TOPIC: One great interface, that still holds the ground

One great interface, that still holds the ground 3 weeks 6 days ago #23303

Hey there,
I've been meaning to mention this for a long time.
This topic could be part of the 'best interface for s-gear' or something similar, like 'best budget interface, period' :) which has been talked about a lot already. But I thought I just want to talk about one interface in particular, focusing on the functions that nobody seems to talk about and none of the interfaces come near to it in that sense.
It is the Avid Mbox3.
This is an old interface. Very old. Avid also seems to have abandoned the interface business alltogether, but the Mbox is still worth to buy.
So here are some features, that make this peace of gear incredible and one of a kind.
First of all, it still has drivers for Windows 10, which is in itself quite amazing considering how old these units are. And it works too. I don't know anything about Mac support though.
Secondly, it has some built in dsp fx, which are very simple, but quite useful when tracking. (I know you can do this in your DAW, but why the hassle?) :)
The knobs and buttons are incredibly well built and the whole unit could survive the end of the world.
It has a pad function on the inputs (when you pull the gain knob) and a soft limit feature. I can't recall exactly what that one does, but I think it allows you to clip the input occasionally and still avoid clipping in the converters.
Now the best part, that I haven't seen in any other interface since:
It has 2 buttons on the front panel that allow you to individually switch between the 2 mic inputs on the back and the 2 instrument inputs on the front. This way you don't have to unplug any of the guitars (or the mics) from any of the inputs. It is still a 2 analog input interface, but everything can stay connected all the time and you just switch between mics and guitars with the buttons. I just don't understand how this is not an option in any interface. I don't think it would be too difficult to implement. Considering that everything is about practicality and "user-friendliness" nowdays, I can't imagine a more convenient way to just get to playing/recording straight away. Most audio interfaces offer some sort of automatic switching between these two types of inputs. But you still have to unplug something for the switching to work. In this sense the worst input types are the combo jacks, because it usually means that you don't get any dedicated HiZ (HiZ only) input at all. (I know, there are probably some exeptions)
Latency is not an issue and the drivers have always been very stable. If you are curious about exact numbers I will get them for you, but honestly I've never been a "latency warrior". My opinion is, that latency complaints are just one way of avoiding the admission of your own bad timing. :) Of course if you try to record with 2048 buffer size and like a million ms latency (I'm just riffing here :) ), you could be the best player in the world and still be off the groove.

Anyway, the only thing I am missing are 2 separate headphone outputs.

So I think I would still buy this interface today without any second thought. I'm sure they are so incedibly cheap now, that you just can't go wrong with them. As my grandfather used to say: " If it gets stolen... whatever" (sorry this sounds much better in Hungarian)
Anyway, thank you for reading this...
The following user(s) said Thank You: mike
  • tanarur
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One great interface, that still holds the ground 3 weeks 4 days ago #23308

Good post - thanks for sharing your experiences.
  • mike
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