PRESONUS STUDIOLIVE CS18
When I first experienced the CS18AI control surface at Nashville’s Summer NAMM Show, I was really impressed with how well it interfaced with PreSonus’ Studio One DAW. Especially for someone using it in a home studio or independent recording setting, I could really envision the benefits of its workflow; however, the layout of the surface is quite different from a typical digital console on the market. While this might make it difficult to stage a point-by-point comparison with industry-embraced digital touring consoles, I have discovered that a lot of people who are still more comfortable with analog consoles seem to prefer the layout of PreSonus’ digital boards and surfaces. Notably, a great feature on the CS18AI is the addition of motorized faders, as not having them is probably one of the most common complaints I’ve heard regarding previous StudioLive boards. [PreSonus points out that they now offer the StudioLive III Series of consoles that feature motorized faders—Ed.]
In use, I was really hopeful that I was going to be able to utilize the cool RM Series Rackmount Digital Mixer—a multichannel, multi-I/O stage box and so much more—alongside the StudioLive CS18AI control surface, and I wanted to do so right out of the box. The RM Mixer notably comes with a software library that includes PreSonus’ Capture, the Studio One Artist DAW and QMix-UC as well as UC Surface—more on this later.