Presonus StudioLive 1602 Vs. Tascam Model 24: 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 Model 24.

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 Model 24. 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 Model 24

Classic Analog Feel with Modern Capabilities

The Tascam Model 24 really brings back that classic feel of a mixing desk, blending nostalgia with modern functionality. It's user-friendly, and the sound quality is top-notch. The integration with my Mac for DAW use was seamless, making the transfer of tracks a breeze. It's a great way to step back from a purely digital interface and enjoy the tactile experience of an analog mixer.

Old School Vibe Meets Modern Tech

The feeling of using this Tascam mixer is akin to the experience I had with my first 4-track cassette in the '80s, but with the added benefits of today's tech. It's an excellent blend of the past and present.

Sturdy and Reliable

In terms of build and reliability, I haven't encountered any issues during my use. It's a solid piece of equipment that feels like it can withstand regular use and the occasional rigors of transport.

Pros and Cons

On the upside, the mixer offers great sound quality and an easy learning curve. It's particularly appealing for those looking to combine the hands-on feel of traditional mixing with modern recording capabilities. The built-in audio interface, compressor, preamps, and equalizers are like getting multiple pieces of equipment in one.

However, there are a couple of limitations. It only has two monitor sends, and the instructions provided can be a bit lacking. Some users may find the need to rely on online resources or videos to fully grasp all its features.

Overall Impression

The Tascam Model 24 is a fantastic choice for musicians or engineers looking for an analog-style mixer with the conveniences of modern technology. It's particularly suitable for home studios or small live setups. While it may have a couple of shortcomings, they are outweighed by its overall functionality and performance. This mixer provides a unique and satisfying experience for those who appreciate the charm of analog with the benefits of digital technology.

Head 2 Head: Presonus StudioLive 1602 or Tascam Model 24

Presonus StudioLive 16.0.2 USB – The Digital Powerhouse

The first contender in our showdown is the Presonus StudioLive 16.0.2 USB. From the get-go, it's clear that this machine is here to impress. The setup is so simple, even a caveman could do it! And with the plethora of YouTube tutorials available, you're never left scratching your head wondering what all those buttons do. The sound quality? Let's just say this mixer has more layers than an onion – and none of the tears! Live or recorded, your music sounds as fresh as a daisy and as crisp as a fall morning. Studio One: Your New Best Friend

This mixer comes with its own recording software, Studio One – a match made in heaven, if you ask me. It's like having your own personal recording studio right at your fingertips. Of course, every rose has its thorns and the Presonus customer support can be one of them. While some users rave about their experiences, others have had less rosy encounters.

Hands-On Learning at Its Best

For beginners stepping into the world of mixers and DAWs for the first time, this board is like training wheels on a bike – an absolute lifesaver! And for those of us who aren't exactly new to this rodeo but aren't pros either (you know who you are), you'll find this mixer to be adaptable and intuitive. The icing on the cake? Remote access via laptop and router for extra convenience during live sessions – although some might feel it's more hassle than it’s worth!

Tascam Model 24 – Analog Lovechild

Next up is the Tascam Model 24. This mixer is like your favorite pair of vintage jeans – old school but never out of style. It combines the nostalgic feel of an analog mixer with the power of modern technology, making it a joy to use. Analog Heart, Digital Brain

It's solid as a rock, reliable as sunrise, and delivers superb sound quality. The integration with Mac for DAW use is as smooth as silk, and transferring tracks feels like a walk in the park on a sunny day. However, it's not all sunshine and rainbows. While I appreciate the two monitor sends and built-in audio interface among other features, some might find the instructions to be more like mystery novels than helpful guides – leaving you to rely on external resources for guidance.

And The Winner Is…

After weighing all the pros and cons, I'd have to say that the winner here is… *drumroll please*…Presonus StudioLive 16.0.2 USB! It takes the cake as our champion mixer due to its ease of setup, top-notch sound quality, seamless software integration and powerful recording capabilities. While Tascam Model 24 puts up a good fight with its blend of analog charm and modern functionality, it falls short in comparison to Presonus' user-friendliness and advanced features. In conclusion: if you're looking for a digital mixer that packs a punch without losing its human touch – look no further than Presonus StudioLive 16.0.2 USB!