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msb65

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 17, 2008
61
0
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
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,330
12,453
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
 

msb65

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 17, 2008
61
0
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.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,330
12,453
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
 

ChrisA

macrumors G5
Jan 5, 2006
12,562
1,672
Redondo Beach, California
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

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

----------

Is the Firebox compatible with 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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