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My Presonus Firestudio Mobile arrived yesterday after being sent back to the manufacturer for repairs. For the year that I’ve owned it, the unit has made occasional pops and clicks on the S/PDIF channels and occasionally drops MIDI messages. Neither of these problems are major, but as my warranty is running out in a week, I decided to ship it off for repairs.
They claim the unit circuitry was “cleaned up” and then tested overnight, but I don’t really know what that entails. After hooking it up and working on a track for an hour or so, I noticed pops and clicks again. It appeared that the fix didn’t take. I decided to install the drivers on my MacBook and plugged it in. The MacBook had some hiccups getting the interface to be accepted by Ableton Live, but eventually it all worked out. I didn’t hear any pops or clicks on the Mac, and this makes me think there is some issue on the PC. However, after a while the box stopped working altogether. It would sync up with the Mac or my desktop, but there was no sound coming out or going in. I decided to re-flash the firmware and so far it’s working fine in both OSes. Since I don’t use the S/PDIF channels, I can keep them muted in the mixer software. I also use another device for MIDI and not the one on the interface. These workarounds are what made me take so long in sending it in, as I could still record with it. It’s just frustrating to pay $200+ and not have a fully operational unit.
My interface is a Presonus Firestudio Mobile. This little box allows me to plug in up to 10 audio devices for multi-channel recording. Since it’s firewire based, I can take it along with my MacBook for mobile recording. The preamps sound good, and I find all the inputs useful for my collection of synths and other gear. Overall I’ve been pleased with the unit, but I think my next interface will be from another manufacturer.