Questions & Answers

MultiHardware Synth HomeStudio - Recommended Audio Setup

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asked Oct 27, 2019 in StudioLive Series III by frankgebhardt (130 points)
Hi all

I am a total hardware synth nerd. Currently I use a 2 line in audio interface with a patch bay to record my synths one by one. The annoying part is the constant patching. I would like to be able to play all my synths without any hurdles as inspiration kicks in.

Which is why I thought about buying a Presonus StudioLive Mixing Desk. They seem to have a high amount of line ins and at the same time, it looks they support an audio interface via USB which would allow me to record or playback 64 channels at the same time. Could such a desk be used as a multi line input audio interface replacement?

Are these audio channels fully assignable from within a DAW? Could I create a template which has the ins and outs predefined, assigned to my synths? Maybe even with a proper gain staging?

Btw, midi is all routed via an iConnectivity mio10 interface. This I have under control.

Obviously another advantage and total fun would be to also be able to noodle around without a need to switch on a computer. Also, The Presonus DAW looks great and I love the DAW integration with their digital d]mixer desks.

I have roughly 10 analog output pairs from synths I want to hook up, which would occupy 10x2 mono audio line inputs. The outputs are non-balanced quarter inch jacks. Some other synths have just mono jack outputs. The Neutrik patchbays I use are balanced. My synths are rack or stand mounted and I thought about using a patchbay per rack to route all audio to the mixer via snake cables. This would result in a clean setup, getting rid of my cable mess.

What do you think, does such a setup make sense? Sorry if this has been asked before, I so far could not find a suitable discussion thread. Would love to hear from you, thanks a ton for your help!

Best regards Frank

1 Answer

+1 vote
answered Oct 27, 2019 by wahlerstudios (104,040 points)
StudioLive mixers of all generations can be used as audio interfaces. The only 64 channel mixer currently available is the 64S, all other are 32 channel mixers and the 16R is a 16 channel mixer. The most effective and compact set is a SL 16 console (now SL 32SC) with a 32R rack mixer. The rack mixer has 32 mic/line inputs and 16+2 physical outputs for flex mixes and Main l/r. The SL 16/SL 32SC has 16 faders, but 32 input channels, which are handled on two "layers". You can reduce the numbers of faders by using the User Layer or DCA groups. All consoles have these features.

It says in the descriptions that the mixers now have 64x64 USB and AVB matrixes, which is true only for AVB. USB on the 32 channel mixers is 48x48, because the mixers are simply not designed to handle more streams. Only the 64S as quad-core mixer offers the full spectrum. The 16R as single-core mixer has even more reduced capabilties for USB and AVB.

Using Studio One and DAW Mode are two different things. The templates for the songs organize a 1:1 routing (channel 1 -> track 1 -> channel 1), which "inserts" Studio One to the processing and mixing done one the StudioLive console. The purpose of the templates is to make fast recording and playback possible. Just switch the input sources of the console to USB, then you can listen to the recorded tracks.

DAW Mode means shifting all activities to Studio One and using the StudioLive console as physical interface (faders, encoders, scrible strips) for Studio One. All processing is happening in Studio One, the faders simply represent what is done in Studio One. It always takes some time to understand the differences. If Studio One is the heart of the System, you will be using DAW Mode. If the mixer is the heart, Studio One is the "second heart".

Hope this helps. The mixers and Studio One are meant to work together and it's really fun to explore this universe!
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