Pro Tools in your pocket? Well, not quite, but the latest addition to Digidesign's M Box range is by far the smallest yet. If portability, or indeed affordability, is important to you in a Pro Tools system, the M Box 2 Mini could well be perfect for you. In essence a smaller, cut-down version of the standard M Box 2, the Mini has much in common with the larger model. Let's take a look at what has gone and see what has survived Digidesign's shrinking process.
The front panel of the M Box 2 Mini features:
Stereo quarter-inch headphone jack socket.
Monitor/headphone volume control.
'Mon Mute' button: this does what it says, muting the monitor outputs on the rear but not the headphone output on the front. This is a new feature for the M Box family and is very useful for preventing feedback in the monitors when recording with a microphone.
Mix control: this gives the same zero-latency monitoring as its counterpart on the M Box and M Box 2, balancing the levels of input and playback signals at the output. It's a shame that this control is not more clearly labelled, though.
USB indicator to show that the M Box 2 Mini is powered and connected to the computer.
Level controls for inputs one and two.
On the back panel we have:
Two analogue inputs, but only one suitable for a microphone. Input one has an XLR mic input with 48V phantom power option. There's also a mic/DI switch and pad, which I found slightly confusing at first, as the mic/DI switch selects either the XLR and the jack input, but the pad works on both the mic input and the line input.
Input two is a DI or line and has a pad switch to select between these two input types.
Stereo quarter-inch jack outputs. There are no fixed line-level outputs on the M Box 2 Mini, the monitor output jacks are fed from the monitor/headphone volume control on the front panel. As with the rest of the M Box series, the signal level of these outputs is lower than the normal professional level of +18dBu for 0dBfs.
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