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Mbox 2 Pro or Apogee Duet & Logic Pro/Soundtrack Pro

Discussion in 'Logic' started by runswith2horses, Jul 2, 2009.

  1. runswith2horses

    runswith2horses Active Member

    I've recently had the opportunity to purchase both an Mbox 2 Pro and an Apogee Duet and Logic Studio. I wasn't sure what to use, so I bought both because they were good deals, and I plan to sell what I don't use. Everything should be arriving at the end of this month.

    I'm looking to create a portable recording/editing/mixing setup on my MacBook Pro. It will mainly be used for post production audio, but I will be creating a bit of acoustic and digital music as well.

    I've worked on Pro Tools (LE and HD) almost exclusively for a few years now and am very used to it. However I've always had the full package for post-production (DigiTranslator, etc). Nearly all of my projects have involved importing OMFs from Final Cut. I'm thinking that Logic might be the better route to go because I don't have to buy all this stuff separately, but I have little experience with it. I'm so used to the way Pro Tools works, and I haven't encountered another program that allows me to edit audio files with such ease. I've also found it to be the most stable program I've worked on.

    Another option is to sell the Apogee Duet, and then have both Pro Tools and Logic running off the Mbox, but is it really worth having both programs? I've also got Soundtrack Pro (only version 1 but hoping to upgrade to 2 soon). Is version 2 any good as post-production audio software? Version 1 definitely leaves a lot to be desired and is extremely unstable.

    Any thoughts on the subject would be appreciated.
  2. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    The MBox is not in the same class as any PT HD system. If you are used to good or great pre's then you will be severely disappointed in the MBox. I have no experience with the Apogee Duet so have no comment on it.

    When I first moved away from PT in 2002 (HD system), I ended up going with Adobe Audition. I use a few other DAWs just to keep aware of what else is available. Audition 3 is my favorite and default but the others include Tracktion 2&3 (just for tracking, I don't edit with it), PT M-Powered 7 which I'm pretty luke warm on, and I just started playing around on Reaper.

    I have not regretted moving away from PT but have read some comments here inre v.8 that might make me give it another look. That doesn't change my perceived lack of value in the MBox. I still don't like that.
  3. runswith2horses

    runswith2horses Active Member

    Are you referring to the Mbox 2 Pro here, with the Firewire connection, or the old Mbox with USB? Is it just the pre's that you're disappointed in, or the interface in general? It looks like it's got everything I need and more, but might be a bit bulky because I'm going to be moving a LOT. The Duet appeals to me here because it seems so compact.
  4. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    If it were me in that situation having to choose between those two, I would go with the Duet and Logic Pro.

    Just in terms of sound quality, the Duet outstrips the Mbox 2 Pro by quite a margin, but the breakout cable is a bit clunky, and it's a shame that the monitor outputs are only -10dBV unbalanced. However, most powered monitors can deal with those levels, and you get normal headphone outputs anyway.
  5. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    I'm referring to the MBox of any flavor. If you need it as a PT dongle then fine but as an actual high or medium quality interface? No.
  6. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    I'm not impressed by Digi design "proprietary" circuitry. It's crap. Apogee's converters have a great reputation (I use crap). If you want ProTools, you have to be willing to compromise. But then, many of us have been able to acclimate to new software when we feel it's necessary. But we all know there is no one-stop shop. So get the Duet for input with logic & get yourself a M-Audio Transit with ProTools M-Powered or the Digi-design M-Box USB micro thingy for playback only ProTools post. You might as well have both. We all have more than both and we use them all. You don't wear a single pair of underwear all week do you? I wear jeans almost every day. Sometimes they're blue. Sometimes they're black. Sometimes I have holes. Sometimes they look new. Most of the time I wear T-shirts. Sometimes I wear polo. Most have printing and/or embroidered logos. Some are plain. Some indicated IBM, API, JBL. Others indicate Budweiser, Guinness, Ocean City & Pot.

    Paper or plastic?
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  7. runswith2horses

    runswith2horses Active Member

    Interesting. I never realised that Pro Tools hardware was inferior when it came to it's inputs. Surely this isn't true for HD hardware as well? With LE I've just worked on the Digi002.
  8. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    even on HD people do go looking for better inputs and better converters
  9. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    The main advantage of PT HD systems (and no small one at that) is the hardware integration which is the root of it's stability. You only use what Digi says you can use or you're on your own.

    Because of that other companies were able to catch up in quality, and for certain elements of the chain, to surpass Digi. Primarily in the areas of preamps and converters. PT HD is still a good and stable no BS recording system but many of us just can't stand the monopoly-esque price especially where no true monopoly exists.

    I can get the same ultimate stability and results myself with equipment of my own choosing as long as I do all the required compatibility research.
  10. BDM

    BDM Active Member

    i use both a 002 and an mbox pro, and while the pres are not so very exciting, would one not want to ideally use other pres anyway? whether with a duet, an mbox, a firestudio, or whatever? that said, i have gotten very usable results even with just the mbox, and i think the mic, mic placement, room, and instrument (not to mention playing) are more integral to the sound achieved...
    that said, it does make me unhappy that PT can only be used with digi interfaces, and that even the simple usb gizmo that actually allows you to just mix with PT is WAY TOO EXPENSIVE. i really like the program but hate being handcuffed for interface options...
  11. runswith2horses

    runswith2horses Active Member

    Yes it's definitely a great annoyance that Pro Tools has a 'monopoly' on professional post-production audio, but how does one get around that? Can you really be taken seriously in the industry if you don't use Pro Tools? All the studios I've worked at run it, and clients seem to just expect to see it. Has anyone had any experience of a big studio running another program?

    I would love to be able to just use Pro Tools, but price is obviously an issue.
  12. Logic and Apogee Duet all the way. Logic Studio 8 gives you a great set of tools, offers more in terms of MIDI and virtual instruments and inbuilt effects than PTLE/MP and the Duet has better pres and lower latency than the MBox. Logic also has no track limitations, and has delay compensation (unlike PTLE/MP) and is now sample accurate for editing audio (a previous drawback now fixed). Comping is especially good now in Logic.

    And Logic is much less of a brainf*ck than it used to be ! If ever a sequencer was wrongly named it was Logic, but love 'em or hate 'em, Apple have made the product more user friendly and easier to adapt to GUI wise. With Soundtrack Pro for audio editing and Waveburner for red book compliant CD authoring etc, it is a very strong sequencer package.

    Having said all of this, I am still a fan of Cubase 5 most, this is my preferred sequencer at home on my PC. Each to their own.
  13. BRH

    BRH Active Member

    You mentioned you are doing post audio work.. If you are doing any film/video audio work, PT is a must! Digi paved the way in the early 90s.... something young people don't understand and old ones here forget.
    The price to run a PT system has never been cheaper!!!!!

    Oh, and by the way.. forget about Soundtrac Pro.
  14. FlyBass

    FlyBass Active Member

    For film/video audio work remember:
    Digidesign/ProTools is owned by Avid and Apple has Logic Pro and Final Cut Pro.

    If you are using Final Cut Pro for editing, I wouldn't think ProTools would be your best choice.
  15. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Cheaper than what?!? I'll give PTHD it's kudos where it's deserved but price will never be one of them.
  16. runswith2horses

    runswith2horses Active Member

    I've been thinking that it would be good to have both programs. I can use the Mbox with Logic (I can do this, right? Have used the Digi002 with Core Audio before)... it would be a pity to sacrifice the Duet, but it seems a waste to keep two audio interfaces. Maybe what RemyRAD suggested in an earlier post is the best option:
    I think I might get irritated working in Pro Tools 'playback only' though. Maybe in the end there's no point in keeping Pro Tools. Anyways... always a sacrifice to make
  17. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Unless you need PT for public relations purposes then PT is not necessary. If you like it, great. No problem. You are just stuck with their hardware and dongles. The dongles that are worth anything are expensive.

    Remy can get a good recording with an MBox but I think she'd prefer her Neve console and Neve & API preamps.
  18. davev

    davev Guest

    You can use the MBox with anything that supports Core Audio, but the Pro Tools software only supports Digi's hardware. So you couldn't use the Duet with Pro Tools, but it would work fine with Logic or Live or whatever.

    I don't mind Pro Tools, but be prepared to turn off software updates and keep your Mac a version or two behind the latest service packs that Apple releases. Pro Tools can be very finicky about Apple software updates.

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