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Studiolive AR16 Usb as an audio interface

Posted: Mon Oct 17, 2016 12:49 pm
by PiotrB
Hi,

I know that Studiolive AR16 is capable of recording individual mixer channels via USB but can it be also used as a low latency USB audio interface?
What I have in mind is to get rid of my 8input audio interface and use solely the AR16 as a main audio interface. Does anyone know what the latency is going to be?
And also If I connect the AR16 to a computer, what will I hear coming from the main outputs (or Control room outputs) of AR16 - a raw signal from mixer inputs or a processed by VST plugins signal?

Re: Studiolive AR16 Usb as an audio interface

Posted: Mon Oct 17, 2016 2:13 pm
by SwitchBack
From the block diagram I take that the channel USB sends and returns are pre channel processing. So what goes to the computer are the dry input signals. And what the computer returns will pass tru channel processing first.

No idea what the mixer and driver will add to latency.

Re: Studiolive AR16 Usb as an audio interface

Posted: Tue Oct 18, 2016 11:50 am
by PiotrB
Thanks SwitchBack.
I've looked at the signal flow diagram and it's been helpful.
I only wish we could control the DAW faders with the AR16's ones but that would be too much to ask for the price.
If anyone knows the latency and how solid the ASIO drivers are, I'd be grateful.

Re: Studiolive AR16 Usb as an audio interface

Posted: Thu Oct 20, 2016 8:16 am
by Rickshapiro
Sorry, no answer here but I am interested as well in latency and functionality when used as an audio interface to a DAW.

Re: Studiolive AR16 Usb as an audio interface

Posted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 11:32 am
by patrickwickline
I'd also like to use the AR16 as my main audio interface.

Does the AR16 support zero latency monitoring? I don't see the "Z" in the UI so I assume it doesn't, but can someone from PreSonus confirm? If not I guess I need to use something else for overdubs.

Re: Studiolive AR16 Usb as an audio interface

Posted: Sat Apr 08, 2017 9:30 am
by avaktar
I have been recording and mixing through my AR16 for about a month now, as well as recording live band rehearsals and jam sessions. My previous DAW interface was a MOTU Ultralite Mk2 that died. The AR16 has been a very capable audio interface to date via the USB 2.0 interface.

When I'm mixing audio, I set my block size to 1024 or 2048 and can pile on the effects. The thing is that anything recorded directly into the AR16 (like layering another guitar, bass, or vocal) is processed in 0 latency real time on the mixer, so you don't need it to go to Studio one and return before hearing it. The mixer has a ton of processing power for each channel strip.

The USB return allows 4 incoming channels from the DAW, though I'm just usually returning the processed mains.

When I record with my MIDI interfaces, I switch the block size to 128 to get low latency. To avoid cracking and popping during music production over USB devices that need to route through the computer first, through Studio One, into the AR16 USB channel strip and out to the speakers, I'll turn off heavy plugins like iZotope Ozone or any heavy pulse wave reverb plugins that are on the master bus. Of course, when you are doing heavy electronic music production and have a ton of plugins running, you often need to start freezing tracks or exporting mixdowns to other tracks anyway but that's a CPU power limitation and not the audio interface.

I haven't pushed the mixer into 100+ tracks of effects processef audio, but it has been really responsive for my needs so far.

I hope this helps.

Re: Studiolive AR16 Usb as an audio interface

Posted: Sat Apr 08, 2017 9:40 am
by avaktar
patrickwickline wroteI'd also like to use the AR16 as my main audio interface.

Does the AR16 support zero latency monitoring? I don't see the "Z" in the UI so I assume it doesn't, but can someone from PreSonus confirm? If not I guess I need to use something else for overdubs.


It's 0 latency. When you plug headphones into the headphone jack, anything routing through the mixer is heared in real-time.

One thing I haven't figured out yet is how to light up the headphone jack in Studio One as a separate output from the mains bus. I don't know if that's possible. The 16/17 strip is the USB return and it controls the levels coming in from USB (or Bluetooth). This affects USB volume within the entire mix, and the headphones are playing anything coming into the mixer as soon as it arrives - no latency waiting for a round trip through the computer.

Re: Studiolive AR16 Usb as an audio interface

Posted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:57 am
by donaldhampton1
The AR16 has a serious problem on the digital channel that Presonus will not acknowledge and apparently has no fix for. My board has been back to them three different times and nothing has changed. I would not recommend this board if you care about using the digital channel.

Re: Studiolive AR16 Usb as an audio interface

Posted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:37 am
by SwitchBack
donaldhampton1 wroteThe AR16 has a serious problem on the digital channel that Presonus will not acknowledge and apparently has no fix for. My board has been back to them three different times and nothing has changed. I would not recommend this board if you care about using the digital channel.

Unless you describe the nature of the problem this isn’t very informative. And you would not be the first to expect more than a product was designed for.

Re: Studiolive AR16 Usb as an audio interface

Posted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 10:38 am
by SwitchBack
avaktar wrote
patrickwickline wroteI'd also like to use the AR16 as my main audio interface.

Does the AR16 support zero latency monitoring? I don't see the "Z" in the UI so I assume it doesn't, but can someone from PreSonus confirm? If not I guess I need to use something else for overdubs.


It's 0 latency. When you plug headphones into the headphone jack, anything routing through the mixer is heared in real-time.

One thing I haven't figured out yet is how to light up the headphone jack in Studio One as a separate output from the mains bus. I don't know if that's possible. The 16/17 strip is the USB return and it controls the levels coming in from USB (or Bluetooth). This affects USB volume within the entire mix, and the headphones are playing anything coming into the mixer as soon as it arrives - no latency waiting for a round trip through the computer.

Zero latency is relevant for audio interfaces where the only way to get a signal from input to output is through the computer attached. (The trick used is to have the driver route the inputs back to the outputs, bypassing any other software running on the computer). Mixers (including the ARs) have their own internal routing from inputs to outputs, so no need for tricks.

As for routing a separate signal from computer to mixer headphones: that will cost you channels 15/16 in your mix. Pressing the USB button on channel 15/16 will put USB return channels 3+4 on mixer channels 15/16. Together with USB return channels 1+2 on mixer channels 17/18 that gives you two stereo returns to work with.
Note that the mixer’s analog inputs 15/16 will still go to the computer, for recording and DAW processing. You could even return the signal to the mixer, even though that introduces a little bit of latency :)