There’s a lot of audio interfaces on the market, some offer a lot of features for the home studio, but for some live is an important part of their entire workflow and having to invest in both live and studio equipment can get costly.
A few months ago I purchased a PreSonus StudioLive 16.0.2 to use as part of my home studio, in some ways as an expensive mix solution for creating videos. Over time I’ve really started to love it and can see the potential it has for those working in a band who may be looking for a mixer and also a recording interface. It’s not a new product, but for the money (it streets for less than £800) and this is what you get for your money.
PreSonus StudioLive 16.0.2 Main Features
- 16x16 FireWire interface with built in effects
- Capture™ software for rock solid simple live recording
- Studio One Artist™ recording and production software
- Virtual StudioLive (VSL) bidirectional control software. VSL, in turn, incorporates Smaart Measurement Technology™, which makes it easy to analyze and fine-tune your main mix.
- You can control virtually the entire mixer from an iPad® using PreSonus StudioLive Remote, and you can control the aux (monitor) mixes from an iPhone® or iPod touch® using PreSonus QMix™. Both are free downloads from the Apple App Store.
- Virtual StudioLive with Smaart for laptop control, editor/librarian functions, and sound-system analysis and correction
- StudioLive Remote for iPad remote control (available free from the Apple App Store)
- QMix™ for iPhone and iPod touch remote control (available free from the Apple App Store)
- Capture™ for two-click multi-track recording and playback
- Studio One Artist Digital Audio Workstation for enhancing your recordings (and for direct recording from StudioLive 16.0.2 or any compatible interface)
A Lot Of Bang for Your Buck
Forgive me for mixing metaphors but for less than £800 that is a lot of bang for your buck. Just a 16x16 FireWire interface is a good start, but then add in the features such as the Fat Channel with full dynamics and all the software that is part of the ecosystem it makes a compelling case for a one-stop solution for gigging artists.
It works seamlessly with Pro Tools giving 16 channels of I/O which is enough for getting your band down, there’s 12 XLR inputs which is enough to get your drum mics in as well as 4 stereo jacks for keys and other stuff like samplers and drum machines. You can use 8 XLRs and the 4 stereo inputs at one time.
For live work the Capture software is a rock solid recording solution with some really clever features, for example you can’t stop it recording by hitting the keyboard, so no accidents there. There’s also Lockout mode that protects your settings from messed with by would-be sound engineers at a gig. Talking of sound engineers, if you don’t have one then you can mix your band from the stage using an iPad and your band can set their own monitors using their iPhones.
There’s a lot of audio interfaces on the market, some offer a lot of features for the home studio, but for some live is an important part of their entire workflow and having to invest in both live and studio equipment can get costly. If that’s your challenge then check out the PreSonus StudioLive 16.0.2, you may be surprised at how much it has to offer.