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Presonus AudioBox-1818VSL

AudioBox1818 VSL Advanced 18x18 USB 2.0 Recording Interface

The flagship in PreSonus' new generation of USB 2.0 audio/MIDI interfaces the AudioBox 1818VSL takes hardware/software integration to the next level and delivers a combination of features audio quality and value that is unprecedented in this product category. Using your computer CPU and PreSonus Virtual StudioLive™ (VSL) software AudioBox VSL-series interfaces provide reverb and and delay effects and the same Fat Channel compression limiting semi-parametric EQ and high-pass filter as the PreSonus StudioLive™ 16.0.2 digital mixer— all with inaudible latency. It's a great choice for project studios performing bands school music labs and a wide variety of corporate installations and other contractor applications.

This is a pro product all the way with high-end 24-bit 96 kHz converters; Class A XMAX™ preamps; ADAT optical I/O; S/PDIF coaxial I/O; word-clock output; and MIDI I/O housed in a heavy-duty rack-mount metal chassis.

Furthermore thanks to the power of VSL the AudioBox 1818VSL includes a 26x8 software mixer. As a result with just an AudioBox 1818VSL and your laptop or other computer you can mix a studio session or live show featuring a full band—all while monitoring and recording with or without real-time processing! And you can do it simply and easily with no hardware mixer no outboard effects rack and minimal wiring thanks to the tight integration between PreSonus hardware and software.

What's so great about effects and processing on monitors?

Tracking without hearing effects and signal processing is like playing a video game with your eyes closed. Musicians rely on aural cues when performing and their performance can vary depending on what they hear in their monitors. Adding just the right amount of compression EQ and reverb can make a huge difference in their ability to hear themselves clearly and to experience their performance as if it occurred in a natural space rather than in the artificial sonic environment of the studio. The result is a better performance and ultimately a better recording.

You have plenty of effects Audio Recording > Plug-ins for your DAW but processing audio with a DAW takes more time than you might think. True we're talking milliseconds but it's long enough that if you put DAW effects in your Audio Recording > Monitoring > Studio Monitors you'll hear the original sound slightly before the processed signal which is very disorienting. That much delay might be acceptable for live gigs where the band is playing together in an ambient space that has natural delay. But you can't record that way in the studio.

Fortunately our engineering wizards have dramatically reduced processing delay in the AudioBox VSL series. The result: dynamics processing EQ reverb and effects that feel real with no audible delay.

And if you like what you hear you can record with AudioBox VSL-series effects too! These are the same high-quality StudioLive 16.0.2 Fat Channel dynamics processors and EQs that professional musicians engineers and producers record with every day.

Great processors are a PreSonus tradition

We didn't invent the first audio interface with effects. We simply did it better and for less money. Sure some interface manufacturers that don't normally make signal processors have added a compressor EQ and a few effects to their interfaces. But the AudioBox VSL series provides all that plus a separate limiter expander and high-pass filter—and we've been making high-quality signal processors since 1995. The AudioBox VSL-series' Virtual StudioLive (VSL)-based effects and Fat Channel processing have been extensively field-tested and proven popular by tens of thousands of StudioLive™-series mixer users including many top professionals.

Of great importance thanks to VSL's drag-and-drop convenience adding processing and creating and loading presets is easy. Pro-level processing and superior ease of use mean you'll get better results and have more fun!

High-end sound in a versatile roadworthy interface

Versatile and portable the AudioBox 1818VSL offers 2 convenient front-panel mic/instrument combo inputs and 6 front-panel mic/instrument combo inputs true 48V phantom power (switchable in 2 banks) and 8 line-level outputs. ADAT optical I/O provides 8 more channels of input and output (at 44.1 or 48 kHz; 4 channels at 88.1 or 96 kHz). S/PDIF coaxial digital I/O adds 2 more channels bringing the total to 18 audio input channels and 18 output channels.

The sound is pure PreSonus with the same high-headroom Class A solid-state XMAX preamps found in our StudioLive mixers and high-quality 24-bit 96 kHz converters with 114 dB dynamic range for clear clean audio. And it boasts PreSonus' legendary 120 mW headphone output which is loud enough to explode the oysters in a Po'-Boy sandwich. (Be careful with your level control!)

The superior sound of PreSonus preamplifiers has long been a major reason that so many audio professionals prefer PreSonus interfaces. The XMAX is the finest solid-state preamplifier we make offering three key advantages:

High Voltage. The XMAX preamplifier runs on power rails of 30V. Most off-the-shelf op-amp-based designs run on power rails of 10V to 18V. Higher-voltage power rails deliver more headroom deeper lows smoother highs and a richer overall sound.
Discrete components — not op-amps. We only use genuine transistors resistors and capacitors for ultra-low noise and transparency. Op-amps add noise coloration and harshness to a signal.
Class A circuitry. Class A circuits have no crossover distortion and deliver purer clearer and more musical results than the Class AB designs that are found in many preamps.
The net result of the XMAX preamp design is high headroom low noise wide dynamic range extended frequency response and—most important—musicality and transparency with smooth highs; solid deep lows; and everything in between.

Built for the rigors of the road

Pause and ponder this for a moment: a great-sounding 18x18 interface with a computer-based mixer and full complement of dynamics processing and EQ with reverb and delay effects on dedicated buses plus MIDI and word clock all in a single rackspace! And there's more.

The flexibility and power of software

VSL enables you to easily manage the processing and mixing from your Mac® or Windows® PC and provides editor/librarian functions making it simple to create and use a library of presets. To get you started we've included the same library of more than 50 Fat Channel presets that comes with StudioLive mixers. These presets were created by professional musicians and engineers and let you instantly set up dynamics processing and EQ for vocals guitar and much more.

Seamlessly integrated with the included Studio One™ Artist DAW and VSL the AudioBox 1818VSL interface works with virtually all Mac and Windows audio-recording software. And unlike most things nowadays it's very easy on your budget.

So check out the AudioBox 1818VSL: the next-generation USB 2.0 interface that gives you extensive I/O including eight analog inputs and outputs; ADAT optical and S/PDIF digital input and outputs; real-time low-latency processing and effects; word-clock output; rock-solid construction; software mixing; and high-end audio—all for a price you have to see to believe!


24-bit / 96 kHz 18x18 USB 2.0 recording interface
2 dual-purpose front-panel mic/instrument input channels with:
Combo XLR mic and balanced ¼" instrument input
Class A XMAX™ mic / instrument preamp
Individual channel-trim controls with 0 to +35 dBu mic gain range
6 dual-purpose front-panel mic/line input channels with:
Combo XLR mic and balanced ¼" line input
Class A XMAX™ mic preamp
Individual channel-trim controls with 0 to +35 dBu mic gain range
True +48V phantom power for condenser microphones (switchable in two banks for channels 1-4 and 5-8)
Headphone jack with level control
Main-output level control
Power/USB sync LED
LED clip indicator for each channel
L/R main output meter (dual 7-segment LED ladder)
Mix adjust input and playback-returns levels and add effects and signal processing from your laptop or other computer
Studio One™ Artist digital audio workstation software included
Virtual StudioLive™ (VSL) control software included; manages:
Near-zero-latency monitoring with extensive signal processing
26 x 8 DSP mixer
StudioLive™16.0.2 Fat Channel compressor limiter expander high-pass filter and semi-parametric EQ for each analog input and its DAW return
2 stereo effects buses with reverb and delay
More than 50 Fat Channel DSP presets for enhancing instrument and vocal recordings
1 USB 2.0 port
2 combo XLR / ¼” mic/instrument inputs
6 combo XLR / ¼” balanced mic/line inputs
2 balanced ¼” main (L/R) line outputs
6 balanced ¼” auxiliary (L/R) line outputs
8 channels ADAT optical input and output (at 44.1 or 48 kHz; 4 channels at 88.2 or 96 kHz)
2 channels (stereo) S/PDIF coaxial input and output
1 stereo ¼” headphone output
1 BNC word-clock output
24-bit resolution and 44.1 48 88.2 and 96 kHz sampling rate
Professional-grade A/D/A converters (+114 dBu dynamic range)
Mac®- and Windows®-compatible including Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard and Windows 7
Supports ASIO Core Audio Direct Sound (Windows XP) Windows Audio Session API (Windows Vista and Windows 7)
1U rack-mountable
Road-rugged construction with all-metal chassis and metal knobs
Weighs 4.6 lb. / 2.1 kg
12 VDC external power supply (included)
Virtual StudioLive (VSL)
PreSonus’ groundbreaking control software
Studio One Artist
PreSonus’ revolutionary digital audio workstation with unlimited track count and 4+ GB of 3rd-party resources.

Microphone Inputs

Connector Type Combo, XLR, female, balanced
Mic Preamp EIN -133 dB, 20 kHz BW, max gain, Rs=40Ω, A-wtd
Frequency Response 20 Hz - 22 kHz, ±0.25 dB, unity gain
THD+N 0.002%, +4 dBu, 1 kHz, unity gain, 22 kHz BW, A-wtd
S/N Ratio 97 dB, +4 dBu, 1 kHz, unity gain, 22 kHz BW, A-wtd
Gain Control Range -15 dB to +65 dB
Input Max Headroom +16 dBu, < 0.5% THD
Input Impedance 1.7 kΩ
Phantom Power +48 VDC, 32 mA total unit
Line Inputs

Connector Type Combo, ¼” TRS, female, balanced
Frequency Response 20 Hz - 22 kHz, ±0.25 dB, unity gain
THD+N 0.002%, +4 dBu, 1 kHz, unity gain, 22 kHz BW, A-wtd
S/N Ratio 98 dB, +4 dBu, 1 kHz, unity gain, 22 kHz BW, A-wtd
Gain Control Range -20 dB to +20 dB
Input Max Headroom +21 dBu, < 0.5% THD
Input Impedance 10 kΩ
Instrument Inputs

Instrument Inputs

Connector Type Combo, ¼” TS, female, unbalanced
Frequency Response 20 Hz - 22 kHz, ±0.25 dB, unity gain
THD+N 0.003%, +4 dBu, 1 kHz, unity gain, 22 kHz BW, A-wtd
S/N Ratio 89 dB, +4 dBu, 1 kHz, unity gain, 22 kHz BW, A-wtd
Gain Control Range -30 dB to +50 dB
Input Max Headroom +21 dBu, < 0.5% THD
Input Impedance 1 MΩ
Analog Outputs

Connector Type ¼” TRS, female, impedance balanced
Frequency Response 20 Hz - 22 kHz, ±0.25 dB
THD+N 0.003%, 1 kHz, 22 kHz BW, A-wtd
S/N Ratio 109 dB, 1 kHz, 22 kHz BW, A-wtd
Output Level +10 dBu, <0.5% THD
Output Impedance 51Ω
Headphone Outputs

Connector Type ¼” TRS, female, stereo
Maximum Power 120 mW/ch @ 60Ω load
Frequency Response 20 Hz - 20 kHz, ±0.5 dB, max gain
THD+N 0.01%, 1 kHz, max gain, 20 kHz BW, A-wtd
S/N Ratio 96 dB, 1 kHz, max gain, 20 kHz BW, A-wtd

ADC Dynamic Range 114 dB, 48 kHz, A-wtd
DAC Dynamic Range 114 dB, 48 kHz, A-wtd
Host Interface USB 2.0 high-speed
Bit Depth 24-bit
Sample Rates 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz, 88.2 kHz, 96 kHz
Maximum Latency 6 mS, analog input to analog output
ADAT Optical I/O Toslink™ connectors, ADAT/SMUX formats
S/PDIF I/O RCA female connectors
Word Clock Output BNC connector, 4.5 Vpp @ 75Ω load
MIDI I/O 5-pin DIN connectors

External Power Adapter +18 VDC, 2.6A, center-positive
Connector Type Barrel: 5.5 mm OD, 2.1 mm ID, 9.5 mm length

Dimensions 1U rackmount
Height 1.75” (44.45 mm)
Depth 5.5” (139.7 mm)
19” (482.6 mm)

Weight 4.6 lb. (2.1 kg)
NOTE: As a commitment to constant improvement, PreSonus Audio Electronics, Inc., reserves the right to change any specification stated herein at any time, without notification.


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