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Digital Consoles for Live Sound

Mar 22, 2010 12:00 PM, By George Petersen

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PreSonus StudioLive 24.4.2

PreSonus StudioLive 24.4.2

Unveiled earlier this year, 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. The heart of StudioLive is the Fat Channel, which features EQ and dynamics on every input channel, as well as on every aux, subgroup, and main output. Besides additional inputs, the 24.4.2 expands on the 16.4.2 version with a host of new features, and 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.

In other news, PreSonus has released a StudioLive 24.4.2/16.4.2 driver and Universal Control software for Mac OS X Snow Leopard and Windows 7 operating systems, which is available as a free download.

Roland Systems Group expands its V-Mixing System lineup with the RSS by Roland M-380, a 48-channel digital console with all the features of its popular M-400 V-Mixer but in a compact rackmount footprint. The M-380 V-Mixer offers setup recalls, 100mm motorized and touch-sensitive faders, an 800x480 color screen, dedicated EQ/pan/gain knobs, onboard effects, 16 aux/monitor sends, eight matrices, eight DCAs, eight mute groups, built-in stereo recording/playback, and support for LCR configurations. Based around Roland Ethernet Audio Communication (REAC), the M-380 interfaces with a variety of RSS digital snake/stagebox systems over standard Cat-5e cable. A Cakewalk multichannel recording option is also offered.

A recent free software update for the M-400 and M-380 adds control of the RSS modular digital snake system's S-4000M Merge Unit directly from the V-Mixer, allowing up to four digital snake heads to be merged into a REAC stream for flexible V-Mixing system configurations. Other functions in the new software include access to three user fader layers, expanded control of aux send/direct out muting, knob control of gate/compressor parameters, and more.

Soundcraft Si1

Soundcraft Si1

Designed to easily replace an existing analog console, the Soundcraft Si series expands with the small-footprint (1.2 meters wide) Si1, which comes standard with 48 inputs (32 mic inputs mapped on 16 faders, four stereo line channels, and four effects returns from its four onboard stereo Lexicon FX processors), eight balanced insert sends/returns, 24 group/aux buses, eight matrix buses, and main bus outs. Any group/aux/matrix bus can be assigned to any of the Si1's 16 XLR bus outs, and each bus has a 30-band BSS Audio graphic EQ. Three option card slots provide further expansion, such as recording all the channel direct outs or increasing the number of mix channels. Soundcraft's offline editor program, Virtual Si, lets users set up and manage complete shows offline for later download to a Si1 console through a USB memory key.

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