The Little Interface That Can
The story The Little Engine That Could tells of a small locomotive that was able to pull a long train over a mountain because it was willing to work hard and thought it could succeed. Successful bands are a lot like that. So is the FireStudio™ Mobile. This little audio-recording machine is ready, willing, and able to work hard and travel anywhere.
The FireStudio Mobile features including six line-level inputs and two mic/instrument inputs with our sweet-sounding, high-headroom Class A XMAX™ mic preamplifiers.
At PreSonus, we know that the mic preamplifier is a key component in the sonic quality of a recording. Many other companies that offer mobile recording interfaces add the cheapest possible microphone preamplifier as an afterthought.
In contrast, 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. A cheap, off-the-shelf, op-amp-type mic preamp delivers thin, noisy, harsh results.
But with XMAX preamps, the sonic quality is limited only by what microphone you plug into it.
XMAX preamplifiers are built with three key elements:
- High Voltage. The XMAX preamplifier runs on power rails of 30V. Most off-the-shelf, op-amp-based designs run on power rails of 10V to 18V. Higher-voltage power rails deliver more headroom, deeper lows, smoother highs, and a richer overall sound.
- Discrete components—not op-amps. We only use genuine transistors, resistors, and capacitors. Op-amps add noise, coloration, and harshness to a signal. Our discrete design delivers ultra-low 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 found in many 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.
Add stereo S/PDIF digital I/O, and you have the most inputs of any mobile audio interface. You also get balanced line outputs, an ultra-loud headphone output, and MIDI I/O.
If you need more than ten inputs for certain gigs, you can daisy-chain the FireStudio Mobile with a second FireStudio Mobile, or with any interface in the FireStudio family, for up to 52 inputs and outputs.
The FireStudio Mobile may be small, but it uses top-of-the-line components, including XMAX preamps and high-definition, 24-bit, 96 kHz digital converters, with 118 dB of dynamic range. In fact it offers the same signal path as our StudioLive-series mixers!
And with PreSonus’ lauded JetPLL™ jitter-elimination technology, you get the tightest, most reliable digital sync in the industry. As a result, the FireStudio Mobile provides the sonic quality you need to succeed.
JetPLL™ synchronization technology 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.
Plenty of Fire Power
Although the FireStudio Mobile comes with an external power supply, it operates perfectly on FireWire bus power and is fully compatible with Apple's Thunderbolt to FireWire Adapter. In fact, thanks to an amazing internal switching power supply, it’s the only interface that delivers true 48V phantom power when bus-powered, and it also supplies a full 30V to the preamps, so your mics always sound their best.
All of this hardware is jammed into a 1/3-rackspace box that is built like a locomotive, with a shockproof, reinforced metal chassis; sealed rotary controls; military-grade circuit board; chassis-mounted jacks; and full EMI shielding.
Toss the FireStudio Mobile in your laptop bag and go; it will be ready when you are.
But the story doesn’t end with hardware. The interface’s internal ten-input software mixer/router allows you to create three cue mixes with zero latency. You can set up cue mixes in our Universal Control software or in our amazing Studio One® Artist DAW software for Mac® and Windows®, both of which are included for free.
Universal Control is a powerful, flexible, and easy to use Mac® and Windows® control-panel application for creating mulitple mixes from your input and output signals for each of the FireStudio Mobile’s output pairs (mains, headphone, and S/PDIF). This application also allows you to daisy-chain FireStudio-family interfaces.
Universal Control consists of the Launch window and the Device window. In the Launch window, you can set basic parameters such as sample rate, clock source, and buffer size. The Device window of the FireStudio Mobile is the FireStudio Mobile Mixer.
The Mixer section of the Universal Control Panel was designed to look and feel like a hardware mixer, so most of the features may already be familiar to you. From this mixer, you can create a zero-latency mix for each output and can route playback streams from your host application.
The FireStudio Mobile Mixer provides three independent, stereo output mixes: one each for the mains, headphones, and S/PDIF. A virtual output meter to the right of each channel fader displays the post-fader output level of each stereo pair.
So if you need a tough, versatile, expandable, professional recording interface that can travel far and deliver the goods every time, get the Little Interface That Can: the FireStudio Mobile.