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Digidesign Mbox 2 Audio Interface (Macintosh and Windows)

USB-powered Pro Tools LE 8 audio/MIDI workstation provides a wide range of analog and digital I/O for musicians on the move. (183) Read 12 reviews for this product | Rate and Review This Product
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When the digital recording revolution swept the home studio world, Digidesign was right at the forefront with the Mbox, a USB audio interface that sounded great, performed reliably, and offered easy portability for the mobile recordist, all at a price that made it easy for anyone to get into serious digital multitrack recording (the fact that it came with industry-standard Pro Tools recording software didn't hurt either). With the Mbox 2, Digidesign has taken a classic design and made it even better. Plus, it ships with the latest, most powerful version of Pro Tools LE, as well as a plethora of great-sounding plugin effects and instruments, and even M-Audio Torq LE DJ software. If you've been thinking about entering the world of Pro Tools digital recording, the Mbox 2 might just be the perfect first step.

Updated Look, Upgraded Functionality
Just like the original, Mbox 2 offers you an array of professional routing options and connections in a convenient package, minimizing the need for additional hardware. Because the Mbox 2 is powered via USB, you won't need any additional power source for recording, making mobile recording far easier. The unit also provides a true 48v of phantom power, as well as the new addition of -20 db input gain pads. You can hook up top-notch condenser microphones directly to the interface and record a wide variety of sources without the need for a separate preamp. The Mbox 2 also provides ample monitor routing for quickly and easily switching between headphones and external monitor speakers. MIDI support has also been upgraded, making it easier than ever to integrate external MIDI sound modules and software instruments into audio projects.

Celebrated Sound Quality
When the Mbox hit the market in 2002, home recordists and professionals alike were amazed by the sound quality for its price, and the Mbox 2 more than lives up to that stellar reputation. The DigiDesign-produced microphone preamps--you get two of them on the Mbox 2--are the very definition of transparent, and are well suited to a variety of different recording sources. In addition to the two analog inputs, the Mbox 2 offers S/PIDF digital ins and outs for a total of four simultaneous tracks of recording. The analog-to-digital conversion, too, is as pristine as ever. The Mbox 2 supports up to 24-bit, 48kHz conversion resolution for better-than CD-quality digital audio. One of the best features on the Mbox was its input/playback monitor mix control. It's on the Mbox 2 also, and it enables simple, latency-free overdubbing, meaning you'll be able to craft layered, intricate arrangements without ever worrying about the audible hardware delays or distracting playback echos inherent in many interfaces in the same price range.

Industry-Standard Pro Tools Software
For most home recording enthusiasts, the most attractive part of the Mbox 2 package is the software it comes with. What does "industry-standard" really mean? For starters, Pro Tools HD systems are found in the biggest hit-making recording studios around the world. Truly, it's rare to find a professional studio without a Pro Tools rig, and the projects you start on your Mbox 2/Pro Tools LE system can be effortlessly imported into any Pro Tools HD rig. And then there are the reasons that Pro Tools is and has been the industry-standard: ease-of use, powerful editing and mixing flexibility, and incredible sound quality. The LE version that ships with your Mbox 2 offers most of the same operations as the top of the line HD systems, including parameter automation, non-destructive audio editing, and support for RTAS instrument and effects plug-ins. Speaking of plug-ins, Pro Tools LE comes with a formidable supply of them, including synthesizers, guitar amp simulators, reverb processors, pitch bending tools, and the amazing Beat Detective LE, a one-step find-and-replace utility for drum tracks. Both Pro Tools and the Mbox 2 are fully supported by Windows and Mac, so no one has to feel left out of the DigiDesign phenomenon.

Even More Power With The Factory Bundle
Select the "Mbox 2 Factory" and for only fifty bucks you'll be treating yourself to hundreds of dollars worth of additional plug-ins that'll make your projects sound like a million bucks. Two plug-ins from the legendary Joemeek company emulate two of their most sought after hardware units: the SC2 Photo Optical Compressor adds punchy, warm, and transparent compression, while the VC5 Meequalizer puts musical, old-school tone shaping in your hands. Also in the Factory bundle is the spaced-out Cosmonaut Voice plug-in, a processor that turns vocal tracks into deep space distress calls. Finally, there's the lush, technicolor, three-dimensional, Moogerfooger 12-stage phaser effect from Moog. Just try not to have flashbacks.

Amazingly, even with all these improvements and additions, the DigiDesign Mbox 2 is priced the same as the original Mbox. Buy it now through zZounds, and you'll also get our renowned customer service at no extra charge, not to mention the best shipping prices in the industry. There's never been a better way to turn your home computer into a world-class recording studio. zZounds is an authorized dealer of Digidesign products.
Analog Inputs -- 2
Separate source selection and gain control per channel

Mic: XLR with 48V phantom power

Mic preamp: >120 db EIN @ > 40 dB gain

Line: 1/4 in.

DI: 1/4 in.

Maximum Input: 8.7 V RMS (balanced), or +21 dBu

Analog Line Outputs -- 2
Maximum Output: +4 dBV into 1 kohm

Unbalanced output connectors

Headphone Output
Separate volume control, 1/4 in. output

> 6 mW into 50 ohm

Digital I/O
S/PDIF I/O (24-bit)

RCA jacks

Misc.
24-bit clean to/from the computer

USB type B socket (v. 1.1); cable included (does not support passive USB hubs)

Dimensions -- measured with Mbox 2 in horizontal (handle-down) configuration
Height, box: 14.9cm; with handle: 17.7cm; with handle cover: 15.6cm

Width: 22.4cm

Depth: 18.4cm (includes knobs)

Weight: 1.23 kg.

A/D
Sample Rate: 44.1, 48 kHz

Dynamic Range: 106 dB (A-weighted), 103 dB (unweighted)1,2

THD+N (line input): 0.003% (-90.4 dB) @ 1 kHz1,3

THD+N @ 40 dB gain (mic input): 0.006% (-84 dB) @ 1 kHz1

Mic EIN (unweighted): -120 dB @ 40 dB gain, 150 ohm source

Frequency Response: +0/-0.5 dB, 20 Hz - 20 kHz3

Maximum Input: +21 dBu

Input Impedance (pad off): Mic=3.5 kOhm; Line=10 kOhm; DI= >1 MOhm.

D/A
Sample Rate: 44.1, 48 kHz

Dynamic Range: 106 dB (A-weighted), 103 dB (unweighted)1,4

THD+N: 0.003% (-90.4 dB); -1 dBFS @ 1 kHz1,3

Frequency Response: +/-0.5 dB, 20 Hz -- 20 kHz3
1 Measurement made using balanced connectors
2 ADC measured -60 dBFS method with minimum gain setting
3 Measured relative to level at 1 kHz
4 Measured with digital input at -60 dBFS @ 1 kHz

System Requirements
Digidesign-qualified Windows Vista- (32-bit Business or Ultimate), Windows XP- or Mac OS X 10.5-based computer

Minimum 1 GB of RAM

DVD-ROM or equivalent optical drive for software installation

Available USB port for Mbox 2 system (USB hubs not supported)
Digidesign Warranty Digidesign Warranty ´╗┐Digidesign offers a 90 days parts and labor warranty. If you have additional warranty questions, please contact the manufacturer at 650-731-6300

Product Description

Mbox 2 is a next-generation USB-powered audio/MIDI production system that builds on the performance and simplicity of the original Mbox Digidesigns most popular personal studio system ever. Featuring a wide range of connection options, including analog, digital, and MIDI I/O, Mbox 2 delivers professional performance in an incredibly compact package. Mbox 2 also includes award-winning, easy-to-use Pro Tools LE 8 software, which offers many of the same features that top studios rely on to produce Grammy-winning albums and Academy Award-winning film sound. Projects created with Mbox 2 and Pro Tools LE software also open on Pro Tools HD and Pro Tools M-Powered systems providing instant compatibility with countless Pro Tools-equipped project and professional studio around the globe.

Hardware
The Mbox 2 hardware interface is both powerful and easy to use, featuring a distinctive industrial design, impressive sound quality, and extensive input and output options.

Features

* 100% USB powered for maximum portability
* 2 analog inputs, 2 analog outputs
* 2 channels of S/PDIF digital I/O
* 1 MIDI input and 1 MIDI output (16 channels in/16 channels out)
* Zero-latency monitoring
* Superior sonic performance
* 48V phantom power for condenser microphones
* Separate source selection and gain control per channel
* Headphone output with dedicated volume control
* Dedicated studio monitor volume control

Software
Pro Tools software is used in countless professional studios around the world, and includes all the tools you need to easily compose, record, edit, mix, and master your projects with pro results every time.

Features

* Award-winning Pro Tools recording, editing, and mixing
* 48 simultaneous stereo audio tracks (expandable with Toolkit options)
* Includes dozens of pro effects processing plug-ins and virtual instruments
* Professional MIDI sequencing with dedicated MIDI Editor window
* Integrated Score Editor based on award-winning Sibelius notation software
* Full Elastic Time and Elastic Pitch to easily adjust timing and pitch on your tracks
* Unique Beat Detective LE automatic groove analysis and correction tool
* ReWire support for streaming you favorite applications right into Pro Tools
* Support for the Digidesign C24 and Command 8 control surfaces
* Huge selection of compatible third-party plug-ins and software options
* Works on Windows and Mac computers

Bundled Plug-ins
In addition to M-Audio Torq LE DJ software and an incredible 8 GB collection of pro-quality loops from industry sound heavyweights Big Fish Audio, Pro Tools software includes a comprehensive bundle of amazing virtual instruments, effects, and utility plug-ins.

Mbox 2 Factory (optional)
Mbox 2 Factory also includes over $1,000 worth of additional professional plug-ins, plus an iLok USB Smart Key to handle your plug-in authorizations.

Mbox 2 Factory Plug-in Bundle;

* Cosmonaut Voice
* JOEMEEK SC2 Photo Optical Compressor
* JOEMEEK VC5 Meequalizer
* Moogerfooger 12-Stage Phaser
Avid products that include Pro Tools software cannot be returned once the manufacturer's seal has been broken. If a product is found to be defective, you must contact Avid customer support at 650-731-6100 to obtain a case number. If Avid determines that the product is defective, contact our returns department. details
What Our Customers Are Saying About zZounds “I've ordered many times from zZounds. The shipping is prompt and the items are always of the best quality, so I recommend zZounds to all my friends!" - customer on February 21, 2014
Customer Reviews
4 out of 5 (183 ratings) Rate and Review This Product
"Glad I bought it!"
Sound: The sound is very good. with a high end mic pre the sound is excellent Feature: guitar models in pro tools le are nice, but my line 6 pod still sounds better. the rest of the plug ins are really good Ease of Use: make sure your cpu is compliant. took about a month to get comfy with it. Quality: so far so good Value: quality sound at a very affordable price Manufacturer Support: ? Overall: I was worried about latency, not really a big problem with this device. files are big and you don't want to store them on your OS drive. wish I could record more than 2 tracks at a time, but for the $ it's a fair trade.
Style of Music: Prog Rock
11 of 12 people (91.67%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Happy me!"
Sound: The quality is good IMHO. I write for TV and have had no comebacks Feature: Some handy plugins with the factory bundle. Ease of Use: Software is great for audio recording. The only major setback for me was automatic delay compensation - which makes the use of the UAE cards a bit cumbersome. Quality: No problems Value: Worth it! Manufacturer Support: Good user forums but local support not good. The Wow Factor: Software has some personality, but hardware pretty dull - but that's not what it is about. Overall: I've had my MBox2 for over a year now and work on it almost every day. I've not had any snags with it and the quality has been more than good enough for my home project studio. Some people feel it should have been able to handle higher sample rates, but hey, higher sample rates is not the only quality issue. Stuff like mic's etc. are much more important, and the most important is the music you make.
Style of Music: Mood music
24 of 27 people (88.89%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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