Pro Tools systems are very specialized versions of what are commonly referred to as a digital audio workstations 1/2 computer-based audio production environments operating entirely in the digital domain. Digital audio workstations (DAWs) essentially replicate the functionality available in analog studios, offering recording, mixing, editing, and even mastering capabilities all in one system.
The express purpose of Mbox is to make Pro Tools available to you as readily and effortlessly as possible. Getting started requires only an USB-compatible PC or Mac and a Mbox unit. With Mbox, you can literally create a functional, effective project/home studio environment in as much time as it takes to plug in your gear, boot up your laptop or desktop computer, and launch Pro Tools.
Read on to learn more about the essentials associated with the Mbox home studio system, in addition to fundamental tools for enhancing your productivity and creativity. You can also check out our Glossary of Terms to brush up on digital audio workstation terminology.
2 analog inputs and outputs, featuring Focusrite mic preamps
24-bit stereo S/PDIF digital I/O
Pristine 24-bit signal path from input to output
2 analog TRS inserts
Headphone output with dedicated volume control
100% USB powered
Pro Tools 6.0 LE software (supporting DigiStudio)
Pro Tools 6.0 LE software
Every Pro Tools system begins with a Digidesign-qualified computer, often referred to as the host. For optimum performance, your computer must meet the minimum requirements for the type of Pro Tools system in which you decide to invest. Some of the factors that affect compatibility and performance include the model of computer, its processor speed, its operating system version, its system memory size, its available hard drive space, its display card type, and its monitor's resolution.
Mbox is packed with analog and digital inputs and outputs, giving you a variety of means to get sound into and out of Pro Tools. Pro Tools 6.0 LE software, which runs on your computer and enables you to interact with Mbox, features 24 audio tracks, complete MIDI sequencing, comprehensive mixing, editing, and processing power, and DigiStudio remote collaboration support.
Obviously, you need a way to monitor your work throughout a given project's evolution. Mbox provides clean, accessible monitoring via 2 output options: a pair of analog balanced/unbalanced outputs with 24-bit converters (for high-fidelity delivery), and a high-quality headphone amp with dedicated volume control (both 1/8 in. and 1/4 in. headphone connectors are supported). Near-field reference monitors and headphones are available from a huge selection of companies such as Genelec, JBL, AKG and others.
Improved Hard Drive Performance: SCSI64 Kit/DigiDrives
Although not required, a Digidesign-approved additional hard drive is a wise first addition to any Pro Tools LE system. An approved SCSI drive connected to an approved SCSI accelerator card speeds up the data transfer to and from your computer, improves system performance, and provides better stability. Digidesign offers both the SCSI64 Kit accelerator card bundle, and ultra-fast, ultra-quiet DigiDrives in 36 and 73 GB capacities to meet this need. Both options work equally well with professional Pro Tools|HD systems, so if you decide to upgrade at any point, you're investment remains wholly viable.
Hands-On Mixing: Motor Mix
There's nothing quite like getting your hands on a dedicated mixing surface. Motor Mix from CM Labs greatly increases the speed and enhances the feel of working in Pro Tools LE. Motor Mix is a scalable, low-cost control surface with motorized faders and controls for nearly every operation available in Pro Tools LE.
Mastering and Distribution: MasterList CD/MP3 Export
Pro Tools LE not only allows you to create music from home, but also enables you to master and distribute your work directly from your desktop. MasterList CD, available for Mac OS-based Pro Tools LE systems, enables you to create duplication-ready glass masters, one-off reference discs, or complete CDs, playable in any commercial CD player. The MP3 Export Option, with its superior Fraunhofer Institute compression algorithms, allows you to bounce Pro Tools LE sessions to the enormously popular MP3 format for Internet distribution. The MP3 Option also enables you to import MP3 files into Pro Tools for further editing or remixing.
Supplementing your Pro Tools LE rig with Real-Time AudioSuite (RTAS) and AudioSuite Plug-Ins greatly expands your creative palette. Plug-Ins are software add-on programs that provide real-time and file-based effects processing without the need for any additional hardware. Digidesign's legendary Development Partner Program provides access to an incredible array of plug-ins from the best names in audio. Reverbs, compressors, delays, classic emulators, special effects, sound replacement, and more are all available for your Pro Tools LE system.
Synthesizers and Samplers: DirectConnect/Soft SampleCell
Pro Tools LE doesn't just give you powerful recording, editing, and mixing power. You can also create music directly from your computer.
DirectConnect is a free Mac OS RTAS Plug-In that allows you to incorporate supported third-party software synths and samplers directly into your Pro Tools LE mixer. Koblo Studio9000 and software packages available from Bitheadz, Native Instruments, TC|Works, Audio Genetics, and others support DirectConnect.
Soft SampleCell is a software-based sampler that integrates seamlessly with your Pro Tools LE system. Designed by Digidesign for maximum performance with Pro Tools, Soft SampleCell allows you to store up to 1 GB of 24-bit samples in your computers RAM, and all samples can be output directly into the Mixer window in Pro Tools for further mixing and processing.
As you can see, it's easy to build a Pro Tools system and tailor it to your exact needs. And there are many more options available that you can integrate later as your needs change. When configured according to Digidesign compatibility specifications, Pro Tools systems give you an unparalleled level of quality, creativity, and cost effectiveness.
If you've checked out any home recording system out there, you've no doubt heard the words "Pro Tools." Without question, it is the industry's leading digital audio production system. There are many reasons why the best engineers, producers, musicians and post-production professionals in the world use Pro Tools over any other digital audio system.
Now there is a new version of Pro Tools software called Pro Tools LE -- designed for everyone from musicians to aspiring engineers to seasoned pros looking for a project studio option. It has many benefits you won't find in sequencer-based software applications, giving you a powerhouse studio to make your creative dreams come true. Not only do Pro Tools LE systems give you amazing power and ease of use, they offer you the ability to use nearly the same software application today's top professionals are using on a daily basis. Pro Tools LE powers Digidesign's 2 home studio products: Digi 001 and Mbox.
Optional Factory Bundle Edition
Expand your abilities in Pro Tools! Includes these plug-ins: Moogerfooger Analog, JOEMEEK's SC2 Compressor, JOEMEEK VC5 Meequalizer, Maxim, Cosmonaut Voice, Propellerhead Reason Adapted, Ableton Live Digidesign Edition, IK Multimedia SampleTank SE, IK Multimedia AmpliTube LE, and IK Multimedia T-RackS EQ.
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