Archive for the ‘Interfaces’ Category

PreSonus Delivers Complete Mobile Recording Solutions for Mac, Windows, and iPad

July 17, 2014 Leave a comment

Baton Rouge, Louisiana, July 2014… 


PreSonus is excited to announce the USB 2.0 bus-powered AudioBox™ iOne audio interface and AudioBox iTwo audio/MIDI interface for Mac®, Windows®, and Apple iPad®. These next-generation mobile interfaces include PreSonus’ easy-to-use Studio One® Artist DAW for Mac and Windows, new Capture™ Duo recording software for iPad, and a Nimbit® Free account for online direct-to-fan distribution of music, merchandise, and more. With Capture Duo or Capture for iPad and an AudioBox iOne or iTwo, you can record with an iPad, then wirelessly transfer your recordings directly to Studio One Artist. The result is an integrated, end-to-end, mobile solution that includes everything needed to record, edit, mix, and share music anytime and anywhere.  
The AudioBox iOne sports one instrument input and one mic input, while AudioBox iTwo offers two combo mic and switchable line/instrument inputs. Both feature high-performance Class A mic preamplifiers with phantom power and 24-bit, up to 96 kHz converters with 105 dB of dynamic range. The DACs feed balanced ¼-inch, line-level outputs and a loud, clear headphone output with independent level control. The AudioBox iTwo also includes MIDI In and Out. Each interface has an internal analog mixer with zero-latency monitoring, enabling you to monitor recorded tracks and overdubs without audible delay.


Small, lightweight, and USB bus-powered, the AudioBox iOne and iTwo can sit on a tabletop or fit in the pocket of a backpack or laptop bag. They’re built to travel, with a metal chassis and knobs and jacks secured directly to the enclosure to reduce strain on the internal circuit board.
Both interfaces work with any recording software that supports Core Audio (Mac) or ASIO (Windows).
Introducing Capture Duo and Capture for iPad
Capture™ Duo two-track recording software for iPad, free from the Apple App Store, is based on PreSonus’ Capture live-recording software for StudioLive mixers. Capture Duo lets you record and play two tracks with 24-bit, 96 kHz fidelity and includes basic mixing and editing as well as an integrated metronome.
PreSonus also offers Capture for iPad, which can record up to 32 tracks with the same features and 24-bit, 96 kHz fidelity. Capture for iPad is available from the Apple App Store for an expected price of $9.99.
For more information please visit


ESI MAYA44 XTe review

July 29, 2012 8 comments

Wazzup Dawfreaks.
Hope everything is great.
ESI sent me the updated version of their classic Maya44, The new version goes by the name MAYA44 XTe and is a PCIe audio interface.
Before I go on I want to thank ESI for letting me do this review.



About ESI

ESI products are manufactured and distributed worldwide by ESI Audiotechnik GmbH, located in Leonberg, Germany. The company has been setup in 2006 as the new worldwide ESI headquarter in partnership with RIDI multimedia GmbH (the ESI distributor in Germany). Our products are developed and produced at various locations around the globe including several locations in Germany.

ESI has been making professional audio products for over a decade now. Today, ESI is one of the leading vendors for professional and semi-professional audio equipment worldwide. Our ESI branded and various OEM products developed by us are well known and used daily by hundreds of thousands of customers everywhere in the world and produced and brought to market by ESI Audiotechnik GmbH.        Source





  • 24-bit / 96 kHz 102dB(a) A/D converter and 24-bit / 96 kHz 108dB(a) D/A converter
  • 4 simultaneous input and 4 simultaneous output channels
  • microphone preamp with +48V phantom power
  • Hi-Z instrument input to directly input guitar signals
  • simultaneous full-duplex recording and playback
  • S/PDIF optical output, S/PDIF optical input
  • headphone output
  • PCIe x1 interface card, works in x1 and any other PCIe slot
  • full DirectWIRE support
  • low-latency EWDM driver: MME, WDM, DirectSound and ASIO 2.0 support,
        plus CoreAudio
  • compatible with Microsoft Windows XP, Vista 32-bit, Vista 64-bit, 7 32-bit, 7 64-bit and
         Mac OS X
  • bundled with Cubase LE 5 from Steinberg


box frontbox back

Box open
The MAYA44 XTE Is shipped in a nice white booklet box.

Inside the box we find the MAYA44 XTe, Manual, Installation CD and Cubase LE 6 CD.

card back
Connections from left to right. Line in 2/MIC, Line in 1 HI-Z, Line Out / Headphone 1/2 and 3/4, Optical in and Optical out.

First impression
The first impresson of the MAYA44 XTe was good, the only thing I would have loved was some sort of cable bundle, since there might be costumers who start from scratch and since the MAYA44 XTe handles all connections from the back of your PC it can be a pain to crawl behind the pc when you need to connect something.

Installing the MAYA44 XTe in your PC is a basic procedure and can be done by anyone as long as you are careful, The driver does not come with a self installer but if you follow the manual or watch this movie its not a problem.

Included Software bundle
Cubase LE6 from Steinberg, LFX 1310 multi FX effect plugin from Luxonix, Tassman ESI from AAS, the ESI Bovbjerg Piano, the ESI Atti-Tube bass guitar amp simulator, the ESI FX pack with 7 different effect processors, the Studio Devil BVC guitar amplifier from Gallo Engineering and a few other third party plugins.

The MAYA44 XTe


From the main section of the MAYA44XTe control mixer we can tell that ESI understands the needs for connectivity, Input 1/2 can act as Line in, MIC in with +48v phantom power or be set to the digital input. Line 3/4 can act as a line in or if set to guitar it activates the HI-Z instrument input. The outputs 1/2 and 3/4 can act as both headphones and line out headphones, you can chose to have both outputs play the same channel or act as separate channels if you should need to.


Under Config we can set the latency from 48 Samples to 1024, a max buffer of 1024 is maybe a low max setting I would have prefered a 2048 max buffer as this is a setting I prefere to use during large projects. PreSonus Studio One v2 reported a extreme low latency of 1.09ms on both in and out at 48 samples.

DirectWIRE digital virtual wiring technology, developed by ESI, routes audio streams
internally within applications using standard audio drivers such as WDM, ASIO and MME, even
when they are running at the same time.  Source


The first test I did is to se how well the MAYA44 XTe handles a advanced project in PreSonus Studio One v2. The demo song  Da Guv’nah by Phat Hat is included with PreSonus Studio One and is a perfect song to test playback stability on the MAYA44 XTe as it has 20+ audio and instrument tracks loaded with FX plugins. During this test I stop and start the song and jump between sections to se if I can find any unwanted behavior’s.

The MAYA44 XTe handles the Demo very well the only thing I noticed was a small cluster after I stop playback, this is a common issue when using a mid to hi end Graphic card.
I decided to se what happens if I swap to a DAW recommended PNY NVS 300, And as I thought the cluster sound was gone.

The next step was to test the inputs, and the over all sound quality of the MAYA44 XTe is impressive. the built in +48v phantom power works very well but the thing that stands out the most is the HI-Z input! I had a couple of friends come over with their guitars to test it out the MAYA44 XTe HI-Z input with IK multimedia Amplitube 3, the results was great and No matter if it was my Ibanez with Dimarzio Tone Zone / Air Norton , Gibson Les Paul or ESP with Active pickups the MAYA44 XTe HI-Z handled it flawlessly.

The MAYA44 Xte driver is stable, but you have to close all software when changing Latency settings and that can be a real PITA.


The MAYA44 XTe is a god entry / semi PRO PCIe Interface, I like the way each input can handle different sources with the onboard +48v phantom power and HI-Z.
When buying a interface you have to look at your needs, if all you do is record one tracks this card will work great, but you might have to get a external mixer to make life easier for you if you want to be able to easily connect your gear to it, another thing some might se as a downside is that volume control for Headphones and Speakrs are done from the control Software. There is one category of musicians that I belive will love the Maya44 XTe to and that is the once into Instrumental guitar kind of music like Steve Vai / Joe Satriani.
The MAYA44 XTe runs stable at low latency and has a great sounding HI-Z input, so you will get a great guitar tone. The downside with the MAYA44 XTe as with all PCI/PCIe soundcards / interfaces is that it can get interference from other hardware specially higher end Gaming graphic cards. The MAYA44 XTe can be found at Amazon for £110.53 / $139.00, This is a decent price when you look at the bundled software and connectivity.


  • Low latency
  • stable drivers
  • Flexible connections
  • Great sounding HI-Z input
  • Onboard +48v phantom power
  • Nice price


  • No cables included
  • Can be sensitive to high end graphic cards.

The Verdict
”The MAYA44 XTe is a god entry / semi PRO PCIe Interface, I like the way each input can handle different sources with the onboard +48v phantom power and HI-Z.”

I would once again like to thank ESI for letting me do this review.

and to my readers…

Thank you!!!!

PreSonus – AudioBox 22VSL

February 27, 2012 21 comments

Wazzup Dawfreaks.
I am back and this time I have the pleasure to give you my review of the brand new Interface AudioBox 22VSL from PreSonus.


Technical Information.
The AudioBox 22VSL is the smallest version in the brand new AudioBox VSL series of USB 2.0 interfaces from PreSonus with a price around $199.95 US and 195 Euro.

The AudioBox 22VSL is compatible with both Windows and MAC and delivers support for  ASIO, Core Audio, Direct Sound (In Windows XP), Windows Audio Session API (In Windows Vista and Windows 7).

The AudioBox 22VSL is equipped with Class A XMAX mic preamps, known from the StudioLive mixers and has 24-bit, 96 kHz converters with 114 dB dynamic range and LED clip indicator for each channel.

The AudioBox 22VSL features the new VSL mixer software that holds processing features of Compressor, EQ and Gate as well as Reverb and Delay effects for monitoring purpose.

AudioBox 22VSL in/out specs

Inside the box

      As I open the nice looking box (see image above) I find that PreSonus has packed everything up nicely and everything needed to get the AudioBox 22VSl connected and letting you start your music creation is in the package, included with the  AudioBox 22VSL is

Studio One Artist


The next image will show all that was included in the box.


The AudioBox 22VSL
The AudioBox 22VSL has borrowed the looks from its older brother AudioBox USB, The blue steel case feels solid and the Interface is perfect in size.
The power led has been given a blue shine instead of the old red.

The front of the AudioBox 22VSL

Looking at the front we first find the two combo XLR / ¼” mic/instrument inputs, after that we find the 48V Phantom power switch (Push button).

The first two lower knobs are the Gain knobs for channel 1 and 2, that has a range of -15 dB to +65 dB.

On the right side of then we find the mixer knob that control the balance between input and playback signal, if you use the VSL software this knob should be set to VSL as the software handles this balance instead.

The two top knobs handles the Main and Headphone output levels.

The back of the AudioBox 22VSL

The back of the AudioBox 22VSL holds the USB 2.0 connector, MIDI in and out, the two balanced ¼” main (L/R) line outputs and the stereo ¼” headphone output.

Installing the AudioBox 22VSL drivers and software is straight forward, since I already have the PreSonus Studio One V2 Professional (check out the review here ) I did not need any further installation but I reckon installing everything would be a 20 min job and then you are ready to start creating music.

The AudioBox 22VSL is built with quality, the size is perfect and the hardware is top class.
The only thing I do not like with the layout is that the Headphone jack is placed on the back.
The two mic / instrument inputs are amazing, The XMAX mic preamp worked flawless with my Solaris condenser microphone, and the instrument input handled my Yamaha electric acoustic guitar, and my Ibanez RG 420 electric guitar perfect.
The sound is crisp clear and totally buzz hum and noise free with perfect results, even when I hooked up my V-AMP 3 to the AudioBox 22VSL and let it pre-process the sound a bit I was amazed with the results.

The VSL mixer
VSL mix 1

The big advantage with the AudioBox VSL series of Audio Interfaces is the VSL mixer software, it not only controls everything it also comes with the processing effects EQ, Compressor and Gate.

But to take things further PreSonus also added two FX channels that will let you ad Reverb and Delay as monitoring effect, this is very useful when you want to have a more finished sound in your headphones when recording something like vocals.
In the VSL mixer software we have on the lower section first two channel strips for Input 1 and input 2, then comes the DAW channels 1 and 2 and is the output channel from your DAW software. Next We can see the FX channel A and B that handles the Reverb and Delay effects, and last is the Main output channel.

Furthest to the right we find a browser, here you can load predefined presets for the channel strips as well as different FX modes and even complete setups for the whole VSL mixer.
I want to point out that you can easily save your own settings and rename any setting in all three tabs of the browser.
Note that all channel strips has Gate, Compressor and EQ that can be turned on and off.

There are two more features I want to point out!
If you look at the top of input 1 and 2 as well as DAW1 and Daw2 you can se that we have
HI PASS and above that we find phase that is a phase reverse toggle.

On the IN2 channel  post is highlighted, This feature allows us to toggle the channel effects to process the audio file so we get a recorded audio that has been pre-processed by the VSL effects, Note that if you have any Input Channels sent to the FX buses, these effects cannot be recorded in your DAW.

Having the VSL is great, ether to just monitor your audio with effects or to pre-process the audio with EQ, Gate, Compressor, or you can do both.
The THE FX A and FX B allows us to get in touch with the finished sound or to get what you would have in the studios effects in your vocal when recording.
But that’s not it..
No matter the what buffer settings you use and what latency you have in DAW, you will still have near zero latency on the inputs when using the VSL mixer´s effects.
The big advantage with the VSL mixer is that it can be used to save up resources by using the Post feature to pre process the audio when recording in your DAW.

A first look at the PreSonus AudioBox 22VSL would probably make you think just another USB 2.0 Audio Interface, but one thing I have learned is to really look into an interface and its features before deciding if its for me or not.
The AudioBox 22VSL has the look of its older brother AudioBox USB , But that is not a bad choice made by PreSonus.
The  Build quality of the AudioBox 22VSL its FANTASTIC, This little box can handle allot of beating and that’s always nice if you are using it with your portable PC/MAC.
The control knobs feel very nice and even though the space is limited between the knobs they are easily turned.
The Preamps are first class, as I mentioned before they work perfect with anything I tested on them.
The only bad thing I found with the AudioBox 22VSL is the Headphone jack placement.
I swap headphones allot and it’s a pain when the jack is in the back of the interface.

The software bundle with the AudioBox 22VSL is great, you will have a good start point and will be doing music in less then an hour after you open the box.
The VSL mixer is awesome, and will be a life and timesaver for many who has it in the feature.
To be able to pre-process the sound or just to get a good monitoring effect when recording is ace, but the real strength to me is the the ability to pre-process the audio.
Just look at recording vocals, you use the VSL the get a perfect start point for your mix and save that setting to the VSL software.
Now every time you want to record vocals you can load that setting and your vocal audio file will have a nice start point for when its time to mix.

I am very impressed with the AudioBox 22VSL, PreSonus clearly know how to make great products and adding nice usable features at the right price.
I also want to add that during these three Months I have had the AudioBox 22VSL running with windows 7 64 bit, the driver has not once failed on me or the computer.


  • Great build quality
  • First class preamps.
  • Easy to use
  • Great price
  • The VSL mixer
  • Stable drivers


  • NONE


I would like to thank PreSonus and Luthman for making this review reality.

And to all my readers … THANK YOU

AVID MBOX 3 MINI / Pro tools LE 8

November 21, 2010 24 comments

Whazuup Dawfreaks…
It´ts time for my second Review today..
The story is that since returning to windows lets say i have been a bit unlucky.. my old Focusrite saffire LE called the quits on me so i needed to get me a new one fast.
I took a trip down to 4sound in Karlstad and after a 30 min in the store i decided on the MBOX 3 MINI.
Since im writing this review 2 weeks after i got it i did not cover a full unboxing photo session but here we go.

The Box ...The Pro tools Mbox 3 mini package looks realy awsome, you get the feel that even though this is the smalest version of the MBOX 3 series it is quality.

Showing the Mbox 3 mini and installation dvd.Inside the box is a Installation guide, the MBOX 3 MINI , USB cable and the Installation DVDs.

The Mbox 3 mini front and back Panel.
(I Borrowed this image from


Total # Of Channels
2 x In, 2 x Out (Simultaneous)
Mic Preamps
Direct Inputs
2 x Instrument DIs
Phantom Power
Yes, 48V
Max Resolution
1 x XLR/TRS Mic/Line Combo Input
2 x 1/4″ Instrument Inputs (1 DI, 1 DI/Line)
2 x Balanced 1/4″ Monitor Outputs
1 x 1/4″ Stereo Headphone Jack
1 x USB 1.1 Port
USB Bus Power
ASIO, Core Audio, WDM, MME, and Multi-Client Drivers
Dimensions (WxDxH)
6.73 x 6.22 x 2.28″ (17.1 x 15.8 x 5.8cm)
1.98 lbs (0.9kg)

One of the first thing i noticed when i picked up the Mbox 3 mini is how well built the unit is, steel cover and really sweet knobs gives a professional feeling to the Mbox 3 mini.
There is realy nothing to complain about here at all.

Installing the software took a while but it was not a to hard process even though i must say the installation guide was not much of a help .
After the installation is complete comes  the first to me fail,
updating anything from AVID is seriously to problematic.
finding the driver for the mbox3 mini might not been to hard.
But pro tools it self does not send you directly to the latest update….
It actualy took me 3 days to know that there was something called 8.0.4cs2
and i found that in the user forums.
Seriously there should be dedicated well informative sections on the AVID homepage for this.
And another thing! Customers that buy ANY Mbox3 atleast from the end of  November and so one should not have to pay that much for the Pro tools 9.
Compare the priceing to upgrade PT8 LE to Pro tools 9 with say Cakewalk sonar. where if you buy sonar 8.5 you get x1 for free.
I Feel AVID could have done a bit more on the upgrade price for people who buy Their hardware specially after they took away hardware requirements in pro tools 9.

next up..

I have tested and used most of the common DAWs out there and Pro tools is by far the slowest to boot up,
I do not know if this has to do with windows 7 (64bit)  but 2 min to start up an application in the year 2010 is way to high.

Pro Tools LE 8
When it comes down to a DAW
Pro Tools is a industries standard and there are some verry nice things in here.
The workflow is really nice and it did not take me long to get rolling in Pro Tools.

Here is a overview of how the edit window look.

The over all feeling of Pro Tools for a new user is really nice, but then if you know your ways around in one sequencer  u wont have trouble getting around in any of them.

Looking at the Plugin section i have to say you have most you need, and there is some very good presets to use as start points  for people who still are learning how to process when mixing.
Pro Tools and Cubase have 1 thing in common.
They both miss out on a good sampler, And after 1.5 years in Logic i wish more would give the customers something like EXS24.
looking at the CPU usage specially when using Instruments there is still allot i think they can do.
using Instruments in Pro Tools on my i7 930 will very fast start eating cpu, compared to lets say logic and cubase RTAS instruments are heavy on the CPU.
But over all Pro Tools from my 2 weeks of using this program, is a well good program and the AUDIO engine is one by far the best iv heard.

Now back to the MBOX3 Mini.

Using the MBOX with Pro tools is realy easy and fun..
The Mix knob works wonderfull and the preamps are just awsome
there is nothing i can complain about at all, the MBOX 3 MINI has all inputs and outputs i need and more.
The sound quality is nothing more then awesome!
And the complete package $329.00, for an awesome sound card and Pro Tools LE is not bad at start,
BUT if you want the next gen of Pro Tools you also have to ad $249.00 to the price and i feel that is a bit to much specialy for new customers.

Mbox 3 mini  Pros and cons.

+ Well built
+ Awesome preamp´s and hardware.
+ The mix knob!!!!!!!
– For what i do.. ther is NO cons what so ever..

Pro Tools LE 8 Pros and cons.

+Very nice plugins.
+ Loads of presets.
+ The audio Engine.

– Very long boot up time.
– RTAS instruments takes allot of CPU compared to other sequencers
– for people that buy the MBOX 3 family now after the v9 of Pro tools is out $249.00 for the upgrade  is overpriced

The MBOX 3 is a true pleasure to work with, the sound quality is freaking sweet and the build quality is outstanding.
i cant do anything but to give the MBOX 3 mini 5/5 Daw poins

Seing that Pro Tools 9 has arrived, i cant se the point in the price tag on upgrading from  Pro Tools 8, when u buy it NOW.
There has to be something AVID can do to customers who like me bought this product now, Just look at cakewalk !!
Pro tools 8 is realy sweet to work with but on my system when i star using Instruments i tend to very fast get cpu warnings and that feels weird since i have a I7 930 CPU
But the workflow is realy nice and i wish i could have had version 9 from the start since im saving up for a mac pro i feel that pro tools 9 sadly have to wait (unless AVID want me to wright a huge review on Pro tools 9).
The AVID homepage needs better sections for each product, its not easy to find updates to the Pro Tools / Mbox u use.
So all in all i will give Pro tools 8 LE 3/5 Daw points.

Over all this package is a good package but as i stated the lack of a sampler, and the upgrade price for customers who buy the MBOX 3 series after the Pro Tools 9 release brings down the Daw points.
The long start up times and the huge CPU usage of RTAS instruments is not fun at all
I hope this is somewhat fixed in Pro Tools 9.

Thanks for tuning in
// Dawfreak