- Band Management
- Home Recording
- Live Sound
- Best Instruments
- New Music
Starting with the interface side of things, it sports two combo XLR/1/4” inputs, which run into PreSonus’ awesome XMAX Preamps. They’re well known for having great headroom responsiveness, and low noise, with definition and clarity, and they certainly live up to their reputation! Plugging in a guitar direct for plug-in amp sim use sounded great and running a variety of mics for acoustic and electric guitars got fantastic sounding results overall. Headphone output covers personal monitoring, along with two 1/4” connections for monitors. It comes with a standard USB connection as well as USB-C for more modern machines.
As it’s a PreSonus product, it pairs nicely with their Studio One recording software, but can work with pretty much any DAW, and their included universal control app is key in getting everything to play nice with each other.▼ Article continues below ▼
On the controller side of things, going through every button and functionality point would be something akin to the actual owner’s manual, but the big thing you notice is the motorized (yes!) 100m long throw fader. Select a channel, and the fader snaps to that level, likewise, moves the fader on the device, and the corresponding fader moves on the DAW. The large blue scroll button allows the user to skip across the channels, along with the soft touch previous and next buttons.
The rest of the controls are basically physical versions of what is in the DAW, with channel strip functions like solo, mute, and arm. The session navigation section covers what the user will need to move around the session, using the scroll wheel to move in whatever function, such as panning, or raising the master. The bottom section is the transport area, with play, record, stop, and loop engage functionality. Everything is intuitively laid out, and works perfectly with your DAW – excellent for those who want to work in the box, but miss the tactile control of a console.
The footswitch function requires an external (not included) footswitch for total hands free functionality; this is great for those users that want to go hands free for punch-ins, but even just having the transport functions at our fingertips made doing repetitive takes (no one but us does those, right?) far less frustrating than having to set up pre roll, hit the mouse, grab a pick, and then get prepped to do a take, and then do it again, until you have it right!
So, for musicians this is a great way to make a DAW work like a mini “one channel at a time” console strip. But, for say podcasters, it’s equally powerful, with simple controls and setup, there’s no having to lean into software to control a session. For Windows users, loopback recording, such as recording with other items like live streaming from say Facebook or YouTube is easy, however for Mac users, you’ll have to find a 3rd party software for that.
Overall if you want easy, hands-on functionality with an excellent sounding interface, this is a one of those no brainer device combos we wish we had thought of sooner, and if you’re working by yourself, it’s going to be your new BFF in the studio.
Great sounding preamps, excellent ergonomic functionality,