New audio interface sounds like shoite

I have got to the stage where I need to record several synths simultaneously so I went and bought a Presonus STUDIO1824c after reading good reviews on the internet. I set it up yesterday and was immediately disappointed with the sound. I have been using an M-Audio 2496 card which I have had for about 18 years and the Presonus sounds terrible in comparison, lacking the sharp, clean highs, lacking the bottom end of the 2496, lacking focus, sounding muddy and lifeless and generally leaving me with the feeling that some musical element is missing that used to be there. I initially thought maybe it could be placebo effect or tiredness but I just did and A B comparison and the difference is massive. The music comes to life on the old soundcard but makes me feel like I need to get my ears syringed on the Presonus. Now I’m not sure what to do. Obviously I’m going return it to the ebay seller for a refund but what to do after that? I don’t want to go through the same process with another lacklustre interface and I’m on a budget, even the purchase of Presonus felt like a bit of an extravagance. Does anybody else have any similar experiences?

Sounds like a defect to me. If anything, Presonus should be better quality than an ancient M-audio.


It doesn’t sound defective, it just sounds dull. I expected with it being Presonus that it would sound incredible but it doesn’t.

I was once disgusted by the sound quality of the minijack output on a new windows laptop, much like what you describe. Turned out that updating the drivers solved the situation.

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If it s the inherent quality then you should be able to find more people complaining about it online. Such a difference with an old low-budget m-audio wouldn t go unnoticed i presume.

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I wish I could show you the difference… it’s like the magic has been totally dranied from the music. The floor-shaking lows have gone and the sharp clear highs have all disappeared. I’m very shocked tbh.

Are you hitting the red a lot when you’re tracking ?

Is it possible you just got used to the characteristics of your old interface so much that a clean, neutral sounding convertor now sounds dull to you?

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Sounds odd. Definitely the same sample rate in the interface & DAW?

I think it’s more than that. The bass sounds mushy and the real bottom end isn’t there at all. The sound is uninteresting and sterile. It’s not like it’s better in some ways and worse in others, it’s worse in all ways, a lot worse, The m-audio sounds really good, three dimensional and clear. The presonus sounds muffled, flat and lifeless.

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Have you accidentally bought an Octatrack?


I’d like to hear what Martin Stimming has to say about it.


Maybe you should just stick to your old interface in that case if thats possible.

I would like to add that if somethings sounds ‘full’, ‘sterile’, ‘warm’, ‘more refined’ or whatever this is in a lot of ways the product of personal taste and psychoacoustics, not technical specs. Even if the new interface technically reproduces the sound more in line with the source material, the old one can still sound better to you, just like a vinyl record can sound better than a cd.

It’s going back to the seller anyway. I just bought a m-audio 1010 which is basically the same card but with 10 inputs so that should solve the problem. I wish I had thought of that earlier… seems obvious now.


That old pci M-audio card is a solid good sounding interface. New doesn’t mean always better.

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I’m just blown away by the difference tbh… it really is quite dramatic.

Had the 1010 too had to get rid of it. I recall i had to install the drivers with windows 7 compability mode on win 10 and although it seem to work it introduced very awkward recordings. Clock jitter or aliasing i dunno.
The only decent priced interface that sound similar as the 24/96 i ended up with was Audient ID22 with adat expension. Sure there are more.

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I use windows 7 and have no intention to “upgrade”

Presonus specs look fine but i guess your witnessing the advantage of pci as a bridge to ad/da converters and motherboard. USB was never intented for superb digital audio transmission hence the Universal in the name.

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maybe that’s it although the audio going into Overbridge via usb sounds good.