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PreSonus FireStudio Firewire Interface

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Product Description

The PreSonus FireStudio is the next generation in FireWire recording systems from PreSonus. Based on the award-winning Firepod, the FireStudio combines superior analog circuit design with new advanced platform technology to deliver enhanced performance for music recording and creation.

The FireStudio is a 26x26 24-bit/96k professional recording system combining eight XMAX Class A PreSonus microphone preamplifiers, up to sixteen channels of optical ADAT input / output, S/PDIF and MIDI input / output, along with the Control Console - a 36x36x18 zero latency mixer/router.

The FireStudio is bundled with PreSonus Studio One Artist, our groundbreaking music creation program, and over 4 GB of virtual instruments, plug-ins, loops, and samples to get you started making music immediately.

8 XMAX Class A Preamplifiers

The FireStudio includes eight custom-designed high-voltage, discrete, XMAX Class A microphone preamplifiers for all types of microphones. Many other companies offering recording interfaces add the cheapest possible microphone preamplifier as an afterthought to the interface. PreSonus knows that the preamplifier is a key component in the sonic quality of a recording. The job of a microphone preamplifier is to boost microphone level signals to line level so that the signal can be converted from analog to digital. This mic to line boost is generally a preamplification of over 400 times the voltage of the original mic level signal. This preamplification stage is one of the most important stages that the signal will go through before converted to digital, and is why a high performance preamplifier is important to achieving great results. A cheap "off the shelf op-amp" type mic preamp that is found in most interfaces translates into thin, noisy and harsh results.

All XMAX preamplifiers are built with the same three elements:

High Voltage - The XMAX preamplifier runs on power rails of 30V. Most off the shelf op amp based designs run on power rails of 10V to 18V. Higher voltage power rails deliver more headroom, deeper lows, smoother highs and an overall fuller sound.

Discrete - No op amps. Only transistors, resistors and capacitors. Op amps add noise, coloration and harshness to a signal. Discrete designs deliver ultra low noise and transparency.

Class A - When a circuit is running in Class A mode the circuit is always in an "on" state operating at its optimal voltage requirements. Class A mode has zero crossover distortion and delivers purer, clearer and more musical sonics than class A/B designs which are found in most op-amp circuits.

The net result of the XMAX preamp design is high headroom, low noise, wide dynamic range and wide frequency range, and most importantly, musicality and transparency - smooth highs, solid deep lows, and everything in between.

Digital Converters and JetPLL Sync

The FireStudio touts A/D/A converters with a dynamic range of over 114dB for unbelievable clarity as well as synchronization using patented JetPLL™ jitter reduction technology. JetPLL™ incorporates noise shaping to virtually remove all audio band jitter. JetPLL™ ensures the highest converter performance possible, resulting in better stereo separation and clearer more transparent audio. JetPLL™ delivers ultra-fast locking to any digital format through a wide range of frequencies and is extremely robust and tolerant of wide variations in clock frequencies. JetPLL™ ensures near perfect clock performance when networking audio devices, thus creating the most stable and robust synchronization to the computer.

Ins and Outs

The FireStudio is loaded with I/O for an extremely flexible and expandable recording system. The FireStudio starts with eight Class A custom-designed PreSonus microphone preamplifiers. You can add additional preamplifiers or analog inputs via the dual optical light pipe ports on the rear panel. You add up to two DigiMax FS, for a total of twenty-four microphone preamplifiers all in only three rack spaces! Additionally word/clock I/O for ultra tight synchronization, MIDI I/O and SPDIF I/O are on the FireStudio for further expandability.

Universal Control

All members of the FireStudio family of interfaces, including the StudioLive 16.4.2 mixer, come bundled with Universal Control software. Universal Control is a powerful, flexible, and easy to use control-panel application that allows you to daisy-chain to up to 4 FireStudio-family devices for a maximum of up to 52 inputs and outputs.

Universal Control consists of the Launch window and the Device window. In the Launch window, you can set the sample rate, clock source, safe mode, buffer size (PC only), and WDM routing (PC only) for all connected FireStudio-series interfaces. Each device is listed at the bottom of the window, along with Device Window buttons that open each interface’s Device window.

The Device window provides level and routing controls for each FireStudio-series interface’s internal mixer, enabling you to set up zero-latency monitor mixes. Input and output metering have been optimized for ultra-fast screen display and minimum CPU usage, and you can give each interface a custom name. You can use any device in the chain as the master clock source, or you can slave the entire chain to an external digital device using any of the available digital inputs in the chain.


  • High-speed FireWire (IEEE 1394) audio interface
  • 24-bit resolution, up to 96K sampling rate
  • 26 simultaneous inputs and outputs
  • 8 Class A microphone preamps w/ trim control
  • 8 analog line Inputs, 2 Instrument Inputs
  • 16 channels of optical ADAT I/O (8 ch. via 96k dual SMUX)
  • DICE II Chipset - ultra efficient data transfer
  • JetPLL™ – jitter elimination technology
  • Zero latency DSP full-matrix mixer/router
  • Mac and Windows compatible
  • FREE PreSonus Studio One Artist recording and production software

Studio One Artist—Plus Gigabytes of Creative Resources

The FireStudio Project is bundled with an exceptional software package, featuring PreSonus Studio One Artist DAW, the amazing new DAW software for Mac OS X and Windows XP and Vista that makes producing high-quality projects easier than ever before. As part of the Studio One Artist package, you get 20 new PreSonus Native Effects plug-ins and virtual instruments and a generous bundle of third-party loops, software, and instrument sounds.

Compare Studio One Artist and bundled extras to what comes with competing mobile interfaces:

  • All-meat, no-bloat, music-creation software with an intuitive, practical, single-window interface
  • Unlimited tracks, insert effects, sends, virtual instruments, buses, and effects channels
  • Powerful drag-and-drop functionality
  • Content browser with convenient sort options and preview player
  • Full-featured, flexible automation
  • Powerful real-time auto/manual time-stretching and resampling engine
  • Control Link™ (advanced MIDI mapping made easy)
  • Twenty 32-bit Native Sound™ plug-ins, including reverbs, amp modeling, and EQ
  • Four new virtual instruments, including a sampler and an analog-type subtractive synth
  • Ability to control the software mixer in any FireStudio-series interface to create zero-latency cue mixes.
  • Gigabytes of third-party resources, including Native Instruments™ Kore™ Player with custom SoundPack (150 instruments), Native Instruments™ Guitar Rig LE, Toontrack™ EZDrummer Lite, and over 1.4 GB of loops!

Microphone Preamp (XLR Balanced)

Frequency Response (+0,- 0.5dB) 20Hz to 50KHz Frequency Response (+0/-3.0 dB) 20Hz to 150KHz Input Impedance 1600 Ohm THD+N (unwtd, 1KHz @ +4dBu Output, Unity Gain) <0.003% EIN (unwtd, 55dB Gain, 150 Ohm Input, 20Hz to 22KHz) -126dBu S/N Ratio (Unity Gain, unwtd, Ref. = +4dBu, 20Hz to 22KHz) >101dB Common Mode Rejection Ratio (1KHz, 55dB Gain) >55dB Gain Control Range (+/-1dB) -6dB to 55dB Maximum Input Level (Unity Gain, 1KHz @ 0.5% THD+N) +17dBu Phantom Power (+/- 2VDC) +48VDC


Instrument Input (1/4” TRS, Preamps 1 & 2)

Input Impedance 1 Mega Ohm


Line Inputs (1/4” TRS, Preamps 3 to 8)

All measurements Line Input to Direct Output
Frequency Response (+0,- 0.5dB) 20Hz to 50KHz
Frequency Response (+0/-3.0 dB) 20Hz to 150KHz
Input Impedance (Balanced) 10 KOhm
THD+N (unwtd, 1KHz @ +4dBu Output, Unity Gain) < 0.003%
S/N Ratio (Unity Gain, unwtd, Ref. = +4dBu, 20Hz to 22KHz) >101dB
Gain Control Range (+/-1dB) -9dB to +12dB
Maximum Input Level (Unity Gain, 1KHz @ 0.5% THD+N) +23dBu


Insert Jacks (1/4” TRS)

Send Output Impedance (Unbalanced, Ring) 51 Ohm
Return Input Impedance(Unbalanced, Tip) 10KOhm


Direct Outputs/DAC Outputs (1/4” TRS)

Output Impedance (Impedance Balanced) 51Ohm


Signal Level LEDs

Clip (+/- 0.5dBu) +18dBu


Digital Audio

ADC Dynamic Range (Awtd, 48KHz Sample Rate) 107dB
DAC Dynamic Range (Awtd, 48KHz Sample Rate) 110dB
Bit Depth 24
Reference Level for 0dBFS +18dBu
Digital Audio Output (2-Toslink™ Connectors, 8 channels) ADAT/SMUX
Digital Audio Input (2-Toslink™ Connectors, 8 channels) ADAT/SMUX
Internal Sample Frequency Selections (KHz) 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96
External Sample Frequency Inputs BNC, ADAT (SMUX),SPDIF
BNC Word Clock Output Level (75 Ohm load) 4.5V
BNC Word Clock Input Level Range 3.0 to 5.5V



Input Voltage Range 18 to 30VDC
Power Requirements (Continuous) 24W
DC Input Connector Type 5.5mm OD/2.1mm ID Barrel, Center Positive
External Switching Power Supply 90-230VAC/35W



Jitter <20ps RMS, 20Hz-20kHz
Jitter Attenuation >60dB, 1ns in=>1ps out


Computer system requirements

Below are the minimum computer-system requirements for your FireStudio.


  • Windows 7, Vista, XP (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Intel Pentium 4 1.6 GHz processor or AMD Athlon 64 (Turion) (2.5 GHz or faster recommended)
  • 1 GB RAM (2 GB or more recommended)


  • Mac OS X 10.5.2 or later (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • PowerPC G4 1.25 GHz or Intel Core Solo 1.5 GHz processor (2 GHz or faster recommended)
  • 1 GB RAM (2 GB or more recommended)

Windows and Macintosh Systems

  • IEEE 1394 FireWire 400 Port
  • Internet connection recommended
  • DVD-ROM drive
  • Internal or external 7200 RPM storage drive highly recommended

See video clip above.

Check out our recording glossary for information on formats and technical terms.


Support for PreSonus hardware and software can be found at the PreSonus Forums.


Check out the Digital Audio & Computers Section in Alan Parsons' Art & Science Of Sound Recording series. A stream will cost you just 99¢.

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Customer Reviews
Excellent Gear by Billy
This is a great unit. It is really handy to be able to daisy chain them together. My band recently did a 24 track recording using 3 of them!
(Posted on 9/30/10)
Great Interface by Johnny
Simply the best
(Posted on 9/30/10)