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Digidesign Mbox 2

Avid MBOX 2

3.95 3.95 out of 5, based on 3 Reviews

Pro Tools LE interface used to record audio. Includes 2 inputs with built-in preamps.


28th February 2012

Avid MBOX 2 by Lerm7

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4
Digidesign Mbox 2

This is an older series audio interface/digital converter/preamp for Pro Tools LE made by Digidesign. They run for about $350 (USD) now-a-days, and it is important to note that they only function with Pro Tools software. This was my first interface, and it helped me to understand the concepts of basic recording.

This baby records at up to 48khz with 24-bit resolution. Backside includes 2 inputs for mic (XLR)/DI (1/4")/line (1/4"), left and right monitors outputs, in and out s/pdif, midi in and out, and a bus powered USB. Each of the 2 main inputs has a built-in preamp. The front panel has a headphone jack and volume knob, monitor volume knob, mix knob, mono button, phantom power button, and both inputs have a volume knob, pad button, and DI/Mic button. The item comes with Pro Tools software.

If you're starting out in the world of recording and are looking for a cheap interface, this is a great option. It allowed me to learn how to use Pro Tools. The great thing about Pro Tools is that once you learn the LE version, it becomes a lot easier to use the HD version because the majority of the features and controls remain the same.

24th November 2013

Avid MBOX 2 by 23onibaba

  • Sound Quality 3 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 3 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 3.75
Digidesign Mbox 2

So about an hour ago I decided to finally do it and stick my old mbox2 up on the pure evil auction website of which name we all know and shall not speak...... be that as it may, I thought I would send her out with a review here on "Gearslutz" to show her I still care. I bought it on the bay....might as well let her go out there too. Hopefully someone will buy it for their kid for xmas

I bought it about 2/3 years ago to try and do some home recording. i remember a producer I worked for said it wasn't a bad bit of kit for the price. it really isn't....he had one. the converters aren't the best, the preamps are pretty shoddy but it does what it says and at the time, (10 years ago?) it was an acceptable bit of studio kit for quick demos and such.... So i bought one secondhand.

Since then I've changed my audio interface set up a number of times... Always making that next step up but I have to say that ugly old "mbox2" still did a decent job in comparison. Using external preamps and mics really made a bigger difference as well as acoustic treatment. We all lust after slutty bits of gear that will improve our sound but a good performance with a good mic means much more.

Yes I'd rather have burl adc with some esoteric da but who has 5-10k just floating about? I bought the mbox2 for 80.... it records music.... nowhere near as good as studios I've been to but for putting down a decent sounding idea... it can sound pretty good..... audiophiles will scoff.... and so you should... it only goes so far but I've heard some pretty awful sounding records recorded in nice top of the line studios!


So to end, here's a link to a song to send her on her way.... it was recorded with external preamps which bypass the mbox one's so I'm only using it's converters. and it was all mixed and mastered on it. Goodbye ugly little blue audio interface. we had some laughs....especially when i put a sm57 into your preamp and realised I had to turn it up to full just to hear it!

https://soundcloud.com/jamesk23/jame...ell-be-forever

27th January 2017

Avid MBOX 2 by slutux

  • Sound Quality N/A
  • Ease of use N/A
  • Features N/A
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 1.25
Digidesign Mbox 2

The first review made me chuckle. Not because it is a bad or false review, not at all. But simply because time has moved on and changed the circumstances.

"They run for about $350 (USD) now-a-days, and it is important to note that they only function with Pro Tools software"

Well, obviously the money value has changed by now, but the second aspect is noteworthy; This device is now fully supported by Linux, and thus as a matter of fact by *all* linux audio recording software, since it is supported by the underlying audio subsystem (alsa, also jack).

I got one of these second hand for 50 euro. In hindsight, I should have been more careful; mine had a physical defect which was quite tedious to fix. Still, ignoring that, after fixing the defect, hooking it up to my Linux studio laptop and launching Ardour (https://ardour.org/) it worked out of the box. Very sweet. I haven't had time yet to test the audio quality so I left those fields blank. Also, midi not tried, as yet.

Getting a good second hand 24 bit 48kHz sound module for say 50 to 80 euros / US$ that works with anything Linux, not being limited to use only with deprecated / unsupported software running on ancient versions of Windows is, in my opinion, a sweet deal still. Hence my 5/5 rating on bang-for-buck.

Hardware

A quick word on build quality. I was pretty horrified finding that to open up the unit to service it was quite a nightmare; hidden screws behind front adhesive cover, parts glued together, and near 50 (yes fifty!) screws need to be removed to just open the case...

However, having said that, I was fairly impressed by the care Digidesign took in shielding everything. They have taken no shortcuts. No piece that needed to be metal made out of plastic. No, every last bit is covered by proper metal shielding. The PCB looks convincing. Proper design, well constructed. I'd even say "serviceable"... were it not for the 60 screws one has to remove before you even reach the solder side of the main board.

But, whether it is service-friendly or not hasn't much to do with quality. I was impressed, and I have seen quite a number of electronics from up close. This box was built to the highest standards, and it shows. They also did everything in their power to make it hard to service, but I can forgive them for that.

In conclusion, I think that this is still a great deal for anybody who runs Linux and wants to upgrade his 'sound card' or dive into the DAW recording world. The dependency on Protools lifted, this little box can prove very useful to a new and growing group of users. At an almost-unbeatable price at that.

Thumbs up

 
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