image Speaking of drivers, PreSonus announced today that they’re allowing users to register for open beta drivers. They’re hardly the first to do this — M-Audio has done the same historically, even if I’m not thrilled with their pace at the moment. But this raises an interesting question: could opening a beta help improve driver quality and get updates in users’ hands faster? Do audio users really want to "beta-test" drivers in the first place? (I guess that depends on how mature the "beta" release is.) We’ll have to see how PreSonus fares.

How is PreSonus doing with released drivers? Reasonably well from what I can see — and what I’ve heard. But they do have some blips. There isn’t a Vista driver for their FaderPort or V-Fire, and there’s no Leopard driver for V-Fire though the rest of their product line is up-to-date with Vista and Leopard.

How have PreSonus drivers treated you? I see a number of improvements in terms of stability on Mac OS on their downloads page via recent releases.

  • Sebastien Orban

    I have an Inspire 1394 on Vista64 sp1, and except for a silly problem with wdm/game application (the soundcard seem to stop working, no sound) that arrive way more often on xp, no bad feeling.

    Now, I only need a midi controler that work fine on Vista64 and I will be all set.

  • http://thejaan.com Jaan

    I have the Presonus Firebox… running on WinXP SP3 (RC w/e). No problems at all when working with sound in Live or WinAmp.

    However, in Call of Duty 4 (game) on some maps the sound shuts off randomly (I'm guessing same as Sebastien's problem) and a reboot is needed to cure the problem (sound won't work on any other app either). It's not a big problem as I shouldn't be gaming in the first place :P , and it'll most likely be fixed in the next update.

  • TheCragon

    Firepod on XP SP2 here. Never had a problem.

  • http://humankoala.com Human Koala

    firepod + os 10.4 macbook pro with Live

    no problemo here

    very happy with it

  • http://www.mistrustmusic.co.uk mistrust

    Been thinking of getting a Firestudio, and hook it up to my laptop running XP. Anyone had any driver problems with one of those? Haven't heard anything but good things about it, myself…

  • nickh

    I tried my Firepod with Vista and had nothing but problems: I got drop outs and crakles everytime I resized a window. Couldn't work out if it was the videocard, the 'pod or just Vista.

    In the end I gave up and re-installed XP SP2 and every works lovely…

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    @nickh — that sounds exactly like the graphics-related problems Vista had early on. For me, it was pretty much a disaster from January through late summer (I had installed Vista dual-boot to test it), and then a series of NVIDIA graphics updates seemed to resolve the problem. Particularly when you're resizing windows and hearing audio problems, your first guess is going to be that graphics is to blame.

    After this discussion, though, I'm thinking I need to get my hands on a PreSonus box and give it a go.

  • contakt

    I have a Firebox and a MacBook running Leopard and I can't seem to get it to sync. I need to spend some time or get on the phone w/ tech support and get this sorted sooner than later.

    I read an article online about how a certain Firewire chipset doesn't work w/ some Firewire interfaces but save for one blog entry I can't seem to find much about it.

    Anyone know anything?

  • Sebastien Orban

    Jaan : put your computer in sleep, then awake it. It's enought for me to get it back, without the fuss of rebooting.

  • http://myspace.com/luchumusic magic from space

    i run a firepod on a macbook 10.5.2. mostly good experiences. sometimes odd unexplainable latency issues and digital crackles. particularly when ichat is on(maybe related to other post recently?). never been able to get the exact proble nailed down. been wanting to switch to a motu828 for a while now.

  • Keebs

    I'm running a Firebox on my 12" Powerbook G4 and Macbook Pro, both running 10.3.

    Haven't had many problems. One annoyance is that the Firebox requires the AC adapter when it's first plugged in with the MacBook Pro (though this is a known issue).

    Great build quality on the units and stable from my experience.

  • E

    I have a Firestudio Project

    - Vista x64 desktop w/ TI FW card

    - Vista x86 desktop w/ TI FW card

    - XP SP2 laptop w/ TI FW card

    It only works on the laptop, and only after hours of troubleshooting, and not reliably, I've had a few botched gigs because of it. Yes, I have been thorough and diligent in my troubleshooting, trust me, I don't want problems, I want it to work.

    Last I checked, Presonus wasn't offering 64bit drivers until Fall.

    I can't recommend Presonus to any PC users, maybe it works better on Mac.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    @E

    Right, but the problem is, it's very difficult with this to know whether they're to blame as driver vendors. (I've had all sorts of odd FireWire problems on Windows…) Still, good to know your experience.

  • E

    Hmm. So registration is a joke IMO, it automatically tried to send me a Firestudio driver through email (I don't have a Firestudio…), and it wasn't successfull, I got an email like this:

    ….snip….

    Updates to these drivers will be emailed to you when they become

    available.

    ————————————

    The PreSonus Open Beta Program was created to allow PreSonus customers to

    have access to drivers that are feature-complete but have not yet been

    fully tested on a wide variety of computers and operating systems. It is

    our hope that members of the PreSonus Open Beta program will provide

    feedback so that we can deliver the best possible drivers.

    If you have any questions or can provide feedback regarding the attached

    beta drivers please email openbeta@presonus.com.

    In Music,

    PreSonus

    begin 666 PreSonus FireStudio Installer v3.1.1.zip

    M4$L#!!0““(“IAK#@]8' +[" C`!Q_(P`H````4')E4V]N=7,@1FER95-T

    M=61I;R!);G-T86QL97(@=C,N,2XQ+F5X9<R]?5Q49?8`?F?F`AUE6W.+

    M7K:0VAH8!%%31$L42S)K'[Q:J"0#C-S?.<^]`VCI]_O[Y_?YH3//VWG.<YY

    ….snip…..

  • E

    If it is Window's implementation of the FW standard that is the problem, then hardware vendors shouldn't market FW hardware to Windows users. If they do want to take our money, then they should write a drivers that work.

    It is a behavior – ex – where are 64bit drivers? 64 bit Windows OS's have been out since Spring of 2003.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    Don't get me wrong … I've had really rock-solid performance out of my FireWire-based Focusrite Saffire. What I'm saying is, there are other drivers on the system that can impact performance. So you can't immediately blame the audio vendor — not unless you've disabled just about everything else. And while the presence of more drivers, generally, along with other subtle issues can make life more difficult on Windows, you're not immune to parallel problems on other platforms.

  • michiel

    @contakt: this is a well known problem, read the Presonus forums: e.g. http://forums.presonus.com/showthread.php?t=4859.

    I am on a 12" Powerbook with a Firebox. Under Mac OS X Tiger, syncing was instant and posed no problem at all. I recently upgraded to Leopard and now syncing the Firebox upon hotplugging sometimes fails, i.e. the red light(=no sync) stays on after shortly blinking blue(=sync). Otherwise, I am perfectly happy with this Presonus product.

  • http://www.mistrustmusic.co.uk mistrust

    Big Brother is watching…..I posted something on my blog about thinking about getting the Firestudio and someone from Presonus replied saying "if there's anything I can tell you about the FS, let me know". Maybe they'll join in the discussion on here?

  • http://www.rlahalla.net rlahalla

    I've had a firepod since they came out. Started on XP sp2 for a while, then I just moved it to a dual core mac to do mobile recording and I've never once had a problem. I was wary to go with the Firepod after getting a Firestation, which was a different mLan nightmare altogether. Ah yes, good ol' Yamaha always raising that bar so I can crawl under.

  • contakt

    @ Michiel

    Yeah, I have the Lucenta (spelling?) Firewire chips running Leopard, mine has never synced. I have been really lazy about dealing w/ it b/c I haven't NEEDED to record audio. I tried calling Tech Support on Friday and was on hold for over 30 minutes so I gave up. Gonna try again today. Cross your fingers for me.

  • E

    I do IT for a living, and music + PC stuff in my free time, so I am more than experienced with troubleshooting these firewire issues with Windows + audio devices (also had a MOTU 8pre and a Presonus FP10). I have spent way more effort than is reasonable to get this barely working, and it is not reliable. I definitely couldn't expect to charge $ while using it. It is definitely not plug and play with any of the 3 Windows computers I own. IMO, I shouldn't need forums, blogs, open beta programs, phone support, driver hacks, dual boots, etc. on this product. What do musicians do that have little PC troubleshooting skills? Answer – use a mac… (although it sounds like that is not a sure thing either anymore)

    But, I guess my comments are off topic here, since I have a Firestudio Project, and the Open Beta Drivers is only for the Firestudio…

    If I had my money back, I would put it towards an all in one hard disk recorder and cut pc/mac all together.

  • Zero

    i have a presonus firestudio project and some m-audio stuff aswell… they are good and what not but the lack of 654 bit drivers is driving me crazy… nothing works on my system even the ones with 64 bit drivers are sketchy at best with clicks here and there :( hard disk recorders would be the best way to go LOL

    really it is cAUSE i have my mac and my pc and a roland 2480 seems that my vs is my best bet till these companies resolve these issues