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  • Divorcing Avid Mbox

    I've used Avid Mbox interfaces for years, but now it's time to move on. The driver situation is just not where it needs to be.



    Is there a current defacto interface that people are using with Mac/Logic in the Mbox Pro price range?
    David Abraham
    My Awesome Movie

  • #2
    Seems like everything has a driver problem with something, somewhere. Too many options to be sure of getting it right . What have you seen that you like? Check manufactuturers' forums and see who's complaining about what with which operating system.
    --
    "Today's production equipment is IT-based and cannot be operated without a passing knowledge of computing, although it seems that it can be operated without a passing knowledge of audio." - John Watkinson, Resolution Magazine, October 2006
    Drop by http://mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com now and then

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    • #3
      For over a decade I use to keep up with a lot of the hardware vendors and I beta tested DAWs and so on, then I got caught up in the business side of music with my son so I just defaulted to Digi stuff for a while. But damn they just never seem to have a good driver story. I'll start digging into this again...maybe Apogee will save me.
      David Abraham
      My Awesome Movie

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      • #4






        Quote Originally Posted by David Abraham
        View Post

        I've used Avid Mbox interfaces for years, but now it's time to move on. The driver situation is just not where it needs to be.




        Are you talking about the 3ed generation, or previous generations?
        _____________________________________________
        There are now 14 music videos posted on my YouTube channel, including four songs by Mark Longworth. Watch the music video playlist, subscribe, and spread the links! Check back often, because there's more to come...

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        • #5
          Hard to beat RME for solid drivers on either platform.
          "If Obama wins a second term I will leave the forum". - Visconti

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          • #6






            Quote Originally Posted by Anderton
            View Post

            Are you talking about the 3ed generation, or previous generations?




            I'm on the second generation for this particular computer, pops n clicks everywhere on Mountain Lion. Have a Digi 003 on another mission-critical system that's still on Leopard because I've never been able to upgrade an OS without something from DIGI going wacky and then waiting forever while they certify the new OS, if ever.



            So rather than go to generation 3 this time I want to go in a brand new HW direction.
            David Abraham
            My Awesome Movie

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            • #7
              I don't ever upgrade my ProTools rigs for this reason. I wait for overwhelming reports of a solid operating system/Protools version and then set up a new rig with those specs. My next rig looks to be Lion and 10.2. Once I build a system I just think of it as hardware, which is what it is really. Not an excuse, just an observation. If you are always chasing the upgrade train you're going to have driver problems no matter what you use.
              Silk City Music Factory: A Connecticut Recording Studio

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              • #8
                Using the Duet 2 for almost a year. Great sound, no driver issues.

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                • #9
                  I don't own either, but I probably hear the least amount of driver problems with either the Apogee Duet 2 or RME products.
                  Ken Lee on 500px / Ken's Photo Store / Ken Lee Photography Facebook Website / Blueberry Buddha Studios / Ajanta Palace Houseboat - Kashmir / Hotel Green View - Kashmir / Eleven Shadows website / Ken Lee Photography Blog / Akai 12-track tape transfers / MY NEW ALBUM! The Mercury Seven

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                  • #10






                    Quote Originally Posted by Ernest Buckley
                    View Post

                    Using the Duet 2 for almost a year. Great sound, no driver issues.




                    Great, I was leaning in this direction. Thanks.
                    David Abraham
                    My Awesome Movie

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      FWIW...I never liked MBox interfaces...not just the drivers, but I thought the mic pres were average at best. However, I got a chance to review the 3rd generation MBox pro, and it's a whole different world. The construction quality is superb, and the drivers have been great for me with both Windows and Mac (although on the Mac, I'm still running Snow Leopard, not Lion, so that might have a lot to do with it). Jon Chappell has also tested out the 3rd Gen MBox on the Mac with respect to aggregation, and he's finding the same results I am.



                      I wouldn't try to dissuade anyone from Apogee interfaces, which are great. RME and Focusrite do the job too, although if you read the forums for ANY interface manufacturer, you'll come to the conclusion that their drivers are uniformly horrible and don't work with anything But I do want to put in a good word for the 3rd gen models, which are night and day compared to what came before. The specs are outstanding from an audio standpoint in terms of distortion (there really isn't any) and noise; even crosstalk, which is where many interfaces fall down, is exceptionally good. The MBox Pro has become my preferred interface for the Mac.



                      I met the main 3rd gen hardware designer at PreSonuSphere (he does projects for PreSonus now), and I took advantage of the opportunity to pick his brain and find out why the new models were so much better. There were some valid technical reasons, particularly how he obsessed over the circuit board layout
                      _____________________________________________
                      There are now 14 music videos posted on my YouTube channel, including four songs by Mark Longworth. Watch the music video playlist, subscribe, and spread the links! Check back often, because there's more to come...

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                      • #12
                        Very interesting Craig.



                        Let me ask you this...... as one in a similar same boat as David.....002, PT9 and Snow Leopard.



                        I have been wanting to upgrade to PT10 and ML but I want a better interface before I do. I've been looking at quality interfaces and it came down to 3 options. Apogee Ensemble, RME Fireface UFX and the Universal Audio Apollo. All expensive. Here's the tricky part. I could get one of these expensive units, but then my "mad money" account is wiped out completely......and honestly I need/want other stuff.



                        I read about people saying the Apogee was so incredibly noticeable in terms of audio quality improvement. I hear and read the same about the UA and RME. You hear terms like ".......transparent, wider, increased stereo depth of field, greater depth perception, as soon as I heard an older session through it, I got a bigger boner than any other interface has given me..."............. stuff like that, suggesting the difference between the Ensemble say, and a previous generation 003, 002 or MBox ......was like the difference between eating chalk and cheese.



                        Are you suggesting I might find that level of difference between an MBox 3 Pro and my 002? Are the mic pre's/converters and clock really that good?





                        Of course, from time to time one can find used Ensemble's and that is a possibility for me as well.

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                        • #13
                          Why don't you buy one, try it, and if it doesn't excite you, send it back and get an Apogee or RME. If that doesn't excite you either, get a better microphone or better monitors. The difference between one converter and another these days isn't all that great. What's different, though, is the analog circuitry, power supply, how the circuit board is laid out . . stuff like that. It's design engineering - putting standard components together in the best possible way. Chips are cheap. It's how you put them together that costs money.
                          --
                          "Today's production equipment is IT-based and cannot be operated without a passing knowledge of computing, although it seems that it can be operated without a passing knowledge of audio." - John Watkinson, Resolution Magazine, October 2006
                          Drop by http://mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com now and then

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I'm not recommending but only sharing some personal experience. Day to day, I use an 003 with an API A2D front end. It sounds incredible. But...



                            I recently helped test a buddy's new RME UFX. It was a simple, have some beers, plug in a couple of good mics, and try some tunes. So I sat there with a 414 on my acoustic guitar, an 87 on my voice, and sang a couple of mildy intoxicated versions of One by Nilsson and some of my own tunes. All tunes I know well, and mics I'm very acquainted with...



                            ...the experience of hearing the combo of pre, A/D and D/A... was inspiring. I don't know about soundstage and imaging and depth and whatever. It just made me wet my pants and beg to keep doing takes. The playback was equally as rewarding. YMMV, but I absolutely dug that interface and its accouterments.



                            I wouldn't hesitate to use that unit for a crucial gig. I like it.
                            __________
                            Ain't no sacrilege to call Elvis king
                            Dad is great and all but he never could sing -
                            Jesus

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                            • #15
                              I do not know what an MBox 3 Pro sounds like.



                              What I can tell you is that the difference between a Digi001 and an Apogee Rosetta 800 is night and day. It's like wiping mud off your windshield and seeing crystal clear views. This is a difference that was not subtle. Everyone who came in my studio noticed, even if I didn't immediately say that I had changed my converters.



                              The difference between Digi002 and the Rosetta 800 are quite wide, although not nearly as extreme as a Digi001 (Digi001 converters seriously suck).



                              The Rosetta 800 converters are better than the Ensemble converters. By how much, I can't tell you, but the Ensemble converters are definitely cheaper, which the Apogee reps freely admit. But I have a feeling the Ensemble converters are still quite good.



                              Newer converters are definitely much better in general, so you might not find a stunning difference between, say, an Apollo, RME, Apogee, or perhaps even the MBox 3 Pro, which if I recall, you could hear on demos on M-Audio's website before. I have a PreSonus FireStudio, and while I haven't A/B'd the Apogee and the PreSonus, I was surprised at how good the PreSonus sounded when I ran out of converters and used those. They're really quite good, especially given the $600 price tag.
                              Ken Lee on 500px / Ken's Photo Store / Ken Lee Photography Facebook Website / Blueberry Buddha Studios / Ajanta Palace Houseboat - Kashmir / Hotel Green View - Kashmir / Eleven Shadows website / Ken Lee Photography Blog / Akai 12-track tape transfers / MY NEW ALBUM! The Mercury Seven

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