need help using Presonus Firebox with Audacity

I recorded a major project last year with lots and lots of multi-tracking using Audacity. This year my computer has been rebuilt and is much faster and I got a Presonus Firebox pre-amp/converter and I’m having some trouble.

  1. I can’t get the second input on the Firebox to recognize audio (I can hear it in my headphones, but there is no monitoring of the sound in Audacity

  2. At 96000 and 48000, I can incredibly clear recordings - but there is a subtle cracking or popping in playback

  3. At 44100 I don’t get the cracking/popping, but the recorded sound quality is not as good

  4. Last year I had no problem with tracks not lining up and I was recording with a 3 year old Dell pc and soundblaster sound card - however, this year I’ve noticed some delay from track to track and have had trouble getting them to line up

There are probably some other things that I’m leaving out - but these are the major problems so far. Any assistance will be appreciated.

If you mean that it won’t record in Audacity, You need to set the number of recording channels in “Edit → Preferences → Audio I/O”

Some part of your system is unable to keep up with the amount of data. There are various optimisations of your system that you can do, including defragging, switching off anti-virus products, shutting down unnecesary background processes. (If you do a bit of searching, you’ll probably find a few other optimisation tips.)

CD quality is 44.1 kHz 16 bit - If you need better quality, try increasing the bits to 24 bit. Unless you are doing LOTS of post processing and are using an extremely high quality audio system, then there is little point in using very high sample rates and bit deapth (Much professional audio equipment uses 24 bit at 48 kHz).

If you use v. 1.3.4 beta you can set up latency compensation (Edit ->Preferences->Audio I/O)

Thank you for getting back to me…

I’ve done this and I’m still having trouble…

Where should I set the latency?

Thx ~ Bradlee

It may not be possible to record from multiple inputs of your Presonus Firebox with Audacity - it all depends on how the drivers work. Many multi-channel devices work by appearing as multiple devices, If this is the case then it won’t work with Audacity as Audacity can only use one device at a time.

You need Audacity v.1.3.4 and then it is in “Edit ->Preferences->Audio I/O”

I guess what I meant was - what should I set the latency to…there are two options in the place where you said to go: there is an audio to buffer and a latency correction. With the Firebox, there is a place to set a hardware setting for ‘latency’ and I’ve been experimenting with both 8 and 12. My biggest trouble at the moment is the delay of the tracks and them not lining up. I almost cannot believe that I’m having this much trouble this year when it was so much easier last year with a weaker pc and I was just running into an external soundcard. I had no problems like this last year.

As for the subtle poppling and clicking…it seems I’m going to get that at both 96 and 48, but I don’t get it at 44100. However, I notice more delay track to track at 44100.

One other thing as I hack through all of this…I can record at 16 or 24…the presonus unit is designed for 24 but in audacity there are options. Which do you think is better? Thank you for all of your help.

Talking v.1.3.4 (since that is what you need to set latency compensation).

The “Audio Buffers” sets the amount of audio that is “buffered” (temporarily stored in ram) before Audacity tries to do anything with it. The point of using audio buffers is so that Audacity can work with a constant stream of data, otherwise the slightest interruption would result in a “drop-out” which would sound like a click or a pop.

The general scheme is that the bigger the buffer, the less likelihood of getting drop-outs, but the greater the delay you will notice. In setting the audio buffers, 100 milliseconds is a good starting point (the default). If you notice drop-outs, you can increase this a little. If it works smoothly without drop-outs, you can try decreasing it a little so as to get less latency (but not too much or you will start hearing the clicks and pops again).

If you are using higher bit rates, or bit depth, there is a lot more audio data that needs to be processed (16 bit to 32 bit will double the amount of data. Similarly 48000 Hz to 96000 Hz will double it again). Because there is more data (more bits per second) you may have to increase the audio buffers to allow your hardware to cope with it.

Re. Latency correction - this is a feature by which Audacity will shift the recorded track a little in order to compensate for the aforementioned delay. There is a post about how to set it up here:

Thank you so much for your help with latency and the rest. I will refer to your e-mail and the link you sent me tonight, and experiment with some different settings and pray that it will work. :slight_smile: This has been extremely frustrating b/c my songs are written and I’m ready to record and things went so much smoother last year when I had a much more basic set up. I’ll keep you posted. :slight_smile:

I do have another question pertaining to the Firebox and audacity…the firebox has two inputs on the front and I can’t always get the second one to work. Why do you think this is? It comes and goes. I would like to be able to use input 2 b/c it is designed for instruments - I would record vocals into input one and instruments into input 2, ideally.

Another question regarding the two inputs…is it possible to record into both inputs at the same time and have each be its own track? I would like to be able to do this so I can experiment with mic’ing my guitar - I would like to use to different mics and mic it at two different places and have two tracks to come out of it to play with. Let me know what you think and thank you for everything.