Digital mixing: the next generation
With a powerful user interface, unrivaled sound quality, amazing DSP performance, direct Wi-Fi and LAN communication, fast and intuitive workflow, onboard FireWire s800 interface, and tightly integrated software suite for Mac®, Windows®, and iOS®, StudioLive™ AI-series digital mixers create a streamlined working environment for both live and studio use.
Redesigned from the ground up, these state-of-the-art mixers provide analog workflow with extensive dual signal processing on every channel and bus and actively integrated software that solves real-world problems and lets you record and distribute what you mix. Configurable networking and communications option cards ensure your investment won’t be outdated as new technologies emerge. In short, StudioLive AI-series mixers deliver the very best in digital mixing and recording technology and make it all incredibly intuitive and easy to learn and use.
The future is Active Integration™
StudioLive AI-series mixers start with all the strengths that made the first generation of StudioLive mixers famous: powerful, surface-driven interface; loads of DSP processing and analog I/O; and layerless mixing, thanks to dedicated mix buses. Then they push the technology to the next level. So while the three StudioLive AI-series mixers — the StudioLive 32.4.2AI, 24.4.2AI, and 16.4.2AI —look and feel much like their non-AI counterparts, they have been reengineered from the ground up with far more capabilities and computing power. The difference is Active Integration™ (AI), a complete, networked, tightly integrated hardware/software ecosystem in which every touch point in the system communicates to enhance the user experience and solve practical problems in ways not previously possible.
Active Integration products combine powerful 32-bit floating-point DSP, wireless and wired networking, USB 2.0 connectivity, and proprietary software to solve real-world live-sound and studio problems. PreSonus leads the industry in hardware/software integration, and Active Integration takes this concept to a new level, offering high-end capabilities that have never been available before.
Current Active Integration products employ cutting-edge OMAP™ L138 processors — a whole computer on a chip. These 32-bit, 96 kHz multi-stream CPUs operate at 350 MHz and feature an operating system, 100 Mb Ethernet communications, USB 2.0 and 1.1, and lavish amounts of high-speed RAM. In PreSonus StudioLive™ AI-series digital mixers, Active Integration technology includes powerful Wi-Fi remote control over a variety of features, using free Mac®, Windows®, and iPad® software. In addition, Active Integration enables standard Ethernet communications and optional Dante and AVB networking, making possible extremely flexible, powerful, networked systems.
Thanks to Active Integration, the StudioLive AI-series mixers have 64 times the processing power and an incredible 10,000 times more RAM than the previous top-of-the-line StudioLive 24.4.2. This makes possible an extended feature set, including twice as many internal effects buses, and the ability to create two complete sets of EQ and dynamics settings for a channel and then make quick A/B comparisons at the touch of a button. The powerful CPU inside each StudioLive AI mixer lets us take advantage of key parts of the highly regarded Studio One audio engine. We're able to use the same 64-bit coefficients for the summing engine, EQ, and dynamics. Basically, we've actively integrated the things that make Studio One sound so good into these mixers. The result is a bigger sound, better stereo imaging, and more detailed audio.
With Active Integration, new features and enhancements can be added in future firmware and software updates—and PreSonus has earned a reputation for regularly supplying such updates in its digital products. But Active Integration doesn’t stop with hardware. The new StudioLive AI software suite has also been redesigned to take advantage of the new networking features.
Actively integrated software.
PreSonus StudioLive AI-series mixers are tightly integrated with an entire suite of free, state-of-the-art software that helps you mix and record better and have more fun doing it. No other digital mixer anywhere near this price class comes close with respect to software integration and features. In fact, most digital mixers in much higher price classes don’t come close.
StudioLive AI Software Library
The StudioLive AI Software Library has been redesigned for the Active Integration platform and comprises the latest version of our tightly integrated software bundle for Mac and Windows: Capture™ 2.1 multitrack-recording software, Studio One Artist® 2.6 DAW, and Virtual StudioLive-AI editor/librarian/control software with Smaart Measurement Technology™.
In addition, StudioLive Remote-AI control software for iPad® and QMix™-AI aux-mix control for iPhone®/iPod® touch are available free from the Apple App Store. All of these applications are designed to communicate with each other and with the mixer. This means that you can now save and load scenes with Capture™ 2.1 and share presets between the Fat Channel plug-in in Studio One 2.6 and VSL-AI. Channel names entered in SL Remote-AI are broadcast throughout the network (including Capture), so you only have to name a channel once—and you can name it from anywhere, including the StudioLive AI mixer!
Here’s a level of integration you won’t get anywhere else: When you record with Capture 2.1, you have the option of saving the StudioLive AI mixer scene along with the Capture Session. Studio One 2.6 can import Capture Sessions seamlessly, and when you import a Capture Session that includes a StudioLive AI mixer scene, the Studio One mixer is set to match your StudioLive AI mix scene, including fader values, mutes, pan, and FX send mixes. Fat Channel settings are loaded into Studio One’s new Fat Channel Native Effects™ plug-in. Now you can listen to your mix on your laptop, just as it sounded during the gig, even if the StudioLive AI mixer is packed and on its way to the next gig.
Wi-Fi and wired networking.
PreSonus StudioLive™ AI-series digital mixers’ Active Integration™ technology includes powerful real-time, direct, wired and Wi-Fi remote control over a variety of features, using free Mac®, Windows®, and iOS® software. And unlike previous StudioLive mixers, you don’t need to have a Mac or PC attached to have wireless control! Like all StudioLive mixers, every AI-series mixer integrates a multi-channel recording interface. Unlike previous StudioLive mixers, however, AI-series mixers are equipped with a continuously bidirectional FireWire s800 audio interface that is located on an option card, so you can swap it out and use the latest cutting-edge technologies, such as Thunderbolt, Dante, and AVB.
StudioLive AI-series mixers improve upon the much-lauded recording capabilities of previous StudioLive mixers. A pair of FireWire ports—FireWire s800, rather than the FireWire 400 ports found on the original StudioLive mixers — lets you connect the StudioLive AI mixer to a Mac or Windows PC for recording and enables wired VSL-AI software control, including Smaart audio-analysis. (More about VSL-AI shortly.) The StudioLive 32.4.2AI’s integrated recording interface can send up to 48 audio streams to a computer and return up to 34 playback streams. The StudioLive 24.4.2AI offers 40 digital sends and 26 digital returns, and the 16.4.2AI provides 32 sends and 18 returns.
Every StudioLive AI-series mixer offers a special USB 2.0 port with an included USB wireless (Wi-Fi) LAN adapter for connection to your wireless router. A standard Ethernet port provides a hard-wired connection to your wireless router. So you have two different ways to connect to a router and can use whichever works best for the gig. But you aren’t limited to FireWire and standard Ethernet. The FireWire s800 and Ethernet ports come preinstalled on a card that can be replaced with optional Dante, AVB, or Thunderbolt cards so you can use the latest technology.
Safe, sane, and secure.
Powerful networking and wireless remote control is great—but what if someone tries to hack into your Wi-Fi system and take control of the show or some clown attempts to play FOH engineer when you step away from the mixing station? You can put the kibosh on that, thanks to the StudioLive AI mixer’s security features!
A gigantic console in a small package.
If a StudioLive AI mixer were an analog console, it would have 4-foot-long channel strips packed with knobs and buttons or it would require a massive outboard rack of expensive signal processors! That's because each channel and bus has its own studio-grade compressor, limiter, gate/expander, and 4-band parametric equalizer. Each input channel, aux and FX bus also has a highpass filter, and input channels have polarity invert.
It all fits into one remarkable processing and routing section known as the Fat Channel. Unlike most competing digital mixers, there are no limitations or compromises, no shared resources, no figuring out what processing is available where. You have all of the processing available at all times. Because StudioLive AI mixers have so much more processing power and blazing-fast RAM than previous StudioLive models, you can create two complete sets of EQ and dynamics-processor settings for every channel and bus and then make quick A/B comparisons at the touch of the Alt EQ & Dyn button. Does your guitar player use a Strat for some songs and Les Paul for others? Don’t use up two channels, create two completely different Fat Channel settings for each guitar and access them with the press of a button before he’s got the next guitar strap on. It’s like having two complete channel strips on every input and output—but simpler and more efficient!
Effects you'd expect from a $600 stand-alone processor. Or two.
You get four programmable, 32-bit, stereo DSP effects engines—two of them loaded with reverbs and two armed with delay effects that you can really use. Each stereo processor has its own dedicated internal FX bus, and you can use all four all of the time without compromising other resources. The reverbs are so rich and detailed that you feel like you're there. Delays are precise. Slap echo sounds like old-school tape effects. And all 50 preset effects have easy-to-use parameter adjustments, tap tempo, store, recall, and Scene selection for ultimate creative flexibility.
Plentiful graphic EQ.
With StudioLive AI-series mixers, you get graphic EQ on every aux bus and on the mains—all at the same time, without compromising other resources. In addition, each graphic EQ has an A/B option, so you can, for example, boost the bass for a rock band and then switch over to a “smiley face” for intermission program music. Connect to VSL-AI over a FireWire connection, and you can use the Smaart Spectra™ Spectrograph and RTA and StudioLive EQs to quickly kill feedback building up in floor wedges before the musicians even notice it!
A wealth of dedicated analog I/O.
View the rear of a StudioLive AI-series mixer, and you’ll see a familiar jackfield, with individual XLR mic and ¼” line inputs and TRS insert points on every channel, along with a wealth of other dedicated inputs and outputs. Every input channel and bus send has its own dedicated jack—no sharing, no compromises.
StudioLive AI-series mixers' connectivity.
Unlike many competing mixers, StudioLive AI-series mixers have dedicated mix buses with physical outputs. Aux mix 1 always feeds the Aux 1 output, Aux mix 2 feeds the Aux 2 output, and so on. The same is true of the subgroups, the talkback bus, and the tape send/return. You never run short of outputs, and you never have to decide which bus goes to which jack. Wiring and routing are consistent and obvious.
StudioLive mixers also have XLR mic inputs, ¼” TRS line inputs, and analog insert points for every channel unlike most digital mixers in this price range. You get analog direct channel outputs on DB25 connectors, too, with eight channels per connector. With StudioLive, you never run short of analog I/O, and you never have to wonder which output a bus is feeding. This is analog connectivity with no compromises.
Inside, it's pure PreSonus.
Getting a great-sounding mix depends partly on your skill (assisted by StudioLive’s ease of use, features, and integrated software) and partly how good the mixer’s microphone preamps and converters are, how clean the signal path is, and how well the algorithms perform. That's why you should choose a digital mixer made by PreSonus, a company already famous for its analog mic preamps, pristine digital interfaces, and well-regarded signal processors. And because StudioLive AI mixers were redesigned from the ground up, they sound even better than their predecessors.
The StudioLive’s XMAX™ Class A preamplifiers deliver more headroom, deeper lows, smoother highs, and a richer overall sound than the preamps found in competing mixers. High-headroom, 32-bit floating-point processing is used for all digital mixing. The high-end Burr-Brown digital converters on every input and output are state-of-the art, with 118 dB dynamic range. The StudioLive AI mixer’s synchronization to your computer is stable and robust, thanks to JetPLL™ synchronization technology, resulting in great stereo separation and clear, transparent audio.
The ease of analog meets the power of digital.
Among the employees of PreSonus, there are more band members than you can shake a mic stand at. All of us have lived with conventional mixers for years. And many of us have struggled with the less-than-intuitive interfaces of earlier digital mixers, with their bank switching, layers, nested menus, etc. Many of today’s digital mixers have the same problems.
When you’re mixing a live event or have an artist in the studio, you need to be able to work quickly. So when we designed StudioLive, one of our primary goals was to provide a familiar interface that would keep all critical controls visible and accessible —not buried inside multiple menus. And the few times you do need to access a menu, StudioLive AI-series mixers quickly get you to the page you need.
To ensure you can hear just what you need to hear instantly, with minimal fuss, we paid close attention to solos and mutes. These features have been considerably enhanced in StudioLive AI-series mixers. All StudioLive AI mixers offer backlit Mute buttons for each channel and aux. The StudioLive 32.4.2AI adds a feature that makes the mutes even more useful: six mute groups with All On and All Off buttons. But we didn’t leave StudioLive 24.4.2AI and 16.4.2AI users out in the cold: VSL-AI provides mute groups even when the mixing surface doesn’t!
Complete store and recall—instantly.
Two factors work against getting that Perfect Mix with an analog mixer. First, the Perfect Mix can be hard to reproduce a week, day, or hour after you perfect it. And second, a good mix should be dynamic: levels, effects, and EQ should be tailored to each song or segment of the show, service, or presentation. This adds up to a lot of settings to remember and reset at every performance.
That's where the power of digital comes in: StudioLive lets you save all of your digital settings for quick setup and recall. Unlike some digital mixers, StudioLive makes it very quick and easy. The StudioLive 32.4.2AI makes saving and recalling scenes even faster and more convenient with six user-assignable Quick Scene buttons. We added Quick Scenes to VSL-AI for StudioLive 24.4.2AI and 16.4.2AI users too; with Active Integration, StudioLive AI-series mixers aren’t limited to how many buttons will fit on the control surface.
To further ease and speed your workflow, we’ve included a whole library of individual channel settings as starting points for optimizing the sound of instruments, vocals, and spoken word. New in StudioLive AI-series mixers, these presets, as well as your custom settings, can be organized and browsed by category so you can quickly find your favorite vocal preset without scrolling through horn and guitar presets. An Automatic AutoStore feature regularly saves your current settings in case the power fails.