ProTools LE/Mbox vs Boss CD1600

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by joseph, Dec 9, 2004.


  1. joseph

    joseph Member

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    Hi, I'm pretty computer literate, looking for recording, mostly direct or at least a loadbox line out from my amps, would like a high quality drum sound; I can play bass into the unit myself. Instrumentals, using six or less tracks all-told.
    My computer is around 2 yrs old, 512 mb ram, 2.6 ghz, usb ports, 60 gigabyte, cd burners.

    Which system will give me high quality audio with a minimum of tweaking/high maintainence? TIA!
     
  2. straticus

    straticus Member

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    I don't know much about the Boss stuff or the Mbox so I'm speaking "all in one" box vs. DAW. My guess is that both set ups would give you reasonable sound quality, the PT system probably better though.

    Personally, I don't care for the "all in one" boxes, unless portability is an issue. You already have the computer so buying the Boss unit would be a bit redundant, IMO. So if it were me, I'd go for the M-box. Correct me if I'm wrong but you get some pretty nice plug-ins with the M-box too.

    BC :)
     
  3. joseph

    joseph Member

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    thanks for the ideas....like you, I'm leery of the 'all-in-one' unit sound quality. I'm curious, what system are you using?
     
  4. OneMileWish

    OneMileWish Guest

    I'm assuming you're running a windows based PC instead of a Mac. If you're looking for something that's not going to be high maintenence, stay the heck away from the Mbox. Pro Tools + Windows is not a good mix. I'm sorry I can't point you to better solutions, but there are some here who can :)
     
  5. SteveK

    SteveK Supporting Member

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    I'm just starting out also with a Windows based system. I bought the Cubase System 4. Comes with the soundcard and interface. For drums I picked up Groove Agent, and it is a great drum program. Since they are both Steinberg programs they work really well together. I also own the Boss CD1600 which is good for a portable recorder that allows 8 inputs @ once, but I'm really digging the Cubase. :D
     
  6. joseph

    joseph Member

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    Thanks...so you find the tone quality and drum sounds are better with the Steinberg software than the Boss unit?
     
  7. straticus

    straticus Member

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    I'm using the Aardvark Q10 Direct Pro and couldn't be happier. I run Samplitude Producer 7.22 as my app. I record my band with it and get compliments on the sound of our CD's all the time. I just recorded my friends band and they're very happy with the sound.

    Samplitude is VERY stable and sounds amazing. I can't recommend it highly enough. At around $800.00 it is expensive though.

    As a less expensive choice I HIGHLY recommend Magix Music Studio Deluxe http://site.magix.net/index.php?id=411 Very nice app and very good price. I bought a copy for a friend at GC for $19.95! Same basic lay out and work flow as Samp, distributed by the same people that distribute Samplitude. Outstanding support, very stable. Spend time recording not fixing bugs.

    BC :)
     
  8. Gerry

    Gerry Guest

    Thanks man! What hardware are you using to connect your mics/guitar to your PC, and what drum software are you using?
     
  9. Gerry

    Gerry Guest


    Thanks! So you like the overall sound of the Cubase/Groove agent than the Boss unit for your own direct/drum machine recordings?
    Also, what hardware do you use to connect your guitar/mics to your PC? Thanks again!
     
  10. SteveK

    SteveK Supporting Member

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    Yeah, I definitely like the Cubase / Groove Agent much better. Cubase is great, and the more I use Groove Agent the more amazing it sounds. The hardware(soundcard and interface) to connect to the computer comes in the Cubase System 4 package. It has 2 phantom powered XLR inputs, 2 1/4 inch inputs and 2 MIDI inputs. You can only use 2 inputs at a time though. For electric guitar tracks I mike my Fuchs amp. Bass goes straight in via a direct box, and keys go in via MIDI. While I've been able to record tracks pretty much as soon as I hooked everything up, there is a TON of learning involved in order to make full use of the program, and I think I am going to really enjoy the trip!!!!
    It's also much easier to keep track of what I'm doing on a 17" monitor than on the tiny display on the Boss. The upside of the Boss system is that it is much more portable, and has 8 XLR inputs that can be used at the same time.
    You should be able to get Cubase System 4 and Groove Agent for $600 or so.
     
  11. straticus

    straticus Member

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    The Aardvark Q10 is the interface and you just plug in to it directly. Check it out here http://www.aardvarkaudio.com/products/q10/

    It comes with Cubase LE so the Q10 is all you need to get started. You could move up to a better softwear app (like Samplitude or Magix Studio, just my opinion ;) ) later if you wanted to.

    I have a real drummer but I've used Acid Pro in the past for my drum tracks. I could send you a clip or two of some drum tracks I've put together in Acid so you could hear for yourself what it sounds like. Killer drum tracks, very easy to use, and it's addicting! Plus, you can do much more than just drum tracks in Acid.

    BC :)
     
  12. Screamer

    Screamer Member

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    Sorry Dan, I'm going to disagree. Protools 6.X shipped on XP before Mac, and from what I am seeing Protools and the Athlon 64's are a match like peanut butter and jelly. Also, it works really well with Intel Centrino based notebooks. Based on what I have heard from people "in the know", Pro Tools is only going to get better on PC. Maybe it's because Apple is building their own DAW for Logic Pro. ;) Even McDSP is building plugins for XP now too, Digidesign made them do this for inclusion in the Massive Pack for PT-HD.

    I've been running a 002R on my Athlon64 and a Dell D600 notebook for 4 months now and have never had a Protools hiccup. The caveat is to read and re-read the compatibilty list at Digidesign's website.
     
  13. G'OlPeachPhan

    G'OlPeachPhan Member

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    Screamer, you're right on target. I'm only running the mBox, but I couldn't be happier. No bugs, no hiccups, very intuitive. That combined with the fact that you're running on a music industry standard platform that goes far beyond just the home project studio and you've got a winner. You can walk into most any studio in the country and use a Pro Tools rig.

    That said, I built my Athlon 64 machine specifically for running Pro Tools, so I'm sure that contributes to the success I've had. As long as you pay attention to Digidesigns compatibility specs, you'll have no problems. There is a reason they publish all that documentation...
     
  14. pbradt

    pbradt Senior Member

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    One of the things I like about ProTools on the Mac is that I don't have to worry about compatibility issues. As long as you have the horsepower, you can pretty much use anything you want. I have pretty generic stuff other than the MBox itself. Off the shelf HDDs and so forth. Plug in and go!

    I know some folks are having good success with PT on XP, but I'm really glad to be a Mac guy.

    I've seen Apple's DAW Idea with Logic and I'm not interested. I like PT and between the hardware and the plug-ins, I'm not changing horses. Besides, most of my buddies I share ideas with are on PT Mac.
     
  15. joseph

    joseph Member

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    Thanks.....I've been reading up on the Digidesign 002r with ProTools 6.7 LE, and the plug-ins from amplitube, joe Meek, drum machines/soft synths etc currently being sold with them......

    My main question right now, as a pre-newbie.....how does all the above SOUND, for recording primarily guitar and bass instrumental tracks? In other words, how close is the sound quality to traditional rooms/tape recordings...I've already got the 'outboard' gear (tube springreverb, tube overdrives, analog pedals) and old school tube amps to mic or (preferably) go direct via load boxes (for late night stuff) to input probably as good a tone as possible gear wise (or at least, that I'm happy with).

    TIA.
     
  16. pbradt

    pbradt Senior Member

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    It's never gonna sound like ANALOG, but it's dang close. One thing I'd suggest is if you can afford it, get some good tube mic pres, and use the line inputs of the 002. The good pres will cost you an arm and a leg, but if you're trying to set up a truly pro PT studio, ya gotsta have 'em.

    You can hear some stuff my band did with an Mbox and LE (on a mac) and decide for yourself. The drums were recorded analog and imported, but everything else was MBox.

    Our demo recordings.
     
  17. joseph

    joseph Member

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    thanks! will have a listen later when I'm near speakers....


    I see what you mean about tube mic preamps, from the little ART unit to $$$$! http://www.musiciansfriend.com/srs7/g=rec/s=mics/search/detail/base_pid/188214/

    I already have a 90's original matchless hot box (2 ax7s, clean channel which is always on, and the hi-gain one), all tube hi voltage preamp obviously for guitar...would that accomplish the same function of gain boost/hi voltage tube processing - I'm sure it would going direct for guitar/bass, for mic I'll just have to experiment.

    What's a good tube mic pre-amp for $500 or less you might recommend? thanks again for sharing your been there/done that ;) .
     
  18. Screamer

    Screamer Member

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    At the risk of delving into religion, I'd ask you to take a look at the LE "Mac" forum at Digidesign's site, and then compare it to the issues in the "PC/XP" forums. There are the same hardware errors on both platforms that repeadedly arise.

    There are a number of issues with PT on Mac, but unlike on a PC you don't have an option for compatibility...only what Apple provides. This seems to be a tired argument, and I don't want to go there. I can say first hand that the marriage that Digi and Apple once had isn't the same and to say that PT works "better" on an Apple takes some grit at this point.

    I think Apple has some great products, but they have their share of issues too. All too often the "I just want it to work, that's why I pick Mac", gets overused and in reality is far from the actual experience. Comparing PCs to Macs is like comparing apples to oranges (no pun intended).
     
  19. pbradt

    pbradt Senior Member

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    Hey man, I ain't arguing with you, I just haven't had any issues. PT on the Mac works flawlessly for me and I like the results.

    If you like your results, that's all that matters. If someone asks me a question about it, I give my experience, and in some cases, what i've heard from others.
     
  20. fatang

    fatang Member

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    ProTools big strength is as a complete system, even if you add on the Factory bundle it's a bargain.

    That said there are some great ways to ala carte a cool system with various s/w apps and interfaces.

    As far as mic pres; Presonus, Joe Meek, RNP, Non ISA Focusrite among others have solutions at or around $500.

    Robert
     

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