Questions & Answers

increase capacity of SD cards or have option to change recording quality on SL Series 3

+8 votes
asked Jan 28, 2019 in StudioLive Series III by luzerhass (590 points)


As of now the highest capacity of SD cards to be able to record tracks in SL series 3 is 32 GB, but this only give you the option of 1-2 hours of recording

There must be an increase in the size of SD cards to be able to use SDXC feature so i can use a 128 GB & get more hours out of the recording

2nd option is to be able to adjust the quality of the recording so i can record on MP3 format etc.  to save a lot space to the SD card


5 Answers

–1 vote
answered Jan 29, 2019 by jonnydoyle (403,360 points)
selected Feb 14, 2020 by jonnydoyle
Best answer
The largest size that you can use is 32GB. The reason we don't support higher than 32GB is that there is a $100k/year license fee that we would have to pay and pass along to our customers to support the larger cards. There's no license fee for 32GB or smaller. You will get a little more than 90 minutes of recording time if you are recording all 34 channels (32+stereo) after a fresh format of the card. You will get more recording time if you have less channels to record. I'd recommend getting a few cards so that you can just pop in a new one for each set of a show that you need to record.
+1 vote
answered Dec 26, 2019 by craigparmerlee (200 points)
I did a show last week where this was a problem.  It was not my board (I do have some smaller Presonus mixers).  I thought the 32GB card would be enough because we only had to track 25 channels.

When we got ready to test the recording, the board displayed a very small run time -- about 40 minutes as I recall.  I think there was a prior recording on this SD card (we actually had 2 SD cards and I think they both had prior recordings on them.)  Unfortunately there is no way to format directly from the mixer.  There is not even any way to delete the unneeded sessions.  That's a HUUUUUGE problem.

I happened to have a Surface computer I could use to delete the files off one of the cards (which was a MicroSD).  But when I inserted in the board after deleting, it still showed about 40 minutes.  Maybe the card kept the files in a recycle bin.  I don't know.  We ran out of time, so we couldn't do a multi-track recording.  That's a real bummer.  You really, really should allow the user to delete old sessions directly from the mixer.

But even with a freshly formatted card, this would not have worked.  Our show ran 2 hours, 5 minutes without an intermission.  I know that's extreme, but that's the real world.

I understand the licensing issue.  Any chance you could support FLAC, as Soundcraft does?  FLAC would make 32GB practical for most people.

The real kicker is that I have a laptop dedicated to USB tracking and it was already set up with the Presonus drivers.  If I would have known this SD thing had so many problems, I would have brought the laptop and been done with it.  That laptop is all SSD and I can record 32 tracks 10 hours or more.

I also note that Zoom is able to include SDXC support on most of its recorders.  I wonder if there are any other licensing arrangements that would make this affordable.
0 votes
answered Jan 14, 2020 by williammims (790 points)
edited Jan 15, 2020 by williammims

FYI - update - While I know this is still never going to be officially supported, I have discovered that using Sandisk Extreme MicroSD XC I V30 U3 A2 rated cards of the following sizes: 64GB, 128GB, and 512GB test perfectly every time tested as good for the max 34 track simultaneous audio recording on my Series 3 SL32 board. The key seems to be using the following for wiping and formatting the SDXC micro cards:

I tried several formatting/partitioning utilities/softwares and found that AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard Edition works every time where ALL others fail with SDXC cards. I have only used the "write 0" wipe option once. It is optional so far but I wanted to test all methods. Whether I just deleted the exFAT partition and then performed adding and formatting a new FAT32 partition or first did a "zero" bits wipe and then created/formatted the new FAT32 partition, all 3 of these SDXC drives tested perfectly over and over for 34 track capable write speeds on the StudioLive 32 Series 3. Just FYI...

Hopefully I'll eventually get around to actually writing 32 simultaneous audio tracks if I can get enough people to participate or find someone with audio splitters so that less sources can feed muiltiple audio inputs at once. The most I normally record at once is 12-18 tracks.

These 3 cards were purchased brand new straight from Western Digital/SanDisk.
I have photos of the cards and results on the Presonus Forums in the SD thread under the Live Sound forum under Series 3 mixer area.

0 votes
answered Feb 11, 2020 by craigparmerlee (200 points)
I have heard that formatting technique mentioned with regard to other products (not Presonus).  It seems the that hardware interface is the same for SDHC and SDXC.  If you can format the SDXC cards just right, people have reported success running this way.  I doubt that presonus can comment on this for risk of violating their license for the SD cards, and we can all appreciate that.  As far as I can tell, there is no risk of damage in doing this.  The only risk is that it might not work.  From what I have seen, if it works at all, then it works reliably.

The experience I mentioned above was on another person's mixer, so I cannot easily test this.

I have Paragon Partition.  Has anybody tried formatting SDXC cards with Paragon?

There is also a freeware SD formatter from Tuxera.  Has anybody tried using this to format an SCXC for the StudioLive?
0 votes
answered May 24, 2021 by williammims (790 points)
Really should have designed these mixers to record to a single multitrack .wav file like another company that I also own.  Sure, you have to split the file once you get it on your computer for DAW work, but you don't have the problem with only one to two brands of high speed SD/uSD cards that sometimes work after you go through a few bad ones even in the recommended brands/speeds.  It takes a lot of the card write speed problems away just writing a single stream 32 track multi-track .wav file versus writing 32 separate .wav files simutaneously.

I love my Series III StudioLive!  However, the MG brands did better with the multitrack SD card recroding/playback!  If this were updateable in firmware one day as to how the Series III writes the tracks (switch to single multi-track file) it would solve the eternal pain in the rear end with SD card multi-track recording on these boards!  Not bashing the brand, just the choice in how to write to the SD.

With the other brand, even though they probably can't comment, I format 512GB SD cards FAT32 and have ZERO issues because they use a single multi-track .wav file (single file stream write, and then you use a tool to split the multitrack wav file into individual track wav files).  I'm recording 32 tracks for hours and hours and hours before having to go to another card.