Playing Around with the PreSonus StudioLive iPad remote

I didn’t preach this past week at Cornerstone since one of our elders was sharing a message. So it gave me a little time to play around and experiment with our PreSonus StudioLive soundboard. I’m not sure how many pastors get excited about playing around with sound equipment, but I really like to learn what we can do with the equipment we have.

Our sound guys have an important and busy job on Sunday morning. They typically are mixing two different monitor mixes, as well as the front-of-house mix that everyone hears. In addition to that, they also are recording the services on CD. They usually don’t get to spend much time working on the CD/Camcorder mix because of time constraints.

So this week, I hooked my laptop to the board and fired up the iPad remote and started working on the CD mix. I really just wanted to play around with the iPad to see how it worked in a live setting.

It’s amazing how far technology has advanced in such a short time. Being able to control a soundboard using an iPad anywhere in the room is crazy. But it’s reality and it is amazing what you can do with this soundboard.

Here is how it works

  • Connect your laptop to the soundboard using Firewire
  • Create an ad-hoc wireless network on your laptop (and password protect it)
  • Connect the wifi on your iPad to the newly created wireless network
  • Fire up the StudioLive iPad Remote and start mixing

I used the remote to mix one of the aux feeds that we were using for the CD and camcorder mix. The remote lets you mix without bothering whoever is running the soundboard. This would even work on stage for the band to adjust their own monitor mixes. I plugged my shure in-ear monitors directly into the CD burner to hear the end result. I even played around with the parametric eq on the aux feed.  It was super easy and really cool. I even did a multi-track recording on my laptop using the PreSonus Capture software so we can go back later and remix it if needed.

Again, if your church is needing a mixer and doesn’t have an unlimited budget, I highly recommend these boards. I was at a large sound rental company last week and they kept talking about how great the PreSonus boards are. In their words, this is a board that has changed the entire industry. They offer 3 different sizes, from 16 to 24 channels, and they have a lot of added features. You get the iPad remote app for free, you get a capture program for free that will let you do multi-track recording to your computer, and you get a great DAW called Studio One Artist that lets you do some amazing things on the board. Check out their website for more details. I’m not getting paid to promote their stuff, I simply believe it is a great product at a great price.

I’m really wanting our church to do a live worship CD at some point in the future. I could see us using several iPads to help control the different mixes and let our sound guy really focus on the main front-of-house mix. It excites me to think of the possibilities.

The app is free on the iTunes app store. You can find it here. Here’s a promotional video that shows it in action.

StudioLive Remote iPad from PreSonus Audio on Vimeo.


I am a former design engineer who now pastors Cornerstone Community Church in Galax, Virginia. I'm passionate about following Jesus and I love technology. I've been married to Jennifer for 28 years, and we have three adult children.

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19 Responses

  1. Ben says:

    Couldn’t agree more with you. I play guitar for the Christian Rock band Stones Throw and we’ve been using the Studiolive 16.4.2 for the past year. I bought it primarily as a recording interface for my studio not long before I joined the band and it was so powerful a mixer I couldn’t resist bringing into the band as a part of our regular equipment. If you’re curious as to how good the audio sounds when recorded through the Studiolive, check out our new CD we just released. Everything you hear on the CD went through the Studiolive.

    I just got an ipad yesterday for the sole purpose of using the Studiolive remote app. We use wireless in-ear monitors and it never fails that the mix somehow changes during the course of the show. Whether it is the tube amps heating up more and naturally getting louder or our drummer decides to start hitting harder. Whatever the case, I knew it would be nice to have some control of the mix from the stage and it’s not always possible to convey what changes to the mix are necessary to our soundman from the stage. Enter the Studiolive ipad app! Works like a charm.

    Sometimes I cannot believe what all Presonus has offered free as upgrades and downloadable content. They are truly a company that puts the customer first and I highly recommend their equipment to every church and band I see.

    • Ben says:

      I just saw your information on the sidebar right after I posted my comment. You’re in Galax, VA? I’m in Mt Airy, NC. Small world! Feel free to email or comment to my band on facebook.

      • Mike says:

        I’m glad you found the site. I agree, we love our presonus gear. We might be calling on you guys if we host some local concerts. I found your facebook page, so I look forward to hearing more from you guys.

  2. Josh Searls says:

    We just got a 16.4.2 for our Southern Gospel group and love it. Now I am looking for a laptop to use with it. The only firewire equipped laptops I can seem to find are Apple. Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Thanks josh

    • Mike says:

      I looked at Dell and HP’s websites and it is hard to find firewire laptops now.

      Here’s a good discussion on the presonus website about which laptops work good with the studiolive –

      My experience has been that the mac is definitely more stable than a pc while recording. On my macbook pro, I also have windows installed using bootcamp so I can switch to windows when needed. In this forum, several guys are mentioning Rain computers which are built for the audio market. I haven’t dealt with them before, but they look nice –

  3. Ben says:

    I must agree on the Macbook Pro recommendation. Mine has been rock solid since the day I got it with zero crashes and flawless recording operation. It works well with my Studiolive and much better than my primary studio recording computer desktop which is a Digital Storm PC. I blame the Windows Vista for most of the problems that I’ve had with that system. Even then, I had to add a Firewire PCIe card to the desktop tower to obtain a reasonable latency. Another bonus to buying a new Macbook Pro, if you’re considering it, is that it comes standard with the new Thunderbolt port. Much faster than Firewire but it’s very new right now and I don’t believe there are any audio interfaces on the market that are designed to work with it as of yet.

    I’ve heard good things about Rain’s systems but have no experience with them myself.

  4. Josh Searls says:

    Thanks for the replys I believe I see a Macbook pro and an Ipad in my near future. We have got so many comments on our sound since switching to the Presonus, everything else in our setup is the same..

  5. Josh Searls says:

    Ok one more question? Do I need a wireless router to Create an ad-hoc wireless network on my laptop. I am getting ready to prurchase my macbook pro and Ipad and need to add in anything else I need. I know I need the firewire 800 to 400 cable but other than that. Thanks Josh

    • Mike says:

      Great question. For an ad-hoc network, you won’t need a wireless router. Your laptop will be functioning as one, so your ipad will connect directly to the laptop. Hope that helps.

  6. brian carey says:

    We want to run our presonus board throgh an I pad don’t know where to start. please help

  7. Ben says:

    Hey guys! Don’t know if you have seen Presonus’ new iPhone and iTouch app called QMix that they just released at Winter 2012 NAMM. It turns your iPhone into a wireless monitor mix controller! You can use up to 10 separate devices at once (for use with the 24 channel Studiolive). My band, Stones Throw, used it at our last gig 1/28/12 and had three iPhones going at the same time controlling three separate aux mixes. Worked like a charm. This allows us on stage to control our monitors and the sound man to only worry about the front of house mix. Check it out! The app, as always with presonus, is free!

    • Mike says:

      Awesome. I saw the press release but I haven’t tried it out yet. I plan on updating our board this week so I can check it out. Glad to know it works as advertised.

  8. Bari says:

    Hey Mike will the sl remote work in the ipad mini..or will its size be a problem? Also is the 16gb enough or do i need the larger ones? Thanks in advance..

    • Mike says:

      I haven’t tried it on an iPad mini, but I think it would be fine. The larger iPad will give you more screen area to touch for each button on the studiolive. Just remember that both the iPad mini and iPad show the exact same image. The mini just shrinks it down

      16 gig is plenty if you don’t plan on using the iPad for lots of music and videos and large apps.

  9. Harrison says:

    Hi Mike,
    I’m the sound guy at International Baptist Church in Auckland, New Zealand. We love our Presonus mixer. One of the main reasons we were pushed to get it, was to connect our iPads to remotely control the desk. Reading all the instructions and your post. It sounds so easy! We’ve tried everything, from AdHoc networks, 5ghz routers, to VPN servers, to just simply being on the same connection. But after 1 and half years. Still nothing. Do you have and suggestions? Maybe our desk is faulty?


    • Mike says:

      Harrison, sorry to hear about your trouble. I would definitely contact Presonus support to see if they can help. If you are not using a Mac computer, the problem is likely Firewire compatibility. I have read about many people struggling with multi-track recording if their firewire chipset is not supported. It works the first time for me every time. I do have to connect the fire wire before booting the computer. Hope you find a solution, it’s a great feature

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