Works very well
After reading reviews on this product from Sweetwater, Amazon, and even the Presonus forum, I almost did not buy this. I spoke with Brett (a great salesman btw and recording engineer), and he said he sells these all the time and has never heard of the issues reported. So I figured I would give it a shot.
I have recorded maybe 50+ tracks and I have not seen any of the cracking or popping issues that were talked about. It worked exactly as expected. The Studio One software is pretty easy to navigate from the fly and the unit is about as plug and play as anything in music. I am not saying that popping does effect some people, but it does not with my setup.
My setup: 44VSL recording with electric drums, Taylor 814CE, Alvarez pd90, Fender strat, Keyboards, a mic'd cello, and four vocals with Blue 300s. Computer is a laptop Dell Inspiron 5720 (I7 and 12 gig) with Windows 10. Of note: I did see that most of the issues above were from Mac users. It is my understanding that Mac changed some operational aspects of their USB which Presonus had trouble working around.
So, for those that are experiencing problems or might experience problems, a few things I learned from research online. If you have any popping or static issues, try changing the USB chord to a different input on the computer. Also, make sure NOTHING else is running in the background except Studio One and the AudioBox software. Lastly, minimize if not eliminate all other USB connections. If that does not work, try replacing the USB cord. Also, try a different instrument and eliminate that possibility..
Product Review and basic operation:
It really is very close to plug-n-play. You will follow the instructions to download all the latest software from the Presonus site (both Audiobox and Studio One 3). Plug it in and boot up the software and you will select 44VSL from the list (very easy). After that, it is time to start recording. Do note that the instructions that came with the unit mention a disc, but there is none. All is downloaded from the Presonus site. Another last aspect: The Studio One is not the full Pro version. There will be aspects which you will not be able to do without upgrading. You can upgrade at any time.
There are several online tutorials from Presonus which are 'ok'. The best one is on youtube and is about 30 minutes long which discussed using the USB Audiobox into the S1 software... which is the same software you will use.
There is a LOT of headroom which gives you a lot more flexibility. I suggest when hooking up your instrument the first time, do a sound check and adjust the gain from the 44vsl to make sure you do not get distortion. The return to headphones (or going through a PA) is pretty much instantaneous. I do not notice any delay. It also has a very nice metronome function that can be overlaid as a track with a single button or do pre-count (which is also editable).
There is also the 1818VSL, but for those that have not done a lot of recording, that might be an overkill. The only real benefit I see in going with a larger input(s) is to mic individual drums (which we obviously do not have an issue with as ours are electric) or if you have a really large home studio and don't want to fuss with pulling/sharing new lines (which I understand). I have been most successful recording independent tracks and overlaying or splicing into a full recording. It keeps everyone from screwing up when the bass decides it's time to take off on his own rhythm half way through the recording. Maybe that's never been a problem with anyone else (snicker)?
All in all, I would really recommend this product. For those interested in a very nice DAW and interface with a lot of capabilities, I don't think you can go wrong. Considering the very high costs to go with a full recording setup, this is a great alternative and will probably have more functionality than many of the users are knowledgeable of. For those with MACs, maybe keep your receipt? Again, I am not stating that there were not some issues with others, but it obviously is not universal.