Behringer has announced the STUDIO L monitor controller and audio interface. With Midas preamps, VCA volume control, monitor switching and a quiet USB connection, the STUDIO L claims to be a high-quality, all-in-one controller and recording solution for any studio.
Behringer STUDIO L
After the STUDIO M passive monitor controller, Behringer has announced yet another control center for your studio desk. And this time, they’ve gone all in: STUDIO L isn’t just a monitor controller and routing/talkback solution, it also doubles as a 2×2 USB audio interface. As such, it does many of the same things as the company’s own CONTROL2USB, but this time with integrated Midas preamps.
It seems like Behringer has once again drawn “inspiration” from a successful competitor. Compare the new STUDIO L to Mackie’s Big Knob Studio, and you’d be hard-pressed to find any difference.
Even the layout is pretty much exactly the same. In the top left corner, you’ll find the controls for the two integrated Midas preamps, including phantom power and stereo buttons. To the right, you can select your 2-track sources for monitoring, with line in and USB options. This is also where the talkback microphone is located.
Monitor controller with VCA control
On the right side, STUDIO L offers trim knobs and selector buttons for two sets of monitors. Two headphone outputs with independent level controls are located at the front of the unit. These can be switched between the 2-track and cue signals. There’s also an 1/8” stereo aux input at the front, which is great for connecting your smartphone or audio player without having to dig around behind the controller.
The large volume knob in the center is accompanied by a 2-row level meter, as well as mono, mute and dim buttons. According to Behringer, the volume is controlled by a VCA, rather than passing the actual audio signal through the potentiometer. The manufacturer claims that this ensures a higher-quality signal path with better stereo and phase coherency.
Behringer also says that STUDIO L features “super-quiet USB I/O” with significantly less noise than other audio interfaces. The device can record and play back two channels simultaneously at up to 192 kHz / 24 bit.
We’ve been seeing desktop audio interfaces and monitor controllers becoming more and more similar recently, with many controllers now also offering a recording option and many interfaces coming with an integrated monitor controller. For smaller studios with limited desktop and rack space and no need for large channel counts, having one device for both tasks is a convenient solution. With the new STUDIO L, Behringer presets another affordable option in this segment.
Price and availability
While Behringer hasn’t said when the STUDIO L will become available, they’ve already announced that it’ll be USD 199.