November 10, 2006

And from the

by Chris Randall

Digidesign continues to annoy the rest of the world with their introduction of the MBox 2 Mini. I'm so happy I could just shit. Now, on top of the shitty original MBox, and the MBox 2, both of which have the World's Worst Audio Drivers, we're graced with one that is cheap, so everyone can enjoy t3h suck.

The press material provides the quote of the day, though: "Transporting the Mbox 2 Mini is no longer effortless due to its ultra compact size." Yeah, read that twice.

(EDIT: They fixed the text. Now, it is once again effortless. I wonder if they had to rev the unit to make it effortless again.)



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Nov.11.2006 @ 6:38 AM
You guys mean the sound of one hand _fapping_ , right?.

I bet Digidesign will have an upgrade offer for those wanting the shiznit kit. A very special deal where you trade in some old hardware, cough up a grand or so and you get 2 of these and some dumb plugins, like "Shiznitizer" and "Monofi" both only RTAS of course.

I have an HD (or Accel or what eveer the fuck I'm supposed to call it) rig of several thousand $'s worth of Digidesign hardware but Pro Tools still won't boot unless I got the i Lok on. Yeah, you read that right. With v. 7 the app will not even launch without an iLok auth. even if you have Digi interface connected.


Nov.12.2006 @ 8:12 PM
Not that anyone gives a shit but I guess the 'double dongle' is documented:

Pro Tools LE 7.1cs10 Read Me
For Digi 002, Digi 002 Rack, Mbox or Mbox 2 Systems with Pro Tools LE 7.1 for Mac OS X ... The software will not work without the required iLok licenses. ...

Sorry for ranting on but it really blows me away the I have to use a hardware copy protection device to run sofware that require proprietary hardware to run in the first place...

So in the spirit of the season, connect the mBox, the iLok, headphones and whatever you might be recording to your laptop and double as a fucking Christmas tree.


Nov.13.2006 @ 9:57 AM
Rather than curse the dorkiness, does anyone want to light a candle?

What suggestions do we have for a way to get two tracks in and out of a computer? I don't need any more than that, and I would like something to take for live recordings. I'm sure that little Apogee is as great as it gets, but is there anything else out there that's maybe not as expensive?


Nov.13.2006 @ 10:31 AM
Yeah, I'm with Nelium, here. What is recommended for those of us who don't need a ton of I/O? I'm looking for some better converters these days and just a few bits of I/O without spending the loads an Apogee will cost me, mainly because it's too much.

Focusrite has grabbed my attention at the moment with either their Saffire or Saffire Pro. Any thoughts on their hardware?


Nov.13.2006 @ 1:53 PM
Im corrently using the motu ultralite
was a very noticable step up from the Maudio AP pci card.

dont have any expirience with high end convertors tho.

Its a good sounding unit,stable drivers
Im runing XP sp2.


Nov.13.2006 @ 2:17 PM
The Presonus Firebox is like the MOTU Ultralite but minus the extra ins and outs. Just two preamps (with phantom power), 2 line inputs, 6 line outs, SPDIF and MIDI I/O, and for only $300 ($250 less than the MOTU unit). Definitely a great deal and a great unit. I can't speak to the Focusrite's quality but Presonus has always done me well (and they even bundled some AD plugs with their cheapest interface).

Nov.13.2006 @ 2:28 PM
Chris Randall
I don't have any thoughts on the Saffire series, other than to say that I haven't heard anything in the way of complaints about it. I have a Firebox on my Mac, and it works fine. I don't ever record through it, though, and only use the SPDIF out, so I don't have anything to say about the convertors. The only thing I could say is that the mixer app sometimes forgets its settings, and won't send the mains out the SPDIF output until you've clicked back and forth a few times.

Otherwise, it's a fine little box. Probably quite good if you do any sort of "DJ" kind of gigs, or live laptoping shit. The mains have balanced outs, which is important to me.



Nov.13.2006 @ 2:45 PM
Metric Halo ULN-2 (no dsp version) - I own and recommend:
Less than $1K; has far more capability than the Mini-Me or Mini-MP; is Firewire, not USB; the head designer/owner (based in upstate NY) will respond personally in the unlikely event of problems. Unfortunately...Mac only.

Nov.13.2006 @ 10:44 PM
That's good to hear about the Firebox, CR. I've heard of some issues with it not being 100% compatible/stable with Tiger, but it's reassuring that you are having success with it.

We've got a singer coming in next month and I want to have some semblance of a box that has some decent mic pre's in it. We'll probably be renting some higher end stuff, too, but right now she's just sending roughs over that she's done through a Digi 001 that actually sound pretty good once I work some magic on them in Logic.

I guess no news is good news when it comes to the Saffire series. From what I hear they are solid little boxes. I was curious if anybody had anything to say about their audio quality.

Right now I'm just using and M-Audio Firewire Solo (hey, it was cheaped and served a noble purpose for me for a good 2 years), but now it's time to upgrade. More outs to one day expand to a surround sound set up will be nice and having some decent built in mic-pres.

The Halo is a bit out of my price range, especially since I won't be using the ins very often. It's one of the reasons I'm leaving out the Apogee and the RME as well, both of which have been recommended to me on numerous occasions.

Great work, here, CR. Analog is a daily stop for me!



Nov.13.2006 @ 11:44 PM
Chris Randall
As I said, I've never recorded anything using the mic pres of the Firebox, so my reply should in no way be construed as an endorsement of same. All I use it for is stereo audio out on my Mac, and MIDI input. And even then, it's only for quick tests in Logic and Live of our products. I can in no way say that it would stand a torture test in Tiger.

(It should also be mentioned that, as was noted above, Audio Damage has certain financial arrangements with Presonus.)

For a cheap-ass do-everything box, you could do worse, is all I'm saying.



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