Presonus 1818VSL: Field Test and Pros & Cons

For topics specifically about audio interfaces (USB, MFi, Camera Connection Kit)

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trupro
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Presonus 1818VSL: Field Test and Pros & Cons

Post by trupro » Tue Nov 27, 2012 5:43 pm

myself went with the presonus 1818vsl and would like to reiterate all the excellent information that the users here and RIM and the mods have helped me with, as well as offer the results i obtained using the 1818VSL in a real studio environment, recording to Auria on an iPad 2...

PROS:
I wanted something i witnessed working, so i went with the Presonus 1818, it works and you have proof out there that you can get something done with it. There is a youtube video out there of a dude using it successfully with all inputs lighting up the meters, as well as a knock-off CCK clone that cost me 10 dollars on ebay (i bought the same one i saw in the vid). I think i found the vid somewhere on the forums here in the 'working/not working interfaces' thread, otherwise you can simply youtube search the phrase 'auria, presonus 1818'. Long story short, what youve seen is true, it works so rest assured you wont get a lemon. However, no audio interface is without its quirks...

This is also the only suggested interface that had this many preamps along with separate outputs (although multiple outs will only work in the future with iOs, along with an upcoming possible patch for Auria), digitial i/o including 8 channel ADAT lightpipe, along with Wordclock.
This also gives me a built in midi interface, with which to control all my other apps and synths on iPad.

With the above configuration, i also do not need a powered USB hub, although yes, i do have to use the power supply for the 1818vsl which came with it. I suppose either way you'll have to plug something into power. Could someone tell us tho...does using a powered hub mean that will get the bonus of iPad charging while in use?

In addition, when you have this interface and you own an iPad, it has a little bonus if you want to do live recording or processing. Presonus has a separate app available to control its own software on your PC or mac, so you get a remote control digital mixer with inLine effects that are very light on CPU. Now that bieng said, this depends how well the input to your larger PC or mac will work, its up to your configging skills, but the above is a cool bonus feature, if only to plug the routed stereo ouput into aura and record rehearsal tracks as processed by the presonus software and skipping the remote app.

CONS:

You may not like this interface if you require something to also use at home with a larger rig on PC or MAC. To be fair though, ive NEVER had much luck with my PC/Ableton rig using any USB audio interface. I use a Firewire Mbox 2 Pro for my ableton rig on PC. So just suggesting that it may not be a one-stop solution for you in orde to use at home, but then again, i dont feel any USB device is, i got this purely for recording the band with Auria, and using midi with my other apps, and it totally works for all of that with iPad.

The build of the 1818s chassis is very solid, however do not be fooled by the machined look of the knobs. They are not metal, they are plastic, and any engineer knows what i mean: a rubber rotary pot with a plastic overlay glued on will always break. Doesnt really matter, since the knobs themselves are actually very solid, but the fancy looking caps are coming off, trust that. The rest of the build is what you think it is though, a solid metal chassis in a 1U rackspace with a ton of i/o.

Other folks could offer performance by iPad model and buffer size for this and other interfaces, and i am certainly having few hiccups with auria running at high sampling rates. So far, my trial run has been a totally useable session, running a stereo reference track preloaded into Auria, while i recorded drums over it on 5 tracks. Thats kick/snare/highhat and pair of overheads for stereo x-y, while also sending clicktrack generated by Auria. Now, the main anomolies here were 1. about 2/3rds through a 4 minute song, the audio overall would start to crap out and become mostly digital noise, but i was working at a high buffer size, so playing with that may help. 2.We were not able to use Record Monitoring (hear your inputs while recording live) because there was too much latency. Again, could be because i had the buffer very high.
I am in fact quite newbish with Auria and have not toyed with settings to a great degree. I think i cannot record all the inputs at 96k though, at least not with an iPad 2, and i didnt even get halfway there. If other folks have suggestions or addons to this section, please chime in if youve done big sessions with an 1818vsl and iPad 2.

VERDICT:

Glad i bought it. Keep in mind with regard to the detractions i listed in CONS, that i did all of the above at 96K. So now i have a full drum kit redone for this song, at 96k-32bit, and while there were some issues, the other interfaces simply did not have the amount of preamps available to do that, except for maybe the Mackie model that is an approved auria interface (but that thing is a beast, too large for portability imo).

Could someone also tell us: does a powered USB hub mean your also getting your iPad charged while connected, and/or is a powered hub a better data connection somehow?

Okay, i hope this has helped a bit in your decision with the 1818. Myself, i am very glad we got this, although nothing is perfect. I bought it new in a package that is available on Ebay with a Rode NT-1 condenser mic (which sound great and rival more expensive mics ive used) along with a new boom stand for...get this...only a hundred bux more. I saved a ton and have a new Auria Interface and mic, so i am very glad this worked out. Its good, it does what i need, but if you dont require so many inputs or want something uber tiny to cary around, maybe another one is better for you.

We are in uncharted territory here folks! :)

Lynn Fuston
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Re: Presonus 1818VSL: Field Test and Pros & Cons

Post by Lynn Fuston » Wed Nov 28, 2012 4:57 am

A powered USB hub will NOT charge an iPad 3 or iPad 4. I know that for a fact. I tried it.

Also, I recorded 16 tracks, with a band and singer, at 24/48K, using the Presonus 1818 and an auxiliary Fosusrite Octopre to iPad 3, with the band monitoring in headphones at 256 buffer.

trupro
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Re: Presonus 1818VSL: Field Test and Pros & Cons

Post by trupro » Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:33 pm

Lynn Fuston wrote:A powered USB hub will NOT charge an iPad 3 or iPad 4. I know that for a fact. I tried it.

Also, I recorded 16 tracks, with a band and singer, at 24/48K, using the Presonus 1818 and an auxiliary Fosusrite Octopre to iPad 3, with the band monitoring in headphones at 256 buffer.
Nice! I only have an iPad 2 but im sure adjusting bitrate and buffer will net me some markedly better performance than my first session did.

Could you or anyone tell us...what Auria's default bitrate, and how can i switch it to 24 bit? This may improve things as well since the Presonus is a 24bit interface, doesnt go to 32 and some of my anomolies are probably aliasing issues between rates (even on my pc, so you've really shed some light here my friend!) I dunno maybe its set per sampling rate, like when you choose 48k it drops to 24 bit or?

I thought Auria was 32 or 64 bit...at least thats the only setting i located but it just says 'use 64bit mixer', not the actual bit depth for recording. anyway, how to switch?

thanx!

Rim
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Re: Presonus 1818VSL: Field Test and Pros & Cons

Post by Rim » Wed Nov 28, 2012 1:55 pm

Auria's mix engine is 32 or 64 (switchable in the settings). The wav files it generates when recording are 24 bit.

Rim

Lynn Fuston
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Re: Presonus 1818VSL: Field Test and Pros & Cons

Post by Lynn Fuston » Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:12 am

I would like to stress that, while the Presonus 1818VSL works with Auria and I used it successfully, it is NOT officially supported at this time (November 2012) by Presonus for use with iPad. If you call their tech support with an issue, as I did several times, they will ask about your computer platform and then tell you that the iPad is not supported, which means they can't help you. That's not a big deal if you're not having any issues. If you ARE, then it's a big deal.

This may change any day, but at this time (as of 11-16-12), it's not supported.

trupro
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Re: Presonus 1818VSL: Field Test and Pros & Cons

Post by trupro » Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:38 am

are any usb interfaces by these major manufacturers 'officially supported for iPad' by their tech support clauses?

Jus
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Re: Presonus 1818VSL: Field Test and Pros & Cons

Post by Jus » Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:53 pm

There is one Quite bad thing about the Presonus if your a Guitarist

If you plug your Electric Guitar straight into the presonus and use say the Overloud plug-in you get a bad buzzing bit like a strat single coil type buzz. That's always there even if you use the noise gate. :(

And Acoustic straight in you get a bad Hum that goes if you touch the jack plugged into the Guitar
I've had 4-5 different interfaces and this Presonus is by far the worst for this :(


Luckily I also have an Apogee Jam and its as quiet as a mouse if I need to plug in direct at all

Recording Mic'd though had very good results very pleased with that Side of things 8)

Lynn Fuston
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Re: Presonus 1818VSL: Field Test and Pros & Cons

Post by Lynn Fuston » Fri Nov 30, 2012 5:19 am

trupro wrote:are any usb interfaces by these major manufacturers 'officially supported for iPad' by their tech support clauses?
According to Focusrite, the Scarlett 18i6 and 8i6 are officially supported. I have the 18i6 here. Works great.

trupro
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Re: Presonus 1818VSL: Field Test and Pros & Cons

Post by trupro » Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:47 pm

That's great they are officially supporting!

Would have got that one but doesnt have enough preamps, the Presonus has lightpipe i/o and
worldclock i/o so im pretty stoked about it.

Lynn have you been able to get all 8 inputs recording at once at 96k without artifacts?

and please tell us of your buffer settings...like do you go low when recording, then set
high during playback/mixdown?

thanx!

trupro
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Re: Presonus 1818VSL: Field Test and Pros & Cons

Post by trupro » Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:00 pm

Jus wrote:There is one Quite bad thing about the Presonus if your a Guitarist

If you plug your Electric Guitar straight into the presonus and use say the Overloud plug-in you get a bad buzzing bit like a strat single coil type buzz. That's always there even if you use the noise gate. :(

And Acoustic straight in you get a bad Hum that goes if you touch the jack plugged into the Guitar
I've had 4-5 different interfaces and this Presonus is by far the worst for this :(


Luckily I also have an Apogee Jam and its as quiet as a mouse if I need to plug in direct at all

Recording Mic'd though had very good results very pleased with that Side of things 8)
Thanks Jus, this is good info i will also be using for GTR overdubs.

Does this buzz go away when using a DI where the impedance has been mitigated?

thnx

Jus
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Re: Presonus 1818VSL: Field Test and Pros & Cons

Post by Jus » Tue Dec 04, 2012 3:47 pm

Not had a chance to try a Di box with and electric Guitar into the 1818
yet but will in the next day or so 8)
Will also try into an adat into the presonus as well when I get hold of one :roll:

Lynn Fuston
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Re: Presonus 1818VSL: Field Test and Pros & Cons

Post by Lynn Fuston » Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:44 pm

trupro wrote:That's great they are officially supporting!

Would have got that one but doesnt have enough preamps, the Presonus has lightpipe i/o and
worldclock i/o so im pretty stoked about it.

Lynn have you been able to get all 8 inputs recording at once at 96k without artifacts?

and please tell us of your buffer settings...like do you go low when recording, then set
high during playback/mixdown?

thanx!
I did all 18 inputs simultaneously recording at 96 kHz with the Scarlett 18i6 on an iPad 4. Buffer set to 512, I recorded for 38 minutes straight with no hiccups or warnings. When set to 256, it would stop recording after 5:50 seconds, with a "buffer too low" prompt.

trupro
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Re: Presonus 1818VSL: Field Test and Pros & Cons

Post by trupro » Wed Dec 05, 2012 2:21 pm

That's very good performance!

I will not get similar results since im using an iPad 2.

Rim
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Re: Presonus 1818VSL: Field Test and Pros & Cons

Post by Rim » Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:58 pm

When we did our original testing before Auria's launch, we successfully recorded 18 tracks at once on an iPad 2 for hours with no issues.

Rim

Jus
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Re: Presonus 1818VSL: Field Test and Pros & Cons

Post by Jus » Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:44 pm

Thought I'd better put things right Here, from what I posted about Guitar Buzz plugging straight in

that was with a non powered USB Hub

Well Since brought an Belkin Powered hub and things are much much better a lot less buzz and using THM with a noise gate it goes completely yes a lot happier 8)

Perhaps the non powered hub is just as not as well made or something :arrow: :roll:

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