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PreSonus StudioLive AR12 USB

14-channel mixer with multi-track digital recording

Item # 861SLAR12

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Overview

Our take on the PreSonus StudioLive AR12 USB

I like using an analog mixing surface because every control has a discrete purpose and I can see how every element of the mix is set in one glance, plus I can adjust the sound of more than one channel at a time. PreSonus' StudioLive AR12 USB mixer connects to and handles a sound system as an easy-to-use analog board, while also serving as a digital interface for multi-track recording on your laptop or computer. In addition, an onboard SD recorder/player allows you to play both WAV and MP3 files for music during a show, and record the main mix as a stereo WAV file to preserve the performance.

Analog mixing plus digital recording and playback

I like using an analog mixing surface because every control has a discrete purpose and I can see how every element of the mix is set in one glance, plus I can adjust the sound of more than one channel at a time. PreSonus' StudioLive AR12 USB mixer connects to and handles a sound system as an easy-to-use analog board, while also serving as a digital interface for multi-track recording on your laptop or computer. In addition, an onboard SD recorder/player allows you to play both WAV and MP3 files for music during a show, and record the main mix as a stereo WAV file to preserve the performance.

Up to 14 inputs

The StudioLive AR12 USB uses PreSonus Class A preamps on its 8 microphone inputs for crystal-clear and distortion-free signal flow. You can connect up to 4 mono and 5 stereo line-level sources for electronic instrumentals and dance music. Hi-Z switches on channels 1 and 2 let you plug a guitar and bass directly to the PA without needing a DI box. Super Channels 13/14 can play content from a player's headphone output, USB from a computer or storage device, the built-in SD card player, or a Bluetooth® connection for wirelessly streaming music into the system.

5 output channels

In addition to the Main Left and Right outputs, two Monitor sends and an FX output let you send separate mixes to 5 different speakers for a wide variety of front-of-house and monitoring situations. A Control Room output can send the stereo mix to a remote location, like a crying room at a house of worship, for example, or to studio monitors in a home studio setup. A headphone jack lets you plug in to monitor the final mix or a solo channel.

More features

When not used as a monitor or outboard effects bus, the FX channel accesses and deploys your choice of reverb or delay to sweeten the sound and add special effects. Sixteen different presets are available, including Plate Reverb, Slapback Echo, and Long Delay. Mute buttons on every input and output channel let you quickly rein in the sound for breaks and other set changes. Solo buttons let you monitor the level and quality of each and every sound in the mix.

PreSonus StudioLive AR12 USB

Product Highlights:

    14-channel mixer
    • channels 1-2:
      • mono mic and line inputs (XLR and 1/4" TRS)
      • Hi-Z switch for direct instrument connection
      • insertion jack for external effects
    • channels 3-4:
      • mono mic and line inputs (XLR and 1/4" TRS)
    • channels 5/6 - 11/12:
      • mono mic and stereo line inputs (XLR and 1/4" TRS)
    • channels 13/14:
      • Super Channels: stereo RCA, 1/8" TRS, USB 2.0, SD card, Bluetooth 4.1
    Channel Features:
    • PreSonus Class A preamps and switchable phantom power (+48 volts) on microphone inputs
    • switchable low-cut filter (100 Hz, 18 dB/octave) on channels 1-12
    • 3-band EQ on channels 1-12 (+/-15 dB)
      • chs 1-4: high: 12,000 Hz (shelving), mid: variable 140-3,500 Hz (peaking), low: 80 Hz (shelving)
      • chs 5/6 - 11/12: high: 12,000 Hz (shelving), mid: fixed 2,500 Hz (peaking), low: 80 Hz (shelving)
    • pre-fader listen, mute, and signal/clip lights on all channels
    Digital Features:
    • 24-bit/96 KHz 14-in/4-out USB 2.0 audio interface
    • Capture™ and Studio One® Artist 3 DAW software included
    • onboard SD/SDHC player/recorder
      • supports FAT16-formatted SD cards (up to 2 GB) and FAT32-formatted SDHC cards (up to 32 GB)
      • records WAV, plays back WAV and MP3 files
    • onboard digital effects: 16 different reverbs, echoes, and delays
    Other Features:
    • Left/Right Main outputs (XLR) and 2 Monitor outputs (1/4" TRS)
    • FX output (1/4" TRS) for a monitor or outboard effects
    • LED output meter with peak indicator
    • headphone and control room outputs
    • metal chassis
    • dimensions: 15"W x 3-1/2"H x 15-5/8"D
    • weight: 11.9 lbs
    • warranty: 1 year
    • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

    What's in the Box:

    • StudioLive AR12 USB 14-channel mixer
    • 5' USB cable (Type A USB on one end and Type B USB on other end)
    • 6' AC power cord (IEC 3-prong plug)
    • 4 Self-adhesive rubber feet
    • Quick Start Guide
    • Product Registration and Software Authorization card
    • PreSonus Health Safety and Compliance Guide
    • StudioOne Welcome brochure
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    Details

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    Features and Specs

    General
    Mic inputs 8
    Line inputs 14
    Phantom power +48V
    Channel EQ 3-band
    Master EQ N
    Monitors 4
    Effects Y
    Talkback N
    Height (inches) 3-1/2
    Depth (inches) 15-5/8
    Width (inches) 15
    Weight 11.9 lbs

    Product Research

    Features
    Software

    Features

    Overview: The PreSonus StudioLive AR12 USB is a 14-channel hybrid analog/digital mixer that can be used for live sound or recording. This AR-series mixer features 8 XLR balanced mic inputs, 4 mono and 4 stereo input channels, and one Super Channel. Each of the four mono and four stereo channels includes a 60mm level control fader, an XLR mic input with a PreSonus Class A preamp, and a 3-band EQ. The AR12 USB has XLR main outputs, plus 1/4" outputs for two control room monitors, two stage monitors, and an FX out. The rear panel Type B USB port supports 24-bit/96kHz digital recording, while the supplied SD card slot lets you record stereo WAV files or playback WAV or MP3 music files.

    Inputs: The StudioLive AR12 USB is equipped with the following inputs:

    • Microphone Inputs: The mixer is equipped with 8 balanced female XLR mic connectors with PreSonus Class A preamplifiers.
    • Line/Instrument Inputs: Inputs 1-4 have mono female 1/4" TRS balanced line inputs, while the stereo inputs (5/6, 7/8, 9/10, and 11/12) have two female 1/4" inputs. Inputs 1 and 2 also have separate female 1/4" TS unbalanced Hi-Z instrument inputs.
    • Super Channel Input: The mixer has a unique Super Channel (marked 13/14) that allows you to connect several analog and digital sources at once. The Super Channel features a stereo RCA input, a 3.5mm (1/8") stereo input, USB/SD Card return, and Bluetooth for wireless playback.

    Outputs: The StudioLive AR12 USB has the following outputs:

    • Mains: The separate left and right main outputs have balanced male XLR connectors. The main outputs are controlled by a dedicated Main slide fader.
    • Monitor/FX Aux Outputs: Separate female 1/4" TRS balanced outputs are provided for one FX and two monitor mix outputs. You can create three separate mixes from the input channels, and control their volume with individual Mon 1, Mon 2, and FX faders.
    • Headphone and Control Room Outputs: A stereo 1/4" TRS headphone output and separate Left and Right 1/4" TRS balanced Control Room outputs are provided for monitoring. The headphone output and control room outputs have rotary volume controls.
    • Footswitch: A single 1/4" female jack is provided for an effects bypass footswitch.

    Phantom Power: The StudioLive provides 48V phantom power for all microphone inputs. Phantom power is required for condenser microphones, but can severely damage some dynamic mics, especially ribbon mics. Unless the manufacturer of your dynamic microphones clearly states that phantom power will not cause damage, you should only use condenser mics (with phantom power on) or dynamic mics (with phantom power off).

    Pre-Fader Listen (PFL) Button: The StudioLive AR12 USB has a PFL button on all of the mono and stereo channels. Pressing the PFL button will send the audio from that channel to the Control Room and Headphone outputs, pre-fader. When no PFL buttons are engaged, the Main mix is routed to these outputs.

    3-Band Parametric Equalizer: Each channel has a built-in 3-band EQ with an adjustable frequency control on the mid-peaking band:

    • High Shelving Band: Adjusts the level -15 to +15dB at 12kHz.
    • Mid Peaking Band: You can select a center frequency between 140Hz and 3.5kHz, and adjust the level from -15 to +15dB. Only the mono channels (1-4) allow you to adjust the center frequency--the other inputs have a fixed center frequency of 2.5kHz.
    • Low Shelving Band: Adjusts the level -15 to +15dB at 80Hz.

    Low Cut Filter: The low cut filter attenuates all frequencies from the input signal below 100 Hz at a slope of -18dB/octave. You can engage the low cut filter on all of the mono and stereo channels via the individual push buttons.

    Stereo Digital Effects: The AR12 USB is equipped with an internal effects processor with 16 effects presets: Small Hall, Bright Room, Large Club, Plate, Warm Hall, Large Hall, Studio, Chamber, Chorus, Sweeping Reverb, Slapback, Tape Echo, Short Delay, Medium, Delay, Long Delay, and Spacey. An internal FX return lets you adjust the amount of the effects output you would like in the main and monitor mixes. You can also adjust the balance of the effects in the main stereo mix, and mute/unmute the FX return when needed.

    SD Card Slot: The mixer includes an SD Memory Card slot for recording and playback of digital music files. You can record the main mix as a stereo WAV file to a FAT16-formatted SD card (up to 2 GB), or a FAT32-formatted SDHC card (up to 32 GB). You can also playback pre-loaded backing tracks for performance or rehearsal, or music for when the band takes a break. Controls include Play/Pause, Return to Zero (restart or previous track), Go to End (next track), and Record.

    USB 2.0: On the rear panel is a Type B USB 2.0 port for connecting the mixer to a USB port on your computer to use the mixer as an audio interface. The AR12 USB has 14 available digital sends and 4 digital returns. Digital returns 1/2 are routed to the Super Channel (13/14), while returns 3/4 are available on the last stereo channel (11/12). The main bus can be recorded on the first two digital sends by engaging the Send 1/2 button.

    Bluetooth 4.1: The mixer's unique Super Channel (13/14) lets you connect four stereo analog and digital sources at the same time. One connection is via the onboard Bluetooth 4.1, which enables you to pair your smart phone for instant access to your music library. You can playback songs for break music, backing tracks, or rehearsal. There are separate Bluetooth on/off and pairing buttons.

    Specifications:

    • Microphone Preamps:
      • Maximum Input Level (Unity Gain): +18 dBu (mono channels, -5 dBu (stereo channels); +/- 1.0 dB
      • Gain Control Range:
        • Mono Channels: 50 dB, +/- 1 dB (Unity to +50 dB)
        • Stereo Channels: 40 dB, +/- 1 dB (+4 to +45 dB)
      • Frequency Response:
        • To Analog Outputs: 20 Hz to 20 kHz (+0.5/-1.5 dB)
        • To USB (Direct): 20 Hz to 40 kHz (+0.5/-1.5 dB)
      • S/N Ratio to Outputs (+4 dBu): 94 dB
      • THD+N (min. gain, A-wtd): <0.1%
      • Phantom Power: +48 V, +/-3V, Global
    • Instrument Inputs:
      • Maximum Input Level (min. gain, 1 kHz @ 0.5% THD+N): +18 dBu (+/-1.0 dB)
      • Gain Control Range: 50 dB, +/- 1 dB (Unity to +50 dB)
      • Frequency Response:
        • To Analog Outputs: 20 Hz to 20 kHz (+0.5/-1.5 dB)
        • To USB (Direct): 20 Hz to 40 kHz (+0.5/-1.5 dB)
      • Dynamic Range: >105 dB (min gain, A-wtd), >100 dB (mid Gain, unwtd)
      • THD+N: <0.01 dB
    • Line Inputs:
      • Maximum Input Level (min. gain, 1 kHz @ 0.5% THD+N): +22 dBu (+/-1.0 dB)
      • Gain Control Range:
        • Mono Channels: 50 dB, +/- 1 dB (-30 to +20 dB)
        • Stereo Channels: 40 dB, +/- 1 dB (-15 to +25 dB)
      • Frequency Response:
        • To Analog Outputs: 20 Hz to 20 kHz (+0.5/-1.5 dB)
        • To USB (Direct): 10 Hz to 40 kHz (+0.5/-1.5 dB)
      • S/N Ratio to Analog Outputs (+4 dBu): 94 dB
      • THD+N: <0.01 dB
    • Main, Control Room, Monitor, and FX Outputs:
      • Rated Output:
        • Main Outputs: +24 dBu, +/-1.0 dB
        • Control Room, Monitor, FX Outputs): +18 dBu
      • Frequency Response: 20 Hz to 20 kHz (+0.5/-1.5 dB)
      • Dynamic Range (A-wtd): >108 dB
      • THD+N (20Hz-20kHz, -1 dBFS, unwtd): < 0.01%

    Software

    Included Software Applications: The PreSonus AR12 USB includes both Capture 2 and Studio One Artist recording software (free via download):

    • Capture 2.0: Capture 2.0 allows you to make multi-channel digital recordings from your laptop, enabling you to instantly record your live gig, church service, or presentation in a single mouse click. Capture 2.0 automatically maps to the outputs of the mixer to automatically record all of the input channels. The software also lets you insert markers during a live recording for editing later. Capture 2.0 recording software is available for Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8/8.1, Windows 10, and Mac OS X Ver.10.6.8 and higher.
    • Studio One Artist: The PreSonus StudioLive AR12 USB comes with Studio One Artist recording software. Studio One Artist comes with over 6 GB of plug-ins, loops, and samples, giving you everything you need for music recording and production. Studio One is compatible with Mac OS X 10.8.5 or higher, Windows 7 (x64/x86 SP1), Windows 8 (x64/x86), and Windows 10 (x64/x86).

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