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  #1  
Old 02-15-2006, 11:06 PM
tec tec is offline
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Default Is mbox killing my sound?

Hi,

I am currently using a Rode K2 mic running into my chameleon labs 7602 pre, which is then running into the input 1 of my mbox 2 via xlr to xlr.

Question:
I have heard that if the gain on my mbox input is all the way down I am bypassing the pre amps in the mbox.. is this true?

I really dont see that huge of a difference if I run my mic straight into the mbox or if I run it into the chameleon labs pre first then the mbox..

something tells me I am not bypassing the pre amps within the mbox which may be taking a lot of quality away from my recordings... what do you guys think?

I really need help on this one.
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  #2  
Old 02-15-2006, 11:45 PM
JonMitchell JonMitchell is offline
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Default Re: Is mbox killing my sound?

First a disclaimer.. I've never used an mbox, a 7602, or a rode K2 but, I do use an 002r, a great river me1nv (also 1073 'copy') and have worked with a rode NTK (like a K2 but not multipattern). Anyways.

What are you monitoring through? If youve got cheap speakers, you won't hear a difference. Secondly, don't kid yourself, the converters on the mbox have got to be terrible. The conversion in the 002r is pretty god awful. Don't get me wrong, it gets the job done but you will never get the clarity you (might be) are looking for.

An example if you will. I picked up the ne-1nv and was fairly impressed with what I was hearing compared to the 002r pres. Much more detail, clarity, like someone had lifted a towel off of my mics and guitar cabs. Whenever I get new gear I usually let a buddy of mine who dabbles with recording try them out. (I like to encite gear lust, it makes me feel better about my own obsessions!) He called me about an hour of playing with it and was giving me grief that I had just been robbed for a grand for this p.o.s. pre that sounded just like his 002. I couldn't believe he couldn't hear the difference. So I drove over there, listened myself, and I couldn't hear a difference. None. No wonder, he was monitoring through an aiwa home stereo system that he paid about $99, 10 years ago. We then headed back over to my place and listened through event asp8s (which I am returning for reasons I dont want to get into), his jaw dropped. Its that hard to explain and get through to people how important your amp\monitors are. Not only is it your monitors, but your room acoustics (which are equally important), your converters (which are capturing a crap version of what your pre is putting out, and making it even worse on the way out to the monitors). Sorry if youve taken care of these, ignore this paragraph

If you can still return the chameleon I would recommend it, and throw that cash (and some extra) at a good set of monitors. Then acoustics. Then conversion. And a few years later after youve saved up and researched all this crap and got these taken care of, rebuy the preamp. Then you can hear what it actually sounds like! If this sounds like a bad idea to you, I would just stick with the mbox pres and forget the rest. Work on your music if thats what your into, and let somebody else do the final recording. Recording is expensive, time consuming, and 99% all that cash you drop on equipment will never come back around. Did I mention you have to actually learn how to use all this great new expensive gear? But maybe this is just a hobby for you, which is definetely cool. Just be realitic with yourself. Pro recordings sound great because they havent skimped on anything.

Lastly, I kind of bashed on the mbox and 002r pres\conversion. I love my 002r, and its great for the price and an intro into protools. The 002 series is also very upgradable to a professional system. Just don't expect to get on the radio with just a 002. Its not going to happen. For demos, songwritting purposes, composition, its an excellent tool.

You should hear a difference b\w the mbox and the chameleon, and I believe you are bypassing correctly. Maybe grab some nice headphones.
Good luck,
Jon
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  #3  
Old 02-16-2006, 09:00 AM
tec tec is offline
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Default Re: Is mbox killing my sound?

I have decent monitors... (m audio BX8's). Im sure I could do better.
I do hear a difference when I use the chameleon pre.. just not a BIG difference. Is there a way to use different converters but keep pro tools LE? I just wish I could use the mbox to monitor my sound without affecting it. I might be asking for an impossible mission but its worth looking into.
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  #4  
Old 02-21-2006, 07:49 AM
ondruspat ondruspat is offline
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Default Re: Is mbox killing my sound?

Will your pre-amp hook up through the Mbox sp/dif? This will bypass the Mbox's converters and pre-amps. If you can't at least run you pre-amp into the Mbox using the line level input (not the XLR or instrument level). I've had pretty good results running pre's into my Mbox this way.
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  #5  
Old 02-21-2006, 08:14 AM
CME CME is offline
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Default Re: Is mbox killing my sound?

Probably one of the better ways to bypass the converters and preamp of the Mbox is with an Apogee Rosetta 200 or Apogee Mini-Me. If you already have a preamp go with the Rosetta. It is an A/D and D/A converter with some other cool features. The Mini-Me is a combo Pre-amp and A/D converter, but no D/A. There are other choices also, but that's what I've been looking at. Plus either one will be something you'll probably hang on to as your studio grows because they are quality pieces from what I've heard. However don't disregard your monitors and the acoustics of the room as mentioned above. The room you're listening in is probably the most important, and most often overlooked parts of home recording. For info on that check out John Sayers Studio Design Forum.
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  #6  
Old 02-21-2006, 03:00 PM
Aussie169 Aussie169 is offline
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Default Re: Is mbox killing my sound?

Quote:
the converters on the mbox have got to be terrible. The conversion in the 002r is pretty god awful. Don't get me wrong, it gets the job done but you will never get the clarity you (might be) are looking for.
.......

Just don't expect to get on the radio with just a 002. Its not going to happen.
Oh man. Some people are just never happy. We complained about the converters in the 001, fair enough, they are way below par. The original Mbox was a noticable step up, but still so-so. But the 002 series has better conversion than the old TDM Mix systems. Are you trying to tell me there were no radio songs mixed on them? And FYI, you would be surprised how many songs on the radio today were recorded and mixed with a 002.

Don't sit and blame converters and preamps for sub-standard recordings. I'll bet guys like Dye, Albini and Sarafin could get a radio ready mix with only a couple of 57s and an Mbox to play with.
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  #7  
Old 02-21-2006, 06:37 PM
TelosHedge TelosHedge is offline
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Default Re: Is mbox killing my sound?

bravo. dont pay good money for equipment you're going to trash on.

hey, if you dont want your gear, i'll give you what you think it's worth - cus it sounds like a good deal to me.
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  #8  
Old 02-21-2006, 08:59 PM
albee1952 albee1952 is offline
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Default Re: Is mbox killing my sound?

Don't know if I missed the answer but, turning the gain all the way down does not bypass the Mbox pre. Plugging into the line input does bypass the first gain stage but still uses the converters. Patching your external pre into the insert will bypass more of the Mbox but will only work unbalanced. The best sound will come from a good preamp thru high-end converters into the SPDIF input BUT, the mix knob will not be of any use so you will need a computer that is potent enough to record at 128 buffer or the latency may drive you nuts.
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  #9  
Old 02-21-2006, 11:18 PM
tec tec is offline
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Default Re: Is mbox killing my sound?

Im looking into the rosetta.. we will see what happens...

Rode k2 mic- Chameleon Labs 7602 Pre - Apogee Rosetta (S/PDIF) - Mbox 2 - Pro Tools!
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  #10  
Old 04-29-2006, 03:27 AM
visitor visitor is offline
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Default Re: Is mbox killing my sound?

have been searching all over, comparing prices, etc. please help me clear some open questions on how to get a great sounding channel using mbox1

quoting albee1952:
Quote:
The best sound will come from a good preamp thru high-end converters into the SPDIF input BUT, the mix knob will not be of any use so you will need a computer that is potent enough to record at 128 buffer or the latency may drive you nuts.
i decided to go for that option!

couple of days ago i mixed a demo radio add on my mbox1, AT4040 and with experienced vocal in my new studio. ok the rooms are still very empty, have to add some bass traps and stuff to make rooms (studio and control room) less boomy but on the walls is 2.5inch of rockwool covered with 1 inch of soft fabric all around, with thick carpet on the floor and some curtains hanging of the ceiling. i think basically it is ok but i can still hear the standing waves, after sweeping EQ on vocal track i found the biggest booom around 120HZ (since i put a HP filter around 120Hz, possible lower frequencies weren't so apparent), studio room size is cca 4*5*2.5m (13*16.4*8 feet) and i think reverberation time, at least for high frequencies is down around 0.5s, the rooms are pretty dry.

after i checked the mix on PT HD 192 I/O (copied the whole session) in a proper control room with BIG genelecs, the thing is, it wasn't as bad i thought it was making the mix in my control room on [bleep] speakers. it was actuall quite okay, but i still have some 4500$ to spend, first of all on a pair of dynaudio bm6a so that leaves me with cca 2500$ for preamp and converters and maybe another mic.

but if the voiceover is unworkable because of latency issue i have to go for the 002R which i want to avoid at the moment. so
1. is working with spdif into mbox and 128 buffer workable for voiceovers?
2. i am considering:
RME ADI-2 and maybe UA 6176 (worth a stretchiiiiing?)
or
some other AD/DA + SPL channel one + brauner phantom C (or sth similar)

is that ok or what other options should i consider?? again i need only one good sounding channel for voiceovers, everything else comes after i collect some more bucks.

thanks in advance for helping, it's a great forum!!
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