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Author Topic: Si Expression vs StudioLive  (Read 17264 times)

Richard Carter

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Si Expression vs StudioLive
« on: April 17, 2013, 07:04:32 pm »

Our church is replacing a 15 yr old Mackie SR24-4 and we are looking at the Soundcraft Si Expression 2 and the Presonus Studio Live 24.4.2.

I own a 16 channel Presonus so am familiar with it but have no experience with the Si Expression.  Some of the major differences I see are:
Si Expression - motorized faders, no firewire recording I/F, live venue history
StudioLive - good recording, no motorized faders, slightly funky monitor mixing

Can anyone give me feedback on these two boards in a church setting.  Typical service is 1-3 guitars, occasional drum kit (electric w stereo, not full micing), live piano, 2 choir mics, 2 - 5 vocalists on individual mics, 3 - 4 pastors/speakers on wireless, lectern, one overflow location and 2 monitor mixes.
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Tommy Peel

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Re: Si Expression vs StudioLive
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2013, 07:37:16 pm »

You should look into the Behringer x32 also. It has motorized faders and firewire/usb multi-track. The one in installed at my parents church has been great.

Sent from my Milestone X using Tapatalk 2

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g'bye, Dick Rees

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Re: Si Expression vs StudioLive
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2013, 07:38:48 pm »

Our church is replacing a 15 yr old Mackie SR24-4 and we are looking at the Soundcraft Si Expression 2 and the Presonus Studio Live 24.4.2.

I own a 16 channel Presonus so am familiar with it but have no experience with the Si Expression.  Some of the major differences I see are:
Si Expression - motorized faders, no firewire recording I/F, live venue history
StudioLive - good recording, no motorized faders, slightly funky monitor mixing

Can anyone give me feedback on these two boards in a church setting.  Typical service is 1-3 guitars, occasional drum kit (electric w stereo, not full micing), live piano, 2 choir mics, 2 - 5 vocalists on individual mics, 3 - 4 pastors/speakers on wireless, lectern, one overflow location and 2 monitor mixes.

Do you need motorized faders?

Do you need to record?

Funky how?
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Richard Carter

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Re: Si Expression vs StudioLive
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2013, 07:50:38 pm »

Do you need motorized faders?

- We have three distictly different services so the motorized would be a little simpler than the manual recall on the Presonus.

Do you need to record?

- Mostly just 2 track for sermon but 3-4 programs a year (Christmas, Easter..) where we would like multitrack.

Funky how?

- Just the way the level LEDs serve multiple functions and you have to be sure you have selected the correct options on each Aus channel before you set levels.
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g'bye, Dick Rees

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Re: Si Expression vs StudioLive
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2013, 09:49:24 pm »

- We have three distinctly different services so the motorized would be a little simpler than the manual recall on the Presonus.

It's not so much the faders as the input gains.  Even then they have to be checked because everything is never exactly the same.....   There is no "auto-mixer" that requires no checks and adjustments.

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- Mostly just 2 track recording for sermon but 3-4 programs a year (Christmas, Easter..) where we would like multitrack.

I don't know about recording on the Soundcraft.  It's dead easy on the Presonus, though.

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(funky monitors)
- Just the way the level LEDs serve multiple functions and you have to be sure you have selected the correct options on each Aus channel before you set levels.

You must engage the "Mix" button to dial in each channel to that particular Aux.
The correct LED display is automatically selected when you engage the "Mix" button for each Aux.  It doesn't get simpler than that. 

For those moving from analog to digital, the Presonus is the easiest I know.  In fact, I don't even consider it to be a fully "digital" board.  More like "digi-log" or a digital realm sound processor with a distinctly analog layout and feel.
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Samuel Rees

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Si Expression vs StudioLive
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2013, 10:32:40 pm »

Si does require an additional purchase to make recording easy, but both options come with serious additional functionality: 1 - MADI card will do multitrack along with a MADI computer interface, plus allow you to add Soundcraft's digital snake (which also can also turn your 24 channel desk into a 40+ channel desk) 2 - Dante will do multitrack with no special hardware besides a gigabit Ethernet port (which is nice), and includes all the advantages of Dante networked audio as well.

IMHO, unless the Si is too difficult for the operators you have to handle, it's a pretty clear win for the Si. EDIT for clarity: that sounded derogatory, but O didn't mean it to be. If volunteer operators ease of use are of prime importance, the Presonus is pretty darn easy to use. If operators are able to have a little training, IMHO the Si is a clear win. Flying faders, total recall, four FX engines, remote control via iPad with no computer attached, lots of options for expanding inputs and I/O, or a FOH/Mon split down the road.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2013, 10:42:07 pm by Samuel Rees »
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Tim Weaver

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Re: Si Expression vs StudioLive
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2013, 10:58:37 pm »

The SI expression is a real mid-market console for real engineers. The SL is a dumbed-down console for bands who mix themselves. You decide which best fits your church. Both will do the job.
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Jason Lucas

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Re: Si Expression vs StudioLive
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2013, 06:52:56 pm »

The general opinion of the Si Compact and Performer boards seems to be that they're not that great. Haven't heard much about the expression other than that there was a lot of anticipation for it right before it came out. I'd personally like to hear what people who have used it think of it.

The only thing I don't like about the Expression is also the only thing I don't like about the StudioLive (and one of several things I don't like about the Roland boards): No LED scribble strips.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2013, 07:03:49 pm by Jason Lucas »
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Tim Weaver

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Re: Si Expression vs StudioLive
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2013, 07:12:47 pm »

The general opinion of the Si Compact and Performer boards seems to be that they're not that great. Haven't heard much about the expression other than that there was a lot of anticipation for it right before it came out. I'd personally like to hear what people who have used it think of it.

The only thing I don't like about the Expression is also the only thing I don't like about the StudioLive (and one of several things I don't like about the Roland boards): No LED scribble strips.

the SI Performer has scribble strips.
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Nicolas Poisson

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Re: Si Expression vs StudioLive
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2013, 04:22:52 am »

the SI Performer has scribble strips.

But the price difference between SI-Performer and SI-Expression is much too high compared to what you get IMHO (full parametric on low and high bands, scrib, DMX toy). I think there are better competitors in the Performer price range (GLD-80). The price of the performer should be much too high for the OP anyway.

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The general opinion of the Si Compact and Performer boards seems to be that they're not that great.

Funny how this is subjective. My feeling is that these boards are great according to the general opinion. They were great when launched, they were even greater at less than half the initial price. What wasn't great is the price drop for people having paid the initial price.
However I guess one have to define what "great" means first.

Given the fact that the SI-Expression allows to recall everything including preamps gain, I think it wins other the SL. The SI is very easy to use and can be learned in 5 minutes. The brand new A&H QU-16 is another choice.
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Re: Si Expression vs StudioLive
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2013, 04:22:52 am »


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