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Review: Presonus AudioBox 22VSL

Is Presonus’s audio interface an ideal choice for your home studio?

Type: USB Audio Interface

Price: US $149, UK £112

Mic Rating:

At A Glance: The Presonus AudioBox 22VSL is a computer audio interface that features dual microphone pre-amps with phantom power and a MIDI input/output. Having two microphone channels means it will appeal to singer-guitarists who want to simultaneously record vocals and guitar. It also opens up the possibilities of stereo recording, which can be very useful for capturing instruments such as piano or for recording choral performances.

High Notes:  The AudioBox comes bundled with a stripped-down version of Presonus’s Studio One software, which allows you to mix and make multi-track recordings on your computer. It connects to a computer via USB and is compatible with both PC and Mac. The XLR inputs also double up as ¼ inch jack inputs for connecting instruments such as a guitar and it has outputs for connecting to studio monitors and headphones. The interface works with Presonus’s Virtual Studio Live software; this allows effects such as reverb to be added to your vocals with very low latency, which is great when you want to hear some effects in your monitor mix when you are tracking vocals.

Off Pitch: The device is not designed to take line-level inputs, making it a little limiting if you want to connect a drum machine or synthesiser. It also only offers 35dB of gain, which is not quite enough for some microphones especially with quiet singers using dynamic mics (a Shure SM7B, for example needs around 60dB of gain).

A VoiceCouncil Reviewer Says: The Presonus AudioBox offers a noticeable improvement in sound quality when compared to most computers’s on-board audio interfaces. Recordings can be made up to 24-bit 96KHz quality and the pre-amps are capable of good results, however it is a shame they do not offer more gain. If you need more channels, then Presonus also produces two similar devices with more inputs called the 44VSL and the 1818VSL. Competition for small audio interfaces is fierce; however the AudioBox 22VSL is sensibly priced and comes with some useful bundled software for making recordings. If you want to shop around you will probably also want to look at similar devices from companies such as the E-MU 0204, Focusrite’s Scarlett 2i2, Lexicon’s Lambda, and the Tascam US-200.

Manufacturer’s Website: http://www.presonus.com

Other Reviews:

Review 1
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  • Matanuska

    I know what your saying about the 22vsl and the gain being low I couldnt figure it out for about 2-3 weeks. But you have to enable the builtin compressor with the 22vsl software using the fat channel. It gets so loud I only record with %50 gain on my preamp now its pretty ridicilious. Its really really great except you have to buy studio one v2 professional to get your 64bit processor to be enabled %100.

  • Anonymous

    Incorrect review. This unit offers preamp gain between -15dB to +65 dB. Great flexibility at controlling the most sensitive to the most quiet (dynamic mics like SM7b) microphones. The gain might be have to pushed higher up for some quiet microphones, but it sure can do it.