anyone use an mbox?

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by Pointbreakd, Aug 7, 2005.


  1. Pointbreakd

    Pointbreakd Member

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    anyone use one? Hows the sound quality? Good enough for a commercial CD?
     
  2. enharmonic

    enharmonic Old Growth Gold Supporting Member

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    I know a lot of people who use the Mbox and like it. I don't know a single one of them who use it for commercial work though.

    It's a great, compact, and convenient way to get in and out of PT, but it's not a pro solution.

    Just remember that it's not the gear. A great song wins every time. I think it was the first Creed album that was recorded on ADAT. While I hate Creed with a passion, I cannot deny that they wrote a ton of radio friendly music. The first record sounds like complete ass, but it sold and sold and sold :)

    In it's price range, the Mbox is very hard to beat. If Mackie is using their Onyx pre's in their Mbox-like package, that would probably be the way that I would go...but then you don't get PT :(...and that's not cool.
     
  3. Pointbreakd

    Pointbreakd Member

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    thats a good point about creed...

    I guess what I want to do is record VOX guitar and bass and then bring what I have to the studio to record drums and remix/master.

    Will the sound quality of the guitars differ that much with an 002?
     
  4. melondaoust

    melondaoust Member

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    I use one, and love it!

    And it's true that it isn't a "pro" solution (the 002 edges you closer to that), but it's great for demoing material and good ol' home studio fun!

    The MBox and 002 use pres from Focusrite I believe (I know the MBox does), and there are some inputs to patch external gear into the chain (compressors, etc) before they hit the computer.

    I have recorded some tracks of very good quality on it (IMHO).

    Great all-in-one recording solution...

    Also agree that all the gear in the world would not save a bad song...
     
  5. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    I've used it recently for a good quality 2-channel location recording and it worked great. It was all I needed. I dunno that I'd track Peter Gabriel with it, though.

    Because of its latency and microscopic I/O capabilities it's not the greatest tool in the world for tracking in even a modest home studio, IMO. The 002 isn't all that much more $$.
     
  6. Pointbreakd

    Pointbreakd Member

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    Yah. I'm actually leading more to the 002r now....

    anyone know of where to find a good used one?
     
  7. leond

    leond Supporting Member

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    I know the opinion on the Digidesign forum is the the pre amps in the MBox is actually better quality than the 002.

    I have an MBox and like it but I've never used the 002. I'm just passing on the above comment from the forum.

    LeonD
     
  8. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    Interesting... I like the MBox's pres quite a bit. A/D converter, too. I've never used the 002 pres.
     
  9. Pointbreakd

    Pointbreakd Member

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    Yah, whether or not they are better than the 002 is up in the air...it seems like the 002 might be better sound qual...but I've yet to hear a solid answer from gearslutz.com or here, of a direct comparison.
     
  10. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    Holding off on Digi 002 vs. MBox based on which way the flatulence blows on an internet forum regarding the microscopic comparative quality of their preamps is ridiculous. They're completely different! One has two channels, no more, and the other has eight analog plus S/PDIF and optical. You're seriously worried about which preamp is better?

    And expecting anything "solid" – much less an answer – from the howling orfice called the internet is equally pointless. You'll get a majority vote at best out of that cacaphony. "He who lies loudest, wins." I don't mean any one forum in particular, I mean the internet in general.

    Don't be a sheep, don't wait around for the "nettiest" answer, don't follow the path of least resistance opinion-wise. Any one of these tools can be used if you have something burning inside that you gotta say. And if you don't have that, it won't matter what preamps you get.

    Get moving, record something, and trust only your own ears. Everyone else is wrong. :)
     
  11. tonefreak

    tonefreak Member

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    I use the Mbox purely as an interface... I don't rely on the mic preamps because I use some external ones that I like.

    As far as the Mbox being a pro level piece of gear... why not? Pro level really is subjective. Everything I've recorded through it sounds great to me. I have no latency issues because I split the signal with a Mackie 1202 VLZ pro. One signal goes to the Mbox, the other to another Mackie 1202 VLZ for monitoring.

    The general public cannot tell the difference between the Mbox, 002, or even the TDM stuff. Heck, most people listen to CD's in their car or convert the audio to MP3 and listen though iPOD head phones.

    I totally agree that nothing beats a good song!!
     
  12. Pointbreakd

    Pointbreakd Member

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    I hear what you all are saying...but on the other hand it will be pretty bad if I end up getting the mbox and it doesnt come close to the sound qual of the 002r I've been used to in the studio I just tracked in.
     
  13. nickdahl

    nickdahl Member

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    I just bought the Mbox last week, and f-ed around with it a bit over the weekend, just to dial in guitar tones. The issues I had with the sounds I was getting (using KRK V8 for monitoring) were closely related to how little I know about recording guitars.

    Nick
     
  14. Kappy

    Kappy Member

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    MF recently dropped the price of the mbox factory bundle (and a cheap condenser mic thrown in) from $550. to $399. I was like *YOINK!* and grabbed it along with an SM57 and some cables. I'm pretty psyched to be getting it and trying some recording out. It's been ages.

    For the price I figure if I completely outgrow it in 2-3 years (It'll easily take me that long to get up to speed) it'll have been worth it. $400.? It's one of the cheapest pieces of gear I've bought in the last year.
     
  15. leond

    leond Supporting Member

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    I see the biggest deciding factor between the Mbox and 002r is if you need more than two inputs.

    I was just getting started so I went with the Mbox to try it. I like some of the stuff I'm doing with the Mbox and PT so I'll probably get a 002r in the next year or so. I'll put the 002r in my studio and use the Mbox as a dongle for remote mixing (PT doesn't work unless either an Mbox or 002 is connected to the computer).

    LeonD
     
  16. Pointbreakd

    Pointbreakd Member

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    Leon,

    I know this is opinion only, but how would you rate the sound qual of the mbox?
     
  17. tonefreak

    tonefreak Member

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    LeonD can chime in, but IMO, the sound quality is not only dependent on the audio interface going into the computer... you also have to factor in your engineering skills.

    Even a full blown ProTools TDM is going to sound like crap if the engineer doesn't know about mic placement, proper use of a preamp, proper use of outboard effects, how to capture a vocal performance, etc.

    ProTools is a great piece of software, and the Mbox has the specs to nicely capture your performances. Plus, if you can trade up to 002 through Digidesign's Hardware Exchange program!

    I understand you concern with sound quality compared to a dedicated studio, but there are a lot more factors than the Mbox. It's not a fair comparison unless you have a space in your house that's been acoustically treated in both the tracking room and the live room.

    If it sounds good going into ProTools... it's going to sound good going out.
     
  18. Layne-o

    Layne-o Silver Supporting Member

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    I've had the pleasure of using MBox, 002, and an HD rig. Echoing the sentiments of tonefreak "if it sounds good going into ProTools... it's going to sound good going out."

    Some of the work I did with the MBox has landed on major television networks, while some of the sessions on the 002 and HD rig ended up on regional advertisements. It really does depend on your engineer and his/her abilities. Do yourself a favor and buy a Mac. I hate Mac for everything else but recording and some video/art projects. The Macs truly shine in these categories!

    As always, your mileage may vary and it's in my honest opinion -

    Sincerely,
     
  19. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    Nonetheless, some interfaces have better sounding preamps and A/D converters than others.

    But somehow I don't think this thread is going anywhere at all...
     
  20. Pointbreakd

    Pointbreakd Member

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    Eh I disagree (partly because I started it :) ). It's good sometimes to hear people opinions and experiences. Granted I agree it depends greatly on one's engineering skills/the room etc...its good to hear that a session recorded with the Mbox has seen major television networks.


    My engineering skills are good. And the recording will be done in a dorm room (granted its apartment style it's still far from soundproof). I just want the best tools that will get the best sound with what I have to work with.
     

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