M-Audio Black Box w/ Max/MSP, etc.


    Apr 12 2006 | 4:21 am
    Hi Guys,
    I'm really interested in using Max/MSP or Processing with my guitar for live & recorded performances, but I can't find much information on audio interfaces. Do you think that the M-Audio Black Box (http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/MAudioBlackBox-main.h tml) would be suitable for taking audio into Max/MSP and outputting it to an amp? I'm a college student, and therefore less $ is better.
    Thanks for any help & guidance,
    Tom

    • Apr 12 2006 | 7:04 pm
      I've experienced quality control issues with M-Audio.
      For cheap, I might look at the PreSonus inspire. What platform are you running?
      (Most of my practical experience is with MOTU products, which are great but a little more expensive.)
      mz
    • Apr 12 2006 | 8:06 pm
      Sorry, that wouln't work. My current platform (not entirely of my own choosing) is an IBM T42, so I don't have Firewire. What kind of problems have you had with M-Audio products?
    • Apr 12 2006 | 9:07 pm
      Quote: tmcw wrote on Wed, 12 April 2006 13:06 ---------------------------------------------------- > Sorry, that wouln't work. My current platform (not entirely of my own choosing) is an IBM T42, so I don't have Firewire. What kind of problems have you had with M-Audio products? ----------------------------------------------------
      Actually, the worst was a very bad keyboard controller. Bad feel, inconsistant velocity reporting, cheaply made...
      I think others on the list can speak to the audio interfaces. Digidesign has consistantly gotten a bad rap for drivers, and I don't know if M-Audio has inherited that problem.
      mz
    • Apr 12 2006 | 9:33 pm
      Yeah, you're right - reviews look very inconsistent - http://www.harmony-central.com/Effects/Data/M_Audio/Black_Bo x-01.html
    • Apr 12 2006 | 10:10 pm
      i've gone through a ton of different interfaces for live stuff, bought and sold. every m-audio thing was problematic, some apps worked with them, some didn't, their software interface mixer was buggy. i haven;t had problems with their keyboard (oxygen8) or the microtrack recorder. the presonus stuff is really good, too bad about that lack of firewire. i had a firebox and it is great, good preamps, solid controls, etc. i sold it due to weight (and it's edges would scratch tabletops!) and downsized to the inspire for quick'n'easy i/o from a guitar, out to sound system. super light and simple, no problems ever. plus it's cheap so i'm not worried about it on tour.
      echo works well too. the indigoIO ones are great and small, but you need to get down to mini-plug stereo ins and outs.
      rme, of course, the best sound. on par with metric halo maybe? great matrix mixing capabilities with the rme software.
      i use a digi mbox alot as well, which is good but yes the drivers are touchy, especially with max. if you don't launch the digi coreaudio manager before opening max and max (msp actually) has to open it itself, it generally won't work. one that i find extremely useful about the mbox (old version) is that it has trs inserts, which i use to send whatever signals are going in to it elsewhere and back again, for others to manipulate.
      like mzed said, motu seem good, i have no experience with them but many say their products work well. (ok i take that back i tried to use some motu items in grad school for people concerts and couldn't get the routing right....probably ignorance on my part)
      the main issue i have with using any of these items as an instrument input to the computer is the direct sound! yuck. your original idea of the black box i guess covers that? it has amp modelers or something? i've been using a v-stack tweedy guitar pre-amp (they claim this emulates a fender deluxe amp, old version, for use in direct guitar recording.) but i modded it with an extra resistor across the gain stage pot to lesson some of the pre-amp distortion. i use it for guitar and violin in to computer and it does pretty well... anybody else have ideas for instrument input?
      Jonathan Segel 4014 Brookdale Ave. Oakland, CA 94619 jsegel@magneticmotorworks.com magsatellite@yahoo.com
    • Apr 13 2006 | 5:10 am
      Hmm... I could probably get a cheap firewire PC card - but I need to output to an amp, and the inspire only has RCA & headphone outs... I guess I'll check out the Black Box further.
    • Apr 13 2006 | 11:46 pm
      radio shack! anyway, cables exist for converting rca to 1/4" or what have you. that's what i usually send to direct boxes from the inspire, a set of hosa rca-1/4" cables. i would also look into the Echo Indigo IO, a cardbus converter. it does come with a set of 1/8" stereo to two 1/4" cables. unless you need the amp-modeling of the black box.
      Jonathan Segel 4014 Brookdale Ave. Oakland, CA 94619 jsegel@magneticmotorworks.com magsatellite@yahoo.com
    • Apr 14 2006 | 12:00 am
      An advantage of M-audio cards are that you can always get protools M-powered. Clever old digidesign, eh? Long live the day a version of Protools can run on a laptop with no external hardware!
    • Apr 14 2006 | 6:02 am
      Hmm... really, a tough decision. The Echo is really nice, and might work pretty well - I'm bummed that you can't turn off the amp models in the Black Box.
      So basically, it's either sacrificing some driver compatibility, sound quality, etc. or sacrificing in-show changes, recording capabilities, etc.
      Tough decision.
    • Apr 14 2006 | 6:23 am
      On 4/12/06, Tom MacWright wrote: > Sorry, that wouln't work. My current platform (not entirely of my own choosing) is an IBM T42, so I don't have Firewire. What kind of problems have you had with M-Audio products?
      The problems I had might not be as bad for you as they were for me, since you're running that other platform. ;-) However, the OS X drivers for m-audio were/are worse than horrible. I made the mistake of buying one of them for an old machine at home (most of my gear is MOTU), and it has been mostly nothing but crap. For the longest time the drivers would lock up the machine hard (nice kernel there Apple), at least now they're somewhat useable. However, I won't upgrade that box to 10.4.6 until it's 'M-Audio' santioned. Then I'll sacrifice an appropriate number of chickens and make the leap.
      Cheers,
      Chris
    • Apr 14 2006 | 11:34 am
      dave whiting wrote: > An advantage of M-audio cards are that you can always get protools > M-powered. Clever old digidesign, eh? Long live the day a version of > Protools can run on a laptop with no external hardware!
      No problem if you run OS 9 or W98...
      Long live the day an alternative to ProTools will run with any standard driver on any hardware. (I should start to patch one... ;-)
      Stefan
      --
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      Stefan Tiedje Klanggestalter Electronic Composition & Improvisation
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    • Apr 14 2006 | 1:14 pm
      maybe ardour? its getting more and more interesting... http://ardour.org/
      hans
      hans w. koch im krahnenhof 11 d-50668 koeln +49-221-554902 www.hans-w-koch.net
    • Apr 14 2006 | 7:15 pm
      hans w. koch wrote: > maybe ardour? its getting more and more interesting... > http://ardour.org/
      Yes its certainly the candidate, but probably needs some more time as crossplatform project. My expierience with open source is, as soon its becoming a crossplatform project it starts to turn into something usable in the end. Beside the known examples of OpenOffice, Mozilla Stuff, Gimp etc: there is Audacity almost on the same level (and beyond at the same time) as Sounddesigner and Peak, and Pd made a big jump since the introduction of Mac Installers (though at the moment it can't really catch up with the rapid developement of Max... ;-).
      I haven't seen any seriously usable score editor or Midi sequencer yet. (Please do not point to lillypond or rosegarden, they are both in a highly professional toy stadium, which means you need to be a professional nerd to use them, nothing for musicians...(yet)
      Stefan
      --
      [][] [][][] [][] [][][] [][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
      Stefan Tiedje Klanggestalter Electronic Composition & Improvisation
      /~~~~~ \ /|() ()| ))))) )| | |( \ /// _/)/ ))))) ___/ ///
      -------------------------x---- --_____-----------|----------- --(_|_ ----|-----|-----()---- -- _|_)----|-----()----------- ----------()------------x-----
      14, Av. Pr. Franklin Roosevelt, 94320 Thiais, France Phone at CCMIX +33-1-57 42 91 09
    • Apr 14 2006 | 9:15 pm
      yeah, i use ardour in linux but when using os x, i pay to have the functionality of protools. (dearly). the os x version of ardour is cool, but it's x11 based still. it's just not the editor it could be yet. in that regard, i still prefer the look and feel of protools (and sounddesigner) for editing audio over peak, peak seems not-very-exact in the micro levels. and audacity is using its own file format. i never really used openoffice much until neooffice abandoned the x11 need and hooked it to java. now i never use ms office anymore.
      Jonathan Segel 4014 Brookdale Ave. Oakland, CA 94619 jsegel@magneticmotorworks.com magsatellite@yahoo.com