Questions & Answers

Proper way to use External Preamps with Presonus Studiolive mixers for professional live recording

0 votes
asked Nov 1, 2019 in Ai Mixers by davidbartolomei (400 points)
recategorized Mar 27, 2020 by -Luis-

Hi, I have been recording live concerts with the presonus 32 ai mixer and capture to work them later on studio one 4 ready to mastering. The thing is I want to achieve to record more professional sound using external preamps during performances. I bought a focusrite clarett octopre preamp to run the vocals through it. What could be the proper way to use external preamps for this aplications. I have heard that you can bypass the mixers preamps if you connect the instruments to the line in inputs. Not sure if this is the case with presonus mixers and I would like to know if would be recommended to bypass the mixer preamps and only use the external preamp or double preamp everything. 

Also would like recommendations on the gain controls of the console and ext. preamp

Will appreciate any knowledge on this, thanks!

2 Answers

0 votes
answered Nov 1, 2019 by wahlerstudios (105,250 points)
There are two "presonus 32 ai mixers", the SL 32.4.2AI console and the RM/RML32AI rack mixer. Only the console has dedicated line inputs, the RML32AI has 8 "combo jacks", which are mic/line inputs. The line inputs bypass the preamps automatically, but there could be some kind of gain trim - or not. It seems you will need a special adaptor cable to connect the analog outputs of the interface to the line inputs of the mixer. In this kind of setup I would expect a relatively low signal arriving at the mixer, so you probably have to raise gain in the interface to an appropriate level. It may be that this affects the sound somehow, but hear yourself. Just look for enough level going to mixer and recording. The red clip indicator is adjusted to -3 dB before clipping.
0 votes
answered Mar 16 by allanellis (140 points)
Hi, Yep I do this all the time. I use an Audient 880, a Neve 1073 and an API 312 in a 500 series lunchbox. The output of these units plug into the combo jack which bypasses the Presonus preamp. It is one of the great things about this mixer . :) Many other digital mixers don't do this. They run the line level output of the added pre through a resistor and back through their preamp.... which kind of defeats the purpose.

Been fun playing with the different sounds n experimenting with different subtle textures from each type of pre and experimenting with different mic type and arrangement. You need to go into the Presonus  through the combo jack plug. So its not really a special cable, its just a standard XLR to RTS Phono

Hope this helps, have fun

Al Ellis