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In-depth Feature:  Presonus Central Station
Albert Potts writes: .

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In Use
I became accustomed to the luxury of effortlessly switching between different sources and speakers very quickly indeed! I've been using a patchbay for that, and the Central Station made my life a lot easier.

Click to see hookup diagram
Like many users of DAW's, I have a number of sources that I need to monitor. There's the main output of my MOTU 2408mkII system, the mix out of my Tascam DM-24 mixers, plus the output of my DigiDesign Mbox. That's the TOSlink, SPDIF, and one set of analog inputs used up right there. Previously, switching between them was a hassle, but no longer.

Speaker selection
Likewise, I have two sets of speakers I switch between, Mackie HR824's and a couple Yamaha MS101 II's that I use as boom box simulators. No problem with the Central Station. The CS is designed to treat a third set of speakers as sub-woofers if needed. So the "C" speaker select can be active at the same time as "A" or "B". The "C" select can also be used independently with another set of stereo speakers, but it takes an extra button push to use it that way. No doubt most users will want the "C" select to function with a sub-woofer, so it was a good design choice on Presonus' part.

Meters and calibration
Setting up the Central Station is easy. Make your cable connections on the rear panel and you are 99% of the way there. You'll notice a button on the front panel called "Calibrate", just below the "Clear Peak" button. Presonus has thoughtfully provided a 1kHz 0dBu sine wave test tone on their website to use in conjunction with the "calibrate" feature of the CS. What you do is download the test tone, load it into your DAW, reduce the volume by 18dB on your DAW's mixer, then press and hold the calibrate button for 2 seconds while playing the audio through the CS. At this point the metering on the CS will recalibrate to -18dB. You then raise the level of the test tone in your DAW until it reaches 0dB and the CS reports a clipped signal (i.e. the red LED lights up). You can adjust this by changing the level of the signal in your DAW when pressing and holding the Calibrate button. Overall, quite an easy way to calibrate the unit, and I appreciated the downloadable test tone.

The Central Station automatically locks to either the SPDIF or TOSlink digital input, and switching between them was silent and glitch-free. In fact, I experienced no audible pops when switching between any sources or destinations on the Central Station.

More Resources              Articles - full listing
  • Central Station PDF manual
  • Presonus WWW

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