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As a die-hard fan of recording for the first couple years I had been working off, in today's mad eyed terms, a prehistoric Mac G4 running pro-tools le 6.4 and interfaced with a modest 001 unit. I still get nostalgic for those days of breaking my back heaving around a CRT monitor to any brave, local bands practice spaces. It was a really great system to learn off, the pro-tools le software especially was so easy to use and has sadly affected me in way that I cannot really bare to stray away from it in terms of recording software, but times moved on and the Mac began to beep and spit like a demented processing granda. The final straw being a massive hard drive failure, oh the pain, so I packed up and sent it to the great retirement home in the sky to play ghost-busters with an Amstrad.
It was when I received a new laptop, check my other review for that particular joy, I began to consider a more mobile system and it would of course naturally be Digidesign (or Avid as it goes by these days) which I focussed upon. A great deal was available for an Mbox Mini 2 and including a pro-tools Le 8 software package all for £130, this seemed perfect as it should be for all intentions be pretty much the same as what I had previously slaved over.
So when it finally arrived in the post I delightedly ripped it out of the packing to get a good look of this year's model, the 001 unit was the first to aim for the home recording market after all, the Mbox itself was impressive with its compact features providing the basics for laying down music. One microphone/ direct input and another analogue input (from which you could connect a mic pre if you so wished), two stereo outputs for monitor duty and a nifty control panel. Sure the knobs feel a little loose when turning them and it doesn't feel exactly indestructible but it was an impressive build.
One should note that it is very advisable to get an external hard-drive to use for storing your sessions, even when you need to portable it's still sensible. The pro-tools software had a slight drawback in that it wasn't compatible with windows 7 and required an update to be installed, and not a small one at that, so I had to wait patiently before checking under the hood and when the chance arrived it was amazing to see the difference in LE software. A far more expansive collection of plug-ins and a better visual layout but it was still great to see no major surgery on the actual operation of the machine, allowed me to get back recording straight away.
In summary I really recommend this to anyone considering recording, from the professional who wants to mix in bed with a cat on his lap to the guy considering Audacity "cause its free yeah". This is in short awesome! I have had the chance to record in so many places that just weren't feasible before.
I bought this audio interface as i needed a small studio setup at home. It came with pro tools LE software. I am now a professional singer and this device enables me to record vocals in the comfort of my home with as little clutter as possible. You can use either a dynamic of condenser microphone with it by simply plugging it into the back. It can also easily be connected to a hi fi to enable you to hear in good quality through good speakers. I also enjoy watch dvds on my mac and having this system hooked up to my hifi enables me to hear the sound in fantastic detail and as loud as i want. Protools is also a great system to have for recording as it is industry standard and you can get all kinds of sound plug ins for it. If you have limited space then this is the thing for you
Meet the new Mbox 2 Mini - The world's smallest and most affordable Pro Tools LE system yet. Whether you're a singer/songwriter who's new to recording, or an experienced production artist on the go, Mbox 2 Mini packs professional features into a robust, compact, easy-to-use audio workstation, to compose, record, mix and master music wherever your inspiration takes you. Ultra-compact and portable, Mbox 2 Mini literally puts the power of Pro Tools into the palm of your hand.
Like its predecessors, Mbox 2 and Mbox 2 Pro, Mbox 2 Mini delivers superior sound quality and includes plenty of powerful creation tools for composing, recording and mixing audio. It comes with award-winning, easy-to-use Pro Tools LE software, which provides you with a number of professional tools, many used on major recordings and films. As Pro Tools is the industry standard, you are able to use your Mbox 2 mini-recorded sessions in any Pro Tools equipped studio around the world.