StudioLive AR8, AR12 and AR16 Hybrid Mixers
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I love the AR16 for it's multitrack capabilities. However, the routing options seem to be really limited. We still want to be able to add reverb to vocals and maybe a little to the guitar, or overall mix. What the AR series is really lacking is onboard compression and insert routing. If we want to add compression to vocals, kick, snare and duck the overall instrument mix behind the vocals, and still have monitor mixes, it's nearly impossible.

The options I see are:
a) insert a compressor to track 1 and 2 on two instruments and use a mic pre-amp with built-in compression for vocals, then still have access to internal FX for reverb
b) Use external FX for reverb and overall compression, which means anything going into FX will be affected uniformly
c) Use external FX to compress the mix with vocals on track 1 and the insert running to a sidechain to duck the compressor
d) eat up an Aux/Mon to sidechain and route the compressor there back to a track (like 13/14)
e) Just buy a Yamaha mixer for Live and lose the multitrack capability of the AR16, which sort of defeats the purpose

Another option I considered is use 15/16 with USB 3/4 switch, run everything through Studio One on a PC, patch all my effects in software on buses and return to 3/4 to mix that way.

It's actually quite frustrating.. any ideas?
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by SwitchBack on Fri Apr 14, 2017 2:37 pm
Well, it always helps to read the manual before buying the product.

In that spirit I can recommend the StudioLive Series III manuals, the one for the StudioLive16 in particular. Does all you want and more :)
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by avaktar on Fri Apr 14, 2017 8:54 pm
I know, I've read and watched every single thing I could find on the III series. I love that mixer, and I'll eventually end up with one. But it's not a reasonable jump, from $600 to $2000 for the reason that the Yamaha analog (with stereo track USB) at 16 channels is cheaper than the AR16, has compressors across the board and extra Aux bus routing, and more monitor outs. The other major factor that came into play with my decision to go with the AR16 was its form factor. It's small, something like 14 lbs, and has a lot of inputs. The multi-tracking capabilities and integration with Capture and ability to act as a DAW interface is where it outshines others in the price-point.

But next revision needs to either add more routes or some compression to the buses, I think that would make the AR even more competitive.

The way I can justify the StudioLive 16 III is that I was going to spend $450 on the Faderport8 and end up spending $600 on outboard compression/reverb if I were to add it to the AR16. By the time I recoup some cash selling the AR16, I'm only about $400 from the StudioLive16 III anyway.

The drawback I see is the additional weight and size of it, and taking it to gigs outdoors. It's a $2000 piece of equipment that I just don't know if I'll feel comfortable using live all the time. The band will probably end up with multiple mixers :(

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