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Old 01-18-2005, 06:22 PM
Slim Shady Slim Shady is offline
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 7,527
Default Re: Does Mbox really suck this bad?

Hey chris,

sorry, I misunderstood where you were coming from. the title of the thread "Does Mbox really suck this bad?" to me seemed to be inviting Mbox bashing even though you were addressing a specific problem. It's just one of those things where when you read something you can misinterperet the connotation in which it was intended. Please do keep us informed on your progress, I was considering getting an iBook before I go on tour, not necessarily for ProTools but I'm sure a situation would arise that I'd need it so it'd be good to know what to look out for.


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Old 01-18-2005, 07:17 PM
Chris Coleman Chris Coleman is offline
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1,656
Default Re: Does Mbox really suck this bad?


No worries, man.

I will keep this thread updated with what I hope will be a resolution to this matter. I don't want to beat a dead horse with it - I'm actually just trying to get a potentially killer little system to work for my client so she can focus on writing songs rather than troubleshooting.

On a related note, my father (a VO guy in L.A.) recently purchased a G5 iMac to use with his Mbox for sessions at home and he's had nothing but the same problems I'm experiencing with my clients iBook - constant "system interrupt" and "USB audio" errors. His machine is Digi-qualified, but he's on 6.4 under 10.3.7, so I suggested he upgrade to PT 6.7 and run a maintenance program like Onyx. Hopefully that will end his problems, because his system is also virtually worthless right now.

Thanks to all who have thus far participated in this discussion...there will hopefully be more (good news) to come...
It's not rocket surgery
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Old 01-18-2005, 07:23 PM
tha k man tha k man is offline
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 1,024
Default Re: Does Mbox really suck this bad?

I'm thinking that the USB implementation on some or all Macs might be the problem. I've heard fewer complaints about Mbox misbehavior on the Windows forum.

Of course, the Digidesign software and support guys know if this is true or not, but they ain't talking.
Hey Tele,
I am the support guy. I've probably set up 80 -100 of these things, and countless other Pro Tools rigs. I do this 5 or 6 days a week.

I should qualify somethings .

1. There are Mac laptops, on which the mBox works seamlessly. ( 2 of my previous iBooks for instance). There are models which will produce the syndrome as described by Chris Coleman , no matter what troubleshooting recommendations are followed. All of the suggestions - RAM, volume.dbb, etc, mentioned, and all of the answerbase suggestions do not fix this issue. I have liased with TS on this, and have no solution at yet.

2. I'm not pointing the finger at Digi here - It looks to me like it is caused by differences in the various Apple portable models
I think whoever said that there are different USB chipsets in the Mac family, is on the right path.

Thanks for all of the suggestions - but before posting anymore , please check the Digi recommendations, and answerbase, as all of these have been tried countless times.

BTW Slim - his system may well be set up to the letter, and still exhibiting that problem.

The mBox doesn't suck -it has allowed masses of people to get into Pro Tools for next to nothing, and provided a viable portable solution. There is however , this issue. It affects some , not others. Lets find a solution.

G5 Dual 1.8 /1.5 Gb Ram
OSX 10.4.7
PT LE 7.3 cs1
DIGI 002
Waves Ren
Sony Bundle
NI Komplete 3
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Old 01-18-2005, 07:37 PM
Chris Coleman Chris Coleman is offline
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1,656
Default Re: Does Mbox really suck this bad?

Wow. After reading k man's post - it baffles me more than just a little that Digi and/or Apple have been completely silent on this issue. I don't mean in this specific thread - I mean everwhere. I haven't read anything outside of this thread which suggests that various Mac laptops simply don't play nice with the Mbox due to their differing USB chipsets.

Of course, the chipsets thing is an unconfirmed theory, but it seems to be the only theory that makes any sense at this point. And if it is indeed true, then how does one go about fixing the problem? Obviously Digi can't just whip out a new version of the Mbox for every person experiencing this problem...and I have the distinct feeling that Apple would do little more than snicker at someone wanting an exchange or refund because their laptop "doesn't have the right USB chipset for my Mbox". Neither does it seem that a software upgrade can fix it because it's a hardware issue...unless chipsets can be flashed with an Mbox-friendly firmware update(???)

So, how does it get resolved? Whose responsibility is it to fix this issue? Digi's? Apple's? Or worse...nobody's?
It's not rocket surgery
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Old 01-18-2005, 09:05 PM
KingFish KingFish is offline
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Nashville TN
Posts: 2,656
Default Re: Does Mbox really suck this bad?

I can run my m-box, fairly buffer error free, on a Toshiba A-30 Satellite laptop with a 2.4 ghz Celeron (which is not a supported processor) playing, editing, recording, and adding many plugins to 32 track sessions, with a buffer setting of 512.

This PC laptop only has 512mb of ram, and a fsb of 333mhz.

Using the M-box with my dual 1.8 first gen G5 with 2.5 Gig of ram, 900mhz fsb, 10,000rpm SATA audio drive. the m-box runs fine... but ONLY if i have my buffer settings set to 1024.

This is an obvious dissapointment, however, the 002 runs a little better on the G5, and HD Accel is stunning on this machine, so... i don't even both with the m-box.... it stays in the laptop bag, and only comes out on the road w/ the laptop.

- MacPro 6,1 Intel Xeon E5 2.7 GHz 12-Core 128 GB 1066 MHz DDR3
- HDX II Sonnet xMacPro Server
- 16x16 HD i/o x 6
- PT 2018.10
- OS X 10.14.4
- ProTools Dock / PT Control
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Old 01-18-2005, 09:06 PM
Slim Shady Slim Shady is offline
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 7,527
Default Re: Does Mbox really suck this bad?

The only solution I could see IF the USB chipset is indeed what is the issue (working under assumption here people) is to have Apple replace the motherboards (the problem lies on their side of the fence). The USB chipset should be a part of the motherboards and those can be replaced with a rev.B if one would ever be manufactured. An apple laptop motherboard usually runs about $700 from what I remember, who knows if Apple would step in and offer free replacements (like they did with the iBooks that had faulty screen connectors) - I think this unconfirmed cause would have to affect other products other than just the Mbox for that to happen. It would be interesting to know if other non-digi USB interfaces have similar problems on these laptops.

btw digi and apple have had long drawn out fights about this kind of thing before... anyone remember the 1st Gen MDD G4's? Digi and apple pointed fingers at each other about why the 001 wouldn't work in them for months, then finally apple owned up that the motherboards provided inefficient current and did a warranty replacement on anyone that wanted a rev.b motherboard.
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Old 01-18-2005, 09:55 PM
Eric Klinger Eric Klinger is offline
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Pittsburgh, PA - USA | Mons, Belgium
Posts: 250
Default Re: Does Mbox really suck this bad?

Well, I may have been a bit "hard" on my previous post... but I still care less for my Mbox than my 002. I've been mixing all night on a dual (ver 1) 1.8 G5 and my Mbox performance is not that good. I am running about 24 audio tracks and 6 aux tracks with a lot of plugs... not a ton, but a good number of Waves plugs. I get these errors about every minute or so. Processor is at 50-60% ish. It gets pretty frustrating... especially when your bouncing a mix and it stops right in the middle of it. My Digi002 and dual 2.5 would eat this mix for lunch and ask for seconds. So would my 1.8 with the Digi002 - I've done it. Leads me to believe that the USB is just a serious bottle neck.

It seems that another problem is that there are different thresholds for what is acceptable. Someone else posted that Mbox is great with their 500MHz laptop... and I am not (NOT) disputing that - but the mixes I've ran today certainly wouldn't even open on a 500 MHz book. So, In my opinion, the Mbox is just not cut out for heavy duty work... plain and simple. I've gotten my mbox to playback 32 tracks and several aux tracks... but when you start throwing crazy amounts of plugins... that are rightfully needed, then a problem arises.

Just some added FYI... I have an external firewire drive with a fw400 and a usb2 connector on the back. on an iMac G5 I ran "QuickBench 2.1" on the same drive using the 2 interfaces... FW400 yielded 36MB/sec while usb2 (which is supposed to be 80Mbits / sec faster) yielded a 12MB/sec transfer rate.

In the last few weeks of running PT since I got my 002, I've really come to love it... I can only imagine an Accel setup on my dual 2.5.... someday.
Mac: MBP Retina 15" Quad 2.2GHz i7 / 16GB / H. Sierra / PT 2018.7 / UAD-2 9.4
PC: HP Z620 2x Octo 2.9GHz Xeon / 64GB / Win 10 Pro / PT 2019.5 / UAD-2 9.6 / Apollo Thunderbolt
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Old 01-19-2005, 02:16 PM
Rock_Artist Rock_Artist is offline
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Hertzliya
Posts: 1,482
Default Re: Does Mbox really suck this bad?

The MBox is really interesting.
I'm still very disappointed with it on my Mac especially for recording.

I have iBook 1.2Ghz 12.1" , Centrino 1.4Ghz & a Mbox.
In the studio we got 2.4Ghz PC running with the 002R.

First thing,
On my system 6.7 with the Mbox is UNRELIABLE! = I get unexpected quits ALL the time and sometimes it even freeze.

Same setup with 002R... Nothing. Stable.

I've switched the 6.4... and all works fine. Still the system has some issues with the Buffers and 256Samples isn't reliable as I would expect.

I believe there is also something with HDs...
The Mac won't like USB2 while PCs works almost with the same performance with both - USB2 & Firewire...

I don't know what's the thing behind the USB on the Mac but one interesting thing (I hope someone from Digi will be able to light on this) is the 256 Samples VS 128 Samples.

PCs can get 128 Samples with the Mbox (That's half the latency!).

My Centrino works just fine with 128 Samples and heavy sessions.

My mac gives nice performance when there is small amount of audio tracks.
As the density grows the USB errors show up...

About Mixing with the 002R / MBox with 1024Samples & 85% on both it seems I get the same performance, heavy mixes on the Mbox seems heavy on the 002R also maybe slight improvement.

For mixing I'm capable of using the MBox...

Still in terms of performance the Mac is way worse than my PC ofcourse.
Just wanna do music,
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Old 01-19-2005, 04:35 PM
Tubz Tubz is offline
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Posts: 323
Default Re: Does Mbox really suck this bad?

I love the mbox, and for tracking, I think it's better than 002! And I love the preamps! So with firewwire or pci, it would be a dream-machine!!!

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Old 01-19-2005, 04:55 PM
pbkiller pbkiller is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 4
Default Re: Does Mbox really suck this bad?

Hey Chris!

Well to let you know i have the SAME problem with my iBook 12", 1.2Ghz with 768RAM, and Protools 6.4
I can record and playback full sessions with more than 6 tracks on my MBox but as soon as i put in 2 or 3 plug ins, the system starts throwing me the playback usb error, increase the H/W Buffer Etc.
I eve thought that i needed a Faster computer and was hoping to get a dual 2.5ghz powermac G5 but as i see it wont matter cause it will do the same thing, the problem is with the USB and the Mbox. (as i can see on this forum) Besides that, recording and playing back with no plug in effects has caused me no trouble.
Hope Digi and Apple soon find somehting that can help me and other users with this problem. Its a little frustrating. Does the Digi 002 has the same problem with the iMac?
Robert - Protools newbie
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