What We Like
- Small and durable, perfect for mobile recording.
- Several inputs for multi-track recording.
- Comes with simple software.
What We Don’t Like
- Only two phantom powered inputs (XLR).
The PreSonus FireStudio Mobile is, as you can tell from its name, built for recording musicians on the go or for small recording spaces. But let’s see if it’s actually a good fit for the road.
The FireStudio Mobile’s design is plain and simple, exactly what you’d need for mobile recording. As you pack up your recording equipment for recording wherever, you’ve got to be able to tuck this interface safely in your bag alongside everything else. And fortunately, this is a tiny device — it’s less than six inches wide and deep and less than 2 inches tall.
This little recording partner is made with shockproof, reinforced metal chassis so you can trust it’ll make it from point A to point B in one piece. The circuit board is military grade and the rotary controls are sealed, meaning the electronic guts will stay safe and healthy.
It works with pretty much any DAW, but it does come with PreSonus’ own Studio One 3 Artist DAW, which boasts it’s “easy to learn and enables you to compose, record, and produce your masterpiece without getting distracted by the tools.”
This USB/Firewire audio interface can be powered on its own, but it works just as well when pulling power from a computer. And it will need that power, seeing that it has two XLR/quarter-inch inputs and and six line inputs — this will allow you to record things like a full band, a full drum set, or just an acoustic guitar in stereo.
It offers phantom power but only for the two XLR/quarter-inch inputs, not the six line inputs on the back of the interface. The two inputs on the front are backed by preamps, however, the other six are not.
A feature that makes this audio interface stand out from other interfaces is that it has two Firewire ports, which means you can connect multiple interfaces (as long as they’re in the PreSonus family) to have more inputs and outputs for recording.
If you need to use an input that accepts either MIDI and S/PDIF, you’re in luck — the FireStudio Mobile has one inputs that works with both, and it comes with a S/PDIF cable.
Obviously, this interface has its limits, but for those recording audio remotely or in small spaces, it performs just fine. The preamps are decent, especially for an interface this size, and you can get pretty darn good audio quality.
However, the size can make it difficult to get things done — the knobs are small and when cables are plugged in, it can be hard to adjust the gains.
The FireStudio Mobile’s forte is simplicity, and that’s what you can expect from it. Simple features, simple software, simple design. For on-the-go engineers specifically, this is a reliable audio interface at a decent price.