to admit, my mind began to wander to the other options to fill the gap, but after plugging in the power cord and lighting the StudioLive off, I was positive that I had made the right choice to stick by the Presonus equipment. I could not be happier.

During my wait, I was enticed by the alternatives with flying faders like the Si3, but with the seamless integration of VSL and the “fader locate” feature of the StudioLive, those extra servos and belts are no longer an issue! This board has the horsepower and features of mixers at a much higher price point, while keeping the UI simple. I have been hopelessly lost in the endless system menu and setup of the Vi desks, and was going to add breadcrumbs to my FOH bag for my future journeys through that GUI black forest, but instead I can keep a thermos of coffee, and enjoy the mixing, instead of the messing around.

Please do pass along my praises. I got a chance last night to work the new StudioLive at a show, and let me just say “wow.” I am familiar with the StudioLive 24.4.2 desk, but Active Integration makes it  the most powerful thing I have used this past season, hands down. As I mentioned, I have been on Soundcraft and Midas consoles this year. Our local venue installed a Peavey 32 FX  (chosen for simplicity, not for any DSP abilities, btw). As a standalone board, the StudioLive 32.4.2AI is powerful! There is so much under the hood of this console that is not seen with the naked eye. Plug in a FW 800 cable to a quad i7 MacBookPro, however, and the desk is ready for anything! Add in SL Remote on iPad, and you have a mixer that is graphical superstation.

I routinely have an opener and a main band, and the mix scenes are a luxury that I also
thank you for. You guys and girls obviously know the deal as to what am FOH guy goes through in switching over acts, and this mixer saves me a minimum of 15 minutes in turn over time due to the scenes option. That is a lifetime in the live world!

Okay, and here is another point where I had to sit back and smile, pleasantly impressed: the built-in effects are spot on. Since I was with a band that I know well last night, I had the chance to tweak and play more then chase the sound all night, and I was so very impressed with the quality of the effects, as well as the effects level control. My experience with mixers of a similar price point have been terrible with regards to DSP engines. The Peavey 32 FX I mentioned earlier is useless in this area; it’s like a two-stroke engine trying to pull a trailer uphill when it comes to anything more then some simple EQ. Other hybrid boards as well as other digital boards also get left in the dust by the 32.4.2AI. Call up an effect, assign some inputs to it, send it on an encoder that isn’t scratchy or jumpy, and suddenly you can hear a very rich and satisfying reverb or delay gently enter the mix. THAT’s the way it should work, and you folks got it right! Delays didn’t build up and run away, reverbs didn’t sound like tin warehouses, and the crowd didn’t need to pound seasick pills by the end of the night. Perfect in my opinion.

I could write a review on this board, but that is not my intent. I really just want to say that as I waited with much anticipation from the announcement at NAMM until the shipment date of this board, I grew to find myself second-guessing and worrying a bit. Last night sealed the deal as far as my decision is concerned, and I am confident that I made the best choice. I knew it in my heart anyway. I have a rack full of FirePods that still serve me very, very well. They kept me in business as far as the recording aspect was concerned between SL boards. Oh, yeah—FW 800 deserves a huge thank you as well. A ThunderBolt option in the future will be a blessing as well, if it is in the cards.

I look forward to driving hell out of this thing. Last night was a 24-channel spin around the neighborhood. When I did need to push it a bit, there was plenty of power to spare.

Well done, folks. You’ve had me as a loyal customer for a while. Now I am a vocal one, as well, best wishes! On behalf of myself, and the folks involved in my small but extremely passionate live sound company, thanks! PreSonus got this one right from beginning to end. Still looking forward to cooking up the recipe in the manual, too!

Warm regards,
Christopher McGilvray
Magic Wing Entertainment