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PreSonus AudioBox™ 44VSL

USB 2.0 computer recording interface

Item #: 861AB44VSL

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A compact, rugged interface for small bands

If you need a USB audio interface with a bit more connectivity than most basic models, the PreSonus AudioBox 44VSL is a great option. It offers four inputs with connectivity for dynamic and condenser mics, electric guitars and basses, and line-level sources like keyboards and drum machines. You can also connect a keyboard controller through the MIDI in/out jacks. Plus, you get pro-style monitoring options using Virtual StudioLive™ mixing software, offering the same PreSonus "Fat Channel" functionality as their StudioLive 16.0.2 digital mixer. Add effects to your monitor mix with drag-and-drop simplicity for near zero-latency playback. This versatility makes the 44VSL great for recording small combos or bands, while the included Studio One® Artist recording software offers powerful editing and mixing options to produce high-resolution recordings without booking time in an expensive studio.

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. The AudioBox 44VSL minimizes latency through their Virtual StudioLive™ mixing and monitoring software. Borrowed from PreSonus StudioLive mixing boards, it allows you to add real-time dynamic, EQ, and delay effects to your monitor mix with negligible latency. The 44VSL's additional line-level outputs also allow you to create a separate monitor mix to route through an external headphone amp. That means you can get custom, pro-quality monitoring for more than one performer, so they can deliver that killer take with confidence.

PreSonus AudioBox 44VSL USB recording interface

Virtual StudioLive digital mixing software allows real-time monitoring with effects and virtually no latency, featuring 50 effects presets and 8-input x 4-output capability.

Mic, instrument, line-level, and MIDI inputs

The front panel of the AudioBox 44VSL has two mic/instrument inputs and two mic/line-level inputs. You can plug in an XLR cable to send your mic signal to a high-quality Class A mic preamp, even activating phantom power for each connection for use with condenser mics. Or use the instrument inputs to connect 1/4" instrument cables from an electric guitar or bass. The line-level inputs can accept signals from keyboards, drum machines, and guitars connected through an effects processor or direct box. Each input has a dedicated gain knob along with an LED clipping indicator. There are also rear-panel MIDI input/output jacks for connection of MIDI-compatible keyboards and controllers. All these connection options make the 44VSL capable of recording duets, small combos, and even a full band.

Includes Studio One® Artist digital recording software

In addition to the VSL monitoring software, the AudioBox 44VSL comes with PreSonus Studio One® Artist 2. This sophisticated recording software lets you create dozens of tracks within a project and add effects like compression and reverb. In addition to its native plug-ins, PreSonus includes 10GB 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.

Product Highlights:

  • 4-input, 4-output computer audio interface
  • accepts mic, instrument, and line-level signals
  • 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 10GB 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
  • 2 XLR/TRS balanced mic/line inputs for use with microphones, keyboards, drum machines, and effects processors
  • 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" balanced left/right outputs for connection to powered monitors or a mixing board
  • four 1/4" balanced auxiliary line outputs for use with external headphone amps or mixers
  • USB 2.0 port for connection to a computer
  • built-in headphone amplifier with 1/4" output
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 all input channels
  • 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
  • includes external power supply
  • 9-1/2"W x 1-3/4"H x 5-1/2"D
  • weight: 2.6 lbs.
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

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.

PreSonus AudioBox™ 44VSL Reviews

Average Customer Review:

1 Review


Written by: Anonymous from Toledo, Ohio on June 3, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great product, am definitely enjoying using it! First audio interface and it has done everything I needed it for.

Pros: Ease of use, installation of software, support if needed. Everything was real straight forward.

Cons: Rear headphone jack is slightly annoying but not too troublesome. Had to download the third party content from online as the registration key was for Komplete Player 8 and the version on the disc was Komplete Player 7.

Hands-on research

What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • AudioBox 44VSL interface
  • 5' USB cable (Type A USB on one end and a Type B USB on other end)
  • 70" AC power cord
  • AC adapter with 6' DC output cord and in-line on/off switch (DC output: 12V 1000mA)
  • 4 Self-adhesive rubber feet
  • Pan-head screw
  • PreSonus Studio One Artist 2 software disc
  • AudioBox 1.2 disc (drivers and manuals)
  • Quick Start Guide (Eng/Fren/Span/Ger)
  • Registration card
  • PreSonus Microcatalog
  • PreSonus sticker

Product Research


Overview: Using your Windows or Mac computer and PreSonus Virtual StudioLive (VSL) software, the AudioBox 44VSL interface provides a 8x4 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 44VSL 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 44VSL 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 44VSL offers two front-panel mic/instrument inputs and two front-panel mic/line combo inputs; all with global phantom power. All input channels of the AudioBox 44VSL have combo jacks that will accept either a 1/4" phone plug or an XLR plug.

  • Microphone/Instrument Inputs: Channels 1 & 2 will accept a variety of mics and instruments. 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 44VSL becomes an instrument preamplifier.
  • Mic/Line Inputs: Channels 3 & 4 will accept a variety of mic and line-level devices. Channels 3/4 of the AudioBox 44VSL have a 1/4", balanced TRS connection for line-level input. When these inputs are engaged, the microphone-preamp circuit is bypassed. Typical examples of line-level connections are synthesizer outputs, CD/ DVD-player outputs, and (with exceptions) signal-processor outputs.
  • 48V Phantom Power: The AudioBox 44VSL 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/strong> 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 44VSL's USB 2.0 port is where you connect the included USB cable from the 44VSL to your computer. The AudioBox 44VSL is bus-powered via this connection and does not require an external power supply.

Controls: The AudioBox 44VSL 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 44VSL 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 44VSL is also fitted with a 1/4" headphone jack for connecting a set of headphones for monitoring privately.

Line Outputs: The AudioBox 44VSL has four line outputs to route to external devices, such as headphone amps and DJ mixers. Outputs 1 and 2 share their playback streams with the Main Outs and the headphone output. Outputs 3 and 4 have independent playback streams.

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 44VSL input channel.

Included Software Bundle: Your AudioBox 44VSL 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 44VSL with any audio-recording application that supports Core Audio or ASIO.

Computer System Requirements: Below are the minimum computer-system requirements for the AudioBox 44VSL.

  • 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.

Our Product Research Team

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