0% Interest for 24 Months! Learn more »
(800) 222-4700
  • Español: (800) 222-4701
Cart
February Giveaway

Sweetwater Forums [Archived]

After 15 years of great discussions, the Sweetwater Forums are now closed and preserved as a "read-only" resource. For discussions about current gear, check us out on Facebook, YouTube, inSync, and our Knowledge Base.

Grey M-Audio fast track or MBox2 better?

dutch81

Which is better for making beats/ recording vocals? Is there a big difference? All I know is the fast track that's grey is very old and the Mbox 2-3 is newer.
Running PT 9 HD Natively on a MacBook Pro. Or is the Mbox3 way better for making beats/ recording vocals?
April 3, 2013 @11:37am
robertruetz

"Better" is a pretty subjective term and doesn't really handle all the variables. Which is better? It depends. You need to find an interface that has the right amount of the kinds of inputs and outputs that you need for a price you can afford. Since you're running PT HD, I'm assuming you've got an iLok and are willing to lose some of the plug-ins based on your earlier post. Really it's down to what features you want in your interface. It sounds like you need at least one mic input and a line-in for your sampler. Both of the interfaces you've mentioned have that. They are both made by Avid although some will argue the MBox line is better than the Fast Track. Note, a new MBox is most likely going to come with a version of PT.
I have experience with the Fast Track Pro, and it has always been a solid performer for me. As far as DAC goes, I cannot speak to which is better, but I'd say in this price range, you're going to have to take what you can get, and really it probably doesn't matter much. As far as pre-amps go, I know a lot of people loved the pres in the original MBox, but seem to have cooled on the later versions. Again, I can't really speak to the quality of the pres in either unit.
You haven't mentioned what mic you're using, but I'm assuming some kind of condenser that will need phantom power? I believe both of these units offer that. In reality, if you're using an external sampler or keyboard for your beat production, really you're just looking for a way to get audio in and out of PT, and both of these units will do that. Don't be afraid to explore other manufacturers' interfaces since PT 9+ allows you that flexibility. A lot of people are digging the newer budget stuff from Focusrite and PreSonus. Starting out, you really need to find the most useful features for the price point you want. You can worry about DAC and pre-amps later.
Rob.
April 3, 2013 @12:39pm
dutch81

"Better" is a pretty subjective term and doesn't really handle all the variables. Which is better? It depends. You need to find an interface that has the right amount of the kinds of inputs and outputs that you need for a price you can afford. Since you're running PT HD, I'm assuming you've got an iLok and are willing to lose some of the plug-ins based on your earlier post. Really it's down to what features you want in your interface. It sounds like you need at least one mic input and a line-in for your sampler. Both of the interfaces you've mentioned have that. They are both made by Avid although some will argue the MBox line is better than the Fast Track. Note, a new MBox is most likely going to come with a version of PT.
I have experience with the Fast Track Pro, and it has always been a solid performer for me. As far as DAC goes, I cannot speak to which is better, but I'd say in this price range, you're going to have to take what you can get, and really it probably doesn't matter much. As far as pre-amps go, I know a lot of people loved the pres in the original MBox, but seem to have cooled on the later versions. Again, I can't really speak to the quality of the pres in either unit.
You haven't mentioned what mic you're using, but I'm assuming some kind of condenser that will need phantom power? I believe both of these units offer that. In reality, if you're using an external sampler or keyboard for your beat production, really you're just looking for a way to get audio in and out of PT, and both of these units will do that. Don't be afraid to explore other manufacturers' interfaces since PT 9+ allows you that flexibility. A lot of people are digging the newer budget stuff from Focusrite and PreSonus. Starting out, you really need to find the most useful features for the price point you want. You can worry about DAC and pre-amps later.
Rob.

I don't have things like mics, keyboard, etc. my plan was to use PT to edit beat I have, make new ones. Vocals placed on them later. I have about 300$-400$ to spend. I am a DAW newb too.
I do not have an iLok, is this an issue when using PT9 to make music?
When you say if it's only used for beat production, does that include putting vocals over them?
Thanks Rob, I appreciate it.
April 3, 2013 @01:56pm
robertruetz

If you're going to add a microphone or instruments at some point, you'll want an interface that supports the minimum number of inputs you need. But, if you're just mixing music in the box (in Pro Tools) right now, why do you need an interface? I guess I'm confused about what you really need.
If you are running PT HD9, you need to double-check to make sure you can run it without HD Hardware from Avid. From what I read with a Google search yesterday, you can still use PT HD9 without official hardware, but you'll have to have an iLok for the license to work. Again, you should do some research on your own. I'm curious how you came to possess a copy of PT HD9 without hardware, but I'm just going off of what you said in your original post. Are you sure you aren't running just a regular version of PT 9? Regardless, If you've got PT running and you can use it without restriction, then I'd say it doesn't matter.
To sum up: If you aren't adding vocals or using external instruments right now, why buy an interface? If you want to go ahead and get an interface with the thought of adding microphones and instruments later, then make sure you get an interface with enough inputs and outputs for everything you want to add.
Rob.
April 4, 2013 @12:06pm