PreSonus StudioLive AR12 USB Mixing Console

Key Features

    • Analog Mixing and Digital Recording in one simple device
    • The Super Channel allows for multiple inputs at once, including Bluetooth
    • Built In Stereo Digital Effects

AR12 Street Price $499
AR16 $599
AR8 $399

I’m in the exhausting final few weeks before moving into a new building. All of my install cables have drywall dust covering them, and my team and I have been working hard in the sanctuary. In addition to the main venue, I’m setting up a sound system for the children’s area and the student ministry area. In order to save money, I’m piecing together some equipment from the building we are leaving, however, I need a new mixer for the student ministry. I’ve been a fan of PreSonus for a long time. I trust the product, I’ve toured the facility, and I know several of the guys out there… They really know their stuff! I recently got wind of the new StudioLive AR USB-series Hybrid mixers coming out, so I ordered the AR12 for our student’s system, and I’m really excited about it and have been telling Caleb Moss, our student pastor, all about it!

The two useful features that jumped out at me first were the ability to record all channels direct via USB with Capture and a dedicated Bluetooth channel. With that Bluetooth channel, Caleb can play audio from his phone or any device and have it controlled from the board. The ability to record directly into the computer will make podcasting, archiving, and sharing all teaching for the student ministry a breeze! As well, there is an option to record directly onto an SD card.

The AR12 has 14 channels with eight microphone preamps, 12 line inputs, and a Super Channel. The super channel allows you to connect up to four stereo analog and digital sources at once. This includes RCA inputs (like DVD player), 1/8” stereo input (like a smartphone), USB/SD Card Return (from the computer or what you’ve recorded on the SD card), and the Bluetooth connection. Channels 1 and 2 have a unique input option of XLR, Line, or Instrument (marked by a guitar icon). With this instrument option engaged, the channel is ready to receive guitar or bass signal that does not have a built-in preamp. Expected options are included on each channel like, 3-band semi-parametric EQ, hi-pass filter, pan, mute, PFL soloing, and overall 48v phantom power.

For signal outputs, I’m looking at L/R XLR mains, two 1/4” AUX sends, two control room outputs (stereo TRS, plus headphone), two TRS monitor outputs, and a dedicated effects bus with TRS output. The unit covers all the bases with the added PreSonus bonuses, and I’m totally pleased. Added bonus, the manual is easy to read and creative!


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