New ProTools M-Box 2 vs. M-Audio 410 w/PT M-Powered

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by FFTT, Sep 22, 2005.

  1. macrumors 68030

    FFTT

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    #1
    I'm so confused.

    You can now run Protools LE or M-Powered on either interface, but.......

    I can't really afford the M-Audio 18/14, so which is the better choice for the best quality and ease of use.

    The problem is needing more than 2 simultaneous inputs

    The F/W 410 has 4 inputs but you can only run 2 simultaneously from what I've read.

    M-Box 2 is USB so I worry about latency.

    F/W is great until you fry your ports accidentally.

    Arghhhhh!

    Need some solid advice.
     
  2. macrumors regular

    JasonGough

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2005
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #2
    if you want a decent number of inputs to run PTLE your going to be looking at a Digi 002Rack me thinks...

    thats what i shall be gettin in the next month i hope just after PT 7 comes out in early October :)
     
  3. macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #3
    So he can get 4 inputs??
    Did you read the part about the OP not being able to afford the better M-Audio interface?
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    #4
    so protools is upgrading next month. interesting. i've been waffling between protools and logic for a while now. i probably would have gotten protools by now given its "industry standard"-ness but there were just too many things that i don't like about it. (realtime bouncing for basic starters. i don't know of much else really maybe the MIDI stuff but still, eech). i've always kinda assumed that Logic being made by Apple would have some special insight to the interworkings of the machine and the OS, but it ain't necessarily so. i wish there was something like Sadie for mac. i haven't done that much research on what each of them offer really, but i'm in no hurry. which is good because i can see more new releases (like protools here) before deciding.
     
  5. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2005
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #5
    On the surface, it seems that these two interfaces are fairly similar. From what I can see, they can both record four tracks at once (2 analogue, 2 digital [you'll need to buy a preamp with S/PDIF output to use the digital inputs]). They also both have MIDI I/O.

    As for differences, the 410 has eight analogue outputs versus the M-Box's two. This means you could mix in surround sound or feed an external mixer. The 410 is FireWire, the M-Box is USB :eek:. The 410 can record up to 96KHz and playback at 192KHz versus the M-Box's 48HKz record/playback. The 410 has dual headphone outputs. However, the M-Box probably has better preamps, but I haven't heard the two units side-by-side so I couldn't say whether they're any good. The preamps in my old M-Box are noisy, don't have enough gain, and sound pretty breathy and horrible. But according to the Digidesign propaganda, they've added better Focusrite preamps to the M-Box 2.

    Anyway, it sounds a little one-sided, right? :rolleyes:

    Of course, the downside to the 410 is that you'll also have to purchase Pro Tools M-Powered and an iLok (I think... but it may come with the M-Powered software).

    Personally, I'd go with the 410 - even if you have no interest in surround sound or high sample rates, the fact that it's a FireWire interface is a huge benefit due to it's higher sustained transfer rate.

    I've been an advocate for Digidesign for years, but lately they've been resting on their laurels. It seems to me that all of their LE interfaces are paled by the competition :(. Either way, you're getting Pro Tools, so I wouldn't worry too much.

    How do these two interfaces compare price-wise?
     
  6. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2005
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #6
    *Puts Digidesign-salesman hat on*

    If you buy a Digidesign interface now (not sure about M-Powered), you're eligible for a free upgrade to Pro Tools 7 when it's released on October 7th.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors 68030

    FFTT

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    #7
    I went for the F/W 410 because Musiciansfriend.com had them on sale for $299USD and it will work with PT M-Powered, Logic or Garageband.

    I'm not sure if the 410 allows 4 simultaneous inputs, but at least I haven't overinvested to get started with digital recording.

    I have so much to learn.


    BTW iLOK Grrrrrrrrr! :mad:

    What a nasty thing to do to a band.
     
  8. Moderator emeritus

    WinterMute

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Location:
    London, England
    #8
    The new M-box doesn't use the Focusrite pre-amps anymore, which was the only reason that the thing sounded good anyway... :rolleyes:

    The 4-10 is a good compromise until Digi get with the programme and release a version of Protools that operates on the Saffire interface.

    I think the bottom line is that you're using Protools, Digi are more interested in the HD system than the LE.

    I'm staying with my old M-box and an Amek Purepath pre-amp. :D
     
  9. thread starter macrumors 68030

    FFTT

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    #9
    Once I receive my F/W 410, I'll be literally starting from scratch.

    My old Tascam Portastudio 488 served me well for a hack box,
    but now my entire FX rack and my original Mackie 1604 need to be replaced, due to a nasty lightening storm and resulting power surge.

    I might be able to get by on a small 8-12 channel mixer, but have not kept up with what is good.

    I will usually be fine with 2 inputs, but recording drums with isolated
    tracks is where the F/W 410 will show it's limitations.

    I have no experience running software AMPS, FX, compression and so on.
    So I don't know where to being.

    I'll probably just end up miking my guitars old school.

    I could use some recommendation on how to get the best digital drum tracks isolated so I can better control them in the mix.

    I understand that ProTools is the industry standard, but the limitations they force on users buying LE or M-Powered and now iLOK really p*ss me off.

    No matter which software I choose, there's going to be a tremendous learning curve for me since all my previous experience was analog.

    I've ordered Logic Express ( edu ) and I have Garageband, Ableton Live and Motu Digital Performer4 to get me rolling.

    There's no point in spending too much until I get the hang of what I'm doing.
     
  10. thread starter macrumors 68030

    FFTT

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    #10
    O.K. I'm totally stumped.

    I haven't even tried to hook up the 410 yet.

    It looks like a great little box, but I'm now considering a return for the
    M-Audio ProjectMix I/O that includes a nice simple yet automated
    control surface AND the M-Audio 18/14 interface for $999.99

    My old original Mackie 1604 is fried from a power surge and I think the quality of my work would improve with the better interface.

    The other problem is that I still CAN NOT decide between ProTool M-Powered Cubase or Logic Express.

    If I'm ever going to learn digital recording I need something as absolutely
    simple to use/learn as possible with good quality up to 24 tracks.

    The majority of my experience is totally tape based analog, so I'm essentially starting over from scratch with equipment and knowledge.

    I'm wondering if I really would be better off with the control surface-I/O
    or a standard analog mixer to get rolling.

    If I'm doing vocals, miked acoustic guitars, electric guitars and bass
    with synth drums, strings an horns etc.
    What is going to give me the best results with the least amount of
    hassle?

    I've been out of the loop for so long I don't know where to begin.
     
  11. thread starter macrumors 68030

    FFTT

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    #11
    Ordered!

    I decided to return my F/W 410 and get one of deez! :D

    [​IMG]

    As soon as they credit my account for the returned 410, I'm having them send me ProTool M-Powered and I'll end up getting Logic Express as well.
     
  12. Moderator emeritus

    WinterMute

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Location:
    London, England
    #12
    That looks very useful indeed, shame it's only got 4 line outs though, no 5.1....

    Does this work with M-powered Protools?

    Don't worry answered my own question.... Pricey beast isn't it?
     
  13. thread starter macrumors 68030

    FFTT

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    #13
    I looked at the Mackie Control for the same price, but would have had to buy
    the 1814 separately.

    The ProTools Digi II was just too much money.

    The only thing don't like about the ProjectMix I/O is the wall wart power input.

    It doesn't say optional power supply, so I can't be sure if this is actually
    powered through the F/W port in most cases.

    Update AGAIN!
    ProjectMix I/O is on back order.

    Musiciansfriend tech support just wrote and advised me that because the
    ProjectMix I/O has motorized faders, it needs more juice than a F/W port
    alone could handle, therefore the wall wart power supply.
     
  14. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2005
    #14
    I have a F/W 1814, I think I might get one of those now, I also have an Octance, adding 8 channels to the FW 1814, So I have 10 Preamps on that, If I add the Octane to the Project Mix, I'll have 16 Preamps :)

    I'll look into that.
     
  15. thread starter macrumors 68030

    FFTT

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    #15
    Update:

    My ProjectMix I/O is due to arrive tomorrow! :D

    My reference monitor power amp died last week and now I'm broke :(

    I've spent the last few days looking at power amps and pre-amps
    and now I'm so frazzled I don't know where to turn.

    Everything good is insanely expensive and even those pieces are mostly
    assembled in China .

    I'm impressed with the Bryston amps, but no can do money wise.

    I posted another thread looking for help with selecting an affordable
    reference amp, but no one replied.

    The only pre-amp that gets my attention is the Focusrite Twin pack pro
    and I still doubt it would sound as good as real tubes.

    The M-Audio Octane looks interesting, no doubt and it would integrate
    well with the ProjectMix I/O but once again tube emulator, not real tubes.

    As soon as the ProjectMix I/O gets here, I'm returning my still new in box F/W 410 and having them ship me ProTools M-Powered.

    I NEED a good clean quiet reference amp with 150-200 watt RMS per channel into 8 Ohms.
    I NEED at least a 2 channel pre-amp that isn't a total piece of trash.


    Like I said

    Frazzled :confused:
     
  16. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2005
    #16
    wait..... i can run pro tools LE with my firewire 1814?
     
  17. thread starter macrumors 68030

    FFTT

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    #17
    Unfortunately ProTools LE only runs with actual ProTools hardware
    like the M-Box or the Digi 02 and the Control 8.

    ProTools M-Powered is essentially LE but designed to work with M-Audio
    interfaces.

    The benefit of using M-Audio interfaces is that they enable you to work with
    ProTools M-Powered, Logic, Cubase, Digital Performer or what ever DAW software you prefer as well as AU, VST or RTAS plug-ins.

    If you buy Digidesign hardware, you are pretty much commited to
    ProTools and proprietary RTAS plug-ins.
     
  18. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2005
    #18
    What about the Audiphile 192 vs the Firewire 410? Basically PCI vs Firewire. Pros/Cons anyone?
     
  19. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2005
    #19
    computer spaz needs help from gurus

    so...i just got a mac g4 and this damned mpow. prootols stuff.....but i am stuck rather early on.

    im trying to record some damned audio...but i can't ssem to get my input sorted. there are lights flickering on my firewire 410 but the mix window track thingie has a tick next to no input...not like the pic in the manual where there are mic/line 1/2/ options.

    please help me before i have to go and get my hammer.
     
  20. Moderator emeritus

    WinterMute

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Location:
    London, England
    #20
    Click on the input and you should get a dropdown listing all of the inputs allocated in your interface (the same in the output). Choose the one your mic/line is connected to.

    You will need to make the input/output paths available in the I/O window (Hardware Menu) before they will show up in the list however. Check the manual as to how to do this.

    Remember you need to be in record ready to see any level on the meters unless you are in Input Monitoring mode.
     

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