Founded in 1995 and based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, PreSonus® Audio Electronics, Inc., is a leading designer and manufacturer of audio-recording and live-sound software, hardware, and related accessories. PreSonus software, microphone preamps, signal processors, digital audio interfaces, digital and analog mixers, control surfaces, studio monitors, loudspeakers, and other products are used worldwide for recording, sound reinforcement, installed sound systems, broadcast, sound design, and Internet audio.
PreSonus President and Chief Strategy Officer Jim Odom, a musician, producer, and LSU graduate in electrical engineering, cofounded the company with fellow LSU engineering graduate and current PreSonus VP of Engineering Brian Smith. Odom and Smith’s goal was to build professional and affordable music-production tools for musicians and audio engineers. The first PreSonus “office” was Odom's garage.
PreSonus’ initial product, the DCP8 digitally controlled, 8-channel compressor/limiter/gate, resulted in a patent for digital (MIDI) control over analog circuitry. Truly ahead of its time, the DCP8 enabled the studio engineer to insert 8 channels of analog compression, with the ability to save, recall, and automate settings—features that at the time were only found in mixing consoles costing more than $100,000.
The company continued to develop analog compressor/limiters, then branched into such innovative products as the DigiMax (2000), which was the first 8-channel microphone preamplifier with ADAT output; Central Station (2004), the first monitor controller with talkback; and some of the earliest multi-channel FireWire interfaces. PreSonus also created a series of microphone preamps and channel strips, notably including the XMAX Class A solid-state preamp. PreSonus’ AudioBox® USB (2008) became one of the world’s best-selling USB audio/MIDI interfaces.
In 2006, KristalLabs Software Ltd., a startup company founded by Wolfgang Kundrus and Matthias Juwan, began working on Capture™ and Studio One® in cooperation with PreSonus. The partnership was further strengthened when PreSonus Software Ltd. took over all assets of KristalLabs, including the entire development team. Based in Hamburg, Germany, PreSonus Software Ltd. is at the heart of PreSonus’ software and firmware efforts, while Studio One is now one of the world’s most widely used DAWs.
In 2009, PreSonus launched its StudioLive®-series digital mixers, which broke new ground with an analog-like mixing surface, built-in multi-channel recording interface, Fat Channel signal processing section, and tightly integrated, state-of-the-art software suite. Subsequent, even more powerful StudioLive mixers added more advanced wired and wireless networking, including AVB or Dante™, and further extended software integration, including Smaart® audio analysis. Rack-mount models were introduced in 2014. PreSonus StudioLive Series III mixers, released in 2017, are the third generation in the line and break still more new ground, including a built-in, multitrack SD Card recorder and AVB networking.
In 2013, PreSonus acquired the assets of Notion Music, adding Notion™ and Progression™ music-notation and composition software for Mac, Windows, and iOS to its product line. Subsequent Notion updates have added an array of impressive new features and introduced ever-increasing integration with Studio One.
In 2013, the company entered the studio monitor market with the low-cost, professional-quality Eris® series and the innovative, coaxial Sceptre® CoActual® monitors. PreSonus subsequently introduced Temblor-series studio subwoofers and R-series AMT and Eris MTM-series studio monitors.
Simultaneously with the Sceptre, PreSonus introduced the StudioLive-AI PA loudspeaker series, which also uses a coaxial design. StudioLive-AI PA speakers represented yet another breakthrough, with high-end loudspeaker technology; wired and wireless networking, including Dante™; and integrated remote control software. The company has extended its loudspeaker offerings with the AIR- and ULT-series PA speakers.
In February 2014, PreSonus moved into a gorgeous new high-tech headquarters and research facility at 18011 Grand Bay Court in Baton Rouge. Continuing to innovate in its new digs, PreSonus introduced the AudioBox i-series bus-powered mobile audio interfaces, which work natively with iOS devices as well as with Mac and Windows. Simultaneously, PreSonus introduced its Capture Duo and TEC Award-winning Capture for iPad, the first iOS recording apps to enable wireless transfer of song files directly to a Mac/Windows DAW (Studio One). The company introduced its first Android™ app in 2017.
In June 2014, PreSonus acquired WorxAudio®, a respected manufacturer of commercial sound-reinforcement loudspeaker systems and power amplifiers. WorxAudio was founded in 1979 as Woodworx by loudspeaker designer Hugh Sarvis, who is now the Chief Designer of PreSonus Loudspeakers.
PreSonus WorxAudio high-end line arrays, point-source systems, sub-bass enclosures, stage monitors, and power amplifiers, including Dante-enabled systems, are available from PreSonus’ Commercial Audio division. Established in 2017, the Commercial Audio division offers a full line of PreSonus professional audio products for a wide variety of commercial applications.
Today, PreSonus continues to develop a variety of innovative, professional, and affordable tools for the music technology/professional audio industry, with a special focus on tightly integrated hardware and software.