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  #1  
Old 01-09-2006, 10:53 AM
Bob333 Bob333 is offline
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Default connecting outboard to mbox???

hi guys, im new here and need a little help.
i have p.tools le, mbox 1, and win xp pro.

How do i connect a hardware compressor to my Mbox?
I want to have a mix in p.tools, play it through the compressor and record to a spare audio track.
Can this be done?
I've read the manual but am a bit confused.
cheers.
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Old 01-09-2006, 11:07 AM
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spkguitar spkguitar is offline
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Default Re: connecting outboard to mbox???

Bob, I think the main question I (and I'm sure many others here) have is why would you want to do that? The plugin compressors available inside PT will most likely sound 10 times better, and be 100% less hassle than most hardware compressors that you would be trying to hook up.

That said, the inserts in the mBox are pre-converter, meaning they are designed to be used while tracking. They are between the preamps and the converters. They cannot be used post recording.

If you're very careful with routing, you might be able to route one of the outputs as a send, and one of the inputs as a return, but you would have to cancel monitoring through that output totally so as not to create a feedback loop. You will also have two stages of digital conversion going on; D/A->compressor->A/D.

All I'm trying to say here is that you might want to reconsider doing that; if it's not a really high-end compressor, there really will not be any benefit in doing so, and you should stick to plugins.

Oh yeah, and welcome to the DUC.
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Old 01-09-2006, 11:16 AM
Bob333 Bob333 is offline
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Default Re: connecting outboard to mbox???

thanks for the reply man.
I'm still wondering how to do it though...

could i take the line outs from the mbox into the comp, then output from the stereo comp into??? thats where i'm stumped!!! where do i input back to the mbox?
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Old 01-09-2006, 11:38 AM
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spkguitar spkguitar is offline
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Default Re: connecting outboard to mbox???

First, again, I want to say that I would not recommend it.

Second, line outs of the mBox into the comp, then outputs of the comp into the line inputs on the mBox (center jack of the XLR/TRS combo jacks; the ones labeled Source 1 and Source 2). Make sure that you have the track(s) that you are trying to process solo'ed (or you will process EVERY track going to analog 1&2), and that you mute the record armed track to avoid I/O feedback (it will still record, even when muted).

Note: I have never done this with an mBox, nor would I want to, but it is how I would proceed if I absolutely had to. Take it with a grain of salt.
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Old 01-09-2006, 11:47 AM
Bob333 Bob333 is offline
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Default Re: connecting outboard to mbox???

ahh cheers man, the only thing i suppose would be the gain on each source channel.
hmmm....
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Old 01-09-2006, 12:26 PM
Bob333 Bob333 is offline
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Default Re: connecting outboard to mbox???

ok, how bout this???

line out from mbox to input of comp, output of comp to line in source 1?
would using one line in and then recording to a stereo track mean it would stay in stereo?
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Old 01-09-2006, 12:28 PM
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Default Re: connecting outboard to mbox???

Quote:
would using one line in and then recording to a stereo track mean it would stay in stereo?
No.
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Old 01-09-2006, 12:30 PM
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Default Re: connecting outboard to mbox???

so basically, i'd need to put the output from the comp into source 1 and 2 and make sure the gain on each channel matched exactly? or else it would screw up the stereo image?
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Old 01-09-2006, 12:38 PM
Ducky Ducky is offline
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Default Re: connecting outboard to mbox???

Use the inserts. It takes a special "Y" cable.
One 'insert' is both a send and return ...unbalanced!

...or...

Buy an external preamp and go straight into the compressor and come into the MBox as "LINE"
...(or better yet, SPDIF if available on the compressor).

...or...

Just record and use the Dynamics III plugin!

It is always best to record good source material with full dynamic range and tweak it later.
Untweaking is a bear!

If you really need to use outboards when mixing your session, MBox is not the right unit for you.
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Old 01-09-2006, 12:54 PM
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Default Re: connecting outboard to mbox???

Quote:
Use the inserts. It takes a special "Y" cable.
One 'insert' is both a send and return ...unbalanced!
Can't do that with a pre-recorded track; mBox doesn't work that way. Inputs? Yes. Track material? No.

I'm still curious, bob, why are you trying to do this? Is there something special about this particular compressor that you like? IMHO, unless it's a $2000+ compressor (which, since you're using the mBox, I'm guessing it isn't), it's going to sound like crap and you should just use plugins.

Also, the whole point of using compression is to make it SOUND good and blend well with other instruments. The way you are trying to do it, You will not be able to hear how it SOUNDS until after you have finished the process, which kind of defeats the purpose, no? Then if it's wrong, you have to go back and do it all over again trying to get it right. You see why I've been recommending against it all along?

Quote:
If you really need to use outboards when mixing your session, MBox is not the right unit for you.
I totally agree.
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