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Author Topic: StudioLive 24.4.2 Pros & Cons  (Read 18702 times)

Jacob Robinson

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StudioLive 24.4.2 Pros & Cons
« on: November 01, 2011, 09:48:34 pm »

I am in the middle of trying to decide on a mixer to recommend for a new PA for our Church.  I have watched a lot of YouTube videos and even the webinar that Presonus did with CCI Solutions on the SL 24.4.2.  Its features are really impressive especially when comparing it to a 25 yr old 16 ch. Peavey with only 2 aux sends and no outboard effects.  My question really regards any cons that the StudioLive might have.  I have narrowed it down to a a A&H GL2400-32 or the StudioLive 24.4.2 I am really trying to not get caught up in features that I will never use, but it is hard when Presonus has marketed this thing to death!

I understand that I am comparing a 32 mic input board with a 24, but if I go analog I might at well get the other 8 inputs for the price difference. We have a very lively and dynamic worship style, (From Jerry Lee Lewis to Chris Tomlin)  I really like the multitracking capabilities that the SL24 has; making a quality CD of our worship music has been kicked around several times.  The virtual sound check feature is also appealing. Also, not having motorized faders DOES NOT bother me, so please leave that out of your opinion since our budget makes motorized faders un-affordable, (except the new Behringer X32 which I am not interested in). As far as inputs are concerned we currently use 14 inputs, so add 5 more for drums, 2 choir, 1 more guitar, 1 bass, and another roaming vocal mic; I get 24 channels that we need AT MOST so 24 inputs will do.

Questions I have on the SL24:

  • Can the auxes be assigned to a fader or are all of them controlled by knobs.
  • Is a computer required during service times?  My idea is that I would use our PC for presentation to integrate with the mixer outside of church then during service the PC would be dedicate to presentation.  I don't think sharing the tasks is a good idea.
  • Does the SL24 have limited routing capabilities? It seems to have fewer faders in the output area than the GL2400.  (very novice comment, but just observation
  • Durabilty wise, how reliable has the mixer proven to be, any hiccups in its short life so far?  Should I expect the same life out the SL24 as a GL2400?


Finally, basically to make a VERY long post short.  Are there reasons why I shouldn't recommend the SL24 vs. the GL2400-32?


**Note I am not open to linking two 16.4.2's and linking two 24.4.2's disables recording.

   
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Taylor Phillips

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Re: StudioLive 24.4.2 Pros & Cons
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2011, 10:41:55 pm »

    • Can the auxes be assigned to a fader or are all of them controlled by knobs.
    • Is a computer required during service times?  My idea is that I would use our PC for presentation to integrate with the mixer outside of church then during service the PC would be dedicate to presentation.  I don't think sharing the tasks is a good idea.
    • Does the SL24 have limited routing capabilities? It seems to have fewer faders in the output area than the GL2400.  (very novice comment, but just observation
    • Durabilty wise, how reliable has the mixer proven to be, any hiccups in its short life so far?  Should I expect the same life out the SL24 as a GL2400?
     
    I'm fairly certain that the Auxes on the SL24 can't be routed to the faders, and that the same is true for the FX returns.  The SL24 does have FX, though, so it would be an added cost to getting the GL2400 if you don't have a unit already.

    What are you wanting a computer to do?  If you just want to run the board, you don't need a computer.  You will if you want to multi-track record the service with it, and you won't want to do that and run a presentation at the same time.

    The GL2400 has 6 auxes, four subgroups, four matrices, left, right, and mono outputs - that's 13 total.  It has two more faders because it has separate left, right and mono faders whereas the SL24 just has one main fader.  The SL24 has 10 auxes, four subgroups, left right and mono outputs - that's 13 again, but really 12 since you can't route things just to the mono bus on it like you can on the GL2400, but your FX sends don't use an aux, so it's like you have two more anyway.

    As far as quality goes, either board, if treated well should last you a long time.  I know GL series boards can handle a bit of abuse, but I don't really know about the Presonus, but most people seem to be quite happy with them. 

    The questions for you would be more what do you need, and what do you feel more comfortable using?  The SL24 doesn't have as many channels, but it does have dynamics on every channel, built-in FX, output equalization, and a fully parametric EQ, none of which are on the GL2400.  The GL2400 is probably a bit easier to explain to a novice volunteer than the SL24, and it may be easier to set up a recording mix on a matrix than multi-track recording everything and mixing it later.  Also, there may very well be times when you need eight more inputs.
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    Brad Weber

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    Re: StudioLive 24.4.2 Pros & Cons
    « Reply #2 on: November 02, 2011, 08:27:49 am »

    The GL2400 has 6 auxes, four subgroups, four matrices, left, right, and mono outputs - that's 13 total.  It has two more faders because it has separate left, right and mono faders whereas the SL24 just has one main fader.  The SL24 has 10 auxes, four subgroups, left right and mono outputs - that's 13 again, but really 12 since you can't route things just to the mono bus on it like you can on the GL2400, but your FX sends don't use an aux, so it's like you have two more anyway.
    6+4+4+1+1+1=17 and 10+4+1+1+1=17.  You are correct that the StudioLive24.4.2 mono output is not a separate bus, simply summed L/R, but the EFX sends are actually two separate additional buses and the Groups can be four mono groups or two stereo pairs while the GL2400 Groups are always two stereo pairs.

    In addition, all 12 Aux and EFX sends of the SL 24.4.2 are assignable pre or post fader with the pre assignment also being selectable between pre-Fader and pre-Compressor/EQ/Limiter or pre-Fader and post-COmpressor/EQ/Limiter.  On the GL2400, without modifying internal jumpers you have two pre-EQ/pre-Fader Aux sends and four switchable pre-EQ/pre-Fader or post-Fader Aux sends (jumpers let you make the first pre-Fader be post-EQ, the first two Auxes selectable pre or post-Fader, Auxes 3 and 4 pre-Fader only or Auxes 5 and 6 post-EQ only).

    You also have to consider total inputs.  They don't have quite the full routing and processing of the 24 regular inputs but in addition to the 24 mono mic/line inputs, the SL 24.4.2 also has two stereo aux returns and the potential of four direct to assigned bus FireWire stereo inputs.  The GL2400-32 has 30 mono mic/line inputs, two mono mic/stereo line inputs and a stereo two track return.  If you have multiple stereo sources including a computer and can live with the limited routing and processing associated with some of the inputs, the difference between the nominal 24 and 32 numbers might not be as much of a factor.

    Before it sounds like I am suggesting that the StudioLive 24.4.2 is the better option, there may be some other aspects to consider.  Being able to see the Group, Aux and even Main assignments and levels for only one selected channel at a time can be less than ideal.  And that is typical of one of the common general considerations of analog versus digital.  An analog console usually gives a direct representation of all of the routing, assignments and levels, while in comparison a digital console will often offer more flexible routing and assignments but ascertaining the current settings or making changes may require going through multiple steps or menus.

    The ability to save and recall Scenes is often a major factor in people considering digital consoles.  You say that the non-motorized faders of the StudioLive are not a factor but also consider that since the controls are not motorized and thus do not physically adjust, when a Scene is recalled the position of the rotary knobs for the Aux and EFX sends, and in fact any rotary controls, may have no relevance to the actual levels.  And if you adjust a rotary pot after a Scene Recall then instead of adjusting the level starting from the current level it will immediately change from whatever level it was at to the current setting of the control.  I find potentially getting a false representation of the aux and EFX send levels more of a detriment to effective Scene functionality for the StudioLive than the non-motorized faders, especially if you have less experienced users or ones unfamiliar with the console.  Imagine someone struggling to figure out why they're getting feedback when the related mic is not going to that monitor, or is it and it just doesn't look like it is?
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    Jacob Robinson

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    Re: StudioLive 24.4.2 Pros & Cons
    « Reply #3 on: November 02, 2011, 08:51:23 am »

    when a Scene is recalled the position of the rotary knobs for the Aux and EFX sends, and in fact any rotary controls, may have no relevance to the actual levels.  And if you adjust a rotary pot after a Scene Recall then instead of adjusting the level starting from the current level it will immediately change from whatever level it was at to the current setting of the control.  I find potentially getting a false representation of the aux and EFX send levels more of a detriment to effective Scene functionality for the StudioLive than the non-motorized faders, especially if you have less experienced users or ones unfamiliar with the console.  Imagine someone struggling to figure out why they're getting feedback when the related mic is not going to that monitor, or is it and it just doesn't look like it is?


    So if I am understanding this correctly (there's a good chance I'm not) if I recall a scene all the aux and EFX send levels will be recalled until I try to adjust them, then they will jump from where they were recalled to, to wherever the knob is located as soon as I move it?

    Are there any places that stock these boards?, I'd love to physically try one out, the is a Guitar Center near me, but they never stock them.

    Another question?  Are all of the knobs that adjust Fat Channel levels infinitely rotable in either direction?  Is this how scene recall is made possible?  i.e. there ar no positive stops at 7 and 5 o'clock like a traditional knob?  But in the case of the gain knobs, EFX returns, and AUX returns, these knobs are limited as in their location represents the same level everytime?  I am sure this is hard to follow, I am just trying to see the board in my head.
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    Taylor Phillips

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    Re: StudioLive 24.4.2 Pros & Cons
    « Reply #4 on: November 02, 2011, 11:01:53 am »

     
    6+4+4+1+1+1=17 and 10+4+1+1+1=17.  You are correct that the StudioLive24.4.2 mono output is not a separate bus, simply summed L/R, but the EFX sends are actually two separate additional buses and the Groups can be four mono groups or two stereo pairs while the GL2400 Groups are always two stereo pairs.
    My brain doesn't work quite as well late at night I guess, and I forgot to count the subgroups.  That is a good point about the SL's groups ability to be mono instead of pairs and could be quite a big deal to some.

    So if I am understanding this correctly (there's a good chance I'm not) if I recall a scene all the aux and EFX send levels will be recalled until I try to adjust them, then they will jump from where they were recalled to, to wherever the knob is located as soon as I move it?
    This is the case for the aux masters, but not the aux mixes. 
    Quote
    Another question?  Are all of the knobs that adjust Fat Channel levels infinitely rotable in either direction?  Is this how scene recall is made possible?  i.e. there ar no positive stops at 7 and 5 o'clock like a traditional knob?
    Yes.
    Quote
      But in the case of the gain knobs, EFX returns, and AUX returns, these knobs are limited as in their location represents the same level everytime? 
    The gain knobs' physical location always indicates their level, they are not recallable. The other knobs with physical indicators can have their level recalled, but jump to the level that is indicated physically when adjusted. The only ones that I think would change much would be the FX, and you can adjust them using a subgroup and not touch the knob if you want. 

    Quote from: Brad Weber
    I find potentially getting a false representation of the aux and EFX send levels more of a detriment to effective Scene functionality for the StudioLive than the non-motorized faders, especially if you have less experienced users or ones unfamiliar with the console.  Imagine someone struggling to figure out why they're getting feedback when the related mic is not going to that monitor, or is it and it just doesn't look like it is?
    This is more of a digital/analog problem than a StudioLive problem.  All of the digital mixers I've used can only indicate one overall mix at a time, whether it's the main mix or an aux mix - you have to select a mix to see it, you have to select a channel to see to what it has been assigned.

    I've heard Guitar Centers and the like in some places stock the 16 channel version, but I don't know about anywhere in Ohio.  It doesn't have as much to offer as the 24, but works the same way and could give you a good indication of how the 24 will feel.
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    Frank DeWitt

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    Re: StudioLive 24.4.2 Pros & Cons
    « Reply #5 on: November 02, 2011, 01:32:56 pm »


    Another question?  Are all of the knobs that adjust Fat Channel levels infinitely rotable in either direction?  Is this how scene recall is made possible?  i.e. there ar no positive stops at 7 and 5 o'clock like a traditional knob?  But in the case of the gain knobs, EFX returns, and AUX returns, these knobs are limited as in their location represents the same level everytime?  I am sure this is hard to follow, I am just trying to see the board in my head.

    Yes,  The knobs go round and round, and they are encoders, not pots, so the adjustment you recall doesn't depend on there position, and if you touch them, it will not jump,  Just adjust normally. 

    This is not the case with the faders. Recall a scene and the faders don't move, and if you touch them the level will jump, but there is a mode where the meters become fader position indicators, You move each fader to the right position, then touch a button saying "I am ready now, activate the faders", then go.   I looked closely at the StudeoLive but I knew I wanted to make use of a lot of scenes changes during the church service and there is a short silence during a scene change that I couldn't live with  Also I wanted more mixes and more outputs.  I chose SAC instead. 

    Frank
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    Re: StudioLive 24.4.2 Pros & Cons
    « Reply #6 on: November 02, 2011, 01:40:10 pm »

    I am in the middle of trying to decide on a mixer to recommend for a new PA for our Church.  I have watched a lot of YouTube videos and even the webinar that Presonus did with CCI Solutions on the SL 24.4.2.  Its features are really impressive especially when comparing it to a 25 yr old 16 ch. Peavey with only 2 aux sends and no outboard effects.  My question really regards any cons that the StudioLive might have.  I have narrowed it down to a a A&H GL2400-32 or the StudioLive 24.4.2 I am really trying to not get caught up in features that I will never use, but it is hard when Presonus has marketed this thing to death!

    I understand that I am comparing a 32 mic input board with a 24, but if I go analog I might at well get the other 8 inputs for the price difference. We have a very lively and dynamic worship style, (From Jerry Lee Lewis to Chris Tomlin)  I really like the multitracking capabilities that the SL24 has; making a quality CD of our worship music has been kicked around several times.  The virtual sound check feature is also appealing. Also, not having motorized faders DOES NOT bother me, so please leave that out of your opinion since our budget makes motorized faders un-affordable, (except the new Behringer X32 which I am not interested in). As far as inputs are concerned we currently use 14 inputs, so add 5 more for drums, 2 choir, 1 more guitar, 1 bass, and another roaming vocal mic; I get 24 channels that we need AT MOST so 24 inputs will do.

    Questions I have on the SL24:

    • Can the auxes be assigned to a fader or are all of them controlled by knobs.
    • Is a computer required during service times?  My idea is that I would use our PC for presentation to integrate with the mixer outside of church then during service the PC would be dedicate to presentation.  I don't think sharing the tasks is a good idea.
    • Does the SL24 have limited routing capabilities? It seems to have fewer faders in the output area than the GL2400.  (very novice comment, but just observation
    • Durabilty wise, how reliable has the mixer proven to be, any hiccups in its short life so far?  Should I expect the same life out the SL24 as a GL2400?


    Finally, basically to make a VERY long post short.  Are there reasons why I shouldn't recommend the SL24 vs. the GL2400-32?


    **Note I am not open to linking two 16.4.2's and linking two 24.4.2's disables recording.

       

    Any such decision depends completely on your application, both current and future.  This kind of means that your question is rather broad to get really good answers.  A particular strength or weakness of any console is dependent on your particular application, so without knowing absolutely EVERYTHING about your situation all opinions/experiences are a tad moot, there validity to the poster notwithstanding.

    I have used the SLive 24:4:2 for many things and where it was the right tool for the job it was outstanding.  Does this mean it's right for you?

    Perhaps.
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    Jacob Robinson

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    Re: StudioLive 24.4.2 Pros & Cons
    « Reply #7 on: November 02, 2011, 03:21:10 pm »

    Too bad I did not get 4 answers of "Go with the StudioLive" or "Go with the A&H" but then again, there would be no point in forums like these if answers were always cut and dry!


    Another question involving outboard equipment:

    What outboard equipment would still need to be purchased to go along with the SL24?  Will I still need a loud speaker management system like a DriveRack or something similar, or do modern amplifiers like the Crown XTi series have that built in?  Are the EQ's on the SL24 sufficient to EQ a room??  I have read where some guys still use their own outboard signal processors, but our current system has no compression, external EQ or EFX; so the built in options on the SL24 will be fine.


    I am trying to see how much equipment the SL24 would actually replace (realistically, I would never buy 24 channels of compression for a 24 ch. Board, but something like the ACP-88 is $800) , I know I would need no outboard compressors, gates, limiters, or EFX, but what else would it replace if anything?
    « Last Edit: November 02, 2011, 03:23:45 pm by Jacob Robinson »
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    Re: StudioLive 24.4.2 Pros & Cons
    « Reply #8 on: November 02, 2011, 03:38:56 pm »

    Too bad I did not get 4 answers of "Go with the StudioLive" or "Go with the A&H" but then again, there would be no point in forums like these if answers were always cut and dry!

    To get such an answer you would have to give a complete description of your needs both current and anticipated.  I haven't seen that yet....

    Quote
    Another question involving outboard equipment:

    What outboard equipment would still need to be purchased to go along with the SL24?  Will I still need a loud speaker management system like a DriveRack or something similar, or do modern amplifiers like the Crown XTi series have that built in?

    Speaker management systems are independent of the functions of the typical sound console, so the answer would be yes......IF your system and usage requires DSP.  We got along without these things for many years....

    Quote
    Are the EQ's on the SL24 sufficient to EQ a room??

    You can't "EQ a room".....you can only EQ your system to sound its best in any given space.  The proper way to accomplish the best coverage and system response is addressed by the selection of the proper system, the proper placement and adjustment thereof with DSP.  This is not for the beginner....but keep studying on it.
    Quote
    I have read where some guys still use their own outboard signal processors, but going from a system with no compression, external EQ or EFX; the built in options will be fine.

    If the onboard processing is not sufficient to your needs, then you've bought the wrong mixer.  Pricier consoles offer more powerful processing.
    Quote

    I am trying to see how much equipment the SL24 would actually replace (realistically, I would never buy 24 channels of compression for a 24 ch. Board, but something like the ACP-88 is $800) , I know I would need no outboard compressors, gates, limiters, or EFX, but what else would it replace if anything?

    What else is there? 

    IME, the StudioLive series will function fine for general use.  The only thing I carry with me is a small rack of Sabine GraphiQ's which I prefer to use for monitor and system EQ.  However, the upgrades to the EQ capability on the 24 over the 16 are sufficient to let me leave the Sabine rack at home.  I carry it out of habit or the need to have the ability to run delay rings.

    If two effects aren't enough (and this would be common), then you can always carry another outboard EFX unit.  You'll give up a potential monitor aux or two to feed it, though.
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    Jacob Robinson

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    Re: StudioLive 24.4.2 Pros & Cons
    « Reply #9 on: November 02, 2011, 05:42:10 pm »

    To get such an answer you would have to give a complete description of your needs both current and anticipated.  I haven't seen that yet....


    I hope that did not come across wrong, I meant it as to poke some fun at what we all love about forums,  sarcasm is hard to convey in text :).


    As to what our needs are and anticipated:  I feel like I am in a "anything is better than what we have" situation.  Also other than reading online I don't know what is out there to say we need this and that.  I am just trying to make sure we get the best system for our tight budget.



    I just met with another Audio firm that was pushing the Yamaha MG32FX for the "bang for your buck" you get with it, but I am leery he is pushing this because he is most comfortable with it, not because it is best for our application.


    Thanks again for all of the input you guys have added.  I think I will make the hour drive to play around on a SL16.4.2, it would probably be worth the time.
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    Re: StudioLive 24.4.2 Pros & Cons
    « Reply #9 on: November 02, 2011, 05:42:10 pm »


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