Tag: PreSonus

Presonus Debuts a new line of Intelligent Speakers at the 2013 NAMM Show

Presonus has released an exciting new line of Live Sound Reinforcement Speakers that they are branding under their StudioLive flag.    These speakers all feature “Active Integration”   which is a proprietary networking system that allows all the components of your StudioLive Mixer and Speakers to communicate with each other.

ACTIVE INTEGRATION

Active Integration is a Wi-Fi based networking system for  communications, wireless networking, and control of the vast amounts of DSP found in a specialized custom chipset built into each speaker, resulting in a system that can easily detect, manipulate, and control each component of the system in the network enabling the room to be tuned and manipulated from one position.

The StudioLive Active Integration system includes more DSP power physically built into each speaker than a standalone rack mount speaker management system.  The included USB Wi-Fi LAN adapter enables wireless networking via a small USB dongle on each speaker.   This gives you an unprecedented amount of control over individual speakers through the network, which can be manipulated from anywhere in the room via a laptop, iPad, or iPhone and iPod touch for monitor controls.

StudioLive Room Control

SL Room Control  is speaker management software that allows you to interface directly with your entire system via a laptop or iOS device.    All you need to do is create a local area network using a wireless router and connect your StudioLive AI speakers with the included USB 2.0 Wi-Fi LAN adapter or onboard Ethercon connection.    You also connect your laptop or iPad  to the same Wi-Fi network and launch SL Room Control and your free to use a plethora of EQ and dynamic presets, RTA and SMAART applications as well as monitor temperature, set delay time and phase for your entire StudioLive AI speaker system.

The Speakers

Designed by David Gunness, formerly of EAW and Electro Voice, the SL series speakers sport a coaxial design.   This means the tweeters are set in the same axis occupying the same space.   In actuality the tweeters fire directly through the dust cap of the midrange drivers with the aid of an external wave guide.  Without getting too technical, the coaxial design of these speakers results in a homogenous wave pattern from the same source throughout the speakers frequency response.  Non coaxial, component based speakers have asymmetrical dispersion patterns that can result in varying phase anomalies dependent on the position of the observer.

StudioLive  18sAI

StudioLive 18sAI offers the benefits of Active Integration, including remote control—including wireless control—over output level, user-adjustable contours, and more and uses 32-bit floating point DSP for the variable crossover, dynamic limiting, and excursion limiting.

 StudioLive 312AI

A compact, powered, full-range, 3-way loudspeaker, StudioLive 312AI relies on a 12-inch ferrite woofer for low frequencies and a custom-designed, 8-inch coaxial speaker with a 1.75-inch titanium compression driver to reproduce the mid and high frequencies. These transducers are driven by a hefty 2,000W RMS of triamplified, Class D power.

 

StudioLive 315AI

The StudioLive 315AI is perfect for large venues and bands that need full-range speakers with plenty of low end. The StudioLive 315AI provides 3-way coverage, with a 15-inch speaker for low frequencies and a custom-designed, 8-inch coaxial speaker with a 1.75-inch titanium compression driver to reproduce the mid and high frequencies. These transducers are driven by a hefty 2,000W RMS of triamplified, Class D power.

 

StudioLive 328AI

A 3-way system that features dual 8-inch ferrite woofers and a coaxial 8-inch ferrite midrange speaker and 1.75-inch compression driver, the StudioLive 328AI delivers full-range, high-powered performance, yet is streamlined and compact. These transducers are driven by a hefty 2,000W RMS of quad-amplified, Class D power.

PRM1

To get the most out of your Presonus AI System you need to use an accurate reference microphone to measure the tonality of the room your tuning your system to.  The PRM1 can handle up to 132 dj SPL and has a linear frequency response 20Hz-20kHz, enabling you to take advantage of the RTA (real-time analyser) units and software like SMAART and Virtual StudioLive.

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PreSonus Audio Box Studio Comes With A Lot For A Little

PreSonus Audio Box Studio

If you’ve ever wanted to get into audio recording, but were intimidated by the vast variety (not to mention the often high cost) of gear and software, your solution has arrived! With the Audio Box Studio by PreSonus, you get a high-quality selection of gear and software from a brand that’s trusted by audio professionals around the globe that doesn’t weigh too heavily on your wallet.

The Interface:

AudioBox USB

First up is the AudioBox USB interface. This impressive little guy has two XLR/TRS combo jack inputs for both microphones and guitars and MIDI I/O for, well, any instrument that utilizes MIDI. MIDI‘s not just for keyboards, you know! Anyway, its Main and Headphone outputs are 1/4″ TRS, and it hooks up to your computer via USB. Honestly, with this interface, you’re pretty well set in just about any recording situation.

The Microphone:

M7 High Definition Condenser Microphone

It also has +48V phantom power for use with condenser microphones, which is certainly good news considering that the included M7 high-definition, large-diaphragm cardioid condenser microphone requires it! This package includes a 9 foot cable, and a protective cloth carry bag for the microphone, making it nicely portable and perfect for recording on the road. To read more on condenser microphones and the cardioid polar pattern, check out these two previous blogs of ours: Demystifying Microphones & Polar Patterns (Demystifying Microphones, Part 2).

The Headphones:

HD 7 Headphones

Plus, it’s hard to go wrong with a quality set of headphones like these. With high-resolution neodymium drivers, precision-tuned acoustic chambers and an extended bass response, you’ll hear everything you need to hear with the clarity that professionals require. These babies are lightweight, comfortable and have a single-sided 8 foot cable, giving you plenty of room to move around if necessary.

The Software:

HD 7 Headphones

Finally, we come to the software; which, in my opinion, is the highlight of this package. Many other DAWs have finite amounts of tracks you can make, but not Studio One Artist! You can have unlimited audio, MIDI, virtual instruments, buses and FX channel tracks. Studio One Artist boasts the “most intuitive MIDI-mapping system available,” real-time audio timestretching and resampling, not to mention automatic delay compensation which is fantastic for sessions that have a lot of effects in them. If all that wasn’t enough, the Studio One Artist DVD-ROM comes with 4+ GB of third-party software, loops and virtual instruments. How’s that for value, hmm?! So, what are you waiting for? A top secret jambalaya recipe or something?!

The Jambalaya:

Jambalaya

Well, hilariously enough, PreSonus actually does include a jambalaya recipe on page 81 (all the way at the bottom) of their quickstart guide for the AudioBox Studio. I think they’ve become my new favorite manufacturer. Frankly, I’ll be picking one of these AudioBox Studio packages up myself soon, because bundles as great and affordable as this one don’t come around very often. Hurry before they’re all gone! What are you doing wasting time still reading these last sentences?! Go! Go! Go! And make jambalaya!

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DAWs, Automation, and the PreSonus FaderPort

On Leap Year, February 29th, we featured a pretty awesome piece of gear by PreSonus called the FaderPort as the Daily Deal. Now, despite Sonic Electronix making great strides in pro and home audio, we’re still primarily known for our car audio products. Many of our customers probably have no idea what a unit like the FaderPort would even be used for… until now. I hope you’re listening, because school’s now in session!

Single Channel USB Automation Controller with Transport Controls

DAWs and Automation

First of all, “DAW” stands for “Digital Audio Workstation,” and they are the means through which virtually all music is recorded, edited, mixed and mastered nowadays. Secondly, one of the great things about DAWs is that they have something called “automation,” that was carried over from those huge, old-school mixing consoles that were their predecessors.

Basically, automation is a way to non-destructively change some aspect of your audio over time in a mix. Some common examples are volume, muting, panning and DSP (Digital Signal Processing) effect levels. To break it down a little further, let me give a practical example: let’s say you’re mixing a song and you notice that between 1:00 and 1:05, the song gets quieter than you’d like it to be. A little automation can fix that in a snap!

Automation modes

It would be near impossible for me to speak for all DAWs, but the two most popular ones, Apple’s Logic and Avid’s Pro Tools, have four main automation modes:

  1. Read:
  2. The default automation mode. All this means is that your DAW will follow any automation data that exists on your track.

    Automation Read
    Read Mode
  3. Touch:
  4. In this mode, automation data will begin writing once you “touch” a fader, button or knob: either using a mouse in the DAW program or with your finger(s) through tangible faders, buttons and knobs like those on the PreSonus FaderPort.

    As soon as you let go, it will snap back to wherever the playhead was on the automation line when you pressed play, and will resume reading any automation data that’s on the track. Pro Tools even allows you to set the speed of the snap back.


    Touch Mode
  5. Latch:
  6. This mode is like Touch mode, except that instead of snapping back to where it was when you pressed Play, it remains at the level you leave it at. Like both Touch and Write Mode, Latch will overwrite any automation data it comes across.

    Unlike Write Mode, however, neither Touch nor Latch Mode will overwrite automation data without you touching a fader, knob and/or button; both modes will simply read automation data as would normally occur in Read Mode.

    Automation Latch
    Latch Mode
  7. Write:
  8. This mode will start writing automation data wherever the (vertical) playhead sits on that bold, black (horizontal) automation line, destructively overwriting whatever automation data it comes across.

    In the picture to the right, the red line you see is the automation data being written. As soon as I press Stop on the DAW, all that automation data above the red line will be erased. (Also, keep in mind that you can Undo those changes.)

    Automation Write
    Write Mode

The PreSonus FaderPort:

So, how does that all tie in? Well, the FaderPort can help you do all that stuff with a tangible fader, buttons and knobs, which minimizes time wasted having to navigate around with your mouse, not to mention learning scads of keyboard shortcuts and such.

As a pro audio engineer myself, let me tell you, a device like the FaderPort is tremendously helpful and is a steal at its current price; especially for those of us on a tighter budget.

Anyway, that about wraps it up! I hope you all learned something and will pick up one of those sweet FaderPorts before they’re gone!

FaderPort
Pick up yours today!

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Headphone Amplifiers

If you are one of the many lovers of music who understand the importance of investing in a premium set of headphones,  you may also consider investing in the missing piece of the puzzle to make your great headphones sound amazing.

Headphone amps aren’t just an expensive toy for eccentric audiophiles.   Since the advent of the iPod and iPhone, the past decade has undergone a revolution in the way we experience music.   We compile our own personal playlists and shuffle through life to our own soundtrack, and we make a very personalized statement with the way we experience our music.

A headphone amplifier is typically a class A transistor circuit amp, although they are sometimes vacuum tube driven amplifiers, that will enable you to get the absolute most out of your headphones.   Your high-end headphones are designed to work in a very specific way,  and unlike the white ear buds that came with your phone, the drivers in your high-end headphones are much larger and require much more power to  reproduce all frequencies and perform to their max potential.

A high-end headphone amplifier like the Grado RA-1 uses a 32Ohm output impedance allowing you to make a great set of  high-end headphones sound amazing all in one stylish and sexy package.   This amp is also available in a portable version powered from two nine volt batteries.

Another use for a headphone amplifier is to allow multiple users to experience the same audio source all at once.   Some times refered to as distribution amps, these devices are designed for music production but can be employed by any group of music lovers who all want to get the best possible sonic experience.   The Presonus HP4 is the perfect way to pass the sound around, with four independent level controls the Hp4 gives you a ton of control.

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The Presonus Monitor Station vs. The Mackie Big Knob

Presonus Monitor StationMackie Big Knob

The Mackie Big Knob and the Presonus Monitor Station are both studio monitor control centers designed to give flexibility in selecting monitor mix sources as well as selecting sets of monitors to be used.    To achieve the best possible mix and keep your monitors and room from lying to you, it is very important to be able to reference your mix over different monitors including nearfeild, main, and reference monitors.  Both the Mackie Big Knob and Presonus Monitor Station fill an indispensable role in the studio by enabling the user to select monitor sources as well.   The ability to effortlessly switch from “pre-tape” (post mixer but prior to recording media) to “post-tape” (post mixer and post recording media) gives you the power to know exactly how every component in your signal chain is coloring your sound.  This feature can also be used as a patching system of sorts as the monitor sources have an independent output  on both of these monitoring systems.   Another very important feature bother of these units have is a “talk-back” mic.  This enables an engineer or producer to stay in communication with the artist or talent who may be isolated in a vocal booth.   How would you like to be able to say to your vocalist: “That’s a great take Jenny, now come on in to the control room and let’s give it a listen”?

The Presonus Monitor Station

The main glaring difference between the Presonus Monitor Station Mackie Big Knob is the Monitor Sations’ incorporated headphone amplifiers.  Using two main busses to route signal from, headphone mixes can be assigned to any of the four headphone amps from either the main mix or cue mix.  This is particularly handy for sending a click track to a drummer or bass player while sending a completely different “more me mix” to a vocalist.


Monitor Station Rear

The Mackie Big Knob

Where the Big Knob lacks in headphone mix distribution is makes up for in signal routing options.  The Big Knob features four stereo input connections for monitor sources including a nice phono amp for a turn table.   There are three main monitor options to switch to with individual level potentiometers.  This is a nice feature for leveling and balancing multiple sets of monitors without having to adjust your mix.   Like the Monitor Station the Big Know features an external mic option for the talk-back circuit, but one step further with a footswitch trigger.  Handy for giving notes while your fingers are full of faders.


Big Knob Rear

So what’s right for you?

Both of these monitor control systems fill an indispensable role in the studio as they both poses the crucial features needed to both capture the best performance from your artist via the talk-back systems as well as the ability scrutinize your mix over different reference monitors.  It all boils down to The Monitor Stations’ extended cue mix and headphone mix distribution ability to the Big Knobs’ advance routing capabilities.     So here is the deal if you are tracking more than two artists at once and you need more than one headphone mix, the Monitor Station may be right for you,  However if you would find it more advantageous to have an extra monitor source to select from than you definitely need to give the Mackie Big Knob a shot.

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