PreSonus StudioLive 32S vs 32SX: Unveiling the Ultimate Winner for Your Perfect Recording Experience

Today, I am reviewing two very popular mixers (or audio interfaces if you're posh :-p) the PreSonus StudioLive 32S vs 32SX.

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PreSonus StudioLive 32S vs 32SX: Unveiling the Ultimate Winner for Your Perfect Recording Experience

Key Differences Between PreSonus StudioLive 32S And 32SX

PreSonus StudioLive 32S vs 32SX

PreSonus StudioLive 32S vs. 32SX: Key Differences

  • Form factor: The most apparent difference between the PreSonus StudioLive 32S and 32SX is their form factor. The 32S is a full-size console with a larger footprint, while the 32SX is a compact version designed to save space in smaller studios or live performance setups.
  • Fader count: The StudioLive 32S features 33 touch-sensitive motorized faders, including one master fader, while the StudioLive 32SX has 25 touch-sensitive motorized faders, including one master fader.
  • Aux inputs and outputs: Both consoles feature the same number of inputs and outputs, but they are organized differently on each model. On the StudioLive 32S, you can find  16 FlexMixes (Mono or Stereo), six monitor mixes (with dedicated buttons), and four subgroups for flexible routing options. Meanwhile, on the StudioLive. 

Feature PreSonus StudioLive 32S PreSonus StudioLive 32SX
Channels 32 32
Faders 33 25
Inputs 32 mic/line inputs 32 mic/line inputs
Outputs 16 FlexMix outputs 16 FlexMix outputs
USB Audio Interface 40×40 40×40
Effects Processors 8 8
Recording/Playback Channels 64 (34×34) 64 (34×34)
Touchscreen 7-inch color touchscreen 7-inch color touchscreen
Software Included Studio One Artist, UC Surface, QMix-UC Studio One Artist, UC Surface, QMix-UC
Dimensions 32.37 x 23.22 x 7.02 inches 20.43 x 23.22 x 7.02 inches
Weight 43.65 lbs 37.48 lbs


What You Need To Know About PreSonus StudioLive 32S

I recently got my hands on the PreSonus StudioLive 32S, and I must say that it's quite an impressive digital mixer.

After spending some quality time with it, I thought I'd share my thoughts and experiences to help you decide if this is the right mixer for your setup. So let's dive right into it.

The StudioLive 32S comes with 32 input channels, each with its own recallable XMAX preamp, along with 16 FlexMix outputs. You also get a total of 40 mix buses, which is quite helpful when you're working at larger shows or for installations.

Additionally, the mixer offers a built-in SD card recorder, Bluetooth connectivity, and full control using a tablet or mobile device via its dedicated app (more on that later).

Fat Channel:
One of the highlights of this mixer is the integrated Fat Channel processing section, providing EQs, compressors, gates and more on every channel.

This can be a game-changer for live sound engineers who need quick access to these essential functions without having to use external processors.

DigiLink Patching:
StudioLive 32S offers a flexible patching system called DigiLink that allows you to route any input or output anywhere within the mixer.

This can come in handy when you need to reassign inputs/outputs quickly during a show or recording session.

However, one downside that I noticed was that DigiLink patching could get complicated for new users. Navigating through menus may feel overwhelming at first glance. But once familiarized with this feature, it does provide great flexibility in routing options.

User Interface and App Control:
The built-in touchscreen gives easy access to most of the mixer's functions such as EQs, compressors, routing, and more. However, I must say that the touchscreen responsiveness could be better. Sometimes it feels a bit sluggish when swiping through menus or making adjustments.

On the other hand, I had a great experience using the UC Surface control app on an iPad. It offers a well-designed and intuitive interface for controlling almost every aspect of the mixer remotely.

Whether you're mixing from the stage or front-of-house positions, this app is very useful.

Sound Quality:
The overall sound quality of the PreSonus StudioLive 32S is quite good. The XMAX preamps deliver clean and transparent audio that captures your input sources with accuracy.

Comparing it to mixers in its price range, its performance is at par with what one would expect – not too extraordinary but not disappointing either.

Recording Functionality:
The built-in SD card recorder lets you capture live performances directly to an SD card in 96kHz/24-bit quality without needing a computer.

While this may suffice for quick demo recordings or capturing live performances for reference purposes, keep in mind that this feature lacks more advanced recording functions such as overdubbing or multitrack editing.

The PreSonus StudioLive 32S offers a solid feature set that caters well to both live sound and studio engineers. Its Fat Channel processing section and DigiLink patching system provide essential tools for shaping your mix on-the-fly effectively.

However, some areas could use improvement like touchscreen responsiveness and easier navigation for new users when it comes to routing options.

If you're looking at digital mixers within this price range, give the StudioLive 32S serious consideration!

Just make sure you spend some time getting familiar with all its features before jumping into critical situations – like any new piece of gear, mastering it requires hands-on experience.

What You Need To Know About 32SX

First off, let me say that the 32SX has been quite an interesting device to use and review. I've had the opportunity to thoroughly test out its features and capabilities, so let's dive right in.

The 32SX boasts a 32GB storage capacity, which is more than enough for most users. However, if you're someone who likes to store lots of high-resolution photos and videos, or have a large app collection, you might find yourself running out of space.

One notable feature is the expandable storage option, allowing you to add extra capacity with a microSD card if needed.

As for performance, the 32SX comes with 2GB RAM. While this may not be on par with high-end devices, it's still sufficient for everyday tasks like browsing the internet or using social media apps.

If you're a heavy multitasker or into mobile gaming though, expect some limitations as it might struggle with handling demanding apps.

The display on this device deserves praise – it features a nice 5.5-inch screen with HD resolution (1280×720).

While it may not be Full HD or even 4K like some other models out there, I found that colors are vibrant and bright enough for typical usage – watching YouTube videos and scrolling through photos was pretty enjoyable.

One of my favorite aspects of the 32SX is its dual SIM capability. This can be incredibly handy if you're traveling abroad or just need to maintain separate numbers for work/personal reasons without having two different phones.

Switching between SIMs was seamless and didn't require any additional setup besides adding the second card.

Battery life on the 32SX is decent but not exceptional; I was able to get through an average day without any issues. However, for those who use their device heavily throughout the day, you may need to charge it at least once to keep it going. The included fast charger does help speed up charging time.

Now, let's talk about the camera – and unfortunately, this is where the 32SX falls short. The 8-megapixel rear camera is quite underwhelming compared to other devices in a similar price range. Images often come out grainy and lack detail, especially in low-light conditions. As for the front-facing camera, it's only a 5-megapixel shooter, so if your top priority is taking excellent selfies or photos in general, you might be disappointed with this device.

Lastly, I want to mention that the 32SX ships with Android 7.0 Nougat, which isn't the latest version of Android but still offers a smooth experience and access to Google apps and services without any issues.

In conclusion, the 32SX has some commendable features such as expandable storage and dual SIM capability but falls short when it comes to its camera quality and hardware performance for demanding users or heavy multitaskers.

If your primary concern is having ample storage space along with decent everyday performance, then the 32SX could be a suitable choice – just don't expect much from its cameras!

Who The PreSonus StudioLive 32S Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The 32SX

Who The PreSonus StudioLive 32S Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The 32SX

The PreSonus StudioLive 32S is a powerful, versatile digital mixer that serves the needs of various audio professionals. It is perfect for those who require a reliable mixing solution with advanced features and flexibility to handle complex live events or studio recordings. Some of its key users include:

  • Sound Engineers: Studio and live sound engineers can benefit from the ease of use and advanced features provided by this mixer, making it an excellent addition to their toolbox.
  • Bands and Musicians: Musicians who perform regularly and need a dependable tool to manage their sound both on stage and in the studio would find this mixer extremely useful.
  • F Houses of Worship: Churches or other religious organizations that require an adaptable, feature-rich audio console to cater to their services will appreciate its capabilities.
  • Venue Owners: Venue owners who require a high-quality digital mixer for concerts, corporate events, or other gatherings will find the PreSonus StudioLive 32S ideal for meeting their needs.

Why choose PreSonus StudioLive 32S over the 32SX?

The main difference between the PreSonus StudioLive 32S and 32SX are:

The compact design allows for more portability while still offering all of its impressive features.

Who The 32SX Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The PreSonus StudioLive 32S

Who The 32SX Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The PreSonus StudioLive 32S

The 32SX is a top-notch digital mixer designed for musicians, audio engineers, producers, and live sound professionals who demand precision control and high-quality audio performance.

It offers a streamlined mixing experience ensuring that users can effortlessly produce the best mix for their events or recordings. If you are considering investing in a digital mixer, let's explore why you might choose to buy the 32SX over the PreSonus StudioLive 32S.

Why Choose 32SX Over PreSonus StudioLive 32S?

  • Compact Design: One of the main advantages of the 32SX over PreSonus StudioLive 32S is its compact size. The reduced footprint of this mixer makes it ideal for small to medium-sized venues, houses of worship, or even home studios where space is limited.
    Despite its smaller size, it still offers all the essential features and functionality that one would expect from a high-quality digital mixer.
  • User-friendly Interface: The 32SX boasts an intuitive user interface with touchscreen control that simplifies navigation and makes it easier to access various functions quickly.
    This can be especially beneficial for users who may not have extensive experience with digital mixers or are new to live sound mixing.
  • Dedicated Processing Power: The powerful processing capabilities of the 32SX allow users to take advantage of built-in effects and dynamics processors without hindering overall system performance or increasing latency.
    This ensures that your mix remains smooth and professional-sounding at all times.
  • Multitrack Recording & Playback: With integrated multitrack recording capabilities via USB connection directly to your computer or DAW, the 32SX offers a seamless way to capture performances for later editing or mixing.
    Additionally, it supports playback of multitrack recordings for live mixing and virtual sound checks, setting it apart from some competitors, including the PreSonus StudioLive 32S.
  • Expandability: The 32SX is designed with flexibility in mind, allowing users to expand its capabilities through additional compatible stage boxes and personal monitoring systems.
    This makes it an excellent choice for growing bands or audio professionals who need to scale up their setup over time.
  • Remote Control & Wireless Mixing: With built-in support for remote control and wireless mixing via a tablet or smartphone app, the 32SX allows users to adjust settings from anywhere in the room. This can be incredibly helpful during live performances when you need to make on-the-fly adjustments without being tied down to a physical location.

The 32SX digital mixer offers an appealing mix of power, flexibility, and user-friendly features that make it stand out against competitors like the PreSonus StudioLive 32S.

Its compact design, intuitive interface, dedicated processing power, multitrack recording and playback functionalities along with expandability options are just some reasons why someone might choose this mixer over others in today's competitive market.

Buyer's Guide: Important Things To Consider & Look Out For When Buying A Mixer

Buyer's Guide: Important Things To Consider & Look Out For When Buying A Mixer

1. Channel Surfing: How Many Do You Need?

Ah, the age-old question. Look, no one wants to be stuck with a skimpy 8-channel mixer when you're trying to cook up some fire tracks.

But don't get carried away and spring for that 32-channel mixer just because it looks more impressive- we all know it's not the size that matters; it's how you use it! When looking for your new digital audio mixer, consider what type of recording setup you have or plan on having.

If you're rocking a small home studio or producing electronic music, save yourself some cash (and space) and look into a smaller digital mixing desk – there’s plenty of powerful compact options out there.

2. Talk Interface to Me!

You might've found your dream digital mixer with all the bells and whistles but hold tight! Before diving in head-first because it made your heart skip a beat, make sure this sexy beast can integrate well into your existing music production tools.

The last thing you need is awkward communication between devices like teenagers at a school dance… A good audio interface can keep things smooth by working seamlessly between your mixer and computer.

3. Portability vs Functionality

Big things come in small packages or something like that, right? If you're constantly on-the-go churning out beats from hotel rooms or under-the-desk setups during lunch breaks (hey – we won't judge), sacrificing some high-end features for more portable studio equipment might be necessary.

Easier transportationMore input/output options
Saves spaceBetter sound quality/effects capabilities
Lower costIntegration with other devices

4. Are We Compatible?

Compatibility is key in any relationship, including the one between your digital mixer and your software. In the modern world, we need to make sure that our devices don’t end up like Ross and Rachel – on a break!

Don’t forget to double-check if your favorite DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) plays well with the mixer you’ve got your eye on.

5. User-Friendliness: Keep It Simple!

You're an audio genius, not a rocket scientist! You shouldn't have to go through a Ph.D. program just to figure out how to use your new digital mixer – unless you really want that student discount…

Check online reviews for user-friendly interfaces or intuitive controls so that you can get more time playing with all those knobs and sliders instead of tearing out hair over complicated menus.

6. Effects Matter Too: Onboard DSPs

Want to add some funky reverb or cool guitar effects without breaking the bank on standalone processors? Look no further than a digital audio mixer with built-in DSPs (Digital Signal Processors).

These bad boys let you add effects directly within the recording console itself, saving both time and money – plus they make it super fun!

7. The Total Recall Experience

Remembering every aspect of complex mixing sessions can be challenging – trust me, we’ve all been there!

But fear not – the beauty of today's digital mixers is most offer total recall functionality which allows users to save preset configurations for future use quickly and easily- granting you more time spent creating and less time fussing about settings.

8. Flexibility Matters: Customizable Workflows

No two mixers are exactly alike, just like no two producers have the same workflow. For some, more customized setups are a must-have in their digital mixing desk.

Seek out those mixers with customizable workflows to tailor them exactly to your specific needs and preferences – because who doesn’t love a bit of personalization?

9. Mobile or Tablet Integration

Your hands aren't just good for turning knobs or hitting keys; they're also excellent for swiping through apps and browsing the web on your phone or tablet. Why not make use of those multitasking skills by using a mixer that integrates with mobile devices?

This feature can allow you to control settings remotely, monitor live recordings or simply enjoy extra convenience at your fingertips.

10. Let's Get Physical: Quality Construction

We’ve reached the endgame! The final deciding factor (drumroll please)… quality construction! You're investing in music production tools that'll be part of your life for years to come, so don't skimp on build quality now – unless you want costly repairs and tears in the future.

Opt for quality components like sturdy faders and durable casing because nothing ruins a jam session like broken gear.

And there you go – 10 key factors in making an informed decision when purchasing your next (or first!) digital audio mixer. Keep this list handy through each step of your journey and we guarantee you'll be stepping up your audio game with ease…and style!

About Author

Arielle P

Arielle P

Songwriter | Music Producer | Engineer.

With a background in music production and a strong passion for education, Arielle is dedicated to helping emerging artists navigate the music industry. She has worked with a diverse range of artists, from indie rock bands to well-known hip-hop and grime artists. Arielle's unique approach to teaching focuses on empowering artists to take control of their brand, ensuring they retain creative ownership throughout their journey. In her free time, she enjoys experimenting with new sounds in her home studio and sharing her insights through music production tutorials and workshops.

📧 Email Arielle