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  • #61
    Thanks for the replies, they have helped! ...I have the basics down now, and can isolate the tracks. Now the challenge is to properly monitor...I have to make sure that the apple system preferences/GB Preferences/ and Inspire Control panel are all in sync. Any guidance on that would be helpful.

    What's not clear to me is: If I use GB's built in vocal and/or guitar effects, can those be monitored through the Inspire, or is the inspire just for the un-effected inputs. the Inspire control panel seems to have little effect on Garage Band.

    Thanks again for the help, and additonal guidance would be welcome.


    • #62
      Turn up the Inspire applet's "playback" slider, and turn down the other ones. Now you'll be monitoring solely through the computer, although you'll probably have to set up some kind of "thru" adjustment to allow monitoring through GarageBand.

      This is where low latency will REALLY help so you don't hear an annoying delay when you play.
      The first 3 books in "The Musician's Guide to Home Recording" series are available from Hal Leonard and Listen to my music on, and visit Thanks!


      • #63
        Thanks Anderton for the great review. I'm new to this forum.

        I Have a PreSonus Inspire and when I got it there was a PreSonus rebate, so I got a ton pf great plug-ins on top of the ones that came with the unit (Wave arts, amplitube, Audio Damage, etc.)

        I bought the Inspire because I could have 4 simultaneous tracks. For that I bought a SoundCraft Compact4 (A great mixer), which has fantastic mic-pres (IMO better than mackie). The rec-out of the mixer goes to the RCA inputs, and I think the sound is better than the Inspire's mic-pres. I use short Radial Mogami RCA cables to keep things as clean as possible.

        When using the mixer I don't have any noise coming from the RCA even at high gains.


        • #64
          Question for Craig, one of the PreSonus guys, or anyone else who might know the answer...

          I'm thinking about getting an Inspire, but I need it for one main purpose, which is to digitize my pretty extensive analog 4-track collection. I've got years' worth of stuff on cassettes recorded using a Tascam Portastudio 424 and I've been looking for a way to get these tracks digitized. So I need something that can handle simultaneous recording of 4 synchronized, cassette-based music tracks.

          It looks to me like I can manage this with the Inspire by sending tracks 1 and 2 from my 4-track machine to Inspire's hi-Z instrument inputs on the front and by sending tracks 3 and 4 to the RCA connectors on the back. Seems simple, yeah? Can anyone confirm whether the Inspire can handle this arrangement? Thanks !!


          • #65
            It should work fine for your application.

            The hiZ inputs have a bit more gain since instruments need more than line output devices. However, you can just attenuate them out of the four track to make sure that you don't overdrive the input.

            Aside from that, the line inputs also have some gain available so that you can match the instrument inputs. Just make sure that you have about the same healthy amount of gain for all four channels and you should be fine.

            That reminds me that I need to do the same thing with some of my old four track tapes. I've been wanting to do a 'Christmas CD' surprise for my old bandmates from way back when and remix some of our old ancient four track masters. Only problem is that I haven't owned a four track in about 16 years or so..... Oh well, there's always ebay....

            Good luck to you,
            Rick Naqvi
            800.750.0323 x0641


            • #66
              Hey Rick, thanks for the quick reply. That was exactly the information I needed. Looks like I'll be getting an Inspire before too long, and after I've finished digitizing the old 4-tracks I'll be using the Inspire for digital recording going forward.

              Good luck with your Christmas CD for the old bandmates. I've got a similar project to do for mine! Also, I'll bet that prices on old analog 4-track machines are coming down a lot as people like myself are migrating to digital.



              • #67
                Well, it's been a long time between posts, but that's because I've been convinced I could find a solution to the motorboating/noise issues happening with the Inspire and my Mac. AND I DID! Keep reading...

                I read Paul White's review in Sound on Sound about the Inspire (he liked it too, by the way) and he also referenced a FireWire whine - but unlike my situation, this one happened when monitoring, and wasn't recorded on to the track. Well, aside from being a great guy he's very knowledgeable about Macs, and mentioned downloading a set of the "CHUD" developer tools from Apple. When he turned off processor cycling, that solved his problem. Cool!

                So I downloaded CHUD, turned off processor cycling, got out my mic, plugged in the Inspire, started recording in Cubase LE and...nope, the low-level motorboating was still there, and was still there on playback.

                So I closed the Inspire applet, and...hey, what's this?!?!? The motorboating went away! I put the applet back on screen, and the motorboating came back. Closed it again, and the preamps became clean and happy, and of course, because everything had been set in the Inspire, it was still sending signal to Cubase LE. I recorded a vocal track, and played it back, and...

                THE NOISE WAS GONE!!!!!!

                So if you have one of those weirdo Mac situations where you hear artifacts being recorded on your tracks with the mic ins, just get everything set the way you want, and close down the applet while recording, and all will be well.

                Amazingly simple. If I'd only known this a few months ago...
                The first 3 books in "The Musician's Guide to Home Recording" series are available from Hal Leonard and Listen to my music on, and visit Thanks!


                • #68
                  Thanks for your efforts, Craig and Rick.
                  RIP: Nite Owl Jazz


                  • #69
                    <<I'd be interested in what the pros have to say about the sound quality of the Inspire's outs. I've only be able to A/B test the Inspire against my M Audio Black Box and to my ears the Inspire leaves a lot to be desired. >>

                    I tested the Inspire vs. the Black Box vs. the FireBox, and here's my subjective impressions:

                    Inspire: Less bottom end than the Black Box, greater high end emphasis gives much "brighter" sound.
                    FireBox: Best of the three. Full low end, nice highs; Black Box sounds more "muffled" when you immediately go from FireBox to Black Box.

                    I'd say the Black Box has an edge in sound quality over the Inspire but the BB benefits from a bit of a high frequency boost, while the Inspire benefits from a low frequency boost.
                    The first 3 books in "The Musician's Guide to Home Recording" series are available from Hal Leonard and Listen to my music on, and visit Thanks!


                    • #70
                      Okay, it's time to wrap this puppy up from my end, although of course, you're welcome to continue to respond and ask questions. We have several very interesting pro reviews scheduled, and it's time to get to those.

                      Anyway, until today, I would have given a recommendation with reservations, because of the Mac issues. However, it seems Paul White has found out how to get rid of one Mac problem (hmm...wonder if this works with the Onyx 400F) and I've found a workaround for the other. So, it's time to give the Inspire 1394 a clean bill of health for both platforms.

                      Which means we get down to the basics: Do you get what you pay for? The answer to that is a resounding YES. Given the low street price, the bundled software (Cubase LE, Acid XMC, various plug-ins, the applet, etc.), you get tremendous value. It's a bit unfortunate that there's not a one-to-one correspondance on software between the two platforms (e.g., Acid won't run on the Mac, some plug-ins run on one platform but not the other), but that's not PreSonus's fault. In fact, to their credit, with their Pro Pak they've tried to provide some sort of parity for both platforms rather than just saying "tough luck."

                      As an audiophile converter for your computer, I think it's worth stepping up to the FireBox, which outperforms the Inspire from an audio quality standpoint, and also includes MIDI. But it's twice the list price of the Inspire, and about 50% more in terms of street price. Nor does it provide the easy "stacking" of multiple interfaces when individual Inspire owners get together for a jam session.

                      Ultimately, to my mind, the Inspire 1394 is more like a "porta-studio" type of device intended for those getting into recording. You can go into a music store, lay out less than $200, and go home with a very capable sequencer, interface with mic pre and direct ins, more than decent sound quality, a bunch of plug-ins, a compact and durable case that stands up to just about any kind of punishment you hand out, monitoring, the clever applet that lets you hide the Inspire off a corner to minimize clutter and do everything from your computer, and expandability. When I think of what my first cassette-based Portastudio cost...

                      If you can afford a more upscale interface like the FireBox, that's a great choice...I've found it to be ideal for my live work, and unexpectedly, for a lot of what I do in the studio. But it's hard to beat the Inspire 1394 for sheer value. PreSonus has come up with a product that rocks, fills a unique niche, and will allow a lot more people to get into recording. Good job.
                      The first 3 books in "The Musician's Guide to Home Recording" series are available from Hal Leonard and Listen to my music on, and visit Thanks!


                      • #71
                        Thank you!

                        It's funny how every pro review is so different. I had no idea what to expect from the Inspire, and I certainly didn't expect to run into the Dreaded Apple FireWire Deal. But it's nice to know the problem is solveable

                        Overall, PreSonus is IMHO a pretty forward-thinking company. They've come a long way in a short period of time because they seem to understand where the "sweet spot" is between price and performance.
                        The first 3 books in "The Musician's Guide to Home Recording" series are available from Hal Leonard and Listen to my music on, and visit Thanks!


                        • #72
                          My Daugther is intrested in buying the Inspire my understanding is that she can record 4 simultaneos instruments/vocals etc..

                          Am I correct?

                          From the Presonus Website:
                          "The INSPIRE 1394 is a revolutionary FireWire Recording System featuring professional quality 24-bit/96k analog to digital conversion rate, four simultaneous inputs..................."

                          He's Coming,Make Music Be Happy
                          The Lord Is My Provider And My Boss, So Don't Even Think You Are The Man
                          Too Many Songs To Learn, So little Time!!


                          • #73
                            Yes, but note: Two of the inputs are line, one input can be mic or instrument, and the fourth input can be mic or instrument as well.
                            The first 3 books in "The Musician's Guide to Home Recording" series are available from Hal Leonard and Listen to my music on, and visit Thanks!


                            • #74
                              Re: the Inspire 1394 running on an iMac using Garageband. I've notice some latency while recording, is there any way to adjust this? It appears that the windows version has some software adjustment however the Mac version dosen't?

                              Thanks you!


                              • #75
                                Depends on what you mean by "some." There will always be some level of latency; that can't be avoided. Unfortunately I don't have Garageband and I returned the Inspires to Presonus, so I can't give a specific answer. However, with Cubase, you can change the number of audio buffers, which has a direct relationship to latency. Presumably, GarageBand has a similar sort of control.
                                The first 3 books in "The Musician's Guide to Home Recording" series are available from Hal Leonard and Listen to my music on, and visit Thanks!