AVID MBOX 3 MINI / Pro tools LE 8
It´ts time for my second Review today..
The story is that since returning to windows lets say i have been a bit unlucky.. my old Focusrite saffire LE called the quits on me so i needed to get me a new one fast.
I took a trip down to 4sound in Karlstad and after a 30 min in the store i decided on the MBOX 3 MINI.
Since im writing this review 2 weeks after i got it i did not cover a full unboxing photo session but here we go.
The Mbox 3 mini front and back Panel.
(I Borrowed this image from http://www.jeejuh.com)
|Total # Of Channels|
|2 x In, 2 x Out (Simultaneous)|
|2 x Instrument DIs|
|1 x XLR/TRS Mic/Line Combo Input
2 x 1/4″ Instrument Inputs (1 DI, 1 DI/Line)
2 x Balanced 1/4″ Monitor Outputs
1 x 1/4″ Stereo Headphone Jack
1 x USB 1.1 Port
|USB Bus Power|
|ASIO, Core Audio, WDM, MME, and Multi-Client Drivers|
|6.73 x 6.22 x 2.28″ (17.1 x 15.8 x 5.8cm)|
|1.98 lbs (0.9kg)|
One of the first thing i noticed when i picked up the Mbox 3 mini is how well built the unit is, steel cover and really sweet knobs gives a professional feeling to the Mbox 3 mini.
There is realy nothing to complain about here at all.
Installing the software took a while but it was not a to hard process even though i must say the installation guide was not much of a help .
After the installation is complete comes the first to me fail,
updating anything from AVID is seriously to problematic.
finding the driver for the mbox3 mini might not been to hard.
But pro tools it self does not send you directly to the latest update….
It actualy took me 3 days to know that there was something called 8.0.4cs2
and i found that in the user forums.
Seriously there should be dedicated well informative sections on the AVID homepage for this.
And another thing! Customers that buy ANY Mbox3 atleast from the end of November and so one should not have to pay that much for the Pro tools 9.
Compare the priceing to upgrade PT8 LE to Pro tools 9 with say Cakewalk sonar. where if you buy sonar 8.5 you get x1 for free.
I Feel AVID could have done a bit more on the upgrade price for people who buy Their hardware specially after they took away hardware requirements in pro tools 9.
I have tested and used most of the common DAWs out there and Pro tools is by far the slowest to boot up,
I do not know if this has to do with windows 7 (64bit) but 2 min to start up an application in the year 2010 is way to high.
Pro Tools LE 8
When it comes down to a DAW
Pro Tools is a industries standard and there are some verry nice things in here.
The workflow is really nice and it did not take me long to get rolling in Pro Tools.
The over all feeling of Pro Tools for a new user is really nice, but then if you know your ways around in one sequencer u wont have trouble getting around in any of them.
Looking at the Plugin section i have to say you have most you need, and there is some very good presets to use as start points for people who still are learning how to process when mixing.
Pro Tools and Cubase have 1 thing in common.
They both miss out on a good sampler, And after 1.5 years in Logic i wish more would give the customers something like EXS24.
looking at the CPU usage specially when using Instruments there is still allot i think they can do.
using Instruments in Pro Tools on my i7 930 will very fast start eating cpu, compared to lets say logic and cubase RTAS instruments are heavy on the CPU.
But over all Pro Tools from my 2 weeks of using this program, is a well good program and the AUDIO engine is one by far the best iv heard.
Now back to the MBOX3 Mini.
Using the MBOX with Pro tools is realy easy and fun..
The Mix knob works wonderfull and the preamps are just awsome
there is nothing i can complain about at all, the MBOX 3 MINI has all inputs and outputs i need and more.
The sound quality is nothing more then awesome!
And the complete package $329.00, for an awesome sound card and Pro Tools LE is not bad at start,
BUT if you want the next gen of Pro Tools you also have to ad $249.00 to the price and i feel that is a bit to much specialy for new customers.
Mbox 3 mini Pros and cons.
+ Well built
+ Awesome preamp´s and hardware.
+ The mix knob!!!!!!!
– For what i do.. ther is NO cons what so ever..
Pro Tools LE 8 Pros and cons.
+Very nice plugins.
+ Loads of presets.
+ The audio Engine.
– Very long boot up time.
– RTAS instruments takes allot of CPU compared to other sequencers
– for people that buy the MBOX 3 family now after the v9 of Pro tools is out $249.00 for the upgrade is overpriced
The MBOX 3 is a true pleasure to work with, the sound quality is freaking sweet and the build quality is outstanding.
i cant do anything but to give the MBOX 3 mini 5/5 Daw poins
Seing that Pro Tools 9 has arrived, i cant se the point in the price tag on upgrading from Pro Tools 8, when u buy it NOW.
There has to be something AVID can do to customers who like me bought this product now, Just look at cakewalk !!
Pro tools 8 is realy sweet to work with but on my system when i star using Instruments i tend to very fast get cpu warnings and that feels weird since i have a I7 930 CPU
But the workflow is realy nice and i wish i could have had version 9 from the start since im saving up for a mac pro i feel that pro tools 9 sadly have to wait (unless AVID want me to wright a huge review on Pro tools 9).
The AVID homepage needs better sections for each product, its not easy to find updates to the Pro Tools / Mbox u use.
So all in all i will give Pro tools 8 LE 3/5 Daw points.
Over all this package is a good package but as i stated the lack of a sampler, and the upgrade price for customers who buy the MBOX 3 series after the Pro Tools 9 release brings down the Daw points.
The long start up times and the huge CPU usage of RTAS instruments is not fun at all
I hope this is somewhat fixed in Pro Tools 9.
Thanks for tuning in