The StudioLive 24.4.2 from PreSonus is an extremely well-thought out and versatile 24-channel digital mixing console with an integrated 32 x 26 FireWire computer audio interface. While other digital mixing consoles tend to rely heavily on menu-driven LCD displays and hardware controls that get assigned to carry out several different tasks depending on what mode they're in, the StudioLive offers a new approach with an incredibly logical layout and a wealth of dedicated controls.
The name StudioLive really explains a lot, because this mixer has been designed to be very useful in the recording studio, and a powerhouse of a live sound reinforcement mixer. In the studio, the StudioLive acts as your FireWire computer audio interface and is capable of handling 32 simultaneous inputs. It's compatible with Logic, Sonar, and any ASIO and Core Audio DAW software. There are 24 XLR inputs that all have XMAX microphone preamps, inserts, and direct outputs, and every channel has a dedicated Fat Channel dynamics and EQ section.
Fat Channel is a full-featured channel strip that's available on every channel, aux send, sub group, and the master on the StudioLive. You simply press any channel's "select" button, and in an instant you have access to that channel's high pass filter, 4-band fully-parametric EQ, compressor, limiter, and gate/expander, which all feature dedicated, clearly-defined controls. Presonus took this capability a step further by making the Fat Channel functionality available as a creative tool in computer recording. You can use it while recording into your DAW either pre or post fader, and you can send your tracks back through the StudioLive using its 2nd FireWire port as a return and perform an 18 channel real-time mix down with full Fat Channel functionality.
Equally well-suited for live sound mixing, the Fat Channel functionality is incredibly useful for creating a tight live mix. With 10 auxiliary sends, you will have all the control you need for setting up stage monitor mixes and multiple zones. A talkback section is included that enables you to speak through specific aux sends or the master output. Two programmable 32-bit DSP effects engines are built-in and include a useful library of reverbs, delays, and other effects with tap tempo, and the ability to save and recall settings and scenes.
If you ever need more than 24 channels, you can link multiple StudioLive mixers together very easily. You don't need a computer or any other extraneous hardware to do it. All that's needed is the supplied FireWire cable. Up to 4 StudioLive mixers can be linked for a total of 96 channels. While most mixing consoles have limited metering available, or offer a separate meter bridge accessory that's as expensive as the mixer itself, the StudioLive is packed with bright and lively meters. The usefulness of the meters goes much further than just making sure you're not clipping any levels.
The meters are used as helpful visual aides when adjusting parameters and carrying out different tasks. Behind all of the functionality and thoughtfulness in the design of the StudioLive 24.4.2 lies its stellar sounding 32-bit floating point audio processing. PreSonus has made sound quality a top priority and outfitted the StudioLive with the highest-quality digital audio converters available.
Whether you're using StudioLive to mix live musicians or a theatrical performance, or using it in the studio to realize your vision, sound is always the most important thing, and the StudioLive was created to deliver optimal sonic performance. The digital mixer/interface is bundled with the Studio One Artist DAW software for Mac OS X, and Windows and includes 20 PreSonus Native Effects plug-ins and virtual instruments and third-party loops, software and instrument sounds.