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Old 09-30-2008, 09:19 PM
deafmute deafmute is offline
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 17
Default Dying M Box?

Hi everyone,

I'm currently using an M Box (Version 1, kickin' it old-skool style - It's approx. 5 years old)

I've just tried to record some bass (via DI) using my M Box.
I.e. Bass to DI box to mic input.

I had no plug-ins applied to the track or the master buss and the channel's fader was at unity gain (OdB).

I had the volume on my bass full and the gain on the front of the M Box up 85-90% full.

While I was playing, the LED on the front (to show clipping) would flash occasionally when I would play and Pro Tools mixer's meter would flick up to the red, yet the volume i could hear was low (even though other tracks were playing at a nominal level) and the size of the visual display of the "sound wave" in the edit window was about 1/3 of the strip and nowhere near clipping (visually, at least).

I tried this using both inputs as well with the same problem.

I've also had a similar problem when recording via mic's (Situation: Amp at reasonably loud level - not too loud - with a Shure Sm57 approx an inch from the grill and the gain on the M Box at apporx 85-90% and I still have to normalize the audio to get it up to a reasonable level).

Could it just be my M Box on it's way out?

From what I assume, due to the price of the M Box you can't expect them to have the best pre-amps in the world but they seem to be reasonable.

I am thinking about upgrading to the latest M Box 2 but I'm not sure whether to get the Firewire version or stick with the USB version.

Can anyone comment on any differences or improvement between the two? (apart from the fact that they're connected differently and the Firewire version has more inputs).

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Old 09-30-2008, 09:47 PM
albee1952's Avatar
albee1952 albee1952 is offline
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Norwich, CT
Posts: 38,000
Default Re: Dying M Box?

If you are getting strong "meter' readings in PT, then I think the problem is on the playback side. Maybe double-check output assignment and make sure the track fader is up at the -0 mark. Also, play with that MIX knob(maybe it has a bad spot in its rotation?).
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Old 10-01-2008, 06:08 AM
deafmute deafmute is offline
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 17
Default Re: Dying M Box?

I've got the track fader at -0dB. I'll try the mx knob and I haven't had any experience in changing the output assignment. I've just used the factory default presets.

The only thing that's puzzling is that it's only affecting the track that I'm recording and I've only noticed it recently.

I'm re-recording tracks on sessions that are about a year old and the other previously recorded tracks don't seem to be affected by this problem.


I've pretty much decided that I'm gonna just get an M Box 2.

Can anyone offer any advice on whether to get the M Box 2 or the M Box 2 Pro?

Is it worth the extra money for the plug-ins you get with the factory pack?

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Old 10-01-2008, 07:58 AM
DigiTechSupt's Avatar
DigiTechSupt DigiTechSupt is offline
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Worldwide
Posts: 33,807
Default Re: Dying M Box?

Do you see any artifacts in the audio? (Zoom in on the spot where you saw the LED flash.)

You can find more info on the Mbox 2 and Mbox 2 Pro here.
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Old 10-01-2008, 08:31 AM
Chase743 Chase743 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 69
Default Re: Dying M Box?

Which mBox to choose is all about need, really. If you only need 2 inputs, and firewire isn't that important to you, then go with the mBox 2 and save the money.

If you need up to 4 inputs, must have firewire, need multiple line outs, etc., then you would want an mBox 2 pro. If that is the case, then you also might want to look at a used 002 or 003. Those are about the same cost as an mBox 2 pro and you get a ton of expandability options (plus firewire connectivity, and all the same features). A new 003r is a few hundred more than the factory too.

I've used all 3, and they are all awesome. Others can chime in about the preamps if that is important. I've had reasonable success with all three, and I've found that with a good quality mic, all can sound top notch.
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Old 10-01-2008, 03:32 PM
deafmute deafmute is offline
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 17
Default Re: Dying M Box?

Thanks again for your replies.

First question: What is an artifact?

The clipping only happens during recording but doesn't occur during playback, while leaving the fader at -0dB. I've got the meter output set to look at the playback signal and not the recording level.

Second question(s): What are main benefits/differences between the FireWire and the USB connection? And, are there any extra hardware/software requirements when dealing with Firwire and Pro Tools?

I've only used Firewire for capturing from a video camera and from what I've heard, Firewire is faster than USB.

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