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With AES right around the corner, Avid is adding to its audio interface lineup with the new MBOX Studio ($899). Many of the brand’s recent releases like the Pro Tools | Carbon and Pro Tools | MTRX Studio are geared toward high-end project rooms and traditional studios. The MBOX Studio has been created specifically for bedroom music makers and podcasters.
Those who have been around long enough will remember the original MBOX series from Avid, a simple-yet-sleek option for recording anywhere you please. The new MBOX Studio amplifies this feature set by giving you everything you need to record, edit, and mix. We’re talking about an incredible package blessed with ample I/O, premium conversion, Bluetooth monitoring, and software.
In a stunning desktop-size package, the Avid MBOX Studio packs in a lot of I/O power. The audio interface offers 21x22 simultaneous I/O via onboard mic preamps, instrument inputs, line-level inputs and optical channels.
Let’s start with the onboard mic preamps. There are four in total, all of which feature Variable Z technology. Variable Z was a new creation for the Pro Tools | Carbon interface. Variable Z lets you change the impedance of the input depending on what you are running through that mic preamp. There are five different settings (1MΩ, 230k Ω, 90k Ω, 72k Ω, 32k Ω), which you can experiment with your signal chain going into the interface and find the best fit for your source.
Elsewhere on the Avid MBOX Studio, the interface offers two instrument inputs (also equipped with Variable Z technology) and four line-level inputs. Audio creators will be able to connect the MBOX Studio to outboard microphone preamps and other audio interfaces via optical I/O. You can get an extra eight channels over ADAT and two S/PDIF channels.
For the MBOX Studio’s monitoring section, Avid delivers two stereo monitor outputs for traditional monitor control, two headphone outputs with independent cues, and an integrated talkback system. The brand has also created a built-in stereo Bluetooth system, which allows you to listen to your current project on any connectable device. Want to take a break and listen to a mix in the car? Maybe you want to reference what your track will sound like on an iPhone’s speakers? It’s easier than ever now!
Much like the Bluetooth connectivity, many of the MBOX Studio’s features center on simplifying your production workflow. The interface features a built-in tuner for ensuring your instruments are sounding right from the start and a dedicated Hi-Z output that you can send to guitar amps for easy reamplification. If you’re into using sound from video games or YouTube, you can easily capture and mix with Loopback.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a release from Avid if it didn’t come with a fantastic software package. The MBOX Studio comes stock with Pro Tools Studio and the MBOX Ignition Pack. Pro Tools Studio is the most widely used DAW program in pro audio and allows you to work with up to 512 audio tracks and incorporate mixing for surround and immersive audio.
The Avid MBOX Studio will be an ideal interface for those breaking into audio, as well as veteran engineers and musicians looking for a simple home studio solution. The interface boasts substantial I/O, significant monitoring options, and a number of unique features that will help you streamline your workflow.
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