PreSonus Firepod by enginefire
The Presonus Firepod is an 8 x 8 analog in and out interface, which also has 2 digital ins and outs on SPDIF. It features 8 mic preamps that are passable (much better sound quality than M-audio mic pres from my experience), and also has 8 balanced analogue outputs. With one unit, you are able to get 24bit 96K performance. Multiple units can be daisy chained together, but the sample rate then drops to a maximum of 48k. Presonus does not advertise this, so be ware! if you are looking to mix out of the box and get 2 or 3 of these, the quality will be lower than if you go with something more expensive. That being said, you can get 3 of these used (24 analogue ins and outs) for less than one 8 channel unit that does 96k or 192k. quantity over quality i guess, depends on your budget and needs.
there are also two instrument DIs on channels one and two, and an analogue send and return on the same channels. there is also a stereo out and a headphone jack.
It also has a MIDI in and out and this works well as it should.
a word of caution about this product, as well as presonus in general: these units are very tricky to daisy chain together, due to firmware issues. as a stand alone all is good, but once you start getting multiple units, it gets really sketchy really fast. Presonus Tech Support is WORTHLESS if you are not the original owner, they are more interested in forcing your hand to buy their current line new than to ensure that their product works well to their own specifications. They went to the point of removing the newest firmware to upgrade older firepods to FP10s from their website, so that different generations of the same product could work together.
after hours using internet time machine, I was able to download old firmwares and ended up downgrading the FP10 to the firepod firmware in order to get 2 of these to work together. They still will not daisychain, I have them connected to separate firewire ports. SO, buyer beware it can be a real hassle.
once all the technical issues were sorted, I have to say that I am pleased with their functionality and performance. they have not failed me yet!