• Stand Alone Digital Mixer or Stage Box for Series III StudioLive Console
  • Connects to Console Via CAT5
  • Great for Install or Portable Scenarios

Street Price $1,100

This is a follow up to my recent review of the PreSonus StudioLive Series III Digital Mixer. I waited quite impatiently for this rack unit! I had been so pleased with the soundboard; but unfortunately, I could not install it in our sanctuary until I could reach the stage with CAT5 cable. We built our new church building a year ago and were prepared to use only digital signal transmission from stage to sound desk.

I received the SL24R unit as soon as it became available. The beauty of this particular rack unit is that it can function as a stand-alone digital mixer or as a stage box when connected to a Series III StudioLive board.

Let’s take a look at it first from the perspective of using it like I have it set up now as a stage box. I have a 32-channel soundboard and I chose to install an SL24R because I do not need all 32 channels to originate from the stage. I have some analog signals from computers and audio sources that are located at the sound desk. The SL24R is connected to the mixer via CAT5 cable and then is directly connected to our network (internet) with another CAT5 cable. I am using the unit with a direct network connection, but another option is to set up an AVB (Audio Video Bridge) Switch. Since I received this rack unit PreSonus has released their own SW5E AVB switch which will of course work seamlessly with this rack and it also supports PoE (Power over Ethernet). Assigning the SL24R as a stage box is simple to do from the “Audio Routing” menu on the soundboard.

Once the rack unit is recognized as a stage box, all inputs coming from it need to be assigned as “Network” inputs. I also ran all of our in-ear monitors through the SL24R so that the wireless transmitters could be physically closer to all worship team members on the platform. Setup was a breeze and with 12 AUX outputs on the stage box, there is plenty of room for all of our team. Each person can then use the QMix-UC app on their phones or tablets to mix their monitors. This is better than our previous monitor situation because we could only have 16 channels in our mix and now we have all 32! For instance, in worship this past Sunday, I did not have the pastor in my monitors, so while he was doing the welcome, I pulled out my phone and dialed him in! For the drummer and the keys player, I have run a hard-wired Aux channel to a couple of PreSonus HP-2 headphone amps instead of purchasing more wireless in-ear systems. That saved several hundred dollars!

Obviously, I love using this unit as a stage box, but where I think this little rack unit would shine would be either in a portable system or in a venue where you don’t necessarily have a great space (or a well-placed space) for a sound desk. If the sound tech is not in a good location to hear the mix, then they just can’t mix it well! So, set this rack up on the platform, minimizing the need for a snake or long microphone and instrument cables, connect it to the network and the entire mixer is in your hand with a tablet or on your laptop. Mix cleanly, ring out the room, control the fat channel/EQ and effects, adjust the FOH EQ, assign monitor mixes all from the comfort of wherever you need to be! Everything that I am able to control and adjust on the SL32 board, I can control through a computer/tablet connected to the StudioLive rack mount.

The SL24R that I am using has a street price of $1100 (the 32-channel unit is $1400 and the 16-channel unit is $800). I’m totally pleased and give it two thumbs-up!

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