Presonus Firebox/pod and Bluemax compressor

Discussion in 'Compressors / Limiters (analog)' started by hxckid88, Jul 22, 2006.

  1. hxckid88

    hxckid88 Active Member

    May 9, 2005
    I was thinking about getting a hardware compressor, something rather cheap, but high quality. I'm just a student on a budget, and I am doing budget recording for friends in bands, my own personal recording, and eventually want to have my own professional DAW when I am out of school etc. Right now I have a firebox, and I plan to upgrade to a firepod soon, I'm also going to borrow one just to mess with it in the meantime.

    I was confused by the input and outputs of the Bluemax. I understand that a compressor expects an amplified signal, so for guitar for example, I would mic the cab and run the mic though my Firebox like usual, but where does the compressor fit in? Do I do a "loop" and send the signal out of the Firebox to the bluemax and then sent from that back to the input of the firebox?

    Eh, if that made any sense, I just kind of confused myself, but basically what I'm asking is do I need a preamp first? How do I chain these together? I'm not really educated when it comes to hardware, I would think it would be common sense but apparently not. Haha! Thanks!
  2. I dont know anything about the bluemax, but yeha, you need to amplify a signal before it goes into a compressor.
  3. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2005
    I have a couple of BlueMax's, and before the FMR RNC came out, they were pretty hip, provided that you could deal with the lack of a Threshold control, and were careful using the presets.
    The inputs on the BlueMax are actually "instrument level", as opposed to "line level". This is because there is a preamp circuit at the front end, before the actual compression circuit. The signal sensitivity is then adjusted at the "Input" control, which, basically you lower for a line-level signal (like the insert loop of your interface), or can raise to accomodate a bass guitar (for example). It is NOT enough gain for a decent mic to run directly through. So, there are times you can run a signal directly through the BM (like drum machines, synths, and bass).
    Now, to use it with the Firebox. One big problem here: there are NO insert loop provisions on the mic pre channels (looks like the same deal for it's big brother). This is a bit odd in that Presonus has made a good bit of signal processing gear in the past, and yet these Firebox units don't seem to accomodate them! You need to check your owners' manual, but I don't see any way to patch a signal processor through that puppy. And the website certainly doesn't list that feature. I think that is a big limitation they overlooked. So, to use the Firebox as your A/D converter feeding your computer, you are pretty much limited using the BM ahead of the preamps. Limited use, but still useable.
  4. hxckid88

    hxckid88 Active Member

    May 9, 2005
    Yeah, I actually just bought it anyway. Been mesing with it for about a week or two now. It somewhat confused me but then I talked to a tech and he helped me understand it. I wanted it for bass guitar, and for drums mainly but I thought it would be a great starter unit for the price. It had great reviews.

    Unfortunately with Cubase LE (yet to save up for SX), is that you can't group buses and add them to your own liking. As for the the Firebox, there is a tough way of doing the drum overheads which takes up 2 more channels than necessary, but it works (if I had something other than LE). I route my overhead mics (they require phantom power, so they have to go there first) into my firebox, and I reroute those inputs to bus out to the compressor and back in through 3 and 4. It works, but theres a lack of enough inputs for my kick and snare now. Not to mention they combine to one channel. I plan to upgrade to the Firepod, or I was even looking at the Fireface 800.

    I've had the firebox for about a year now, recording myself, recording demo's for my friends' bands, and it was fun, but off to college now, I need an upgrade and I need to get rid of all these restraints!

    butthanks for the replies =)

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