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Rocking the StudioLive AI Series Speakers with Rev. Bill

Maybe they should come with a sign that says, “Hey. Idiot. Check the Speaker Attenuation control.”<--break->OK, an admission, I no longer own any PA gear except a small digital mixer that is not really mine but got left with me after I was a beta tester on it. They could ask for it back any day.  I had speakers that I liked a lot, but had to sell a bunch of stuff in the wake of the economic meltdown and getting sued by a former employer. I hated to sell my stuff cuz I really liked it. But, after using the StudioLive AI Series speakers on a handful of gigs, i think I did myself a favor. Now I just gotta figure out how to buy a set of these.

I have not done a ton of mixing gigs since moving to Vegas nine years ago. It is just a different market than L.A and there are established companies out here doing the bulk of the gigs. Any gigs I do as a PA provider/mixer are really just to try out gear for reviews, but…

 

In the past few months my own band has gotten unbelievably busy. For us anyway. I found myself in need of PA for a series of 150-200 person bar gigs right about the time PreSonus was ready to ship these out. I used a system consisting of one SL18s sub (I only needed one…) and in some cases the 312AIs as tops and the 328AIs as monitors and in one case the 328AIs as mains.

 

I have an 8-piece band with horns. Being able to hear anything but horns onstage can be a challenge. And of course, when the horns are loud everyone tends to play louder, so getting enough vocals in the wedges without feedback is rough.  The contouring provided by the “Monitor Mode” on the Studio Live AI Series gave me all the volume I needed with no feedback. I had hoped to break out the StudioLIve Room Control software to test the notch filters, but the truth is that I never once needed them.

 

My only issue was 100% operator error. I took these things out of the box and to a gig. Never cracked a manual or did more than a cursory look at the back panel before heading out.  I am not used to powered speakers at this market level that have an overall output attenuation control. The 328AIs had been used by Jamie and were cranked up, but the 312AIs were new out of the box and that control comes set at about half.  I did not touch it during setup, never thought to. Since I am playing and singing and still trying to mix from the stage, I suffered through a set with people coming to me and saying they could not hear vocals (the only source totally dependent on the PA…). On the first set break, I looked at the back of the box, realized what the problem was and carefully cranked them up. I was terrified they would start feeding back, but there was nary a squeal. The rest of the night—and the rest of the gigs— went great.

 

I am trying to find something negative to say. Maybe they should come with a sign that says, “Hey. Idiot. Check the Speaker Attenuation control.” But, really, other than that bit of stupidity on my part these were truly excellent powered boxes. I would love to have them at my disposal for the 20 gigs that are still on the book for this summer. Alas…

 

 

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Bill Evans

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