Presonus: StudioLive 16.4.2 Console

Presonus StudioLive 16.4.2

Update: StudioLive V 1.11 Update

Presonus has entered the great Digital Console race, with their offering of the StudioLive 16.4.2.

The StudioLive 16.4.2 is not only a recording console, not only a live console, but a mix somewhere in between.

The Basics

  • 16 Channels In
    • XLR and TRS on Every Channel
    • Insert Point on Every Channel
  • 6 Aux’s w/ Analog Out
  • 4 Sub Groups
  • 2 Stereo Aux Returns
  • Main Outs (L/R/C)
  • Control Room Out
  • Firewire Interface for Recording, 32 to Computer, 18 Back
  • 19″ Rack Mountable

This covers the basics.  My question, 16 channels?  For Live?  Even with snap shots for multiple groups, is 16 channels enough for most “National Acts”?  The Answer?  No.

The Control Surface

  • Mic Gain Control
  • 48V Phantom Power
  • Firewire “Arming” (to send, or not to send)
  • Select Button (to bring up the Channel’s Dynamics Control)
  • Typical Digital Console Master Section Includes (select channel, use 1 master section for all channels)…
    • High Pass Filter
    • Phase Reverse
    • Gate Controls
    • Compressor/Limiter Controls
    • 4 Band Almost Parametric EQ (Switchable Q, Wide, Not so Wide)
    • Pan
    • Stereo and Group Assignments
    • Individual Channel Save/Load/Copy Functions
    • All but Phase Reversal and HPF Usable on ST or Aux Outs
  • Switchable Input/Output Metering (Pre/Post Dynamics)
  • Aux Metering Toggle (Meters on Channel Meters)
  • Typical Master Section w/ added…
    • Send Tape Input and Stereo Out through the Firewire to Record

Seems pretty intuitive… Now to FX

  • Max 2 Active On Board FX
  • Can assign their Output/Inputs to Auxs
  • Rev, Delay, and other time Based FX available
  • Analog Outputs/Inputs for analog outboard gear

Limited On Board FX… I was hoping to see all inclusive FX, with no need to travel outside the console, but, Oh Well.


  • Compatible with Logic, Nuendo, Cubase, Sonar, Digital Performer and more
  • Also their own proprietary DAW, CAPTURE
  • Windows and Mac Compatible
  • 32 Sends, 18 Returns via Firewire
    • Sends – 1-16
      • 16 Channels
    • Sends 17-32 – Any combination of these can be sent via Console’s Software
      • Main LR
      • Sub Groups
      • Auxes
      • Internal Aux Sends
      • Internal Aux Returns
      • Analog Aux Returns
      • Analog FX Returns
      • Tape In
      • Talk Back
      • Solo
  • 32 Channels Available Using 2 Firewire Ports
  • You can use Plug-In Effects (DAW Side) as Inserts

All in all, I’d say this console is ruled out for any large scale use.   A perfect console for home recording, as well as weekend warrior live sound excursions.

16 Inputs is the real limiting factor.  Most shows i work at more than a local level, are definitely well over 16 channels.

If the price is any indicator of their presumed use, they’re looking for your high/mid level personal user.


As much as I’d love to see Presonus’ StudioLive 16.4.2 console thrive, I think it’ll see it’s limited use in high end home recording, or maybe extended use in Church or Non-Musical areas.

Update: StudioLive V 1.11 Update

Presonus’ StudioLive 16.4.2 Website

presonusPresonus StudioLive 16.4.2
On for $1995.00