This is actually a worthy investment. The next model up is even more worthy since you get a pair of microphone preamps that will allow for some stereo recording. But either way, you're getting a great software package and a good usable interface. Is it a great microphone preamp?? Hell no! But it's 100% adequate. Not a boutique piece but a good solid & usable preamp.
I got the next model up for the obvious reason of stereo recording. But I really bought it for the Pro Tools software. When I use this device on location, I generally use other external microphone preamps such as my API 3124's. Even if I'm only using a single microphone input on the API. I then patch it into the M-Box 2 balanced line input. Unfortunately, Digidesign will not supply schematics for their products. Something about "proprietary" stuff. Bull crap! To me a piece of equipment is not professional unless it is supplied with a full schematic. But lots of companies have played these tricks before like Orban, Neumann, MCI, etc.. Since I have not traced the circuit out, I can't tell you if the line level inputs actually bypass the microphone preamp circuitry? There are factors in the operation of the unit that tell me otherwise. I don't like that. But it's workable. Unfortunately, I hate the line input section so much, I'm preparing to butcher my unit to eliminate any of their input circuitry before the analog-to-digital converter.
We all have our preferences for those of us who have been doing this for a while. I don't necessarily recommend you do what I just mentioned. I just don't like the way they designed their input circuitry. I've talked to them. They are not helpful. They just recommend other companies that have modified their boxes to sound better. When I queried them whether they supplied schematics to these other companies their response was "NO". Isn't that nice of them? And that's professional? Not in my book. But currently, I really haven't bothered modifying my unit. And I'm really not that fond of ProTools. It's just a piece like any other thing you should have in a proper studio. That doesn't mean you have to use it or like it much. But when people call me and asked me if I have Pro tools? Yup, I sure do. Otherwise, it's Adobe & Sony for me.
Good choices are easy
Ms. Remy Ann David