INTRODUCING THE NEW PRO TOOLS MBOX FAMILY
Introducing the latest addition to the Mbox family, the Pro Tools Mbox from Avid, the improved and slightly confusingly named successor to the popular Mbox 2! Initially, this name change really frustrated me! Why not follow simple logic and call it the 'Mbox 3'? However, then I began to think...Rocky...brilliant film...Rocky II...disappointing...Rocky III...erm...*cough*...maybe logical progress doesn't always produce the best results!
...And with this product, that is most certainly the case.
MBOX, THE PAST
The original Mbox revolutionised home studios, and quickly became the worlds most popular recording system, offering top-end results for personal projects. The Mbox 2 proved to be just as successful, gaining a place in the heart of many professional music, film and television engineers, and now, the Pro Tools Mbox highlights another significant leap forward for what is already considered by some as a legendary family of products...
THE NEW PRO TOOLS MBOX - HARDWARE
With its sleek black and silver contours, the Pro Tools Mbox certainly looks the part. But does it perform up to the standard of its stylish exterior? The answer to that question is a resounding 'yes'!
The Pro Tools Mbox interface has been completely re-crafted, from the ground up, with new and improved analog signal paths (offering professional quality 24-bit, 96kHz sound), premium mic preamps, studio grade converters, and technology from top of the range Pro Tools HD recording systems (such as the pro-grade soft-clip limiter circuit found in the Pro Tools|HD 192 I/O interface, which retails for well over £2000!) Technology such as this allows for the tracking of much hotter signals without overloading inputs and clipping, at a much more affordable price!
On top of this, the interface features a number of built-in extras, such as a high quality reverb effect (which is extremely useful for reducing the the CPU burden on your system), and a guitar tuner, allowing for the tuning of guitars, basses, and other instruments, directly from this one compact interface.
If you decide to use the Pro Tools Mbox with the included award winning Pro Tools LE software, or already work on this platform, then you are in for even more treats! The ingenious addition of a multi-function button allows for the access of common software parameters such as tap session tempo, start/stop record, create new track, etc. all from the interface controls! How good is that! And if you don't operate on Pro Tools, then fear not! The Pro Tools Mbox comes complete with third party drivers for all the most popular DAWs and sequencers, including, Logic, Cubase, Live, Record, Reason, Fruity Loops, Nuendo, Sonar, and more. All this from one compact device, which attaches effortlessly to your computer via one ultra-fast USB 2 connection.
The standard Pro Tools Mbox comes with 4x4 simultaneous channels of I/O, 2 XLR mic/line combo inputs (with 48V phantom power), 2 1/4” DI inputs located on the front of the device for easy access, 2 balanced 1/4” monitor outputs, 1 1/4” headphone output, stereo S/PDIF digital I/O, and a single MIDI input and output, so should be more than adequate to suit most home-studio projects.
However, if you're feeling greedy, or simply just require more inputs and outputs (8x8), a Firewire connection, and a recording quality that goes above and beyond professional recording requirements (192kHz), then the people at Avid are already one step ahead, having created the Pro Tools Mbox Pro, the bigger brother of the standard Pro Tools Mbox.
Alternatively, if you find that the Pro Tools Mbox exceeds your needs, or are on a budget, Avid also offer the Pro Tools Mbox Mini, with a modest 2x2 inputs and outputs, and a slightly reduced feature set, but still capable of high quality 48kHz recording.
To put it simply, Avid have created a brilliant product for everyone and anyone who craves a professional sound. And the best news...the Pro Tools Mbox family will soon be available IN STORE!