Possible Issue With My New PreSonus AR16 Mixer-Interface

MoreBeer

Silver Member
Have you figured out how to use the pre-roll. Were it counts to 4 or whatever before the song begins. I cant do songs that start right off with drums except come in late.
The pre-roll is actually the pre-count, its very easy to implement and to adjust to taste. I'll post some screenshots and instructions early next week to this thread.

Additionally, the pre-count settings will be integrated into a newly made template, so its not required to set this up with every new project.
 

MoreBeer

Silver Member
I will be following you closely and we can help each other out. Studio One is a Jeanie in the bottle we just got to unlock it.
I also think Studio One is very good, just scratching the surface of it now. Still a ton to learn and experiment with. I think the Artist version is all that most of us drummers need. An upgrade is available to the Pro version from Artist, although it's most likely overkill for what I use it for.

What I do now is record on the laptop followed by saving the files in a lossless format. Save those files to a network drive then use Studio One or sometimes Garage Band on a 27" iMac for editing. It's so much easier working on that big, high resolution screen.

I have a Mackie ProFX8v2 mixer hooked up to the iMac and use the USB Codec to send all the output from the iMac through that mixer. It's pretty cool as I have the main outs hooked up to a small, powered Klipsch speaker system with a subwoofer and obviously using headphones too.

So its a nice environment to jerk around with my feeble recording adventure. Plus I can plug a bass or guitar into the mixer and add a guitar track. This only works in Garage Band as Studio One doesn't recognize input from an analog mixer....needs an interface.
 

Destroyer772

Gold Member
I haven't looked into that yet but plan to, possibly tonight as I need this feature as well. When I was using the 2 channel AudioBox, I had a small file I made that was maybe 5 seconds long containing stick clicks. I'd import that and then start the song and the drum tracks at the end of it. Not exactly high-tech but worked. It was easy as I was only working with 2 or 3 tracks. But now with a multitude of tracks do deal with and move around, this method would be messy.
I will be following you closely and we can help each other out. Studio One is a Jeanie in the bottle we just got to unlock it.
 

MoreBeer

Silver Member
This may be a blessing. Does it continue to function as a Mixer... For example:

I'm Jo Drummer, playing a live gig. I'm using the AR16 as my stage mixer and plug into my laptop to record my performance. I hit Record on my laptop DAW and........


The mixer takes a shit?
The mixer continues doing what it's supposed to?
Yes, it can do that. But its even easier just to pop an SD card into the built-in SD Capture Record feature, click the Record Button and everything gets recorded to the card. No DAW or computer is required.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
It's not possible to control the DAW through the mixer, so its just a mixer-interface. I guess you can't have it all for $599?
This may be a blessing. Does it continue to function as a Mixer... For example:

I'm Jo Drummer, playing a live gig. I'm using the AR16 as my stage mixer and plug into my laptop to record my performance. I hit Record on my laptop DAW and........


The mixer takes a shit?
The mixer continues doing what it's supposed to?
 

MoreBeer

Silver Member
That is good news indeed. Question:

Once configured as an interface, does the AR console continue to serve as a mixer, control surface, both, or neither?
It's not possible to control the DAW through the mixer, so its just a mixer-interface. I guess you can't have it all for $599?
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
also interested in studio one preroll. haha


also thanks.. I have been doing it the New track add tracks way.

Going to see if any difference on my 16.0.2 seems to work fine otherwise.


I will give studio one this.. once you get it going it is VERY easy to use and understand.. Plus the default effects and presets sound really good with minimal tweaking
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
That is good news indeed. Question:

Once configured as an interface, does the AR console continue to serve as a mixer, control surface, both, or neither?
 

MoreBeer

Silver Member
Have you figured out how to use the pre-roll. Were it counts to 4 or whatever before the song begins. I cant do songs that start right off with drums except come in late.
I haven't looked into that yet but plan to, possibly tonight as I need this feature as well. When I was using the 2 channel AudioBox, I had a small file I made that was maybe 5 seconds long containing stick clicks. I'd import that and then start the song and the drum tracks at the end of it. Not exactly high-tech but worked. It was easy as I was only working with 2 or 3 tracks. But now with a multitude of tracks do deal with and move around, this method would be messy.
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
Templates are the real key here. I've been fiddling around with my Pro Tools setup at work and it's much quicker to load into templates for the hardware that you're using - in my case an Avid HD I/O and a Focusrite that ADATs into the HD I/O.

No, it's not intuitive necessarily but it is the 'right' way to do it...
 

Destroyer772

Gold Member
Have you figured out how to use the pre-roll. Were it counts to 4 or whatever before the song begins. I cant do songs that start right off with drums except come in late.
 

Destroyer772

Gold Member
Well I am tickled to death that someone on here is familiar with Studio One you could have been a huge help 5 months ago. I was getting ready to send it back.
 

MoreBeer

Silver Member
Okay brothers….after looking deeper into my issues with the AR16 last night, it’s resolved. The problems were a combination of vague documentation on behalf of PreSonus and me expecting the mixer-interface to work in a manner that was not providing acceptable results. Although by all means should have.

It turns out the AR16 is very tightly integrated with Studio One and all needs to be setup exactly for this model, in multiple ways to get perfect recordings. If not, your experience is going to be painful. So possibly my experience will help at some point as its an excellent product. And now after getting all working correctly, I would highly recommend buying one.

The Primary Issue – Song Setup
I was initially setting up a new empty song project, dragging in an MP3 or two, followed by adding a single stereo channel for the drums and making sure all the other channels are being fed into the single stereo channel. Sometimes I’d add another channel or two for specific mics. One would think this would work. NOT! In fact, the PreSonus manual demonstrates this method when setting up a new song! Well, it does work, but the recording sounds like garbage and for some reason, the imported MP3’s, WAV’s, whatever are diminished in some way. (This method does work if using a small 2 channel interface such as the AudioBox USB)

The solution? Not only does the AR16 need to be chosen as the active and loaded interface, which is quite obvious. But also required is when setting up a new song, you MUST select Interfaces and then choose a StudioLive AR16 USB Session. See the first screenshot at bottom of message. Without that, and instead just creating an empty song, then adding your channels manually, you might as well just break out the ass kicking machine.

What the StudioLive AR16 USB Session creates can be seen in the second screenshot below. The DAW filled by every available output as a correctly configured channel along with master channels such as a 2 track return.

Channels not required or used can be shut off or deleted. It’s also possible to create a template from a new song with that works well for your drums. Obviously many different templates can be saved.

Just for good measure, after everything was up and running, I selected the AR16 as the default playback device for the computer. This allows all audio from other sources on the computer to play through the AR16. Now, I was able to test if importing an MP3 into Studio One with the specific AR16 setup changed the dynamics as it did previously. I imported a song, the same one used in my example from the other day into Studio One. I also imported the same file into iTunes and set the EQ on iTunes to flat. When playing each back, they were identical in every way. So, say goodbye to that issue as well!

Upon completion, each channel can now be adjusted in the DAW or to make it easy, (at least for me) export all the drum tracks into one track or any combination of such into several files in your choice of format, open a new session and drag those back into Studio One. Or use any other DAW for final editing.

I have a LONG way to go with this project and have limited knowledge of recording and the features of Studio One, although I can say this much….it now sounds wonderful and has actually exceeded my expectations.

Song Setup


DAW After Setting Up An AR16 Specific Session:
 

MoreBeer

Silver Member
THE PROBLEM IS RESOLVED!

After some experimentation and research, apparently, this likes to be used in its own AR16 specific mode within the DAW, Studio One, as a true multi-channel device.

Will post details and screenshots tomorrow at some point. Works friggin GREAT! Output is clear and crisp. In fact, I needed to cut way back on some channels, especially the overheads. Kick is now booming and full. Toms sound great. It's like night and day.
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
That's a bit of a pain. It's less likely to have an issue with the Mac because of the more standardised hardware but I'm sure I'm telling you things you already know!

Might be worth dragging out the old laptop and just trying it with a couple of channels of recording.
 

MoreBeer

Silver Member
90% of the time, what you're describing sounds like a sub-par driver or USB implementation. I've had similar things happen with my interface after OS updates and once a new driver has been released, everything has been dandy.

If you're running a PC it could be an issue with the motherboard USB controller and the AR16, in which case a driver update should fix the issue. Or it could be an OS compatibility problem - in which case a driver update should also fix the issue.

I think your best bet is to wait from that call with Presonus and in the meantime (if you have another), try another computer and see if that works better.

EDIT: Just checked the block diagram for the AR16 and it looks like your monitor mixes are by default set on the input, as I thought. In which case I'm pretty sure it's a driver/compatibility issue. See if you can monitor from your DAW (often there is an 'Input Monitoring' option on the DAW channel strip and re-route it back into the desk in whatever way works - often output 1-2 on the stereo master channel) and then if it'll probably sound weak and feeble - as you're describing. In which case, the desk itself is fine.

This may mean going into a settings panel for the AR16 and turning off the monitoring options. Without actually being there and knowing the hardware/software I can't provide specific instructions!
I have a load of other computers although they're all big desktops. The other laptops I have are older. I do have a fairly new 27" iMac that I use for software development mostly. It would be a project to drag that down and set it up. Although if I get nowhere with PreSonus, I'd do it when time allows.
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
90% of the time, what you're describing sounds like a sub-par driver or USB implementation. I've had similar things happen with my interface after OS updates and once a new driver has been released, everything has been dandy.

If you're running a PC it could be an issue with the motherboard USB controller and the AR16, in which case a driver update should fix the issue. Or it could be an OS compatibility problem - in which case a driver update should also fix the issue.

I think your best bet is to wait from that call with Presonus and in the meantime (if you have another), try another computer and see if that works better.

EDIT: Just checked the block diagram for the AR16 (page 23 in the manual) and it looks like your monitor mixes are by default set on the input, as I thought. In which case I'm pretty sure it's a driver/compatibility issue. See if you can monitor from your DAW (often there is an 'Input Monitoring' option on the DAW channel strip and re-route it back into the desk in whatever way works - often output 1-2 on the stereo master channel) and then if it'll probably sound weak and feeble - as you're describing. In which case, the desk itself is fine.

This may mean going into a settings panel for the AR16 and turning off the monitoring options. Without actually being there and knowing the hardware/software I can't provide specific instructions!

It won't solve the issue at all but it is the proper way to diagnose it.
 
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MoreBeer

Silver Member
Where are you monitoring from on your signal path? If you're monitoring from the input (i.e. pre-DAW, just after the mic pres and before it goes into the computer proper) then this would explain why it sounds so profoundly different once it's coming back out of the DAW. This is one reason why I always monitor from 'tape' (i.e. the DAW) when the latency/practicality permits.
I need to look into this more invasively tonight. But at this point, as I stated before, just an imported MP3 or other audio track is being adversely affected when the AR16 is the active interface. It's not just the quality of the recording itself. What a headache. Hopefully it gets rectified as I would have been happy with just an analog 10 input mixer feeding the AudioBox as I really could care less about editing 10 drum tracks. Just a music track or two and the drums as a stereo track would have sufficed....at least for me. In fact, that's how I'd be using this most of the time.
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
Possibly this board just sounds "different" and needs more pumping up in the DAW. Although I still can't fathom how I can be hearing so much deep, thick low-end in the headphones and getting a poppy-thin kick drum on the recording? There’s nothing wrong with the mic as I tested it elsewhere with other recording gear and also live to a bass amp.
Where are you monitoring from on your signal path? If you're monitoring from the input (i.e. pre-DAW, just after the mic pres and before it goes into the computer proper) then this would explain why it sounds so profoundly different once it's coming back out of the DAW. This is one reason why I always monitor from 'tape' (i.e. the DAW) when the latency/practicality permits.
 
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