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Reachground says

I had been using cheap sound cards for such a long time and thought I’d make a bigger investment than usual. I went into the music store and said “what’s the best sound card money can buy with few in and outs.” The salesman gave me two choices, I can’t remember the first one but the second one was the Mbox 3. I went for the Mbox.

Came home and installed it with a smile on my face. Unpacking was a glorious moment. Fired it up, everything worked fine…until I started to use it. Of course it had to happen when I was working on a deadline for a client. They had ordered some new music for a game. Crazy latency! I couldn’t believe it! I felt like I’d been sent back to 1995 where you had to fight to get your latency down. Very well, compensate when you play the keyboard. Move the recording to the beat. Ok then, I’ll survive.

I didn’t return it, and most of my work after that has been sound design anyway. Then came today, 6 months later.

I woke up this morning wanting to record some new sfx for Audiojungle. Grabbed my coffee and started everything. Hmm, distortion. Wonder what that could be. Turned some knobs, searched the Internetz. Nothing. I’ve spent the entire day with this now and it only gotten worse. Now I got static noise even though nothing is plugged in. Both in the preamp and the line in.

Ok then, it was a beautiful anyway day so I took my car and drove in to town to return it. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that the store was closed. The website said they were going to be open until four. Not a frustrating day at all :).

At the moment I feel like I’m going to go back to my old Soundblaster Audigy 2 since it didn’t have the latency problem at least. What’s 19ms compared to 500? ^^

This is it then. I had to write of my frustration. Thanks for reading this wall of text. Anything you want to share? Does your Mbox 3 work as intended or do you have problems as well? Any other sound cards to avoid? Let’s hear it!

//Reach

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Mihai_Sorohan says

Well, I don’t have any “to avoid” proposals but I have a “get this” proposal:
Focusrite Scarlett series. I have the Scarlett 18i6 and on USB and works fantastic. The MIDI goes without any problem and recording is much better than my previous M-Audio Audiophile 192. The preamps in this box are great. Also it comes with some plugins quite useful (a EQ, compressor, gate and something else… I don’t remember).

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Reachground says

That’s €100 cheaper than the Mbox 3 on Thomann. Damn you Avid! ;)

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SkyProductions says

A friend of mine uses the Mbox 3 for his studio. I remember it had around 11 ms which is very good. I can’t remember if that was for 44.1 or 48 but it was one of the two. Mbox 3 has a monitor switch which is amazing for what he paid for it.

There are a lot of variables that affect latency. You need to have a proper firewire card…a TI firewire input. Also did you install the Avid drivers for the Mbox 3?

He has Hollywood Strings so I know Mbox 3 can get the job done. You need to do a little due diligence before bashing a good name.

What motherboard are you using? Which DAW ? Make sure the firmware and drivers are the latest. Also I could check at the Avid forums, they will get you goin :)

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Reachground says

A friend of mine uses the Mbox 3 for his studio. I remember it had around 11 ms which is very good. I can’t remember if that was for 44.1 or 48 but it was one of the two. Mbox 3 has a monitor switch which is amazing for what he paid for it.

There are a lot of variables that affect latency. You need to have a proper firewire card…a TI firewire input. Also did you install the Avid drivers for the Mbox 3?

He has Hollywood Strings so I know Mbox 3 can get the job done. You need to do a little due diligence before bashing a good name.

What motherboard are you using? Which DAW ? Make sure the firmware and drivers are the latest. Also I could check at the Avid forums, they will get you goin :)

Hey SkyProd!

One of the bad choices I made was to go for the USB one. Well, my bad. The funny thing is that I can get it down to 5 ms but there’s still latency. Some other trouble probably. Yeah of course I installed the latest drivers. Who do you think I am? ;)

I think the card might have been broken to start with. This just confirms it. I’m going to return it. The outputs are fine but every input sounds like radio static. Let’s see how it turns out.

Thanks for your advice!

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