TAKING IT TO THE STREETS
Jacob Rosenberg of SeeAbove Sound and Music has been involved in live sound and music production for more than a decade. He has a weekly sound reinforcement gig providing front of house for jazz and rock bands at the City Center Plaza in Oakland, Calif. He used the StudioLive as his mixing desk for five of these concerts, mixing and recording a different group each week. He often had mere minutes between the band's arrival and the first downbeat. StudioLive's ease of use was critical in his success under adverse circumstances. "I often have bands arriving 10 minutes before the curtain drops without even a stage plot," he says. "The StudioLive''s channel presets allow me to quickly set up a rough mix so the start of the show doesn''t sound too horrible, then I can tweak and improve from there. By the second or third song, I have the band dialed in, then can save a snapshot of the mix so I can continue to experiment. If things go awry, I can quickly jump back to my saved mix."
Rosenberg was impressed with the sound quality, especially considering the desk's size and price point. He felt that the mic preamps are very usable and provide a good amount of headroom for live sound reinforcement needs. He liked the ability to save off scenes once he got the band's sound dialed in. He thinks that the Fat Channel is the best part of the box, though, calling it "the core of the mixer." He feels that the ability to gate, compress, limit and EQ every channel, aux send and subgroup mix is "very handy and saves several racks of gear."
He found the compression to be fairly subtle, wishing for a variable knee but knowing it''s beyond the scope of this unit. Rosenberg says that the EQ section is "fairly surgical and nonmusical, but this is preferred in a live setting. For example, one musician was playing an oud—a Middle Eastern instrument with a fairly resonant soundboard. I was picking up a fair amount of the rhythm section in his input, but was able to precisely roll off 225 Hz, and have the oud cut through the mix."
The bottom line? Rosenberg is sold on StudioLive. "The StudioLive has become the integral center of my workflow. I no longer have to haul out an entire rack's worth of gear out for live sound gigs, and the desk is flexible enough to use in mobile recording or studio sessions. as well. It rocks!"