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Mbox

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by ttir, Oct 27, 2004.

  1. ttir

    ttir Guest

    Has anyone used the Mbox along with protools L.E.? I want to purchase it and i'm sure its a great product. I'm looking to upgrade my soundblaster audigy to the mbox with the protools software. a simple setup for use in a apartment.
     
  2. LittleDogAudio

    LittleDogAudio Active Member

    It's a cool little box. The weak point (not that weak) is the A/D-D/A converters, not the best but..
    It has spdif in/out so you could buy a better converter and bypass the Mbox's. It will be a big improvement over the Soundblaster for sure right out of the box.

    And with the factory bundle deal you get some really cool plug-ins at some cheap $$$.

    Hope this helps,

    Chris
     
  3. Markd102

    Markd102 Well-Known Member

    ... but I can guarantee they are a step up from the 001 :wink:

    It is a cool little box, and it is deffinately a HUGE step up from the Soundblaster. It should be perfect for what you want.
    Also, if you can afford the "Blue Bundle" it includes all the extra plugins and a Blue Bluebird mic. Very cool.
    Also ProTools 6.7 has just been release and has some great new features.

    One thing to note... the Mbox doesn't have midi ports so you'll need a third party midi I/O device if you do midi.
     
  4. ghellquist

    ghellquist Member

    I have been using my MBox the last year or so together with Protools LE. It was (and is I believe) the least pricey way to get up to a serious quality level.

    In my mind it has a number of advantages:
    -- first of all it works. PT LE + MBox has in my experience been very stable. You cannot say that for all my other hardware
    -- secondly it does exactly what it says. The manuals are downloadable from the net and they are accurate, the data sheets are accurate, you cannot say that for all equipment or software.
    -- it has decent mic pres (with true phantom feed). Not 10k dollar price level quality but they are quit, uncoloured and has decent amplification.
    -- it has decent AD and DA converters. Again, not 10k dollar price level but way above the sound blaster card you mentioned.
    -- it has a decent headphone output
    -- PT LE has a lot of functionality and long ago reached the point where everything is usable, stable and really useful (you cannot say that about all software).
    -- it is a true USB appliance, no need for external wall wart.

    It also has a few soft points which you might want to consider, some of them made me switch my main application to Samplitude instead.
    -- PT is "locked in" to Digidesign hardware. No MBox or 002 connected and the program will not even start.
    -- the MBox has no monitor volume (if you use external monitor speakers, the volume is not easily adjusted). There are a few workarounds, say using the direct-mix knob instead, but you may end up getting some external mixer as many other users has
    -- PT never bounces faster than real time, so if you have 40 minutes of music, it will take 40 minutes to make the mix as a new file. Annoying at times. It does not support making CD-s from inside the application, some other programs does.
    -- PT is a bit low on the side of plugins, you will probably want to invest in more , some other programs are "better" equipped in the box.
    -- the latency (round trip time for sounds) is a bit on the high side as for all USB sound cards. You can learn to live with this, but it may be annoying.
    -- not all laptops or desktops are compatible with the MBox, you should really try it out before buying or go through a dealer that will allow you to return it if it does not work (this is true for every hardware stuff I ever saw, it happens that they are uncompatible at times).

    You should also understand what you are going to use the soundcard for. If you are looking for running soft-synts realtime on a stage, I would venture to say that latency will be a show-stopper. There are probably a lot of other applications where the MBox is not the right choice.

    But even given all the short-comings I know of, I can still really recommend the MBox. I have used PT LE and gone on to other things, but it never let me down. The MBox however rests right next to my laptop as my standard monitor listening sound card and for the jobs where I use two channels.

    Gunnar.
     
  5. ttir

    ttir Guest

    thanks for all the info. does the mbox come with the latest protools 6.7 or whatever it is? how do i hookup my speakers? does it come with a pci card so then i have to hookup my speakers to that or is it like my sounblaster setup..meaning i can plug my speakers into my external box which would be the mbox? i've been reading so much this past month about digital recording that my brain is turning to poop.
     
  6. ttir

    ttir Guest

    also what do u mean by spdf/ins/outs and bypassing the mbox? also what do u do when your card only has a digital out on the pci card and the card is only a rca and not the 1/8th speaker jack? do i need to use studio monitors instead of computer spearkers?
     
  7. ghellquist

    ghellquist Member

    Hi.

    First recommendation is to go to
    http://www.digidesign.com
    and search around for the quickstart manual for the MBox. It will probably anser quite a bit of your questions.

    The MBox is an external box. It is connected to your PC (or Mac) with a single USB Cable. On the backside of the MBox there are connectors for mic input and line output. If you have "active" monitors you can simply connect the monitors there. Active monitors contains a power amplifier and will need to be connected to mains. If you have "passive" speakers you will need a power amplifier, which might be any old stereo amplifier if your requirements are not too big.

    Good luck

    Gunnar.
     
  8. Bidon

    Bidon Guest

    Got One and wandering

    Hi

    I've owned a Mbox for a while and I'm wandering about something.
    Recording from a Nt1000 or even a sm-57 sounds fine but when I record from my yamaha A4000 or Korg Trinity (so I don't need those preamps) it always sounds "fade" compared to the real thing. I mean compared to the gear directly connected to the monitors. It's like loosing the ambiance...the sound is very clear but not as "rich". For now I'm trying to bypass that with a little reverb but I'd like to know what's wrong...Is it the A/D converter that does that ?

    Thanks
     
  9. Markd102

    Markd102 Well-Known Member

    Just a couple of blind suggestions.
    Firstly, make sure you are using good quality balanced (TRS) cables.
    Secondly, make sure you select "line" input.
    Third, hit the M-box / PTLE as hard as you can without clipping.
     

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