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A Simple Review: Studiolive 1642
Old 22nd April 2011
  #1
Gear Nut
 

A Simple Review: Studiolive 1642

My mixer went out a week ago and it has put me into a situation of looking for an alternative to my recording. I have decided it would be beneficial for not only my own type of records (lots of portable) but for my music projects that i wanted to get a type of hybrid system with firewire portability, and with use with ableton. So i have been checking out the Onyx 1642i, the Studiolive, and the Allen and Heath R16.

I wasnt so sure about the sound and use of the studiolive so luckily i got to check it out last night. I thought I would share my thoughts.

Sound: This was the place I was a little scared about it. I havnt decided if im a very big fan of Presonus pres. I was worried that the pres and conversion would be a bit edgy and harsh. However it was above par of what I expected it to sound like. I wasnt blown away by any means, but I didnt really have any complaints about the way it sounded. It has a pretty solid character to it that i would describe as clean and transparent. The high mids didnt seem too bighty and the highs sounded well rounded and balanced. I dont know if i would call it scooped, but the high bass and low low mids (100-200) didnt seem very present. Maybe just really clear and focused there. It gave the image of a very tight and clear sound. I would say in comparison i did lack depth compared to my older analog board. Much less coloration with the Studiolive. I cant say better however, just different. So my overall discription, clean and uncolored.

Fat Channel: This is where im a little more sketched on. The good news is that i didnt have a problem with the over all sound of the processing. The EQ sounded smooth and focused. Much like its preamps, not really much color but gets the job done with minimal artifacts. The overall feeling of uneasiness came more from the layout of the fat channel. Perhaps it is because im used to working on Yamaha boards like 01vs and the M7CL, but the use of the fat channel seems inefficient. It does everything that you need it to do, but it lacks a bit of fluidity. It is best to make a base preset that has all of your EQs turned on at the get go. Because if your in a hurry to EQ and your used to an analog or yamaha board, forget about it. :D I do not feel this will be any trouble after getting familiar with where everything is placed and what each knob does. It just seemed tedious. So familiarize yourself with it before tackling on something full on. After that no problem. The only other aspect of the fat channel that i found fidgety was the gain structures to all of the settings in your channel. On the EQs, the gain goes from 2, to 4, to 6 and nothing in between. The attack on the compressors go from 10 to 20 to 30 to 40, nothing in between. Not to exciting if you want to fine tune some things. You do have the ability to use precision if you use the software control from the computer, but this means having to use a mouse and computer, or ipad. I found everything to be quite usable with these limitations however. The flexibility on the semi parametric side makes a pretty useful sets of EQs. The compressor did alright with the sound, just not very versatile with the attack and release.

Firewire: This worked great, i showed up at the session, mixer was dropped off. I fired it up and plugged the firewire in and it took right off. Cubase recognized all of the channels and i recorded 15 channels straight. Not a single hic up on my PC. When i got home later and checked it out on the monitors i was pleasantly surprised. Like said above on the sound, the recording turned out pretty well. I found the pres to have a solid character to them that were very usable in recording. Definitely complimentary to colorful gear.

Routing and everything else seemed pretty simple. The aux's worked really well. I thought it was a pretty good system. The only downside would be the volume structuring again on the LED metering. I didnt really use a whole lot of the built in delays and reverbs in the board. I tried them out for some quick listening and they seemed alright. Usable. Talkback mic feature was great. Plenty of routing capabilities.

So overall i will say that i was pleasantly impressed by the board. I like the idea of having recall, and i personally would make use of software control if i were to own the studiolive. The good news is for those thinking about recording, is that i did not find really anything to complain about with the sound. In my opinion solid and usable for recording. Just note that it is very much on the clean side of things. But much better than what i expected a digital board to sound like. I think the layout of the board would definitely be something of a bother if i would have walked into a club and was not familiar with the board. I remember yamahas being a bit more intuitive and straight forward. I think its simply that even on a small display you have all the information you need in one little space in clear direct writing on a yammy. With the sudiolive i had to continuously scroll through the knobs to find out what knob did what i wanted it to do. A little practice and i was feeling comfortable, im sure with more i wouldnt think twice about it. I also did not like how you cannot pan with two channels at the same time. Again something the software control can help with.

I hope this is helpful to some people.
Old 2nd May 2011
  #2
Gear Addict
 

I've got a Studiolive 24 and I think I agree with all of this. I use some outboard pres (APIs and Porticos) and the conversion does them justice. I got used to the fat channel (for the most part). It's not as rich as my Harrison, but I really appreciate the uncolored transfer: the instrument, my mic, and placement decide the sound, not the board, and I think I really needed that. I, too, was really worried about the EQ and it works wonderfully well. I'm relieved. -E

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skadarnold View Post
My mixer went out a week ago and it has put me into a situation of looking for an alternative to my recording. I have decided it would be beneficial for not only my own type of records (lots of portable) but for my music projects that i wanted to get a type of hybrid system with firewire portability, and with use with ableton. So i have been checking out the Onyx 1642i, the Studiolive, and the Allen and Heath R16.

I wasnt so sure about the sound and use of the studiolive so luckily i got to check it out last night. I thought I would share my thoughts.

Sound: This was the place I was a little scared about it. I havnt decided if im a very big fan of Presonus pres. I was worried that the pres and conversion would be a bit edgy and harsh. However it was above par of what I expected it to sound like. I wasnt blown away by any means, but I didnt really have any complaints about the way it sounded. It has a pretty solid character to it that i would describe as clean and transparent. The high mids didnt seem too bighty and the highs sounded well rounded and balanced. I dont know if i would call it scooped, but the high bass and low low mids (100-200) didnt seem very present. Maybe just really clear and focused there. It gave the image of a very tight and clear sound. I would say in comparison i did lack depth compared to my older analog board. Much less coloration with the Studiolive. I cant say better however, just different. So my overall discription, clean and uncolored.

Fat Channel: This is where im a little more sketched on. The good news is that i didnt have a problem with the over all sound of the processing. The EQ sounded smooth and focused. Much like its preamps, not really much color but gets the job done with minimal artifacts. The overall feeling of uneasiness came more from the layout of the fat channel. Perhaps it is because im used to working on Yamaha boards like 01vs and the M7CL, but the use of the fat channel seems inefficient. It does everything that you need it to do, but it lacks a bit of fluidity. It is best to make a base preset that has all of your EQs turned on at the get go. Because if your in a hurry to EQ and your used to an analog or yamaha board, forget about it. :D I do not feel this will be any trouble after getting familiar with where everything is placed and what each knob does. It just seemed tedious. So familiarize yourself with it before tackling on something full on. After that no problem. The only other aspect of the fat channel that i found fidgety was the gain structures to all of the settings in your channel. On the EQs, the gain goes from 2, to 4, to 6 and nothing in between. The attack on the compressors go from 10 to 20 to 30 to 40, nothing in between. Not to exciting if you want to fine tune some things. You do have the ability to use precision if you use the software control from the computer, but this means having to use a mouse and computer, or ipad. I found everything to be quite usable with these limitations however. The flexibility on the semi parametric side makes a pretty useful sets of EQs. The compressor did alright with the sound, just not very versatile with the attack and release.

Firewire: This worked great, i showed up at the session, mixer was dropped off. I fired it up and plugged the firewire in and it took right off. Cubase recognized all of the channels and i recorded 15 channels straight. Not a single hic up on my PC. When i got home later and checked it out on the monitors i was pleasantly surprised. Like said above on the sound, the recording turned out pretty well. I found the pres to have a solid character to them that were very usable in recording. Definitely complimentary to colorful gear.

Routing and everything else seemed pretty simple. The aux's worked really well. I thought it was a pretty good system. The only downside would be the volume structuring again on the LED metering. I didnt really use a whole lot of the built in delays and reverbs in the board. I tried them out for some quick listening and they seemed alright. Usable. Talkback mic feature was great. Plenty of routing capabilities.

So overall i will say that i was pleasantly impressed by the board. I like the idea of having recall, and i personally would make use of software control if i were to own the studiolive. The good news is for those thinking about recording, is that i did not find really anything to complain about with the sound. In my opinion solid and usable for recording. Just note that it is very much on the clean side of things. But much better than what i expected a digital board to sound like. I think the layout of the board would definitely be something of a bother if i would have walked into a club and was not familiar with the board. I remember yamahas being a bit more intuitive and straight forward. I think its simply that even on a small display you have all the information you need in one little space in clear direct writing on a yammy. With the sudiolive i had to continuously scroll through the knobs to find out what knob did what i wanted it to do. A little practice and i was feeling comfortable, im sure with more i wouldnt think twice about it. I also did not like how you cannot pan with two channels at the same time. Again something the software control can help with.

I hope this is helpful to some people.
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