PreSonus StudioLive 32.4.2AI as a church FOH mixer?

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by THORNSZ, Feb 25, 2013.

  1. THORNSZ

    THORNSZ Member

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    There you go! that makes sense now. Thanks for pointing that out! i was never really thinking about that too! looks like x32's best for our situation.

    Can you give me a link where can i get this deal? i was searching lately like sweetwater, etc. and those items are usually sold separately.

    @abomb123
    i'll rather take time to learn and train whoever is interested about mixing in my church than settling down.
    And yes, i need those motorize faders to save scenes, since a lot of people from my church just tweaks the mixer not knowing what they're doing and that pisses me off whenever the sound on set starts to change. Thanks for pointing that out too!
     
  2. Spresley

    Spresley Member

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    I'm sure if you walked into your local behringer retailer, you would be able to swing some sort of package deal for an X32, and a couple S16 snake heads..especially being a church ( if you check the behringer thread in this forum, somebody got an even better deal on thier X32), check that thread out , and contact them... I'm in Ottawa, Canada so I would be unable to give you any viable information on dealers in your area...

    http://www.controlbooth.com/forums/sound-music-intercom/29720-behringer-x32-4.html

    Cat 5 cable, I wouldn't get cheap box store cat 5 even though you are installing the cat 5 cable, I'd go with a tactical cat 5 cable - and run 1 or 2 more runs than what you will use... that way you have expansion options, and redundantcy if one were to malfunction at any point. Also you'll want to think about sending a cat 5 run for the P16 monitor boxes... from the foh console to the stage.
    I'm guessing by the time you're done, you'll be looking at 6ish cable runs, in which case you could get a multicore solution of 6 cat5 built into one snake....
    best-tronics.com/guitar-cable/pdf/EurocableCat6.pdf

    You could also run DMX down cat 5 cable now and video... again expansion options.

    http://www.cablek.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=3997|2|17

    Glad you've walked into the light sir.

    Speak of light, something that just came to light on the soundforum page.... the presonus console has a 1.5 second audio full console mute when switching scenes... that would been fun throughout the service huh :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2013
  3. museav

    museav CBMod CB Mods Departed Member

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    I was referring to digital consoles in general, but using the X32 and its default routing as an example, what functions as Aux 1 for an analog console is not called "Aux 1" anywhere, it is Send 1 assigned to Mix Bus 1 that is assigned to Output 1 while what is actually labeled "Aux Out 1" on the rear panel is apparently default assigned as an insert. Similarly, there are no main "Left" and "Right" outputs on the rear panel, the Main Left and Right mix buses are routed to Outputs 15 and 16. If you want Subgroups you can have them (or DCAs) but not without some understanding of how to do so. You may not have to change anything but not exactly user friendly if you don't know how things are routed. I especially wish they had come up with something other than the "Aux Out" nomenclature if those are not default assigned as typical Aux Outputs.

    If you just want to directly replace an analog console with a digital console with no other changes then the StudioLive is often hard to beat, but the very things that help there also greatly eliminate the routing flexibility can be a great asset with a digital console.

    If it is an install there may be other factors such as code requirements and cable ratings to consider.

    That has been long documented for the earlier StudioLive consoles and while a major issue if you are trying to make quick recalls it is not necessarily an issue if it is between services, portions of the service, etc. It is also apparently not an issue when recalls are made from the VSL software and I don't know if it will be relevant to the 32.4.2AI when it is released.

    I don't 'have a dog in the fight' but think that any related decision should consider all options and make a selection based on what is the best fit for you, right now there seems to be a great deal of biased comparisons and misinformation floating around including assuming the StudioLive 32.4.2AI, which is a new product not yet in production, will have the same issues as previous StudioLive versions.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2013
  4. Spresley

    Spresley Member

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    Every console is going to have it's specific naming conventions ( aux 1, bus 1 send 1), if you understand what you are trying to do, you'll get there.
    Again there is already a weath of information on this console online to be mined at any time. Note the midas venice console attached... FX1, 2 MON 1,2, AUX 1,2 - does one do anything different other than push signal, nope ( with the exception of pre/post EQ/fader settings)
    As per my statement, with the console already previously patched and initialized - monitor mix 1, would come out of XLR output #1 when turning (aux/buss knob #1)

    I defer to my statement about having a modicum amount of knowledge, meaning that after the second time someone made the effort to route an input, or output - they would understand the concpet moving forward. FWIW the main outputs default to 15 and 16, not that they would be using them with the s16 snake anyway. Physically on the console, there would be a cat 5 and power plugged in, and any sort of playback devices located at FOH. The snake head I assume after setting them up that the ouputs would be wired and not touched... If there was any doubt about routing there should a scene loaded on the console ( buy either the head tech, or the re-seller depending on where they go - if it's GC I doubt someone will come out, but if it's a pro audio installer, they would probably come out and install and create a standard starting file). Lastly if all else fails there is the internet and youtube to figure out routing and the like, including this place.

    Subgroups are a tricky matter on this console, but if I have the choice I'll take a DCA over a subgroup anytime. Assigning a DCA to channels quick primer. Press and Hold down the DCA select button , select the channels you wish to assign to the DCA and when youre finished, release the DCA select button.... mind blowing I know. The novice user with the console set-up would take a couple sessions to get comfortable mixing on the console, and a couple weeks to get confortable routing, editing the console. It is very easy to learn.
     

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  5. TimmyP1955

    TimmyP1955 Active Member

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    I see no advantage to the SL32 as compared to the X32. I see a number of advantages to the X32 over the SL32.
     
  6. museav

    museav CBMod CB Mods Departed Member

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    This may be the crux, you see no advantage for you or no advantage ever for anyone? I would probably recommend the X32 over the SL 32.4.2AI for most situations, but I believe that there are potential exceptions. And where you are considering those then the Roland M200i and Soundcraft Si Expression may also be potential options.
     
  7. dgourley

    dgourley Member

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    Brad, are you trying to inform or argue for argue's sake? Your discussion isn't about two products that have strengths and weaknesses, but rather a console that was first to the scene and now is lacking in features. I have advocated and installed SL boards into venues since they were released, but since I first had hands on time with an X32, it was pretty clear that the existing studiolive boards were overrun. Barring some major change in software at the very base level, this 32 channel SL will suffer from the same systemic issues as its siblings.
    As for the "what's easier for church volunteers" argument, I have served as a pastor at a large church for 9 years working with volunteers and have walked them through adjustments from a Mackie SR40-8 to a Midas Legend to a Digidesign Venue console. It is all in the training. The day of specifying an analog console (or a digital one that acts like one) are officially behind us. That said, all decisions should be made with I/O requirements in line which barring some abnormal system design, the X32 is more than capable of handling.
     
  8. museav

    museav CBMod CB Mods Departed Member

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    Ah, there's the catch. Take a group with no experience with a digital console and limited relevant experience in general and who is going to provide the training? You first need someone who can train and for some groups that person does not exist. Maybe you'll get some training from a local dealer if you purchase a mixer from them but I seriously doubt anyone from Guitar Center, Sweetwater, All Pro, etc. is going to come out and train you if you purchase a mixer online from them.

    When I see comments like "I have no experiences with this mixing board at all", "I'm not really a sound engineer", "to be honest i have no experiences mixing and controlling with digital mixers" and "for instance i serves as the sound dude for now since i play in for the worship team at the same time" I have to wonder who would be installing the mixer and providing any training or if something that connects and operates more like their current mixer might be of some value. It's far from the only basis for any product selection, but not one that I think should necessarily be overlooked either.

    Hmm, guess some people failed to get that memo, for example the recent Rolling Stones 50th Anniversary tour that Clair did with two PM4000s at FoH and a Heritage 3000 for monitors or the Andrea Bocelli tour with PRG providing a Heritage 4000 at FoH or Neil Young with Eight Day Sound and a Heritage 3000 for monitors.

    Digital consoles are certainly becoming more common and an increasingly practical option for those with limited budgets but especially with the resulting impact on new and used analog console prices there is no reason to not keep your options open.
     
  9. dgourley

    dgourley Member

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    So your goal is to save the entire user base that purchases equipment online by constantly flip-flopping in an online forum about the seemingly minute virtues of various AVL products??? That is futile at best.

    An uneducated purchase is an uneducated purchase and whether the board is analog or digital does not make a difference as the delicate understandings of aux/sends Pre and Post fade are hard for laymen users to grasp.

    As for your stab at the analog consoles making a comeback on a Stones tour, that is great that the PM's were a choice by the audio designer/touring company as well as the H3000 for Bocelli. Both great consoles and both workhorses for tour riders that PRG has paid for over and over again. Having been at a regional production company for 4 years, I have seen the riders adapt to what is cheapest for the promoter to pay for and the production company to commit for the performance run time and again.

    If you re-read the quote from above you will notice that I stated the days of "specifying" these consoles are over -- as specifying them into a venue as a permanent installation (the context of this post). I stand behind that statement. I have several projects in Design Development at the moment and only one has an analog mixer on it. Its a SCM268 from Shure running zones for some spill over into multipurpose spaces.

    All other mix consoles are digital from various manufacturers. None of them are a SL. A couple are X32's, Venue and a Digico SD11. This is a new age where analog is on life support for those of us who design and construct these spaces for many reasons based in practical application and use.
     
  10. museav

    museav CBMod CB Mods Departed Member

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    I seriously doubt that cost is that much of a factor for the Stones. I would guess that the PMs and Heritages you see on tours are usually there because they are something with which those involved are familiar and comfortable. And that is exactly the point, there can sometimes be value in that familiarity and comfort that supersedes other factors.

    Tech riders also "specify" requirements but in terms of installed systems I tend to specify whatever seems appropriate for the application. In this case I see:

    1. They are replacing an existing Eurodesk sl2442fx-pro primarily because it is 'dying' and that seems to be the extent of the scope of work.
    2. There initial first choice was a GL3200 and the apparent reason even considering anything else was the number of aux sends.
    3. They have no experience with digital consoles and may not have anyone with such knowledge available to help them.
    4. The church leadership seems willing to invest in gear but to not want to invest in any outside assistance.
    5. Their existing snake only supports 24 channels.
    6. They are moving to a new venue in a year.
    So nothing about the immediate situation seems to strongly suggest a X32 or a digital console in general, but does seem to suggest there may potentially be some value in familiarity and ease of implementation.

    The one potential caveat might be in the last point that if you did look at the long term implications for the new venue and combine that with the immediate needs then you may be not only looking at a different situation in terms of the functionality and scope of work but also in terms of potentially involving design, installation, training, etc. And that may indeed end up suggesting a digital mixer.

    Put simply, were I designing a new system to be professionally installed in a new venue for I might recommend something different than I would recommend for someone to do on their own to address an immediate need. It is two different situations and thus may relate to two different solutions.
     
  11. bishopthomas

    bishopthomas Well-Known Member

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    House of Blues gets a Heritage 3000 at FOH. There's at least one example of a new install requiring analog. And if I'm doing a festival or even monitors I'll still take an analog console over any digital, no matter how well I know the console. I think with the rise of the computer age the amount of training on an analog vs digital console is really no different. I'm not really sure why this discussion is still going, though. The X32 is a better console in every area. It is at least as capable as the StudioLive and there's absolutely no reason to buy the Presonus instead of the Behringer (except those who just don't "trust" in Behringer). I've used both extensively; I own the 16.4.2 now and can't wait for the new Behringer stuff to come out so I can trade in.
     
  12. museav

    museav CBMod CB Mods Departed Member

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    At least to me the issue is not which is the 'better' console since that is application specific but rather a matter of the ease of implementation and use in the specific application. For example what is currently connected to the XLR "Main Out L" on the Eurodesk would be connected to the XLR "Main Out Left" on the StudioLive and what is currently connected to the 1/4" "Aux Send 1" output would be connected to the 1/4" "Aux Outputs 1", pretty much a direct swap in terms of connectors and nomenclature likely making the physical swap much easier. There may also be similar factors for the operation, e.g. the knob labeled "Aux 1" controls the Aux 1 send level for both the Eurodesk and StudioLive.

    Those are all issues that could be addressed by someone with the appropriate tools and equipment and the requisite knowledge or training, but if those are not available then anything making the physical and operational transition easier seems a potential advantage.

    Put simply, the vast majority of the time I would probably opt for the X32 over the StudioLive but this is one of those situations where there maybe be specific factors involved that suggest the StudioLive as a better fit.
     
  13. bishopthomas

    bishopthomas Well-Known Member

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    Brad, I usually agree with your "spec for the application" mantra, but do you honestly think that the difference between an XLR and TRS output is really a reason to go with one console over the other? If there's no one around that can solder on a new connector then they could just buy an adapter. Both consoles do the same thing. If we were throwing an LS9 in the mix then we could say that it doesn't have recording options. You say there may be "specific factors involved that suggest the StudioLive as a better fit," but I can't come up with a single valid reason why someone would buy the Studiolive over the X32.
     
  14. museav

    museav CBMod CB Mods Departed Member

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    As far as what I see as potential benefits of the StudioLive in this specific application:
    • Connectors and labeling more closely match their current mixer, thus simplifying physically changing mixers.
    • Factory channel processing libraries. I understand that Behringer may be working on something similar for the X32 products but I don't know for sure of or when that would be available.
    • Four subgroups that function the same as on their existing mixer without any programming required.
    • No layers.
    • Dedicated Aux and Effects sends more similar to their current mixer.
    If you notice, several of those are directly related to making the transition easier and having to do so without having anyone experienced with a digital console involved.

    Turning it around, what are the reasons for recommending the X32 in this situation? I can list a multitude of potential advantages of the X32 but most of those do not seem relevant here. Motorized faders and gain pots may be a major factor in some uses but I don't see that actually likely being an issue here. Don't see I/O expansion being relevant here since both mixers more than handle the existing snake. There is no mention of any personal monitor mix support being required. I like having DCAs but would they be used here? What would often be the advantages for the X32 just don't seem to apply here.

    If they wanted to look at how the mixer might translate to use in the new facility in a year or if they were bringing in someone to train them then you are potentially looking at a different situation. But any outside assistance they have to pay for has apparently been rejected and there has been no discussion of other relevant changes or the future use.

    The one potential advantage of the X32 that I do see is that it is currently available. As I mentioned early on that the StudioLive 32.4.2AI is not yet available yet and if they need something now then it may not even be an option. That also means that we do not yet know how actual 'street' pricing may compare, which could be another factor.

    I think we have beat this to death but the only reason I did not stop long ago is emphasize the point to look at products based on the factors that are actually relevant to a situation and not based on factors that may not be relevant. I wanted to get people to think about what really matters and not just comparing specs and numbers.
     
  15. bishopthomas

    bishopthomas Well-Known Member

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    I certainly understand, and usually appreciate, where you're coming from. But I know that you know that we don't always get all the information up front, either in a forum or in person. It usually ends up that we're telling the client what the capabilities of the console are and they say, "Wow, that's cool, I never knew you could do that!" One of the biggest examples of that would be the ability to mix on an iPad. Do most people go out searching for a mixer that has remote mixing capability? No. But most don't even know that's an option. So when I say a benefit of the X32 is simple and seamless iPad integration and you argue that they didn't ask for that feature I would say that they probably didn't even know that it exists. Doesn't mean that that feature couldn't come in handy.

    As far as your list of StudioLive benefits, I would say that the only feasible one is no layers. Layers can certainly take some getting used to. The other elements you mentioned are really of no consequence, in my opinion. A change of a few connectors is hardly a reason to choose one console over the other. Of course, if it was all TRS inputs and you have a 32 channel XLR snake then it's a pain. But a few outputs is really not a reason to go with one console. We're not talking about X32 vs Mackie 1604 or a Venue, these two consoles are so similar that either one would be a decent enough choice. I just happen to think the X32 is a better solution for 99.9% of the time. And it happens to be less expensive.

    In my opinion the X32 is easier to get around, makes iPad mixing easy, and just plain sounds better than the StudioLive. These opinions are from owning a StudioLive and using an X32 several times in different situations.
     
  16. milemarker68

    milemarker68 Member

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    5 years later... does everyone have the same opinion? any updates?
     
  17. themuzicman

    themuzicman Well-Known Member

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    Are you looking at the 32.4.2AI or the newer StudioLive32?

    If it's the old one, and you're getting a killer deal on a used one then it beats an analog desk but not an X32.

    If you were comparing the current StudioLive32 I'd compare against an X32 and TF5 where the TF5 will win on ease of use, the X32 will win on price, and the StudioLive32 sits somewhere in-between. You see X32's everywhere these days, and the last time I saw a StudioLive of any generation in use was at a corporate event that needed multi tracking in like 2013. That being said, as with any purchase your use-case really matters. I also haven't seen any TF series anywhere, so take that for what it is.

    As for the older one -- I'd consider the iPad App/Laptop Editor an essential, not an extra - but I also almost exclusively use my laptop to set up my console when I'm forced to use any of these inexpensive small format mixers because of their clunky UI's. I really enjoy having visualization on my compressor/PEQ as well. For some reason no one is able to compete with Yamaha for ease of use in their UI's and that's really where these other mixers fail.
     
  18. TimMc

    TimMc Well-Known Member

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    My opinion - don't buy a Presonus mixer unless you're heavily invested in other parts of the Presonus ecosphere.
     

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