We have wanted to make the leap to a digital board at church for a long time, but we haven’t found a board that had everything we needed and was easy to use. I think we have finally found one that meets our needs and is inexpensive. This is definitely on our wish list right now. The PreSonus StudioLive is a 16 channel, digital mixer with Firewire recording capabilities. It would be perfect for smaller churches who want to have a nice live mixer, but also have the ability to do multi-track recording of their services.
For praise bands, this is awesome. You can record your practice onto a computer through the firewire interface, then go back to the board and mix the sound just like you want it using your actual practice. You can save your setup so that on Sunday morning, it’s as simple as hitting load to dial in your sound. If you have ever wanted to do a live worship CD, then this is a great way to easily record the band. The board offers all the great benefits of a digital board, including EQ, compressors, limiters, and gating on all channels. PreSonus has a blog for the StudioLive with great instructional videos that really highlight some of the advanced features. If you need more than 16 channels, they offer the ability to join up to four mixers together. This means that you can physically bolt the boards together and have the board function as a 32, 48, or even 64 channel mixer.
The best thing about this board is price. You can find the board for purchase for under $2000 at Sweetwater or Northern Sound and Light. I get excited when I see a product with high-end features for a price that puts it in reach of new & smaller churches. The best way to understand how it works is to get on the blog or check out the many videos on YouTube about the StudioLive. Now if only someone would get excited enough about this board to buy two for our church 🙂