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PreSonus FireStudio™ Mobile

FireWire® recording interface

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  • PreSonus FireStudio™ Mobile

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  • PreSonus FireStudio™ Mobile

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Our take on the PreSonus FireStudio™ Mobile

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.

A FireWire interface fit for the road

Audio interfaces that connect to your computer via FireWire enjoy the benefit of high-bandwidth data transfer. This speedy, stable connection allows PreSonus to include 10 inputs into its compact FireStudio Mobile interface. With connections for microphones, instruments, and a MIDI controller, the FireStudio Mobile lets you record small combos anywhere you can take a laptop and this rock-solid, compact device.

PreSonus FireStudio Mobile

The FireStudio Mobile's front-panel XLR/instrument connections only tell part of the story. There are six more balanced 1/4" inputs on the back panel.

Read more

The ins and outs

The FireStudio Mobile's combination XLR/TRS inputs incorporate high-quality XMAX™ preamps. Their Class A design offers an impressive dynamic range of 118dB, with plenty of headroom to capture delicate vocal performances. These front-panel inputs can also accommodate direct connection of an electric guitar or bass — no direct box or effects processor required. Flip this interface around to find six more balanced 1/4" inputs on the rear panel, perfect for keyboards, drum machines, and other instruments. There's also a MIDI/coaxial digital in/out. Use the included breakout cable to connect a MIDI controller and external digital sampler or recorder. Stereo main outs can send your mix to powered studio monitors, or use the 1/4" front-panel jack with your headphones for easy performance monitoring.


High-res audio

Built-in mixing control app

Hardware is only half the story with this versatile interface. The FireStudio Mobile includes Universal Control digital routing software and virtual mixing board. It provides a mixer interface on your computer, so it's easy to configure signal routing for up to 10 inputs and 6 outputs. You can create three separate stereo cue mixes to send to the headphone, main, and S/PDIF outputs. Universal Control also allows you to monitor with virtually no latency while using dynamic and EQ effects — a valuable tool when working solo or with other musicians. Universal Control also works with as many as four daisy-chained FireStudio interfaces to provide up to 52 inputs.

Includes Studio One® Artist digital recording software

In addition to Universal Control, the FireStudio Mobile comes with PreSonus Studio One® Artist 2. This sophisticated recording software lets you create an unlimited number 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.

A truly mobile studio

When you grab hold of this compact interface, you know you're dealing with a durable device. The all-metal chassis is shockproof, so you can tote it around in your laptop bag without worrying about it getting damaged. After all, it's called the FireStudio Mobile for a reason. And because it can be powered by your computer or the included AC power supply, you don't have to worry about setting up near an outlet to start producing pro-quality tunes.

Highlights:

  • 10-input computer audio interface with 6-output mixing capability
  • accepts mic, instrument, and line-level signals
  • Universal Control digital mixing/routing interface lets you send three different stereo mixes to each set of outputs for low-latency monitoring with 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
  • powered by computer via FireWire connection or by external power supply (included)
  • compact, shockproof metal chassis for desktop or portable use
Connections:
  • 2 XLR/TRS balanced mic/instrument inputs for use with microphones and electric guitars and basses
  • 6 rear-panel 1/4" balanced line-level inputs
  • combination input/output for MIDI and coaxial digital (S/PDIF) signals (breakout cable included)
  • two 1/4" balanced main outputs (left/right) for connection to powered monitors or a mixing board
  • two FireWire 400 ports for connection to a computer, external hard drive or daisy-chaining with additional PreSonus FireStudio devices
  • 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
  • JetPLL™ digital synchronization minimizes timing jitter during digital conversion for clear, accurate sound
  • LED level meters for inputs 1 and 2
  • 6' FireWire cable included for connection to a compatible 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: FireWire (IEEE 1394) port; Intel® Core™ Duo or AMD Athlon™ X2 processor; 2GB RAM; 20GB hard disk space
  • includes external power supply
  • 5-1/2"W x 1-3/4"H x 5-1/2"D
  • weight: 4.5 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

  • Portable FireWire recording system
  • Power supply
  • 6' FirWire
  • Software installation disc
  • Owner's Manual
  • Warranty Card

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 the included software, the FireStudio Mobile interface acts a portable FireWire recording system. All you need is a computer with a FireWire connection, a few microphones and cables, monitor speakers or headphones, and your instrument; and you are ready to record in the studio.

24-Bit/96kHz DAC + JetPLL Jitter-Elimination: The FireStudio Mobile employs a high-definition 24-bit/96kHz analog-to-digital converter for exceptional sound quality and recording with up to 118 dB dynamic range. It also incorporates JetPLL jitter-elimination technology, for improved stereo imaging and clarity.

XMAX Preamps: The FireStudio Mobile 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.

8Ch Inputs: The Presonus FireStudio Mobile is fitted with 8 analog input channels, including six 1/4" line-level inputs and two combo-jack mic/instrument inputs which will accept either XLR or 1/4".

  • Mic/Instrument Inputs (1-2): The two front-panel mic/instrument inputs feature a combo-jack which will accept either XLR or 1/4" phone plugs. They can be used for connection of all types of mics and a variety of instruments. The FireStudio Mobile microphone preamplifier has +14 dBu of headroom. This gives you wide dynamic range and excellent transient-response characteristics. When an instrument is plugged into the ¼" input, a high impedance input buffer is switched into the preamp circuit and the FireStudio Mobile becomes an active instrument preamplifier.
  • Line Inputs (3-8): Channels 3 through 8 of the FireStudio Mobile are line-level inputs. They are designed to accept up to a maximum input level of +10 dBu (0 dBFS). Use these inputs to connect your line-level devices such as synthesizers, ampmodeling hardware, and vocoders. In general, line-level devices have their own volume controls. As these inputs are for line-level signals only, there is no trim control for them on the FireStudio Mobile. If you need to raise or lower the volume, the adjustment should be made from your line-level device.

48V Phantom Power: The FireStudio Mobile provides 48V phantom power for the microphone input on each channel. Press the 48V button to enable phantom power for all microphone inputs.

FireWire Inputs: There are two standard 6-pin FireWire ports on the back of the FireStudio Mobile. Either (and only one) should be used to connect
your FireStudio Mobile to a FireWire port on your computer. If your computer has a 4-pin connector (commonly found on laptops), you will need a 4-to-6-pin adapter to connect your FireStudio Mobile to your computer. Four-pin connections do not provide power to FireWire devices, so you will need to power your FireStudio Mobile using the included power supply.

Note: You can use the "extra" FireWire port to connect additional FireWire devices to your computer (such as external hard drives) or to connect additional FireStudio-family interfaces. Keep in mind that if you daisy-chain multiple bus-powered devices, the FireWire bus might not provide enough power for your FireStudio Mobile and for other devices in the chain.

Main Outs & Headphone Out: The PreSonus FireStudio Mobile 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 FireStudio Mobile is also fitted with a 1/4" headphone jack for connecting a set of headphones for monitoring privately. The Phones knob controls the volume of the headphone output on the front of the unit.  

MIDI-S/PDIF:  This is where you connect the breakout cable for MIDI and S/PDIF I/O (sold separately).

  • MIDI: MIDI stands for "Musical Instrument Digital Interface". The MIDI inputs and outputs on the breakout cable allow connection to a variety of MIDI-equipped hardware, such as keyboard controllers, and can be used to send and receive MIDI Machine Control and MIDI Time Code.
  • S/PDIF: The S/PDIF standard allows transmission of two channels of up to 24-bit, 96 kHz audio. The S/PDIF I/O also allows the FireStudio Mobile to send and receive word clock to external digital devices.
Note: MIDI does not carry audio signals but is frequently used to trigger or control an audio source, such as a virtual instrument or hardware synthesizer. You should ensure that MIDI data is correctly sent and received by the appropriate hardware or software. You may also need to route hardware sound sources' audio to the FireStudio Mobile.

Rugged Chassis: The FireStudio Mobile is built like a tank; with a shockproof, reinforced metal chassis; sealed rotary controls; military-grade circuit board; chassis-mounted jacks; and full EMI shielding.

Included Software Bundle: Your PreSonus FireStudio Mobile comes with a powerful software bundle that provides everything you need to record, produce and mix an album. This software package includes Universal Control and Studio One Artist. Each tool is designed to help you get the most out of your personal studio.

  • Universal Control: Universal Control is a powerful, flexible, and easy to use Mac and Windows control-panel application for creating multiple mixes from your input and output signals for each of the FireStudio Mobile's output pairs (mains, headphone, and S/PDIF). This application also allows you to daisy-chain FireStudio-family interfaces.
    • Launch & Device Window: Universal Control consists of the Launch window and the Device window. In the Launch window, you can set basic parameters such as sample rate, clock source, and buffer size. The Device window of the FireStudio Mobile is the FireStudio Mobile Mixer.
    • Mixer Section: The Mixer section of the Universal Control Panel was designed to look and feel like a hardware mixer, so most of the features may already be familiar to you. From this mixer, you can create a zero-latency mix for each output and can route playback streams from your host application.
    • 3 Output Mixes: The FireStudio Mobile Mixer provides three independent, stereo output mixes; one each for the mains, headphones, and S/PDIF. A virtual output meter to the right of each channel fader displays the post-fader output level of each stereo pair.
  • 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 FireStudio Mobile with any audio-recording application that supports Core Audio or ASIO.

Computer System Requirements: Below are the minimum computer-system requirements for the FireStudio Mobile.

  • 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.

AC or Bus Powered: Although the FireStudio Mobile comes with an external power supply, it operates perfectly on FireWire bus power. In fact, thanks to an amazing internal switching power supply, it's one of the few interfaces that delivers true 48V phantom power when bus-powered, and it also supplies a full 30V to the preamps, so your mics always sound their best.

 
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