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Digidesign M Box - 24 tracks with USB connection to a la

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by anonymous, Apr 2, 2002.

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  1. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    So I just got one, still half in it's MMMMbox!

    Looks cool, I bought it to use with the studios iBook 600.

    We were using PT For Free - the 8 track free version of PT (downloadable off the Digidesign site) to edit vocals but it was a bore making a mono mix to save space and not having a full (24) track count.

    The M box allows 24bit recording too, with a handy input / monitor balance - so in a pinch, one of us could go record vocals at a singers house if the studio was booked out, or even try last min overdubs while a mix was in progress.. I expect complex mixing with high plug in counts will make it fall over fairly fast, but I dont need it for that, just secondary editing & overdubing.

    One thing I am looking forward to is importing various "vocal up", vocal down, GTR up etc versions of mixes and lining them all up to the songs tempo grid and chopping between them to make an ideal 'master mix'. I suppose this is a handy thing about mastering back to the DAW that created the mix.. - there is always a time reference for the mix (the same as the song!)

    See how I get on... I don't expect miracles..it's about $400 & you need a USB computer (a laptop is fine...)

  2. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    I am recommending the MBox to all my clients who want to do some of their tracks in their bedroom (after recording bass and drums here, and then bringing everything back here to mix). I have a number of clients who are interested in working that way, and had been exploring various hardware hard-disk systems for them - but the M-Box is so much cheaper and more compatable with my ProTools set-up, seems no need to look any farther.

    My hidden agenda is that because they will all have to get themselves Macs, maybe Apple will stave off extinction for another year or two and I can maintain my Wintel virginity.
  3. Sir Bob

    Sir Bob Active Member

    Jan 30, 2002
    I have heard that the M-box lets you record two channels analog at a time or two channels digital. To bad you can't do both and get a total of four tracks at once. That would have been cool. But apparantly Digidesign doesn't like to give too much to the bottom feeder line.

    Also, they hype the M-box as having no latency. I posted this and got a reponse saying that no latency is impossible.

    It would be cool to overdub vocals will a little reverb and no latency. Is that possible??

    I had been convienced that Digi 001 was the way to go. I can live with a 24 track limit and the other so-called pitfalls of 001.

    But lately I've been noticing that the sound quality of Pro Tools is noticably poor. I have been interested in the discussions about RADAR going on. At any rate I'm not ready to decide so I'll continue with my double speed cassette multi-track synched to a computer. Some day...... :cool:
  4. wiggy

    wiggy Guest


    regretably the Nevefreak is moving to Alsishad (very slowly).

    I am buying myself an Ibook with burner and hitting the road and recording people and bands @ home or wherever they want with this setup. The AD/DA is no better or worse than 001 which i could live with (oh 2" tape where art thou!).

    So with Ibook, 2 x 1073, Manley variable MU and pultecs i am ready to rock with my mobile rig.

    My idea is like littledogs.. track @ mine for crucial stuff and then go to clients place record vocals and other incidental stuff at their leisure. They then come abck to mine and mix on 8024 or baby V.

    I too think this will revoltuionize the scene again.. although i think it will be for worse rather than better, as the technology is becoming more andmore affordable and it will mean that we spend more time editing, fixing and trying to apease clients why their works dont sound like Bob Clearmountain sonic landscapes.

    However the concept is awesome.. i mean who would have thought a few yrs ago we could do decent quality product on such a rig.. it was almost laugable.!

    Have Fun with MBOX i know i will be.

  5. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    Wow, get Wiggy with it!

  6. subspace

    subspace Guest

    I have an old adat XT in the studio because a lot of home recordings come in on that format. I'm thinking of adding an mBox for the same reason as I don't use ProTools and currently have to import those sessions as a bounce from zero. Can you open ProTools LE sessions from PCs on a Mac? How does it handle opening a 32 track TDM project? Will it allow you to select which 24 tracks are included, so you can work on all 32 tracks across two sessions? I'm not concerned with keeping theplug-ins just the audio with edits in place is fine.
    One more thing, can you use the mBox with other audio applications? TIA
  7. wiggy

    wiggy Guest


    To answer your question i am not sure yet..

    I have a real problems... i am an abject gearslut!

    So if i actually go and try an external AD/DA box i know i will HAVE to have it. So more $$ down the drain and the clientel generally can not tell the difference in the additional outlay to apease my own proaudio muse! And i have laid out so much $$$ recently on top shelf stuff it needs to start giving me some return other than making me feel all warm and fuzzy cos i have a great rack full of cool $*^t..... it needs to start making me some $$$ back so i can buy more fear and sleep a little easier.

    Besides the idea of mbox for me is to use it for Incidentals on serious projects or as a tracking rig for demo/songwriting porjects. I have been toying with the idea of a lucid 24/96 box.. i have nice things about them. But i also dont have much time these days, cos of work and my gearpimping enterprises.

    Also the thought of all my front end going into 'ok' converters onmbox should sort a few issues out onthe quality side. And they will be mixed through HD or ad8000's so that will help as well or bounce to 2" ...which i luv doing.... who says u cants make good albums with only 24 tracks.
    SGT Peppers was only 4!!!!!!
    But i will keeps you posted
  8. Bob Olhsson

    Bob Olhsson Active Member

    Feb 13, 2001
    Nashville TN
    Home Page:
    More like 4 to 4 to 4 to 4 to 4 to 4 to 4. Been there, done that, NO thanks!

    I do agree that 24 is enough for most common music applications considering that you also have the playlists for comping parts.
  9. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001

    All good questions! But I don't know the answers. The Digidesign Users Group DUG (digi site, then support, then DUG) will be a good source of answers.

  10. Julian are you writing the SD files to an external FW drive ?
  11. try2break

    try2break Guest

    My version of compatability with PT is exporting raw waves from zero (start). That way I know they can be imported into any DAW or HD recorder on the planet. Make a backup of the original, of course, but don't rely on the plugins to sound the same in the future. My motto: If you want to keep it, PRINT IT!
  12. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    Haven't gotten rolling yet, I do belive ext FW is a good way to go!

  13. aggie

    aggie Guest

    After an exhausting look at the options to Mbox/LE, in a quest to be truly portable (no external usb box, just a pair of phones into the pbook mini plug while commuting on the train)
    the Mbox still looks to be the way. I'll be getting a duplicate set of monitors for home for more critical listening and pre mixing/comping and pre production (i use Reason, Battery, and a few others) and I'm looking to an externa a-d converter. Mic pre to spdif for those remote overdubs ( same thing Julian's doing)
    A friend came in with an DBX 386 (i think that's the model) that had 96k support and spdif out as well as Lite pipe. Pretty dang nice sounding stereo pre for the money.
    I'm also interested in the Mini Me..(does int have spdif?) or any thing else you guys might have heard of....under 1500 bucks ..for this remote rig. :)
    Craig Z
  14. td

    td Guest

    I don't know ...... with all that beautiful front end gear, your still gonna use the Mbox converters? Ah what's another grand or two or three ?? :confused: I spent about 6 months using the 001's converters and was not thrilled to say the least, but maybe with that front end it will matter less. Kind of like buying a beautiful mansion in a crappy neighborhood.

  15. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    I suppose I could schlep around an AD8000 but that is hardly portable.. :eek: Mini Me isnt ready for a while yet...

    No I was thinking of using it's own converters.. for the time being... actually I wan't planning on recording with it much more editing but then.... I am sure I will...

  16. Sir Bob

    Sir Bob Active Member

    Jan 30, 2002
    I'm probably missing something but what's all the excitement about the M-Box making ProTool so portable?

    Couldn't you have a nice preamp, converter and Digi 001 in a relatively small rack/box and schlep that around with a notebook computer?

    Just asking :confused: not being sarcastic.
  17. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001


    + Magma 2 slot PCI card expancion chassis for the 001 PCI card
    + Small analog mixer to provide Mic pre's + blend of incoming & recorded tracks to overcome latency.
  18. XHipHop

    XHipHop Guest

    I think they meant zero latency _MONITORING_ which means you can hear what you are recording before it hits the converters. In some situations it is handy.
  19. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    Direct signal and a 'late reverb' should be fine.

    I feel in the context of latency and running reverbs live in DAWs or sending to them externally people shouldn't over concern themselves in area of REVERB latency problems...... as reverb is, after all, 'late'!


    With a 100% 'wet' setting a few milliseconds tardiness on a REVERB isn't going to mess anything up!

    It's the source signal that is key, if there is a method to hear the in-going signal prior to conversion then you can overdub with no timing / feel problems....

    BTW that's all theory!

    The MBox is still in it's MMMMMMMBox!

    Been too busy to play with it.

  20. Sir Bob

    Sir Bob Active Member

    Jan 30, 2002
    :D ), here's a nice home recording/project studio solution:

    --Digi 001 to record basic rhythm track at the initial session, i.e. drums, bass, guitar, etc.
    --Switch over to the M-Box for overdubs and especially the vocals.

    My last question is that if I were to do the above idea (yeah I am buyin the software twice), wouldn't it be better to run on a G4 than a laptop?

    I suppose I can buy studio time for the inital drum track recording at a studio and get the benefit of having a nice room to record in and then overdub and mix at home. :td: or :tu:

    By the way, the original Roman signal to kill the gladiator was :tu: . The thumb was motioned across the neck to indicate cutting the throat and then held up :tu: .
  • AT5047

    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

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