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PreSonus StudioLive 16.0.2 Mixer

Nov 21, 2011 11:34 AM, by John McJunkin

A small mixer that leverages remote control via computer.

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output to refine the overall spectral content of the final mix. It’s a 1/3-octave equalizer, but its resemblance to standard graphic EQs ends there. It employs a very sophisticated “curve-fitting” process that changes bandwidth and takes into consideration the boost or cut of the adjacent band.

As I said earlier, limitations of a user interface restricted by physical space can be overcome by a remote control graphical user interface on a computer, and PreSonus leveraged this and got it right. Its Universal Control application allows control of the mixer from both Mac and Windows computers, and I was tickled to see that an iPad can be used to control the mixer as well. This facilitates walking a room to micro-tweak EQs, among other things, or grabbing faders in the case of feedback even if you’re nowhere near the mixer—very powerful stuff. PreSonus has very thoroughly integrated computers into the system with a couple of applications aside from just remote control. Capture is a recording app that facilitates recording whatever’s happening on the mixer with just two clicks. Studio One is a full-featured DAW that allows the user to edit and mix any multitrack recording. I’m familiar with the original version of Studio One, but version 2 has been released recently, and it is vastly more sophisticated and powerful.

It’s abundantly clear to me that PreSonus’ developers sat down and really thought through the creation and implementation of this mixer. They compromised where necessary, but they poured a lot of horsepower into the mixer elsewhere. The integration with computers (and iPads) is particularly robust, and this adds even more functionality to the system. Considering the price and the performance, I can strongly recommend that you take a look at it if you need a powerful but small mixer for almost any application.

John McJunkin is the principal of Avalon Podcasting in Chandler, Ariz. He has consulted in the development of studios and installations and provides high-quality podcast-production services.

Product Summary

  • Company: PreSonus
  • Product: StudioLive 16.0.2 Mixer
  • Pros: Substantial horsepower considering tiny footprint and price.
  • Cons: Fat Channel rotary encoders can be a little confusing at first.
  • Applications: Boardroom, corporate, convention, hotel AV, theater, portable system
  • Price: $1,599


Microphone Preamp

  • Frequency response to main output: 20Hz–20kHz, ±0.5dBu
  • Input impedance: 1kΩ
  • THD to main output: <0.005%, +4dBu, 20Hz–20kHz
  • EIN to direct output: +125dB unweighted, +130dB A-weighted
  • S/N ratio to main output: -94dB, +4dB, 20kHz BW, A-wtd
  • Common mode rejection ratio: +65dB, 1kHz at unity gain
  • Gain control range: (± 1dB) -16dB to +67dB
  • Maximum input level: +16dBu (unity gain)
  • Phantom power: +48VDC (± 2VDC)

Line Inputs, Balanced

  • Frequency response to main outputs: 20Hz-20kHz, 0/-0.5 dBu
  • Input impedance: 10kΩ
  • THD to main output: <0.005%, +4 dBu, 20 Hz-20 kHz
  • S/N ratio to main output: -94dB, +4dBu, 20kHz BW, A-wtd
  • Gain control range: (± 1dB)-20dB to +20dB
  • Maximum input level: +22dBu (unity gain)

Main Outputs

  • Rated output level: +24dBu
  • Output impedance: 100Ω
  • Aux outputs
  • Rated output level: +18dBu
  • Output impedance: 100Ω

Monitor Outputs

  • Rated output level: +18dBu
  • Output impedance: 100Ω

System Crosstalk

  • Input to output: -90dBu, +4dBu, 20Hz-20kHz, unwtd
  • Adjacent channels: -87dBu, +4dBu, 20Hz-20kHz, unwtd

Noise Gate (Expander)

  • Threshold range: -84dB to 0dB
  • Attack time adaptive: (0.2 - 2.5 ms)
  • Release time: 70ms
  • Expander attenuation range: 2:1


  • Threshold range: -56dB to 0dB
  • Ratio: 1:1 to 14:1


  • Type 2nd-order shelving filter (Q=0.55)
  • Low (Low-pass or Bandpass): 36Hz to 465Hz, ±15 dB
  • Mid: 260Hz to 3.5kHz, ±15 dB
  • High (high-pass or bandpass): 1.4kHz to 18kHz, ±15 dB

Digital Audio

  • ADC dynamic range: (A-wtd, 48kHz) 118dB
  • DAC dynamic range: (A-wtd, 48kHz) 118dB
  • FireWire S400: 400Mbps
  • Internal processing: 32-bit, floating point
  • Sampling rate: 44.1, 48kHz
  • A/D/A bit depth: 24 bits
  • Reference level for 0dBFS: -18dBu

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