16 Nov 2020
Q: How do I properly connect my StudioLive to my PC?
A: In order to connect your StudioLive to your PC, you'll need a PC with a FireWire card or built-in FireWire port. USB to Firewire, (e)SATA, or other methods of connecting devices do not work correctly. Presonus Audio does properly support the use of the approved Apple Thunderbolt to firewire adapters on PC and Mac systems:
If you are working with a StudioLive AI mixer and you need to connect your mixer via Network (i.e. Wireless or Ethernet), please click on this link.
***If you are connecting a StudioLive Ai mixer via firewire, continue through the remaining instructions on this knowledge base article:
Next, you'll want to check to see if your computer already has a FireWire port built-in. Examine your computer or its documentation for any ports resembling those below:
If you have a port such as these above, you can install the Universal Control driver (available on the Downloads page) for the version of your operating system, then connect the StudioLive with the appropriate cable. From there, you should be up-and-running and ready to record. For more information on the different types of FireWire connections, please see this document.
Though most users never experience problems with their setup, sometimes it is necessary to troubleshoot the FireWire system. Below are the common situations in which the FireWire system needs to be examined:
1. The minimal technical specifications found on our website must be met to ensure proper performance. Note that having the minimum requirements also requires that your system be optimized properly in order to ensure that no crashes, freezes, "blue screens", or other errors are experienced while using the mixer.
See the below Technical Specifications for you StudioLive mixer:
Optimizing your PC for audio:
2. We have a Known Compatible and Incompatible Hardware list that details which FireWire chipsets are and are not compatible with our products. While FireWire is a standardized protocol, different chipset manufacturers create alterations to industry specifications which can result in loss of sync, poor bandwidth, and other issues. Before purchasing a StudioLive mixer or FireWire solution, please make sure it adheres to the list above.
Checking the chipset of your computer's FireWire bus:
There are two ways to check your computer's FireWire chipset for compatibilty. See the steps below for details on these processes:
1. If you are using the latest version of Universal control (1.7 or higher) then the information is found on the UC Control window under Settings > OHCI Info
2. Once the window below is visible, compare the information to that provided in the Known Compatible and Incompatible Hardware. If your chipset does not meet the compatibility requirements, you'll need to purchase a new FireWire solution that does. There is a list in the above document that details specific cards that we have tested in-house.
***If you are not able to use the latest version of Universal Control 1.7 and have this feature (because you are using Windows XP), you can download this tool with the two links provided:
OHCI Tool #1 (this is for systems who’s motherboards might be older. Run the Tool and click “Scan Now”)
OCHI Tool #2 (Use this tool for newer systems if the card does not show up on the older tool. Run the tool and click “Scan Now”)
***Results will show like so on the ohcitool:
3. Take the chipset information provided in the OHCI tool link and match it with the current Known Compatible and Incompatible Hardware List. If it does not match, purchase one of the approved cards on the document and install it on the computer.
How do I install my external FireWire solution?
For Desktop PCs:
For a desktop PC, you'll need to determine what type of PCI solution your computer uses. There are two types: PCI and PCI Express. In order to know what kind of card you would need, you would need to examine your computer's motherboard, or the documentation that came with your computer. Below is a picture detailing the different visual appearances of PCI Express and PCI slots:
A PCIe card can be inserted into a slot of its own size or larger. For example, a PCIe x1 card can fit into a PCIe x4 and x16 card; however, a PCIe x4 card cannot fit into a PCIe x1 card.
NOTE: If your computer has both PCIe and PCI cards, you would want to make use of the PCIe card, as the PCI Express architecture will offer much improved bandwidth over PCI. Since PCI is an older legacy standard that has been superseded by PCI Express, on a computer with both PCIe and PCI slots, the PCI slot must transmit data through a "bridge chip", decreasing bandwidth and resulting in problematic behavior and reduced performance. For this reason PreSonus recommends using PCIe FireWire solutions whenever possible.
For more information on this, check out this article from Intel. (The information is found on page 5 of the document linked).
For Laptop PCs:
On a laptop, you would need an ExpressCard slot in order to add FireWire support. There are no functional solutions to convert from USB to FireWire, SATA to FireWire, etc. If your laptop doesn't have an ExpressCard slot or built-in FireWire port, then you would not be able to use that computer with a FireWire device. Below is an image of both an ExpressCard port and 34-millimeter ExpressCard adapter:
For more information on ExpressCard slot's, check out this article.
If your FireWire card is compatible and you are still having problems, check out these links below for more information:
If you are still having problems, or need some more assistance after troubleshooting the above, please contact Presonus Technical Support.