The software is loaded onto your PC automatically as part of the standard driver installation routine, along with the Firebox Control panel.
Mac users have to go to the effort of manually dragging the Mixer and Control apps off the installer CD! Incidentally, the Firebox is only compatible with Mac OS Looks great, and easy to understand. With input monitoring disabled on your host audio application, this is how the Mixer would look for zero-latency monitoring. The Firebox Mixer is quite a comprehensive level-control and routing tool, allowing you to configure the inputs before they're routed to your host audio software, and decide how the audio coming back from the software will be handled by the interface.
If you use this handy application for one thing only, it will be to remove all latency issues from recording and overdubbing. There is no 'zero latency monitoring' switch on the box itself, but by setting up the internal mixer correctly, and disabling input monitoring in your audio software, such latency as you might experience when recording and overdubbing audio is removed. Graphically, the mixer shows a lot more sophistication than you'd expect: Each input pair also has a stereo link switch: Oddly, the mute and solo buttons still operate individually.
It was strange to not see any metering in the on-screen mixer, too. Perhaps an update will fix this? The master section offers a level fader, plus global solo and mute clear switches allowing you to unmute several muted channels with one switch. Finally, a bank of switches lets you route various audio streams to the mix or headphone output. Configurations can even be saved.
In practice, being able to choose which stream can be monitored on 'phones will be very handy for on-stage musicians or DJs, allowing you to audition one track whilst another one is playing out — as well as for setting up an independent monitor mix during a recording session. Firebox Control is a strange tool in that it's not simply integrated into the mixer application. This makes up for the difference in level when you're connecting unbalanced devices with dBV outputs, and allows you to up the level while recording any quiet sources. The PC control panel also offers a sample rate switch and a comprehensive latency pop-up.
The Mac panel lacks these two latter options, though the manual does mention 'right clicking' the control panel icon to choose between three computer optimisation settings. My main mouse doesn't have a right click, and all the button combinations I tried produced no result.
This is a superb freebie: The software is capable of handling up to 48 mono tracks of audio, at the Firebox's top sampling and bit rates if desired, plus virtually unlimited MIDI tracks. The good news is that any other VST effect or instrument plug-ins that you might want to use — and don't forget that the Internet is host to dozens of freebies for both Mac and PC — can be hosted in this package. You really can buy the Firebox and not have to spend any more money, at least in terms of software. But if you do get an itchy wallet, LE will of course host commercial plug-ins as well. But, given the price of the software, that's a pretty fair complement.
You can always make the most of what's available by printing effected audio, or virtual instrument parts, to their own audio tracks. Likewise, think about bouncing tracks down if you find 48 is too restricting for you! The facilities on offer are familiarly Cubase, with all most of the editing and organisational options you might expect. All the MIDI options, including the drum and score editors, are present, as are Steinberg's excellent audio manipulation tools.
You can record stereo tracks, but one stereo track removes two tracks of audio from your total of Mixing is well specified, with great automation and bussing options, too. Even if you have experience of other sequencing platforms, LE won't feel like cut-down software. But should you get an urge to upgrade to Cubase SX with which the Firebox works splendidly , you'll be in completely familiar territory.
There will also be an option to upgrade on preferential terms. As well as using the supplied Cubase LE software check out the 'Touching Cubase ' box for a little more on this excellent freebie , I had a go using the Firebox with my usual collection of familiar software — the full version of Cubase SX on both platforms, Cakewalk's Sonar 4 on the PC, i3's DSP Quattro, my favourite audio editor on the Mac, and Propellerhead Reason 3. The results were great across the board. Those applications that could record integrated well, and I appreciated the zero-latency monitoring options offered by the Mixer application.
In all cases, I was able to record healthy numbers of audio tracks without clicks or dropouts. The Firebox Control utility, in its PC guise: The latency that becomes audible when playing virtual instruments from an external MIDI controller was more of an problem on my older Mac, where I found I had to adjust playback settings that resulted in unacceptable key-on to note sounding delays, but as I've already noted, this machine is well below PreSonus's minimum recommended spec. The same problem also arose on my PC, but to a much lesser extent, and I found I was able to achieve a good result simply by playing with settings while recording MIDI-driven virtual instrument performances.
Moving past the issue of getting audio into and out of the computer, we come to the audio performance of the Firebox, and this is impeccable. In fact, Reason had more depth and 'oomph' than I've heard with my current audio hardware. The front-panel preamps are very forgiving, with great noise performance. It didn't matter whether it was my passive bass, a stereo out from a hardware synth or a mic: The sound coming back from software is also commendable, and I was impressed by the level that the monitor and headphone outputs are capable of.
Perhaps an update will fix this? I'm have terrible trouble with Studio One, which came bundled with my Presonus box. Notebooks Speciality level out of ten: This will be on the Presonus box, not the mic. New forum posts Re:
The bit, 96kHz converters also have a clarity that's worth hearing; and as I just noted, the analogue circuitry really makes the most of the converters. Such excellent audio quality is a real bonus for a device that's so affordable. The Mac version of the Firebox Control utility. All in all, the Firebox is good value for money and some street prices I've noticed make that great value.
I can't think of much I'd fault here — the sound would be great on a much more expensive unit, and it operates at the high bit depths and sample rates many of us are working with. It offers plenty of input and output channels for home and portable applications. Most condenser mics need phantom power, and it's usually just a flick of a switch or a press of a button.
This will be on the Presonus box, not the mic. Check the levels coming out of the Presonus box.
Are they high enough to get a signal through? It's easy to forget to turn the volume up! Does your mic have an ON switch?
Some do, and it can be the last thing you think about. If you want to listen through external speakers of any kind, you need to set the output to the Presonus box. Check the recording levels in GB. If so, you're in business on the input side. On the bottom right of your GB screen, you need to choose the monitor input. I imagine your Presonus gear would be very similar. If that monitor is not turned on, you might not hear yourself at all I'm happy to be corrected on that, but it's what I've found after a few days constantly on this.
Failing all that, check your mic cable in another source if you have one. I'm have terrible trouble with Studio One, which came bundled with my Presonus box. If you can help me with that--setting up the audio in and out, I'd be most grateful.
Anyway, that's all I can think of for now. Cheers Chris.
My Presonus Firebox is not working for me! More Less.
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