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My Unhappy Studiolive 24.4.2 AI Tale RESOLVED
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timmyboylad
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Joined: 18/12/2012 19:33:35
Messages: 25
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I have a small recording studio, a one room affair. I've been recording albums here for about fourteen years. A little over a year ago, I sold my Mackie Onyx and purchased the Studiolive 24.4.2 classic board. I wasn't entirely thrilled with the sound of the processing and preamps but it didn't sound bad and I loved the functionality of this board.

Of course, a couple of months after I purchased it, Presonus announced the AI series. This is the way of technology. I just continued to enjoy my classic board and didn't give it another thought. But a few months ago, the company that I purchased the board from put up a very informative YouTube video showing the difference in sound between the two boards. The AI series sound was much more open and full range than the classic series.

I finally decided that I wanted that upgraded sound and ordered a 24.4.2 AI and planned to sell my classic. The AI mixer arrived about a week ago. I disconnected my classic and put the AI in place (it is the same size). Connected it registered it and turned it on.

When I turned it on, I was greeted with SURPRISE NUMBER 1 in the AI series. Because the processing is faster, the processors in the board run hot. So Presonus had to put cooling fans in the board. Two cheap 60mm fans. The noise was grinding and in my face. Now, I will say here that this is where the conflict arises when you try to design a mixer that is to be used for live sound OR in the studio. If you were doing live sound in most venues, you wouldn't thing these fans were that loud. But in my 17 X 20' room these fans were... unacceptable. No problem if I'm recording a rock band. But that's only a small percentage of my work. More often it's something like a solo violin. When I go over to where the violinist would stand, the grinding noise was very apparent.

So I called the company I purchased it from and they said I could return it but I'd have to pay the shipping both ways plus a 15% restocking fee (which would amount to around $400). So, I decided to sell it on eBay and try to get what I could out of it. I was really disappointed that I couldn't use this board and that Presonus would design something (with the word STUDIO in the product name) so carelessly. I called Presonus tech support and asked them about it. They stated that the faster processing made the fans necessary. I asked what would happen if I disconnected the fans. They stated that they did test the mixer in this way and it nearly always failed without the fans.

After a couple of days I decided I was going to live dangerously and decided to put quieter fans in this mixer, thereby voiding the warranty. I'm used to modifying higher end equipment. So, I found some high tech super quiet fans from Austria (that only cost about $15 a piece, wondering why Presonus didn't kick down a few extra bucks to make them as quiet as can be.) and spent a day carefully replacing the old cheap fans with the new ones. When run full on the new fans were much quieter just like that but they were still rather loud for concentrating on a mix so I installed one of the in-line resistors that came with the fans which slowed them down, making them even quieter. I realize there must be a point at which the amount of air flowing would be critical but it seemed that this was working (I have run it this way for a couple of days and done a few sessions and it so far seems fine).

So, I got the fans dialed in, put the thing back together (all 50 screws!) and put it back in place once again, connected it and got it integrated into my system. Once I started using it I noticed something wrong. If you use this mixer as a 24 channel audio interface for recording as I do, you can record the fat channel settings to your DAW by pushing the “Digital Output” (Post EQ&Dyn) button on the mixer. Well, this turned out to be SURPRISE NUMBER 2. I initially thought that perhaps in the swapping of the fans that I had damaged the mixer in some way or bumped a connection in there. So I first took the thing apart again and checked and nothing seemed amiss. So I called Presonus tech support and they informed me that this was a design problem that they are aware of. I asked if they were working on it and got a vague non committal answer and ended the conversation, dumbfounded. The whole centerpiece of this console, the Fat Channel was now worthless to me as a recording engineer (again I was stupefied that they would do this with a product named “STUDIOlive”).

I realized that ultimately, if they were not seriously working on a solution to this problem, then I would be better off using my old board and selling this one at a loss.

So today I decided to call Presonus again and see if they would give me a definitive answer, to work with me in resolving my dilemma. That is when I experienced the final disappointment. First, there is no way to get to any senior staff to discuss this problem. I understand it’s a big company with lots of products and they are busy. I’m busy too. Too busy to be doing all of this for a product that’s supposed to be used in a RECORDING STUDIO. I was connected to a tech support person. I told him this whole sordid tale and asked him to help me make a decision, to let me know if they are going to fix this issue or not. HE WOULD NOT ANSWER ME. HE REFERRED ME TO THE PRESONUS WEBSITE FOR FURTHER INFORMATION. What?!!? And that was it. I asked him if he would answer me off the record. He would not.

So that’s my tale. I see that you posted this quite a while ago and no one has answered but me. I must conclude that most people are either using these consoles for live sound or are only recording loud music. I feel very alone and cheated. Whaaaah!

At any rate, if you have purchased one of these, I hope you are using it for live sound. If not I hope you are not as disappointed as I have become.

My disappointment lies partially in the design of the product but the biggest disappointment is the entire lack of support I have gotten from the manufacturer (PRESONUS) for a $3000 mixer.

Good Luck!

Tim Gray
Myrtletown Records

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 19/05/2014 15:22:11

Desktop: Cubase 7.5.2 Wavelab 8.0.3, Halion 5.0.1, Presonus StudioLive 24.4.2AI, CPU Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 2.83gHz, Motherboard Asus P5Q Pro, RAM Corsair 8gb (2x4gb), Video Card MSI R5450 (no fan), PSU Zalman ZM600 HP, Zalman Reserator 1 liquid cooled system, Windows 7 x64 Home Premium, Pro Tools 9.0.6, Waves Mercury Native 9.2.6

Laptop: MacBook Pro (15 in), 2.4 gHz Intel Core i7, 8 gb RAM, OSX Mountain Lion 10.8.5, Focusrite Saffire Pro 14 (Driver v 3.2), Presonus StudioLive 24.4.2, Philips DVD+-RW SDVD 8820 SATA drive, Wavelab 8.0.3, Cubase 7.5.2, Halion 5.0.1, Pro Tools 9.0.6, Waves Mercury Native 9.2.6
emjayess
Prenoob

Joined: 26/02/2012 20:14:29
Messages: 39
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Hello Timmyboylad,

Just a rookie here, but I, too, swapped out my classic for the 24 AI. I'm not sure how much this problem will affect me (heck, I'm so green, I'm still learning how to plug in the power cord...)--plus, I use S1 for my DAW.

I haven't been to the forums for a while, so I just noticed your posts about this issue.

Would you mind updating us with anything you've found out etc.? I'm only using the 24 AI for my studio, too.

Thanks, and good luck!
greg.thomas.brown
Prenoob
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Joined: 28/06/2011 04:26:10
Messages: 53
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Sorry to hear of your woes......if it helps a tiny bit I think I read somewhere that you're supposed to be able to duplicate the fat channel settings in StudioOne so you could potentially bounce your tracks through there.....I never do that, instead opting to add EQ, compression, etc to recordings mixing "in the box". (meaning my macbook)

About the fans....I hadn't heard about these until I read your post. I have a classic 16.4.2 and am thinking of switching to AI for the same reasons you did, also because I'll have fully parametric EQ's and better control of limiters on the 16 channel AI. Do you (or anyone lurking know) if the 16 channel AI StudioLive has the same loud fans?
timmyboylad
Prenoob

Joined: 18/12/2012 19:33:35
Messages: 25
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Just to update this post, Some of the good folks at Presonus, responded to me and have come a long way to make my situation right. Fortunately, I was able to get my AI mixer back and have now integrated it into my studio. I am feeling good about Presonus again!
Desktop: Cubase 7.5.2 Wavelab 8.0.3, Halion 5.0.1, Presonus StudioLive 24.4.2AI, CPU Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 2.83gHz, Motherboard Asus P5Q Pro, RAM Corsair 8gb (2x4gb), Video Card MSI R5450 (no fan), PSU Zalman ZM600 HP, Zalman Reserator 1 liquid cooled system, Windows 7 x64 Home Premium, Pro Tools 9.0.6, Waves Mercury Native 9.2.6

Laptop: MacBook Pro (15 in), 2.4 gHz Intel Core i7, 8 gb RAM, OSX Mountain Lion 10.8.5, Focusrite Saffire Pro 14 (Driver v 3.2), Presonus StudioLive 24.4.2, Philips DVD+-RW SDVD 8820 SATA drive, Wavelab 8.0.3, Cubase 7.5.2, Halion 5.0.1, Pro Tools 9.0.6, Waves Mercury Native 9.2.6
talmen
Presonoid
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Joined: 28/07/2010 23:56:13
Messages: 3002
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Delighted to hear you got some things worked out with PreSonus, and sorry that it was such an ordeal for you to get to that point. At least, in the end, they did make some serious efforts to rectify your situation. Hope everything goes very smoothly for you from here on out. Good for you for being persistent!
Field Kit:
MacBook Pro 9.2 i5 2.5 GHz, 8GB RAM,
OS 10.8.5;
A & H Qu-16, AB1818VSL, Alesis IO14 / IO26,
PreSonus S1 v2.6.2.25990, Boom Recorder 8.3.2

Studio Kit:
iMac 11.3, i7 (Quad) 2.93GHz, 8 GB RAM,
OS 10.9.3,
M-Audio FW1814, PreSonus Faderport,
PreSonus S1 Pro 2.6.2.25590
mwright137
Presonificator
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Joined: 28/10/2011 17:57:00
Messages: 3878
Location: Central PA
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Glad you got it sorted out. Maybe change your thread title to reflect that it is resolved?
I am Sir Melvis Bacon, Knight of BaconHam Palace.

MacBook Pro 13. OS X Mavericks - version 10.9.3
StudioLive 16.4.2; StudioLive 328AI (x2)
AudioBox 22 VSL; BlueTube DP V2; FaderPort; Monitor Station; FireStudio Project (x2)
Studio One 2 Pro 2.6.2 (64 bit)
I use Gobbler to back up my projects.
[WWW]
timmyboylad
Prenoob

Joined: 18/12/2012 19:33:35
Messages: 25
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Good idea, Thanks!
Desktop: Cubase 7.5.2 Wavelab 8.0.3, Halion 5.0.1, Presonus StudioLive 24.4.2AI, CPU Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 2.83gHz, Motherboard Asus P5Q Pro, RAM Corsair 8gb (2x4gb), Video Card MSI R5450 (no fan), PSU Zalman ZM600 HP, Zalman Reserator 1 liquid cooled system, Windows 7 x64 Home Premium, Pro Tools 9.0.6, Waves Mercury Native 9.2.6

Laptop: MacBook Pro (15 in), 2.4 gHz Intel Core i7, 8 gb RAM, OSX Mountain Lion 10.8.5, Focusrite Saffire Pro 14 (Driver v 3.2), Presonus StudioLive 24.4.2, Philips DVD+-RW SDVD 8820 SATA drive, Wavelab 8.0.3, Cubase 7.5.2, Halion 5.0.1, Pro Tools 9.0.6, Waves Mercury Native 9.2.6
 
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