6-Minute Audio Examples and Review of Presonus Studio Channel Tube-Pre Amp / Compressor / Parametric EQ unit


I recently bought the amazing 300 dollar Presonus Studio Channel Tube-Pre Amp / Compressor / Parametric EQ unit. You can get it on Amazon, HERE.

The audio demonstration here was recorded with a Shure BETA 57A Microphone, with a foam windscreen, speaking at a medium-low volume right up on the mic (lips mostly touching the windscreen), with no processing added in post. The audio demo includes explanations of basic use for a good sound, as well as gain staging, and telephone effects.

The Presonus Studio Channel is a wonderful “Swiss army knife” with several functions for improving the sound of voice or instruments. The manual is available free for download, HERE. It’s not only a good intro to this unit, it’s a good intro to compression and EQ and tube pre-amps in general. I recommend it if you are new to compression, even if you have a different unit.

But here’s my quick start guide for spoken audio, the settings I used in this six-minute audio example (click for full-sized image). Enjoy!:


I replaced the stock tube with this Russian Tungsol 12AX7 Tube that is better than the generic Chinese tube that comes with the unit.

To replace tube, unplug the unit from the wall, remove screws on top, and gently rock the tube left and right to remove. Then gently rock the replacement tube in to the tube socket. Hold tube with a handkerchief or other piece of fabric to avoid getting skin oils on it. Skin oils will lower the life span of the tube.


(NOTE: The FTC thinks you’re too dumb to figure out that we get referral fees from my Amazon referral links above, so we are legally required, with a potential government gun to my head, to tell you that. But we wouldn’t recommend anything we wouldn’t personally use.) 

14 thoughts on “6-Minute Audio Examples and Review of Presonus Studio Channel Tube-Pre Amp / Compressor / Parametric EQ unit

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  5. You came out XLR (Line level) from the channel strip, to the XLR input of your mixer.. but that input is MIC LEVEL so that’s why you have to turn the output that low… it is common to have the output close to unity as well as the trim (when line level devices are connected to the input) on your mixer. Some distortion can be heard due to impedance mismatching … so i think gain staging is not properly done…. despite of everything… with the new tungsol tube it sound so much better….

  6. Your sound feels really “bloated” to me. JC above suggested that you are connecting your Presonus to your Interface via XLR to XLR.
    If you are, that is most likely the reason for the bloated sound.
    The Presonus XLR input already has a pre-amp (duh) that is amping the signal for your microphone. When you signal chain that through to your interface by using yet ANOTHER XLR input, you are engaging the pre-amp on your interface as well. This means that your microphone is being amplified TWICE, which you definitely don’t want!
    I suggest, instead, grabbing an XLR-Female to TRS-Male connector and plug your Presonus up to your interface via the standard 1/4″ line in connector so as not to over amplify your sound. This will remove that noise you were getting from the “level” knob and allow you to Gain Stage more properly!
    Thanks for the review and audio sample!

  7. Xenix mixer with ballanced 1/4″ into a dedicated audio computer (Desktop) with integrated M-Delta 192 sound card. They don’t make that model anymore, but it’s still going strong. That’s for the show live going to radio over a Comrex to our network.

    But what you’re hearing here was a non-radio Wednesday show which doesn’t go through the Comrex. My host connects to me from Texas (I’m in Wyoming) with the software Audio Compass on that same computer and sound card. He’s plugged into my Behringer Xenyx mixer, which I’m also plugged into. I actually split the headphone output and run one end directly into an old Zoom H2, INTO THE MICROPHONE INPUT, not the line in. Then I later Normalize in Sound Forge.


    • That sounds like a very fun setup!
      And a very clever way to do work around things as well, especially with the Zoom H2, so you don’t have to use up processing on your PC.

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