Connect with us

Gear Reviews

PreSonus Studio 6|8 USB Audio Interface

Published

on

Affiliate Links

PreSonus, the top of the line in Audio Interfaces, Mixers, Control Surfaces, and many more has released the PreSonus Studio 6|8 USB Audio Interface.

The PreSonus Studio 6|8 USB Audio Interface is perfect for those that have home studios and want the top of the line gear at an affordable price that will do the job!

The Studio 6|8 USB Audio Interface is capable of sample rates from 44.1 kHz to 192 kHz and clock source can be internal or S/PDIF. Both the Sample Rate and Clock Source can be changed with the Universal Control software. The input and output are both 24 bit with 6 inputs and 8 outputs, including the stereo headphone out and S/PDIF digital I/O.

I used the PreSonus Studio 6|8 USB Audio Interface from everything to recording, and just using it as an audio interface connected to my studio monitors, and it sounds absolutely amazing. The setup is very easy, and as I only run MAC and can’t speak for Windows, the PreSonus Studio 6|8 USB Audio Interface was plug and play, ready to go right out of the box; I am quite confident the same would be for Windows. The Windows ASIO driver is available for download from your PreSonus account, as well as the Universal Control installer for MAC. Universal Control includes the drivers, and you also can download it from the website at presonus.com/products/Studio-68/downloads. While Studio One Artist is included with the PreSonus Studio 6|8 USB Audio Interface, the interface also works with other audio applications too.

Let’s talk about connections…

On the PreSonus Studio 6|8 USB Audio Interface front panel, there are 2 mic/line/instrument inputs, which are equipped with XMAX solid state mic preamps with a class A input buffer and dual-servo gain stage. This will give you up to the 192kHz and 115dB on both input and output.

There are also 2 mic/line inputs on the back panel and these also have XMAX mic preamps.

All of the inputs accept 1/4” or XLR connectors.

The input source button can be used to change between line and instrument levels just for the first two inputs. A line-level connection would be a CD player, synth, etc. PreSonus recommends that if you use an external device such as a preamp or active instruments to use the line input instead of the inst input. The inst input should be used for passive instruments only such as bass or guitar. There is a 48V button that provides phantom power to condenser mics. Also on the front panel are the LED meters for inputs one through four and two for main level, being left and right channels. There is a sync LED that has a USB symbol next to it. When it is lit up blue, then the PreSonus Studio 6|8 USB Audio Interface is synced with your PC/MAC.

The direct monitor button, when lit, plays the audio from your computer and input source, when it is not lit, you will only hear what is coming from your computer.

This enables you to monitor your input without the latency that happens when you monitor through your computer. The Cue A/B button allows you to switch between playback of stream 1 and 2, and 3 and 4. The headphone jack is on the back panel and controlled by the headphone level knob on he front panel. There are four separate controls for input level, one for each input from -15 to +65 dB inputs and -20 to +20dB on the inputs. The last control on the front panel is the Main control, which controls the stereo outputs on the back of the unit with a range of -80 to 0db.

The PreSonus Studio 6|8 USB Audio Interface rear panel, in addition to what was previously mentioned, has the Main left and right outputs, two additional line outs, and USB 2.0 connection to your computer and power connection. PreSonus includes a breakout MIDI and S/PDIF cable with the PreSonus Studio 6|8 USB Audio Interface.

PreSonus also includes Studio One Artist with the PreSonus Studio 6|8 USB Audio Interface.

Studio One Artist is a complete recording package and comes with multitude of content to get you started quickly on recording and producing music. Everything is included from demos and tutorials to virtual instruments and audio loops. In addition to Studio One Artist, you also get the Studio Magic Plug-in Suite, which includes the Eventide 910 Harmonizer and 2016 Stereo Room, Lexicon MPX-i Reverb, Arturia Analog Lab Lite, and Plugin Alliance Brainworx bx_opto, SPL Attacker and Maag Audio EQ2.

My thoughts?

PreSonus is providing you with a great package with the Studio 6|8 and Studio One Artist at a price that can’t be beat and will have you up and recording and producing music in no time! In addition to home studio use, and I should mention great portability if you are a traveling musician, this is also great for podcasts and Das as well.

Check out the PreSonus Studio 6|8 USB Audio Interface along with Studio One Artist at a music retailer near you!

Visit online at www.presonus.com

SaveSave

SaveSave

Bass Videos

String Instrument Humidifiers

Published

on

String Instrument Humidifiers

String Instrument Humidifiers

After living in some very humid parts of the country for decades, we moved to a dryer, much sunnier location. As a result, I started noticing some fret sprout on my string instruments and recently did a video on fret sprout correction.

It occurred to me that I should take a more preventative approach to string instrument humidification. Of course, I turned to my instrument maintenance experts, Music Nomad Equipment Care, for a solution and they suggested their Humitar series. (Note: They sent two press samples and I purchased the remainder online.)

Join me as I look at these useful tools for keeping my string instruments in tip-top condition.

The Humitar series is available online at Music Nomad Equipment Care, as well as Amazon.com

Continue Reading

Bass Videos

Review: CrystalBright Rombo Picks

Published

on

Review: CrystalBright Rombo Picks

CrystalBright Rombo Picks

PR Sample

Playing bass with a pick is still a touchy subject in our community. I believe you should be able to use whatever you need to get your sound. Even though I mostly play with my fingers, I like to check out innovative new picks that might have something new to offer, sonically speaking.

Judith and Carlos from Rombo recently contacted me about a new material called CrystalBright that they have been researching for the last 12 months and offered to send some prototype picks. After trying them out, I put together this video with my findings.

For more info check out @rombopicks

Continue Reading

Gear

New Joe Dart Bass From Sterling By Music Man

Published

on

Sterling by Music Man introduces the Joe Dart Artist Series Bass (“Joe Dart”), named after and designed in collaboration with the celebrated Vulfpeck bassist.

Above photo credit: JORDAN THIBEAUX

This highly-anticipated model marks the debut of the Dart bass in the Sterling by Music Man lineup, paying homage to the Ernie Ball Music Man original that all funk players know and love. The bass embodies many of the original model’s distinctive features, from its iconic minimalist design to the passive electronics.

Joe Dart Artist Series Bass

The design process prioritized reliability, playability, and accessibility at the forefront. Constructed from the timeless Sterling body, the Dart features a slightly smaller neck profile, offering a clean tone within a comfortable package. The body is crafted from soft maple wood for clarity and warmth while the natural finish emphasizes the simple yet unique look.

Engineered for straightforward performance, this passive bass features a ceramic humbucking bridge pickup and a single ‘toaster’ knob for volume control. Reliable with a classic tone, it’s perfect for playing in the pocket. The Dart is strung with the all-new Ernie Ball Stainless Steel Flatwound Electric Bass Strings for the smoothest feel and a mellow sound.

Joe Dart Artist Series Bass

The Sterling by Music Man Joe Dart Bass is a special “Timed Edition” release, exclusively available for order on the Sterling by Music Man website for just one month. Each bass is made to order, with the window closing on May 31st and shipping starting in November. A dedicated countdown timer will indicate the remaining time for purchase on the product page. Additionally, the back of the headstock will be marked with a “2024 Crop” stamp to commemorate the harvest year for this special, one-of-a-kind release. 

The Joe Dart Bass is priced at $399.99 (MAP) and can be ordered globally at https://sterlingbymusicman.com/products/joe-dart. 

To learn more about Joe Dart, visit the official Vulfpeck artist site here https://www.vulfpeck.com/.


Continue Reading

Gear Reviews

The Frank Brocklehurst 6-String Fretless Bass Build

Published

on

The Frank Brocklehurst 6 String Fretless Bass Build

A few months ago, my Ken Bebensee 6-string fretted bass needed some TLC. You know, the one rocking those Pink Neon strings! I scoured my Connecticut neighborhood for a top-notch luthier and got pointed to Frank Brocklehurst, F Brock Music. He swung by my place, scooped up the bass, and boom, returned it the next day, good as new. Not only that, he showed up with a custom 5-string fretted bass that blew me away. I couldn’t resist asking if he could whip up a 6-string fretless for me. 

Alright, let’s break down the process here. We’ve got our raw materials: Mahogany, Maple, and Holly. Fun fact – the Mahogany and Maple have been chilling in the wood vault for a solid 13 years. Frank is serious about his wood; they buy it, stash it away, and keep an eye on it to make sure it’s stable.  

First up, they’re tackling the Mahogany. Frank glues it together, then lets it sit for a few days to let everything settle and the glue to fully dry. After that, it’s onto the thickness planer and sander to get it nice and flat for the CNC machine. The CNC machine’s the real star here – it’s gonna carve out the body chambers and volume control cavity like a pro.

While the Mahogany’s doing its thing, Frank goes onto the neck core. Three pieces of quartersawn maple are coming together for this bad boy. Quartersawn means the grain’s going vertical. He is also sneaking in some graphite rods under the fingerboard for stability and to avoid any dead spots. The truss rod is going to be two-way adjustable, and the CNC machine’s doing its magic to make sure everything’s just right.

Screenshot

Now, onto the design phase. Frank uses CAD software to plan out the body shape, neck pocket, chambering, and those cool f-holes. I had this idea for trapezoid F-holes, just to do something different. The CAD software also helps us map out the neck shape, graphite channels, and truss-rod channel with pinpoint accuracy.

Once everything’s planned out, it’s CNC time again. Frank cuts out the body outline, neck pocket, and the trapezoid F-holes. Then it’s a mix of hand sanding and power tools to get that neck just how we like it. Oh, and those f holes? We’re going for trapezoids of different sizes – gotta keep things interesting.

Next step: gluing that neck into the pocket with some old-school hide glue. It’s got great tonal transfer and can be taken apart later if needed. Then it’s onto hand-carving that neck-body transition.

For the custom-made bridge, Frank uses brass for definition and Ebony for tonal transfer and that warm, woody sound.

BTW, for tunes, Frank went with Hipshot Ultralights with a D Tuner on the low B. This way I can drop to a low A which is a wonderful tone particularly if you are doing any demolition around your house! 

Now it’s time for the side dots. Typically, on most basses, these dots sit right in the middle of the frets. But with this bass, they’re placed around the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, and 12th frets.

Frank’s got his pickup hookup. Since the pickup he was building wasn’t ready, he popped in a Nordstrand blade to give it a whirl.

It sounded good, but I was itching for that single-coil vibe! And speaking of pickups, Frank showed me the Holly cover he was cutting to match, along with all the pink wire – talk about attention to detail!

A couple of things, while it is important for me to go passive, it is equally important for me to just go with a volume knob. Tone knobs are really just low-pass filters and the less in the way of a pure sound for me, the better. 

Finally, it’s string time! As usual, I went for the DR Pink Neon strings. Hey, I even have matching pink Cons…Both low tops and high!

Screenshot

Once we’ve got everything tuned up and settled, we’ll give it a day or two and then tweak that truss rod as needed. And voila, we’ve got ourselves a custom-made bass ready to rock and roll.

I want to thank Frank Brocklehurst for creating this 6 string beast for me. 

Continue Reading

Gear Reviews

Review Transcript: BITE Custom Bass – The Black Knight PP Bass

Published

on

Review - BITE Custom Bass - The Black Knight PP Bass

This is a written transcript of our video review of the BITE Custom Bass Black Knight PP Bass originally published on March 4, 2024

BITE Custom Bass – The Black Knight PP Bass Review…

Bass Musician Magazine did a review on a Steampunk bass from BITE Guitars about three years ago, it was an amazing instrument, and we were very impressed. Now we’re happy to bring you another BITE bass, the Black Knight PP.

Everybody needs a P-type bass, it’s the standard of bass. If you’re recording, they want you to have a P bass. So why not have something that gives you a little more by having two instead of one P pickup. That’s the idea of this bass, it’s the first thing that leaps out: the double P pickup configuration.

Installing two of their 1000 millivolt split-coil pickups, BITE then went one step further and wired them up in a 4-way parallel/series circuit, a look at the controls reveal a 4-way rotary selector:

The first position, marked “B”, gives you the bridge pickup by itself.

The second position, marked “P”, gives you the bridge and neck pickups in parallel mode, that’s the traditional J-type circuit, it reduces output due to the physical law of parallel circuits.

Position number 3 is marked “N”, it gives you the neck pickup by itself.

And finally, number 4, marked “S”, gives your bridge and neck in a series (humbucking) mode which adds up resistances and thus boosts output. The other two controls are master volume and master tone.

What’s more, like every BITE bass, this one also has a reinforced headstock heel designed to give it extra output and sustain. The BITE website features a graph and explanation of what they have done to the heel, as compared to traditional headstocks.

A look at the body reveals a beautiful Black Blast body finish and underneath that we have alder wood. The bass has a matching headstock with a 4-in-line tuner setup and the traditional bite out of it, so everybody will know what kind of bass you’re playing. The pickguard is 3-ply black, the neck is vintage tinted hard maple and it has a satin speed finish at the back which keeps your thumb from sticking.

On top of that, there’s a clear-coated roasted black locust fretboard with black blocks marking the frets. The nut is a black Graph Tec nut, we’ve got diamond dome control knobs, and the tuners are lightweight compacts with cloverleaf buttons and a 1:17 ratio precision gear. The bridge is a Gotoh brass bridge with 19-millimeter string spacing.

Overall measurements: we’ve got a standard 34″ scale, a 1.65″ width nut and a C neck profile. This bass weighs 8.2 pounds, or 3,7 kilograms for our metric friends, and it uses standard 18% nickel silver frets.

Taking a closer look at the sound, this bass is a joy to play. The BITE proprietary 1000 millivolt pickups deliver an extraordinary amount of output which is surprising considering this is a passive instrument. You may even want to set your amp to active mode because of all of the juice you’re getting out of this guy.

The tonal possibilities are very versatile, it’s a straight P if you want but also much more with those different arrangements of the circuitry. So why have multiple basses when you’ve got one that can give you your basic P plus a lot more?

To sum it up, the Black Knight PP is an amazing instrument. The attention to detail that BITE puts into their basses is second to none. This bass is also amazingly balanced and gorgeous to hold and feel with the satin neck finish.

For more information, visit online at bite.guitars/product/black-knight-pp

Continue Reading