Mbox 2 vs. Firewire 410

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by Dronomophone, Apr 22, 2007.

  1. Dronomophone macrumors regular

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    Apr 4, 2007
    #1
    What do you guys think? While im at it, what about pro tools LE vs. m-powered? From what i understand, theyre almost exactly the same. What are the differences?
     
  2. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #2
    i don't know all the differences, but one that's not advertised is that (so i'm told), PT-M's lowest buffer setting is higher than PTLE's lowest buffer setting.
     
  3. cmccarten macrumors member

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    Sep 29, 2006
    #3
    http://www.tweakheadz.com/audio_interface_fw_comparison_chart.htm
    Between the two, I'd get the MBox, but as you can see if you visit that link, there are a number of other comparable firewire interfaces. Presonus Firebox, MOTU Ultralight or Focusrite Saffire are all excellent firewire interfaces with better preamps than you'll find in anything by m-audio.
     
  4. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #4
    but the OP is asking about running PT.
     
  5. Dronomophone thread starter macrumors regular

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    Apr 4, 2007
    #5
    Right, pro tools is what im going after. I'm trying to find the cheapest way to get pro tools on my computer. I don't plan on doing a lot of recording at home, mostly editing and mixing. I can record elsewhere and take it home. I would like to have the option though. I'd like some decent preamps and at least two for stereo, so mbox mini is out.

    The way i figure it, i can get a firewire 410 and pro tools m-powered on ebay for 300-350 if i try hard for a good price, or an mbox 2 w/ pro tools LE at school for 350. I think firewire is a plus compared to USB, so im leaning towards that.

    I never realized that about the buffer rate. That's a good point. I'll be getting a macbook pro at the next update, hopefully june, so im not too worrried about having enough power. Anything else about m-powered? I can't find a decent description that compares the two.
     
  6. faintember macrumors 65816

    faintember

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    #6
    I will, in 90% of cases, say FW is better than USB for audio interfaces. Not to mention the FW 410 has a few more options than the Mbox2. So I say get the FW 410, PT M-powered and eventually buy a pre as if you don't like the FW 410 pre then you won't like the Mbox2 pre. I haven't ran PT M-powered, but do have a fair amount of experience with PT and a TON of experience with the FW 410.
     
  7. Dronomophone thread starter macrumors regular

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    Apr 4, 2007
    #7
    Yeah thanks a lot. That's pretty much what I'm thinking. My only pro tools experience has been with HD. That's why im asking all these questions about LE and m-powered. Just curious, did you use the 410 with another program other than pro tools? Is that what you got it for?
     
  8. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #8
    it's buffer size, and it's one of the things that affects latency while recording. the lower you set the buffer, the less latency you get.

    regarding USB v firewire, it's a bit of a moot point, imo, because if you're fine w/ the 2 channels of the mbox, USB can handle it.

    ....

    a bigger issue, imo, is no one's really sure wtf digi is planning on doing w/ the LE line. right now it's so close to PT-M, it's causing market confusion. i'm rather of the opinion that one of two things will happen: either digi will improve the LE interfaces so that LE is clearly the mid-range product, or LE will go away.

    heck, having said that, digi will probably keep them both around more or less as is and continue to confuse me and the marketplace :)

    ....

    further, through perhaps a mistake on digi's part, the m-audio lightbridge, with a certain version of PT-M, allows for more simultaneous I/O than digi advertises. no one knows if digi will lock down its apparent mistake in future versions, but right now there's a lot of interest in the lightbridge and the ability to run 32 channels of ADAT conversion to/from PT, which is unheard of short of going HD. there's a gearslutz thread about it here.
     
  9. faintember macrumors 65816

    faintember

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    #9
    I own several MOTU cards and a Presonus Firepod; the FW 410 was the university's card (2 of them actually). I used the 410 with Logic Exp and Pro (depending on what machine they were hooked up to), Cubase, and a slew of other audio apps (Peak, Reaktor, Max/MSP, CSound, etc.). There were some early driver issues with the 410, but I think most have been ironed out by now. Some of the issue is Core Audio recognizing interfaces like it should.
     
  10. Dronomophone thread starter macrumors regular

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    Apr 4, 2007
    #10
    Yeah, I know what buffer size is, thats what i meant to say.
     
  11. scottlinux macrumors 6502a

    scottlinux

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    Sep 21, 2005
    #11
    I use a FW410 with Logic and Pro Tools-M. You should know it can only do 2 inputs, max. I think it's advertised as a 4-in box. It has unbalanced xlr jacks, I believe which is okay, but not great. Also I do have to set the buffer up pretty high in Logic with this box, but it works great with whatever I pile onto it. Latency could be better.

    It is rock solid in every critical performance or recording gig I have done with it. Specs say it can playback up to 192k sample rate, but I've never used any audio that crazy (nor do I have good enough monitors to hear that crazy quality!)

    If possible in your budget, try to get a box with more inputs. You'll probably need them eventually, depending on your needs. I like MOTU's stuff, but won't work with pro-tools, I suppose.
     
  12. Salasm macrumors regular

    Salasm

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    #12
    if you buy firewire 410, buy also some black electric tape and cover over the constantly blinking led light. that little f**ker will drive you to insanity.
     

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