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Preamp help!!

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by ancients, Oct 9, 2012.

  1. ancients

    ancients Active Member

    I have been using the Mbox 2 mini for a couple of years and im ready for a new preamp. question is how do i hook up a new preamp properly to protools without using the mbox pres. Ive been told to plug in to the LineIn/DI and keep the channel gain/volume down and it will bypass the mbox pres? others say that that isnt true, that whatever you plug into the mbox uses its pres. ive also been told that i can get an ADA converter to replace the mbox. im not sure what that is or does. any help would be great.
  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    It all depends on the version of ProTools you are running. Version 9 and later can use non-Digidesign hardware, but earlier versions have to use the proprietary boxes.

    The Mbox 2 mini does not have any true line inputs that by-pass the pre-amps, nor does it have S/PDIF digital inputs that you could plug an external digitizing interface into. If you have PT 8 or earlier, you could look out for a cheap second-hand Digi box that had S/PDIF inputs and then go for something like an Audient Mico dual channel pre-amp with converters and S/PDIF outputs to give you a couple of quality mic channels.

    If you have PT9 or later, you have a wide choice of interface boxes. Give us some idea of your budget and we can point you at a few you should look at.
  3. timshel

    timshel Active Member

    The mbox 2 pro has line inputs which go straight to the D/A converters. So if you really want to buy an external preamp, you'll have to upgrade your interface. That mbox mini will not do what you're wanting it to. Not so sure if that was the purpose of the box in the first place.

    You also might want to look into cross-grading to the newest version of Pro Tools and buying one of the new m-box 3 models. Deals which bundle the two together can usually be found online. The pre-amps will be a bit improved from the last batch.
  4. ancients

    ancients Active Member

    i have pro tools 8, but i just got a mbox2 (not the mini) that has s/pdif, so i can run the new pre into it that way and i would completely bypass the mbox pres?
  5. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Yes, S/PDIF is a digital input that by-passes not only the pre-amps but the A-D converters as well. The Digi box would have no effect on the quality of the signal passing through it.

    You would need to get a 2-channel digitizing pre-amp that had S/PDIF outputs, of which the Audient Mico that I mentioned earlier is an example.
  6. timshel

    timshel Active Member

    Indeed. Don't forget that you can only use two channels of audio when bypassing the pre-amps. If you're multi-tracking, it shouldn't be much of a bother considering the other two inputs you could use.

    The Audient Mico is a good example as is the Aphex 207D.

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