Laptop Studio — Music software reviews, news and info for computer music

3 September 2005

Digidesign Mbox 2

Filed under: Hardware at 10:33 am (71 comments)

Digidesign have announced the Mbox 2, the new version of their original Mbox bundle. This looks pretty good — it’s a Pro Tools system you can actually afford. The hardware handles the connections (including analog, digital, and MIDI), and the included software handles the editing.

Apart from the very nice-looking interface box, MBox 2 comes with Pro Tools LE, the “light” version of Digidesign’s flagship music production software. It also comes with a great bundle of other software called the Pro Tools Ignition Pack — in total, Mbox 2 includes more than 50 plug-ins and instruments.

Here’s the rundown of features in this package, from the website.

Mbox 2 Hardware Features

  • Superior sound quality
  • Four simultaneous inputs with analog and digital I/O
  • Two analog inputs (XLR and 1/4″ jacks) and two analog outputs (1/4″ jacks)
  • 2 channels of S/PDIF digital I/O (RCA)
  • 48V phantom power for condenser mics
  • 24-bit/48 kHz audio
  • MIDI in/out
  • Zero-latency monitoring
  • 100% USB powered

Mbox 2 Software Features

  • Award-winning Pro Tools LE software (Windows XP and Mac OS X)
  • 32 simultaneous audio tracks (128 virtual audio tracks)
  • Integrated MIDI sequencer with 256 simultaneous MIDI tracks
  • 37 DigiRackâ„¢ and 7 Bomb Factory plug-ins
  • Includes the Pro Tools Ignition Pack software and tools
  • Support for streaming ReWire applications
  • Beat Detective LE groove analysis and correction tool

Pro Tools Ignition Pack

  • Propellerhead Software Reason Adapted 3
  • Ableton Live Lite 4 Digidesign Edition
  • FXpansion BFD Lite
  • IK Multimedia SampleTank 2 SE
  • IK Multimedia AmpliTube LE
  • IK Multimedia T-RackS EQ
  • Celemony Melodyne uno essential
  • Pro Tools Method One instructional DVD
  • Bunker 8 REX File CD
  • 1-year membership to
  • Limited-time free trade magazine subscription

More articles about Mbox 2

  1. WARNING… It’s unfortunate that digidesign have not done their homework on this new interface with its compatibility with the Mac powerbook 1.5Ghz + 1.67Gz! I have recently purchased the Mbox2. I am using a 15″ powerbook 1.5 GHz, running an external hard drive (Lacie d2 extreme). It plays all my previous pro tools files (6.9) with no problem and I can also record through the DI. The problem that I am having is when I turn on the phantom power 48V for my Mic (that needs phantom power). I get this message…
    Pro Tools cannot communicate with the Mbox 2. Please make sure that Mbox 2 is connected and that the unit is not set to AC-3 mode.
    Checking the status for the Mbox 2 in System Preferences it says that I am Connected to Mbox 2. The clock is set to Internal and the AC-3 Digital Passthrough box is not ticked. So it’s not in AC-3 mode. When I press the 48V button it states Lost connection to Mbox 2. The Mbox 2 shuts down for 3 seconds and starts again for only about 2 seconds so on off and on several times until it turns off completely. It can’t draw enough power from my Powerbook to run the phantom power. I have removed all other USB plug ins and 800 FW for the external hard drive and I still have the same problem. I then tried a powered hub 2.0 USB that worked with the phantom power on! That much was true… but running it with the LE program… unfortunately that wouldn’t boot up at all! I have not heard back from the digidesign techs after 4 days? I had no issues with my previous Mbox.

    Jasper on 24 September 2005 at 8:21 pm

  2. Jasper, thanks for those comments. I haven’t heard of any similar problems with the Mbox 2, so it’s interesting to hear the bad as well as the good. I hope you hear back from Digidesign soon — I would be interested to hear what the end result is. Good luck.

    Bennett on 25 September 2005 at 10:27 pm

  3. Has anyone used this box yet? Have they fixed the latency issue from the old one? Do you still have to use the stupid input mix knob to monitor what you are recording?

    Harvey Fishmouth on 29 November 2005 at 8:04 am

  4. Having massive problems with the Mbox 2 running with a Powerbook – I’ve got a 1.67 1st Gen 15″ running Tiger and Pro Tools 6.9.2 and can’t get any life out of the Mbox 2 because it ccan’t draw enough USB power. Tried installing the firmware updater the Digidesign have put out but now luck. Was then told that i had to step back to LE 6.8.1 or upgrade to LE 7.0 as it doesn’t work with 6.9.2. Which I did… to no avail… one day Digidesign will release products that work out of the box.

    They haven’t got back to me – but I do have a Logic key – that works – all the time…

    Lance on 7 December 2005 at 9:03 am

  5. i recently got the mbox 2 with a pc and i want to know is there a way around the latency problem do you have to keep changin the buffer size in playback engine also all the license numbers that come with the bundle pacck software doesnt work ……rip off

    artist on 31 December 2005 at 11:34 pm

  6. hi, nothing but lameness from mbox2- i’m sending it back. first, you have to disable energy saver and software update (mac). the mbox2 tends to crash the system as well as relatively stable software like Live and Reason. you can’t put your computer to sleep, as this will crash the mbox2- also it is in no way hot swappable although it is usb. send it back.

    palndrom23 on 4 January 2006 at 2:45 am

  7. oh yeah, the mbox2 must be plugged into a dedicated usb port, don’t even think about routing it thru a hub- even a powered one.

    palndrom23 on 4 January 2006 at 2:46 am

  8. I have the same problem as Jasper… Do you already know how to solve it? I really need to know!!!

    Michiel on 11 January 2006 at 5:11 am

  9. There’s a MBox2 Firmware update on the PT 7SE install CD. Follow the instructions in the read me and install it. For me it worked!

    Michiel on 14 January 2006 at 8:33 am

  10. Even with all the updates and a powered USB hub the MBox2 cannot keep communication with my 17inch Powerbook G4. I cannot use condenser mics on the unit because it either turns off or there is a constant popping sound that seems , for some reason, to have its rate change by the monitor level. The preamps are poor quality and have allot of noise especially when the pad is on. I tried using this on other computers both PC and MAC laptops and desktops with the same results. The latency is really bad but I can deal with it by using the input mix. However, the MIDI latency makes composing imposable with this unit. So basically I paid almost $600.00 to have two line inputs with no real monitoring.

    B T on 20 January 2006 at 5:12 pm

  11. i bought the mbox 2 system in early january and i have gone thru many adjustments only to find i need more adjustments, the latency problem sucks, the echo like feedback when i want to record from a condenser mic, digidesign needs to stop lying to people saying you are ready out of the box to record. i paid 450 for what?
    used mbox 2 for $350.00 anyone?

    kopdigi on 22 February 2006 at 1:40 am

  12. I’ve always wanted a home recording setup, so I blew quite a bit of money this year to get one. I’d say the biggest waste was the $500 I spent on the mbox. I bought a 1.5 ghz powerbook in September and then an mbox2. I should’ve done my homework. I didn’t have problems with communication between the mbox and the powerbook, but I did find that the powerbook is not a fast enough computer to handle mixdowns. I got all the messages about changing the buffers blah blah blah… I now how a 2.3 ghz dual-core powermac g5 with 2.5 gigs of ram…the computer kicks ass. I’ve also switched from using protools le to logic pro as protools le is a stripped down version of protools and all the add ons and plugins the digi promises come with are really just demos. I can also use the powerbook as a node when doing the processing in logic, so I get the bonus of another cpu. Now the problem is that I just want to ditch digi altogether. The mbox is alright when I plug my guitar straight into it or through a pod and then into it, but that’s about all it’s good for. And as for overdubbing, the latency really sucks…I love how digi says they’ve solved the problem by putting a stupid knob on it that lets you mix the hardware monitoring with mix monitoring. So what the hell does that leave me with? It just sounds weird…the latency is still there. Vocals suck…I’m using a GT55 with a shock mount, but the preamp and the phantom power in the mbox2 just don’t cut it. The GT55 is definitely an entry level mic, but it ain’t bad (hell it’s almost as expensive as the mbox). I don’t do much singing, but I’m still considering get a mic preamp, but I’m still going to have to plug that in through the mbox, so I have a feeling it’s going to suck. As for monitors, I have a pair of KRK V4’s, which I must say for entry level monitors (about $250 a piece) are fantastic, especially since my studio is in a small bedroom. For example, when I plug my Roland RD-700sx straight into the monitors, I swear I’m in a concert hall. However, when I plug the Roland into the mbox and then out to the monitors, so much of the sound is lost. I don’t know if this should be the case or not. But I’m not making it up. Perhaps the DAC in the Roland is better than in the mbox. (Remember, I’m a newbie at this, so if I’m making mistakes please forgive me). So…should I get a firewire interface? If so, which one? Any help would be appreciated.

    Dan on 9 March 2006 at 5:14 am

  13. Dan, and others, thanks for pointing out the short comming of the mbox2.

    I am in the market to get something similar, however I think I will save my pennies for 002r.

    I believe latency has and always will be an issue with recording. I believe there a tricks and tips the pro’s use to over come the effects albeit reduce the effect too make recording slightly more enjoyable.

    USB vs FIREWIRE is something I have to learn now.

    Mr Beat on 20 March 2006 at 4:48 pm

  14. Hi Guys,

    I got a 17″ Powerbook with the same problem as mentioned above. Is there some kind of solution for this problem? I hope this is’nt another of DigiDesign’s project studio/entry level products with compatibility problems. If DigiDesign managed to create a userfriendly system with high compatibilty features like the M-Audio product line, they would sell a lot more units.

    Ktone on 21 March 2006 at 12:01 am

  15. Out of the box, I updated the firmware right away to 1.38. My mic with phantom power actually worked for one session with me on the mbox 2(I have a powerbook as well). Now it refuses to work.

    I think this unit is good for composing in a light weight format – I dont try to record many tracks to mix with heavy duty plugins unless I’m at my dual G5 setup though.

    I have a digi 002 rack, and I was depending on this unit to be my travel buddy. I don’t know much about electronics, but do you guys really think a firmware update can solve this power issue? I sense a recall for us (or some sort of accessory) in the future.

    Anyone here with a powerbook and mbox2 that DOESNT have this problem?

    And lastly – For the group who has updated their batteries as recommended on the digi website, did that work?(maybe that could be a solution for alot of us regardless of our battery situation?)

    Janus on 29 March 2006 at 9:35 pm

  16. Mbox2 Sucks

    Oliver on 29 April 2006 at 9:40 pm

  17. Would the original Mbox be a better buy? I hear it has a better preamp as opposed to the digi designed one in the Mobox 2.

    James, on 14 May 2006 at 1:32 am

  18. Hi, is the midi decent enough to run a keyboard gig via the M-Box2, or is there too much latency? Thanks, Steve – steve @

    Steve on 16 May 2006 at 9:01 am

  19. Here is the Digi site that confirms which Mac laptops will be compatible with MBox2 and which ones will work but not function using Phantom Power: Mine will not function with Phantom Power … big let down after hours of trying all sorts of fixes. I have just had confirmed from our Digidesign distributers that there is no fix to this but to buy a compatible mac or go back to MBox1. The latest firmware 138 was a beta version (included in the PT7updates as well as download) and didn’t fix the problem and I got the impression from Digi dealer I shouldn’t hold my breath for a fix to this in the next firmware update.

    Stephen C on 19 May 2006 at 10:39 am

  20. I have been trying and searching and looking for a solution to my problem….but no luck. I have purchased the MBox 2 system with the hopes of giving my clients the ultimate in studio to studio flexibility, and for some strange reason the midi ports dont work. Specifically, the midi out port. Further more, I cant seem to register my hardware on the Digidesign Site. Ive registered my ignition pack and PTLE 7.o software, but no luck with the hardware. Excuse me for the long post, but I expected a flawless product when I bought this system.

    yish313 on 22 May 2006 at 12:57 pm

  21. I too have had the same problems with the MBox2 and the G4 laptop. It seems to have to do with the phantom power and lack of USB driven power of the G4. When I downloaded the firmware update it crashed. Bought a powered USB hub – nothing. Sweetwater is sending another to try. Their tech people have been very good, but when I was researching the MBox2 and speaking with the sales guy, I sent him reviews of the G4 problems. He assured me it would be fine with the update. My wish to work with PT’s seems to have gotten in the way of best sense/research. The sales guy did his thing, tech is doing its – but shame on me for not following my gut. When I try the new one out I’ll update this note.

    Joe G on 25 June 2006 at 6:22 am



    KRACKHEADBEATZ on 29 June 2006 at 6:29 pm

  23. You guys are all stupid!!!(except for the g4 problemsI don’t know about that) ..There is NO latency!!!You have to adjust the sample rate(256),the buffer (2)and the mix knob(11 o’clock).then use the mixer section to set your levels in your head phones or monitor and you will get zero latency!!!Its so simple. I record live overdubs all the time in real time no problem.The preamps are fine ,your problem is your miking technique.If you cant get a professional recording -master out of the mbox and protools you are a novice!!Go on line and do some reading and some researh and learn some techniquies.A nuemann 67 will still sound shit if its not placed in the right acoustic enviorment what ever the gear used.
    Also USB2 is faster than fire wire.Check your facts!!
    If you want professional then you also need lots of ram(2 GB)min if you want to use lots of plugins.
    Half the studios in the world use the same PROTOOLS and don’t have a problem.Take your time and do some research.
    If you want to check your preamp,record your favourate CD from your stereo output to the digi’s input and the play it back through the same stereo and A/B against each other .Listen to the difference.If its sound the same then your technique sux!
    Remember you paid only about $500 bucks for a complete system.I paid $2500 for a RED preamp alone.

    john on 10 July 2006 at 10:13 pm

  24. Check your facts? I would just ignore you, except you’re you’re blatantly wrong about at least one thing. You might have had a perfectly good experience with the Mbox 2 while other people were unhappy with it. That’s fine. You might also have expensive equipment that you feel the need to brag about. Great. You have a big penis. Learn how USB2 and FireWire work, though.

    The theoretical maximum speed of USB2 is slightly faster than the theoretical maximum speed of FireWire. In practice, you’re not actually going to reach those speeds with either of them, but FireWire can maintain a higher sustained transfer rate. With FireWire, the devices talk directly to each other, but with USB, the computer has to handle everything and adds extra overhead.

    FireWire also has the ability to guarantee a certain amount of bandwidth to a device, which is another reason it can be useful for audio/video. To avoid conflicts when using USB, depending on what you’re doing, you may sometimes need to put different devices on separate USB buses.

    Both USB2 and FireWire are certainly fast enough for this sort of thing, and if you have a device that only uses one or the other, or your computer only has one or the other, they both work. FireWire is just better suited in some ways for external storage and audio/video devices by nature of its design choices.

    Check Your Own Facts on 11 July 2006 at 4:38 am

  25. i have a dell inspiron B120 laptop. I am looking to purchase this pro tools mbox2 setup. Am i making a bad decision? is there some sort of delay? Will it work with my computer?

    Help is greatly appreciated.

    nate on 14 July 2006 at 4:59 am

  26. Sorry,but i’m trying not to get technical.But at the end of the day The Mbox works the same be it fire wire or USB2.If you can’t work out the zero latency issue then you have no chance making a decent recording using protools as you won’t be able to work anything out.
    Watch the dvd and the instructor explains the buffer issue.Obviously nobody has.
    Im not bragging,I’m trying to get everyone to put things into perspective ,you only spent a few hundred bucks .What are you expecting????
    Its like driving your toyota back to the showroom and complain it doesn’t go or handle like a ferrari.Yes they are both cars but you get what you pay for.
    The mics they use to record vocals in a pro studio cost about $2000 to $ 6000.Bono on the other hand uses a shure Sm-58.A $120 mic ,unfortunatly the preamp costs about $2000.
    The mbox is a great tool for creating music , but if you think its a professional studio out of a box that will give you the same results as your favourate commercial CDs .Your wrong!
    Not that you couldn’t get a commerial CD out of it ,if you can get your hands on some of the equipment the commercial studios use.The mic pre is great on the mbox.The mbox will put into the hard drive what you feed it.If you want that warmth then you need quality valve mics and i also use a valve preamp .I feed this into a noise gate and then into the mbox.
    You need to get a geat sound from the start .There is so much on the net about recording these days it shouldn’t be to hard to get some great ideas.
    Once you have great sounds recorded ,with out any plugins your mix will sound great.If its mushy and boxy at the mix stage ,forget it!
    The mbox is as good or better than any thing in its price range and better than alot of things 3 times its price .Use it as a learning tool to move up to bigger setups.If you master this baby and get some decent recordings out of this ,when you do get quality equipment you’ll be laughing…..

    john on 14 July 2006 at 10:06 pm

  27. Now i’m going to write a essay here as a reply to the guy saying i have a big penis and that i’m bragging.I always listen to all advice and make up my own opinion.
    If you get a review completely trashing a product then its probally the competion (m audio) writing the review .Yes this is the commercial world we live in so try to read reputal reviews from decent publications and sources (sound on sound ,MIX,audio technology)Even if you go to harmony central and check any product there is always 20 reviews that give it a 10 and one dickhead that rates a product 2.
    For all you know I could be a digi employee.IM NOT!! the one thing i don’t like about mbox 2 is that it onlygets 48hz .Why not 96hz. For this reason you need to make sure your recordings are full and rich.
    Now I’ll give you the best advice if your really serious on how to learn and do some great recordings and mixes.Get the waves production package.It contains 5 songs in track form and teaches you how to mix them and what plugins to use.Waves plugins cost a fortune but the digi installs will do fine for now .In fact any plugins will do but they will teach you how to correctly set the levels of compressors,reverbs etc…and why and how to do this .You can play around with different settings and create your own sound and mixes …
    The package contains 5 styles of music (R&B,rock,dance ,country ,alternative) and buy geting them in track form you can listen to each sound individually and use them a a reference to what yours should sound like.
    All you do is import the files into protools.Even with out any plugins the mix sounds incredible.This is because the recordings are perfect.The vocals have that beautiful rich valve fullness.The guitars are full and in your face.
    You’ll see on the alternative song how 8 tracks of drums should sound like.If you listen to one of the tracks in the drums on its own ,they sound shit, but all together you have full ambient drum kit ! I personally use a midi electronic kit and record it stereo .Easier and don’t have to worry about phasing
    If you want professional ,then use this as your bench mark.If you can’t match these recordings with your gear then its time to upgrade your equipment.(mics, processors etc).Mbox will easily get these sounds to your hard drive if you can get them to the mbox.(m audio and any other piece probally could too).
    If your runnig with limited ram then make sure you get the recordings right so you don’t have to use 5 plugins to get the right sound.ALWAYS use a noise gate!! before you go to the mbox this will make your recordings dead quiet and after 20 noisey tracks your mix is doomed from the start.
    READ ALL YOU CAN ON THE SUBJECT! Goto the sound on sound web site and read there archives they are valuable source of information.I can’t underestamate how much technique matters.
    Hope i’ve helped one person out there and even if i do have a big penis so what.

    john on 15 July 2006 at 9:38 am

  28. This comment is for John….THANKYOU!!! You obviously know what you are talking about and have helped me considerable. I have been using protools for awhile but was using 001 and 002 racks. Have downgraded to a mbox2 while i’m a poor student just for song writing and was wondering about the latency issue. Stupid me, forgot about the buffer size. I suppose having the 002R I didn’t really have to worry about that. Thanks again.

    James on 18 July 2006 at 3:42 pm

  29. Thank you james,and as MR.T used to say .Stay in school and don,t be a fool !!!!

    john on 18 July 2006 at 6:14 pm

  30. john you are getting besides the point
    its my opinion !!!
    get your facts right i have talk to tec support
    about the mbox 2
    guess what its usb 1.o still
    and if it was 2.0 it still sux
    who wants to go through all them changes
    just to stop latency ?
    and yes i know about the
    zero latency monitor knob
    and the buffer setting s
    who wants to change the buffer setting s every time
    i hook up a track with my favorite soft syth
    then when im ready to drop some vocals change it again
    USB 1.0 M BOX 2 PRICE $500

    krackheadbeatz on 5 August 2006 at 5:52 pm


    krackheadbeatz on 7 August 2006 at 4:11 pm

  32. You obviously know better than I ,Ive only been recording for 10 years in australia ,what would i know? 3 mouse clicks to change the the buffer size,thats TOO hard hey ??? I’d start lookin for another hobby!!!
    And i think you mean presonus firebox.If you can’t spell the thing how are you going to record with it !!Used it and Guess what it also has latency in its monitoring or they call it” low latencey” monitoring!!!
    At the end of the day i’m a protools man and the mbox does it great…
    Honestly there all good units,Ive gotten proffesional results out of all of them .If it sux then its YOU !!refer to my handy hints in previous review .The interface is only 20% of the recording process start concentrating on the other 80%, you might learn something…..But thats right, your the expert …sorry …..I’ll let you finish…….

    john on 11 August 2006 at 11:37 pm


    TWAN on 14 August 2006 at 7:12 am

  34. Glad to hear it !Another tip then to the beginners .Record everything first .Forget about adding plugins until every thing is recorded and leave the buffer at 128 or 256.At this point it won’t sound like a finished cd …thats the mixing process that will do that.After everything is recorded put your buffer to 1050 or higher and then add your plugins..
    The best plugins i recommend are the bomb factory Fairchild 660 ,LA-2A and joemeek for compressors.The focusrite D2 for EQ…

    john on 14 August 2006 at 7:00 pm

  35. Hey John… sounds like someone has got their head screwed on the right way. Some people place so much emphasis on the tools that they forget about technique.
    Anyway, that’s not what I’m here to say. I’ve heard on the rumour mill that the mbox2 will soon be getting some kind of firmware upgrade so that it samples at 96kHz. The converters are quite capable of doing it but there was some crazy marketing reason why the mbox2 wasn’t released at it’s full potential. I don’t really understand why, but I’m a sound engineer, not a marketing guru. I’m not a digi employee, but i have a friend who is and this is what he told me. But don’t tell anyone else… it’s a secret…

    Skinny on 21 August 2006 at 10:58 am

  36. Hey John. Do you understand what is a mic preamp? You tell me to “record CD from my stereo output to the digi’s input and the play it back through the same stereo and A/B against each other ” . Where you use here mic preamp? The preamp is for microphones…… Do you understand what you talking? 🙂

    stefika on 21 August 2006 at 3:38 pm

  37. stefica…mate…if your recordings are licking dogs balls (shit) and your not sure if its your interface , mike or technique.You can check your preamp or interface’s repreduction capabilitys by recording your favourate CD directly out of your cd players outputs (rca) and if you have the cable ,go into the xlr inputs on the mbox …record the left and right to 2 tracks in protools or whatever interface you have…then connect both mbox and cd player to the same amp but on different channels .play both at the same time and listen to it alternatively.If the preamps shit you will get a poor reproduction of the direct cd recording out of the recorded tracks .Its the job of the preamp to replicate the sound that enters it .The mbox doesa great job, meaning the preamps are just fine..I hope you understand now!.
    So if you get a crappy recording i’m telling you its your technique or mike or both.
    Remember that a good recording is just the beginning .Its the mixing that will make your recording sound more like a cd,If you want to learn some good mixing techniques you can get a book (or download from emule) called “The Mixing Engineers Handbook”This book is full of ideas from the pros that that will help your recordings rock .Check out the NY mixing part .The most used technique in mixing that will really add fullness to your mix …..Remember compression,compression,compression!!!…
    Skinny !! that would be cool if its possible,but to be honest with ya i’ve never had a problem with the old 44.1…..but on the other hand more POWER !!!

    john on 24 August 2006 at 9:44 pm

  38. I bought $20,000 worth of equipment to build my home studio. (I have the 002 rack and Portools6.1) and less than a year after I bought it I had the “Unable to locate Digidesign…” error.
    The 1394 light went out and the mute came on and could not be switched off. I called the place I bought it from who told me: “A common problem with the power supply used in the 002 rack – Use your warranty to get the part replaced and you’ll never have the problem again”.
    I did this but a year later,the problem started again mid-recording. It’s now been happening intermittenly for the last 3 months. I have to turn everything off then wait 15 mins to an hour before the 002 will snap out of it again. It’s gotten worse now allowing me about 30 mins before this problem surfaces. Out of warranty now and very unhappy after spending so much money that this is occuring. Do I take it back and pay for repairs? Can someone help?

    Brett on 30 August 2006 at 12:20 pm

  39. bett i heard about this problem with the 002.I was going to buy one on ebay and his add stated “rewired “.I asked him about it and he told me that the wiring they originally used in a couple of batches corroded easily and caused shortages .You may need to take it to a techie and get the corroded wires replaced ….Digidesign should fix as its there stuff up in the first place….good luck

    john on 30 August 2006 at 9:57 pm

  40. Hey John,

    i searched waves production package. dont see it anywhere. is that the specific name for the package? do you know where i can purchase/download it? thanks

    beef on 1 November 2006 at 1:19 pm

  41. hey beef ,download for free on emule!!! …tony

    tony on 4 November 2006 at 7:30 am

  42. Hey. Anyone have problems getting MIDI OUT of the mBox 2? I’ve updated everything and still NO MIDI OUT.


    savage on 17 November 2006 at 6:09 am

  43. john is biased or sell mbox2’s

    jeff on 5 December 2006 at 5:50 am

  44. No! i’m neither.I’m old school and learned to crawl before i walked,learned to walk before i ran.There is no “best of” .Millions of producers use millons of different equipment and all get the same results….Quality recordings.The key is trial and error.
    Here is a tip every mixer in the world uses to make fuller and punchy recordings.Record all your music.Now set up a aux send for say kick and bass.On that track put in a good compressor( i like The 2a-La or fairchild 660..down load trials for free on emule if you cant afford them and buy them if you like them) and squash the bejesus out of it.20 dbs minnimum of comp.Now blend this with the original mix and spread it on the stereo can do this with every track if you like but i ussally don’t with the vocals as i squash the original track .
    Set up another aux send in stereo and send all the tracks there and do the same thing .blend this with the mix and you’ll suddenly have a wall of sound.remember now only to compress the original track lightly as this will now keep the dymamics of the recording but you’ll get the fullness from you aux track.This is whats called new york mixing.All your doing is putting more sound in the stereo field but not making it any louder.
    Ever wonder why commercials are louder than the tv programs.This is it .they don’t peak any louder, they just have more sound in the field.Another example is at the football stadium.If one person were to clap you wouldn’t hear it ,but as more people clap there is more sound(fullness) even though no ones clapping any louder than any one else, it sound louder….
    tip 2… use automation when a couple of tracks at a time ,then when you bounce to a stereo track you don’t have to do any thing but listen .mixing use a crap load of cpu so don’t bother mastering at the same time as 4 mastering plugins use 100 % of your cpu.take your stereo track ,set up another page and then master.done..
    At the end of the day, once you know what your doing you’ll get great results out of a crappy 4 track (where i learned the basics) let alone any other device.I like protools, its that simple( along with a million other producers) and the mbox does it fine!!
    PS I only record real bands!No techno junk or dance crap ,so as far as midi problems and that crap i have no idea.I refuse to use beat detectives and auto tunes .I like to record bands and real musicians .If the singer is out of tune an a note ,i’ll get get them to redo the verse .the only thing i might use if the timing is varying is the click.I’m old school…enough said best of luck in your adventures and i’ll come back in another 6 months(married with children)… John .

    john on 10 December 2006 at 12:26 pm

  45. I bought my mbox2 just over a yr ago with my g4 1.67 powerbook. I was assurred by apple expert that they were compatible with Logic 7. I was upgrading finally my recording software of choice. (getting pro tools was just a side order to the mbox2) I bought the laptop for a portable unit to compliment my studio. I went a couple months before I tried the phantom as I used it mainly for mixing down. Well , I started lookin for support online and as I found a compatibility issue on the digidesign page, I contacted my apple dealer who promised me if it were not compatible he’d take it back. yeah, right. well, finally he contacted digi , who contacted me after not contacting me directly and they sent out a newer version that was supposed to correct the problem, as i was losing the device without phantom power on. Well, it worked sporadically, but now I’m finding it is totally useless, I can’t use it in one sitting without losing drivers. That is with phantom power off. I have updated firmware, etc. Any one got ideas????

    Dave on 15 December 2006 at 5:28 am

  46. I recently just discovered the 48V phantom power is useless on my mbox2 with powerbook G4….i had just bought a nice condenser….there goes that money now until I can afford another computer. Real dissapointment…..Downloaded the firmware update as well, ya that doesn’t do shit, still doesnt work…so basically if you have a powerbookG4 and mbox2 YOULL NEVER be able to use MICS that require phantom power.

    fork on 30 January 2007 at 5:46 am

  47. One correction about the person saying that the MBOX 2 has a USB 2 interface… you’re wrong, its USB 1 (I guess you knew that already)….. But right about everything else. You have given people some good advice, and hopefully they read it. Besides, adjusting a few knobs and settings is way easier than calibrating a 2 ” reel-to-reel, and using a mixer without automation capabilities…. Jimi Hendrix recorded some of his best albums (although not of the highest fidelity) using an old school 8 track multi. The secret of being a good producer, is using whatever is available to you, to make best recording you can. Obviously, minimizing the amount of plug-ins used will make things run smoother… using aux busses, will save you CPU load and memory. And about the G4 issue, it sounds like a Mac issue and not a MBOX2 issue. Time to get a new Duo Core, or just switch to PC…. As far as MIDI is concerned, I never tried using the midi out. Most new midi controllers are USB and require no extra Midi cable or power cable. A lot of the software “virtual keyboards” such as stuff that Native Instruments puts out now have sounds that are comparable to the a Triton or Phantom keyboard modules. Why use an external module anymore….go VST!
    BTW I record real bands, and all that “crappy techo” stuff too. I play guitar and bass, but I guess I’m not a real musician because I like to make electronic music too. Hey man, I listen to everything from the Zombies, to Isis, to Madvillian, to Aphex Twin, to Mozart….. I listen to all sorts of music, but that doesn’t mean I like every band or group of a genre. You should not bash an entire style of music, in fact, a real producer should be able to adapt to any genre of music.

    Matt on 8 February 2007 at 3:23 pm

  48. why am i getting severe latency when i use the Xpand synth – even if it’s the only track and is using no plug-ins. My settings are all set to maximum buffer etc… – I’m using XP pro on a dual core intell with 2 GIG ram. I can deal with the latency in audio tracks but I’m clueless about the use of software synth plug-in latency causes.

    GREGS on 18 February 2007 at 7:51 am

  49. Anyone here have any experience with Mbox2 and G4 powebooks? I am considering an mbox 2 ignition pack and hooking it up to my Upgraded G4 agp graphics sawtooth. its been upped frmo 500mhz to 1.6ghz with a gigasystems processor and I have a little over a gig of ram. OSx 10.3.9 at the moment. I am concerned that I would buy this and have major latency or buffer errors (or others) the computer works well, but after all it’s still a 100mhz bus. I’ve used prtools for about 15 years in professional studios, but they were all TDM and mix/24 systems. I have not used a usb/firewire setup with protools LE.
    Any advice is welcomed.

    Nyaudioguy on 22 February 2007 at 6:16 am

  50. Sorry that was meant to say G4 POWERMACS not Powerbook.

    Nyaudioguy on 22 February 2007 at 6:17 am

  51. Hello everyone, I am a professional musician and music teacher here in San Diego, CA. I also do production on the side. I recently purchased an MBox-2 (factory bundle). Pro Tools is great, I have used it on quite a few projects. But I have only one issue with the MBox 2 that I hope someone here can help me with.

    Whenever I record audio from my Yamahaa Motif Workstation I get a faint but significant high frequency in the audio signal. At first I thought it was the pre-amp but the frequency remains even after I turn the pre-amp all the way down. Then I thought that it had something to do with the headphone jack but thats not it either. It’s not the Motif either because I use it for performances and I have no problems getting a clean signal in my Roland 350 keyboard amp.

    Well, I don’t know what the problem is. I am running a professional quality quarter-inch monster cable to feed the signal from my Motif to the M-Box 2. I am imputing this cable into the M-Box’s Direct IN input jack. Should I be using the Line (TRS) instead? Or do I need to jump on the MBox 2 is Crap Band Wagon?

    Lenon Honor on 6 March 2007 at 7:16 pm

  52. Is there anything a beginner needs to know about mbox 2 before buying it?
    I have a new imac 20″, and I hate computers and therefore am illiterate when it comes to using them.
    Any basic knowlegde would prove as useful info!

    Hoky on 15 March 2007 at 8:18 am

  53. Dont buy this useless piece of crap.

    Znia on 16 March 2007 at 7:47 am

  54. Wow i just found this site.Interesting reading.Some of you are absolute idiots and some of you are right on the money. Hoky….If you don’t like computers why would buy a imac?Why would you then buy a mbox?If you can’t use a computer you got no chance of using any editing software!! Mbox is a computer program!Although you would probaly eventually work it out , i say go get your self a 4 track or another hobby!
    Lenon the mbox is absolutely noiseless. i think its your yamaha.My key board does the same thing.Its simple,plug something else in if the signal disappeaers .Its your motif.You could also just eq the frequency out or until its inaudible.It works for my keyboard.You could be getting it from your power supply also.I have my studio powered through a Power conditioner.Helps to reduce any buzzes and hums!
    I love all you protools/mbox bashers.This thing is great, if you want to use your laptop and get some quality home recordings ,this box is for you.If your a retard and need to wear a helmet to prevent further brain injury,and have to have a reminder each morning to breath…..give up!
    Theres alot of good advice here( go newyork mixing!!!)If you cant get a professional sounding mix out of this box i’m with jon..get another hobby!!
    At this price range theres not much between these boxes,but protools is the industry standard.All the musicians I know use protools.It makes it very easy to colaborate together.
    I’ll leave you with that thought.i think theres something in it for everyone
    ps.It has nothing to with anything really i just watched it in a episode of kung fu.ROCK ON!!!!

    S.V. on 19 March 2007 at 9:09 pm


    PROFILACTICUS on 6 April 2007 at 4:20 am

  56. Profilacticus,first if you have a souped up computer you won’t have any latency!!I have a P4 2.8ghz and have zero latency.I can only imagine how great these new dual core babys can pump.
    The noise is in your equipment! Unless your mbox is faulty ,it is absolutely noiseless!!!Check your leads ,power sources mics etc,etc….
    You surely would have heard the noise while recording wouldn’t you?I check all recordings with good set of headphones to isolate all sounds before recording.You will hear every single hiss or pop.
    You haven’t mentioned what you recorded or how,but i’ll bet my balls its your equipment OR could it be the actual fan in your computer if you record in the same room.
    Couldnt the “major studio” engineers tell you what the sound was or its frequency and possible causes.

    john on 6 April 2007 at 9:26 pm

  57. What actualy causes the LATENCY PROBLEM?

    Greetz Jan, i have a new macbook 1ghz memory and a MBOX2

    Janvg on 12 July 2007 at 11:22 am

  58. Here’s the scope. Installed the MBOX2 on my intel dual core pc laptop and the MBOX2 sucked errors every 3 minutes no matter where my buffers is set…. I installed my MBOX2 on my AMD 64 Bit tower and the MBOX2 is Works great, I can record at 128 with no problem and even add plugins with out error, My only problem now is I have latency when I used the AVOX DUO, or Waves soundshifter. Adding ram did not fix this problem, nor changing playback buffer. I’m going to test that with the 002 and see if I still have the problem….

    Devaro on 28 July 2007 at 1:29 am

  59. for any questions that I can help with

    Devaro on 28 July 2007 at 1:31 am

  60. guys, can anyone describe the quality of the pre’s on the MBOX2? There are all sorts of rumors that the original mbox has better pre’s and is a better purchase. I’ve read that there are problems with lows and defined, high transients, but that the overall sound quality is good. To me, a good pre has full, rich, deep tones as well as, of course, nice highs. Am I going to get these out of the MBOX2?

    brian on 30 July 2007 at 7:02 am

  61. It’s garbage, I hate it

    Terry on 1 October 2007 at 10:04 am

  62. This message is for John. Is there any way I can reach you through email? It seems that you have a wealth of knowledge & you’ve been doing this for a long time. I want reliable advice from someone who knows what they speak of. Please write back mate when you have time. Peace…

    David on 4 December 2007 at 5:58 am

  63. I have mbox 2 running on my intel duo core 2.4 mac….but im using xp because macs recent os’s dont support even plugging the mbox in without making you restart…argh!!! so im runnig on xp mode i have 4 gigs of ram…..the first input works fine but the second one gives me pernament delay!!!! its so annoying how the first one works but not the other? seriously come on im trying to fix this and i cant find any help on this site……alot of info but not for my exact problem with the second input on pernament delay

    Roblet on 11 December 2007 at 2:02 pm

  64. Lenon Honor – Almost a year later – You have yourself a ground loop problem. A ground lift for your keyboard would fix the issue. Perhaps plugging it into the same outlet as your computer might help too.

    Matt Chi on 29 January 2008 at 7:49 am

  65. Buttom line… you’re pretty much all morons. John, you’re right about alot of things. The problem for most people with the mbox 2 is most likely what is known among producers as “GIGO” (Garbage In – Garbage Out). That said, the discussion about firewire vs. usb2 was laughable at best. First of all, the mbox 2 is not an usb2 device, it’s an usb 1.1 device. This is why it’s only 48KHz and not 96KHz (and it’s KHz not hz… pretty big difference there buddy!). The Mbox 2 Pro however has a firewire interface, and thus supports 96KHz. It does make a big difference from a device being usb 1.1 to firewire 400. You wont have near the latency problems with the Mbox 2 Pro as you do with the regular Mbox 2 simply do to the firewire > usb. Never the less, zero latency monitoring is indeed possible with both devices if you have any freakin idea what you are doing, if you don’t, get someone to help you, or maybe just keep your day job.

    /end rant

    Kenneth on 13 February 2008 at 8:13 am

  66. oh… and lol at the m-audio being the competition… I wont even tell you why. You figure it out… perhaps run by for hints…

    Kenneth on 13 February 2008 at 8:23 am

  67. MBOX2 was a massive waste of money, you have to run through hoops just to get the damn thing running, upgrades and BS, goddamn hassle.

    PissedCustomer on 26 February 2008 at 1:47 am

  68. I recently bought an MBox 2. I have a PC. Everything went great, I recorded my tracks, did a rough mix. When I returned to edit more of the tracks, the play button stopped working, and after a few restarts, it worked again, but now the sound won’t play. Tech support said the problem might be that the wrong firewire card was installed. I’m trying to find out where I can get one with a Texas Instrument chip. Does this sound right?
    Would it have worked in the first place if this was the wrong card?

    Thesa on 20 March 2008 at 11:12 am

  69. hey all, love the info, John thanks for all the witty yet constructive advice. Just bought an Mbox 2, working through the latency issues, tweaking here and there, try to optomize the settings. Loving it, a great experience for sure. But so far I have been able to record some very clear, bright and yet solid tracks of both vocal and acoustic guitar, from Mics and Di inputs.

    I must say the buffer underrun errors are taxing but thats more my system than the mbox, I know I need to buy a dedicated Hard disk which hopefully will solve those issues.

    Apart from that. 2 thumbs up. oh by the way, how do you guys rate the KRK RP5 Near field monitors?

    Tim McB on 29 April 2008 at 7:53 am

  70. gday,

    I would have thought if you where spending a couple hundred bucks on an mbox2, the first thing would be to go to the digidesign website and check out whether your computer is compatible with the mbox2 or not. I bought a secondhand digi001 for a measly $260au off ebay a year ago for my introduction to protools, 6.4.

    I did my homework and made sure that the pc that I was using was compatible( intel mainboard chipset, ram, deticated harddrive, etc ) I read a heap of reviews online b4 hand where people had probs trying to get the 001 to work with there computers. Ive never had a problem and im no pc guru ( hell, I cant even spell!!!) I read the installation instructions and applied them. “Dont quote me on this” I repeat ” Dont quote me on this, do your own bloody homework” I thought read somewhere on the digi website that your not to use powered usb hubs for mbox2 setups ( im also not to flash at explaining things). Anyways, hope this may help someone. Im lookin at buying an mbox2 shortly. Im still in the process of researching ( but I wont be getting rid of the 001, theres still life in her yet ) Thanks to those with actual industry experience for the tips.

    ello on 3 June 2008 at 12:38 am

  71. how do mbox 1, mbox 2 or mbox pro compare to other mic preamps NOISEWISE

    i want to record sounds in stereo with as little noise as possible: instruments and also field recording. what should i get? i search for the cheapest way for realizing a professional level.

    heiner on 10 November 2008 at 7:10 am

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