Archive - Audio RSS Feed

Presonus Studiolive 24.4.2 Review

It has been a few days since I last posted on here so I decided to do some blogging today.  I want to talk somewhat briefly about my experience with a new mixing console that could potentially change the way people view small format digital consoles.  I had the opportunity to use the Presonus Studiolive 16.4.2 and 24.4.2 consoles and must admit I am impressed.  As far as bang for your buck, it is all it says it is and gets the job done.  For a smaller sized church that is looking to upgrade, this might just be your ticket.  Both consoles can be daisy-chained to another console of the same model to give your more inputs.

The Presonus Studiolive 24.4.2 features 24 channels, 10 aux busses, and 4 subgroups.  It features four dual 31 band EQ’s that can be routed to the mains, or any of the aux busses.  You can recall settings and copy and paste settings across channels.  It also features an auto save function so that if the console crashes or loses power, you do not lose all the settings you created or modified.

The features are solid.  The EQ section features 4 band fully parametric EQ, gates, and compressors for each channel.  Each part of the signal chain has factory presets to give beginners a starting point for EQ’ing everything from a kick drum or snare to a guitar or vocal.  The rotary encoders that stretch horizontally across the console and are clearly labeled control these options.  It has some great effects built into it, which also have some presets to get beginners started.

Another awesome option that the console has is a Firewire record out.  This allows you to multi-track your live performance directly to your computer.  The preamps are the Presonus studio quality XMAX preamps that are installed in many of their recording interfaces and produce solid results.  The included Studio One Artist software is a basic multitracking program that is easy for most people to work with yet still includes solid features and plug-ins for post-production tweaking and producing.  Studio One also allows you to play the track back through each channel so that you can use the console to mix your tracks or to perform a virtual sound check.  This can be great for beginners who need to practice mixing without the pressure of a start time or a band waiting on stage.  They can play back a recording and work with EQ’s, compressors, and gates until they are perfect.  Not to mention, the console supports VNC which allows remote control of the console from a computer, iPod, iPhone, iPad or another VNC device.

This console lists for $3999 but you can find it for about $3299 which is a great deal for the price.

This is just a brief review.  There are quite a few other features that this console has and things it is capable of.  I would love to hear from anyone that has had exposure to or experience with this console.  Please feel free to contact me at jason@jasoncastellente.com.

Audio-Technica ATM650 Review

Over the past few years, I have been running sound in a lot of different environments on many different systems.  I am an audio engineer at Valley Forge Christian College and I have toured as an audio engineer for the college’s ministry teams for two summers now.  The first summer, I toured with Pneuma 2009 and then with Chosen 2010.  I have always enjoyed experimenting with micing techniques and finding the best sound with each individual instrument.  Every live reinforcement engineer and studio engineer wants that “it” factor.  The sound that makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck because you know it’s awesome.

One mic I experimented with recently was the Audio-Technica ATM650.  It is part of the artist series of microphones that were loaned to the school from Worship MD owner and representative, Doug Gould.  (www.worshipmd.com)  The ATM650 features a dynamic element with a hypercardioid pickup pattern and responds to frequencies in the 80-17,000 Hz range.  It is basically Audio-Technica’s version of the legendary Shure SM57.

My first impression was that it was solid in my hand and it felt well build.  The flat windscreen on the front was more open then an SM57 but was also more durable because of the threaded head.  The design of the head was very similar to the Audix i5 drum mic.  I have had countless SM57 windscreens fall off and it is always annoying.  This does not seem to be an issue for the ATM650.  The first thing I did was plug it in a put it on my drummer’s snare.  I was pleased to hear that it responded well and was clear and crisp while still maintaining fullness and body.  Since it was a 14-inch snare, balancing attack and body can be interesting at times using a SM57.  This mic responded better and was clearer with less EQ adjustment.  It also had more “life” to it.  It was not as focused as a SM57 but also, did not pick up a ton of ambient noise from the room or from the rest of the drum kit.

I also experimented with the ATM650 on a few different guitar amps.  It proved to be a solid choice on pop tones as well as still keeping the fullness and growl when used on heavier tones.  It was easy to shape the tone I was looking for both for solo playing as well as contextually within a mix.

As far as “bang for your buck” is concerned, the ATM650 keeps up with the going rate of the SM57 and the Audix i5 coming in at $99 retail.  If you are lucky, you might even find the ATM650 for cheaper then a SM57.

Like I said, every audio engineer is looking for that “it” sound.  This may be the mic for you and your application.  I suggest that any live sound or recording engineer check out the Audio-Technica ATM650.  Keep going after that perfect sound!

You can check out the Audio-Technica ATM650 at this website.

I welcome comments and questions.  Feel free to comment here or email me at jason@jasoncastellente.com

Page 5 of 5«12345

Switch to our mobile site