Hi Def to Go: Meet Mbox 2 Pro
By Dusty DiMercurio
Mbox 2 Pro is everything you’ve always wanted in a mobile Digidesign Pro Tools LE interface: Four analog inputs, six analog outputs; 96 kHz sample rate support*; FireWire connectivity; MIDI I/O with MIDI Time Stamping; S/PDIF digital I/O; two individual headphone outputs with separate volume controls; dedicated monitor outputs; a phono preamp for direct turntable connection; and BNC connectors for Word Clock I/O. And that’s only half the story.
Mbox 2 Pro also includes all the software you need to get creative immediately: industry-standard Pro Tools LE software; the Xpand! sample-playback/synth workstation from the Digidesign Advanced Instrument Research group; lite versions of popular plug-ins and apps like Reason, Live, BFD, Melodyne, AmpliTube, and more; and 46 professional Bomb Factory and Digidesign effects and utility plug-ins. Mbox 2 Pro has all of this and more, all for around $700.
Pro Hardware Design
Mbox 2 Pro was designed by the same engineering team responsible for Digidesign’s professional Pro Tools|HD systems, so you can be sure it’s reliable and delivers top-notch sonic performance. Mbox 2 Pro is also the first totally portable** Pro Tools LE system to support up to 24-bit/96 kHz resolution, allowing you to capture high-definition recordings on the go. And the mic preamps in Mbox 2 Pro are among the best you’ll find in any mobile audio interface, offering excellent dynamic range, plenty of headroom, and an extremely low noise floor to ensure your recordings are captured in full fidelity.
When it comes to I/O connections, Mbox 2 Pro has you covered. Plug a mic, bass and/or guitar, and synthesizer or keyboard and you’re ready for high-definition multitrack recording. Mbox 2 Pro also includes two DI inputs on the front of the interface for easily plugging and unplugging instrument-level sources. If you’ve got a thing for vinyl, Mbox 2 Pro even includes a built-in phono preamp input for recording directly from a turntable, allowing you to sample vinyl or record LPs right into Pro Tools without the additional noise or hassle of using an external DJ mixer or phono preamp. Level controls, peak indicators, pads, and phantom power for condenser mics further make Mbox 2 Pro perfect for tracking nearly any instrument.
Mbox 2 Pro also interfaces seamlessly with your favorite MIDI hardware and software instruments, and other digital gear in your studio. With its integrated MIDI in and out ports, Mbox 2 Pro offers 16 channels of simultaneous MIDI input and output — with support for MIDI Time Stamping to ensure your performances are captured with the utmost accuracy. Two channels of S/PDIF digital I/O allow Mbox 2 Pro to easily interface with other digital devices, while its BNC connectors make synchronization with external devices via Word Clock a cinch.
Mbox 2 Pro features multiple options for monitoring your recordings. Stereo monitor outputs allow you to have reference monitors always connected — without taking up valuable output ports — while a dedicated monitor control knob on the front of the unit gives you instant volume control of your mix. Mbox 2 Pro also has two headphone outputs with separate level controls for discrete monitor headphone mixes, and an Alt 3/4 switch on the unit’s front panel enables you to quickly and easily monitor outputs 3 and 4.
The Mbox 2 Pro includes industry-standard Pro Tools LE software, featuring all of the goodies you need to develop your music. Record and mix your audio using many of the same tools the pros rely on with Pro Tools|HD. Easily import audio and MIDI files and loops — including REX and ACID files. Employ unique, nondestructive audio editing tools like Beat Detective LE to alter or correct the groove of audio and MIDI tracks. Develop MIDI compositions with Pro Tools’ sample-accurate integrated MIDI sequencer. Stream your favorite ReWire applications right into your mixes, or use VST plug-ins with Pro Tools software via FXpansion’s VST-to-RTAS adapter (sold separately). Perhaps most import-antly, Pro Tools LE sessions are fully compatible with Pro Tools|HD, Pro Tools LE, and Pro Tools M-Powered studios around the globe.
Mbox 2 Pro also includes more than 50 valuable instrument and effects plug-ins and applications, including 46 professional Bomb Factory and DigiRack effects and utility plug-ins. You’ll also get the Xpand! sample-playback/ synthesis workstation from Digidesign’s Advanced Instrument Research group, featuring more than 1,000 professional-sounding patches and 500 combinable part presets. And don’t forget about the included Pro Tools Ignition Pack, which adds a slew of the coolest third-party plug-ins and software applications, the Pro Tools Method One instructional DVD, and a free one-year Broadjam.com membership. For the full list of everything included in the Pro Tools Ignition Pack, click here.
To get the full scoop on Mbox 2 Pro, including a 360 degree “virtual” tour, click here.
* Mbox 2 Pro does not support external sync at 88.2 and 96 kHz sample rates.
** Requires 6-pin connection for power via FireWire.