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PreSonus Virtual StudioLive™ (VSL) is the section of PreSonus Universal Control software for Mac® and Windows® that provides bidirectional control of all StudioLive-series digital mixers.

Accessed as the StudioLive's Device window in the free PreSonus Universal Control application, VSL provides a complete visual representation of the mixer, enabling you to see and control the most-used mixer parameters onscreen.

Load settings quickly with drag-and-drop.

Controlling StudioLive channel, subgroup, aux send, and main levels; mutes and solos; and Fat Channel, effects, and graphic EQ settings with VSL is as easy as drag-and-drop!

Load Fat Channel settings by simply dragging them onto the channel or mixer overview, either as a complete channel strip, or as individual gate, compressor, and EQ presets.

Want to just load the EQ settings onto Channel 1? Just drag a preset to the visual representation of the EQ. You can mix and match settings to your heart's content.

Or apply a new Scene to the whole mixer by dragging it onto VSL's virtual mixing surface from a browser list that you can show or hide as needed.

Back up and share ’em, too.

Through VSL, you can back up all of the Scenes and presets stored on your StudioLive. Save virtually unlimited Scenes and settings and name them and rearrange them in the browser.

These stored settings can be loaded from disk or sent to, and stored internally on, the StudioLive. You can even drag presets out of the browser and email, IM, or disk-swap them with other StudioLive owners.

Control StudioLive from anywhere.

With VSL, you can control your StudioLive mixer—or multiple StudioLive mixers—from your Mac or PC. This sounds simple enough, and indeed, VSL is incredibly easy to set up and use. But what you can do with it is downright amazing!

Bidirectional control means
you don't have to choose.

Since VSL control is bidirectional, you can control the mixer directly from the mixing surface and from a computer at the same time.

Since VSL control is bidirectional, fader moves and parameter changes made on the StudioLive are reflected in VSL in real time and changes made in VSL are instantly mirrored in the StudioLive. So you can set up the StudioLive the way you want it and then save your Scene or other presets in VSL or create them in VSL and send them to the mixer’s memory.

If you make fader changes in VSL, the fader values will change in real time on the StudioLive. Since the faders aren’t motorized, you should put the mixer into Locate mode to see the new values (displayed on the channel meters); then you can quickly move the faders until the meters are centered, which means the faders are in the correct position.

VSL's remote-control features make contractors into superheros!

If you’re a contractor supporting clients with StudioLive mixers, you can take advantage of the ability to remote-control Virtual StudioLive in multiple ways. Some of these capabilities are so powerful that your clients will think you're a superhero!

There are several ways in which contractors can take advantage of Virtual StudioLive’s power to provide superior services to their clients.

Some of the advantages are obvious. You can create named Scenes and put them in any order you want in the VSL browser so that clients can load them by simple drag-and-drop. This is great for churches, for instance, where volunteers often run the sound system. Just create and name the Scenes the volunteer sound person will need—for instance, “choir,” “praise band,” and “sermon”—and place them in the order in which they’ll be needed in the service.

But you can do much more with VSL!

Since VSL runs on a Mac or PC, you can control it remotely over the Internet using third-party VPN software. So you can troubleshoot the system (or multiple networked systems), manage the mixer’s security features, load Scenes and settings, and generally service your client’s needs from anywhere you can get a reliable Internet connection!

Furthermore, with VSL’s integrated Smaart technology, you can observe the spectral content of the client’s mix in real time and adjust the EQs on the client’s StudioLive mixer without ever actually hearing the system! Sure, you’d rather hear the system, but now you have a powerful tool that can save the day for your client whether you can be physically present or not.

Let’s take this a step further. VSL can be remote controlled by SL Remote for Apple iPad®. Since SL Remote can manage all of the StudioLive mixers on a network, if your client operates a large complex with networked computers and multiple sound systems, all of the systems are based on StudioLive mixers (any combination of models), and all of the mixers are FireWire-connected to networked computers, SL Remote will “see” all of the mixers on the network, and you and your client can control them all from one iPad running SL Remote.

Wireless remote control sets you free.

VSL combines with StudioLive Remote (SL Remote) to provide mixer control from an Apple iPad®—including control of the Smaart features—and combines with QMix™ to control StudioLive aux mixes from an iPhone® or iPod touch®. Equipped with this potent combination, you are now free to move around the venue—and still remain in complete control.

To control the StudioLive mixer from mobile iOS devices via VSL, simply set up an ad hoc wireless network between your mobile iOS devices running SL Remote and QMix and a Mac or Windows PC that is running VSL and is FireWire-connected to a StudioLive mixer.

You can use a wireless router or the computer’s onboard wireless capabilities to create the network. Using the local computer’s wireless features is quick and easy but a powerful router provides a more robust connection, which helps greatly when you’re in a church or public place where lots of people have cell phones and other wireless devices.

Either way, setup is quick and easy, and you don’t need to enter IP addresses or have network expertise. It just works.

With your wireless network established, you can control almost all of VSL with SL Remote, and you can control the aux (monitor) mixes with QMix. VSL, in turn, controls the StudioLive mixer. Up to ten iOS mobile devices can be on the network at a time.

Get Smaart!

Rational Acoustics’ highly regarded Smaart Measurement Technology™ is integrated directly into Virtual StudioLive (Universal Control 1.6 and later), including the Smaart Spectra™ RTA and time-frequency Spectrograph. With Smaart-enhanced VSL and the StudioLive mixer’s EQs, it’s easier than ever to adjust your sound system to any room.

If you have a StudioLive 16.4.2 or 24.4.2, things really get interesting. With the Smaart technology in Universal Control 1.7 and later, you get wizards that help you easily view the frequency-response trace of a venue, calculate and set delay-system timing, and verify output connectivity. (Note that these capabilities are not available for the StudioLive 16.0.2 due to its different architecture.) Click here for details about VSL’s integrated Smaart features.

This is just the start of a beautiful relationship — PreSonus products are about to get much Smaarter!

Safe, sane, and secure.

A lot can happen to a mixer during a live event—not all of it good. Drunks or wannabes might think they can mix better than you can and try to prove it when you take a break. Volunteers mixing a church service might not know enough to mess with Fat Channel settings, so it’s best to not let them try. In some cases, there’s even the possibility of sabotage.

With analog mixers, you just have to hope nothing like that happens because if it does, you are defenseless. You don’t need that crazy-making stress!

That’s why StudioLive mixers provide extensive security features, including the ability to password-protect all or part of the mixer by setting a password in VSL.

StudioLive Lockout mode

The StudioLive’s Lockout mode allows you to create a password in VSL and temporarily disable nearly every feature on the StudioLive, although analog features (e.g., input-trim knobs, faders, and cue, tape-input, and monitor levels) can still be adjusted. Faders and output encoders (for the aux buses, monitor bus, and so on) might get moved but while in Lockout mode, these movements will have no effect on the audio.

At its lowest level of security, Lockout mode allows you to freeze the current Fat Channel and effects settings. Faders, aux mixing, master section functions like Talkback and Monitoring, and Scene recall are still functional. Each of these mix functions can be added to Lockout mode.

You can set which functions will be locked from the StudioLive’s LCD screen but the password is set within VSL, so you can’t lock yourself out of the mixer from the hardware.

You also can limit wireless access using VSL so that only authorized people can employ StudioLive Remote for iPad or QMix for iPhone/iPod touch to control your mixer.

StudioLive Remote for iPad permissions

Controlling VSL remotely with StudioLive Remote for iPad or QMix for iPhone/iPod touch allows you to move about the venue freely. However, it can also put the full power of the StudioLive in multiple hands— some more adept than others. Therefore, VSL enables you to limit each iOS device’s access to the mixer features by setting permissions.

Once an iOS device is connected to your wireless network and has launched SL Remote or QMix, the device will be displayed in the Remote Devices list on the Setup tab in VSL. Each device will be listed using its device name so you can easily identify which device is which.

Once you have connected and configured an iOS device, the same permissions will be set for that device every time you connect it.

When setting permissions for SL Remote users, you choose between giving full access to all SL Remote functions or providing limited access to just a few aux-mix functions. In most cases, one iPad will be configured as front-of-house (FOH), and the others will be configured as aux mixes.

Channel Rename allows channels, auxes, and subgroups (StudioLive 16.4.2 and 24.4.2 only) to be renamed remotely using SL Remote.

When Ignore is enabled, the device’s installation of SL Remote will have no control over VSL.

QMix for iPhone/iPod touch permissions

When setting permissions for QMix users in VSL, you choose between providing full access to all aux mixes, providing access to only a single aux mix, or limiting the user to just the Wheel of Me functions.

Aux Mix Selection provides access to a single aux mix or all auxes.

Wheel Only disables the Aux Mix page in QMix. When this is enabled, the user will only be able to use the Wheel of Me on the single aux to which you’ve provided access.

Channel Rename allows channels, auxes, and subgroups (StudioLive 16.4.2 and 24.4.2 only) to be renamed remotely using QMix.

When Ignore is enabled, the device’s installation of QMix will have no control over VSL.

So choose your security settings, take a deep breath, let it out slowly, and relax. With VSL, your mixer settings are safe and secure!

Try it and see for yourself.

Of course, to truly appreciate what VSL can do, you need to try it with your StudioLive mixer! Universal Control with VSL is bundled free with every StudioLive mixer, and if you bought a StudioLive 16.4.2 mixer before VSL was released, you can download the latest version of Universal Control with Smaart-enhanced VSL here.


Jason Serrano

Los Angeles native Jason Serrano benefited from a highly musical upbringing. He spent some of his formative years in the... read more