Friday, October 26, 2007

Mbox Micro: cheapest way to get Pro Tools

Digidesign has launched the latest member of its Mbox family. The Mbox 2 Micro is a $279 PC audio interface that comes with Pro Tools LE. Since Pro Tools only runs on computers with certified software, that makes this the cheapest way to install Pro Tools on your machine. In fact, it brings the price down below Adobe Audition, which goes for $349. And if you go the Mbox Micro route, you get a piece of hardware thrown in for good measure.

But I'm a bit baffled by the Mbox Micro. Unlike the Mbox, and Mbox Mini, I'm not sure it's fair to call the Mbox Micro an audio interface. It's more of an enhanced headphone jack. It supports 24 bit 48Khz output through a 1/8th inc jack. But the micro doesn't include an audio input, so you'll have to use your computer's input jacks to load sound. Of course, with flash audio recorders becoming more common, odds are you're already recording high quality WAV audio which you can just copy and paste to your computer anyway.

[via Create Digital Music]

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6 comments:

Chris said...

It's a glorified dongle!

finalrune said...

Funky. Will it make me jump ship from Adobe? Eh...

Fred

Writer, Director, Producer
Radio Drama Revival
FinalRune Productions

MED said...

It is ironic how Digidesign releases the Mbox Micro as well as Pro Tools version 7.4 immediately before the big holiday season is it not? At first glance the Mbox Micro does seem really cool, but as you pointed out, it is not - technically speaking - an audio interface as it provides no audio input to the computer. This is a drawback for true audiophiles who would like a small interface for recording "on the go". Yet it also makes sense that a true interface with a decent preamp and analog to digital converter would be significantly more bulky, diminishing the Micro's novelty miniature size. That aside, I might even consider purchasing the Micro for "on the go" mixing, but I feel that purchasing another $250 copy of Pro Tools LE software is a waste of time because I already own a copy. It might be more beneficial to Digidesign to offer the Micro at full price with the software bundle, as well as at a reduced price without the software for those of us who already have the latest version. You do bring up a good point, however, that as the number of high quality, hand-held flash recording devices increases, people interested in home recording are going to be doing less and less multi-track recording sessions, and therefore using Pro Tools as purely a platform for mixing imported audio files. The question then is whether or not the microphones in these hand-held devices can produce audio that is comparable to the traditional microphone and preamp combination. If so, then this could be the death of the large, multi-track audio interface market.

Anonymous said...

i don't think multitrack recording systems are going to die anytime soon.

anyways, i think this mbox micro is meant for mixing on the road.

and it comes with another version of pro tools because i assume that whoever is mixing on the go is going to be on the go using a laptop which needs to have its own licenced copy of pro tools. installing the same copy on 2 systems isnt legal as far as i know... unless you're doing the multitrack recording on a laptop anyways. which seems quite pointless to me...

Anonymous said...

This is obviously meant for those who already invested in non-Digidesign hardware who also want to run Protools. Since the software requires that the hardware be present, all they did was create the smallest possible hardware component to fill that requirement.

In other words, Chris is right: it *is* a glorified dongle.

Anonymous said...

i don't think multitrack recording systems are going to die anytime soon.

anyways, i think this mbox micro is meant for mixing on the road.

and it comes with another version of pro tools because i assume that whoever is mixing on the go is going to be on the go using a laptop which needs to have its own licenced copy of pro tools. installing the same copy on 2 systems isnt legal as far as i know... unless you're doing the multitrack recording on a laptop anyways. which seems quite pointless to me...

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