Presonus StudioLive 1602 Vs. Tascam DP 24SD: 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. Tascam DP 24SD.

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 Tascam DP 24SD. 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.

Tascam DP-24SD Digital Portastudio

If you're looking for a sturdy powerhouse, this is it. The Tascam DP-24SD Digital Portastudio packs a punch with features and functionality that will impress anyone looking to delve into recording.

Recording Capabilities

This unit is a marvel for recording enthusiasts. It allows you to record up to 8 tracks quickly and efficiently. Its standalone nature means you can do everything from recording tracks to mixdown without needing a computer. The convenience of transferring the mixdown wave file from the SD card to a computer is a huge plus. The sound quality? It's studio-grade!

Intuitive Design

Despite its sophistication, the DP-24SD has a manageable learning curve. Especially with the wealth of YouTube tutorials available, it doesn't take long to get to grips with its features. It’s particularly ideal for home studio use or solo gigs, as you get professional-level results without a huge investment in time or money.

Build and User Interface

The build quality of the DP-24SD is solid and professional. The full-color display and 24 tracks with assignable inputs make it a versatile tool for various recording scenarios. However, some users might find the menu sequences a bit non-intuitive, requiring some practice to master.

Effects and Mastering

One of the standout features is its array of on-board effects. Although, it’s worth noting that the dynamic/compressor effects are only available for live recording, not for existing WAV/track files. This might limit its appeal for some users looking for more flexibility in post-production.

Overall Impression

For its price, the Tascam DP-24SD offers incredible capabilities. It's perfect for musicians who prefer a hands-on approach to recording and mixing, without getting bogged down in complex software. It's a dream machine for many, offering the most bang for the buck. However, be prepared for some firmware quirks and keep in mind the limitations regarding dynamic effects for pre-recorded tracks.
In summary, the Tascam DP-24SD is an excellent choice for those looking to create professional-quality recordings in a user-friendly, standalone device.

Head 2 Head: Presonus StudioLive 1602 or Tascam DP 24SD

Presonus StudioLive 16.0.2 USB: The Digital Mixer with an Analog Feel

Now, here's a piece of kit that’ll have you recording like a pro in no time. The Presonus StudioLive 16.0.2 USB is the kind of mixer that'll make your live gigs sound as fresh as a daisy and your studio recordings crispier than a bucket of KFC. Setting it up was quicker than a cheetah on roller skates, and the software integration with Studio One? Pure poetry.

The Sound Quality

The sound quality could have even Mozart swooning from his grave – it's that good! This mixer captures the essence of live performance without losing an ounce of sound quality.

Customer Support: Not Always Singing In Tune

However, I've heard some grumblings about Presonus' customer support not always hitting the right notes, especially concerning warranty issues. So, bear this in mind if you decide to take the plunge.

The Learning Curve: You'll Be Climbing Mount Everest…But It's Worth It!

For beginners and intermediate users alike, this board is like finding an oasis in the desert. Sure, there's a learning curve involved (similar to scaling Mount Everest), but once you reach the summit, boy is the view worth it!

Tascam DP-24SD Digital Portastudio: A Powerhouse That Packs A Punch

Next up is the Tascam DP-24SD Digital Portastudio. This beast is a one-stop-shop for all your recording needs, allowing you to record up to 8 tracks simultaneously and then transfer the files faster than you can say “mixdown”.

The Design: User-Friendly and Versatile

Its design is intuitive, like it's read your mind before you've even touched a button. Perfect for home studios or solo gigs, this bad boy delivers professional results without breaking the bank or your patience.

Build Quality and User Interface: Solid as a Rock

The build quality is akin to Thor's hammer, and the user interface? Let’s just say even a sloth could navigate it. Although some users might find mastering the menu sequences a bit like learning Mandarin.

Effects and Mastering: Limited But Loud

Despite its limited effects for pre-recorded tracks, its dynamic live recording effects are as loud as Thor’s thunderclap. So if you prefer live recording with a punch of powerful effects, this could be your perfect match.

And The Winner Is…

After going toe-to-toe in this audio equipment showdown, it's clear that both these devices are heavyweight champions in their own right. However, there can only be one winner. I'm giving the victory belt to…*drumroll please*…the Presonus StudioLive 16.0.2 USB! Now why does it clinch the win? Well, its seamless integration with Studio One DAW coupled with stellar sound quality gives it an edge over its counterpart. Sure, there's a bit of learning involved (or rather an Everest climb), but once you've scaled the summit, you'll be cruising at cloud nine. The Tascam DP-24SD, while a formidable opponent with its standalone capabilities and solid build, falls slightly short due to its limited post-production effects and some quirky firmware issues. But don't get me wrong; it's still a great pick for those who prefer a hands-on approach to recording and mixing. In the end, if you fancy a digital mixer that feels somewhat analog, offers remote access (albeit with some extra gear), and delivers excellent sound quality, the Presonus StudioLive 16.0.2 USB is your golden ticket to audio nirvana.