PreSonus has raised the bar high for audio interfaces with the introduction of the AudioBox 22VSL, AudioBox 44VSL, and AudioBox 1818VSL. For the first time, you can get a compact, rack-mountable USB 2.0 interface with tightly integrated software that provides the dynamics processing and EQ of a StudioLive™-series mixer with latency so low that you can record and monitor with effects in real time.
All three AudioBox VSL-series interfaces offer the same high-end audio quality you expect from PreSonus, thanks to high-headroom, Class A XMAX™ preamps with 48V phantom power; 24-bit, 96 kHz converters with 114 dB dynamic range; and PreSonus’ famously loud (150 mW), clean, clear headphone output. All three models also provide MIDI I/O and zero-latency monitor mixing.
But the big news is that these three bargain-priced interfaces deliver reverb and delay effects with dedicated effects buses and the same Fat Channel compression, limiting, 3-band semi-parametric EQ, and high-pass filter found in the new StudioLive 16.0.2 mixer—except that the processing is done on your computer, using bundled PreSonus Virtual StudioLive (VSL) software, with extremely low latency. As a result, you can monitor while recording with real-time effects. VSL also provides complete editor/librarian functions, and over 50 professionally programmed Fat Channel processor presets are included for enhancing instruments and vocals.
Like all PreSonus interfaces, the new AudioBox VSL-series units ship with PreSonus Studio One™ Artist DAW (Mac®/Windows®) and support Core Audio and ASIO, so they work with virtually any recording software.
The first of these interfaces to hit the market will be the compact, rugged, 2-in, 2-out AudioBox 22VSL. Think of the AudioBox 22VSL as a 2×2 StudioLive mixer jammed into a third of a rackspace! This mighty mite is bus-powered, offers two combo mic/instrument inputs and two balanced L/R main outputs, and is housed in a steel case, so it can easily withstand the rigors of the road. And thanks to the included VSL software, it provides two stereo effects buses with reverb and delay and Fat Channel dynamics processors, EQ, and high pass filter on both inputs and both DAW returns. The AudioBox 22VSL is expected to be available in August 2011 with an anticipated street price of $199.
A great choice for small bands and home recording, the 4-in, 4-out AudioBox 44VSL offers the same audio quality and basic features as the AudioBox 22VSL and more. Using the included VSL software, the AudioBox 44VSL gives you an 8×4 software mixer with low-latency, Fat Channel processing for each analog input and DAW return, plus two stereo effects buses with reverb and delay. The ½U rack-mount interface offers two mic/line inputs, two mic/instrument inputs, two balanced main L/R outputs, and four additional balanced line outputs. The AudioBox 44VSL is expected to ship in September 2011 with an anticipated street price of $299.
And now, sound the trumpet flourishes! The new AudioBox 1818VSL is poised to become the new king of USB interfaces! This amazing professional interface has all of the audio features, processing, and effects found in its two smaller siblings, but it goes much further. It sports 2 mic/instrument inputs and 6 mic/line inputs, all with XMAX preamps; 8-channel ADAT I/O (4 channels at 88.1 or 96 kHz); stereo S/PDIF I/O; MIDI I/O; and word-clock output. Best of all, with the included VSL software, the AudioBox 1818VSL provides a computer-based 26 x 18 (22×14 at 88.1 or 96 kHz), ultra-low latency mixer with two stereo effects buses for the reverb and delay plus the Fat Channel processing from the StudioLive 16.0.2. Think of it as a rack-mount StudioLive 18.0.2 mixer—in fact, you can use the 1818VSL as an onstage mixer, controlled from your laptop, and can send all those great Fat Channel effects directly into your P.A., while recording.
The AudioBox 1818VSL is expected to ship in September 2011, with an anticipated street price of $499. We suggest you read that price again and consider what you get for this relatively modest sum. Our financial team read the price several times, too, but we bribed them with Cajun food until they approved it.
Please note that these new AudioBox VSL-series interfaces do not replace the current AudioBox USB, which remains an important part of the PreSonus line.