A Versatile Solution for Small Studios
If you’re like many recording musicians, your studio relies on software effects and a few hardware devices. You need a versatile recording interface with great sound and enough analog inputs and outputs to mic a large drum kit or a small band. We have two words for you: FireStudio™ Project.
The FireStudio Project’s front panel features six mic/line inputs and two mic/instrument inputs, each with high-headroom, sweet-sounding XMAX™ Class A solid-state preamps. That’s easily enough for a small project studio. The two mic/instrument channels even have insert loops so you can add outboard effects.
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 Project 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.
The FireStudio Project's rear panel sports eight General Purpose outputs and a pair of left/right Main outputs. all on balanced, ¼-inch TRS jacks. The audio source for the Main outputs is the same as that of General Purpose outputs 1 and 2 (DAW Playback 1 and 2, by default). The difference is that the output level of the Main outputs is controlled by the FireStudio Project's front-panel Main volume knob.
Need digital I/O? No problem: FireStudio Project includes stereo S/PDIF. We’ve also included MIDI In and Out. In short, you get all of the connectivity you are likely to need.
Still, as you develop your recording rig, your I/O needs may grow. No problem: you can daisy-chain the FireStudio Project with a second FireStudio Project, or with any interface in the FireStudio family, for up to 52 inputs and outputs. With FireStudio-series interfaces, your rig can expand to match your growing needs. And there's no worry about using the FireStudio Project on newer Macs, because it's fully compatible and supported with Apple's Thunderbolt to FireWire Adapter.
Clear, Clean, and Complete
At PreSonus, delivering great sound is our primary focus. In addition to XMAX preamps, the FireStudio Project features high-definition, 24-bit digital converters that sample at up to 96 kHz and provide 114 dB dynamic range.
And with PreSonus’ lauded JetPLL™ jitter-elimination technology, you get the tightest, most reliable digital sync in the industry. Translated into plain English, you can rely on clear, clean audio with great imaging.
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.
The FireStudio Project features an internal 18-input software mixer/router that allows you to set up to 5 cue mixes with zero latency. You can set up cue mixes in the included Universal Control control-panel software or in our amazing Studio One® Artist DAW software for Mac® and Windows®, which comes bundled free with all of our interfaces.
Combined with a FireStudio Project interface and your computer, Studio One Artist gives you virtually everything you need to record and mix a project.
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 Project’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 Project is the FireStudio Project 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 Project Mixer provides five independent, stereo output mixes: one each for each pair of analog outputs and one more for the S/PDIF out. A virtual output meter to the right of each channel fader displays the post-fader output level of each stereo pair.
Whether your focus is on studio recording, live-sound recording, podcasting, sound design, or all of the above, the FireStudio Project is your complete solution.