Audio Box for a Sound Designer?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by Chaos123x, Jan 27, 2009.

  1. Chaos123x macrumors 68000

    Jul 8, 2008
    I am pro video editor and I was thinking about getting into sound design.

    I always had natural talent when it came to sound design, but choose to go into the video field because of the availability of work in my area.

    But now I am thinking about getting into it as a hobby. My FCS 2 bundle comes with a great program Sound Track Pro so I think I am covered with the software. I was going to get Pro-Tools LE, but you need the DV ToolKit to do Sound Design stuff and it costs even more than a mbox with Pro-Tools (Wtf!).

    So right now I am looking for a box I can use to plug in my XLR mics into and maybe my music keyboard with MIDI. I prefer firewire but USB is ok.

    I am not looking to spend allot of money yet, cause I am just gonna use it as a toy at first.

    So besides the Apogee Duet and the MBOX what other boxes are out there?

    I just want something cheap that I can mess around with at first and then maybe get the more expensive stuff later.

  2. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    I'm looking for the same thing. At first I had a budget of "just over $100" now I'm thinking "just over $200". There is something wrong with each of the lower priced boxes. Either only one mic preamp, no phantom power, or poor driver support for Mac OS. For $200+ you can get a Presonus "Firebox" This box does midi, and actually allows you to use four of the inputs at the same time (most of the others have lots of inputs but only two A/D converters.)

    I looked at the m-audio line and liked the specs but then looked at their driver download web page and under 10.5.6 it said (check back later) and their tech guy said "no time schedule or time table"

    Also E-MU's "0404" looks good too as does Tascam's "US-144L" they are both in the $160 to $200 range. But the firebox, for a few bucks more is now on the top of my shopping list.
  3. Chaos123x thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jul 8, 2008
    What about the MBOX Mini?

    Is that any good?

    Will it work with Soundtrack Pro 2?

    What is the difference between the educational version and the regular one?
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    With Apple educational versions are identical to the normal versionand are sold at discount but with the following terms
    1) The license asks you to not use the software for paid, profesional work
    2) You will not be able to upgrade the software. When the next version comes out you will have to re-buy it at eithe full or educational price

    All Apple audio software from Garage band to Logic to sound tracks works with "Core Audio" and does not "see" the actual hardware device. Therefore any device with a Core Audio driver will work with any of the Apple software. That said some drivers might be buggy but in theory Core Audio isolates application software from physical hardware
  5. Killyp macrumors 68040


    Jun 14, 2006
    I've had good results with Edirol's Firewire interfaces. They perform well and are built nicely considering they won't burn a big hole in your wallet. Good feature set too.
  6. FX120 macrumors 65816


    May 18, 2007
    I have a Mackie Onyx Sattelite that I am very happy with, and I got it for VERY cheap through work, but they can be found for under $200 online:

    Very clean sounding interface with a plethora of features and options. It doesn't do MIDI, but there are tons of USB devices that do that very well.
  7. pkoch1 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 3, 2007
    Just curious, as I have done lots of sound for video with Pro Tools LE, what you cannot do without the DV ToolKit. Maybe there are some simple workarounds that I can share.

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