Presonus Studio 192 Mobile audio interface

USB headsets to digital audio workstation software...
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w-u-2-o
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Presonus Studio 192 Mobile audio interface

Postby w-u-2-o » Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:09 pm

For a long time now I've been using the Behringer UMC202 professional audio interface. I am fully virtualized and run all of my audio, receive and transmit, through the PC with it. No connections to the radio other than Ethernet. The Behringer is an unbeatable value at only $60 when compared to its competition from Steinberg and Focusrite, not to mention having much better and more stable drivers, too.

However, I've been craving lower latency. In order to achieve that, one must move up into the world of USB 3.0 interfaces (expensive), Firewire/Thunderbolt interfaces (very expensive), or professional audio PCIE cards (stupid expensive). Right now the USB 3.0 market is very small, and consists primarily of the Zoom UAC-2 for $300, and the Presonus Studio 192 Mobile at $500.

Recently the Presonus unit became available on eBay for less than $400. I picked one up for $380. Used ones are occasionally available for around $300.

Image

After swapping out the venerable Behringer with the Presonus, all I can say is "WOW!" Zero, and I mean ZERO latency (<3mS) monitoring. That's even with the audio travelling first through Voicemeeter Banana, through the Reaper digital audio workstation (DAW) software, and back through Voicemeeter Banana (VMB). What a difference from the Behringer UMC202!

PowerSDR remains the usual stumbling block, as MON has many tens of milliseconds latency on it. But outside of PowerSDR latency is zero.

Leaving aside PowerSDR, the DAW is actually now the limiting factor. I need to find a better DAW! Windows and VMB will happily run at a Presonus buffer size of 32 (the minimum) at 96KHz. That's only 330 microseconds of buffer. Adding in the DAW I have to run at a buffer size of 128 at 96KHz. Of course that is only 1.33mS, but with the right DAW I should be able to get into the sub-millisecond range. BTW, same performance at 48KHz, just drop the buffers one increment and get the equivalent latencies.

Pro's: fantastic audio quality, really nice headphone amp (I need to get better headphones now!), effectively zero latency (outside of PowerSDR), highly flexible controls. It even has an external clock reference input!

Con's: highly flexible controls (it took me a couple of hours to unravel the mixer app that is part of the control panel), and cost. At the $380 I paid it's far cry from the Behringer at $60. Unfortunately it's a big cost leap to get into the zero latency interface regime.

As I mentioned, the controls are highly flexible, as it is designed for professional studio use. This may be too much complexity for some. Here's a shot of the Presonus control panel next to my normal DAW mixing board.

Image

It all fits quite neatly underneath and between two of my monitors. I think I may move it over to the right side though.

Image

73!

Scott
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Re: Presonus Studio 192 Mobile audio interface

Postby SA3ATF » Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:38 pm

Congratulations on your new sound card and especially to ZERO delay!!
Always good to hear about others sucsess I have to say :D
I'm running with a sound card called M-Audio M-Track 2X2X4 which also has USB C, but I do not really know. It's then delayed, even if I listen to another recipient when I send .... I've changed computer when my sons gaming computer crashed and he had to take my newly built, so maybe the delay is because of that even though this is not so bad Have not run any tests on it yet.

I have mostly been to VHF since we have / had huge conditions there and most likely because of the cold. Around -25 celsius for a week :roll:
I don’t suffer from insanity, I enjoy every second of it!
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Re: Presonus Studio 192 Mobile audio interface

Postby SA3ATF » Sun Jan 14, 2018 12:15 am

Here is a new picture from the SA3ATF studio and the soundcard is in the front of the right speaker.
Image
Behind the computer, it's a 1,5kw Dummy load if you're wondering what's in the bag. They are not tight as you may know ....
I don’t suffer from insanity, I enjoy every second of it!
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w-u-2-o
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Re: Presonus Studio 192 Mobile audio interface

Postby w-u-2-o » Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:39 am

SA3ATF wrote:Here is a new picture from the SA3ATF studio and the soundcard is in the front of the right speaker.
Beautiful station! :mrgreen:
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Tony EI7BMB
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Re: Presonus Studio 192 Mobile audio interface

Postby Tony EI7BMB » Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:41 pm

Congrats Scott, great looking unit. I'm very tempted :-)
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Re: Presonus Studio 192 Mobile audio interface

Postby Tony EI7BMB » Tue Feb 06, 2018 2:17 pm

Scott this may be a dumb question but do you have to turn the mic level off when you are Txing in digital modes or is there some other way to handle this ?
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Re: Presonus Studio 192 Mobile audio interface

Postby w-u-2-o » Tue Feb 06, 2018 2:35 pm

Not a dumb question at all, Tony! The answer is that you do indeed have to turn off the microphone somehow. There are many options here.

1. Disconnect the microphone ;)
2. Turn down the microphone gain.
3. Use the mixer app in the Presonus control panel to turn off the microphone.
4. Use a completely different set of devices (virtual audio connections) when using the microphone vs. when using digi mode app's.
5. Use an external mixer app, such as Voicemeeter Banana (VMB), to control audio routing to/from PowerSDR and third party app's, including DAW software.
6. Do all the final mixing and routing in a DAW app. using VMB as a patch panel (this is how I do it).

I strongly recommend using method 5 to start out with. There is a little bit of learning curve, but once you get it figured out you will find it simple, easy, and wonder how you ever did without VMB.

Much of what you need to know is in my VAC tutorial, but I feel a video tutorial coming on soon :)

Are you thinking of buying a Presonus? If you do, we'll probably be expanding this thread a little, because the setup of the mixer app in the Presonus control panel is another interesting layer of complexity, as I noted in an earlier post.

It's a hell of a piece of kit, though! I recently found it has the power to drive some professional, 80 Ohm, studio headphones, too!

73!

Scott
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Re: Presonus Studio 192 Mobile audio interface

Postby Tony EI7BMB » Tue Feb 06, 2018 3:07 pm

Thanks Scott, yes I'm strongly tempted to get the pre sonus . My current set up is fine but I think this would take it to the next level. I've been using VMB for a while so guess it will be as easy as a button push when changing from SSB to digital modes . The pre sonus is quite a bit more expensive here in EU so may have to wait until I visit WY in July to get one.
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Re: Presonus Studio 192 Mobile audio interface

Postby w-u-2-o » Wed Feb 28, 2018 12:06 pm

Minor update: I found a DAW that will run at the minimum buffer size of 32 at 96Khz, Reaper. But... As soon as I added a single VST plug-in I had to increase the buffer back up to 128. At least I know for sure where the weak link is, now.
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Re: Presonus Studio 192 Mobile audio interface

Postby Conrad_PA5Y » Wed Feb 28, 2018 7:10 pm

Yes this looks like the interface for me as well ultimately. You'll never be getting any photos of my shack it's far too messy. So it's official Scott, you are the VAC audio guru. I had not seen that you were using Reaper but independently decided it was the way to go. I could have saved a few hours if I had seen this thread first.

Regards

Conrad
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Re: Presonus Studio 192 Mobile audio interface

Postby SA3ATF » Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:16 am

I know that this Presonus 192 Mobile is very good soundcard and popular with musicians on the go!
What I wonder is if you do Scott with the other ports available on this sound card?
I'm looking around for what's replacing my M-Audio M2X2M and I think that after a certain money limit, it's the number of inputs and outputs that distinguishes them (in addition to the preamp quality and the software that comes with) and wondering why do something special with the ports you have over, or if you're strictly using it for the amateur radio?
I know there is a lot of difference between the software between them, but still as well.
I'm stuck to Universal Audio from what I read, but would be nice to hear why you just fell for this sound card.
Everyone I'm looking at is 24bits / 192kHz which what I have now is also.

Thank you very much for enjoying my shack!
I'm a bit picky when it comes to cables that hang and throw and have rebuilt it after that picture.
I rarely have the same setup for more than a month at a time ....
Our hobby has many branches if I say so :P

Thanks in advance, and a nice weekend to all!


SINCERELY
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Re: Presonus Studio 192 Mobile audio interface

Postby SA3ATF » Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:24 am

I can also take care to tell you that today I got my new Wavenode probe with RF View so I can measure my Acom 1500.
Just in this moment, it is about solving cable between the probe and the radio.
Tells later how it works.

73
I don’t suffer from insanity, I enjoy every second of it!
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Re: Presonus Studio 192 Mobile audio interface

Postby SA3ATF » Sat Mar 10, 2018 1:29 am

What I wonder is mainly the difference between sound cards for 200, 600, 1000 EUR for even more and, above all, how we defend this to the hobby we have.
Believe that more than I think of this :)

73
Tommy, sa3atf from the bottom of the Grubba
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Re: Presonus Studio 192 Mobile audio interface

Postby w-u-2-o » Sat Mar 10, 2018 2:07 am

SA3ATF wrote:I know that this Presonus 192 Mobile is very good soundcard and popular with musicians on the go!
What I wonder is if you do Scott with the other ports available on this sound card?
Tommy--I only use two inputs and the main and headphone outputs. Input 1 is for the Behringer B1, Input 2 is for the AKG WMS420 wireless with the C555 mic.
I'm looking around for what's replacing my M-Audio M2X2M and I think that after a certain money limit, it's the number of inputs and outputs that distinguishes them (in addition to the preamp quality and the software that comes with) and wondering why do something special with the ports you have over, or if you're strictly using it for the amateur radio?
I use this strictly for amateur radio.
I know there is a lot of difference between the software between them, but still as well.
I'm stuck to Universal Audio from what I read, but would be nice to hear why you just fell for this sound card.
Everyone I'm looking at is 24bits / 192kHz which what I have now is also.
The way I look at things, sound interfaces breakdown as follows:

- Non-ASIO sound interfaces--not worth anyone's time
- USB 2 based sound interfaces--only the Berhinger works well, everything else is in second place because the Behringer has the best drivers, and the mic pre-amp's are darn good, too.
- USB 3 based sound interfaces--this is where you can start to obtain zero latency (outside of PowerSDR). The Zoom UAC-2 is the least expensive choice, the Presonus the second least expensive. I found a Presonus on sale on eBay and grabbed it.
- PCIE interfaces--super expensive, way too much for me!

Thank you very much for enjoying my shack!
I'm a bit picky when it comes to cables that hang and throw and have rebuilt it after that picture.
I rarely have the same setup for more than a month at a time ....
Our hobby has many branches if I say so :P
Again, beautiful shack, Tommy! Keep up the good work!
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Re: Presonus Studio 192 Mobile audio interface

Postby SA3ATF » Sat Mar 10, 2018 3:18 am

I interpret that "these" sound cards are over-priced for us radio amateurs.
What I want is software so you can influence what you want now via the computer and not just a hardware on its card.
As I said, I have stuck to Universal Audio's products, but do you think anything works to what we are doing?
I'm now looking the most on the UA Apollo Twin MKII solo or maybe even more on the Audient iD44 (which is very recognized) released today, and maybe later because they are world-renowned for their quality not the most of their micpreams.
What disturbs me then is that the Audience "only" has 96kHz against most other new sound cards including my own has 192kHz what it's doing now.
I do not need mass inputs and outputs, but would like to have two monitor outputs because I hate two sets that would be nice to switch between.
Feeling a bit "lost" in this jungle, but it's normal that the more you read about things, the more dull you get
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Re: Presonus Studio 192 Mobile audio interface

Postby w-u-2-o » Sat Mar 10, 2018 2:56 pm

There is no reason to run 192KHz unless it is to achieve lower latency, i.e. you have bottomed out your buffer sizes and wish to obtain a smaller delay through that buffer by increasing the sample rate. The reason that this is true is because all audio entering the radio is either sampled or re-sampled to 48KHz, and all audio processing inside the radio is accomplished at 48KHz. Personally, I'm running 96KHz because I was able to bottom all of my buffer sizes at 48KHz.

The UA and Audient products are relatively high end choices that are, as you say, probably overkill for amateur radio. The absolute best value is the Behringer UMC202HD at less than $70 USD. Next up from that would be the Zoom UAC-2 at $300, and then the Presonus at $400, although I've seen them used for near $300. Unfortunately there are no low priced USB 3 or USC C interfaces yet. All we really care about for ham radio is speed, and we have to accept expensive feature sets to get that speed. But the UMC202HD is fast enough for all but the most discriminating ham ;)

Looking at price point again, using the very popular W2IHY external amateur radio audio processors as a benchmark, anything under $400 is not totally unrealistic. However, I find the W2IHY gear to not be a good value. For example, one can obtain something like a DBX286s mic preamp/processor and combine it with a DBX166 compressor/limiter/gate and any number of DBX EQs and have ten times the capability of a W2IHY setup for less money. Once could even feed that into a UMC202HD and straight into the computer. Or, alternately, get some inexpensive (darn near free) DAW software like Reaper and do a lot more for near nothing and no external gear except the interface.

IMHO, the only external processing needed right now with PowerSDR is a gate. The gate in PowerSDR is far too simplistic and does not provide for good VOX operation.

73,

Scott
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Re: Presonus Studio 192 Mobile audio interface

Postby Tony EI7BMB » Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:56 pm

Just installed the UMC 404 , station now looking a lot neater


Image
Last edited by Tony EI7BMB on Wed Sep 19, 2018 9:21 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Presonus Studio 192 Mobile audio interface

Postby w-u-2-o » Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:07 am

Tony,

We'd all love to see the photo of your station, but your image link is not working for the rest of us.

73,

Scott
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Re: Presonus Studio 192 Mobile audio interface

Postby Tony EI7BMB » Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:47 pm

Sorry about that , just edited the URL hopefully that's fixed it.
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Re: Presonus Studio 192 Mobile audio interface

Postby Conrad_PA5Y » Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:23 pm

Yep I can see the image, all these photos look very sanitary :D

Be a while before I add my photos, building a new shack in May, perhaps when that's finished.

Conrad
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Re: Presonus Studio 192 Mobile audio interface

Postby Tony EI7BMB » Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:57 pm

Can't help it, I'm ex military :-)


Conrad_PA5Y wrote:Yep I can see the image, all these photos look very sanitary :D

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Re: Presonus Studio 192 Mobile audio interface

Postby SA3ATF » Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:34 pm

I have to say I'm getting more impressed with this Presonus Studio 192 Mobile sound card the more I read about it and the more Youtube videos I see!
Their UC Surface and Fat Channel plug-in processing on every analog input seems to be cruel!
All I do not like is the form factor on it which is not easy to influence :roll:

How do you think, for example, that the gate that is built into the software works and the other adjustments you can make there, is it something you use or are you running other plug ins?

As usual, we have a strange pricing image here in Sweden, and this card is quite similar to the UA Apollo Twin MKII and Audient ID44, so thats why I go back and forth which one suits me best.
Seems to be the software that is the biggest difference between them and there it would be best to test them live so to speak, but the Presonus seems to be absolutly amazing!

I know all about W2IHY when I had ( and still have the 8 band eq & EQplus somewhere) all of their products many years ago when I started with ESSB and then it became a lot of rack stuff after that.
Right now I have a DBX 286S that you mention before the sound card for not having to max the micgain in the card to my PR40 instead of a Fethead or Cloudlifter and for a better noicegate.
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Re: Presonus Studio 192 Mobile audio interface

Postby w-u-2-o » Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:09 pm

I don't care for the Fat Channel processing. I now use all of the built in features of PowerSDR mRX exclusively except for the gate, which is way too basic and non-adjustable. Since I use the Reaper DAW as a virtual mixing board on the station, I use a gate plug-in in Reaper that I like.
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Re: Presonus Studio 192 Mobile audio interface

Postby Tony EI7BMB » Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:56 am


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