Gear for next year: Presonus StudioLive 16.0.2

I’m looking at buying one of these for our high school’s recording studio.  We currently use two Alesis iO|26 interfaces, daisy chained together, for a total of 16 preamps.  WIth the StudioLive, we’d be giving up a couple channels (since the last couple tracks are stereo pairs or single – it’s really a 12-14 channel mixer in practice), but we’d be able to pre-process a lot of the common dynamic issues that come up when recording drumset.

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Here’s how we do it now – when we record drum set and guitars in the studio, we set up the mixer like this:

Channel 1-2 : Guitars

Channel 3-8: Overheads L/R, Snare drum (top/bottom), Kick drum (inside/outside)

Channel 9: Bass

Channel 11: Mid toms

Channel 12: Lo Tom

Channel 13: Room mic

So 9 channels for drums, 2-3 for guitars.  This is when we totally max out – I haven’t found a reason to go over this many channels for the kinds of recordings we do, so no big deal to cut a couple channels.  And who knows?  Maybe I’ll ending using one of those stereo pairs for overhead mics.

After the session is really where I hope the StudioLive will come in handy.  Right now, we mix totally from scratch – the pres are pretty basic and cheap sounding on the Alesis, which really shows on mixed/compressed vocals.  I’m hoping I’ll be able to set up a basic “all purpose” drum mix on the StudioLive which I can use for every session.  That way every mixing project will start at a good place and hopefully only require minimal tweaking.

Why not get the larger, better and more expensive 16.4.2?  Simple – it’s too long.  Our desk/shelf won’t hold it!

Here’s a great review of the newer, smaller 16.0.2 over at Sonicscoop.

Author: Will Kuhn

I teach music technology to high schoolers. I do some other stuff too. @willkuhn on Twitter.

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