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Microphone Month 4

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How can an audio interface have 26 inputs if it has only 8 input jacks and SPDIF?


I have a Presonus FP10 FireWire audio interface. The manual states that it has "26 simultaneous inputs and outputs". I take that to mean I can connect 26 mono instruments/mics to it. Currently, I have a Radias connected to inputs 3 and 4, a Kronos connected to inputs 5 and 6, a Motif Rack ES connected to inputs 7 and 8, a PS60 connected to Line Inputs 1 and 2 on the rear of the FP10 (thus disallowing any connections to inputs 1 and 2 on the front of the FP10), and, finally, an M3 connected via Toslink to the SPDIF input on the rear of the FP10. That gives me a total of 5 stereo input devices to the FP10.
If I chose to input mono audio instead of stereo pairs, I would still have only 9 devices input to the FP10.
So how can Presonus, or any manufacturer of this kind of interface make claims of 26 inputs? I must be missing something because other interfaces look just like the FP10 but claim 18 or more inputs.
I wanted to buy another audio interface to use to connect 2 more stereo devices to my system, but Ableton claims Live 8 can handle only one interface. Getting another FP10 to run in series with my current one seems impractical due to differences in firmware, etc, so I don't want to do that.
I have read that the OS X Audio/MIDI utility can create an aggregate device out of multiple hardware devices but I don't know if that would work because I have no other interface (yet) to test that.
So...what am I missing?
How can I get 7, much less 26, inputs into Live 8, either with the hardware I have now or with another interface?
Thanks for any help you can provide.
June 24, 2012 @03:18am
Dave Burris

What manual are you looking at? In the User Manual 1.0 I could find no reference to 26 channels but I did find this on page 19:

4 . 3 R E C O R D I N G R O C K B A N D D I A G R A M
With the FIREPOD you can simultaneously record and play back up to 10 channels. Since it is loaded
with eight preamplifiers, you can have eight microphones plugged into the FIREPOD along with SPDIF
for digital input to record a full band. This makes recording extremely easy. All you need are a few
microphones and some cables and you are ready to go.

Then I found this on their web page:

Ins and Outs

The FP10 is loaded with I/O for an extremely flexible and expandable recording system. The FP10 starts with eight Class A custom-designed PreSonus microphone preamplifiers. You can add additional preamplifiers by daisy-chaining up to three FP10's for a total fo 24 simultaneous inputs and outputs.
June 24, 2012 @09:05am

Here is the user guide info and the summary of features:
© 2007, PreSonus Audio Electronics, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.
24-bit/96k Recording Interface
w/ Eight Microphone Preamplifiers
User’s Manual
Version 1.1
Summary of features
• High-speed FireWire (IEEE 1394)
• 24-bit / 96 kHz sampling rate
• 8 Class A microphone preamps
26 simultaneous inputs and outputs
• Balanced send/return on channels 1 & 2
• S/PDIF I/O, MIDI I/O, word clock I/O
• Connect 3 FP10’s for up to 24 I/O’s
• Cubase LE Recording Software included
• PreSonus ProPak Software Suite (over 2 GB of plug-ins, loops and samples)
• Mac and Windows compatible
June 24, 2012 @12:53pm

Teaches you not to count on marketing-speak.
Look at the photos or the unit, turn it around and COUNT THE PORTS before buying...
June 24, 2012 @03:18pm
Dave Burris

I suppose if you count you get.
8 - XLR front
16 - 1/4" rear
2 - RCA rear
Guess they forgot to count the headphone output on the front.
June 24, 2012 @07:00pm

there are not 16 1/4 " inputs on the rear.
June 24, 2012 @08:34pm
Dave Burris

26 simultaneous inputs and outputs
June 24, 2012 @10:20pm

So they really should have said, "the FP10 has 26 holes on the front and back".
I get it.
Thanks for that.
What was I thinking?
Next time I'll be counting holes.
June 24, 2012 @10:49pm