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Flexible, Multipurpose Mixing

Jul 26, 2012 3:40 PM

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Located in Corona, Calif., the Fender Center for Music Education is a busy place. The 33,000-square-foot building is home to a music school, a museum, two performance venues, and a recording studio. Run by the nonprofit Fender Museum of Music and the Arts Foundation, the Fender Center’s main focus is to provide music education to young people at little or no cost. As the center’s audio engineer Kelly McGuire explains, the program has made an impact on a great many kids’ lives.

“Our program is called Kids Rock Free,” McGuire says. “It’s a low-cost lesson program for kids from seven to 17 years old. We’ve been doing this for going on about 12 years now, and over 12,000 kids have been through the program.” The center is also home to two live performance venues: an outdoor space for events such as summer concerts and a smaller nightclub venue.

McGuire has been mixing a variety of projects on the center’s PreSonus StudioLive 24.4.2 console. “For one of our first projects, we put together a three-concert TV series starring Deana Carter,” he says. The project was a collaboration with nearby Lucas Oil. “They’re our neighbors here in Corona, and they have a full TV production studio that turns out about 100 shows per year. There are lots of musicians working over there, and they’re huge supporters of our program. They came up with the idea of doing a show with us, originating from our venue, and aired on their network.”

McGuire approached Carter and her band about the idea. “When I approached Deana, Max, and David about doing this show, I just had a really good feeling about it,” he says. “I said, ‘Let’s try it out because I think you’re really going to like it. The audio’s going to be good, and the video’s going to look fantastic.’ And that’s exactly how it turned out.”

As McGuire points out, the StudioLive enabled him to wear multiple hats during the shows, handling the live mix, monitors, TV feeds, and live recording. “I was able to mix the show live, mix a couple of other sources for the TV track, and run five monitor mixes for the band, and at the same time I was tracking the show to a MacBook, using Studio One to edit it later. That’s what’s so cool about the StudioLive. There is really nothing else that I can think of that makes the whole process so effortless and streamlined.”

But the StudioLive has been busy on more than just TV shows. “I’ve also been using the console for other stuff, including some shows, some studio recording, and some projects with the kids,” McGuire says. “It’s going to be in use all summer, pretty much all the time, including some of our outdoor concerts.”


PreSonus StudioLive 24.4.2 console

PreSonus' StudioLive 24.4.2 digital console is a 24-input live mixer with onboard 32-bit effects, four buses, 10 aux outputs, and 32 outputs (and 26 returns) via FireWire for direct-to-computer recording. Its Fat Channel functions include access to EQ and dynamics on every input channel, as well as on every aux, subgroup, and main output. Multiple StudioLive consoles (16- or 24-channel) can be cascaded for additional inputs. The package includes Capture recording software and Studio One Artist digital audio workstation software for Mac and Windows.

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