studiolive-angleAre you looking for ways to expand your home studio? Perhaps you’re itching for a new challenge or a new way to potentially make some money?

Let’s take a step back. You have a home studio. You record your own music. You find the occassional artist to record, but you’re wanting to step things up a bit.

You’ve tried a bunch of different ways to promote your home studio, particularly going to concerts to find and meet new musicians. But what if you could take that further?

Perhaps you’re meeting a lot of great musicians, but you just can’t quite convince them to come record a demo in your studio. What if you could bring your studio to them? Better yet, what if you could offer to multi-track record their live show?

Now we’re talking. Enter the PreSonus StudioLive.

The StudioLive is a digital mixer/firewire interface. From a live standpoint, it’s a great mixer. It has 16 microphone inputs, EQ and compression on every channel (which is huge), and plenty of effects.

From a recording standpoint (here’s the cool part), the StudioLive is a full-on firewire audio interface. With one mixer, you can record 16+ tracks of audio into your DAW. (A point to make here. It doesn’t work with Pro Tools, but it does come with basic recording software, so you can import the audio into any DAW when you get home.)

In the past, getting into the live multi-track arena has proven to be a complex and expensive endeavor. You needed a mixer that allowed for some way to get individual outputs off of each channel (which isn’t all mixers), a multi-track recorder (something like an Alesis HD24), and also all the appropriate cabling to connect them all.

Needless to say, most folks don’t think it’s worth it. However, the PreSonus StudioLive changes the game. Now you can show up to a gig with the StudioLive under one arm and a laptop (and hard drive) under the other. Simply replace the band’s mixer with the StudioLive, and you’re good to go. You can use all the band’s PA equipment – speakers, amps, snakes, etc. – AND capture a high-quality recording.

Real-World Example

I know an engineer down in Texas who does just this. He offers to come in and mix a band’s live show and give them a multi-track recording at the end. He charges something like $1 per minute. He’ll line up three or four bands a night, each with a one-hour show. By the end of the night, each band is only out $60, but they get a hard drive full of multi-tracks from the show!

To take this one step further, you can offer to take the tracks home and mix them for an additional fee (perhaps an hourly rate).

As you can see, this opens up a lot of new opportunities. At $2,000, the mixer would pay for itself after just a few months of gigs. Even if you don’t charge for your services, the StudioLive will open doors to recording opportunities that you wouldn’t have access to otherwise.

There are TONS of features and other uses for the StudioLive (like using two of them to double your track count), but this is just one specific area that I think is really cool. I encourage you to check out the PreSonus blog for some cool videos from Rick and the guys on some more in-depth features of the StudioLive.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

[Photo courtesy of PreSonus.]

22 Responses to “PreSonus StudioLive 16.4.2: A New Opportunity for Home Studio Owners”

  1. Cush

    I’ve been using the StudioLive since August 2011 its capabilities are incredible. Also look around I reside in Canada you know the folks across the fence. I paid less than $2000 and got free delivery as well. Never settle, push.

  2. Tom

    Hello to everyone
    I am just reading everything about Presonus studiolive to be connected with cubase 6 ? PLEASE can anyone explain step by step how I can connect my Presonus Studiolive with Cubase 6.

    Thank You very much

    • Joe Gilder

      Hey Tom, You should probably head over to the Presonus forums. There are a lot of folks there that can help you out.

      That said, it should be as simple as connecting the mixer to your computer via firewire and selecting it as your audio interface in Cubase. The folks at Presonus can give you more detailed information.

  3. Andrew


    I wonder if anyone tried to use PreSonus Studiolive with Cubase 5 and if there were any problems integrating them.

    Also, I realise that although Studiolive can record into any DAWs, when doing a down-mix, Studiolive faders cannot control Cubase 5 mixer on the screen and no automation will be captured.

    Any ways round it, how do I use the bundled Capture software & scene memory functions to mimic some form of automation on Cubase software mixer?

    Do you know whether Presonus intends to extend future software drivers to allow Studiolive to become also a DAW controller surface? I sincerely thinks this is the last portion needed to really turn StudioLive into a true Studio Digital Mixer….


    • Joe Gilder

      PreSonus gear tends to work well with Cubase. I wouldn’t foresee any problems.

      The Capture software is really just for recording the audio. It’s not meant to be a fully-featured DAW. If you want a control surface, buy a control surface. If you want a digital mixer, go with the Studio Live…or both!

      Future PreSonus plans? No idea. I’d ask them directly.

    • hartkopproductions

      There is a way! I have 2 Presonus StudioLive boards. I have a copy of Presonus Studio One Pro. I have been using Cubase 4 and then 5 since it came out. I tried Studio One but it is not ready for prime time. The reverbs are not very good in the programing. The program flow is too confusing also. No phasing switch on the mixer fader section. I have abandoned Studio One for MY CUBASE 5.

      You need to reasign the outputs of the input faders to the StudioLIve inputs. 34 in 34 out. Then output needs to be tucked into tracks 33 and 34 in input. Then 33 and 34 go to 17 and 18. This the output to the main fader (remember this piece of info). This has been a brain teaser.

      The problem I have is once recorded, I can not export it through the board. There has to be a way through one to the FX busses. I will get it and let you know. I have been working on this over this weekend. Any ideas from anyone?

    • Thomas Hartkop

      I have been using Cubase 5 with 2 Presonus StudioLive boards. The initial set up was a nightmare but once set up it is great. I love Cubase 5 because it has pitch control that Cubase 4 and Presonus StudioOne Pro do not have. The initial problem was the input and outputs. Once you get the pattern, It works great. Cubase 5 is more stable than StudioOne Pro. All settings for each song on Cubase 5 can be saved in Cubase 5 and the settings on StudioLive can be saved as a “Scene”. It makes it possible to mix a song through the board and use the faders and effects. The output is on tracks 17 -18 back into Cubase 5. I have it set up 48 in 32 out.

      All inputs and outputs on Cubase 5 are set to 0 dB. Any questions, e-mail me. Tom

      • Kevin brunelle

        Hi !
        I just bought a 16.4.2 and im using it with cubase 5 ! I’m looking for a way to create an “aux” bus in cubase and then take it to a aux channel in the mixer. This way i could take a plug-in effect and use it as an aux in the studiolive!
        Thanks !

      • Thomas Hartkop

        January 2012, December 2011 I moved into Studio One 2 with Melodyne Editor. What a program. With the new refinements, I am sold. I have been waiting for Studio One 2 and it is here. I am now learning Melodyne which will be a great help when working with High School students that need all the help they can get with their senior projects. I start my next CD this afternoon (the first project on Studio One 2).
        I have a 20 piece Jazz Ensemble album to finish up the last tracks on Cubase 5 then that is it for Cubase.
        I am excited.

      • Pablo

        Hi guy excuseme my English is bad but I try to now this forum in order to leran use my presonus studio live 1602.
        I see, that you now more of this topic cubase5 and presonus, Can you tell me if I can to use with cuabse 5, presonus 1602 and win7?.
        and at last, Why I can’t instale cubase 5 ion win 7, becose, when i am instaling, stop and it isn’t continue only came since first window and any more. i very greatfull for your help.

        • Joe Gilder

          Hi Pablo. I don’t do technical support here, so I really don’t know the answer to your problems. You need to call technical support at Cubase or Presonus.

          But yes, I think the 1602 should work with Cubase 5 and Win7, but I’ve not done it myself. Check with them.

  4. Albi Collier

    Hi there,
    My name is Albi Collier,
    I am a blind multi instrumental engineer and I am seriously “looking” to get one of these as I think it is the most accessible and intuitive devices we visually impaired people could hope for… For starters it saves on plugging in outboard gear… as well as carrying it! saving us time and the hassle of having to remember what goes to what with the cables, secondly since the fat track has the same controls for every track that makes it as simple as could possibly be for one to use, just select the channel and twiddle away, same with setting up monitor sends, fx, and the controls on the fat track itself!! The other amazing thing about this is that once one is firmilliar with the controls ie EQ, compression knobs etc, it lets us use our ears to finetune in our sound… the banks seem easy as I would just cycle through the fx and alter them depending on what my ear is telling me to do, eventually I am certain one would memorise where the fx are in relation to one another… Another brilliant feature is the fact that you can send the audio back through the faders in the studio… so we can do mixdowns through the same faders we record through again limiting mouse dependence…
    So I would like to personally thank presonus for the opportunity to have access to such technology and giving me the independence to completely run sound Live and in studio sessions at the best of my ability without the hassle of the difficulties I have had in the past… although I learnt my way around the EMI Neve at York St studios in New Zealand, but without braille on the patchbay I was limited.

    I would love to put together a video for presonus that shows them how I get around my limitations through their technology
    also the fastrack daw controller is awesome for very similar reasons! Actually I probably wouldn’t do any more than write on here as I wouldn’t wanna look like a poser… But I just want people to know that it is practically made for us!

    Anyways back to the recording… Thanks for this forum!

    Albi Collier

    • Joe Gilder

      Thanks for the input! I’ll be sure to point folks towards your comment when they ask about a good mixer for the visually impaired.

  5. randy gilkey

    Could a blind person use this? Is their a lot of menu’s? I use sonar and am getting a laptop soon I play live a lot as well this really sounds promising.

    • Joe Gilder

      Hi Randy. I actually talked to a blind man a few weeks ago about using this, and I think it could possibly still work. There are very few menus. You really just use the menus to select your reverb and delay effects. 99% of the time, you’ll be working with the faders, buttons, and knobs. You would need to select the channel you want to work on, then adjust all the corresponding knobs accordingly. Very little is dependent on a visual read-out.

    • Joe Gilder

      It actually sounds REALLY good. It has the same class-A preamps and converters as the FireStudio and Digimax products from PreSonus. Nice “studio” quality.

        • Joe Gilder

          One thing to note is the the StudioLive isn’t a control surface, although it’s still a pretty cool front end to a studio.



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