An overview of the Presonus AudioBox 22 USB Audio interface
An overview of The AudioBox 22VSL USB audio interface.
Is the Presonus Audiobox the right choice for you? This article gives an overview of the Audiobox to help you determine if this is the right product to meet your recording needs.
About the construction and design of the Audiobox.
A pleasant surprise is an absence of plastic casing since the AudioBox USB is built in an all-metal chassis complete with metal knobs making it very rugged and travel friendly. You could happily throw it into a laptop bag and start your music creation on the road. If you wanted to record your shows, mix your creations on the plane or write songs in a caravan or hotel room, the AudioBox is designed to do the job with a minimum of hassle.
At the front end of this box of tricks are two high quality preamplifiers which means a better input signal to begin with and this means better end results. It’s worth mentioning at this point that PreSonus Audio has won several awards for designing the highest quality microphone preamplifiers in the industry at all price levels. According to Presonus The AudioBox USB has preamps that out perform any other USB-based interface. The preamplifiers in the AudioBox circuitry deliver good headroom to accommodate the dynamics of voice and instrument input levels, low noise and high gain so it is possible to get a decent sound level from quieter input sources.
High quality digital to audio converters make the whole thing work.
Professional 24-bit converters mean better quality sound. Many of the cheaper USB recording devices operate at 16-bit sample rate (the minimum required for CD) and use converters with dynamic range of less than 90dB. This means a sacrifice in dynamics(changes in sound). The AudioBox USB uses professional-grade analog to digital converters with a wider dynamic range of 102dB and the 24-bit sample rate produces a digital conversion is much better in reproducing the original content since a higher sample rate means better quality.
Included Software Goodies – what you get.
The AudioBox USB is bundled with a good software package, including PreSonus Studio One Artist, a Digital Audio Workstation ( which is suitable for for Mac OS X and Windows XP and Vista and Windows 7) that makes producing high-quality projects very easy. The software is contained in one window and uses a lot of drag and drop to simplify work flow. As part of the Studio One Artist package, users receive 20 PreSonus Native Effects plug-ins and virtual instruments and a nice big bundle of third-party loops, software, and instrument sounds to add to the flexibility of the system.
Presonus describes Studio One as no-bloat, music-creation software with an intuitive, practical, single-window interface with: 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.
The AudioBox also comes bundled with monitoring software Virtual Studio Live which allows you to monitor and control the mixes going into your DAW. You can add effects, and divert signals in a variety of ways as you would in a real mixing desk.
Computer system requirements for the AudioBox and related software:
Below are the minimum computer-system requirements for the AudioBox 22VSL.
Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 (32- and 64-bit)
Intel Pentium 4 1.6 GHz processor or AMD Athlon 64 3000+ (Turion) (2.8 GHz or faster recommended)
1 GB RAM (2 GB or more recommended)
Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) or later (32- and 64-bit)
Intel Core 1 Solo 1.5 GHz processor (Intel Core Duo or Intel Xeon processor recommended)
1 GB RAM (2 GB or more recommended)
Windows and Macintosh Systems
USB 2.0 Port
Internet connection recommended for activation of software.
Final conclusions on the Audiobox.
In terms of practical use the Audiobox is very well made and simple to use. Most solo musicians would appreciate the rugged construction and easy operation. The low noise preamps are an absolute must have for any vocal or acoustic job to boost those soft signals. The software package is going to meet the needs of most beginners too and there is an upgrade option for those who want to add mastering features to their DAW.
I personally did have an opportunity to trial the Studio One software and was reasonably happy with it although I would have liked to have seen some ability to customise the appearance a little more, but that is perhaps being a bit picky. The software does what it is supposed to do and appears to run pretty solidly.
For those who would prefer to use another DAW software the AudioBox will work with most popular programs available such as Logic, Cubase, Sonar and Digital Performer.
As far as inputs go, many musicians choose to record their tracks one at a time and so 2 audio inputs is perfectly adequate. For those who need more the Audiobox 44VSL will give you an extra 2 audio inputs to do the job.