PreSonus CS18AI Control Surface Mixer


Studio Magic

PreSonus users rejoice! Both new and existing registered owners of any currently available PreSonus® audio interface or mixer are receiving a free bonus: the Studio Magic Plug-in Suite for Mac® and Windows®. Studio Magic includes seven popular plug-ins in VST, AU, and AAX formats.

Currently eligible interfaces and mixers include the PreSonus AudioBox USB, AudioBox i-series, and Studio-series interfaces and StudioLive Series III, StudioLive AR USB, and StudioLive RML-series mixers. Studio Magic is automatically added to registered users’ online MyPreSonus accounts and can be downloaded at any time—even if they bought the eligible PreSonus interface or mixer years ago.

PreSonus StudioLive mixers redefined affordable compact mixing, forever changing the world and setting the standard for what digital mixers could be. Built from this award winning legacy, the StudioLive CS18AI is a compact, intuitive mixing solution for the StudioLive RM16AI and RM32AI rack mount digital mixers and Studio One digital audio workstation. The StudioLive philosophy means being at home both live and in the studio, being easy to learn, and incorporating uniquely PreSonus workflows and features.

  • 18 100mm, touch-sensitive motorized faders: 16 Channel, 1 Flex, 1 Master
  • Navigate using traditional layers or with intuitive PreSonus Filter DCA groups
  • Built-in 4x2 AVB audio interface with 2 XMAX preamps, 2 balanced TRS line inputs, 2 XLR and stereo headphone output
  • Connects via a simple Ethernet cable eliminating the need for cumbersome analog or digital snakes and stage boxes
  • Studio One control surface functionality


The Power of Active Integration

Your needs are unique. PreSonus AI systems are designed to address your individual requirements. With several options for control and exclusive software integration features you can accomplish more with exactly the type of control and capabilities you need. The CS18AI connects to RM mixers with a single CAT 5 Ethernet cable. That enables Active Integration with PreSonus software including UC Surface software for control from iPads and Windows 8 touch computers, iPhone and iPod management of personal monitor mixes with QMix-AI, and direct Capture control for live recording and virtual sound checks. UC Surface works with the CS18AI as an extension to the physical controller with complementary views for the selected channel strip, full metering, and scene recalls. Or leave the CS18AI at front of house, and navigate the room and fine tune the mix with UC Surface on your iPad. Get the most comprehensive, hands-on control of you Studio One mix on touch sensitive motorized faders. The CS18AI integrates directly with Studio One to provide a big console mixing experience. Plug-ins, scribble strips, channel select button colors, channel banking, and transport control bring your Studio One session into the physical world. Easily create channel automation and navigate your mix with intuitive StudioLive workflows.

Filter DCAs Are Better Than Layers.

We've never really liked the complexity that comes with navigating your mix with channel layers. That's why StudioLive mixers have traditionally features a 1-to-1 channel configuration with no layers. While the CS18AI does support classic layer navigation, it also features our unique Filter DCAs for controlling and navigating your mix.
The CS18AI is the first live mix system that lets you control 64 channels from a 19-inch rack-mountable control surface. Our Filter DCA groups bring the elements of the mix to you. Rather than trying to remember which layer the lead guitar is on, simply select your guitar DCA Filter and we will bring it to you. Filter DCAs take concepts of DCAs and view groups and combine them into an intuitive workflow designed to make your life easier when you're in the heat of a live mix. No other mixing system can offer such compact and affordable mixing system that's so easy to use. You don't need to see or individually adjust 32 or 64 channels!
Rather, you need to be able to adjust groups of channels: Drums, background vocals, horn section, etc. Or individual performer groups such as lead vocal and their keyboard. Or even more granular groups like toms only. This gives you more control with less channels and faders.
DCAs Ð Digitally Controlled Amplifiers - are the traditional solution used on large-format mixers. DCAs are like remote controls for a group of channel faders: change the DCA fader; change all the component channel fader levels at once. This is a great solution as far as it goes. The problem is, no mixer of any size has enough DCAs to build all the combinations of channels that could make mixing easier. And mixers in StudioLive RM price range do not have them at all.
We realized that users needed a more sophisticated way to control mixer channels in all sorts of various combinations. So we combined DCAs and population groups into an elegant, integrated solution: Filter DCAs.
This breakthrough feature for navigating and controlling a mix lets you get the most from channel grouping - because it allows for dynamic changes in context of the mix.
The CS18AI and UC Surface, both give you more than 25 Filter DCAs, each of which can contain any combination of available input channels. Select a Filter DCA and the channel view changes to only show the channels belonging to that group. The "Flex" fader switches context to adjust the relative level of all channels in the group. Filter DCAs stay active until exited, allowing you to address the same group independently across different mixes. You can also flip between groups on the fly to change the context of a selected mix. So rather then navigating through layers of channels, the channels you want come to you. All primary mixing functionality is at your fingers without the need to navigate complex views or deep menus.

Mix in Touch-Sensitive Techno-Color.

Every aspect of the CS18AI was designed to help you mix with ease and reliability. RGB select buttons make it easier to identify channels, layers, and mixes based on the color. True touch sensitive faders know when your finger makes contact so the fader will never fight you and you can experience real automation functionality in the studio. The CS18AI lights your way through mixing with 146 illuminated buttons, sixteen high-64x96-pixel scribble strips, a touch-sensitive 4.3" /109mm LCD display, and sixteen 11-segment LED level ladders. If you need to control it, we made it light up. Not all faders with little motors inside are touch-sensitive. Many controllers use motion- sensitive faders that you have to grab and move to change the level -which can be a real problem if you're trying to write automation or if the fader is already in motion. With the CS18AI's touch-sensitive faders you can simply touch one to take control. They're essential when mixing with automation, because they allow the system to drop into automation record mode the moment you touch the fader, and stop recording automation as soon as you release it. In live mixing touch-sensitivity provides valuable channel information such as the fader value without actually changing the value. Audio forums have plenty of laments about some manufacturers' moving faders "jumping their belts," or simply burning out. PreSonus uses ultra-high-duty cycle motorized faders that have been put through thousands of hours of rigorous testing to ensure quality performance. They won't break, even after years front-of-house in a smoke-filled club.

The Perfect DAW Controller for Studio One.

With a simple Ethernet connection, CS18AI becomes the control for Studio One giving you an instant studio upgrade and closing the loop between studio and stage. Now you can get the performance of a big mixing console in a compact controller with a natural feel. Other DAW controllers give you some faders and generic controls that try to do too much with too little. The CS18AI is a complete mix controller that doesn't skimp on functionality. You get all the classic mixer controls and workflows while still keeping the footprint compact. With the CS18AI, you can take control the following functionality in Studio One:

  • Touch-sensitive motorized fader control over channel faders and automation
  • PreSonus and third-party plug-in control
  • Channel Mute
  • Channel Solo and Solo clear
  • Channel Select with matched RGB LED channel colors
  • Channel Pan control
  • Scribble strip names, pan indication, and current automation mode
  • Channel layer navigation
  • Aux mix control
  • Transport control
  • Marker navigation
  • Automation mode selection
  • Metering


4x2 Networked AVB Audio Built-In

Through the power and flexibility of audio networking, the CS18AI can send and receive audio channels across long distances with just a single Ethernet cable. Use the two mic and two line inputs as sources for the talkback, digital return, or networked sources for channels 31 and 32 on the RM mixers. The two returns are shared with the monitor line outputs and headphone output, and can be sourced from any output of the RM mixers including the Solo bus, Main Mix, or any Aux mixes.

CS18AI Ethernet/AVB Control Surface Mixer Features:

  • 18 100mm, touch-sensitive motorized faders: 16 Channel, 1 Flex, 1 Master
  • Control StudioLive RM AI mix systems of up to 64-channels
  • Full PreSonus Fat Channel DSP control with individual encoders and 12-LED displays for
  • Gate Threshold, Range, Attack, Release
  • Compressor Ratio, Attach, Release, Gain
  • Limiter Threshold
  • EQ Low, Low-Mid, High-Mid, High
  • Metering
  • Sixteen 12-LED channel ladder level and Fat Channel displays
  • Three 11-LED Select Channel Level/Compressor/Gate displays
  • 11-LED displays for Main Center/Mono, Left and Right
  • Variable-color (RGB) Select buttons for easy channel and Filter DCA group identification
  • 16-channels of high resolution 64 x 96 scribble strip display with Pan indicators
  • 4.3" / 109 mm color touch-sensitive display
  • Compressor
  • EQ
  • Gate
  • Compressor
  • Effects, Scenes, Markers Edit
  • Audio Routing
  • Channel Presets and settings
  • Talkback Assign
  • 4 Effects Mute/Mix button with TAP
  • Active Integration with PreSonus software includes UC Surface software
  • Studio One control surface functionality including: touch-sensitive motorized fader control over channel faders and automation, plug-in cotnrol for PreSonus and third-party plug-ins, Channel Mute, Channel Solo and Solo clear, Channel Select, Channel Pan control, Scribble strip names, pan indication, and current automation mode, channel layer navigation, Aux mix and transport control, Automation mode selection, metering
  • 4x2 AVB audio transport control with Marker Shift, REW/FF options
  • Analog I/O
  • 2 remote XMAX mic preamps for talkback, room mic or other local inputs
  • 2 balanced 1/4" TRS line inputs
  • 2 XLR line outputs
  • stereo headphone output with level control
  • Monitor control level control
  • 4-pin XLR lamp connection
  • Footswitch input
  • Silent internal PSU with no fans
  • Same footprint as StudioLive 16.4.2AI for integration in 19" rack mounts and 3rd-party studio desks
  • Optional iPad mount accessory