PreSonus Audio Electronics inc., more commonly known as PreSonus, are one of today’s top manufacturers of pro audio equipment. Founded in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 1995, they’re well known for their exceedingly high-quality gear and their innovative Studio One DAW. Their entire range of products represents excellent value for money – the professional-level of quality belies the accessible price. If you’re putting together your home studio or are in the market for an upgrade from your budget-level gear, we can’t recommend PreSonus more highly… the positive reviews from the likes of Sound on Sound speak for themselves.
Today, we’re going to take a look at some of their fantastic monitors, interfaces, mixers and software packages so you’ll have a better idea when choosing what works for your setup.
First up is PreSonus‘ Eris series of studio monitors. Whilst the range comes in a wide variety of sizes and price points, the entire Eris series delivers balanced, studio-quality sound across all of the models. In addition, all Eris monitors use top-quality components like those you’d find on more expensive models, such as a woven composite woofer; low-mass silk-dome tweeter; and quality amplifiers with ample headroom.
3.5/BT & 4.5/BT: The 3.5 and 4.5 are the smallest variants in the range, so they’re well suited for smaller rooms/studios due to their portable size and sound. Don’t let this fool you into thinking that a reduced size means a reduced spec – far from it! The 3.5 and 4.5 use a lot of the same tech as their larger siblings (E5, E8) and can easily compete with far more costly speakers. Casual use is catered for by the BT versions, which can play music wirelessly with any Bluetooth enabled device. You’ve got the convenience of a regular Bluetooth speaker with the superior sound quality of an active reference monitor!
E5/E7/E8 XT: The XT range of the Eris series are an enhanced version of the E5 and E8 monitors. The E5 XT, E7 XT and E8 XT retain the clear highs, tight lows and balanced response of their forebears, as well as the ability to tailor them to any room with three adjustable acoustic controls. The XT range expands upon an already potent feature-set by introducing an EBM (Elliptical Boundary Modeled) waveguide that delivers superior high-frequency response and wider 100° horizontal dispersion to create a broader sweet spot. A larger ported enclosure than the E5 and the E8 means an extended low-frequency range – no sub required!
E44/E66: The E44 and E66 monitors use an intriguing Midwoofer-Tweeter-Midwoofer (MTM) design, which provides a wider stereo response, improved off-axis response and spatial resolution. This all results in a precise and accurate sound. Most MTM configured speakers need to be positioned vertically, the E44 and E66 brings the midrange drivers closer together and raises the high-freq driver, so you can orient them however you want.
Next up, we have PreSonus‘ AudioBox USB interfaces. They’re bus-powered so you don’t have to worry about using a chunky external power supply, feature a robust design that can withstand years of use and, most importantly, make it incredibly easy to achieve high-definition recording. Thanks to the gorgeous preamplifiers and outstanding 24-bit, 96 kHz converter with 105 dB of dynamic range, your recordings will sound beautifully pristine. The iOne and iTwo boast smooth iOS compatibility and specially-designed Class A mic preamps, the 96 packs a tonne of power into a more compact form factor and is rack-mountable (1/3U). What’s more, they all come with Studio One Artist and the Studio Magic plug-in Suite, so you’ll have everything you need to start producing.
If you’re starting your home studio from scratch, check out the PreSonus bundles for the best value. The iTwo and 96 can come in a bundle that includes a pair of HD7 headphones (experience detailed mixes on-the-go) and an MV7 condenser microphone with desktop stand (capture your audio sources with nuance and detail). The Ultimate Edition of the 96 bundle also comes with a pair of Eris 3.5 monitors, making a truly complete home studio package.
Let’s check out a selection of PreSonus‘ hands-on hardware, which includes one controller, a controller/interface hybrid and one of their cutting edge consoles.
FaderPort V2: The FaderPort V2 incorporates elements of the larger FaderPort 8/16 and is a fantastic solution for folk that prefer to mix and produce in the box but still want tactile control. It features an unintrusive form factor that’ll fit onto any desk space, 24 covering buttons that cover 40 different functions, a touch-sensitive 100m motorised fader and a large, 360-degree push-button encoder. It works especially well with Studio One, integrating seamlessly into its workflow. Plus, it comes with a licence for Studio One Artist if you don’t already have it.
ioStation 24c: The ioStation 24c effectively merges the amazing control capabilities of the FaderPort with a top-class audio interface. It features two of PreSonus‘ acclaimed Class A XMAX analogue mic preamps, high-definition 24-bit, 192 kHz analog-to-digital converters and compatibility with major DAWs. It’s a compact, powerful option if you’re looking for an all-in-one device that can speed up your workflow and provide you with crystal-clear recordings.
StudioLive 32S Digital Console: The StudioLive 32S is part of the StudioLive family, which has been used by artists such as Alt-J as part of their FOH touring setup. With a large-format workflow in a small-format chassis, the StudioLive 32S excels in any studio or live setting.
It has an impressive depth of clarity to its sound and quite the feature set for its price: a 40 input-channel digital mixer with 33 touch-sensitive motorized faders, the dual-core PreSonus FLEX DSP Engine (providing an insane amount of processing power), a whopping 286 simultaneous processors (with State Space-Modeled Fat Channel compressor and EQ plug-ins per input and output) the Flex FX multi-effect processor (four slots for classic reverb emulations and delays with four dedicated buses) and much more under-the-hood. The 32s is also capable of multitrack recording to an SD card or via a USB interface into a computer, with the ability to perform a “Virtual Soundcheck”.
Whilst PreSonus are renowned for their groundbreaking hardware, they’re also pushing the envelope in the digital world with their award-winning software. On top of their flagship Studio One DAW, PreSonus offer an assortment of other useful software such as Notion (an easy-to-use music notation software with outstanding playback sounds) and Fat Channel collection of plugins.
As of 18/2/20, PreSonus are including the updated Studio Magic 2020 suite as a free add-on to qualifying interfaces and desks – all the interfaces and the desk mentioned in this blog are eligible! It’s a pretty hefty set of freebies and all you have to do is register your interface or mixer to your PreSonus account.
Check out the full list:
- Ableton Live Lite
- Native Instruments Replika
- Brainworx bx_rockrack V3
- Cherry Audio Voltage Modular Nucleus
- KV331 Audio Synthmaster Player
- UVI Model D
- SPL Attacker Plus
- UJAM Virtual Drummer 2 “Phat”
- Neutron Elements
- StudioLinked Trophies
- Mäag Audio EQ2
- Lexicon’s MPX-i Reverb
- Klanghelm SDRR2tube
- Output Movement
- The Brainworx bx_opto compressor
- Arturia’s Analog Lab Lite 3
Depending on your budget, you can go for a lighter version of Studio One and then upgrade to Professional for a discount later on. Thanks to PreSonus Sphere, they’ve made their software more accessible than ever – with their entire library available for a low-cost monthly or yearly subscription. On top of that, you’ve also got access to 30GB of online storage (upgradable to 100GB), a thriving creative hub, free upgrades, exclusive promotions and a host of extras.
All in all, you can’t go wrong with anything made by PreSonus. They’re a company that cares about the quality and design of everything they create, whilst keeping it an affordable price – that’s why they’re used by everyone from budding home-studio producers to leading industry professionals.