The PreSonus FireStudio Mobile Recording System combines the superior analog-circuit design and advanced platform technology of PreSonus' acclaimed FireStudio rackmount interfaces with the ability to run on bus power in field applications. Now you...
The PreSonus FireStudio Mobile Recording System combines the superior analog-circuit design and advanced platform technology of PreSonus' acclaimed FireStudio rackmount interfaces with the ability to run on bus power in field applications. Now you can have enhanced audio performance for music recording and creation anywhere you can lug your laptop.
The FireStudio Mobile is a 10-input, 6-output professional audio recording system that combines 2 PreSonus XMAX Class A microphone preamplifiers; 6 line-level, analog input channels; S/PDIF digital input and output; MIDI I/O; and headphone monitoring with separate gain control. The FireStudio Mobile gives you tons of flexibility and a high input count making it possible to record a whole band. It's also bundled with PreSonus Studio One Artist, a groundbreaking music creation program, and over 4GB of virtual instruments, plug-ins, loops, and samples to get you started making music immediately.
True 48-Volt Phantom Power-Even When Powered By Your Laptop
Here's a dirty little secret: bus-powered mobile interfaces from other manufacturers deliver much less than the full 48 volts of phantom power that is specified by microphone manufacturers. This means even the finest condenser microphone can't work at optimal internal gain levels, potentially compromising sound quality even before the signal gets to the mic preamp. To get around this, the PreSonus' team of engineers created an "internal switching power plant" that lets the PreSonus FireStudio Mobile convert computer bus power into a full 48 volts of phantom power, as well as delivering 30 volts to power the superb mic preamps you'll read about next.
XMAX Class A Preamplifiers to Go
PreSonus knows that the mic preamplifier is a key component in the sonic quality of a recording. The FireStudio Mobile includes custom-designed, high-voltage, discrete, XMAX Class A microphone preamplifiers that are suitable for use with all types of microphones. The job of a microphone preamplifier in an audio interface is to boost a microphone-level signal to line level before conversion to the digital domain. A good preamp boosts the level to almost 400 times that of the original signal, making the preamp one of the most important stages in an interface. With XMAX preamps, the sonic quality is limited only by what microphone you plug into it.
XMAX preamplifiers are built with 3 key elements:
High Voltage-The XMAX preamplifier runs on power rails of 30V. These higher-voltage power rails deliver more headroom, deeper lows, smoother highs, and a richer overall sound.
Discrete components, not op-amps-PreSonus uses genuine transistors, resistors, and capacitors. Op-amps add noise, coloration, and harshness to a signal. The PreSonus' discrete design delivers ultralow noise and transparency.
Class A-Class A circuits have no crossover distortion and deliver purer, clearer, and more musical results than the Class AB designs that are more common in other preamps.
The net result of the XMAX preamp design is high headroom, low noise, wide dynamic range, extended frequency response, and-most important-musicality and transparency, with smooth highs, solid deep lows, and everything in between.
On the Front
A pair of 3-LED level/clip indicators let you check the signal levels for channels 1 and 2, and a button enables 48V phantom power for the 2 mic channels. Also on the front panel are gain knobs for the 2 mic/instrument inputs and for the main stereo outputs and a stereo headphone output with gain knob. Gain for the mic inputs ranges from -10dB to +70dB; the high-impedance instrument inputs range from -30dB to +50dB of gain. Finally, a power/sync indicator LED shows whether the FireStudio Mobile is receiving adequate power and is correctly receiving word clock.
Ins and Outs
For a compact, portable unit, the FireStudio Mobile is loaded with I/O. It starts with a pair of combination XLR/TS mic/instrument jacks, which are in the inputs for channels 1 and 2. The XLR mic inputs are routed to the aforementioned XMAX solid-state mic preamplifiers. The high-impedance, TS instrument inputs let you plug guitars or basses directly into the front panel.
On the back are 6 more balanced, 1/4" line level inputs for channels 3 through 8, plus a DB9 connector that accepts a breakout cable (included) to provide stereo S/PDIF digital I/O and MIDI I/O. You get 2 FireWire 400 ports: one port connects to your computer, and the other can be used to connect a hard drive or to daisy-chain any FireStudio-family interface allowing you to integrate the FireStudio Mobile into a larger system.
Digital Converters and JetPLL Sync
PreSonus FireStudio Mobile's A/D/A converters have a dynamic range of 118dB for unbelievable clarity. Synchronization to your computer is stable and robust, thanks to JetPLL synchronization technology. JetPLL incorporates noise shaping to virtually remove all audio-band jitter, ensuring near-perfect clock performance and optimal converter performance when networking two or more digital-audio devices. JetPLL quickly locks to any digital format through a wide range of frequencies and is extremely robust and tolerant of wide variations in clock frequencies. As a result, you'll experience better stereo separation and clearer, more transparent audio.
Like all members of the PreSonus FireStudio family, the FireStudio Mobile comes bundled with Universal Control software. Universal Control is a powerful, flexible, and easy-to-use control-panel application that allows you to daisy-chain up to 4 FireStudio family devices for a maximum of up to 52 inputs and outputs (assuming your computer can handle that many tracks).
Universal Control consists of the Launch window and the Device window. In the Launch window, you can set the sample rate, clock source, safe mode, buffer size (PC only), and WDM routing (PC only) for all connected FireStudio Mobile-series interfaces. Each device is listed at the bottom of the window, along with Device Window buttons that open each interface's Device window.
The Device window provides level and routing controls for each FireStudio-series interface's internal mixer, enabling you to set up zero-latency cue mixes. Input and output metering have been optimized for ultrafast screen display and minimum CPU usage, and you can give each interface a custom name. You can use any device in the chain as the master clock source, or you can slave the entire chain to an external digital device using any of the available digital inputs in the chain.
Studio One Artist-Plus Gigabytes of Creative Resources
The FireStudio Mobile recording system is bundled with an exceptional software package featuring PreSonus Studio One Artist DAW software for Mac OS X and Windows XP and Vista. It makes producing high-quality projects easier than ever before. As part of the Studio One Artist package, you get 20 new PreSonus Native Effects plug-ins and virtual instruments, and a generous bundle of third-party loops, software, and instrument sounds.
This replaces my old Cakewalk (Roland) UA25-EX. It has 8 analog line inputs, two of which have preamps. 8 track simultaneous recording through firewire, which is apparently slightly less laggy than standard USB 2.0 interfaces. You can chain two of these for 16 simultaneous inputs, which I may do one day.