PreSonus’ ioStation 24c was announced back at January’s NAMM show as an all-in-one control surface and audio interface, but we didn’t realise quite how low the street price for this one-box production unit would be. Around £250 for what is touted to be a high-end interface plus a controller for all major DAWs with a motorised fader – albeit just the one – sounds like incredible value on paper, so let’s see just how it shapes up.
You could quite easily think of ioStation 24c as an amalgamation of PreSonus’s FaderPort and the company’s Studio 24c 2-in, 2-out audio interface. In fact you don’t even have to try and conjure up a Frankenstein image of the two units joined at the hip – ioStation 24c is literally a one-fader FaderPort with identical controls, with an interface around the back with audio controls running down the right of the front panel. Importantly, though, the fully loaded PreSonus FaderPort and Studio 24c interface will cost well over £500 together. If you can manage with just one motorised fader – and the thinking is that you can tackle tasks like automation one channel at a time – then ioStation 24c looks like a huge bargain.
Out of the box, the unit nicely angled for desktop use. You’ll possibly want to attach the supplied rubber feet to stop slipping on said desk, but we found its weight kept it in place during our tests without them.
The unit needs to be powered by a supplied PSU (not buss-powered sadly). Controls on the front are dominated by a great set of transport controls and 16 buttons split above and below a main rotary that can control multiple parameters depending on which mode you are in. Each of these buttons doubles up in functionality by means of a Shift button. You’ll need to download and install the latest version of PreSonus’s Universal Control software which allows you to set sample rates, buffer sizes etc on connected interfaces. You’ll also have to make sure everything is up to date at this stage – we had to make sure both UC and our version of Studio One were the latest versions and also updated the ioStation firmware. Then on boot up with Studio One the ioStation 24c should be available as one of the controller devices. (Check it’s there using the Configure External Devices option.)
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