Well, I think lots of my readers have been a little bit lucky for Christmas, as usual we saw loads of smartphones and useful/less miscellaneous gadgets under the tree. I’ve been lucky as well, I received as a gift the brand new flagship midrange soundcard from PreSonus that I’m going to review in this post.
So if you follow me on Twitter (or if you know me IRL), you may certainly know that I make music, and more precisely with Ableton Live. When you’re begging music production, you start to make simple projects with a few VSTs and some loops, that’s a pretty basic workflow and your laptop’s integrated soundcard can handle this without any trouble, it works fine and you can get a quite low latency by using Asio4All drivers… But when your productions becomes more serious and complex, when you start to use mastering plugins, pretty heavy synths as the Sylenth or the Nexus², your integrated chipset cannot handle your projects anymore so crackles and noise apears, which makes you unable to work properly.
And here comes this external soundcard, the Audiobox USB from PreSonus. Its goal is to basically replace your computer’s integrated chipset, which isn’t supposed to be used for music production (managing pretty quickly inputs, outputs and audio decoding). In other words, it allows you to work on significantly heavier projects, to use many iZotope Alloy, an Ozone on your master, Sylenth or Massive layers and much more… It enables you to work on whatever you want without any crackle. Personally, I haven’t seen the limits of this soundcard yet, no crackles, no noise, and anyway I think my laptop would burn first!
So if you’ve got a computer which has problems running your projects, before buying a new one you better try this kind of soundcards, you’ll save lots of money and you won’t be disappointed by the result… The other good point about this card is that it allows you to get rid of the enormous quantity of noise present on your chipset’s main output -I’m talking about HP’s and Packard-Bell’s laptops for example- when you plug your charger in. The Audiobox USB’s converters are great and outputs a clear crystal sound compared to my DV9000′s jack plug.
About this card’s features, this card has got 2 XLR inputs on the front panel with a 48V Phantom power supply to connect a microphone which needs to be powered this way, a USB plug obviously to connect it to your computer, a jack 6.35 stereo headphones output (you should buy this kind of converters to allow you connecting standard headphones into this plug), two 6.35 left and right jack monitoring outputs and finally two Midi connectors (in & out). On the front panel there are some knobs to set inputs volume, the balance between the 0-latency loopback and the computer’s sound, monitoring output volume and headphones output volume as well. In other words, this soundcard is great and quite cheap ($135 is the average price, but it depends of the reseller) regarding the features it offers.
So if you guys are looking for a great pro soundcard at a reasonable price, don’t hesitate a moment. I can say that I am completely satisfied, for sure.