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Author Topic: presonus firebox or mbox 2 for recording?  (Read 1358 times)
rustychicken
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« on: September 28, 2005, 08:43:54 PM »

i've been putting off buying an interface for a long time,,,but can do it now.  want to do some simple, not too labor intensive recording.  acoustic and vocal and various instruments. no big frills. got a mac.  garageband 2 looks like it could probably do the job.
the presonus firebox is a firewire interface 6 in 10 out,,,lots of good reviews: comes with Cubase LE
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/FireBox/

mbox 2 is out and has great software, but is still usb and is still basically a 2 input device, with extra 2 digital inputs.
the software is probably worth the extra bucks,,,but i doubt i'll need that much. could be nice though.:
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MBox2/
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Nephidoc
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« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2005, 11:28:03 PM »

I am in your exact spot.
I researched this for months and came to the conclusion
that the Firebox was the way to go.
It's the pick of most of the "Guru's" for a cheap entry system.
http://www.tweakheadz.com/rigs.htm

There is a guy on E-bay selling the Firebox with a Audio Technica
AT2020 microphone, cable, stand, and of course the Cubase LE
for the same price as your getting just the box there.
The mic alone is around $100, the accessories another $40
All new in the box, wrapped...
http://cgi.ebay.com/Presonus-Firebox-NEW-Firewire-like-baby-FirePod-NEW_W0QQitemZ7352969050QQcategoryZ23792QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

No affiliation with any of these people... I'm a friggin gynecologist!!!
Let us know what you pick.
I'd like to know how it works out for you.

Stan
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damianip
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« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2005, 01:48:03 AM »

After months of researching and agonizing, I just ordered a FireBox. Hopefully, it'll be here by the weekend.

I was so overwhelmed by the choices that I almost bought a cheap mixer and was going to use it to go direct two track into my MD. Limiting but at least I could understand it. I would then use Audacity to piece it all together.

I already have three mics: 2 R0DE NT1As and an AT822 stereo mic. I have two ART tube pre-amps so I figure with the on-board pre-amps on the Presonus and my ARTs I can handle four inputs of almost any kind. We'll see.


Paolo

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rustychicken
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« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2005, 02:57:28 PM »

damian, let us know how you like the firebox.
i think that is the direction i will go.  it's the right price and i've not seen anything but great reviews.  firewire and the extra ins don't hurt either.

neph,,,thanks for the ebay link and response....i've got a gift certificate to sweetwater, so that's where i'm purchasing from.  good deal though.
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damianip
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« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2005, 02:03:34 AM »

OK, after a long a frustrating exchange of phone calls and e-mails w/Musician's Friend (long story), I cancelled the order, bit the bullet, paid for the gasoline usage and sales tax and went to Guitar Center (are they the same company?) and picked up a FireBox.

Setup was pretty close to a no brainer. As a background, I have a iMac G5 1.8gHz with a GB of RAM so I'm really not pushing the limits of hardware compatibility. I'm runiing OS X 10.3.9. There was no driver to install, the Mac recognized it with no help.  The Cubase SE install was equally easy. Withing an hour, I was multi-tracking myself with no problems.

Hardware wise, I've set up and used my R0DE NT1A mics into the onboard pre-amps with no trouble. I've fed my Breedlove bass and Gold Tone mandolin and Schecter electric into it through an ART Tube MP Studio pre-amp, and it all sounds good.

I'll have to get some buddies over here tomorrow to try some full blown recordings. Then I'll really get a chance to see if I can get the claimed zero latency.

Overall, so far, very pleased!!!
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« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2005, 02:26:53 AM »

good to hear,,,if you can tell us any more please do.

thanks,
russ
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damianip
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« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2005, 02:43:56 AM »

Well, if I can get organized, I should have some decent recordings within the next few weeks. A buddy of mine, my brother and I are going to record a demo of one of his songs. He (my buddy, that is) started an NPO which raises money to buy instruments for inner city kids in Michigan and, occasionally, he puts together little CD give-aways with songs he's written and performed with various friends around the country.

Last year, we did one with a friend of mine's Fostex VF160EX standalone studio. This year, the pressure's on me.

I'll hopefully have a sample soon.

Paolo

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damianip
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« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2005, 02:26:00 AM »

Well, I've got a rough mix from this weekend's session of the "Basement Boyz". The first test of my new PreSonus FireBox.

This is a short but lovely tune written by my friend Dave Palmer. Dave spends a lot of his time with an NPO he founded called Spread the Music (http://www.spread-the-music.org/index.htm) which tries to put instruments in the hands of kids who couldn't afford them in the Grand Haven, Michigan area. He uses these tunes to promote his organization.

So, here is a rough mix of a Dave original featuring Dave on vocals, my brother on guitar and me on bass.

Technical particulars:

Vocals go straight into the Firebox's preamp. The mics are R0de NT1A's. The guitar is a Alvarez-Yairi DY-88 guitar with a UST (think Chris Smither or Luka Bloom) into an ART Studio Tube MP preamp and then into the line-in on the Presonus. The bass is a Breedlove/Atlas ABG  (thanks to Jason at Notable Guitars) also into an ART Studio Tube MP preamp. All tracks got a bit of post-process compression. The vocals and guitar got a bit of reverb; all courtesy of Cubase LE which came with the PreSonus. I'm trying to decide on the reverb levels. I'll give it a few days and then re-think it.

The whole rig feeds my iMac G5 1.8 GHz with a gig of RAM. It seemed to handle it well. We couldn't do more than four simultaneous inputs (a limitation of the FireBox), but it held up well during the ten hours of recording we did.

Dave's a powerful singer. I'm going to try and massage the vocals a bit and then mix the thing to stereo, although with only three inputs, I can't imagine it sounding much different than mono.

So, for now, with props to Phil Spector (crazy murderer that he may be) and his "Back to Mono" ethos, here it is:

http://cinghiale.org/Basementboys/Toledo_with_bass-03.mp3

Paolo
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rustychicken
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« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2005, 03:03:15 AM »

Paolo, that's really cool!! afro   sounds great. real clean, mixed well and a nice tune to boot. Dave's got a powerful voice alright.
that Rode NT1-a sounds like a nice vocal mic.  i've thought about getting the Firebox with the AT2021 deal, but i may just save up and get an NT1-A or NT3 (a little different i know).
my only question is how are you mixing this, or rather, what are you mixing this through...studio monitors, or headphones?  it's very well balanced.  great job, and thanks for posting.
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damianip
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« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2005, 03:18:37 AM »

I'm violating the first law of mixing and mixing through headphones. However, since it's currently going to mono, I'm not too concerned.

When I go to stereo (after I figure out how to convert all my mono raw tracks to stereo), I'll be using conventional stereo speakers (old Genesis speakers and probably my Paradigm 7SE's for the final check.).

Thanks for the good word. It's a lot more fun when you've got nice songs to work with.

The NT1A mics are nice. We initially had so much trouble getting Dave's volume under control that we switched to my brother's Shure SM 57. It handled the volume better, but it just didn't have the clean extended response of the NT1A's. We decided to train Dave as best we could and went with the condensers.

Paolo
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Nephidoc
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« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2005, 04:59:47 AM »

Sounds very nice.

Stan
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