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  #1  
Old 12-30-2022, 07:48 AM
nlsmitch nlsmitch is offline
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Location: Philly
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Default Inputs are greyed out can not use mbox 3rd gen mini

I'm hoping I put this in the correct place. Seasoned musician and video producer, but new to pro audio recording.I am hoping my configuration that I added in my profile will show up here as to what I'm using when I post but if not I will add it again.

I am trying to record directly into pro tools with an Mbox Mini, how ever the mbox does not show up in my inputs or interfaces. I have tried everything, I can't find on line help but nothing has worked. I have set my playback engine, tried to set my I/O, etc. the whole list of standard troubleshooting. I have tried different versions of the Mbox drivers (deleting each unsuccessful one completely from my machine) You name it and nothing works. I have Audacity loaded on my machine and I can use the Mbox effortlessly with that program, which at a minimum means my computer recognizes the Mbox so it's not a faulty chord or product. I would really like to get an interface to work so I can start recording directly with pro tools. any help would be greatly appreciated.

Late 2013 Mac 27" all in one
Running High Sierra 10.13.3
Processor: 3.2 GHz Intel Core i5
RAM: 8 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
Protools version: Studio 2022.7
Mbox 2 Mini , driver package 1.3.5
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  #2  
Old 12-30-2022, 08:19 AM
dominicperry dominicperry is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2019
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Default Re: Inputs are greyed out can not use mbox 3rd gen mini

You have a very old interface running on a old version of MacOS on an old Mac with a new version of Pro Tools.

Compatibility for the Mbox 2 Mini is here:
https://avid.secure.force.com/pkb/ar...2-Mini-Drivers

Compatibility for recent Pro Tools versions is here:
https://avid.secure.force.com/pkb/ar...7-Release-Info

I suspect you have an unworkable combination.

Dominic
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MacBookPro M1Max 16" 10/32 64GB 2TB, Ventura 13.6.6, Pro Tools 2023.12.1, Carbon.
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  #3  
Old 12-30-2022, 01:30 PM
nlsmitch nlsmitch is offline
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Default Re: Inputs are greyed out can not use mbox 3rd gen mini

Thank you for your response. As much as I understand what you are saying, it is still disappointing to hear.

As a follow up question:

If I update my computer to at least Catalina OS and double the ram to 16 gigs, then update Pro tools to the latest version that supports what ever OS version I have, what would you recommend I purchase as the best interface?
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  #4  
Old 12-30-2022, 03:08 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Default Re: Inputs are greyed out can not use mbox 3rd gen mini

Good advice from Dominic.

I notice you say 2nd and 3rd gen mini... which one is it? But none of those were high-end interfaces.

Be careful asking for "best". I have no problem recommending $10k worth of Prism interfaces to you as a starter rig if you really want my idea of best. Focus on describing your needs if you want detailed advice.

What are you doing with Pro Tools? What instruments are you recording? What mics are you recording with? Do you need a more portable setup?

First if all you are doing is mixing/editing you can do that using the Mac's built in audio output. If you are recording then there are many vendors out there that make great interfaces, including Motu, UAD, Apogee, RME, Focusrite, Presonus. And some I did not mention that I'd run fast away from (and others I just forgot or who only do high-end gear). You can get a good idea of the features/capabilities/prices by looking at what is available from online websites like Vintage King or Sweetwater.

The canonical beginner interface frequently recommended here is the Focusrite 2i2. Other vendors have recently started targeting this space more, noticeable UAD with their low end interfaces. A big factor for me is customer support, long term driver support from the vendor and actually customer support, being able to get help etc. Here my favorite vendor RME does so well, but they don't make cheap (price or quality) gear.

The basic questions for interfaces is how many preamp inputs, line inputs and outputs do you want/need? Then what do you want for digital I/O like S/PDIF, ADAT etc. for compatibility with other hardware or future expansion. If you are tracking (i.e. recording) performers then the capability in the interface to do low latency hardware monitoring/mixing, maybe add effects to that monitored signal like reverb is something that varies across interfaces, and might be important (or many folks get away with only software monitoring through the DAW, some of us switch around stuff depending on what we are doing). If that sounds like it might be useful for you but you are not sure what it means/how it works in practice then grab the manual for one or more of the interfaces and read up how they explain their hardware monitoring/hardware mixing capabilities.

You can just think about those questions as you look around, or answer them here and folks can suggest interfaces for you, but also provide info on your budget. Or if you are really really just getting started and don't know which way is up yet, then sure grab a Focusrite 2i2 and you can always buy something with more features/higher-end in future.

---

And on the Mac: 16 GB is a good minimum spec for most users. But if you are planning on working a lot with virtual instruments you might need more... and memory is so low cost that if upgrading your iMac you might a well max it out to 32GB... you also end up with a potentially more reliable setup if you exactly match every DIMM to the exact same vendor part number... so max it to 32 GB. OWC or others sell DIMMs. And unclear what storage you have in the iMac... but you should avoid recording to any internal HDD or a Fusion drive. Lots of discussion in the past on DUC about splitting the Fusion drive/maybe upgrading the SSD part. Or you could just use an external SSD like say a Samsung T7 USB drive. I'd be willing to invest some, but not a lot of money in the iMac as it's old, and Apple and Avid are well into the transition to Apple Silicon Macs and you will want to be planning to migrate to an Apple Silicon based Mac.

The hard issue moving forward is likely the last supported macOS version is Catalina, which today gets you the ability to run the latest Pro Tools 2022.12, which is what I'd be wanting to run. You may not get future version compatibility.

Last edited by Darryl Ramm; 12-30-2022 at 08:55 PM.
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  #5  
Old 12-31-2022, 07:14 AM
nlsmitch nlsmitch is offline
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Default Re: Inputs are greyed out can not use mbox 3rd gen mini

WOW, Thank you so much Darryl Ramm. Very very insightful information. I guess as a noob I don't quite get the full spectrum of who uses, and what pro tools is used for to a much higher end.

I am a musician I guess as a hobby (I have basically just played clubs and shows since the 70's, yes I'm in my 60's) and made some money, but I never made a living from it.

to answer the questions you asked:

My work-a-day profession is in the Creative Services arena. I am a web developer/graphics designer/video production expert (not using Avid)

what I'm planning on doing with pro tools is this:
I have retired from the whole "working" band thing and put together a group of people who get together in a studio we are building and record songs. Not looking for super high end recording capabilities, just want them (recordings) to sound respectable when complete with the ability to manipulate the sound track by track. Then create a video to match the song and publish them on social media.

No interest in taking on clients, or selling songs anything like that. It's just for us and whom ever enjoys watching/listening to what we are doing.

I would like an interface so I can record my parts to a song: guitar, bass and synth in my home or in our studio which would then also include vocals. we are using Shure SM85 condenser mics. The drums are electronic and we have already made good samples using PT's midi interface.

So bottom line, I/we are not planning on going out of the hobby level. and that also means a hobby level budget since no ROI is expected, just fun for some older rockers who still want some skin in the game but want to have a respectable finished product we can be proud of.

Honestly I found the Focusrite 2i2 in my research and it seem to be rated well in all aspect of the product. Quaility, customer service, committed to long term development etc.

Thank you again for your awesome response, it is greatly appreciated. I will let you know how I make out.



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  #6  
Old 12-31-2022, 10:48 AM
dominicperry dominicperry is offline
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Default Re: Inputs are greyed out can not use mbox 3rd gen mini

The alternative is to keep using your old mac, OS and interface and use an older version of Pro Tools, if you already have a license. Lots of people are sucessfully running studios on that kind of combination. But you still need to check if all the elements will work together.

Buying a whole new computer and interface when you have 3/4 of what you need may not be the best choice - it certainly won't be the cheapest choice.

I second the interface suggestions already made - RME has the most stable and longest-lasting drivers in the industry, with perhaps only Metric Halo being equal, but they are a much smaller (and more expensive) outfit.

Focusrite is very widely used at the budget end. And they do some mid-tier and high-end interfaces too (sound wise). I had some bad experiences with their drivers a long while back (unlike RME, which I have been using for ever with no problem). But recent Focusrite drivers have a better reputation.

Dominic
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  #7  
Old 12-31-2022, 03:58 PM
nlsmitch nlsmitch is offline
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Default Re: Inputs are greyed out can not use mbox 3rd gen mini

Dominic and Darryl,
I must first say I am very impressed that you guys are taking the time to talk to an absolute noob. So thank you very much for that.

I really don't want to stay status quo with my macs (I have 3, 2 27" and a 21" all-in-one, at one time I was the s#$T...lol) and going backwards compatible to run PT. One of my 27" i did replace the fusion drive with a SSD drive so i figured a ram up grade to 32 gigs of ram (with your suggestion) and going up to at least Catalina should set me up pretty well. I also have 3 lacie external SSD harddrives so I can make use of them. One I'm using as a cache drive for video and other is a storage drive for clips. My systems serve me very well for my graphics, web development and even 4k video work.

I will research the interfaces you both mentioned and see what fits my needs and budget the best.
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