Live Sound Reinforcement from PreSonus

Share

This week at NAMM, PreSonus is rolling out some new live sound gear for the New Year. They’ve gone for the gold, creating an entire sound system: a digital mixer, powered full-range mains and a powered sub. I almost forgot, every single product has an integrated computer system with wireless technology allowing complete, advanced and intuitive control of every parameter remotely from your iPad. No big deal...

StudioLive 32.4.2AI Digital Mixer

The new StudioLive 32.4.2AI is visually intimidating, the same way that all great mixers are. And when PreSonus says 32 channels, they mean 32 channels… none of the “creative” channel counting employed by other manufacturers is seen here. There are 32 XLR mic inputs, 32 TRS line inputs, 32 XMAX preamplifiers, 32 send/return inserts and 32 faders. They’re off to a great start. Additionally, there are 14 Aux outputs, 4 submixes, 4 internal effects busses with detailed reverbs and delays, 6 mute groups and 8 mix scenes. Wow.

The StudioLive 32.4.2AI is a live sound digital mixer. It features PreSonus’s Active Integration, which runs on an advanced built-in computer system, helping each stage of your signal chain work together. Each signal chain begins with a gain knob, an individual Phantom power button and an optional recording buss send. From there, you can route the channel to each of the 14 aux busses pre- or post fader. Then your signal enters the virtual "Fat" channel strip, where you can perfect it with a polarity switch, high-pass filter, gate (frequency-controlled option), compressor, limiter and 4-band parametric equalizer—not to mention that at the press of a button, you can A/B your channel settings with the flat signal or another group of settings. You can then pan, assign to subgroups and manipulate the fader. And all of this functionality applies to every single channel. Again, wow.

In the previous paragraph, I mentioned an “optional recording buss send.” The StudioLive 32.4.2 has an integrated 48 input / 34 output FireWire 800 audio interface, which supports resolution up to 24-bit/48 kHz. It also includes PreSonus Capture 2.0 computer software for live recording. Capture 2.0 has its own incredible set of features. To mention a few: record-lock, user-definable auto-save, a 1-minute pre-record buffer and file recovery. Do I need to say “wow” again?

The StudioLive 32.4.2 has a few additional connectivity features. An extra XMAX preamplifier provides a talkback mic input, which can be routed to any buss. There are analog RCA tape inputs and outputs, control room outputs, a S/PDIF output and both XLR and TRS main outputs. Additionally, the StudioLive has 4 DB25 outputs, providing individual pre-insert balanced direct outputs for all 32 inputs. What more could you ask for?

StudioLive AI Active Full-Range Loudspeakers

The new PreSonus StudioLive technology doesn’t end with the mixer. Three new full-range, Class D triamplified enclosures feature advanced processing as well. Each enclosure packs 2,000W of power, spread with a 2:1:1 ratio across the lows, mids and highs.

Each speaker features an Active Integration CPU, employing 96 kHz/32-bit floating-point digital processing and Temporal Equalization. Using both Finite and Infinite Impulse Response filters, plus delay, the enclosures are able to dynamically tune themselves to provide a natural-sounding spectral balance, better depth and imaging, increased resistance to feedback and greater clarity of even complex mixes.

The 312AI features an 8” CoActual driver for mids and highs, while a 12” driver pushes out the lows. The 315AI has the same 8” CoActual mid/high frequency driver, but incorporates a 15” low frequency woofer. For tighter spaces that still need full sound coverage, the 328AI features a skinny profile with dual 8” low frequency woofers and the 8” CoActual for mids and highs.

Additionally, each speaker can be controlled wirelessly via an included module and your iPad. An Ethercon connection also allows wired control. Within the control program, you can select between four operation modes: Live Performance, MP3 Playback, Floor Monitor and a user-definable custom mode. An extra setting engages a low-cut filter, designed for use with the PreSonus 18sAI subwoofer.

The full-range Studio Live speakers feature a balanced XLR/TRS combo input with attenuation. Also, there is an additional XLR input with an XMAX microphone preamplifier and available 12V of Phantom power for directly connecting a microphone. An audio mix output allows connection to another powered speaker. The StudioLive enclosures are built of birch or plywood, feature ergonomic handles and integrated M10 fly points as well as pole mounts.

StudioLive 18sAI Active Subwoofer

The new StudioLive 18sAI Active Subwoofer features the same Active Integration 96 kHz/32-bit floating-point technology as the full-range speakers, allowing wired and wireless control of operation modes and output levels. The custom-designed 18” ferrite subwoofer packs 1,000W of power and can be polarity-inverted as well as delayed to optimize its performance with your full-range speakers.

The 18sAI has stereo XLR/TRS inputs, stereo XLR throughputs for connection to additional speakers, and a (-6 to +6 dB) speaker level control. It has the same Ethercon connection and included wireless model as the previously discussed loudspeakers. The subwoofer’s enclosure is built of birch or plywood, features ergonomic handles and top-mount pole insert as well as interlocking stacking provisions.

In Conclusion

PreSonus has really outdone themselves (as well as everybody else) with this new series of live sound reinforcement products. These are definitely intended for professional-level sound engineers… with easy iPad control over multiple parameters of both an incredibly powerful mixer and an advanced speaker system, a novice could just as easily mangle the sound beyond recognition as a seasoned pro could perfect it. In my opinion, it’s equally incredible in either instance. Kudos, PreSonus.

StudioLive 32.4.2AI Digital Mixer
Channel Inputs 32 x XLR mic
32 x 1/4" TRS line
Channel Inserts 32 x 1/4" send/return
Aux Inputs 4 x 1/4" TRS  (2 x L/R)
Aux Outputs 14 x 1/4" TRS
Control Room Outputs 2 x 1/4" TRS  (1 x L/R)
Tape 2 x RCA phono - Tape In  (1 x L/R)
2 x RCA phono - Tape Out  (1 x L/R)
Subgroup Outputs 4 x 1/4" TRS
Main Ouputs 2 x XLR balanced  (1 x L/R)
Mono Output 1 x XLR balanced
2 x 1/4" TRS  (1 x L/R)
Direct Outputs 4 x DB25  (32 channels pre-insert balanced)
FireWire 800 Audio 2 x IEEE 1394b connectors
Digital Output 1 x RCA coaxial (S/PDIF)
Headphone Output 1 x 1/4" stereo
Phantom Power 48V, individually switchable per channel
Faders 100 mm x 32 channels, 4 subgroups, 1 main
Processor OMAP 5 multicore, 2GHz, Cortex-A
Effects Busses 4, internal
Effects 2 reverbs, 2 delays
Channel Strip Parameters Pan
Polarity
Stereo link
High-Pass filter
4-band parametric EQ with shelving
Gate (frequency-controlled option)
Compressor
Limiter
Output assign (among subgroups and/or main)
Alt EQ/Dyn (A/B button)
31-Band Graphic EQ Individual settings for each of the 14 aux outputs and the stereo
main outs
Mute Groups 6
Mix Scenes 8
Metering 32 x 16-LED channel matrix
8 x 15-LED main meter bank
15-LED horizontal pan display
64 x 194 LCD matrix
Included Software Applications Universal Control (Mac & Windows)
Studio One Artist 2.5 (Mac & Windows)
Capture 2.0 (Mac & Windows)
Virtual StudioLive AI (Mac & Windows)
SL Remote AI (iPad)
Qmix AI (iPad)
StudioLive 312AI
Transducers 1 x 12" ferrite low frequency transducer
1 x 8" ferrite midrange driver
1 x 1.75" titanium compression driver
Horn Dispersion 60 x 90°
Power 2,000W Class D triamplification:
1,000W Low frequency
500W Midrange
500W High Frequency
Connections 1 x XLR/TRS combo with attenuation control
1 x XLR balanced microphone input
1 x XLR balanced mix output
Ethercon (control only)
USB for use with included WiFi LAN adapter
Dimensions (W x D x H) 16.22 x 19.42 x 23.80" (412 x 493.3 x 604.5 mm)
Weight 62 lb (28.12 kg)
StudioLive 315AI
Transducers 1 x 15" ferrite low frequency transducer
1 x 8" ferrite midrange driver
1 x 1.75" titanium compression driver
Horn Dispersion 60 x 90°
Power 2,000W Class D triamplification:
1,000W Low frequency
500W Midrange
500W High Frequency
Connections 1 x XLR/TRS combo with attenuation control
1 x XLR balanced microphone input
1 x XLR balanced mix output
Ethercon (control only)
USB for use with included WiFi LAN adapter
Dimensions (W x D x H) 24 x 21.53 x 26.42" (609.6 x 546.9 x 671.1 mm)
Weight 71.6 lb (32.48 kg)
StudioLive 328AI
Transducers 2 x 8" ferrite low frequency transducer
1 x 8" ferrite midrange driver
1 x 1.75" titanium compression driver
Horn Dispersion 60 x 90°
Power 2,000W Class D triamplification:
1,000W Low frequency
500W Midrange
500W High Frequency
Connections 1 x XLR/TRS combo with attenuation control
1 x XLR balanced microphone input
1 x XLR balanced mix output
Ethercon (control only)
USB for use with included WiFi LAN adapter
Dimensions (W x D x H) 15" x 15.68 x 29.13" (381 x 398.27 x 739.9 mm)
Weight 56 lb (25.4 kg)
StudioLive 18sAI Subwoofer
Transducers 1 x 18" ferrite woofer
Power 1,000W Class D amplifier
Connections 2 x XLR/TRS combo (1 x L/R) line inputs
2 x XLR balanced  - switchable stereo or mono line outputs
Ethercon (control only)
USB for use with included WiFi LAN adapter
Dimensions (W x D x H) 25.98 x 24 x 21.85" (659.9 x 609.6 x 555 mm)
Weight 94 lb (42.64 kg)