Founded in 1995, PreSonus® Audio Electronics, Inc., is a leading designer and manufacturer of audio-recording and live-sound software, hardware, and related accessories. PreSonus's software, microphone preamps, signal processors, digital audio interfaces, digital mixers, control surfaces, studio monitors, loudspeakers, and other products are used worldwide for recording, sound reinforcement, broadcast, sound design, and Internet audio.
PreSonus Chief Strategy Officer Jim Odom, a musician, producer, and LSU graduate in electrical engineering, cofounded the company with fellow LSU engineering graduate and current PreSonus VP of Engineering Brian Smith. Odom and Smith’s goal was to build professional and affordable music-production tools for musicians and audio engineers.
PreSonus began in Odom's garage and soon moved to the second floor of Causey’s Furniture in downtown Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where it stayed for its first four years. PreSonus’ first product, the DCP8 digitally controlled, 8-channel compressor/limiter/gate, resulted in a patent for digital (MIDI) control over analog circuitry. Truly ahead of its time, the DCP8 enabled the studio engineer to insert 8 channels of analog compression, with the ability to save, recall, and automate settings—features that at the time were only found in mixing consoles costing more than $100,000. The company continued to develop analog compressor/limiters during its earliest years.
In 1999, PreSonus moved to its current location at the Baton Rouge Bon Carre Technology Park. Here, PreSonus designed and produced such innovative products as the DigiMax™ (2000), which was the first 8-channel microphone preamplifier with ADAT output; Central Station (2004), the first monitor controller with talkback; and some of the first multi-channel FireWire interfaces, including the FireStation (2002), FirePod (2004), and FireStudio™ series (2006). PreSonus also created a series of microphone preamps and channel strips, notably including the XMAX™ Class A solid-state preamp and the high-end ADL 600 tube mic preamp and ADL 700 channel strip.
PreSonus also developed the AudioBox™ USB audio/MIDI interface (2008). This led to the next-generation AudioBox VSL series (2011), which integrates with breakthrough, low-latency mixing and signal-processing software.
In 2006, KristalLabs Software Ltd., a startup company founded by Wolfgang Kundrus and Matthias Juwan, began working on Capture™ and Studio One® in cooperation with PreSonus. The partnership brought great results and was further strengthened when PreSonus Software Ltd. took over all assets of KristalLabs, including the personal expertise of its founders and the whole development team. The top-of-the-line Studio One Professional features a groundbreaking user interface with extensive use of bidirectional drag-and-drop and is the first cross-platform 64-bit DAW, the first DAW to incorporate SoundCloud™ Web delivery (2010) and direct upload to Nimbit® direct-to-fan online sales and marketing (2012) and is the first DAW with a fully integrated mastering suite. Studio One version 2 was released in late 2011.
In 2009, the company launched its StudioLive™ series of digital mixers, which incorporate a FireWire interface and integrate tightly with bundled PreSonus Capture live-recording software (2009), Studio One Artist DAW (2009), Virtual StudioLive bidirectional control software (2010), and QMix monitor-mix control software (2012). In 2012, PreSonus integrated a custom version of Rational Acoustics’ high-end Smaart audio-analysis technology into Virtual StudioLive—yet another first.
The second-generation StudioLive-AI series digital mixers, which feature Active Integration (AI) technology, launched in 2013. PreSonus AI products combine a powerful built-in computer with large amounts of RAM and integrated wired and wireless networking and remote control. The StudioLive AI software library was developed with the same codebase as the AI mixer operating system, enabling an unprecedented level of hardware-software integration, including the ability to save mixer scenes in Capture recording sessions and open and edit the scenes in Studio One, complete with all settings except the reverbs and delays.
In 2012, PreSonus acquired the Nimbit® online direct-to-fan music marketing, sales, and promotion service, operating it as a wholly owned subsidiary. In 2014, PreSonus launched a redesigned Nimbit, introducing an unprecedented, integrated set of features that enable musicians to operate a successful business.
In 2013, PreSonus acquired the assets of Notion Music, adding Notion™ and Progression™ music-notation and composition software to its product line. Notion makes it simple to write your musical ideas quickly, hear your scores played back with superb orchestral and other samples, and edit on Mac, Windows, and iPad. In 2014, the company introduced Notion 5 and Progression 3, the first major updates since the products joined the PreSonus family.
As part of its ongoing commitment to customer education and participation, PreSonus founded the annual PreSonuSphere user conference in 2011. A huge success from the first, the conference includes a variety of informative seminars, concerts, and other programs and offers PreSonus users the chance to interact with and provide feedback directly to company leaders, engineers, and other staff.
In 2013, the company entered the studio monitor market with the low-cost, professional-quality Eris™ series and the innovative, higher-end Sceptre™ CoActual™ monitors. Sceptre CoActual monitors employ Fulcrum Acoustic Temporal Equalization™ (TQ™) algorithms and groundbreaking coaxial speaker technology, developed by Fulcrum coaxial speaker guru David Gunness. In addition, PreSonus introduced the Temblor T10 studio subwoofer in 2014.
Simultaneously with the Sceptre studio monitors, PreSonus introduced the StudioLive-AI PA loudspeaker series, which also uses a coaxial design with TQ technology and PreSonus Active Integration technology to deliver studio-quality sound in a live-sound system. StudioLive-AI PA speakers represent yet another breakthrough, providing very high-end loudspeaker technology, wired and wireless networking, and integrated remote control software at affordable prices.
In February 2014, PreSonus moved into a gorgeous new high-tech headquarters and research facility at 18011 Grand Bay Court in Baton Rouge. In June 2014, the company announced the acquisition of WorxAudio, a respected manufacturer of commercial sound-reinforcement speaker systems.
Continuing to innovate in its new digs, PreSonus introduced the AudioBox i-series bus-powered mobile audio interfaces in July 2014. The AudioBox iOne and iTwo are the first PreSonus interfaces designed for iPad, as well as Mac and Windows. Simultaneously, PreSonus introduced its first recording software for iOS, 2-track Capture Duo and 32-track Capture for iPad—the first iOS recording apps to enable wireless transfer of song files directly to a Mac/Windows DAW (Studio One).
Today, PreSonus continues to develop a variety of innovative, professional, and affordable tools for the music-technology/professional-audio industry with special focus on tightly integrated hardware and software, providing systems with capabilities beyond those of hardware or software alone.