As a modern audio professional, you'll more likely than not find yourself tracking projects outside of the confines of a studio. Unfortunately, going mobile often means sacrificing sound quality and/or input channel flexibility. But it doesn't have to. The PreSonus FireStudio Mobile is a ten-input, six-output FireWire audio interface that can be powered right from your laptop. The PreSonus FireStudio Mobile has a higher channel count--including digital I/O--than most every other interface in its price range, yet delivers top-notch fidelity thanks to a pair of XMAX microphone preamps and converters capable of 24-bit/96 kHz analog to digital audio resolution.
Ten Inputs, Six Outputs
The combination of ten analog and digital inputs lend this compact interface a flexibility rivaling units twice its size. The first two inputs alone on the PreSonus FireStudio Mobile offer a ton of recording options. Their "combi" XLR / 1/4" connections give you access to studio-class XMAX preamps. Instead of shopping out their components to a wholesale supplier, PreSonus designed these XMAX preamps in-house and from the ground up to ensure tight quality control and high fidelity standards. With 80 decibels of available gain (-10 / +70 for mic level, -30 / +50 for high-impedance instruments), these first two inputs can accommodate dynamic, condenser, and ribbon microphones, as well as direct guitar or bass instrument signals with equal facility. The next six analog inputs are balanced line-level TRS jacks, perfect for routing additional external mic preamps-- or line-level sources like keyboards, drum machines, and DJ mixers. Finally, PreSonus FireStudio Mobile offers 2 channels of S/PDIF digital input for the most direct, seamless connection of external digital audio gear. Also included is a full MIDI I/O to integrate your favorite controllers and other MIDI-sync-able outboard gear.
Mobile Metering And Monitoring
For instant feedback while tracking, the PreSonus FireStudio Mobile sports a pair of three-segment LED assigned to the two mic preamps. You'll easily be able to see if you've got signal, or if you're in danger of unwanted clipping. A dedicated headphone output with a robust amplifier makes monitoring with cans as accurate as can be, and once you do get back to your studio to put the final touches on your project, the 1/4-inch outputs get the goodness flowing through your studio monitors. You can even output directly to reference monitors that support S/PDIF connections.
Daisy Chain For Additional Inputs
Thanks to a driver update from the manufacturer, expanding your channel count with multiple PreSonus FireWire interfaces is easy implies. Simply run one cable into your computer and another to the feed from an additional PreSonus FireWire interface and just like that you've got more channels. Graphics-based driver software makes managing your multiple inputs easy-- the number of interfaces in your input chain is limited only by your computer's hardware.
When all that sweet audio hits your FireWire cable, it's got to go somewhere, right? Not one to leave you hanging, PreSonus bundles their Studio One software with the Presonus FireStudio mobile interface. Studio One is a full-featured DAW suite to handle all your recording, mixing, and mastering needs. And, if you act now, PreSonus will throw in 20 native effect and virtual instrument plug-ins, plus a pantload of additional loops and sounds. Okay, you don't actually
have to act right this second to get all this; it all comes standard with the FireStudio Mobile. But now that you know what's waiting for you, why would you possibly want to act at any other time?
Mobile recording isn't just becoming a more common gig for working engineers, it's becoming a necessary component for all recording enthusiasts. The affordable, rugged, and entirely capable PreSonus FireStudio Mobile not only makes remote recording gigs an option, it makes them--and you--sound great.
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Computer System Requirements
Below are the minimum computer system requirements for your FireStudio Mobile.
- OS: Microsoft Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7
- CPU/Clock: or Athlon 900MHz (1.5 GHz or higher recommended)
- Memory(RAM): 1 GB (more recommended)
- OS: MacOS X 10.4.x or later (10.5 supported with driver update)
- CPU/Clock: PowerPC G4/Dual 1 GHZ or faster, all Intel-based Mac models.
- Memory(RAM): 1 GB (more recommended)
Windows and Macintosh Systems:
- IEEE 1394 FireWire 400 Port
- Internet connection
- DVD-ROM drive
- Internal or external 7200RPM storage drive is highly recommended
Note that the speed of your processor, amount of RAM and size and speed of your hard drive will greatly affect the overall performance of your recording system. Also, a more powerful system (faster processor with more RAM) will allow for lower latency (signal delay) that you might experience while monitoring audio or MIDI signals.
Monitor resolution for both PC and Macintosh should be no lower than 1024x768 pixels.Specifications
Microphone Preamp (XLR Balanced):
- Frequency Response (+0, -0.5 dB): 20 Hz to 50 kHz
- Frequency Response (+0/-3.0 dB): 20 Hz to 150 kHz
- Input Impedance: 1.6 kOhm
- THD + N (unwtd, 1 kHz @ +4 dBu Output, Unity Gain): < 0.008 %
- EIN (unwtd, 55 dB Gain, 150Ohm Input, 20 Hz to 22 kHz): -130 dBu
- S/N Ratio (Unity Gain, unwtd, Ref = +4 dBu, 20 Hz to 22 kHz): >101 dB
- Common Mode Rejection Ratio (1 kHz, 55 dB Gain): >55 dB
- Gain Control Range (+/- 1 dB): -10 dB to 70 dB
- Maximum Input level (Unity Gain, 1 kHz@0.5% THD+N): +14 dBu
- Phantom Power (+/- 2 VDC): +48 VDC
Instrument Input (1/4 in. TRS, Channels 1 & 2):
- Type: TS Female Unbalanced
- Input Impedance: 1 M Ohm
- Type: 1/4 in. TRS Impedance Balanced
- Output Impedance: 51Ohm
- Headphone Output:
- Type: 1/4 in. TRS Active Stereo
- Maximum Output: 150 mW/CH @ 60Ohm Load
- Frequency Response: 10 Hz - 70 kHz
- FireWire (IEEE 1394) Speed: 400 Mbps
- ADC Dynamic Range (A-wtd, 48 kHz): 118 dB
- DAC Dynamic Range (A-wtd, 48 kHz): 118 dB
- Bit Depth: 24 bits
- Reference Level for 0 dBFS: +10 dBu
- Internal Sample Frequency Selections: 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96 kHz
- Jitter: <20 ps RMS (20 Hz - 20 kHz)
- Jitter Attenuation: >60 dB (1 ns in => 1 ps out)
- Bus Power: 6-pin FireWire 400 or FireWire 800
- Power Supply: External Switching Supply (12 VDC/1A)
- Dimensions (WxHxD): 5.5" x 1.75" x 5.5" / 139.7 mm x 44.5 mm x 139.7 mm
- Weight: 4.5 lbs/2 kg
- Dimensions and Weight in Packaging
- Base Item
- Shipping Weight: 4 lbs
Finally, a studio-quality FireWire interface that you can use anywhere! The PreSonus FireStudio(TM) Mobile combines the superior analog-circuit design and advanced platform technology of the acclaimed FireStudio rack-mount 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 Most Inputs of Any Mobile Interface
PreSonus FireStudio Mobile is a ten-input, six-output professional recording system that combines two PreSonus XMAX(TM) Class A microphone preamplifiers; six line-level, analog input channels; S/PDIF digital input and output; MIDI I/O; and headphone monitoring with separate gain control. PreSonus FireStudio Mobile beats any and all competition when it comes to flexibility and input count. You can record a whole band with the FireStudio Mobile.
PreSonus FireStudio Mobile is bundled with PreSonus Studio One Artist, PreSonus' groundbreaking music creation program, and over 4 GB 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.
PreSonus president Jim Odom and his team of engineers went the extra mile and created an "internal switching power plant" that lets the FireStudio Mobile convert computer bus power into a full 48 volts of phantom power, as well delivering 30 volts to power the superb mic preamps you'll read about next.
XMAX(TM) Class A Preamplifiers
PreSonus knows 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, PreSonus 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. They only use genuine transistors, resistors, and capacitors. Op-amps add noise, coloration, and harshness to a signal. The 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.
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 two mic channels. Also on the front panel are gain knobs for the two mic/instrument inputs and for the main stereo outputs and a stereo headphone output with gain knob. Gain for the mic inputs ranges from -10 dB to +70 dB; the high-impedance instrument inputs range from -30 dB to +50 dB 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. They start 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, -inch 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 two 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, including the StudioLive 16.4.2 digital mixer, allowing you to integrate the FireStudio Mobile into a larger system.
Digital Converters and JetPLL Sync
FireStudio Mobile's A/D/A converters have a dynamic range of 118 dB 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 (including the StudioLive 16.4.2 mixer), 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 to up to four 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 ultra-fast 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 is bundled with an exceptional software package, featuring PreSonus Studio One Artist, the amazing DAW software for Mac OS X and Windows XP and Vista that makes producing high-quality projects easier than ever before. As part of the Studio One Artist package, you get 20 upgraded PreSonus Native Effects plug-ins and virtual instruments and a generous bundle of third-party loops, software, and instrument sounds.
- The first mobile interface with PreSonus' renowned studio-interface audio quality
- Plug-and-play, high-speed FireWire 400 (IEEE 1394)
- 24-bit resolution with 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96 kHz sampling rates
- Record/playback 10 inputs and 6 outputs
- 2 XMAX PreSonus microphone/instrument preamplifiers with true 48V phantom power for condenser mics
- 8 line inputs, 2 line outputs
- Stereo S/PDIF and MIDI input/output - DB9 break-out cable included
- Zero-latency monitoring
- Headphone output with gain control
- Software router/mixer
- Powered via FireWire bus or using included power supply
- Windows- (32- and 64-bit) and Macintosh-compatible
- Universal Control control-panel software
- DICE II Chipset - extremely efficient data transfer
- JetPLL - jitter-elimination technology
- Road-rugged construction
- Daisy-chainable with the PreSonus FireStudio family of products
Full version of Studio One Artist multitrack-recording software included; easy integration - no setup or configuration