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Author Topic: Presonus might have something this time! New 64 channel mixer.  (Read 2252 times)

Luke Geis

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Presonus has always seemed to me, to be ahead of the curve, but always behind the mark. They had a really cool idea with the Studiolive mixers, but without motorized faders and a real scene recall function, it was basically an expensive analog mixer with digital features. A couple of years ago they finally got with the program and made the Studiolive with motorized faders, but not much else that was worth calling home about. Now they might actually have something.

They just released the new Studiolive III series consoles a couple/few weeks ago and the one that has my interest piqued is the 64S. It is a 76 input mixer of which 64 are from any combination of the physical onboard inputs and the AVB stage boxes while the last 12 are between the FX returns, aux ins, RCA ins, and even a USB and SD card input option. So essentially a 64 input mixer with ways to get playback and other spare inputs into it. What is also cool is that they have a modular stage box system that is ready to go and scalable. You can connect four stage boxes and the mixer directly with one PoE enabled switch that also has a port to connect a router for wireless control. The stage boxes have an A and a B port so you can daisy chain two stage boxes together for a total of 8 stage boxes connected to the AVB switch. The stage boxes are sized pretty well being just a tad bigger than a typical stage drop ( not factoring Whirlwinds W1 modular stage drops of course ). They have IEC connectors which are a downer but they are at least locking IEC connections.

The 64s has a total of 43 mix busses of which 32 are what they call " FLEX" mixes that can be either Aux, Matrix or Sub-Groups. The rest are the FX returns ( also FLEX mixes ??? ) and then, of course, your L/R and mono bus. It stands to reason you can route the mixes to any output port on the mixer and stage boxes, although they don't outright state that fact. What it also doesn't state is if there is a certain number of say Sub-Groups or Matrix mixes you can run. Again it seems to suggest you can run the 32 busses in any configuration you desire which for IEM's could be an amazing option. The mixer also has 24 DCA's which is nice if you manage to fill up all 64 inputs.

One feature that I sort of bashed A&H for with their SQ line is the Plugins option. Presonus also has a Plugin bundle that includes one free set and of course other plugin sets cost a nominal fee. With A&H having released and then discontinuing the GLD mixer within a fairly short period of time, it makes me wonder how safe it is to invest that money on a plugin that only works on their new SQ mixer. Presonus has one up their sleeve though. The new StudioLive III mixers come with a version of the Studio One recording software ( didn't read up on if it was the full blown version or not ). The plugins you buy to use for the mixer are also able to be used with the Studio One DAW software, so at the very least you can still use it without the mixer. This seems to me to be less of a sting on spending the money for a plugin. The plugins for the StudioLive III mixers are available on every input and all output buses as an insert. Another plus is that you can run an instance of those plugin options on all inputs and outputs at the same time!!!! You also don't lose any functionality of any of the other onboard processing which includes a 31 band GEQ for every output bus as well. The GEQ on every bus isn't a huge deal, but having it not have to eat up an insert point is better. What I don't know is if there is also PEQ on the outputs? If there isn't PEQ standard on the mix buses it would be a bummer to have to set up an insert for all of them..... The GEQ as the primary EQ would be less than stellar. If you know, please chime in about how its configured.

Lastly is the onboard recording and virtual soundcheck option that is part of the mixer. The onboard SD card slot can do a 34X34 recording/playback for virtual soundcheck and of course recording. While Virtual soundcheck isn't a huge deal, at least you can do it and the mixer has this slot setup to do exactly that. Another neat feature is that when you save the recording it also includes the mixers scene data. This is only useful if you use the Studio One DAW software which the mixer can be used as a hardware mixing surface for. Like the X32 can be used to control other software, the StudioLive III is set up to fully control the Studio One software! So if you do live recordings a lot ( which I do ) this is really a way to make life a little easier.

Anyway, I was just a little bit excited about this new player in the field. It is priced pretty competitively which also adds to its appeal. The 64S is going for around $4,000 and the stage boxes and switch are $800, $600 and $400 respectively. For around $6,000 you can have a 32 channel system with two stage boxes. The plugins are not too bad with teh most expensive bundle going for $250. In either case I would like to hear your thoughts on this new player in the game.

Links:

https://www.presonus.com/products/StudioLive-64S

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/SL64S--presonus-studiolive-64s-64-channel-digital-mixer

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Roland Clarke

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Re: Presonus might have something this time! New 64 channel mixer.
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2019, 03:03:07 am »

I have one of their forerunners that I use for small scale jobs, namely an RM32.  Sonically itís sweet sounding and operationally itís well thought out.  The bad is notoriously bad power supply design, not a cheap fix, limited to four fx returns, patchy connectivity, sometimes it will, sometimes you need to randomly reboot and some random software glitches where things change, can also be sluggish with bad control fader lag.

Iím sure that the new consoles are much better and I like the AVB they now offer.  The plugin packs are not that cheap and I think itís debatable charging for this stuff as an extra.  I donít like the layout of the new rack mixers, with 8 inputs on the back and aux returns on jacks.  Not sure of the value of having mic inputs on the console, except obviously at a push you would have total redundancy should either your console or your rack mixer go down.

Just things to ponder if you are thinking about going this way.
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Scott Slater

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Re: Presonus might have something this time! New 64 channel mixer.
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2019, 07:49:56 am »

One big thing that they missed again, is not supporting an external option card for things like Dante.  They promised Dante back with their AI series, and never delivered.  Vaporware seems to be a trend with Presonus and why I don't personally care for them much.
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John Schalk

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Re: Presonus might have something this time! New 64 channel mixer.
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2019, 12:09:55 pm »

I just looked over their product pages for the series III range.  I wish that the processing power, or at least the 43 mix busses of the 64s, were available in the 32SX form factor.  That would really separate their 32 channel mixer from the rest of the pack.  It's nice to see a manufacturer continue to make improvements in this space. 
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lindsay Dean

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Re: Presonus might have something this time! New 64 channel mixer.
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2019, 01:50:41 pm »

Ah presonus, watching everybody else's tail lights and trying to figure how to almost hit the mark next🤔.........pass
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John L Nobile

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Re: Presonus might have something this time! New 64 channel mixer.
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2019, 02:24:18 pm »

Seems like it has software instrument plugins. Synths and drum machines.

https://www.presonus.com/products/Studio-Magic

I would think that it's geared towards the home studio or the band using trax crowd. I'd look at it if the show I was in was still running.
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Michael Lawrence

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Re: Presonus might have something this time! New 64 channel mixer.
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2019, 02:35:02 pm »

Unless I'm misunderstanding the documentation (which is a distinct possibility), there's no way to get post-EQ but pre-dynamics tap point to sends. That seems very problematic for running monitors from FOH.
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Luke Geis

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Re: Presonus might have something this time! New 64 channel mixer.
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2019, 08:05:53 pm »

They are switchable on a per channel basis. It is buried in the menu though apparently. Select channel hit channel settings and then it is an option in the channel settings menu.
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Michael Lawrence

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Re: Presonus might have something this time! New 64 channel mixer.
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2019, 11:24:55 pm »

They are switchable on a per channel basis. It is buried in the menu though apparently. Select channel hit channel settings and then it is an option in the channel settings menu.

From the manual:

Pre 1: Sends each channel to the Aux bus after the polarity invert, high-pass filter, and gate.
Pre 2: Sends each channel to the aux bus after all Fat Channel processing (polarity invert, high-pass filter, gate, compressor, EQ, and limiter) but before the fader.

Seems there is no way to get EQ into the wedges without having the compression in there as well.
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Re: Presonus might have something this time! New 64 channel mixer.
¬ę Reply #9 on: April 26, 2019, 11:24:55 pm ¬Ľ


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