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New mixer for band. Need advice: A&H or Presonus SL?


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My band is FINALLY upgrading our PMP4000! We have 3 singers, lead guitar, bass, drummer, percussionist, two keyboard players, and a sax player. We want to upgrade to the A&H ZED 24, ZED428, or GL2400 24-channel. We want to be able to record our live shows but mainly the mixer will be for live performance. When we got ready to buy, the audio salesman pitched the Presonus StudioLive 16.4.2 and the 24.4.2. How does this measure up to the A&H mixers? Does this look like a good choice for us? ........then again, I guess anything is an upgrade from our Behringer! LOL! But you got to start somewhere. :thu:Thanks in advance for your help and advice!! :thu:

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Well, it sounds like 16 channels could be tight so the 16.4.2 would seemingly be out. I went from an A&H Mixwiz to the Presonus Studiolive and it was an upgrade for me. The full meter bridge alone was worth the extra $800.... really. Would the SL be right for you? that depends on a few things.

 

1 - Do you already own processing (compression, gates, EQ's for all monitors)? - With your band being rather large, that means a lot of open microphones, without gates and downward expanders you're likely bleeding all kinds of back line through the FOH. The SL can clean this up. If you have these things and are comfortable with them, you can just add an analog mixer and go.

 

2 - Are you mixing form stage? If so, a meter bridge is a godsend. Also, having all controls on the horizontal plane is a beautiful thing versus stooping down to adjust things.

 

3 - Will you be using "hired help" to mix? If so, you may want to stay with a traditional analog board as it will be more universally friendly.

 

4 - Do you mind learning a different way of doing things? I find the SL to be intuitive and quick to learn, but I'm naturally curious and interested in sound reinforcement in general so I was excited and eager to learn.

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Well, it sounds like 16 channels could be tight so the 16.4.2 would seemingly be out. I went from an A&H Mixwiz to the Presonus Studiolive and it was an upgrade for me. The full meter bridge alone was worth the extra $800.... really. Would the SL be right for you? that depends on a few things.


1 - Do you already own processing (compression, gates, EQ's for all monitors)? - With your band being rather large, that means a lot of open microphones, without gates and downward expanders you're likely bleeding all kinds of back line through the FOH. The SL can clean this up. If you have these things and are comfortable with them, you can just add an analog mixer and go.


2 - Are you mixing form stage? If so, a meter bridge is a godsend. Also, having all controls on the horizontal plane is a beautiful thing versus stooping down to adjust things.


3 - Will you be using "hired help" to mix? If so, you may want to stay with a traditional analog board as it will be more universally friendly.


4 - Do you mind learning a different way of doing things? I find the SL to be intuitive and quick to learn, but I'm naturally curious and interested in sound reinforcement in general so I was excited and eager to learn.

 

 

We dont have that much outboard gear. I think that's why the sales guy pointed us in that direction. I have an iPad2 and he told me that I could remote from that from the stage, which was a good idea for me. Since I've posted, I've been reading about this mixer everywhere! (Where have I been?? smh) I think that we may try out the 24.4.2. Our package for the A&H w/outboard gear came to a few thousand more!

 

Thanks for yall input!

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Abzurd did a great job breaking this down:

 

SL is an excellent Swiss Army Knife. Everything you need in a 1 package (including 31-band eqs for mains and all Auxes), including a recording interface and remote mixing (with the iPad: this is great for wringing out the monitors). But this comes with a cost; there is a learning curve. The workflow is different than what you may be used to. But once mastered, it is just as intuitive.

 

The MixWiz is the defacto standard for an analog board in the small format, and for good reason; it is an excellent sounding board and very reliable.

 

You can't go wrong with either choice. If you don't have the external gear, personally I would recommend the SL. (full disclosure: I use the SL 16.4.2)

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We dont have that much outboard gear. I think that's why the sales guy pointed us in that direction. I have an iPad2 and he told me that I could remote from that from the stage, which was a good idea for me!

 

Hopefully he also told you you'll need a laptop and a router as well ;) Sales guys tend to leave out those little details. Macbook Pros, or older Macbooks (when they still had firewire) work wonderfully. Windows machines are literally a crap shoot as firewire has been phasing out for years. It's even hard to find laptops with card slots these days. So plan on at least another grand for the computer stuff if you don't have something that will work. But hey the app is free.

 

The Ipad mixing isn't perfect, but it's pretty good. I have the mixer on stage, as I suggest you do so you're near it and, more importantly, so others aren't. I use a K&M Ipad bracket. IMO, THE K&M IS THE ONLY ONE WORTH BUYING. Everything else I've seen is total junk, but I digress. I mount on a spare microphone stand. The mic stand also holds my beer coaster :). Since I'm the front man, I put it a bit off to the side and try to only make adjustments during solos where I'll often walk off into the crowd with it. If I'm not back in time I'll just start singing where ever I am. It's quite the conversation piece actually.

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I have a 24.4.2 love it.


I use a Mac Mini & a router to record & connect to my iPad, they are mounted in the back of my light controller case...


(in this pic, the brackets werent screwed down, they are now)

0db175b3.jpg

 

You can get a 1U rack mount for the Mini - it should also hold your router (as the mount will hold two mini).

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