Midas M32 vs PreSonus StudioLive 32S: Which Should You Buy?

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If you’re a sound engineer looking to pick up the Presonus StudioLive 32S or the Midas M32, this article is for you. These are two digital mixing consoles used mostly in churches and for small to medium-sized events.

Individually, these two digital mixing consoles are excellent by all standards. However, how well do they perform when compared with each other? You don’t need to answer that because I have taken it upon myself to review the Midas M32 and PreSonusLive 32S.

I will take time to look at some unique features they come with, their similarities and differences. And then finally, I’ll give my opinion on which one to go for. If this is something you’re interested in, then let’s get straight into it.


AttributeMidas M32PreSonus StudioLive 32S
PriceCheck Current Price of Midas M32 on AmazonCheck Current Price of PreSonus StudioLive 32S on Amazon
Input Channels40 (32 XLR, 8 Aux)40 (16 XLR, 16 Combo, 8 Aux)
Output Channels16 XLR15 XLR
Data I/O2 AES50 Ethernet ports1 AES/EBU port
HeadphonesOne ¼” TRSOne 1/4” TRS
Busses/Groups25 mix buses, 8 DCA groups25 mix buses
USB2 (1 Type B & 1 Type A)1 (Type – B)
Computer ConnectivityUSB, EthernetUSB, Ethernet
A/D Resolution24 – bit/48kHz24–bit kHz
EQ Bands4-band EQ6-band parametric EQ
EffectsYes (8 Stereo FX Engines)Yes (10 vintage EQs)
Screen7” Thin-film-transistor (TFT) Screen7” touchscreen
Storage2 SD card slotsSD card slot
Dimensions (H x D x  W)(10.1 x  24.1 x 35.1)”(6.51 x 22.97 x 32.37)”
Weight55 lbs37.2 lb
Phantom PowerYesYes
MIDI In/OutYesNo

Similarities Between the Midas M32 and PreSonus StudioLive 32S

Number of Preamps

The PreSonus StudioLive 32S (on Amazon) is built to have StudioLive 32’s XMAX mic preamps that produce superior sound without compromising on fidelity. XMAX preamps can definitely be relied on to boost your mic or instrument-level signal with little to no coloration.

All the 32 input channels of the Presonus StudioLive have the XMAX preamp. So the Presonus StudioLive has a total of 32 preamps built into it.

Similarly, Midas M32 (Amazon) also has preamps built into all 32 input channels it comes with. And in total, this console also has 32 preamps built into it. 

The Midas PRO series microphone preamps found in the Midas M32 are actually award-winning preamps that deliver high-quality sound.

Because the Midas M32 and PreSonus StudioLive 32S have 32 channels, all with built-in preamps, they are more suitable for setups requiring many microphone inputs.

In summary, both mixing consoles come with the same number of preamps.

Type of Recording Options

The Midas M32 and PreSonus StudioLive 32S are great mixing consoles that can be relied upon for both live and studio recording applications. One similarity both mixing consoles share in terms of recording is that they both provide you with the option of recording via USB and SD card.

Both mixing consoles are equipped with a fully integrated virtual soundcheck mode that allows you to playback audio from your computer or SD card and virtually mix them using the mixer’s features. You can also record via computer or SD card or computer using USB.

To do any recording via the USB recording option, you need to connect and configure either of these mixing consoles to a computer via the USB port.

When this is done, you can rely on any recording software or DAW of your choice to do the capturing. With the SD card recording option, all you need to do is configure the settings after inserting an SD card into the SD card slot. With this, you can make recordings on both mixing consoles even without a computer.

Even though the Midas M32 and PreSonus StudioLive 32S have these similarities when it comes to recording, there are some slight variations in the full extent of their recording capabilities. I will speak about them later in this article.

Display Screen Size

Although these two mixing consoles come from two different manufacturers, their display screens are the same size.

However, the display screens of these two mixing consoles are of the same size. The Midas M32 digital mixing console comes with a Thin-film-transistor (TFT) Screen that is 7″ in size. The display screen found in the PreSonus StudioLive 32 mixing console is 7″ in size as well.

Difference Between the Midas M32 and PreSonus StudioLive 32S

Although there are some similarities between these two mixing consoles, the Midas M32 and Presonus StudioLive 32S have many differences that set them apart. Here is a summary of some of them

  • PreSonus StudioLive 32S has 32 input channels with built-in preamps (with 16 XLR inputs and 16 Combo inputs). Midas M32 also has
  • PreSonus StudioLive 32S has 33 motorized faders that are touch sensitive, Midas M32 has 25 motorized faders, and they are not touch-sensitive
  • PreSonus StudioLive 32S display screen is touch-sensitive; Midas M32 screen is not touch responsive.
  • PreSonus StudioLive 32S allows you to multitrack records via SD Card, USB, or Ethernet. Midas M32 allows you to multitrack record via SD card and USB
  • Midas M32 has much more audio effects than the Presonus StudioLive 32S.

This is a quick summary of some of the differences, but obviously, there’s more. Let’s dig in.

Input/Output Channels

The PreSonus StudioLive 32S has a total of 40 main input channels. Of these 40 input channels, 32 channels come with built-in XMAX microphone preamps. 16 of these 32 channels are purely XLR ports, while the remaining 16 serve as XLR/quarter-inch combo ports.

The advantage of combo ports is that you can connect an XLR or a quarter-inch jack into it. The rest of the input ports on this mixing console serve as aux inputs.

When we look at the output ports that come with the PreSonus StudioLive 32S, we realize that it comes with 15 XLR outputs, two of which are the master left and right stereo outputs.

Aside from these XLR outputs, it has two mono outputs, four dedicated subgroup outputs, and 16 flex mixes that can be set up as Auxes, subgroups, or matrix outputs.

These 16 flex mix outputs can be used to connect to your delay stacks, floor monitors, and many more. Thus, the StudioLive 32 has more outputs than lots of other digital mixers in its class.

The Midas M32 mixing console comes with 40 input channels. 32 of these channels are XLR analog mic input channels having Midas Pro Mic Preamp inputs. Unlike the Presonus StudioLive 32, Midas M32 has no combo input ports. 

The remaining eight channels are AUX channels which provide you with auxiliary mixes separate from the main mix.

When it comes to the output channels, it has 16 XLR outputs, with two of these serving as the main outputs. Aside from these 16 XLR outputs, the Midas M32 comes with eight quarter-inch outputs and a dual RCA port.

Recording Capabilities

As I mentioned earlier in this article, these two mixing consoles offer the option of recording via both an SD card and a USB. However, the Midas M32 has two SD card slots for live recordings.

With this, you can record on both SD cards separately or on one while the other plays tracks. On the other hand, the StudioLive 32S comes equipped with only one SD card slot.

That notwithstanding, the PreSonus StudioLive 32S actually presents you with three options of multitrack recording. Thus, apart from the SD card and USB recording, you can record on the PreSonus StudioLive Series III via Ethernet.

This is because this PreSonus StudioLive 32S mixing console supports Audio Video Bridging (AVB) over Ethernet, which opens your system up to 55 channels of recording and playback. In summary, with the PreSonus StudioLive 32S, you can record your mix to an SD card, USB, or via Ethernet.

On the other hand, the Midas M32 does not offer users the option of recording via Ethernet. Unlike the PreSonus StudioLive 32S, the only way of recording audio on the Midas M32 is via either an SD card or USB.

Apart from this, the USB recording on the StudioLive 32 presents you with an incredible 64-channels of USB recording and playback, expandable to 128-channels.

This is the most you can get in any mixing console and is a joint record held by only PreSonus StudioLive Series III models.

With the Midas M32, you can record up to only 32 channels via USB. Thus, the PreSonus StudioLive 32S enables you to record more tracks over USB than the Midas 32 is capable of.

Thus, you can run lots of mics and instruments and still be able to record all of them over USB via the PreSonus StudioLive 32S.

Build Quality and Interface

The PreSonus StudioLive 32S has a compact yet flexible design. This flexible design allows you to customize the user layer and layout of this mixing console to your preference.

Thus, this mixing console is fully customizable for both layer and fat channels, which means you can assign any output or aux to any fader. This allows you to create your preferred view for any of your buses or channels.

The PreSonus StudioLive 32 mixing console has 33 motorized faders that are touch sensitive. Since this mixer comes with 32 preamp input channels, it means you get one fader per channel and an extra fader to serve as master volume.

On the other hand, the Midas M32 has 25 Midas PRO motorized 100mm faders and sports a sleek and ergonomic design.

Its design bears strong traces with classic British mixing console designs and is elegant and beautifully streamlined as well. One impressive thing about the Midas M32 is its durability and formidable strength.

The Midas M32 mixing console has a fully interactive user interface and comes with LCD scribble strips that allow you to name channels easily and quickly. Additionally, this mixing console has dedicated physical buttons and knobs for tweaking and making parameter changes.


The effects that come with the StudioLive 32S are outstanding. This mixing console offers you four internal effects buses with lots of effects like delays, reverbs, etc.

The PreSonus StudioLive 32S has a vintage-style EQ and compression for each channel. It comes equipped with ten vintage-style EQs and a classic compressor that features multiple compressor EQ models.

These EQ models are state-space modeled circuit emulation models of vintage compressors and EQs. This allows you to switch from the fully parametric StudioLive standard EQ to a vintage British or tube-style EQ.

Additionally, this mixing console offers your standard 6-band parametric EQ you’ll find in many digital mixing consoles.

That notwithstanding, the Midas M32 comes with much more effects than the StudioLive 32S. With the Midas M32, you can find more than 60 effects that can be applied to every individual input channel.

This gives you enough flexibility and freedom to craft your live sound using the available compressors, reverbs, and equalizers. Additionally, the Midas M32 is equipped with 16 vintage analog gear-based plugins that provide users with more equalization and effects units.

Display Screen and Controls

Earlier in this article, I spoke about the fact that the display screens in these two digital mixing consoles are of the same size, that is, 7-inches. However, that is the only thing their screens have in common.

The PreSonus StudioLive 32S comes with a 7-inches color touchscreen that is very responsive to touch. The touchscreen makes using the Presonus StudioLive 32S very easy to use. You get access to all the parameters by interacting directly with them, and this speeds up your workflow.

On the other hand, the Midas M32 is built to have a 7″ full-color thin-film-transistor display screen that is angled. However, unlike the screen of the PreSonus StudioLive 32S, which is a touchscreen, the M32’s display screen is not a touchscreen.

Thus, users can only rely on the knobs, faders, buttons, and screen during mixing. One great thing about the display screen of the M32 is that it is viewable even in broad daylight.

Which One Should You Buy? My Opinion

The range of performance produced by these two digital mixing consoles is enormous, making it quite difficult to choose one over the other. Thus, if I could have my way, I would simply select both devices and close the curtain on the matter.

However, for this article, I need to make a choice between the two. Therefore, when presented with the option of selecting between the two, I will definitely go in for the PreSonus StudioLive 32S digital mixer.

This is because the StudioLive 32 mixing console is one of the easiest digital consoles to operate. One of the reasons for this is that this mixing console has a FAT channel that provides you with all your EQ and dynamics processing channels at one location.

Also, it comes with 33 motorized faders that are touch sensitive. All these make mixing easier and more fun to do.

On top of that, this PreSonus StudioLive 32S comes with a 7-inches color touchscreen that is very responsive to touch. This 7-inches color touchscreen gives you the flexibility of controlling and tweaking the

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the Midas M32. The Midas M32 does not come with a screen that is touch sensitive. Thus, it does not offer users the flexibility of mixing offered by the StudioLive 32S.

Another point is the recording capability of the PreSonus StudioLive 32S is actually impressive and far supersedes that of the Midas M32. This is because, with the PreSonus StudioLive 32S, you have three different ways to multitrack record.

These are; recorded via either USB, SD card, or Ethernet. On the other hand, you can only record via USB or SD card with the Midas M32. Furthermore, the PreSonus StudioLive 32S lets you record more tracks over USB than any other digital mixer can.

Thus, this digital mixing console performs excellently when used at the studio or for live sound applications.

Finally, this digital mixing console can function as either a mixer, an audio interface, or a control surface. Thus, it can function as a 3-in-1 audio device. As a control surface, the PreSonus StudioLive 32S can be linked to monitoring mixers, AVB switches, and stage boxes during live performances.

When used as an audio interface, it allows its inputs and outputs to be used just as traditional USB audio interfaces are used. This is a really amazing feature to find on a mixing console.

Watch the video below if you are wondering how this interface mode can be configured.

In summary, the PreSonus StudioLive 32S is a flexible yet powerful digital mixer and USB audio interface that is great for live sound and recording applications. This mixing console is also a professional-grade gadget for producing sound.


The Midas and PreSonus brands are among the well-known brands when it comes to great and high-quality mixing consoles. Thus, the Midas M32 and PreSonus StudioLive 32 digital mixing consoles are two great digital mixing consoles that produce great mixes and recordings of high quality.

Apart from this, they are also easy to set up and can be relied upon for both live and studio applications. Therefore, depending on your budget and your audio needs, you can go in for any of them.