The speed of sound.
With a barely measurable round trip latency of less than 1 ms*, it's no wonder Sound on Sound magazine dubbed the Quantum Thunderbolt™ 2 audio interface the fastest audio interface on the planet. Superb high-definition digital conversion and ultra-transparent XMAX-Remote mic preamps mean that your audio will always sound its best—whether you’re recording with or without your favorite plug-ins engaged in real-time.
Every design decision during Quantum’s engineering was made with one goal in mind: blazing fast speed without any sonic compromise. The Quantum-series proprietary Thunderbolt driver was written from the ground up to deliver ultra-low-latency performance while maximizing efficiency. Cutting-edge 24-bit, 192 kHz converters with 120 dB of dynamic range and superior low-jitter clocking, coupled with our ultra-transparent XMAX-Remote preamps, result in superb audio quality with the lowest roundtrip latency of any audio interface available (< 1 ms*).
The Quantum driver utilizes the bus master Direct Memory Access (DMA) to transfer audio data directly to and from the main memory without using CPU processing and the overhead that would come with it. DMA supports 64-bit addressing on systems with 4 GB or more of RAM. A companion DMA engine was also implemented in the Quantum hardware to read digital audio data directly between the ADC/DAC and the computer memory, one sample at a time.
For maximum efficiency, samples are transferred from the Quantum DMA engine directly into driver memory as a 32-bit word to match the way the Quantum driver handles the audio. Where possible, audio samples are also transferred into driver memory in the exact order that the driver expects. This helps to avoid alignment problems and the like, allowing you to run your Quantum drivers at extremely low buffer settings without overtaxing your CPU.
Superior sound. Sublime recall.
Audiophile-grade digital converters, low-jitter clocking, and recallable preamps add up to a superior recording and listening experience. The Quantum audio interface operates at up to 192 kHz for ultra-high-definition mixing and recording. High-quality converters on every input and output provide 120 dB of dynamic range to capture complex musical harmonics smoothly and naturally with no audible distortion. And our recallable XMAX Class A analog microphone preamps deliver incredibly high headroom, deep lows, smooth highs, and a rich overall sound so you’ll hear every breath, transient, and detail in your recordings.
In 1995, PreSonus patented digital control over analog circuits with our first studio product. Building on this legacy, we created a separate digital volume-control circuit ahead of our analog XMAX preamp design, providing the convenience of digital recall without sacrificing fidelity. The Quantum audio interface includes eight custom-design, high-voltage, Class A XMAX-Remote preamps with discrete components for accuracy and transparency.
XMAX preamplifiers are built with three key elements:
- 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.
- 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. We only use genuine transistors, resistors, and capacitors rather than use op-amps that can add noise, coloration, and harshness to a signal. Our discrete design delivers ultra-low noise and transparency.
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.
Impressive speed combined with stunning sound quality means that the Quantum Thunderbolt audio interface is an ideal recording solution for any size of studio. With that in mind, we designed Quantum-series audio interfaces to be stacked with one another for up to 192 inputs and outputs. Need more mic preamps? Connect the PreSonus DigiMax DP88 to your Quantum interface’s ADAT/dual S/MUX ports. Once synced, the DigiMax DP88 preamps can be remote controlled via Studio One or UC Surface just like the onboard preamps.
The Quantum’s eight analog inputs, ten line-level analog outputs, two stereo headphone outputs, and stereo S/PDIF digital I/O might be all you need today. But your studio is likely to grow in time, and so can your Quantum recording system. Its dual ADAT Optical I/O provides up to 16 more channels of digital I/O at up to 48 kHz (up to 8 channels at 96 kHz).
The Quantum’s ADAT I/O lets you add any ADAT-compatible A/D/A converter but we highly recommend the PreSonus DigiMax DP88 preamp/converter, which seamlessly extends the analog I/O on the Quantum with eight digitally-controlled XMAX preamps, and word clock I/O. The DP88’s mic preamps are fully remote-controllable from UC Surface, Studio One, and Studio One Remote when connected via ADAT Lightpipe to the Quantum so that they naturally extend your analog inputs both sonically and functionally.
Quantum Thunderbolt audio interfaces are fully integrated with Studio One® to provide unparalleled control over your hardware right from your recording environment. Launch Studio One, and you’ll find full preamp control, talkback, and speaker switching integrated into your Studio One console. Need to track away from your computer? Launch Studio One Remote on your iPad® or Android™ tablet. Quantum preamps can be also controlled via MIDI in Pro Tools, Logic, or Live so you can save the settings with your recordings.
Quantum users receive a complementary license for Studio One Artist with their registration, plus 50% off upgrades to Studio One Professional.
The Quantum leap.
Industry-leading speed and pristine audio quality combined with jaw-dropping expandability are the hallmarks of the Quantum interface design. Record and monitor from your favorite DAW with any plug-in engaged. Take advantage of onboard mix features like Mute, Dim, Mono, and integrated Talkback. Regardless of your studio’s size, Quantum audio interfaces streamline your recording process—you’ll make better music, faster.
Make your own magic.
At PreSonus, we want to make sure that our audio interfaces come with everything you need to craft your own mesmerizing spells in the studio. That’s why we include Studio One Artist with every audio interface product we make. But here in Louisiana, we have a word: lagniappe. It means "a little something extra," and it’s in that spirit that we also include the Studio Magic Suite of software with our audio interface products.
The 2020 Studio Magic is a major step up from the 2019 edition, and includes Ableton Live Lite, tutorials from Melodics, 6 virtual instruments, and 9 effects plug-ins in VST, AU, and AAX formats... all unlocked for use inside Studio One Artist with a retail value of over $1000 (US).
Content and terms of the Studio Magic Plug-in Suite are subject to change.
PreSonus has given DSP the boot to keep the processing path as slippery as an eel.Brad Watts, Audio Media International
They've achieved low-latency performance that, with the exception of PCIe cards, is currently unrivaled by any interface I know of.Sam Inglis, Sound on Sound
We quickly launched a previous session that had been problematic for two other USB and Firewire interfaces. Not only did that session run flawlessly using the Quantum, we added another 50 tracks and put them into record with no problem whatsoever!Barry Rudolph, Music Connection