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So...maybe a dumb question...but Presonus? Audio Interfaces
Old 29th August 2015
  #1
Gear Head
 
tcmx250's Avatar
 

So...maybe a dumb question...but Presonus?

I've been here a while, and recently returned after a long hiatus. My question has always been, what about Presonus stuff? I see little mention on the gear/daw here in the forum (maybe I'm just not digging hard enough) but I own a fair share of it and have had good success with it. I know everyone has opinions on gear, but I'm curious about the general consensus on the company/gear overall. Would love a discussion on the topic and maybe some tips tricks and hints tucked in along the way. I'm not a pro by any means, nor do I believe I will be, I just enjoy recording and gear.

Let the games begin!
Old 29th August 2015
  #2
I had the Firebox and had issues with it losing sync, usually when playing back windows based programs like the media player or even during games (onboard sound was disabled)
It worked fine in cubase but the unit itself ran quite warm and latency wasn't the best. Then one day it stopped working after about 3 years of constant use.

I won a Bluetube and tried it a couple of times but think of it as a gimmick when it comes to adding 'valve warmth'. The VU meters were way to sensitive to be of any use.

RME UCX and couldn't be happier.
Old 29th August 2015
  #3
Gear Maniac
Studio One is very easy to use. I've read threads on here rating it extremely highly.
Old 29th August 2015
  #4
Gear Head
 
tcmx250's Avatar
 

Thanks for the replies. I also have Studio One V2 Pro, and I love it. Was considering purchasing a Studio Live Mix console, the bennifit is being able to use it tracking and in live situations, being high quality and portable.
Old 29th August 2015
  #5
I've a had few pieces of presonus gear over the years, starting with a firepod and firebox, and still have a faderport, original lightpipe digimax, and central station w/ remote. I think that for certain things they can be quite good, the Digimax is a good sounding workhorse piece that's around when I need extra inputs. The Central Station is awesome. The Faderport is ok though I don't really use it. The firepod and firebox were good starter pieces, which is exactly what they should be. So all that to me is good. I'll love to check out their high end ADL stuff but never had the chance.

What I don't like about them is that they don't support their older gear. My Digimax power supply went last year and they wouldn't even touch it, just threw their hands up. I took it to my repair guy and he said I got lucky that it was an easy fix, since Presonus doesn't general cooperate with schematics and stuff.

So a mixed bag I guess.
Old 29th August 2015
  #6
I've a had few pieces of presonus gear over the years, starting with a firepod and firebox, and still have a faderport, original lightpipe digimax, and central station w/ remote. I think that for certain things they can be quite good, the Digimax is a good sounding workhorse piece that's around when I need extra inputs. The Central Station is awesome. The Faderport is ok though I don't really use it. The firepod and firebox were good starter pieces, which is exactly what they should be. So all that to me is good. I'll love to check out their high end ADL stuff but never had the chance.

What I don't like about them is that they don't support their older gear. My Digimax power supply went last year and they wouldn't even touch it, just threw their hands up. I took it to my repair guy and he said I got lucky that it was an easy fix, since Presonus doesn't general cooperate with schematics and stuff.

So a mixed bag I guess.
Old 29th August 2015
  #7
Gear Maniac
 

I think presonus has really upped their game! I used to own a firepod... which was good value, if nothing else. I had some build quality issues with it, and also found that it was difficult to get my mixes to glue together one the tracks recorded through it... although its hard to say how much it was the box, or my inexperience at the time

I also used their 8-channel compressor. Again - good value, but nothing extraordinary. Good for a basic home studio or a small live rig maybe... but it blew away the similarly priced behringer compressors of course (another company that is FINALLY starting to manufacture a few quality products IMHO)

I have a faderport, which is great, when it works... but that is not always. A lot of driver, firmware, and support issues with it, as well as the motor only working when it feels like.

I also am still toying around with the idea of getting a Central Station. It is definitely the best value for a monitor controller, and has all of the features that I want, but the build quality worries me.

Those are all older presonus products... I think they have turned things around now.

I really respect Studio One as a DAW, although I don't have too much experience with it.

The ADL line looks fantastic, although not designed by presonus (or ADL for that matter...)

And finally, the new interfaces seem to be a massive improvement over the older lines. I think they are heading in the right direction!
Old 29th August 2015
  #8
Lives for gear
 

The older PreSonus circuitboards (and maybe the whole units) were manufactured in China.
Chinese built equipment is somewhat "one-off" in nature in that they don't offer much in the way of spares or documentation.
Basically, once they do a production run they move on to the next product.
This is why PreSonus doesn't support their older pieces.
This is also why they don't repair stuff and offer an exchange.
Behringer used to be the same way.

I know this because I work for a company that imports A LOT of Chinese built lighting and video wall equipment.
We have a VERY hard time getting spares, parts and documentation.
Old 29th August 2015
  #9
I think you have it backwards:

"The DigiMax LT and DigiMax 96k are manufactured by hand at our facility here in Baton Rouge in smaller quantities and utilize some more expensive metalwork and components. The DigiMax 96k, particularly, is given a very carefully engineered external power supply unit, hand-built and individually calibrated, in an all steel housing. Both the DigiMax LT and 96k use a large toroidal power supply transformer."

I dunno, maybe they just got lazy. The Digimax I have is definitely a pretty nice hunk of metal. You can grab them for nothing now, but I think they retailed in the $1200-1300 range vs. $399 for the current ones. Maybe they ran out of parts, or maybe they just wanted to sell me a new unit, who knows. But I didn't feel like ditching it, and it wound up being a $45 fix.

Granted the whole thing might be BS, I'm just copy/paste-ing.
Old 29th August 2015
  #10
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redgrovesound's Avatar
I've had 2 different StudioLive boards fail in the middle of a gig. Never again.
Old 29th August 2015
  #11
Lives for gear
I loved my firepod. It was the first digital thing I owned. I switched to focusrite in 2008 though. But I learned a lot on that firepod. I was using nuendo 3 at the time. I always wanted a second one but at 700 bucks it was quite hard to save for another one. I wish I knew what I do now back then. Oh well.
Old 29th August 2015
  #12
Gear Head
 
tcmx250's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by costas14 View Post
I loved my firepod. It was the first digital thing I owned. I switched to focusrite in 2008 though. But I learned a lot on that firepod. I was using nuendo 3 at the time. I always wanted a second one but at 700 bucks it was quite hard to save for another one. I wish I knew what I do now back then. Oh well.
Would you have started with the focusrite or made sure you got the second firepod?
Old 29th August 2015
  #13
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Unclenny's Avatar
I began this part of my recording journey with a Presonus BlueTube and it did not hold me back from learning a great deal.

The tube drive component was pretty cool for DI bass.
Old 29th August 2015
  #14
Lives for gear
 

ADL 600 and 700 get a pretty good rap here on GS.

Well revered.

Cheers
Old 29th August 2015
  #15
Lives for gear
 

I have been a PreSonus customer for more years than Rick has been employed there. The great stuff--ADL600, been using mine for 10 + years, it's a winner and my Fader port are both indispensable elements of my studio. The ACP88 and the discontinued companion 8 channel pre were both very good when I lived in an analog processing world. I bought the first Studio Live 16 delivered to NC for a local church and it still performs well every Sunday I later retired my beloved 2800 series analog A & H console for a 24 channel Studio live but replaced it with a smaller foot print QU16 that worked better for our live shows. Over all I have been extremely pleased with my Studio One DAW. It is much more intuitive than my expensive Logic program that backed me into a corner for 10 years. The drivers in the one PerSonus interface I tried were sub standard and I went back to RME (UFX this time around). I still have a hammerfal set up for 24 channel ADAT transfer and all of my RME drivers are bullet proof. I am deeply concerned about a destructive trend I am currently experiencing with PreSonus. Absolute rotten customer service and third party delegation of paid service for the DAW offering. I spent several hundred dollars with Obedia several years ago and bought several "how to " books to explain basic and advanced Studio One Operation however every few months a new revision of the program is released and the latest and greatest new fixes and changes are seldom if ever updated in the "help section" manual. Business models change and bring about personel and policy differences that will either strengthen or weaken a companies brand. Poor less than courteous E-Mail service is sliding down a razor blade that can and will distroy customer confidence and break a once good company. (Alesis-- etc. etc) I gladly pay what ever the price for equipment to have outstandind service like I get with Allen & Heath and RME. They are always there to answer a question with out a ration of BS that is currently offered by PreSonus. I once loved the fact that PreSonus was an American co. and I do not enjoy making these harsh comments about a co. I want to continue to like, however their current business model is what it is.

Last edited by hughshouse; 29th August 2015 at 02:22 PM..
Old 29th August 2015
  #16
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DougS's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nickknack View Post
ADL 600 and 700 get a pretty good rap here on GS.

Well revered.

Cheers
Agreed -I have an ADL-700 channel strip. Very nice.
See: Thoughts on Presonus ADL 600

Also
-I started out on a Presonus 44VSL interface. Did some great work on that thing. Since moved to a better interface.
-I still have and put to good use to a Presonus Eureka channel strip. Don't really use anything but the compressor. But the quality of the compressor section in the Eureka still surprises me. Tons of headroom. Is it in the same class as some others - no. But if you want an affordable clean compressor - its a good choice.
-I use Studio One. Its the only DAW I've used. Based on posts on this forum looks like its one of the best DAWs. I like it a lot! Although I've done some work in a pro studio lately and they use ProTools. Would be nice to be able to load and work on these pro tools session at home. So probably going to have to get a copy of ProTools just so I can load/edit the studio's sessions.
Old 29th August 2015
  #17
I owned a Digimax LE or whatever it was called, used it with my 002 rack for 8 extra pres and it did alright. These days I use their Central Station with remote, which works great, I got it for $250 in a great ebay buy. I keep wanting to upgrade as I feel like it's a weak link in my signal chain, but the only units that have all the features of the Central Station are $1500 and up, and I just can't justify that currently.

I'm messing with the Studio One demo, and so far I really really like it. I'm a Pro Tools HD user, but I'm not super stoked about the path Avid has taken with 12 and their new upgrade policy. I'll probably do the upgrade before the end of the year just to make sure I'm current for a while, and so I can have Pro Tools running on my new Skylake/El Cap hackintosh. But so far I've really loved Studio One, I really like the more sensible handling of soloing an FX return, you actually hear your reverb or delay since it's not muting the send (I know it's how a board works, but that's a limitation, not a feature to my mind, while I love Pro Tools for how much sense it makes for someone like myself who learned on a board and 2", but sometimes I like a less literal, more intuitive way of doing things). So I think Studio One will become a major part of my workflow.
Old 29th August 2015
  #18
Gear Head
 
tcmx250's Avatar
 

Cool. I really wanted to know if I'd made the wrong choice following my ear to Presonus stuff. I have gotten some great sound out of this setup, and even tracked some stuff sent to a pro studio without issue.
Here's my current setup: Studio One V2 DAW, Firepod, BlueMax Compressor, Stereo BlueTube Pre (both first gen), Focusrite ISA One Analog pre, Eris E5 monitors, M Audio AV40 monitors (second ref), Aphex easy rider 4 channel comp, Alesis QSR rack synth, Behringer Ultrapatch, Behringer Powerplay headphone amp (4ch), Ibanez DM2000 delay/reverb, BBE 362 sonic maximizer, and a Faderport for good measure. This is hobby/project only, no pro setup here . I have access to my best friend's studio which is where we lay down the good stuff.

Last edited by tcmx250; 29th August 2015 at 10:59 PM.. Reason: forgot somthin
Old 30th August 2015
  #19
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
I have bought and sold the headphone amp, and the smaller Firestudio Mobile interface. They were just not good enough for me to use.

On the plus side, there is a wicked Jambalaya recipe at the end of the FS mobile manual and that was some of the most delicious sh%t I've ever cooked and ate.

They have a new product coming out called the Digimax DP88 with Burr-Brown conversion. I might give that one a try, see if it changes my mind on the brand. It's got good features vs. price.
Old 30th August 2015
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
On the plus side, there is a wicked Jambalaya recipe at the end of the FS mobile manual and that was some of the most delicious sh%t I've ever cooked and ate.
Haha that's awesome
Old 30th August 2015
  #21
The bonus of a company being based in Baton Rouge Louisiana! I keep wanting to go check out their facilities, I'm in New Orleans.
Old 30th August 2015
  #22
Studio One v2 is great.

Plus I owned and used a Firebox back in the day. Still have it and stills runs perfectly. I don't use it anymore though. I moved up to an RME Fireface UC.
Old 30th August 2015
  #23
Lives for gear
Of the 5 or so pieces I have owned, from digimax to the monitor controller... It can all be summed up in two statements.

1. Best feature sets!
They know what people want, or at least what I do. And seem to nail it every time.
2. Poor sound quality.
Everytime I have been disappointed almost instantly. Arg!

It has proven an infuriatiting at times.


D
Old 30th August 2015
  #24
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DarbyOhara's Avatar
I am not a fan of Presonus. I've had the FireStudio Tube which I used exclusively from 2007 thru around 2012. It was pretty simple and sounded decent... I moved on later and got the Behringer X32... blah! Returned. Then I got the Studio Live mixer. I spent many days tweaking and trying to learn it. I just couldn't get great sounds out of it. My pre-recorded stuff just sounded empty and dull. Now perhaps there was some things I missed in the mixer settings... but I should not have to man-handle a new product to get my sounds back. I returned it and move to the RME RayDat... my sounds are back without tweaking anything and I am totally happy. So no more Presonus for me!

As for Pro Tools... avid is ridiculous. Always have been. Back around 1999 I got my first computer studio... called Paris. It was light-years ahead of Pro Tools. It's a discontinued product, but the sounds and sonics that came from Paris was super. It was proprietary. So you had to buy their products to upgrade and pay alot.. but it was worth it back then. Many hits were recorded with Paris.. such as LoneStar, "Amazed" and many others. It was a system sold by Creative (the sound blaster company) but was designed by a great company that knew audio. I used that system up until around 2007 when I got the Presonus FireStudio Tube. Oh, and I did have a stint of the Yamaha N12 in there, but not long.
Old 30th August 2015
  #25
Gear Maniac
 

I worked with persons stuff for over 6 years and it all worked flawlessly.

Had the FireStudio 2626 with DigimaxFS Preamps. Did over 150 live recordings with that rig, never had an issue.

In the studio with logic X had a few quirks with sudden latency changes when doing long sessions (opening closing multiple projects over 6 to 8 hrs). Just a core audio reset and that was that.

Sound quality was something i wanted to upgrade so i traded for an apogee ensemble thunderbolt.

I've never had probs with studio live consoles but i have a friend who bought a used one that has some problems when recalling scenes.

Overall Great Bang for Buck!!
Old 30th August 2015
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarbyOhara View Post
As for Pro Tools... avid is ridiculous. Always have been. Back around 1999 I got my first computer studio... called Paris. It was light-years ahead of Pro Tools. It's a discontinued product, but the sounds and sonics that came from Paris was super. It was proprietary. So you had to buy their products to upgrade and pay alot.. but it was worth it back then. Many hits were recorded with Paris.. such as LoneStar, "Amazed" and many others. It was a system sold by Creative (the sound blaster company) but was designed by a great company that knew audio. I used that system up until around 2007 when I got the Presonus FireStudio Tube. Oh, and I did have a stint of the Yamaha N12 in there, but not long.
Oh man, Paris was awesome. A buddy of mine and I set up a used Paris system in his B room, and we were both blown away by how good it sounded, particularly compared to the 002/003's that were everywhere at that time. I'm not sure if that system is still in use, I know it was as of 2011. But yeah, Avid is killing me. I'm hoping studio one winds up being a viable alternative.
Old 1st September 2015
  #27
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DarbyOhara's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by darbyclash34 View Post
Oh man, Paris was awesome. A buddy of mine and I set up a used Paris system in his B room, and we were both blown away by how good it sounded, particularly compared to the 002/003's that were everywhere at that time. I'm not sure if that system is still in use, I know it was as of 2011. But yeah, Avid is killing me. I'm hoping studio one winds up being a viable alternative.
Actually I think there is still a group of folks still using Paris. You can sometimes find bargains on ebay for components... but the biggest problem is the software is no longer supported and updated... which sets it back. The workflow is very antiquated... which makes it too difficult to justify keeping it. But I do miss the great sounds and the great plugins. The standard reverb that came with Paris 3.0 was the best I ever heard... and haven't heard anything close since. I am sure many will disagree... but that is what it is...

As far as PT and Studio One... I am not a fan of either. Unless you are commercial, with a commercial spending budget, the best way to go, imo, is to spend as much as you can on the interface (ie. RME, Apogee, etc.) and learn and expand on DAW like Reaper that has one of the best price-tags out there. Yes, there will be a learning curve... but that would be any change. But I never bit into the PT option. Even back in around 1999 when everyone on pro forums claimed PT was the way of the future... blah! Now a days you have to pay this subscription baloney... people should be protesting! Let's see, you pay them monthly to use their program, system and server. You have an issue... it's NOT your data cause it is their program, server and data. Not an ideal way to do business for anyone logically... sorry to ramble.
Old 1st September 2015
  #28
Lives for gear
I love Studio One.

Faderport's got its bugs but, I can't run a session without it at this point. The pan pot is jumpy. The fader itself is nice though.

I hear the new monitors are getting great reviews from users who purchased them. The Eris series really. I have not tried them.

I'm thinking about picking up a Central Station.

I don't trust the stability of the interfaces, I went w/ an RME UCX. But.. if I needed to keep costs down there's no reason I wouldn't give them the first shot to see if it performs well on my system. At their price points, I doubt you can do better, but i'm just speculating.
Old 1st September 2015
  #29
Well, luckily I'm in a position to have pro tools and a really nice interface (Antelope Audio Orion 32 or these days a Zen Studio) and still use PT and/or Studio One. I need Pro Tools for session compatibility and for its Post features, and probably will for a good long time. I'm liking Studio One a lot, but I'm still getting used to it.

I tried Reaper out when I was considering moving away from PT, just didn't love the interface, I think that might be a Mac/PC UI standards issue (have the same problem with studio one in certain Windows, the close button is on the right hand side instead of the left as is standard for the Mac OS), things just weren't were I expected them to be. But different strokes.
Old 2nd September 2015
  #30
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antichef's Avatar
My first interface was an Inspire 1394 - it was just awful - I actually still have it because I don't know what to do with it. More recently I picked up an HP60 for my tracking room and it's just the ticket. And just now I got an ADL 600 and put NOS tubes in it and it's jaw dropping. Interesting company. My Grandmother lives pretty close to them.
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