The FireStudio Project is a Firewire device. It is chain-able with more "FireStudio Family" interfaces; IE; other FS Projects, FS Mobile, mixers, etc... Basically devices that also have Firewire technologies.
I have used and supported both interfaces in the past. I currently own a FS project and 2442 AI mixer. One being a Firewire device while another is a USB device. This limits the capabilities to both devices in different ways. The sound quality is indistinguishable to me*.
Personally I prefer the FS Project. The driver for the UC control is a bit better IMHO!!!! There does not seem to be as many conflicts with other potential drivers out there as well with the UC driver package.
* The successful cascading of multiple NON AI Firewire devices is dependent upon the user computers ability to stream audio over Firewire on multiple devices. I have successfully cascaded 3 FS Projects on my computer (Xeon E5-1620 3.6 GHz Quad core 16g RAM - Firewire Siig-NN-E20012-S2 two port FW 400 card.)
* The 1818 is not cascade-able with other 1818's or the 22VSL or 44VSL *also both USB technology. One has to use ADAT expansion with the 1818 and that is limited to only 8 channels of audio at 48K or lower. SMUX is needed for 96K or higher sample rates, this limits your expansion to 4 channels.
The 1818 has the VSL software for low latent audio (monitoring the direct input) and also for playback processing like compression, light EQ as well as a few other processing capabilities (IT IS NOT A DAW). *The FS Project uses the Universal Control software for direct computer monitoring outside of your DAW of choice but there is no direct processing available for audio playback like the VSL software.
I suggest reading up more in the FAQ section of the PreSonus website if you have more questions on the capabilities of these two devices.
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