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Live recording completely ruined by Studiolive 16
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bjornson
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Joined: 09/09/2010 01:14:07
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Multiple 2 second dropouts in the files. None of them line up in Protools.
What an absolute sham of a feature.
Thank God I had a great stereo mix direct to the camera.
I will NEVER trust this unit again, and I have three.
Why oh why didn't I just bring my digi sc48.....
fazmanicg
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Wow! .... a little harsh there. Sorry to hear it, but there are MANY, and I mean MANY of us here who have recorded for hours on end with NO PROBLEMS whatsoever. Before blaming the board, let's take a look at what you have as far as equipment (PC/Mac, etc.). Perhaps we can help sort this out for you.

PS - Did you ever do a test recording at home before bringing the StudioLive to a gig?
Could have saved some headaches ......
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bjornson
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Joined: 09/09/2010 01:14:07
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Maybe harsh for the bedroom but not for a professional application.
I did of course try this setup for a 15 minute test before the 2 hr show.
After doing a little google search this is a known problem.

http://www.google.com/search?source=ig&hl=en&rlz=1G1ACGW_ENUS361&q=presonus+studio+live+dropouts&btnG=Google+Search&aq=f&oq=

IMO Presonus needs to step to the plate, admit there's a problem and advise users not to use this piece for mission critical applications until it's resolved.
Mac 2ghz intel os 10.5.6 2gig ram 7200 rpm external usb 2 seagate. This drive has throughput 32 tracks of 24/48 in other applications.
This was 6 freakin tracks!!!
Dropouts all through the recording at different places on different tracks. All WRITTEN to the disk as one CONTIGUOUS FILE.
UNACCEPTABLE. Thankfully I always run redundant recorders.
From Sony 3348 to Tascam 2424 to Protools HD, Studer 2" I've used and owned them all.
My guess is some sort of buffer under-run thats ignored by the Presonus and passed through the stream as a big "whatever".
Add to this the "mute audio during scene change" debacle and you have a real winner here..
This product is MI grade.
I'm going to run time code to all the tracks while in record and diagnose the problem.
If anyone at Presonus cares to look at the results, feel free to PM me.
It's a small world out there in PRO audio, and word gets around..

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 21/12/2010 20:37:37

LRS
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Not wishing to be dismissive of your problem but I have done many recordings using the SL16 with absolutely no problems. On two occasions I have even used two boards synced together (not recording into Capture though) and everything has worked perfectly.

I use a MacBook Pro core 2 duo 2.53 with external USB HDD drive.

I believe that most issues regarding dropouts have been thought to be of a firewire nature. Given this I bought my firewire cables from Granite Digital and have not had any firewire problems.

The wav files should carry broadcast information so should all line up in Protools so I'm not sure why that isn't happening.

Cheers
Graham
www.lakesiderecordingstudio.co.nz

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 21/12/2010 20:48:55

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bjornson
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Joined: 09/09/2010 01:14:07
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On a more humorous note, Take a long look at the photo at the top of the page...
The "guitar player" on the left must of just heard the dropouts in his recording...
The "singer" with the while cap just gave up and is calling his girlfriend as the "studio owner" does the "swear and stare" at the screen,
silently regretting his purchase.
The "engineer" is throwing his hands up in disbelief , wondering why he ever trusted this gear to deliver a quality product to his client.
Perfect!
Now thats harsh!

bmdenton23
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Joined: 28/07/2010 16:13:50
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Just to reiterate what the others are saying, there are an awful lot of us here that have never had any problems recording with the SL16. Having said that I have not found the capture program to be that reliable and so I record with Reaper/Audition on a PC. That was the first version of capture and things may have improved drastically since then.

And this is not meant to take a shot at you at all or dismiss your problem, but if you're running what you call a mission critical application, a 15 minute test just before the show is not really doing your due diligence if you expect professional results.

I ran the SL16 for hours and recorded with multiple programs before I took it out into the field.
There are just too many variables when it comes to digital recording to risk doing a 15 minute test for a mission critical application.

There aren't many professional applications today whether software or hardware that don't themselves require professional testing/attention/understanding before they're used. It's just the world in which we live in.

Give Presonus a chance to fix your problem before you go blasting their products in a forum scaring away potential buyers. I think you'll find Presonus a step above when it comes to support.

bjornson
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bmdenton23 wrote:Just to reiterate what the others are saying, there are an awful lot of us here that have never had any problems recording with the SL16. Having said that I have not found the capture program to be that reliable and so I record with Reaper/Audition on a PC. That was the first version of capture and things may have improved drastically since then.

And this is not meant to take a shot at you at all or dismiss your problem, but if you're running what you call a mission critical application, a 15 minute test just before the show is not really doing your due diligence if you expect professional results.

I ran the SL16 for hours and recorded with multiple programs before I took it out into the field.
There are just too many variables when it comes to digital recording to risk doing a 15 minute test for a mission critical application.

There aren't many professional applications today whether software or hardware that don't themselves require professional testing/attention/understanding before they're used. It's just the world in which we live in.

Give Presonus a chance to fix your problem before you go blasting their products in a forum scaring away potential buyers. I think you'll find Presonus a step above when it comes to support.


Just to respond to your questions,
1st) I didn't say I used the unit for a mission critical application, as I have many other high end tools that I have COMPLETE faith in, and have a track record of impeccable performance on Grammy winning recordings, feature film work and NFL, NHL and MLB broadcasts. I AM however, urging others not to.
This was a grade school Xmas event for my children..... and I had a completely redundant backup recording in place, thank you.
2nd) If a chain of gear works in a short burn in test with multiple starts and stops, but then fails with out changing any piece of the chain, I deem it UNRELIABLE and not fit for professional use. Period. The drive and computer in question are tweeked for AV operation and solid with every other piece of software and hardware I own, which is considerable.
3rd) I bought three of these units to evaluate as I begin to rotate out the 15 or so Yamaha Promix01-03s that I own and have used in Corporate AV for 10+ years without a SINGLE failure. Thats what is required for a piece of equipment to be included in my rental inventory. These units have FAILED that evaluation. I guess I keep buying LS9's....
4th) According to this very forum 23% of owners have had "problems" with their unit. That's almost ONE OUT OF FOUR OWNERS.
If 5% of my customers had "problems" with my products and services, heads would roll.
I look forward to the outcome of my techs evaluation, which includes measuring and verifying the throughput of the Studiolives firewire stream.
Sincerely,
Dave Bjornson


This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 22/12/2010 03:19:13

MikeRivers
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bjornson wrote: If a chain of gear works in a short burn in test with multiple starts and stops, but then fails with out changing any piece of the chain, I deem it UNRELIABLE and not fit for professional use.

Was it moved? If so, then you changed something. Many problems with the StudioLive have been traced to an intermittent Firewire connection. I know that people have been using high grade external Firewire drives with Pro Tools and other systems in "professional" applications for quite some time, but there's something about this generation's low budget Firewire connectors that just don't always work reliably. Maybe it's the Chinese material.

I think, though, that the way you've described the problem might be something different. You said that the recorded track files were contiguous, yet had gaps in the audio. Was the mixer being used for PA as well as recording? Or if it wasn't, were you monitoring it? Generally the mixer goes kaflooey when the Firewire connection drops. If it's short term, it'll usually recover without a reboot, but it loses its word clock, and hence loses the audio data during the interim. If you had been listening to the output of the mixer, you would have heard the interruption. Were you? Did you?

I'm also somewhat disturbed by what seems to be a high problem rate, but understand that a forum like this is not a very good sample of the population. Still, even a couple of dozen failures, if they're really failures, isn't very good. Unfortunately, we never seem to hear of a final resolution. In many cases, PreSonus or a dealer replaces a mixer and it's the last we hear from that user. Or they repair it at the factory and the diagnosis and repair is almost never revealed. There seemed to be a rash of defective power supplies early on in the 16-channel version that had a radiated EMI problem, but we've never heard about a faulty chip, bad solder joint, flaky internal cable connection, and so on.

But since the mixer isn't considered to be user serviceable, and there are a lot of competitive manufacturers out there who would be happy to jump on to a problem and use it for their own marketing purposes, I'm not surprised that this is all a bit hush-hush.

Bottom line - If you're the professional that you say you are, you really shouldn't be playing with equipment built and priced for the other end of the working scale. This is not the same industry that builds the Studers. They come remarkably close, and bring some amazing technology to many people who could never afford it 10 years ago, but it comes at a price. If you've found some gear that you like and that's been reliable for you, stick with it.

You may have a problem that can be fixed. Or you may not. But please don't pee in the pool. By the way, I consider myself a professional, too, and I don't own a StudioLive. I'm not willing to accept the compromises I'd have to make in order to work with it, so I'm sticking with what works for me. But I'm interested enough in seeing how it progresses and what "kids these days" are doing with it. There's some good work being done with this mixer by people who don't have the same background and standards as you.
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formula428
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Joined: 18/09/2010 18:15:47
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Sorry that you had trouble. I just got done recording another 2 hour session (continuous) without any trouble. That makes 27 over the span of 13 months, not including 100+ individual songs.
bjornson
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Joined: 09/09/2010 01:14:07
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MikeRivers wrote:
bjornson wrote: If a chain of gear works in a short burn in test with multiple starts and stops, but then fails with out changing any piece of the chain, I deem it UNRELIABLE and not fit for professional use.

Was it moved? If so, then you changed something. Many problems with the StudioLive have been traced to an intermittent Firewire connection. I know that people have been using high grade external Firewire drives with Pro Tools and other systems in "professional" applications for quite some time, but there's something about this generation's low budget Firewire connectors that just don't always work reliably. Maybe it's the Chinese material.

I think, though, that the way you've described the problem might be something different. You said that the recorded track files were contiguous, yet had gaps in the audio. Was the mixer being used for PA as well as recording? Or if it wasn't, were you monitoring it? Generally the mixer goes kaflooey when the Firewire connection drops. If it's short term, it'll usually recover without a reboot, but it loses its word clock, and hence loses the audio data during the interim. If you had been listening to the output of the mixer, you would have heard the interruption. Were you? Did you?

I'm also somewhat disturbed by what seems to be a high problem rate, but understand that a forum like this is not a very good sample of the population. Still, even a couple of dozen failures, if they're really failures, isn't very good. Unfortunately, we never seem to hear of a final resolution. In many cases, PreSonus or a dealer replaces a mixer and it's the last we hear from that user. Or they repair it at the factory and the diagnosis and repair is almost never revealed. There seemed to be a rash of defective power supplies early on in the 16-channel version that had a radiated EMI problem, but we've never heard about a faulty chip, bad solder joint, flaky internal cable connection, and so on.

But since the mixer isn't considered to be user serviceable, and there are a lot of competitive manufacturers out there who would be happy to jump on to a problem and use it for their own marketing purposes, I'm not surprised that this is all a bit hush-hush.

Bottom line - If you're the professional that you say you are, you really shouldn't be playing with equipment built and priced for the other end of the working scale. This is not the same industry that builds the Studers. They come remarkably close, and bring some amazing technology to many people who could never afford it 10 years ago, but it comes at a price. If you've found some gear that you like and that's been reliable for you, stick with it.

You may have a problem that can be fixed. Or you may not. But please don't pee in the pool. By the way, I consider myself a professional, too, and I don't own a StudioLive. I'm not willing to accept the compromises I'd have to make in order to work with it, so I'm sticking with what works for me. But I'm interested enough in seeing how it progresses and what "kids these days" are doing with it. There's some good work being done with this mixer by people who don't have the same background and standards as you.

Thanks for the reply Mike,
1) As I stated: the drive, computer and associated cabling have proven themselves over time. The old "don't touch it! It's working now!" has no place in my world. I tested the rest of the chain today without the studiolive and played back a huge PT file with edits and video with no problem.
2) Yes the unit was the FOH mixer as well, and I lost no FOH audio, nor did I experience the "thump-thump" that (shouldn't) occurs in the outputs of the console when you connect the cabling. In my testing when the firewire connection is lost capture drops out of record. All 6 tracks were slightly different lengths with "skips" occurring at different times on different tracks. NO track was recorded accurately.
3) Explain to me how the manufacturers own forum can be considered a faulty pool of users? Seems to me that a forum like this is typically a "love fest" with an inordinate amount of good reviews...
4) I'm not going to argue my credibility/experience with you. I'm simply peeved that a piece of gear doesn't operate as advertised. I have actually publicly defended the sonics of the piece, as I feel it sounds a little better than the LS9, but for me, If it isn't reliable I can't use it in a professional setting. That's not an unreasonable expectation. Manufacturers have no right to use PAYING CUSTOMERS as hardware beta testers. End of story. I feel no shame in "peeing in the pool" by reporting my flaw finding in an open forum. I'll pass on the Koolaid.
Thanks,
DB

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 22/12/2010 04:43:04

Monolithent
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First off I say all of the following with as much respect to you as I do anyone else. I am not a Presonus employee nor have I ever been in any way reimbursed by Presonus. I would like to help you with this. I'm not convinced that the StudioLive is the problem.

I understand your concern and your anger. My first attempt to record with my StudioLive was mostly a failure as well. I opted to press on with the equipment and verify the cause and have since become quite good with figuring out the problems with computer based recording equipment.

With that said. Would like help troubleshooting this problem?

I am not convinced that the StudioLive is the ultimate culprit. I have seen no proof in your messages.

I have found far too many instances where user error, lack of knowledge, or associated equipment has caused the failure.

Let me help you identify the actual root cause to the best of my abilities. This way you will know for certain where to place the blame.

A forum poll is not a very scientific basis for any type of real survey. This place is a microcosm and people who are happy have little need of these type of places. This is usually only where people come who are experiencing issues of some sort for the quick assistance or the proof that they haven't gone insane. Many of us stay afterward. Have a look at many of the other brand specific forums and I think you'll see what I mean.

I am respectfully offering you the hand of assistance. And in doing so I will bear the burden of proof for you. I haven't consumed any Kool-Aid nor have I been offered any. And I'm not offering you any either. Though I'd be glad to sit down with a cup of coffee and look into your issue.

Mind you, I normally avoid this kind of thread. So this will be the only time I offer.


PS. I would like to correct your numbers. According to the real numbers. The StudioLive series of mixers has a less than one percent failure rate. And Presonus themselves think even that is too high.
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MikeRivers
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bjornson wrote:
1) As I stated: the drive, computer and associated cabling have proven themselves over time. The old "don't touch it! It's working now!" has no place in my world. I tested the rest of the chain today without the studiolive and played back a huge PT file with edits and video with no problem.

Of course "don't touch it" isn't a solution, but it can help to diagnose a problem. Try jiggling the Firewire cable while you're recording.

Playing back a Pro Tools session without the StudioLive doesn't tell you anything about what happens when you put the StudioLive in the picture. This is a sysetem and things don't automatically play nicely together. You sometimes need to work with the pieces.

2) Yes the unit was the FOH mixer as well, and I lost no FOH audio, nor did I experience the "thump-thump" that (shouldn't) occurs in the outputs of the console when you connect the cabling. In my testing when the firewire connection is lost capture drops out of record. All 6 tracks were slightly different lengths with "skips" occurring at different times on different tracks. NO track was recorded accurately.

That certainly sounds like a clocking problem, but with on the computer end. The mixer runs on its own clock when it's not connected to a computer, but as soon as a Firewire connection is established, the console switches to the computer as its clock source. When the Firewire connection drops out (either because of a flaky driver or connector fault) that's when the console mutes until it can re-establish itself on its internal clock. As to what happens on the computer end, this is a function of the application program.

Are you sure you had the computer set to use its internal clock? You may need to set this in a driver, or in your application program. If the application was thinking that it the clock was coming in rather than being generated by the computer, it could easily drift out of sync and result in the kind of thing you described. Check it. Twice.

You have some experience with the Yamaha LS9. How are you getting audio between your computer and that mixer? Does it have Firewire I/O like the StudioLive? I can't recall. I know it isn't built in, and I don't think there's a Firewire YGDAI card except maybe mLAN. You may be comparing the StudioLive with something that works differently, and therefore may not even have the path that's causing your trouble.

You mentioned that you own more than one StudioLive. Have you tried to duplicate the problem with another mixer? Sure, it takes some time, and in an ideal world you shouldn't need to do any troubleshooting, but sometimes it takes a little work to make progress.

3) Explain to me how the manufacturers own forum can be considered a faulty pool of users? Seems to me that a forum like this is typically a "love fest" with an inordinate amount of good reviews...

I've been hanging out in forums for more than 20 years now, and I can tell you that it's far from a love fest. People come to the forum seeking help. Sometimes it's because they don't understand something, they can't find a button or a menu item, or they discover something that they expected that the product won't do. Some are really happy with their purchase and want to share successes and tips with other users. But many come here recognizing that there's something wrong and want the manufacturer to fix them up RIGHT NOW DAMMIT!. This is why the manufacturers have a Tech Support department. They usually don't do support through a forum for various reasons. One is that it's more efficient to do it by phone, another is that they don't always have the right answer the first time and they don't like to look, in public, like they don't know all the answers.

4) I'm not going to argue my credibility/experience with you. I'm simply peeved that a piece of gear doesn't operate as advertised.

If you want to give it a chance, then give it a chance. If you think it's a lost cause, then get rid of it. Nobody should have to put up with a chronic problem, but there are many sources for system problems (including a failure in a system component) and troubleshooting isn't always simple. You can help, or you can walk away. Everyone's problems are a little different, as is their way of resolving problems.

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rickonpender
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I can understand what bjornson is saying. If these SL16's are to go into a rental situation, with the intention of getting a solid recording with little or no experience, then personally I don't think that would be a wise idea. The firewire variables, although maybe not Presonus's failing do represent a constant dilemma and challenge with these boards. I have never been able to get it to record flawlessly with 2 laptops but have it work wonderfully with my desktop. Both windows laptops apparently have the appropriate chipset etc...
I understand that everything will never always work with everything, that would be in a utopian world I'm afraid I will never experience.
I too felt the pain and suffering of my first recording to fail after I touted this board to the rest of the band as the be all and end all of recording mixers. Lost a very good if not great live performance of the band due to the "firewire" issue, and had all other band members rolling their eyes and tapping their foot as I tried to show off the "best show we've ever played" to them., only to have all tracks dropping in and out, and slipping against one another.
This being said, I love this board, and until I get the coveted Mac Book Pro, I use my desktop to do "mission critical" recordings, even though it's incredibly inconvenient.

ROP
rnaqvi
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Please let me know the order of which you had the board, computer and drive chained.
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jims
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I have well over 200 hundred hours of 16 channel capture and have never had a problem.

1. I never used the FireWire cable that came in the box. Tooo many reported problems with the cable itself. Get a cable from www.usbfirewire.com

2. I use a 4 year old GateWay Laptop that already had the recommended TI firewire chipset. Laptop cost $85.00 off eBay. Did a complete reload of WinXp service pack2.

3. Tested Laptop with the TC electronics FireWire testers before ever even loading the PreSonus stuff.

4. I Use an APC UPS to feed both My SL16 and the LapTop.

5. I did the Crap Radio test on my SL16 and found out in deed the SL had a BAD Power Supply in it. Got Presonus to replace the Power Supply.

Been runnin fine for over a year now. Band playin in New Years eve gig next week and of course I will Capture the whole thing....


This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 23/12/2010 23:07:59

 
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