Link Audio | Expect to pay: A$299.99
If there’s any one trend that’s really made an impact over the course of the pandemic, it’s the rise of live-streaming.
Over the past 18 months, the market experienced a huge uptake in interest as physical gatherings were instantly wiped off the calendar, with audiences taking to virtual platforms in their droves in hopes of some form of fickle entertainment.
Suddenly, fringe platforms like Discord and Twitch found themselves at the centre of a mini content revolution and by the end of 2020, just about every social media giant had launched a streaming tool of their own to tap into the exploding market.
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One of the primary benefactors of this streaming boom, of course, is the audio electronics industry, and one of the biggest names to embrace this new niche is none other than PreSonus. The company has been at the forefront of the content creation market for a hot minute now, and their investment into podcasting and consumer audio products certainly paid dividends throughout the global lockdown.
Adding further allure for content creators, the new PreSonus Revelator io24 picks up where the brand’s Revelator USB microphone left off, adding new features to aid its status as an audio jack-of-all-trades. It’s a two-channel audio interface with onboard DSP that’s optimised for both live-streaming and traditional recording, with top-end preamps and an array of clever add-ons making for a comprehensive answer to anyone’s live-streaming woes.
Weighing in at just under a kilogram and measuring no bigger than a notebook, the Revelator io24 is a rather inconspicuous bit of kit, with its brushed aluminium chassis providing sleek looks and a reassuring sense of sturdiness. This design is made all the more inviting by the vibrant OLED display on the front of the unit, which provides nifty visual cues for channel and master volume for you to monitor while you work.
One of the Revelator io24’s biggest draw cards is its loopback functionality, which allows you to record your computer’s audio onto a dedicated channel while also outputting source audio. There’s a gamut of ways in which this feature can be utilised effectively – playing backing tracks, for instance, or even recording a live caller on your podcast – and the simplicity of the Revelator io24’s interface makes it extremely easy to use. You can even record up two different on-screen apps while simultaneously tracking incoming audio, which really opens up a whole myriad of opportunities for creative use.
For those looking to test out its live streaming potential, Revelator io24 also offers a DSP streaming mix mode on top of its recording function, which PreSonus claim to be a world first. This mode provides you with a comprehensive overview of your entire streaming mix, letting you engage loopback channels, change levels and EQ your signal, route audio and even engage a wide array of State-Space Modelled effects. Despite sounding extremely complex, it’s actually a breeze to use and requires no additional hardware or setup, and the huge bank of effects on offer are quite impressive; as you’ll soon find, a little touch of reverb, compression and EQ can go a a really long way in the content creation market.
The Revelator io24 packs two combo XMAX inputs on the front panel, with a stereo link option being handy to try out more flexible setups. These preamps provide killer bang for their buck, offering a smooth, natural sound with no crunchy breakup when pushed at loud volumes, with the oversized gain control and mute button on the right side of the interface allowing for easy adjustments. There’s also two very preset buttons to create immediate carbon copies of your current parameters, with the interface’s inbuilt processing keeping them stored and ready for whenever you need to recall them.
The rear of the unit, meanwhile, offers up a pair of outputs, as well as MIDI I/O, a USB-C port and an inconveniently placed 1/4” headphone output, which might just be my only gripe with the Revelator io24 – it really would have made so much more sense to place it on the front panel. However, the addition of MIDI I/O is a welcome sight, and will certainly be appreciated by those who dabble in electronic music production as much as they do podcasting or streaming.
Like most PreSonus products nowadays, the Revelator io24 comes bundled with the company’s Studio One Artist software, providing immediate access to its acclaimed audio workstation and bank of plugins, effects and more. Having access to such a seamless audio workflow straight out of the box is a killer bonus for first-time users, and the native integration between Studio One and the Revelator io24 just makes the whole process feel so fluid and effective.
As we’ve come to expect so often from PreSonus, the Revelator io24 provides a stellar solution for any eager content creator. The prospect of quality preamps, MIDI functionality and powerful onboard processing is made all the more appealing by the unit’s sleek, study and compact design, while the accessible price-tag simply puts the icing on the cake for this one.