Mbox vs. Tascam US-122 vs. ???

jokerjkny

Member
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9,592
hey all,

trying to find something portable for my laptop and some field recordings.

i was thinking of the Mbox, but seems like gents arent too happy with it. the Tascam seems attractive, unfortunately, seems rather flimsy.

but anything else you guys would recommend, that's not only USB2 or Firewire connected, but self powered, as well???
 

MichaelK

Member
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6,476
Originally posted by jokerjkny
i was thinking of the Mbox, but seems like gents arent too happy with it.
:confused:

No one I know who has one is unhappy with it. I have one for exactly the same purposes and I'm very happy with it. Though if you're looking for a stand-alone it doesn't fit that bill.
 

jokerjkny

Member
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9,592
cool,

what apps are you using it for?

but what do you mean by "stand alone"? cant really compare this thing to a Roland VS2000, no?
 

leond

Silver Supporting Member
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321
I'll also put in a plug for the MBOX.

I think the MBox is wonderful. Excellent quality interface with super software. ProTools LE is very powerful and the learning curve isn't too bad. Plus there is a lot of support both from Digidesign and the on-line community.

The only thing I have against it is that to get ProTools to run, you need to have the MBox connected. This isn't impossible as the MBox is USB powered so all you need is the box and one cable to connect it to your computer. But it would be even better it I could edit in PT without the box.

LeonD
 

jokerjkny

Member
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9,592
hmm...

then, has anyone used software other than the Protools stuff with the Mbox? Sonar, or cubase anyone?
 

MichaelK

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6,476
Originally posted by leond
The only thing I have against it is that to get ProTools to run, you need to have the MBox connected.
ProTools has always been a hardware-based system, but there's no reason on earth why they couldn't permit iLok authorization for LE. I'll bet anything that most MBox owners only require the box itself 25% of the time or less. It's a pain in the ass dragging that silly box around, hooking it up every time I want to do a little editing on the road.
 

MichaelK

Member
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6,476
Originally posted by jokerjkny
has anyone used software other than the Protools stuff with the Mbox? Sonar, or cubase anyone?
I don't know if Sonar or Cubase would recognize it.

If not, there are other similar hardware interfaces like Lexicon. You'd have to research what works with what.
 

leond

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
321
Originally posted by MichaelK
I don't know if Sonar or Cubase would recognize it.
I bet they would. While I haven't tried Sonar or Cubase I know that GarageBand works with the MBox.

LeonD
 

jzucker

Silver Supporting Member
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20,962
One word of warning. My experience with USB audio was not good. In theory USB 1.x has plenty of bandwidth to service multiple channels of digital I/O. However, that's just "in theory". In reality, with a multitasking operating system, USB buffering and other such issues, I had many problems. Not the least of which was extreme latency (10ms-15ms). This is not uncommon if you do a google search. Where it's particularly noticeable is when echoing inputs and monitoring with real time effects when recording. When doing this, with the USB audio interfaces, you will hear the input as an echo from what you are playing on the guitar.
 

MichaelK

Member
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6,476
Originally posted by jzucker
When doing this, with the USB audio interfaces, you will hear the input as an echo from what you are playing on the guitar.
This is true. At the lowest latency setting the delay is just at the edge of audible. It's not meant to be a true studio-quality rig, but it's as close as you're going to get in that size package for that money.

FWIW on Mac OS X I've never had as much as 10 ms.

The delay is in monitoring only - it doesn't get recorded (I know you know that, but some folks might not).
 

jzucker

Silver Supporting Member
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20,962
Originally posted by MichaelK
This is true. At the lowest latency setting the delay is just at the edge of audible. It's not meant to be a true studio-quality rig, but it's as close as you're going to get in that size package for that money.

The delay is in monitoring only - it doesn't get recorded (I know you know that, but some folks might not).
Actually, some of it does get recorded. The problem is that the analog to digital conversion takes place outside your computer on a serial bus. This in turn is transmitted to a buffer inside your computer. The actual transfer speed of the bus is fast but how much delay you actually get will vary based on how quickly that buffer gets serviced in Windows. Firewire is subject to similar limitations but in my experience, there is not nearly as big a latency. Micheal is right though that there is a longer delay in real-time monitoring than what you hear through the monitors.
 

NotWesYet

Member
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5,303
I have the Tascam and it has worked flawlessly using a variety of apps on an Imac and serves as a great, all around sound card. No perceived latency using the direct monitor function. And I have used it with Sound Studio, GarageBand, etc....... I use it with powered speakers to listen to Itunes on the Mac, as well as online feed of BBC radio.

I spent a lot of time over on the Tapeop Forum and just read so many problems with quaility control with the M-Box that I went with the less expensive Tascam unit.

I would think a laptop, a RNC, RNP and a quality stereo mic and you would have a great location recording rig.

I've used mine for two months without a hitch.

In fact, I am no longer using it (for voice over work) preffering to leave the engineering to someone else, so if you are interested in a mint, used one....drop me a line.
 

johnny5

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
981
i also have the Tascam US122 andn i think it's awsome. i just recorded a entire demo CD of my band with it (except drums) and the results are far better than i expected.

i had to set the computer up when i got it to address latency problems but it works flawlessly now. it has a wonderfull interface and stuff come through very clearly. i don't not have the most expensive mics but have a small and large condenser and a couple shure dynamics and think if something is the weak link, it's the mics. the tascam is really showing what the mics sound like. this is good.
 

jokerjkny

Member
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9,592
cool, J5,

were you using the bundled software or no? if so, what does it come with? like it?
 

MichaelK

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6,476
>> how much delay you actually get will vary based on how quickly that buffer gets serviced in Windows.

Heh heh... Mac OS X, baby!! ;)

The track may be delayed (in WINDOWS) for the reason you mentioned, but it can be bumped up if necessary. What I meant is that you don't hear a delay "effect" on the track.
 

jeffh

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
977
Originally posted by jokerjkny
has anyone used software other than the Protools stuff with the Mbox? Sonar, or cubase anyone?
On the Mac..

In the DidgiDesign folder the application "DigiDesign Core Audio Setup" will allow you to assign other applications to the MBox. I have not tried Sonar or Cubase but have used it with Spark, SoundStudio and wave editors and even ITunes. Basically it just acts as a soundcard.

Not sure what happens on Windows
 




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