Presonus Firebox

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by msb65, Mar 13, 2009.

  1. msb65 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2008
    #1
    Hi Everyone,

    I am interested in purchasing a Presonus Firebox as my first audio interface. It seems to be quite popular although I have heard some negative things about its preamps and headphone levels.

    Has anyone used this device and can make a recommendation one way or the other? Does it work well with Leopard?

    Mike
     
  2. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #2
    RE: Presonus Firebox

    Mike wrote:
    "I am interested in purchasing a Presonus Firebox as my first audio interface. It seems to be quite popular although I have heard some negative things about its preamps and headphone levels.
    Has anyone used this device and can make a recommendation one way or the other? Does it work well with Leopard?"

    I've been using a Firebox for a few years now, without problems, on both 10.3.9 and 10.4.11. I wouldn't expect any hardware issues with 10.5.x. You might have to check Presonus' site to see if the Firebox software applications will run under Leopard.

    I've no problems with the headphone output and the preamps were ok when I used them. I now use an FMR "RNP" (really nice preamp) for my mic inputs, plugged into the line inputs in the Firebox. The RNP is as nice a preamp as you'll find in its price range.

    The Firebox uses the "CORE Audio drivers" that are built into OS X - no need to install drivers, and no driver conflicts. Setting it up was one of the easiest experiences I've ever had on the Mac - about 10 minutes between unboxing it and recording test tracks using GarageBand.

    However, if I had to do it over again, I might check out a few other interfaces, as well. One that has caught my eye of late is the M-Audio "Fast Track Ultra". It's USB 2.0, however, instead of firewire-based. But it looks to be one of the better USB 2 interfaces out there (there really aren't many of them, yet). It has the advantage of having _4_ XLR inputs vis-a-vis just 2 with the Firebox. And it can be found for under $300 if you do some researching. There are video clips on YouTube of getting it up and running with GarageBand.

    One other thing to note is the bundled software that comes with any interface. I prefer Steinberg's "Cubase LE" (comes with the Firebox) over just about anything else, due to it's easy editing capabilities. But there is also a low-cost version of ProTools that works with M-Audio hardware (ProTools M-Powered).

    - John
     
  3. msb65 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2008
    #3
    John,

    I really appreciate the reply. I am new to this and am trying to learn as much as possible.

    - I am curious about how you are using the line inputs. First of all, these are the inputs on the back of the device correct? Am I right that by themselves a guitar or mic would not work well with them? However if I add a preamp for either type of device would that work? Therefore I could potentially record 4 tracks at once.
     
  4. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #4
    RE: Presonus Firebox

    RE:
    "I am curious about how you are using the line inputs. First of all, these are the inputs on the back of the device correct? Am I right that by themselves a guitar or mic would not work well with them? However if I add a preamp for either type of device would that work? Therefore I could potentially record 4 tracks at once."

    The line inputs are on the back. If you used an external standalone mic preamp, that's where the inputs from it would go.

    The front has "combo" inputs that can take either a mic (XLR connector) or an instrument input (from guitar, bass, etc.).

    The Firebox also has the ability to input from SPDIF (digital) via a "mini breakout cable" that attaches to the back.

    I believe all _six_ inputs can be active at once:
    2 XLR
    2 line
    2 SPDIF

    It's actually a very nice box for the money.
    If you pick up a used one in good condition from ebay, it becomes a VERY nice box for the money.

    - John
     
  5. myca macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2005
    #5
    I've heard very good things about the firebox, but I tried the Presonus Firestudio, and it was nothing but a pain, so I returned it for a 828mkIII.

    http://www.motu.com/products/motuaudio/828mk3/

    That has been a joy to use so far.
     
  6. ZillaG macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2012
  7. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #7
    It is a great audio interface, but one HUGE problem. It does not work with the current version of Mac OS X and persons has no planes to fix this.

    Check the Presonus web site for the version of Mac OS X that you can use but I think it will work with Leopard. But not Yosemite

    ----------

    No. That is one reason the price for these old boxes has come down. Also the new Mac lack FW400 ports
     

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