Alt-J relies on PreSonus StudioLive for US gigs

Band's FOH and monitor engineers reveal how the console turned out to be the ideal choice for the tour.
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PreSonus StudioLive 24.4.2 console was used to deliver monitor mixes on Alt-J's latest US tour.

The series of gigs gave FOH engineer Lance Reynolds an opportunity to sample the desk's capabilities. "I was really attracted to the layout of the StudioLive," he said. "The input gain, the channel faders, and the master output are always right there in front of you – no page flipping or knob sharing to access the essential controls. Everyone agreed that the 24.4.2 seemed like a good fit for monitors. It had everything we needed."

The StudioLive's snapshot recall is another major asset, according to Reynolds: "The consistency factor is great – it saves us a lot of setup time, especially going into a different venue every night and the small form factor makes it easy to get it on and off the stage."

Monitor engineer Ron Sharpless used the desk to generate stereo mixes for the band's in-ear monitors. "I'm doing four mixes for the band, including a ButtKicker for the drum mix, plus a mix for me, another for the guitar tech, and an extra monitor mix," he explained. "It's great to be able to squeeze that many stereo mixes out of a console.

"The reverbs sound really rich. With everyone on in-ears, it's important to be able to make the mix sound good, and the effects in the console really go a long way. The ability to multi-track with the StudioLive is another cool feature. We didn't have as many opportunities to record the gigs as we would have liked, but when we did, it was amazing how easy it was – you just plug in a FireWire cable and click on Capture."

Although it was chosen for monitor duties, the StudioLive was also able to show off what it could do front of house. "I did get to use the StudioLive at FOH on a few occasions," Reynolds continued, "and Capture enabled me to record a soundcheck and immediately play the mix for the band. Plus, I was able to solo, mute, and change individual levels. We also brought in the StudioLive to do a live gig at a radio station in a very small room, and I was able to multi-track, give everyone their monitor mixes, and mix the show for the live audience.

"I'm a reluctant player in terms of digital, and for the most part I prefer to stay in the analog world. That said, I appreciate the benefits of digital, and have been in situations where I was very happy to have the ability to recall a mix. Ultimately, if it sounds good I'm happy, and the StudioLive sounds really good."

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