Post by dkaplowitz on Dec 18, 2005 11:47:19 GMT -5
I invested in an Mbox several months back. Although I got a deep cut on my hand the weekend after getting it and haven't gotten back to recording even though my hand's healed, I found the sound I was getting laying down bass and drum tracks pretty good. It has 2 inputs, and comes bundled with a light version of ProTools and some other plugins. They've actually already released a newer Mbox than the one I bought, so that might even be better. I think for the price, it's a pretty good introductory digital recording set up.
Is it pretty easy to use? I read the Mbox site, but didn't get a clear understanding of how it works. I'm about to move to a 2004 Compaq with 256/80 XP home, will that run the Mbox software? Present computer is about 6 years old, Windows98.
Last Edit: Dec 18, 2005 22:37:02 GMT -5 by mahayana
Post by dkaplowitz on Dec 18, 2005 23:15:42 GMT -5
$180 sounds like a great price. I paid over twice that for the new one I got.
Yeah, I think it's fairly easy to use. I'm not much of a manual reader when I'm trying something new out...I like to play with it a while first, then read the manual. The interface (protools) can seem pretty intimidating at first, but once you figure out how to simply record, you won't think it's too hairy, at least it wasn't in my experience. I didn't do anything seriously elaborate though...just bass groove with a drum machine over 2 tracks.
As to the system requirements, I recall them being pretty lax. I think the system you mentioned should be plenty good (check their site to be sure though). I do think with an 80GB hard drive, you'll want to eventually get an external USB hard drive for added storage --if you do tons of recording with it. (256MB of RAM is also pretty bare minimum these days. In fact, with XP I'd recommend starting out at 512MB to make your life easier, but it'll work on 256.)
Also, they recommend that the computer be "dedicated" to mbox. In other words, their recommendation is that you only use it for mbox. However, I don't see any real reason why you can't do other things with the computer. I installed all the mbox stuff on my laptop, which I use for almost everything, and there's no issue that I can tell, so I wouldn't sweat that at all.
What kind of recordings are you doing? Personally, I like my Tascam four track casette recorder (though I've got an old reel to reel as well). My friend has a Boss digital four track that operates the same way and has good results. I really don't have a need for anything more than the casette recorder though. It's got the four tracks and you can bounce them if you need more (though I haven't tried that out yet). I also like that it's easily movable. If I had a laptop I wouldn't care so much. I'm not trying to talk you out of going digital though, just tellin' my story.
I talked with a local music store owner who has a recording studio that uses 2" tape. He says he much prefers the results of tape over digital, it gets higher and lower ranges and has a warmer sound. The problem is that it costs about $600 for 1/2 hour of music, and he's feeling forced by cheaper competition to switch to digital.
For me, recording at home, just replacing my old cassette recorder with a newer one is probably best. I've heard of ways to transfer cassettes to CDs, but wonder how good they are. Can the Tascam record in stereo? Or just one mic at a time?
I think I spent around $50 on it. Which is great considering retail is 150 to 200, at least last I checked. It can record four track simultaneously so you could record stereo that way. I think the stereo outputs on mine are shot, since they've never produced sound, but I've used the headphone input as output. It's easy to transfer it to the computer, just plug it in to your soundcard with some sort of 1/8" adapter (though a more illustrious interface would probably be desired). There's free audio recording programs like Audacity which a lot of people use and recommend.
Still, what sort of recordings are you doing? Is it all going to be you solo?