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After responses from my first couple of (cross) posts in Thunderbolt and StudioLive Series III sub-forums, I was encouraged to consider a StudioLive 32R. I have been reading forums and specifications, and it's quite a good idea. So without apologies for the length of this post, here are the 3 jobs I need a mixer to do, and I am wondering if a 32R, or possibly even a 24R might do all 3 of them. Thoughts from the experienced would be very much appreciated.

Job 1 - Live Mixer

4/5 piece guitar bands playing pubs and functions, occasionally a little bigger. Acoustic drum kit. Generally around 10 mic inputs, 2-3 line inputs + some way of playing "incidental music" between sets. Outs are stereo FOH + 2 mono monitor mixes, prefer effects onboard but has been very limiting when using powered mixer to date :roll:.

Mixing from the stage while playing guitar, so sound-checks involve a lot of being out FOH, and running back to the desk while I fail to explain to band mates which knob I have just asked them to turn.

Next setup will have active speakers, and was planning on getting a Yamaha MG20XU to go with them. It looks like I could save a whole lot of stage "real estate", and a whole lot of running back to the stage, if I just got a 24R and tablet for remote control. My mobile phone might even do it, but I might need a wi-fi router in the rack whether its phone or tablet for control. Clearly even 24R is about twice the price, but read on, and you'll see why it might be a good investment (aside from giving me more flexibility and some better effects to play with).

Job 2 - Studio interface

So I was initially thinking Quantum, but was baulking at the idea of needing a new PC with Thunderbolt, and 1 or 2 additional mic preamps as a starting point. Studio is set up for 24 x XLR from live room to control room, 12 x 1/4" TRS going back the other way. Will be recording into Studio One Pro via USB if I go this way, and need 3 headphone mixes minimum, would prefer 4 or 5. Probably only need to feed a pair of near-field monitors for the control room, but studio isn't finished yet, so if it sounds like mid-fields can work, would prefer to have that as an additional output option without putting physical switches in. I am kind of relaxed that I might need to record with compressors and EQ that are needed for comfortable monitoring, but would need any reverb/delay added for headphone mixes not to appear in the USB output to Studio One. If I go this route I'll be getting a FaderPort 16 to help control Studio One, and will cope with using PC or tablet to control the rack mixer. If I use a 24R or 32R for this job I am slightly concerned that having a whole bunch of XLR plugs going from nicely integrated multicore into the front, rather than rear of a rack unit will look a bit messy. However it's a whole bunch of good mic preamps and connectivity for a really great price, so I'll probably find a way of living with it if it can do all the above.

Job 3 - Rehearsal interface

I got as far as figuring both of the above could maybe work, and this one should be really easy. The live room will also be used for rehearsal (my bands only, no paying guests!). No Studio One, just direct remote control of the SL 32R/24R for 3 vocal mics, one or 2 acoustic guitars, and a pair of active speakers coming back the other way. I'd like to be able to set this up fairly quickly without unplugging anything in the control room, and to be able to preset any effects and EQ so I can get back to them, and know they might be completely different from the "Live Mixer" settings used for Job 1, but either can be recalled. while this seems the easiest of all the jobs, it's the one that needs to work well, because it's most likely the one that will be most commonly in use.

It looks to me like a StudioLive 24R might fulfil all my performing and recording needs, aside from a few headphone amps and a tablet to control it with. In an alternate reality, it might be that I really need a Quantum, a new PC, and some additional mic preamps, but a SL 16R will do everything I need for live and rehearsal. In short, the StudioLive Rack dream feels a little too good to be true. Can someone tell me what I have missed, or affirm that a 24R or 32R, while not all things to all men, might be most things to this one?

Thanks for any comments or observations!

Liam
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by SwitchBack on Mon Apr 05, 2021 6:08 am
Yes, yes and yes.

The 24R is a complete stand-alone mixer with individual mixes for every output, it has EQ and compressors on every input and output and 4 built-in effects processors. It gives you 24 mic/line inputs, a stereo main out and 12 mono (6 stereo) aux outputs, of which you can dedicate a pair as control room outputs if you wish. It even has an SD card slot you can use to play music from between sets.

Connecting the mixer to a router gives you wifi control of the mixer from tablets and smartphones. Control is for the entire mixer or it can be restricted per tablet/phone to one mono/stereo aux mix, so that every band member can control his/her own mono/stereo aux mix. The USB connection also gives full control of the mixer, apart from being a recording/playback interface. Recording can be pre or post EQ/compression, without effects.

The mixer allows you to store complete mixer setups or parts of it so you can have a list of setups per band or application. This includes the very flexible soft-patching of inputs and outputs, so no need to reach for plugs to move connections.

I have a 32R together with a router in a 3U tunnel case. Safe and easy to transport, quick to set up, with easy access to front and back. In the studio I can put it upright on a side, on the floor, out of sight.

As for the 3 available models note that the 24R and 32R both are the same 32-channel mixer inside, the only difference being the unit’s number of physical connectors. The 16R however is a 16-channel mixer inside and out.
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by wahlerstudios on Mon Apr 05, 2021 6:57 am
Yes, yes and yes - can it be said better...? ;-) The 24 input channels would allow the use of separated channels for the bands. So Band 1 could use channels 1-8, band 2 channels 9-16 and band 3 channels 17-24. And all this in one project and one scene. You can also use a separate scene for each band, which would make switching between the set-ups even easier.

It seems you haven't discovered the meaning of the three magic letters "A", "V" and "B" yet, aka AVB aka network. You can connect one and more EarMix 16M directly to the rack mixer. For studio work and rehearsals the personal mixers are just perfect. I am a real fan of the 16Ms... ;-)

SL16 | 32R | 16R | 3* 16M | SW5E

Apple routers | iPads | Alesis iO Docks | Yamaha S112, S15e, S10e, SM10 | LD Systems Curv 500 | Galaxy Audio Hot Spots | Mac mini | Lenovo Laptop | Studio One Artist 5.1.2 & Pro 3.5.6
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by liamhumberstone on Mon Apr 05, 2021 4:02 pm
Ha ha, Wahlerstudios, definitely old dog and new tricks! I have never even used "in ear" monitoring so far, and AVB I will need to do some research on. But 3 x "Yes"? That makes me very happy.

Because of acoustic drum kit, and a few other things, I will need 12-14 channels for each band, but if I can use scenes or projects to switch between them, that will be fine.

Before I go away and quietly educate myself on connectivity possibilities to avoid wasting everyone's time in this valuable forum, a question on wiring my studio some of you may be able to help with:

I have multicore from stage boxes in live room to control room (x 24), and some outputs going back the other way (x 12). Rooms will be wired on separated rings for mains, and I can ensure none of the cabling establishes unnecessary ground loops. There will also be WiFi in both rooms, and hard wired ethernet connections available in the control room, so UC between rooms should not be an issue. Is there anything else that is an absolute "must have" in physical wiring before the builders start sealing the rooms so they are air-tight? i had been thinking about putting a USB connection or 2 between the rooms, although I am not entirely sure what I might need it for. Suggestions gratefully received if there is anything I need to consider for my Presonusphere studio.

Liam
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by wahlerstudios on Mon Apr 05, 2021 6:23 pm
If there really will be no option to add any cables later on, definitely add a network cable now! PreSonus uses CAT5e, CAT6 or CAT6A cables (a short cable comes with the mixer), which are not expensive. Allow yourself the option of using network in the future. Once you get familiar with the mixer and the Series III ecosystem, you will start moving away from the "good old" cables and use the AVB network with 64 inputs and 64 outputs. It really needs only one Ethernet cable.

SL16 | 32R | 16R | 3* 16M | SW5E

Apple routers | iPads | Alesis iO Docks | Yamaha S112, S15e, S10e, SM10 | LD Systems Curv 500 | Galaxy Audio Hot Spots | Mac mini | Lenovo Laptop | Studio One Artist 5.1.2 & Pro 3.5.6
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by SwitchBack on Tue Apr 06, 2021 3:03 am
I second the network cable from control room to live room. Consider doing this in a way that minimizes the number of connectors between the AVB units, an uninterrupted cable is best. And put it in a pipe/tube so that you can replace the cable if needed. Or do the pipe now and the cable later.

I would also put in a power cable from the control room to a wall socket in the live room. This allows you to run AVB units in both rooms from the same power group, to avoid ground loop issues.
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by liamhumberstone on Tue Apr 06, 2021 4:01 pm
wahlerstudios wroteIf there really will be no option to add any cables later on, definitely add a network cable now!


Not that there is no option for cables later, but soundproofing is quite high end, so thick multilayer walls with sound deadening between the layers, and big cavities between the walls. Getting the cables in now is a good call, and compared to the whole build cost, a network cable I never use will be a very small extravagance. Like you say, I'll end up converted to AVB anyway.

SwitchBack wroteI would also put in a power cable from the control room to a wall socket in the live room. This allows you to run AVB units in both rooms from the same power group, to avoid ground loop issues.


Now that really is another good call! Not just for AVB, because there will be times where I might want rack gear in the live room (like my Fractal guitar amp) connected back through the signal XLRs, and was going to have to remember to use a lead with the screen lifted at the amp end, but still risk making a ground loop of the 2 rooms. This way it can join all the signal grounds to the control room wiring. Fortunately the electrician that is wiring the studio is young, and seems pretty bright, so I think will understand grounding schemes that work for good audio as well as safety as I explain it to him.

Thanks for the helpful advice both of you!

Best

Liam
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by peterbaird on Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:45 pm
Echoing everything already said, there’s even more. Let’s suppose eventually you take advantage of all the capabilities of the mixer while rehearsing—ear mixes controlled by the musicians themselves, song setups that change the effects settings for you automatically, and precisely repeatable preamp gains. In other words, you become reliant on the tech for your performance.

Now you get a call to be one of the opening acts in a festival situation. This is usually a painful experience from a technical standpoint, as the sound people will try to be as nice as they can, but they’ve never seen or heard you before, they have no time to give you, and they’re way more concerned about the headliner.

Offer to bring your own mics and mixer. They will initially be reticent, as it means devolving some control back to you. But you explain your setup is quite compact, all your mics are matched, and you will save them setup time since the monitors are already dialed.

The absolute best-case of this is if the contractor is using an AVB networked system, in which case you can offer them all the individual inputs to mix as they see fit. You can even give them the effects returns on a pair so they don’t have to think. Of course that situation is going to be rare, much more likely to be Dante. If that’s going to happen often, you might be able to justify an AVB-D16 or two.

All this to say that we’re heading into a new world of performance, and of the tools PreSonus is making to meet the need, the 32R may end up being the most revolutionary.

Peter

MacBook Pro 15,1 2.3GHz
Catalina 10.15.7
Mac Pro 5,1 2 x 3.46GHz 64 GB
Mojave 10.14.5
Studio One 5.1.1
StudioLive 32R
Faderport 16
ATOM which I barely understand
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by liamhumberstone on Wed Apr 07, 2021 4:56 pm
peterbaird wroteEchoing everything already said, there’s even more. Let’s suppose eventually you take advantage of all the capabilities of the mixer while rehearsing—ear mixes controlled by the musicians themselves, song setups that change the effects settings for you automatically, and precisely repeatable preamp gains. In other words, you become reliant on the tech for your performance.


Get what you are saying, but within limits Peter. Many of the musicians I play with struggle to turn up with their own 1/4" guitar lead in working condition. Controlling their own monitor mix might be a challenge!

Now you get a call to be one of the opening acts in a festival situation. This is usually a painful experience from a technical standpoint, as the sound people will try to be as nice as they can, but they’ve never seen or heard you before, they have no time to give you, and they’re way more concerned about the headliner.


:) Has definitely been a challenge in the analogue era, and over the years I have been both sides of the mixing desk with this sort of gig. Luckily never had to do stage sound, but friends tell me it can be "difficult".

Offer to bring your own mics and mixer. They will initially be reticent, as it means devolving some control back to you. But you explain your setup is quite compact, all your mics are matched, and you will save them setup time since the monitors are already dialed.


On the receiving end, yes, agree that I would be running for the hills at this point if I was doing FOH. But I think I could be persuasive enough that from the sound engineer's perspective, although it would possibly sound terrible, it wouldn't look like his fault.

The absolute best-case of this is if the contractor is using an AVB networked system, in which case you can offer them all the individual inputs to mix as they see fit. You can even give them the effects returns on a pair so they don’t have to think. Of course that situation is going to be rare, much more likely to be Dante. If that’s going to happen often, you might be able to justify an AVB-D16 or two.


And that, to me is just wild. 3 years ago I had a sound engineer reminding me that there were young ears in the audience, and I needed to be careful with volume from 4x12 guitar cabs. 2 years ago i had figured an FRFR cab gave many more people a good experience, and didn't hurt anyone's ears with the "treble beam". As I handed over the first "direct" XLR, the engineer asked if I wanted guitar in stereo, as he thought it would sound better. We did that thing. It's just better all round, especially with stereo effects through FOH. To have that pre-packaged for a whole band ready for an engineer is mind-blowing to us 1980s musicians. I baulked at all the DI stuff back in the 80s and 90s, because the sound quality was so poor, but it has come of age in a big way lately.

All this to say that we’re heading into a new world of performance, and of the tools PreSonus is making to meet the need, the 32R may end up being the most revolutionary.


Definitely an exciting time, and while the 32R is not exactly cutting edge for recording, it does everything else so well that I am pretty sure it's my starting point for phase 4 of my musical career. None of the previous 3 phases died yet, so it might get some use in those too.

Is one network cable enough? I'm starting to wonder why I bought all that multicore! ;)

Liam
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by peterbaird on Wed Apr 07, 2021 8:27 pm
Is one network cable enough? I'm starting to wonder why I bought all that multicore! ;)


When I built out my truck in 1999 and 2000 digital delivery was way out of the budget, and audio networks were still very primitive. I standardized on the Whirlwind W-4 Mass connector system (because that's what ATK used for their splitters) and spent many thousands of $ on two 150' chunks of 56 pair and all the associated connectorizing. My back is permanently tweaked from running, coiling, and lifting those damn cables for 17 years. I wasn't sorry to sell them.

By the time I stopped operations we were a 128-input Dante destination straight into Pro Tools using fiber and SFP modules. The fiber was MUCH lighter.

Peter

PS--I've had quite good luck getting older musicians to adapt to ears and controlling their own mixes once they understood the concept. And woke up from their naps.

MacBook Pro 15,1 2.3GHz
Catalina 10.15.7
Mac Pro 5,1 2 x 3.46GHz 64 GB
Mojave 10.14.5
Studio One 5.1.1
StudioLive 32R
Faderport 16
ATOM which I barely understand

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