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Mbox2 Mini vs. Others....

Discussion in 'Recording' started by bl00dhnd79, Mar 12, 2009.

  1. bl00dhnd79

    bl00dhnd79 Guest

    I am new to the art of recording. I am looking to get some starter gear for a home studio project, and I'd like to get some advice from people with more experience. Here are my goals for this project:

    1) to be able to work virtually with an old collaborator/friend who uses Digi 002 and ProTools. We have many partial songs we've written that we'd like to get recorded and complete, so having a compatibile device is essential.
    2) be able to record vocals and a mic'd acoustic guitar simultaneously, to lay down initial song structure. Final recordings would be done track by track. Drums/percussion are not essential, as this is more of a folky/acoustic project

    I have $500 to spend to get this project rollling. The Mbox2 mini, plus SM57, mic stand, mic cable, and mic to 1/4" adapter will run me about $450.

    So, what I'm looking to find out is if the experts, or at least more experienced, in this forum think that the Mbox2 mini will provide a decent recording experience, and satisfy my requirements. The mini has 2 simultaneous inputs, the first is a mic or 1/4" input, the second is soley a 1/4" input. Assuming my computer can support ProTools, I'm a little concerned that recording digitally over a USB 1.1 connection would introduce issue due to the low data transfer rates. The mini is not firewire capable, and digi's products that ARE firewire capable are out of my price range.

    Any advice or guidance that anyone can give is greatly appreciated. I've spent way too long away from music, and I can't wait to get back into it recording old songs that I had written, and hopefully finding the inspiration to write new ones.

  2. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Distinguished Member

    Feb 21, 2009
    Ur just looking for an interface? or a DAW also?

    For an interface the Presonus firebox is good or the Firepod for a little more money But if you are going into PT, then you need the Mbox or other PT device.

    Both the box and pod are firewire.

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    EDIT: are you only getting a mic > 1/4" because the mbox mini2 only has one mic input and you want to be able to track two mics at once?? In that case go for the firebox, it has a lot more potential and much more for the money. Assuming you are not using Pro Tools. But if you are, and only getting one piece your hands are tied and you are stuck with the mini.
  3. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Sep 26, 2005
    You'd be much better off with the M-Box 2. You don't have to worry about the USB 1.1. You're not recording 24 simultaneous inputs. The interface only has to output stereo & record stereo. The rest is up to your computers capabilities. You really have to make sure that your computer meets Digi design's specific specifications. Otherwise no can do on the ProTools. You really need to have a pair of matched preamps for anything stereo. So the Mini really isn't a good choice. So you'll need to save a little more money from your paper route to also buy a SM57. Then a little more for a pair. Then more for monitors, headphones, all that. Then a psychiatrist since it seems you are turning out like the rest of us.

    That will be $175
    Dr. Remy Ann David
  4. Boswell

    Boswell Distinguished Moderator Resource Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    Home Page:
    Yes, skip the Mbox2 mini. If you insist on getting a DigiDesign interface, don't look at anything less than the Mbox2, as Remy suggested. Otherwise, one of the mid-level M-Audio units with PT M-Powered will retain compatibility with your colleague's use of PT.

    If you are thinking of recording guitar and vocals at the same time, you need to pay attention to the type and positioning of the microphones. Using a vocal track from one take and a guitar track from another can bring all sorts of problems if there is significant bleed between the mics. Maybe if these are just roughs and you would be listening to the whole take, bleed is not a problem for you.
  5. bl00dhnd79

    bl00dhnd79 Guest

    Remy - thanks for the reply. So, pardon my ignorance (I know I am completely ignorant when it comes to recording), but do the SM57's satisfy the matched preamps? I have computer speakers, while nothing great, that I planned to use for monitors, and then I can find a decent pair of headphones for not two cheap. Do you know if the Mbox2 has built in preamps whereas the mini doesn't? Thanks again.
  6. bl00dhnd79

    bl00dhnd79 Guest

    Thanks for this suggestion. One of my other friends had told me that M-Audio had PT compatibility, but I wasn't sure how that'd work. I'm not really worried about the interface for this project, more with being able to collaborate with a PT user, easily. So, if there is an M-Audio product that is compatible but better featured than the mini (and comparably priced), I'm all for it. Any specific model suggestions?
  7. music293

    music293 Active Member

    Dec 24, 2008

    The SM57 is a microphone.

    Computer speakers are NOT adequate monitors.

    Both the Mbox 2 Mini and the Mbox 2 have preamps, however the Mini has only one XLR in whereas the Mbox 2 has two, which is good when you want to mic something with a stereo pair (and you will).
  8. bl00dhnd79

    bl00dhnd79 Guest

    Since I started this post, I since made a trip to Guitar Center to ask some questions. The sales guy there recommended, highly, the Lexicon Lambda or Omega systems over the Mbox systems. He said that rudimentary collaboration with ProTools would be possible (not nearly as easy as when using Mbox), and that there was a lot more bang for the buck in the Lexicon systems....

    What say you? :D Thank you all for your suggestions and feedback. When you're new to all of this, it's great to get many opinions.
  9. hueseph

    hueseph Distinguished Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    I can't help but think that's a bit of anti-Digidesign bias. I suppose his recommendation would be due to the possible compatibility issues. Understandably, there are many potential issues with any Digidesign hardware if you don't stick to their recommended hardware list. One bad experience can sour your taste for an entire product line.

    You can collaborate using different DAWs but with ProTools it would be as simple as exporting/importing session files. Using other software you pretty well have to import individual tracks at a time.
  10. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Distinguished Member

    Feb 21, 2009
    I loved Pro Tools during my internship at the studio, but since then I haven't had the opportunity to use it since it's quite expensive. I then began using Logic and I love it. My college uses PT, so I'll use that if I have to, but other than that, I prefer the Logic interface.

    There was a thread not too long ago that said unanimously that Logic was a better DAW for the mac OS. I believe Logic had 6 votes to Digi's 0. I'm not sure though.

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