Presonus StudioLive 1602 Vs. Roland VR 1HD AV: Reviewed & Compared

Choosing the right mixer when there are so many on the market these days isn't easy.
Especially when many of them are built for one specific need but being marketed as an all-rounder 🙄
But not to worry, I've got ya!
I have taken a deep dive into two beasts in the audio-mixing game and gone head to head with them: Presonus StudioLive 1602 vs. Roland VR 1HD AV.

We're looking at things like:
  • Sound Quality: This is the heart of the matter, right? How each mixer holds up in delivering crisp, clear audio. Are we talking about a mixer that makes your tracks sound like they're live from the garage, or are we hitting studio-quality sound?
  • Ease of Use: Nobody wants to spend hours figuring out which button does what. I’ll break down the user interface of both Presonus StudioLive 1602 and Roland VR 1HD AV. Are they plug-and-play easy, or will you need a PhD in mixology to use them?
  • Features and Functions: Ie. What's under the hood? Let's find out what sets them apart.
  • Durability: No matter your reason for buying, you want something that's gonna last, not fall apart after a few light sessions.
  • Price Point: Yep, money talks. When it comes to prices, we need to see which mixer gives us more bang for our buck. Is the higher price of one justified by its features, or is the other a hidden gem at a bargain price?
  • Customer Reviews and Feedback: What's the word on the street? Sometimes real-world use tells a different story than what the sales page says.

Presonus StudioLive 16.0.2 USB

After having a little play around with the Studio Live 16 from PreSonus, here's my verdict:

Setup and Software Integration

Straight out of the box, the setup was a breeze. There are tons of YouTube tutorials available that make configuring individual channels for various inputs like mics, drums, and guitars pretty straightforward. The recording software, Studio One, is a gem – intuitive and powerful. I even upgraded to the professional version because of a sweet 50% off deal they were running, and I'm glad I did.

Sound Quality and Recording Capabilities

The sound quality, both live and recorded, is top-notch. There's a certain accuracy in playback that makes the live music sound just as it's being played. The mixer does a great job in capturing the essence of live performance without any loss in sound quality.

Customer Support: A Mixed Bag

While I personally didn't run into major issues, I've heard some chatter about PreSonus' customer support being a hit or miss. One user mentioned an issue with warranty support on a unit just 45 days old, which is concerning. It seems like your experience might vary depending on the problem at hand.

User-Friendliness and Learning Curve

For beginners, this board and the accompanying DAW are a godsend. They're easy to learn and use. Even if you're at an intermediate level, like me, you'll find the Studio Live 16 to be quite adaptable. You can record jam sessions, concerts, and even phone calls with ease.

Remote Access and Portability

A standout feature is the ability to control the mixer remotely via a laptop and router, which adds a layer of convenience, especially in live settings. However, some users might find this setup a bit cumbersome, as it requires extra gear (laptop and router) for remote access.

Overall Experience

Overall, the Studio Live 16 is a great piece of equipment for semi-pro studios, small churches, and clubs. Its integration with Studio One DAW is seamless, and the mixer itself offers a great range of features. However, the learning curve can be a bit steep, especially if you're transitioning from analog to digital, and the remote access setup might not be ideal for everyone.

In short, if you're looking for a digital mixer that feels somewhat analog, has scene-saving capabilities, and offers remote access (with a bit of setup), the Studio Live 16 could be a solid choice. Just keep in mind the potential support issues and the learning curve involved.

Roland VR-1HD AV Streaming Mixer

I tested the Roland Video Switcher with audio capabilities for about a month, and here's my verdict: it's a compact powerhouse perfect for those tight on space but needing a robust video and audio solution.

Set-Up and Input Flexibility

Setting it up was a bit of a learning curve, but once I got the hang of it, the switcher's functionality was impressive. I connected a DSLR, a camcorder, and my laptop as input devices, alongside a 32GB storage device for still images and wave files. The lack of internal storage is a minor drawback, as all images and audio are stored on the external drive. Another minor hiccup is the need for images to be in Windows Bitmap File (.bmp) format, which requires a bit of extra work in conversion.

File Compatibility and Storage Tips

I encountered issues with a 128GB stick, but resizing BMP files to smaller than the maximum 1920 x 1200 pixels helped. Also, converting MP3 or MP4 files to wave format using Audacity or iTunes was necessary – a bit outdated, but manageable. It's a bit odd to still be using wave files in today's digital age, but overall, it didn't hamper the experience too much.

Streaming Capabilities and Support

A notable downside is that Roland doesn't include the USB A to B 3.0 cable needed for streaming, so be prepared to buy one separately. The setup is excellent for enhancing Zoom meetings or similar applications. However, don't expect to master it immediately – it requires some practice before using it for critical projects.

Reliability in Various Settings

The switcher has proven itself in different environments. From church services to educational settings, it's been reliable and easy to use. The build quality is solid, and the ease of streaming video and sound is commendable. However, there have been some issues post-software update, with the mixer crashing during live streams, which is something to watch out for.

Customer Support and Overall Satisfaction

When I faced connectivity issues with my iMac, product support was helpful in resolving them. Despite a few initial hurdles, I'm enjoying the switcher a lot. The ability to upload custom sound files and music adds a personal touch to the output.

Overall, this Roland Video Switcher is a great tool for anyone needing a compact, yet feature-rich, video and audio mixing solution. It's versatile, though it comes with a few quirks that require some workaround. But once you're past the learning curve, it opens up a world of creative possibilities.

Head 2 Head: Presonus StudioLive 1602 or Roland VR 1HD AV

Diving into the Presonus StudioLive 16.0.2 USB

The Presonus StudioLive 16.0.2 USB is akin to a smooth jazz tune – familiar but with a twist, offering easy setup and integration with its software, Studio One, taking the headache out of configuration. The sound quality is like that creamy dollop of foam on your morning latte – accurate, live and recorded, capturing the essence of your performance without compromising on quality.

But…there's a ‘but'

While you're crooning to the tune of its features, you might find its customer support playing a different rhythm altogether. It's a bit hit or miss, like trying to find that last slice of pizza in the fridge only to discover your roommate snagged it. I mean, we're talking about potential warranty issues with barely two-month-old units here.

This mixer isn't just for seasoned pros though – it's as user-friendly as your favorite barista who knows just how you like your coffee. Whether you're a beginner or at an intermediate level like me, this is one mixer that doesn't discriminate. It's perfect for recording jam sessions, concerts or even phone calls (because who wouldn't want to relive their mom lecturing them about eating healthier?).

A look into the Roland VR-1HD AV Streaming Mixer

Now let's turn our attention to the Roland VR-1HD AV Streaming Mixer. This little beast packs a punch in terms of functionality but demands some patience when setting up – kinda like assembling IKEA furniture.

File Compatibility and Storage Tips

It's a bit persnickety with file types and storage. For instance, it likes its images in .bmp format, which is kind of like insisting on VHS tapes when we're all streaming Netflix. But hey, we all have our quirks. And while it could do with a larger internal storage, it's nothing an external drive can't fix.

Streaming Capabilities

Streaming with the Roland VR-1HD AV is akin to adding a touch of hot sauce to your burrito – just enough to enhance the flavor without setting your mouth on fire. It's great for jazzing up Zoom meetings or similar applications, although mastering it might take some practice.

Customer Support

In terms of support, they're pretty helpful – a bit like that one friend who's always ready to help you move house (we all need one). Despite some initial hurdles, this switcher has proven itself in different environments like churches and educational settings.

And the winner is…

Picking between these two mixers is like choosing between pizza and tacos – both are awesome but serve different purposes. However, the crown goes to the Presonus StudioLive 16.0.2 USB.

Its ease of use and top-notch sound quality make it an excellent choice for semi-pro studios, small churches, and clubs. The remote access feature adds convenience despite its slightly cumbersome setup requirements (laptop and router). And while there are concerns about customer support, its seamless integration with Studio One DAW gives it an edge over Roland VR-1HD AV.

So, while the Roland VR-1HD AV is a great compact solution for audio and video mixing, the Presonus StudioLive 16.0.2 USB hits all the right notes for those looking for a more comprehensive solution for their audio needs.