PreSonus calls this bad boy the Studio Channel, but they definitely designed it to go mobile for live performances as well. And you'll want it to be with you wherever you're working, because it can do so much, all in a single, rack-mountable chassis. First, it's a high-output tube preamp that provides plenty of headroom and lots of tone for microphones and instruments. Second, it's a voltage control amplifier (VCA)-based compressor that offers quick, precise control over the dynamics of your incoming signal. Finally, it's a 3-band parametric equalizer, built to deliver smooth highs, solid lows and clear midrange. With XLR and 1/4" line outputs, you can connect the Studio Channel to almost any recording interface, amp, or PA system.
The PreSonus Studio Channel is a preamp with variable tube saturation, a precise compressor, and a three-band parametric EQ, all together in one go-anywhere unit.
The right tool for just about any job
What makes the PreSonus Studio Channel so handy? It's ready to deal with just about anything that comes your way. The XMAX™ Class A solid-state preamp features a built-in vacuum tube tone circuit — just twist the Drive saturation control to add the perfect amount of warmth and color. If your vocalist has some softer passages that get lost in the instrument mix, the compressor can even out the dynamic range so it's nice and audible throughout the mix. Then the equalizer can tweak the frequency response until everything sounds exactly the way you want it to. The owner's manual provides a detailed, easy-to-understand introduction to this jack-of-all-trades processor.
Thoughtful preamp design for clear sound
PreSonus understands how important the mic preamplifier is to the sonic quality of a recording. Microphone-level signals need to be boosted by a factor of nearly 400 before they can be converted to digital. Cheap, op-amp-based mic preamps can supply the boost, but the results may sound thin, noisy, or harsh. PreSonus's XMAX preamps use three core design elements to ensure maximum sound quality:
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 bass, and richer overall sound.
Discrete components: For ultra-low noise and transparent sound, PreSonus uses transistors, resistors, and capacitors — no op-amps.
Class A: Class A circuits eliminate switching distortion and deliver purer, clearer, and more musical results than the more typical Class AB designs found in many preamps.
Whatever you plug into the Studio Channel, expect to hear dynamic, low-noise sound with exceptional transparency.