PreSonus FaderPort™ 8
8-channel mix production controller
Our take on the PreSonus FaderPort™ 8 by Crutchfield's James Ralston
Get hands-on with your mixes
Presonus's FaderPort 8 works along with your trusty mouse and computer keyboard to give you more precise, tactile control of your DAW software. Making music in the digital domain feels a little more analog, and a little more human.
Compatible with most DAWs
This control surface works right out of the box with most DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) software, including Apple® Logic®, Cakewalk, Digital Performer, Pro Tools and more. And it's designed for especially tight integration with PreSonus's own StudioOne® DAW. In fact, to get you started, the FaderPort 8 includes a license for downloading StudioOne Artist — capable recording software that includes more than 4GB of samples, loops, and plug-ins.
Keep an eye on what you're doing
One of coolest features on the FaderPort 8 is the row of LCD "scribble strips" that appears across the top. These LCD readouts change dynamically based on whatever task you're doing to show you key information like track numbers and names, time code, plug-in parameters, and more.
- control surface for digital audio workstation software
- supports PreSonus StudioOne®, HUI, and Mackie Control protocols for wide software DAW compatibility right out of the box
- 8 fully automated and touch-sensitive 100mm motorized faders
- 8 dynamic LCD scribble strips automatically pull track names and other parameter info from your DAW
- 8-segment LED meters per channel for precise level control
- rotary encoder
- tape-style transport controls
- USB Type B port for connection to your Mac® or PC (cable included)
- Mac system requirements: Mac OS 10.8.5 or higher; Intel® Core™ 2 Duo processor (Intel Core i3 or better recommended)
- Windows® system requirements: Windows 10, 8.1, or 7 SP + platform update; Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD® Athlon™ X2 processor (Intel Core i3 or better recommended)
- footswitch input
- 13-3/16"W x 2-1/4"H x 11-7/8"D
- warranty: 1 year
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
What's in the Box:
- Power adaptor w/ 5' cord
- 70" AC Power cord (C7 Unpolarized)
- 59" USB cord (Type A on one end and Type B on other end)
- 4 Rubber foot pads w/adhesive backing
- Quick start guide (Eng / Span / Fren / and Others)
- Key Commands pamphlet
- Warranty/Software registration card
- Health and Safety warnings
Overview: The PreSonus FaderPort 8 is a hardware controller that interfaces with your favorite DAW, giving you hands-on control over all the important aspects of recording and mixing. Designed to have tight integration with PreSonus' Studio One software, the FaderPort 8 also has three operating modes that allow it to interface with most other DAWs such as ProTools, Cubase, Ableton Live, Logic, Sonar, and others. Key features include: 8 touch-sensitive, 100 mm long-throw motorized faders, complete recording transport controls, channel and automation controls, optional fader functionality, and customizable MIDI mapping.
Operation Modes: The FaderPort 8 has three Operation Modes, which are determined by the type of DAW that will be used with the interface. This selection will be presented when the unit is first powered on, but can be changed at any other time. Front panel control options will vary slightly, depending on the Mode that is selected. This is to match the different options in the DAW software the FaderPort 8 is controlling. The three Operation Modes are as follows:
- Studio One: This mode should be selected when using any version of PreSonus's Studio One software or any other DAW that provides native FaderPort 8 support. A complete list of these is available on the manufacturer's web site.
- MCU (Mackie Control Universal): This mode is used with Logic, Ableton Live, Cubase, Nuendo, Sonar, and others.
- HUI: Designed jointly by Mackie and Digidesign, this mode is used with ProTools.
Channel Strips: Each of the FaderPort 8's channel strips contain the following controls:
- Touch-Sensitive Fader: These are 100 mm motorized faders that can be used to control volume levels, aux send levels, panning, or plug-in parameters, depending on the Fader Mode.
- Mute: Mutes the corresponding channel's signal.
- Solo: Isolates the corresponding channel's signal.
- Select: This selects which channel, in the DAW, will be assigned to that fader. This button will change color to match the color codes you've assigned to tracks in the DAW.
- Digital Scribble Strip: Displays the channel name, current fader level, channel metering, and the channel's current pan position.
Fader Modes: The eight faders have flexible routing that can be used to set levels, control plug-in parameters, set send levels, and adjust panning. The following buttons will select these modes:
- Track: When Track mode is active, the motorized faders will display and control channel levels. Pressing Track again will show metering on the scribble strip display. Pressing Shift and Track simultaneously will display Timecode in the scribble strips.
- Edit Plug-ins: When this button is selected, the motorized faders will control the parameter settings for the selected Plug-in.
- Sends: When this mode is activated, the motorized faders will control the send levels for the selected channel.
- Pan: In this mode, the motorized faders will display and control channel pan.
Additional controls for the fader section include:
- Arm/Arm All: Arms either the currently selected track or all the tracks.
- Macro: Opens the Channel Editor macro controls for the selected channel.
- Solo Clear: Takes all soloed tracks out of solo mode.
- Mute Clear: Takes all muted tracks out of mute mode.
Transport Controls: The FaderPort 8's transport section features familiar controls such as:
- Play/Pause: Starts playback at the current playback cursor position. Pressing again will pause playback.
- Stop: Stops playback. Pressing twice returns to zero.
- Loop: Engages/disengages Looping.
- Record: Enables record ready. Pressing this, along with the Play button, starts recording at the current playback cursor position for record-enabled track(s).
- Rewind: A single press will regress playback by bar, second, frame, or base sample. Press and hold to regress in finer increments.
- Fast Forward: A single press will advance playback by bar, second, frame, or base sample rate depending on the mode. Press and hold to advance in finer increments.
Session Navigator: The Session Navigator provides quick access to navigation and session controls. The main navigation controls are a Rotary/Push encoder, with Next and Prev (navigation) buttons on either side of it. These allow scrolling through the different functions that are determined by the eight Session Navigator buttons. These eight Session Navigator buttons also have dual-functionality and become user definable (F1-F8) when the Shift button is pressed, allowing customizable functions to be accessed. The eight Session Navigator buttons are as follows:
- Channel: Encoder and navigation buttons control individual channel scrolling.
- Master: Encoder controls the Master level. Pushing the Encoder will reset the Master level to 0 dB.
- Zoom: The Encoder controls horizontal zooming, while the navigation (Prev/Next) buttons control vertical zooming.
- Click: Turns the metronome on and off.
- Scroll: Encoder controls timeline scrolling. Pushing encoder fits timeline. Navigation buttons scroll through the track list.
- Section: Encoder will nudge the selected event. The navigation buttons will navigate through the events on the current track.
- Bank: The Encoder and navigation buttons scroll through channels in banks of eight.
- Marker: The Encoder moves the playback cursor in the Timeline. The navigation buttons scroll through markers. Pushing the Encoder drops a marker.
The default setting for each of the Session Navigator Function buttons (F1-F8) is:
- F1: Open Inspector
- F2: Open Editor
- F3: Open Mixer
- F4: Open Browser
- F5: Open Scratch Pad
- F6: Open Tempo Track
- F7: Open Arranger Track
- F8: Open Marker Track
Automation Controls: The Automation controls provide access to the automation modes for the currently selected channel. These six buttons are dual-function, with the second set of commands accessed by pushing the Shift button.
- Latch/Save: Engages Latch Automation on currently selected track. Shift+Latch saves session.
- Trim/Redo: Engages Trim Automation for the selected track. At this time, Trim Automation is not available in Studio One, but is an option for other types of DAWs. Shift+Trim will redo last action taken.
- Off/Undo: Turns Automation off on the currently selected track. Shift+Off will undo the last action.
- Touch/User 1: Engages Touch Automation on the currently selected track. Shift+Touch will engage the User 1 function.
- Write/User 2: Engages Write Automation on the currently selected track. Shift+Write engages User 2 function.
- Read/User 3: Engages Read Automation on the currently selected track. Shift+Read engages the User 3 function.
Mix Management: The Mix Management section has controls that allow you to customize your mixer and show/hide the track types you need to see in your DAW. These five buttons are dual-function, using the Shift button, and give you access to: Audio tracks, Inputs, Virtual Instrument tracks, MIDI tracks, Bussing, Outputs, VCA, FX, All tracks, and a User definable setting.
Note: Some of the FaderPort 8's button functions may vary, depending on the Operation Mode that is selected, and are based on the features/capabilities of the DAW you are using. See owners manual for specifics on each Operation Mode.
Customizing: The FaderPort 8 includes a Setup screen that allows you to customize some of the features such as adjusting the fader speed, fader touch sensitivity, contrast, and more. There are also multiple Test modes to verify functionality of the faders, buttons, encoder, and LEDs. A Factory Default setting will restore the FaderPort 8 back to its original default settings, including putting it back to its original firmware version, even if the firmware has been updated.
PreSonus Studio One Artist: Once you have registered your FaderPort 8, you will receive a license for PreSonus Studio One Artist recording software as well as 4 GB of plug-ins, loops, and samples in your user account. Studio One Artist provides all the tools and features you need for modern recording and production. Some of its amenities include:
- Unlimited track count, inserts, and sends
- 20 high-quality, Native Effects plug-ins, such as amp modeling, delay, distortion, dynamics, equalizer, and many others.
- More than 4 GB of loops, samples, and instruments.
- Innovative and intuitive MIDI mapping.
- Powerful drag-and-drop functionality for faster workflow.
- Available for MacOS and Windows.
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