Presonus AudioBox 44VSL
The AudioBox 44VSL is the second model in a new generation of PreSonus USB 2.0 audio/MIDI interfaces that take hardware/software integration to the logical next step.
Using your computer CPU and PreSonus Virtual StudioLive (VSL) software, AudioBox VSL-series interfaces provide reverb and delay effects and the same Fat Channel compression, limiting, semi-parametric EQ, and high-pass filter, as the PreSonus StudioLive™ 16.0.2 digital mixer—all with inaudible latency.
Furthermore, thanks to the power of VSL, the AudioBox 44VSL includes an 8x4 software mixer. As a result, with just an AudioBox 44VSL and your laptop or other computer running VSL, you can mix a studio session or a live show featuring, say, a guitar duo with vocals, a small band, a DJ rig with mixer and stereo synthesizer, or a panel discussion—all while monitoring and recording with or without real-time effects!
And you can do it simply and easily, with no hardware mixer, no outboard effects rack, and minimal wiring, thanks to the tight integration between PreSonus hardware and software.
To top it off, while the classic PreSonus AudioBox USB is a fine-sounding unit, the new AudioBox VSL series sounds even better, with 24-bit, 96 kHz recording and top-of-the-line PreSonus XMAX™ preamps. We’ll have more to say about the preamps shortly.
What’s so great about effects and processing on monitors?
Tracking without hearing effects and signal processing is like playing a video game with your eyes closed. Musicians rely on aural cues when performing, and their performance can vary depending on what they hear in their monitors.
Adding just the right amount of compression, EQ, and reverb can make a huge difference in their ability to hear themselves clearly and to experience their performance as if it occurred in a natural space rather than in the artificial sonic environment of the studio. The result is a better performance and ultimately a better recording.
Each channel and DAW return in AudioBox VSL software can be processed with the Fat Channel section, which includes a separate compressor, limiter, and downward expander that were modeled after the classic, analog PreSonus ACP88. They deliver the advantages of programmable digital processors but they sound very much like analog. You also get a high-pass filter with -6 dB/octave slope and a variable cutoff frequency (18 Hz to 1.3 kHz) and phase reverse.
The Fat Channel’s 3-band quasi-parametric EQ has a high/low Q switch on the mid band and switchable shelving on the low and high bands. Each EQ band can be individually switched on/off.
You can monitor and record with or without Fat Channel processing.
Time-based effects such as delay and reverb are delivered by two stereo effects processors, which are assigned to dedicated effects buses and come with 30 user-editable factory presets. The reverbs are so rich and detailed that you feel like you’re there. Delays are precise. Slap echo sounds like old-skool tape effects.
Overcoming the Latency Problem
You have plenty of effects plug-ins for your DAW, but processing audio with a DAW takes more time than you might think. True, we’re talking milliseconds, but it’s long enough that if you put DAW effects in your monitors, you’ll either hear the original sound slightly before the processed signal, or play a note on your instrument and have to wait a moment to hear the result of your action. Both of which are very disorienting.
Fortunately, our engineering wizards have dramatically reduced processing delay in the AudioBox VSL series. The result: dynamics processing, EQ, reverb, and effects that feel real, with no audible delay.
Record With or Without Processing
If you like what you hear, you can record with AudioBox VSL-series effects, too! These are the same high-quality StudioLive 16.0.2 Fat Channel dynamics processors and EQs that professional musicians, engineers, and producers record with every day.
The time-based effects are for monitoring only and can’t be recorded. Of course, most people add reverb and delay effects during editing and mixdown, rather than while tracking, in order to ensure that the effects on all tracks work together.
Great processors are a PreSonus tradition
We didn’t invent the first audio interface with effects. We simply did it better and for less money. Sure, some interface manufacturers that don’t normally make signal processors have added a compressor, EQ and a few effects to their interfaces.
But the AudioBox VSL series provides all that, plus a separate limiter, expander, and high-pass filter—and we’ve been making high-quality signal processors since 1995. The AudioBox VSL-series’ Virtual StudioLive (VSL)-based effects and Fat Channel processing have been extensively field-tested and proven popular by tens of thousands of StudioLive™-series mixer users, including many top professionals.
Of great importance, thanks to VSL’s drag-and-drop convenience, adding processing and creating and loading presets is easy. Pro-level processing and superior ease of use mean you’ll get better results and have more fun!
High-end sound in a portable, roadworthy interface
Compact and rugged, the AudioBox 44VSL offers two convenient front-panel mic/instrument combo inputs and two mic/instrument combo inputs, global phantom power, and a total of six line-level outputs. It sports the same high-headroom, Class A XMAX preamps as the StudioLive mixers and has 24-bit, 96 kHz converters with 114 dB dynamic range for clear, clean audio.
The AudioBox 44VSL also boasts PreSonus’ legendary 120 mW headphone output, which is loud enough to explode the oysters in a Po’-Boy sandwich. (Be careful with your level control!)
Built for the rigors of the road
PreSonus gear has a well-earned reputation for extreme roadworthiness, and the AudioBox 44VSL is no exception. It employs a heavy-duty steel case that is every bit as rugged as that of the smaller AudioBox 22VSL and original AudioBox USB.
Despite all of its controls, preamps, and I/O, somehow we managed to shoehorn the AudioBox 44VSL into a half-rackspace case that can be screw-mounted to a standard rack tray (not included).
The flexibility and power of software
VSL enables you to easily manage the processing and mixing from your Mac® or Windows® PC and provides editor/librarian functions, making it simple to create and use a library of presets. To get you started, we’ve included the same library of more than 50 Fat Channel presets that comes with StudioLive mixers. These presets were created by professional musicians and engineers and let you instantly set up dynamics processing and EQ for vocals, guitar, and much more.
Seamlessly integrated with the included Studio One® Artist DAW and VSL, the AudioBox 44VSL interface works with virtually all Mac and Windows audio-recording software. And unlike most things nowadays, it’s very easy on your budget.
So get the next-generation USB 2.0 interface that gives you real-time, low-latency effects; both mic/line and mic/instrument inputs; rock-solid construction; software mixing; and high-end audio for low-end prices: AudioBox 44VSL!