Imogen Heap with the PreSonus StudioLive 16.0.2
Recently, Kelly Snook, studio and technology manager for Imogen Heap, added a PreSonus StudioLive 16.0.2 digital mixer to Heap's setup. "I wasn't really expecting to be all that impressed by it," Snook says, "but I just love it. It's really small and compact but it does so many different things. It's really become the centerpiece of Immi's portable rig."
Snook says that the StudioLive has become an integral part of Heap's setup, covering a variety of tasks for composing, performing, mixing, and more. "It's doing something different almost every time we set it up," Snook explains. "We've used it as a replacement for our old analog mixer—it just sounds better. We've used it as a FireWire interface. I've set it up on several occasions for recording, using it as an interface between the DAW computer and a second Mac. We've used it in pretty much every situation you would imagine."
Heap also uses it in live performance. "It's right there onstage with her," says Snook. "She uses it to control her own mix on stage. She used it recently for a live interactive concert on Google Hangout. It sits next to the piano, and she uses it to control the audio so things don't feed back in the room."
Imogen Heap's setup at Queen Elizabeth Hall
The StudioLive is also a part of Heap's traveling setup. "Quite often, she's got an idea and she just wants to get something down now," says Snook. "It's great to have a setup that can travel with us everywhere. It's been all over the world."
The StudioLive mixer also figures prominently in the video for Heap's recent release, "You Know Where to Find Me." To facilitate composing in "A Room For London," a one-of-a-kind, boat-shaped suite atop Queen Elizabeth Hall overlooking the River Thames, the console was part of Heap's setup on location.
"I'm a studio engineer, and I grew up with Pro Tools," Snook says. "For a long time I didn't really learn how to operate a hardware console, until Immi's mobile setup started calling for one. But the StudioLive makes it really easy to do so much. We've had the mixer for about a year now, and it's become one of our go-to pieces of gear, out and about."