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PreSonus AudioBox™ 22VSL

USB 2.0 computer recording interface

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  • PreSonus AudioBox™ 22VSL

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  • PreSonus AudioBox™ 22VSL

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  • PreSonus AudioBox™ 22VSL

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  • PreSonus AudioBox™ 22VSL

    Virtual StudioLive offers low-latency monitoring with effects

 

Our take on the PreSonus AudioBox™ 22VSL

by David Brown
PreSonus

A gateway to computer music production

Want to record music using your computer? You'll need a way to connect your instruments and microphones. That's the purpose of a computer audio interface. These devices route incoming signals to your PC or Mac®, and most even include recording software. Interfaces can feature mic, instrument, and line inputs, as well as connections for MIDI controllers and external signal processors.

Part interface, part digital mixer

The PreSonus AudioBox 22VSL may look like a simple USB interface. But for musicians looking for a device with advanced monitoring capability without latency issues, it's a welcome sight at this price point. With the same "Fat Channel" dynamic processors and EQ as their StudioLive 16.0.2 digital mixer, the AudioBox 22VSL offers studio-quality monitoring to help you get the most out of every performance. Plus, the compact design and rugged construction of this interface make it perfect for taking on the road to record anyplace where inspiration strikes.

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Monitor with effects, without latency

One of the challenges of live recording through a computer audio interface is latency. Adding effects to monitor mixes of live vocals and instruments can introduce a delay as they are processed by your computer and routed back through your interface to your headphones. PreSonus designed the AudioBox 22VSL to eliminate this issue. Their Virtual StudioLive™ is powerful mixing and monitoring software taken from the StudioLive mixing boards used for live sound. The VSL software allows you to add real-time dynamic, EQ, and delay effects to your monitor mix with negligible latency. That means you can get pro-quality monitoring that will enhance your performance, leading to better-sounding recordings.

Mic, instrument, and MIDI inputs

PreSonus AudioBox 22VSL with Virtual StudioLive digital mixer and monitoring software

Virtual StudioLive mixing and monitoring software lets you add effects to your monitor mix without introducing latency.

The front panel of the AudioBox 22VSL has two combination mic/instrument inputs. You can plug in an XLR cable to send your mic signal to a high-quality, low-noise Class A mic preamp, even activating phantom power for both inputs for use with condenser mics. Or connect 1/4" instrument cables from an electric guitar or bass. Both inputs have dedicated gain knobs along with LED clipping indicators. Connect MIDI-compatible keyboards and controllers through the rear-panel MIDI input/output jacks. It's just the right amount of connectivity to provide a solid introduction to solo music production in your home.

Includes Studio One® Artist digital recording software

In addition to the VSL mixer interface, the AudioBox 22VSL comes with PreSonus Studio One® Artist 2. This sophisticated recording software lets you create dozens of tracks within a project and add effects with drag-and-drop simplicity. In addition to its native plug-ins, PreSonus includes 4GB of third-party plug-ins for more instruments, samples, and loops to experiment with. Once you've recorded your song in the Studio One digital audio workstation, the possibilities for editing and mixing are endless. Tweak your performance to make it just right before mixing down to a 24-bit/96kHz file for high-resolution sound quality or an MP3 for easy sharing with friends.

Highlights:

  • 2-input, 2-output computer audio interface
  • Virtual StudioLive™ digital mixing software for low-latency monitoring with dynamic, filter, and delay effects (CD-ROM for Mac®/Windows®)
  • includes Studio One Artist 2 digital recording software along with 4GB of third-party instrument/sample plug-ins (DVD-ROM for Mac/Windows)
  • Class A XMAX™ mic preamps with 48V phantom power for condenser microphones
  • compact, rugged steel chassis for desktop or portable use
  • powered by your computer via USB
Connections:
  • 2 XLR/TRS balanced mic/instrument inputs for use with microphones and electric guitars and basses
  • MIDI input/output (5-pin DIN) for use with an external MIDI controller
  • one pair of 1/4" TRS balanced left/right outputs for connection to powered monitors or a mixing board
  • USB 2.0 port for connection to a computer
  • built-in headphone amplifier with 1/4" output
  • This interface does not have a line-level input
General Features:
  • 24-bit analog-to-digital conversion with sampling rate of 44.1/48/88.2/96kHz
  • Mixer fader offers both direct monitoring of analog input signals and incoming digital signal from the virtual mixer
  • LED clipping indicators for mic/line inputs
  • 6' USB cable included for connection to a computer
  • compatible with the following operating systems: Windows XP SP3, Windows Vista (32-bit SP2, 64-bit SP2) Windows 7 (32-bit SP1, 64-bit SP1), Windows 8 (32-bit, 64-bit), Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later
  • minimum system requirements: USB 2.0 port; Intel® Core™ Duo or AMD Athlon™ X2 processor; 2GB RAM; 20GB hard disk space
  • 5-1/2"W x 1-3/4"H x 5-1/2"D
  • weight: 1.6 lbs.
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Pro Audio USB/MIDI interface (AudioBox USB2)
  • 6' USB cable
  • Studio One Artist software on DVD-ROM
  • Virtual StudioLive/AudioBox driver on CD-ROM
  • Owner's Manual

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Features

Overview: Using your Windows or Mac computer and PreSonus Virtual StudioLive (VSL) software, the AudioBox 22VSL interface provides a 4x2 mixer, reverb and delay effects, as well as Fat Channel compression, limiting, semi-parametric EQ, and high-pass filter. All you need is a computer with a USB 2.0 connection, a few microphones and cables, powered speakers, and your instruments; and you are ready to record in the studio or in front of a live audience.

24-Bit/96kHz DAC: The AudioBox 22VSL employs a high-definition 24-bit/96kHz analog-to-digital converter for exceptional sound quality and recording with up to 108 dB dynamic range.

XMAX Preamps: The AudioBox 22VSL is equipped with PreSonus XMAX microphone preamplifiers for use with all types of microphones. The net result of the XMAX preamp design is high headroom, low noise, wide dynamic range, extended frequency response, and most importantly, musicality and transparency, with smooth highs, solid deep lows, and everything in between. 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: XMAX preamplifiers only use genuine transistors, resistors, and capacitors. Other Op-amps add noise, coloration, and harshness to a signal. This 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.

Mic/Instrument Combo Inputs: The AudioBox 22VSL offers two convenient front-panel mic/instrument combo inputs with global phantom power.

  • Microphone Inputs: Both channels of the AudioBox 22VSL have Mic/Instrument combo jacks. This convenient connector accepts either a 1/4" phone plug or an XLR plug.
  • Instrument Inputs: The 1/4" TS connectors on channels 1 and 2 are for use with instruments (guitar, bass, etc.). When an instrument is plugged into the instrument input, the mic preamp is bypassed, and the AudioBox 22VSL becomes an instrument preamplifier.
  • 48V Phantom Power: The AudioBox 22VSL provides 48V phantom power for the microphone input on each channel. Press the 48V button to enable phantom power for all microphone inputs.
Note: Active instruments are those that have an internal preamp or a line-level output. Active instruments should be plugged into a line input rather than into an instrument input. Plugging a line-level source into the instrument inputs on the front of the AudioBox 22/44VSL not only risks damage to these inputs but also results in a very loud and often distorted audio signal.

USB 2.0 Port: The AudioBox 22VSL's USB 2.0 port is where you connect the included USB cable from the 22VSL to your computer. The AudioBox 22VSL is bus-powered via this connection and does not require an external power supply.

Controls: The AudioBox 22VSL provides the following front-panel controls.

  • Mixer: The Mixer knob allows you to blend your input signals with the playback streams from your computer. This allows you to monitor your input signal with zero latency. If the knob is positioned at 12 o'clock, the input signal and the playback stream will be equally balanced. Turning the knob to the left will increase the level of the input signal relative to the playback stream; turning to the right will increase the level of the playback stream relative to the input signal.
  • Phones: The Phones knob controls the volume of the headphone output on the front of the unit.
  • Main: The Main knob controls the output level for the Main Outputs on the back of the AudioBox, with a range of -80 dB to 0 dB.

Note: When creating monitor mixes using Virtual StudioLive software, it is important that you turn the Mixer knob all the way to the VSL position. Monitoring both the input signal and the playback stream will create a doubling effect that will make monitoring difficult

Main Outs & Headphone Out: The PreSonus AudioBox 22VSL features two 1/4" main outputs. The output level of the Main Outs is controlled by the Main volume knob on the front of the unit. The AudioBox 22VSL is also fitted with a 1/4" headphone jack for connecting a set of headphones for monitoring privately.

MIDI I/O: MIDI stands for "Musical Instrument Digital Interface". MIDI inputs and outputs allow connection to, and communication with, external MIDI equipment. One function of these ports is MIDI sequencing but the MIDI protocol can be used for much more than instruments and sequencing.

Note: MIDI is not audio but is frequently used to trigger or control an audio source (such as a plug-in or synthesizer). It's important to ensure that your MIDI data is correctly sent and received by the appropriate hardware or software devices. If the devices generate audio, you may also need to return the audio to an AudioBox 22VSL input channel.

Included Software Bundle: Your AudioBox 22VSL comes with a powerful software bundle that provides everything you need to record, produce and mix an album. This software package includes Virtual StudioLive (VSL) and Studio One Artist. Each tool is designed to help you get the most out of your personal studio

  • Virtual StudioLive (VSL) Software: Virtual StudioLive is a powerful monitoring software that provides you with a complete graphical representation of your mix environment. VSL provides control of channel, Aux send, and Main bus levels; Fat Channel parameters; and effects. VSL also includes a librarian,
    allowing you to easily manage your presets and mix Scenes. Controlling VSL is as easy as drag-and-drop. Load Fat Channel presets and scenes by simply dragging them onto the channel or mixer overview. You can load Fat Channel presets as a complete channel strip or as individual gate, compressor, and EQ presets. You can even drag presets out of the browser and email, IM, or disk-swap them with other AudioBox 22/44/1818VSL owners.
    • Meter Decay: VSL gives you the option to set the response time for the channel meters. By default, this is set to Normal. Enable Slow Meter decay to more accurately meter the peaks and falls of the signal. Enable Fast Metering to monitor your signal in real time.
    • Scene: A Scene is like a snapshot of your mix. It stores each Fat Channel parameter for every input and bus, as well as fader positions, the aux and effects mixes, FX bus settings, and channel mutes and solos. Creating a Scene requires simply dialing in a mix that you would like to use at a later date and saving it.
    • FAT CH: VSL comes equipped with 50 Fat Channel presets that have been custom-designed by professional audio engineers. These presets can be altered, renamed, and overwritten; you can build your own nearly limitless custom library of channel-strip settings.
    • FX: VSL comes loaded with 30 custom reverb and delay presets designed by PreSonus. In addition to these presets, you can build your own nearly limitless custom effects library. The factory presets can be altered, renamed, and overwritten.
    • 3-Band EQ: The Fat Channel's 3-band quasi-parametric EQ has a high/low Q switch on the mid band and switchable shelving on the low and high bands. Each EQ band can be individually switched on/off.
    • High-Pass Filter: You also get a high-pass filter with -6 dB/octave slope and a variable cutoff frequency (18 Hz to 1.3 kHz) and phase reverse.
    • Monitor & Record: You can monitor and record with or without Fat Channel processing. Each input channel and DAW return features a fader for accurate level adjustment. Unity gain (0 dB) is denoted by a "U".
  • Studio One Artist Software: The included PreSonus Studio One Artist recording software comes with over 4 GB of plug-ins, loops, and samples, giving
    you everything you need for music recording and production.
    • 20 High-Quality Native Plug-Ins: Amp modeling (Ampire), delay (Analog Delay, Beat Delay), distortion (Redlight Dist), dynamics processing (Channel Strip, Compressor, Gate, Expander, Limiter, Tricomp), equalizer (Channel Strip, Pro EQ), modulation (Autofilter, Chorus, Flange, Phaser, X-Trem), reverb (MixVerb, Room Reverb), and utility (Binaural Pan, Mixtool, Phase Meter, Spectrum Meter, Tuner).
    • Over 4 GB of Loops, Samples, and Instruments: Presence virtual sample player, Impact virtual drum machine, SampleOne virtual sampler, Mojito virtual analog-modeled subtractive synthesizer.
Note: You can use the AudioBox 22VSL with any audio-recording application that supports Core Audio or ASIO.

Computer System Requirements: Below are the minimum computer-system requirements for the AudioBox 22VSL.

  • Windows:
    • Windows XP SP3, Vista x64/x32 SP2, Windows 7 x64/x32 SP1, Windows 8 x64/x32
    • Intel Core Duo or AMD Athlon X2 processor (Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD Athlon X4 or better recommended)
    • 2 GB RAM (4 GB or more recommended)
  • Mac:
    • Mac® OS X 10.6.8 or later
    • Intel Core Duo processor (Intel Core 2 Duo or Intel Core i3 or better recommended)
    • 2 GB RAM (4 GB or more recommended)
Note: Your compatible Windows or Mac computer will also need a USB 2.0 port, Internet connection (for activation), DVD-ROM drive, Monitor (1024x768 or greater), 20GB hard-disk space, 7200 RPM internal/external storage drive.

 

 
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