Another interesting feature is Channel Profiles. A good friend (and very talented bassist) dropped by to grab his standup bass, so I asked him to join me in an impromptu jam session with a very quick setup. The real make-or-break of any recording gear is how it handles the delicacy and nuance of the human voice and the microphones and preamps we use to record it with. I started pain-testing it, first with sending the signal out and back eight times with the processor in bypass. (Now THAT’s a lot of I/O. Pulling the waveform zoom all the way up and peering into the silence between the notes? And more ins and outs than A Clockwork Orange. But in the decades since, this ‘prosumer’ category has literally exploded to dozens of manufacturers producing a myriad of all-in-one interfaces, packed to the gills with extras like mic preamps, hardware inserts, monitor control, headphone amps and expandability via optical cables. Lastly, my somewhat quirky-acting GSSL was strapped across the final mix (along with my favorite Oxford Inflator VST). If you’ve been on the fence about giving this very impressive DAW a try (we’re always complaining about our existing ones, aren’t we?) The PreSonus Quantum 4848 delivers all of the above. I opted to test with six DB25-to-XLR cables from Seismic Audio. Would I be afraid to put the Quantum against these considerably pricier competitors? It’s like buying cables or power conditioning. At the absolute cheapest, you’re looking at about $50 for a short 8-channel snake – but as stated before, you can spend a LOT more for those super high-end Mogami twenty-footers. My previous setup prior to installing the Quantum was a Focusrite Clarett 8PreX with the venerable Apogee AD and DA16x converters running in via adat optical connections and the addition of a Switchcraft 9625 patchbay connected via DB25 cables. Meanwhile, the closest competitor in this price range, the MOTU 16A provides a monochromatic LCD display with a six-level bar graph. I hear them described as “fast” or “clear” or “forward” all the time. Again, the physics of sound themselves are a great counterargument to this latency debate. I’ll be honest, I had my hesitations about this one. In my opinion a professional unit like this should either have an inbuilt power supply or a substantial external unit that you can lock into the unit like a Universal Audio’s Apollo - but, apart from that this unit is just about perfect. And if this for some reason doesn’t seem like an amazing deal, let’s not forget PreSonus includes a license to their acclaimed Studio One Professional workstation software. It bears mentioning that, as you’d expect, Studio One integrates almost transparently with the Quantum series. Putting together a project studio with a significant amount of outboard gear can leave you pining for the converters of yore, those drab boxes without the needless perks. The PreSonus Quantum 4848 in all its minimalist glory. You would be forgiven for thinking that this unit is more geared towards the bigger studio with an analogue console, but with todays hybrid workflow this unit is also perfect for the studio that has external hardware such as EQs and Compressors. The unit’s converters allow for low-latency recording, as well as dynamic ranges greater than 120 dB on both the ADC (analog to digital) and DAC (digital to analog) side. Sure, some of them have been recreated as plug-ins and while that’s all well and good, sometimes only the real thing will do(*). Yes, you can most certainly pay more for Mogami and the like, but given the very short cable runs, I decided to go with the budget option (frankly, this was not my first Seismic Audio purchase, and I have found them to be reliably solid performers). Fantastic sound and a tremendous value for those in need of analog and … Nobody I know is dying to show off the pristine conversion of their interface the way they would a new compressor or microphone. It felt like I had a magnifying glass over each ear. Mint condition and works perfectly. The lower registers came in very round and even. 16 channels of ADAT IO wordclock IO up to 192kHz Same low latency performance as the other Quantum interfaces, this one comes in at around 1.5k The other connections are 2 in and 2 out ADAT connectors, which will allow a further 16 IO into your session. On that note, you really don’t want your converter to have “a sound”. Having 11 traditional IEC plugs and one two-piece cable with a big lump in the middle just gets in the way for color-coded zip-tie fanatics like me. Overall I could not be happier with the Presonus Quantum series. But honestly, using your interface as a signal monitor versus your computer’s display is always a losing proposition for the hardware. But back then was back then and, from the looks of it, they’re going to keep becoming a bigger player in the pro audio world (I have been especially impressed with their StudioLive mixers, Sceptre monitors and Studio One DAW software). One of the benefits of using the Quantum interfaces is the sheer speed. Back over in Cubase-world, I tested all the connections, saved a template and got down to work. The Quantum 4848 resolves this issue by providing three Channel Profile modes that allow you to adapt the input and output channel configuration when the application you’re using limits you to 32 inputs and outputs or fewer. Couldn’t hear a difference. Switching over to bass, plugging a MusicMan Sub5 through a SansAmp pedal into a Solid State Logic E series preamp, the extreme lows (drop B means an open fifth string has a fundamental of 31hz) were ably handled, even as my subwoofer rattled books off their shelves. It’s just that good. As the name might suggest, you get 48 channels up and down (32 analog and up to 16 more via adat optical) via a single Thunderbolt 2 connection. I made some A/B WAV files and sent them to two friends for an honest blind taste test assessment. I started off by getting back to work on a very-behind-schedule music library project in the harder metal-type vein. And though the 4848 may be a wee bit misleading in the sense that only ⅔ of the connections are analog, expanding it with additional converters (or just buying a second unit) gives you a simply absurd amount of I/O. Just opening the volume and hitting that first drop-B open chord (DJENT! After returning from our minimalist impromptu space jazz odyssey, we threw the faders up at unity, set a little bit of panning and hit play. The front panel has no external controls only small LED’s that give you a representation of signal level by either turning green for -50dBFS, yellow for -20dBFS and red for 0dBFS. The perfect companion for your patchbay. Is there a downside? Baton Rouge, Louisiana, September 2018… PreSonus® is shipping the new Quantum 4848 24-bit, 192 kHz, Thunderbolt™ audio interface, a professional recording solution that includes the company’s Studio One® Professional recording, mixing, and mastering software for macOS® and Windows®.The 1U rack-mount Quantum 4848 features high-quality A/D/A converters with 120 dB … Never once did I hear the converters adding or taking away a single thing. In Studio One I was amazed by how unnoticeable the latency was, it was almost as though I was using a Pro Tools HDX rig. Prior to the year 2000, audio interfaces tended to be straight-ahead affairs with nothing more than line level inputs and outputs. I did not test the Quantum with an external word clock source – nor did I hear any of the telltale signs that the clocking was unstable (this was a far bigger issue twenty years ago – and it’s fairly uncommon to see project studios using a dedicated digital clock). Vintage gear can be noisy. It’s just a borderline obsessive-compulsive disordered preference from somebody who likes to keep the cables in the back tidy. That said, none of these things are deal-breakers for me, especially when you realize just how much interface you’re getting for the price. My trusty Aphex CX-1’s (an unsung 70’s hero) and Elysia nVelope went to work on the guitars and drum overheads, doing their respective bits of magic. (Side note: The DB25 connections adhere to the Tascam DA88 pin-out. And frankly, you simply can not physically fit that many TRS or XLR connections on a 1U unit – it’s not physically possible. My computer, a 2018 Mac Mini (6-core 3.2gHz i7, 32GB RAM, still running Mojave as of press time) needed a single restart after installation and the two have been the bestest of pals since. First introduced in 2017, the Quantum range from PreSonus is designed to get pro results while still being priced attractively to newcomers and enthusiasts. The 1U rackmount 48x48-channel interface is a fast, excellent-sounding interface that takes advantage of high-speed Thunderbolt 2 connectivity to achieve extremely low latency. Of course, we have to give credit to the Dynaudio’s here, they paired nicely with the Quantum’s output. High-quality converters on every input and output provide 120 dB of dynamic range. Mac® OS X 10.11.6 64-bit or later Intel® Core™ i5 or better, Windows® 10 64-bit or later Intel Core i5 or better, Thunderbolt™ 1.0, 2.0, or 3.0 port (Note: Your computer's motherboard must support Thunderbolt. And with 120db of dynamic range, you really have to go out of your way to get compromised results. PreSonus Quantum 4848 Thunderbolt 2 Audio Interface Purchased new just a few months ago and has never left my smoke-free home studio. The Quantum provides a rudimentary-but-effective three stage LED for every channel. Score another one for the whole cast of characters here – these were all solid mics, preamps and performances – but the Quantum more-than-faithfully represented the sounds we fed it. That’s not one trip through eight processors in series, that’s eight trips there and back, there and back, there and back… The result? The Quantum’s DAC gave me a very “real” picture of where things sat, not just from left to right, but from front to back, and even behind. That’s a lot of inserts. Lastly my trusty OktavaMod Hulk 990 was positioned about fifteen feet away from the two of us, pointed at a live wall to pick up some room reflections and run into my SSL Alpha Channel and a healthy dollop of dynamic compression from the Elysia nVelope. Despite the sheer amount of routing, the Quantum never felt like it was choking, smearing the phase, narrowing the stereo field or introducing any of the usual audio gremlins associated with so many trips from binary to voltage and back. Put another way, it’s not “negligible”, it’s basically non-existent. Is the Quantum 26x32 a good idea to buy for a late 2013 i7 iMac w/Thunderbolt 2, or do I get the newer Quantums? Trusted content from independent music and post production experts. As a partner, you can be assured that our team understand your audience well. Neither were necessary. Getting the Quantum 4848 situated was as simple as connecting a single Thunderbolt 2 cable, hopping online to get the software manager app and a quick check for any firmware updates (PreSonus is seem really on-the-ball when it comes to keeping this current). What I want – and what the PreSonus delivers in spades – is an exacting replica of what you feed it. With the exception of MOTU’s 16A, there is nothing – and I do mean nothing – new at retail even close to the $1500 mark that gives you this many inputs and outputs. You should absolutely mentally add at least several hundred dollars to the price for cabling. They’re not alone in this range of features and prices, of course – with bigs like Focusrite, Antelope, Universal Audio, Apogee, etc. Windows® 10 (64-bit only) Intel® i5 processor or better; 4 GB RAM (8 GB or more recommended) Mac. To be sure, the Quantum 4848 is here to do one job – and do it well. If what you want is a great interface that’s content to be “just an interface” listen to the Quantum first – it might be the only one you need to hear. Learn more about Quantum 4848 Audio Interface here: https://www.presonus.com/products/Quantum-4848 Complete digital integration for the analog studio. The build quality, the software and most of all, the sonics are all on a par with far more expensive alternatives. Some of us left the grind and politics of the beleaguered “big league” studio – and we still have one or several racks of gear that we’ve come to rely on over the years. But I decided to mult the input and record both the dry and affected sound. Plus with 32 analog outs, you have more than enough to delve into the world of summing amplifiers or that big old analog desk you’ve been dreaming of. Paul Drew takes it for a spin and gives his conclusion. The Thunderbolt 2 connection is a bit of an odd duck, even just a year or so after the Quantum’s street date. And while it’s true, the Apogees are most definitely not the newest converter technology, I have never once felt an urge to switch, even after demo-ing the Symphony MK2 for several weeks (I actually preferred the older converters in a blind shootout)). The Antelope Audio Orion 32 ($2495) would be the next closest thing with regards to capability and price. Stack up to 4 Quantum 4848 interfaces via Thunderbolt to create a 192x192 system. On the plus side, this makes cable management a much breezier affair, especially if you have other units or patchbays in your rack that use this standard. Up to 4 Quantum 4848 interfaces via Thunderbolt 2 can be used simultaneously for up to 192x192 simultaneous inputs and outputs Signal LEDs for all 32 DB25 channels Compatible with Mac OS X 10.11.6 or higher, Windows 10 With the drums for one track already about where I wanted them, I plugged my favorite shredder into my trusty Fryette Valvulator preamp, running direct into the Quantum. But very, very few address the needs of the studio with lots of XLR-sized mouths to feed. It doesn’t really “do” anything and as such, we’re reluctant to spend any more than we have to. ), I heard a level of detail that my previous setup comparatively “glossed over” in the 4-5k range – right where metal guitars tend to get a bit of high-shelving. The Presonus Quantum 4848 is a pro level interface for a relatively low price. While this is fantastic for space saving, you will need to spend a fair amount of money on D-Sub cables. PRESONUS Quantum 4848 | 48x48 Thunderbolt 2 / 192kHz, To leave feedback please select your rating above or login to leave a written review: It … I’ll get over it. The other guessed incorrectly – that the original source was the one who’d been through 16 conversions. I then had a session with a female vocalist doing some tracks with an almost 90’s Portishead trip-hop kind of vibe. Converters are like vodka – the more you taste, the cheaper it is. Thunderbolt 3 requires an adapter, not included. True, recording a forty-something male assuring you that “Orchard Tree Bank will always be… there for you.” isn’t quite the same as tracking vocals for Adele – but it’s the human voice nonetheless. Behold! The Quantum 4848 is a 24-bit 192 kHz Thunderbolt Audio Interface with Studio One Professional Designed for the needs of the recording professional, the Quantum 4848 is the perfect solution to take your analog gear into the digital domain. 48-in/48-out Thunderbolt 2 Audio Interface . Many prefer both. My tendency with this singer is to print the compression and eq on the way in, preferring to simply capture it in the analog domain exactly how it should sound in the final mix (hey, we do that with guitars ALL the TIME). In terms of audio performance the unit sounds Stellar, to be honest all mid priced interfaces sound great nowadays so I wouldn’t have expected anything else. 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