Getting Started with
Mbox 2™
Version 6.8.1 for LE Systems on Windows or Macintosh
Digidesign
2001 Junipero Serra Boulevard
Daly City, CA 94014-3886 USA
tel: 650·731·6300
fax: 650·731·6399
Technical Support (USA)
tel: 650·731·6100
fax: 650·731·6384
Product Information (USA)
tel: 650·731·6102
tel: 800·333·2137
International Offices
Visit the Digidesign Web site
for contact information
Web Site
www.digidesign.com
Copyright
© 2005 Digidesign, a division of Avid Technology, Inc. All rights
reserved. This guide may not be duplicated in whole or in part
without the express written consent of Digidesign. Avid,
Digidesign, Mbox 2, and Pro Tools are either trademarks or
registered trademarks of Avid Technology, Inc. in the US and
other countries. All other trademarks contained herein are the
property of their respective owners.
Product features, specifications, system requirements, and
availability are subject to change without notice.
PN 9320-14742-00 REV A 9/05
used in accordance with the instructions, may cause harmful
interference to radio communications. However, there is no
guarantee that interference will not occur in a particular
installation. If this equipment does cause harmful interference
to radio or television reception, which can be determined by
turning the equipment off and on, the user is encouraged to try
and correct the interference by one or more of the following
measures:
• Reorient or locate the receiving antenna.
• Increase the separation between the equipment and
receiver.
• Connect the equipment into an outlet on a circuit different
from that to which the receiver is connected.
• Consult the dealer or an experienced radio/TV technician
for help.
Communications and Safety Regulation Information
Compliance Statement
This model Digidesign Mbox 2 complies with the following
standards regulating interference and EMC:
• FCC Part 15 Class B
• EN 55022
• EN 55204
• AS/NZS 3548 Class B
• CISPR 22 Class B
Radio and Television Interference
This equipment has been tested and found to comply with the
limits for a Class B digital device, pursuant to Part 15 of the
FCC Rules.
DECLARATION OF CONFORMITY
We Digidesign,
Mbox 2
Any modifications to the unit, unless expressly approved by
Digidesign, could void the user's authority to operate the
equipment.
Canadian Compliance Statement:
This Class B digital apparatus complies with Canadian ICES003.
2001 Junipero Serra Boulevard, Suite 200
Cet appareil numérique de la classe B est conforme à la norme
NMB-003 du Canada.
Daly City, CA 94014 USA
Australian Compliance
tel: 650-731-6300
declare under our sole responsibility that the product
Mbox 2
complies with Part 15 of FCC Rules.
Operation is subject to the following two conditions: (1) this
device may not cause harmful interference, and (2) this device
must accept any interference received, including interference
that may cause undesired operation.
NOTE: This equipment has been tested and found to comply
with the limits for a Class B digital device, pursuant to Part 15
of the FCC Rules. These limits are designed to provide
reasonable protection against harmful interference in a
residential installation. This equipment generates, uses, and
can radiate radio frequency energy and, if not installed and
European Compliance
contents
Chapter 1. Welcome to Mbox 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Mbox 2 Package . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Mbox 2 Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Pro Tools LE Capabilities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
System Requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Digidesign Registration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
About the Pro Tools Guides . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
About www.digidesign.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Chapter 2. Windows Configuration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Installation Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Windows System Settings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Installing Pro Tools LE and Mbox 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Optional Software on the Pro Tools Installer CD-ROM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Launching Pro Tools LE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Configuring Pro Tools LE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Hard Drive Configuration and Maintenance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Removing Pro Tools on Windows XP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Chapter 3. Macintosh Configuration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Installation Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Apple System Settings for Mac OS X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Installing Pro Tools LE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Connecting Mbox 2 to the Computer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Optional Software on the Pro Tools Installer CD-ROM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
Launching Pro Tools LE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
Configuring Pro Tools LE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
Audio MIDI Setup (AMS). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Hard Drive Configuration and Maintenance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Contents
iii
Removing Pro Tools on Mac OS X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Chapter 4. Mbox 2 Hardware and Connections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
Mbox 2 Front Panel Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
Mbox 2 Back Panel Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Making Signal Connections to Mbox 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
Chapter 5. Working with Pro Tools LE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Session Basics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Transport Controls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
Tracks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
Regions Lists . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
Navigating in a Session . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
Importing Audio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
Basic Recording . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
Editing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
Mixing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
Plug-Ins . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
Mix Automation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
Final Mixdown . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
Appendix A. Windows System Optimizations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
Troubleshooting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
Advanced Settings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
Appendix B. Configuring Midi Studio Setup (Windows Only) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
MIDI Studio Setup . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
Patch Name Support . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
Appendix C. Configuring AMS (Mac OS X Only) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
Audio MIDI Setup . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
Patch Name Support . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
iv
Getting Started with Mbox 2
chapter 1
Welcome to Mbox 2
Welcome to Mbox 2, Digidesign’s portable
Pro Tools micro-studio.
Mbox 2 provides your USB-equipped computer
with two channels of analog audio input and
output, two channels of digital audio input and
output, MIDI In and Out ports, analog monitor
outs, and a headphone output with front panel
level control. Mbox 2 provides professionalquality mic preamps and 24-bit analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog converters.
Mbox 2 Package
The Mbox 2 package includes the following:
• Mbox 2 desktop audio interface
• Installer CD-ROMs containing Pro Tools LE
software, DigiRack RTAS (Real-Time AudioSuite) and AudioSuite plug-ins, optional software, and electronic PDF guides
• This Getting Started with Mbox 2 Guide, which
includes instructions for installing and configuring Mbox 2, and an introduction to
Pro Tools LE software
• The Mbox 2 Basics Guide, designed to give new
users specific methods for accomplishing
common tasks (such as getting sound in and
out of your Mbox 2, connecting a mic or instrument, and recording a session)
• USB connector cable
• Digidesign registration card
Chapter 1: Welcome to Mbox 2
1
Mbox 2 Features
Pro Tools LE Capabilities
The Mbox 2 provides the following:
Pro Tools LE software provides the following capabilities with Mbox 2:
• Two channels of analog audio input with microphone preamps and switchable 48V phantom power
• Analog input jacks include one XLR and
two 1/4-inch connectors (one TRS, one TS),
with switchable Mic, Line, and DI levels
• –20 dB pad available separately on each analog input channel
• Two channels of S/PDIF digital input and output.
• S/PDIF inputs are available independently,
in addition to analog inputs 1–2;
• S/PDIF outputs mirror analog outs 1–2
• Up to four channels of input, total, using analog and digital inputs simultaneously
• One MIDI In and one MIDI Out port, providing 16 MIDI input channels and 16 MIDI output channels
• Two 1/4-inch TRS analog monitor outputs
• 24-bit A/D and D/A converters, supporting
sample rates of 44.1 kHz and 48 kHz
• Zero-latency analog record monitoring with
adjustable balance between input and playback
• Mono switch for enhanced monitoring of single-channel input sources (does not affect recording)
• 1/4-inch (TRS) stereo headphone output with
adjustable level control
• USB-powered operation
Mbox 2 will not function properly if connected to a passive USB hub. If you need to
use a hub for other USB peripherals, use a
powered hub or a separate dedicated USB
port for Mbox 2 to function properly.
2
Getting Started with Mbox 2
• Playback of up to 32 mono digital audio
tracks, and of playback up to 28 tracks
while recording up to 4 tracks, depending
on your computer’s capabilities
• Up to 128 audio tracks (with 32 voiceable
tracks maximum), 256 MIDI tracks,
128 Auxiliary Input tracks, and 64 Master
Fader tracks per session
• 16-bit or 24-bit audio resolution, at sample
rates up to 48 kHz
• Non-destructive, random-access editing
and mix automation
• Audio processing with up to 5 RTAS plugins per track, depending on your computer’s capabilities
• Up to 5 inserts and 5 sends per track
• Up to 16 internal mix busses
Pro Tools LE uses your computer’s CPU to
mix and process audio tracks (host processing). Computers with faster clock speeds
yield higher track counts and more plug-in
processing.
System Requirements
Mbox 2 can be used with a Digidesign-qualified
Windows or Macintosh computer running
Pro Tools LE software.
For complete system requirements, visit the
compatibility page of the Digidesign Web site
(www.Digidesign.com/compato).
Compatibility Information
Digidesign can only assure compatibility and
provide support for hardware and software it
has tested and approved.
For a list of Digidesign-qualified computers, operating systems, hard drives, and third-party devices, refer to the latest compatibility information on the Digidesign Web site
(www.digidesign.com/compato) .
MIDI Requirements
Mbox 2 includes one MIDI In port and one
MIDI Out port, providing 16 channels of MIDI
input and 16 channels of MIDI output.
Hard Drive Considerations
Hard Drive Configuration and
Maintenance
It is recommended that you start with a newly
initialized audio drive. You should also periodically defragment your audio drive to ensure
continued system performance.
For a list of qualified hard drives, see our
Web site (www.digidesign.com/compato).
If you are using an ATA/IDE or FireWire hard
drive, initialize your drive with Windows Disk
Management (Windows) or the Disk Utility application included with Apple System software
(Macintosh).
Avoid Recording to System Drives
Although Pro Tools LE will let you record to
your system drive, this is generally not recommended. Recording and playback on system
drives results in lower track counts and fewer
plug-ins.
If you require additional MIDI ports, add a MIDI
interface to your system.
USB MIDI interfaces work effectively with
Pro Tools systems on Windows or Macintosh.
Serial MIDI interfaces are supported on Windows systems only.
Only USB MIDI interfaces are compatible
with Pro Tools systems for Mac OS X. Modem-to-serial port adapters and serial MIDI
devices are not supported.
For a list of supported adapters, refer to the Digidesign Web site (www.digidesign.com).
Chapter 1: Welcome to Mbox 2
3
Hard Disk Storage Space
Mono audio tracks recorded with 16-bit resolution at 44.1 kHz (CD quality) require approximately
5 MB of hard disk space per minute. The same tracks recorded with 24-bit resolution require about
7.5 MB per minute.
Stereo audio tracks recorded with 16-bit resolution at 44.1 kHz (CD quality) require approximately
10 MB of hard disk space per minute. The same tracks recorded with 24-bit resolution require about
15 MB per minute.
Table 2 lists the required disk space for certain track numbers and track lengths, to help you estimate
your hard disk usage.
Table 2. Required hard drive space for audio tracks
Number of tracks and length
16-bit at
44.1 kHz
16-bit at
48 kHz
24-bit at
44.1 kHz
24-bit at
48 kHz
1 mono track, 1 minute
5 MB
5.5 MB
7.5 MB
8.2 MB
1 stereo track (or two mono
tracks), 5 minutes
50 MB
55 MB
75 MB
83 MB
1 stereo track (or two mono
tracks), 60 minutes
600 MB
662 MB
900 MB
991 MB
24 mono tracks, 5 minutes
600 MB
662 MB
900 MB
991 MB
7 GB
7.8 GB
10.5 GB
11.6 GB
32 mono tracks, 5 minutes
800 MB
883 MB
1.2 GB
1.3 GB
32 mono tracks, 60 minutes
9.4 GB
10.4 GB
14 GB
15.4 GB
24 mono tracks, 60 minutes
4
Getting Started with Mbox 2
Digidesign Registration
Please register your purchase immediately. Review the enclosed registration information card
and follow the instructions on it to quickly register online. Registering your purchase is the
only way you can be eligible to receive complimentary technical support and future upgrade
offers. It is one of the most important steps you
can take as a new user.
For additional information, see the following
online guides:
• Pro Tools Reference Guide explains Pro Tools LE
software in detail.
• Pro Tools Menus Guide covers all the Pro Tools
on-screen menus.
• DigiRack Plug-Ins Guide explains how to use
the RTAS and AudioSuite plug-ins included
with Pro Tools LE.
• Digidesign Plug-Ins Guide explains how to use
optional Digidesign plug-ins.
About the Pro Tools Guides
The Getting Started with Mbox 2 Guide explains
how to install and use Mbox 2 to record, edit,
and mix audio and MIDI tracks in Pro Tools LE.
If you are new to working with digital workstations, it is recommended that you read the following:
• Mbox 2 Basics Guide provides simple steps for
how to get sound in and out of your Mbox 2,
connect a microphone or instrument, record
to a Pro Tools session, import audio from a
CD, create an audio CD from a Pro Tools session, and other topics.
• DigiBase Guide provides details on using
Pro Tools DigiBase databasing and browsers
for data and media management.
• Pro Tools Keyboard Shortcuts lists keyboard
shortcuts for Pro Tools LE.
PDF versions of the Pro Tools guides are installed automatically with Pro Tools LE, and are
accessible from the Pro Tools Help menu. To
view or print the PDF guides, you can use Acrobat Reader or Macintosh Preview.
A copy of Acrobat Reader is included on the
Pro Tools LE CD-ROM for Windows.
Printed copies of the Pro Tools Reference
Guide and other guides in the Pro Tools
guide set can be purchased separately from
the DigiStore (www.digidesign.com).
Chapter 1: Welcome to Mbox 2
5
Conventions Used in This Guide
Digidesign guides use the following conventions to indicate menu choices and key commands:
:
Convention
Action
File > Save Session
Choose Save Session from
the File menu
Control+N
Hold down the Control key
and press the N key
Control-click
Hold down the Control key
and click the mouse button
Right-click (Windows)
Click with the right mouse
button
The following symbols are used to highlight important information:
User Tips are helpful hints for getting the
most from your Pro Tools system.
Important Notices include information that
could affect your data or the performance of
your system.
Shortcuts show you useful keyboard or
mouse shortcuts.
Cross References point to related sections in
other Digidesign guides.
6
Getting Started with Mbox 2
About www.digidesign.com
The Digidesign Web site (www.digidesign.com)
is your best source for information to help you
get the most out of your Pro Tools system. The
following are just a few of the services and features available.
Registration Register your purchase online. See
the enclosed registration form for instructions.
Support Contact Digidesign Technical Support
or Customer Service; download software updates and the latest online manuals; browse the
Compatibility documents for system requirements; search the online Answerbase; join the
worldwide Pro Tools community on the Digidesign User Conference.
Training and Education Become a certified
Pro Tools Operator or Expert; study on your
own using courses available online, or find out
how you can learn in a classroom setting at a
certified Pro Tools Training Center.
Products and Developers Learn about Digidesign
products; download demo software; learn about
our Development Partners and their plug-ins,
applications, and hardware.
News and Events Get the latest news from Digidesign; sign up for a Pro Tools demo.
To learn more about these and other resources
available from Digidesign, visit the Digidesign
Web site (www.digidesign.com).
chapter 2
Windows Configuration
This chapter contains information for Windows
systems only. If you are installing Pro Tools on a
Macintosh computer, see Chapter 3, “Macintosh Configuration.”
Before installing this version of Pro Tools,
please refer to the Read Me information included on the Pro Tools Installer CD-ROM.
Installation Overview
Installing the Mbox 2 on a Windows computer
includes the following steps:
1 Configuring “Windows System Settings” on
page 7.
2 “Installing Pro Tools LE and Mbox 2” on
Windows System Settings
Configure your Window system settings, as follows:
Required Settings These instructions must be
followed before installing Pro Tools.
Recommended Configuration These instructions
should be followed to optimize your system’s
capabilities, or to let older computers run
Pro Tools.
If problems occur after configuring all required and recommended settings, see
Appendix A, “Windows System Optimizations” for information on troubleshooting
and configuring advanced settings.
page 10.
3 Restarting your computer.
4 “Configuring Pro Tools LE” on page 12.
5 Making audio connections to the Mbox 2.
(See Chapter 4, “Mbox 2 Hardware and Connections” for details.)
Required Settings
To ensure optimum performance with
Pro Tools LE, configure the following Control
Panel settings for your version of Windows XP.
Disable Hyper-Threading
For Pentium IV computers with Hyper-Threading, disable Hyper-Threading in the BIOS.
Refer to your computer’s documentation for
steps on how to enter your computer’s BIOS and
disable Hyper-Threading.
Chapter 2: Windows Configuration
7
Enable DMA for any IDE hard drives:
1 Choose Start > Control Panel.
2 Launch System.
3 Click the Hardware tab.
4 Under Device Manager, choose Device Manager.
5 In the Device Manager window, double-click
IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers, then double-click
the Primary IDE Channel for your IDE hard
drive.
6 Click the Advanced Settings tab.
This sets System Standby, System Hibernate,
and “Turn off hard disks” to Never.
On AMD processors, be sure to check and
disable Cool N’Quiet in the System BIOS (in
the Cool & Quiet Configuration section).
Refer to the manufacturer’s documentation
for instructions on disabling this power option, if necessary.
Disable ClearType Font Smoothing
When using Pro Tools, the Effects “Clear Type”
setting must be disabled.
7 For each device, set the Transfer Mode to
To disable ClearType font smoothing:
“DMA if available,” and click OK.
1 Choose Start > Control Panel.
In most cases, this will already be set correctly as
Windows XP will detect and activate DMA
mode by default.
2 Launch Display.
8 Repeat steps 5–7 for any additional IDE Chan-
nels.
9 Close the Computer Management window.
3 Click the Appearance tab.
4 Click Effects.
5 Deselect “Use the following methods to
smooth edges of screen fonts.”
6 Click OK to save your settings and close the
Disable System Standby and Power
Management
When using Pro Tools, the Windows System
Standby power scheme must be set to Always
On. This helps prevent long record or playback
passes from stopping due to system resources
powering down.
To configure Windows Power Management:
8
Effects dialog.
7 Click OK.
Disable Data Executive Prevention
(DEP)
When using Pro Tools, Data Executive Prevention should be disabled to prevent system
crashes.
1 Choose Start > Control Panel.
To disable Data Execution Prevention: (DEP)
2 Launch Power Options.
1 Choose Start > Control Panel.
3 Click the Power Schemes tab.
2 Launch System.
4 From the Power Schemes pop-up menu, select
Always On.
3 Click the Advanced tab.
5 Click OK.
Settings.
Getting Started with Mbox 2
4 From the Startup and Recovery section, click
5 Click on the down arrow in the Default Operating System pop-up menu, and note if the
“/NoExecute=” line reads as follows (spacing
and case-sensitive):
/NoExecute=AlwaysOff
6 Do one of the following:
• If the “/NoExecute=” reads “/NoExecute=
AlwaysOff,” data prevention is disabled,
and you do not need to change any settings. Click OK to close the Startup and Recovery dialog, click OK to close the Systems
Property dialog, and continue with “Completing Required Windows System Settings” on page 9.
– or –
• If the “/No Execute=” does not read
“/NoExecute=AlwaysOff” (for example, it
reads “NoExecuteOptIn”), continue with
the following steps.
7 Click Edit to edit the startup options file manually.
8 Change the “/NoExecute=” line to read as fol-
lows:
Recommended Configuration
Pro Tools LE can also be affected by other software and hardware drivers installed on your
computer. For best possible performance, it is
recommended (but not required) that you:
• Avoid running other Windows programs at
the same time as Pro Tools.
• Turn off any software utilities that run in
the background, such as Windows Messenger, calendars, and disk maintenance programs.
• Turn off any non-essential USB devices
while using Pro Tools.
• If your video display card supports it, enable Bus Mastering in the manufacturer’s
Control Panel.
• Disable any networking cards (other than
any 1394 “FireWire” card that you might
use to connect an external drive to your
system).
For information on disabling networking
cards, see “Disabling Network Cards” on
page 59.
/NoExecute=AlwaysOff
9 Save the boot.ini file if it was changed.
10 Choose File > Exit.
11 From the Startup and Recovery dialog, click
OK.
12 From the System Properties dialog, click OK.
Completing Required Windows System
Settings
When finished updating required Windows system settings, restart your computer.
Chapter 2: Windows Configuration
9
Installing Pro Tools LE and
Mbox 2
To install Pro Tools LE on Windows:
1 Make sure you have configured all the re-
quired Windows system settings, and restarted
your computer. See“Windows System Settings”
on page 7 for more information.
2 Start up Windows, logging in with Adminis-
trator privileges. If you do not have Administrator privileges or do not know how to set them
up, see your Windows User’s Guide.
3 Connect the small end of the included USB ca-
ble to the USB port on Mbox 2.
4 Connect the other end of the USB cable to any
available USB port on your computer. Wait for
the Found New Hardware Wizard dialog to appear and leave it open: Do not click Next.
Mbox 2 may not function properly if connected to a USB hub. If you need to use a
hub for other USB peripherals, connect the
hub to a separate USB port; Mbox 2 must
have a dedicated port in order to function
properly.
5 Insert the Pro Tools Installer CD-ROM for
Windows in your CD-ROM drive. Locate and
open the Pro Tools Installer folder, and doubleclick the Setup icon.
6 Click Next to begin installation.
7 Select the components you want to install and
click Next.
If you get a warning dialog about the driver
not passing Windows Logo testing, click
Continue Anyway.
10
Getting Started with Mbox 2
8 Wait for the installer to finish installing all
software components, drivers, and PACE System
files before proceeding to the next step.
9 Click OK when prompted to install Quick-
Time. If required, you can install QuickTime
later (see “Installing QuickTime” on page 10).
10 Restart your computer.
If the USB LED on the front panel of the
Mbox 2 does not illuminate after installation, try unplugging the USB cable from the
Mbox 2 USB port, and plugging it back in.
If the USB LED still does not illuminate,
shut down the computer, disconnect
Mbox 2 and start the computer. Once the
computer has fully restarted, reconnect
Mbox 2.
MIDI Studio Setup
(Optional)
If you plan to use any MIDI devices with
Pro Tools, configure your MIDI setup with MIDI
Studio Setup. See Appendix B, “Configuring
Midi Studio Setup (Windows Only)” for details.
Installing QuickTime
(Optional)
QuickTime 6.5 or later is required for Pro Tools
if you plan to include movie files in your sessions. QuickTime is available as a free download
from the Apple Web site (www.apple.com).
Optional Software on the
Pro Tools Installer CD-ROM
Your Pro Tools Installer CD-ROM includes several software options.
Digidesign ASIO Driver
The Digidesign ASIO (Audio Sound Input Output) Driver is a single-client multichannel
sound driver that allows third-party audio programs that support the ASIO standard to record
and play back through Digidesign hardware.
Digidesign ASIO Driver is automatically installed when you install Pro Tools.
For detailed information on configuring the
Digidesign ASIO Driver, see the Digidesign
ASIO Guide.
To use Digidesign ASIO Driver without
Pro Tools, use the stand-alone version of
the Digidesign ASIO Driver. The standalone version of Digidesign ASIO Driver is
available on the Digidesign Web site
(www.digidesign.com)
Digidesign WaveDriver
The Digidesign WaveDriver is a single-client,
stereo sound driver that allows third-party audio
programs that support the WaveDriver MME
(Multimedia Extension) standard to play back
through Digidesign hardware.
Digidesign WaveDriver is automatically installed when you install Pro Tools.
For detailed information on configuring the
Digidesign WaveDriver, see the Digidesign
WaveDriver Guide.
To use Digidesign WaveDriver without
Pro Tools, use the stand-alone version of
the Digidesign WaveDriver. The standalone version of Digidesign WaveDriver is
available on the Digidesign Web site
(www.digidesign.com)
Pro Tools Demo Session
The Pro Tools LE Installer CD includes a demo
session that you can use to verify that your system is working.
Before installing the demo session to your
audio drive, make sure the drive is configured as described in “Formatting an Audio
Drive” on page 15.
To install the demo session:
1 Insert the Pro Tools LE Installer CD in your
CD-ROM drive. Locate and double-click
Setup.exe, in D (CD-ROM drive):\Additional
Files\Pro Tools LE Demo Session Installer.
2 Set the install location to your audio drive and
click Install.
3 When installation is complete, click OK.
Chapter 2: Windows Configuration
11
Launching Pro Tools LE
When launching Pro Tools LE the first time, you
are prompted to enter an authorization code to
validate your software.
To validate Pro Tools LE software:
1 Double-click the Pro Tools LE shortcut on
your desktop (or the application in the Pro Tools
folder inside the Digidesign folder).
2 Enter the authorization code in the dialog
(making sure to type it exactly as printed, and
observing any spaces and capitalization), then
click Validate.
◆ Lower Hardware Buffer Size settings reduce
monitoring latency, and are useful when you are
recording live input.
◆ Higher Hardware Buffer Size settings allow for
more audio processing and effects, and are useful when you are mixing and using more RTAS
plug-ins.
In addition to causing slower screen response and monitoring latency, higher
Hardware Buffer Size settings can affect the
accuracy of plug-in automation, mute data,
and timing for MIDI tracks.
To change the Hardware Buffer Size:
1 Choose Setups > Playback Engine.
Your authorization code is located on the inside
cover of this guide.
Configuring Pro Tools LE
Pro Tools System Settings
Pro Tools LE lets you adjust the performance of
your system by changing system settings that affect its capacity for processing, playback, and recording
In most cases, the default settings for your system provide optimum performance, but you
may want to adjust them to accommodate large
or processing-intensive Pro Tools sessions.
Hardware Buffer Size
The Hardware Buffer Size (H/W Buffer Size) controls the size of the hardware cache used to handle host processing tasks such as Real-Time AudioSuite (RTAS) plug-ins. The H/W Buffer setting
can also be used to manage monitoring latency.
12
Getting Started with Mbox 2
Playback Engine dialog for Mbox 2
2 From the H/W Buffer Size pop-up menu, select
the audio buffer size, in samples.
3 Click OK.
CPU Usage Limit
The CPU Usage Limit controls the percentage of
CPU resources allocated to Pro Tools host processing tasks such as Real-Time AudioSuite
(RTAS) plug-ins, as follows:
◆ Lower CPU usage settings reduce how much
Pro Tools processing affects other CPU-intensive
tasks (such as screen redraws), and limit the
amount of processor resources available for
Pro Tools tasks. They are useful when you are experiencing slow system response, or when running other applications at the same time as
Pro Tools.
Higher CPU Usage Limit settings allocate
more processing power to Pro Tools, and are
useful for playing back large sessions or using
more real-time plug-ins.
◆
Increasing the CPU Usage Limit may slow
down screen response on slower computers.
The maximum CPU Usage Limit is 85 percent
for single-processor computers, and 99 percent
for multi-processor computers. (The 99 percent
setting dedicates one entire processor to
Pro Tools.)
To change the CPU Usage Limit:
1 Choose Setups > Playback Engine.
2 From the CPU Usage Limit pop-up menu, se-
lect the percentage of CPU processing you want
to allocate to Pro Tools.
3 Click OK.
DAE Playback Buffer Size
The DAE Playback Buffer Size determines the
amount of memory DAE uses to manage disk
buffers, which affects system performance, as
follows:
To change the DAE Playback Buffer Size:
1 Choose Setups > Playback Engine.
2 From the DAE Playback Buffer pop-up menu,
select a buffer size.
3 Click OK.
Pro Tools Hardware Settings
Using the Hardware Setup dialog, you can select
the default sample rate and clock source for your
system, and configure the clock source for your
system.
Default Sample Rate
The Sample Rate setting appears as the default
sample rate when you create a new session.
(This setting is available in the Hardware Setup
dialog only when no session is open.)
You can change the sample rate when creating a new Pro Tools session by selecting a
different sample rate in the New Session dialog. (Refer to the Pro Tools Reference Guide
for details.)
To change the default Sample Rate:
1 Make sure that no Pro Tools session is open.
2 Choose Setups > Hardware Setup.
Lower DAE Playback Buffer Size settings can
improve playback and recording initiation
speed. However, a lower setting can make it difficult for slower hard drives to play or record
tracks reliably.
◆
Higher DAE Playback Buffer Size settings can
allow for a higher density of edits in a session.
However, a higher setting can cause a time lag to
occur before playback or recording begins. It can
also cause a time lag to occur when you are editing during playback.
◆
Hardware Setup dialog for Mbox 2
3 Select the sample rate from the Sample Rate
pop-up menu.
4 Click OK.
Chapter 2: Windows Configuration
13
Clock Source
To rename I/O paths in I/O Setup:
Using the Hardware Setup dialog, you can select
the clock source for the system.
1 Choose Setups > I/O Setup.
Internal Use this setting if you are recording analog signals directly into Mbox 2 analog inputs
1–2 and/or are recording digital inputs into
Mbox 2 inputs 3–4 where the digital device is
synchronized to the Mbox 2 digital output.
S/PDIF Use this setting if you are recording
through the Mbox 2 S/PDIF inputs from an external digital device. This setting will synchronize Pro Tools to that digital device.
I/O Setup dialog for Mbox 2, Output page
To select the clock source:
2 Click the Input, Output, Insert, or Bus tab to
1 Choose Setups > Hardware Setup.
display the corresponding connections.
2 Choose the clock source from the Clock
Source pop-up menu.
3 To change the name of a path or subpath,
double-click directly on the Path Name, type a
new name for the path, and press Return.
3 Click OK.
Your digital input device must be connected
and powered on for Pro Tools to synchronize to it. If your input device is not powered
on, leave the Clock Source set to Internal.
4 Click OK.
T
Refer to the Pro Tools Reference Guide (or
choose Help > Pro Tools Reference Guide)
for more information on renaming I/O
paths.
Configuring I/O Setup
Using the I/O Setup dialog, you can label
Pro Tools LE input, output, insert, and bus signal paths. The I/O Setup dialog provides a graphical representation of the inputs, outputs, and
signal routing of the Mbox 2.
Pro Tools LE has default I/O Setup settings that
will get you started. Use the I/O Setup dialog
only if you want to rename the default I/O
paths.
14
Getting Started with Mbox 2
After configuring Pro Tools LE and your
system, you should save an image of your
system using Norton Ghost. Norton Ghost
lets you save and recall known good configurations of your system and settings, which
can help you recover if you encounter any
problems in the future.
For more information on Ghost, visit the Symantec Web site (www.symantec.com)
Hard Drive Configuration and
Maintenance
Formatting an Audio Drive
On Windows, it is recommended that you start
with newly formatted drives dedicated for audio, such as a secondary hard drive purchased
just for audio. For optimum performance, audio
drives should be formatted with the FAT32 or
NTFS file system.
To format and configure an audio drive:
1 Right-click My Computer and choose Man-
age.
2 Under Storage, choose Disk Management.
3 In the Disk Management window, right-click
the hard drive you will use for audio and choose
Format.
4 Do one of the following:
• Select the Quick Format option. Quick option should be sufficient for qualified
mechanisms.
Audio Drives and Disk Cleanup
The process of recording, editing, and deleting
tracks and sessions can quickly decrease overall
drive performance.
It is suggested that you regularly defragment your
drives.
To use Defragment Now:
1 Right-click on the desired volume and select
Properties, then click the Tools tab.
2 Click Defragment Now.
3 In the Defragment Now tab, select Analyze or
Defragment.
• Click Analyze if you merely want to determine the amount of fragmentation.
• Click Defragment to start the defragmenting process on the selected volume.
In addition, you should periodically use Disk
Cleanup (or an equivalent utility) to asses the
condition of drives and, if necessary, delete temporary files and other unused data.
– or –
To use Disk Cleanup:
• To help achieve maximum disk performance, you can optionally select 32K from
the Allocation unit size pull-down (make
sure Quick Format is not selected). Though
this option takes longer to complete, it can
further increase how efficiently audio data
is written to and read from the drive.
1 Choose Start > Control Panel.
2 In Classic View, launch Administrative Tools.
3 Double-click Computer Management.
4 Double-click Storage.
5 Double-click Disk Management.
5 Click Start, and follow the on-screen instruc-
6 Select the desired volume in the list, then
tions.
choose File > Options.
Pro Tools only supports Basic drive Types.
6 When formatting is complete, close the For-
mat window.
Disk Cleanup determines how performance is
being affected by drive condition, and lets you
review and delete temporary and other unnecessary files from the selected volume. For more information on using Disk Cleanup, see your Windows XP documentation.
Chapter 2: Windows Configuration
15
Avoid Recording to System Drives
Although Pro Tools will let you record to your
system drive, this is generally not recommended. Recording and playback on system
hard drives results in lower track counts and
fewer plug-ins. You should record to system
drives only when necessary (for example, if your
computer has just one hard drive).
Removing Pro Tools on
Windows XP
If you need to remove Pro Tools LE from your
computer use the Add or Remove Programs
command.
To remove Pro Tools from your computer:
1 Choose Start > Control Panel.
2 Launch Add or Remove Programs.
3 From the Currently installed programs list, se-
lect Digidesign Pro Tools LE.
4 Click the Change/Remove button.
5 Follow the on-screen instructions to remove
Pro Tools.
16
Getting Started with Mbox 2
chapter 3
Macintosh Configuration
This chapter contains information for Macintosh systems only. If you are installing Pro Tools
on a Windows computer, see Chapter 2, “Windows Configuration.”
Before installing this version of Pro Tools,
please refer to the Read Me information included on the Pro Tools Installer CD-ROM.
Installation Overview
Installation of the Mbox 2 on a Macintosh includes the following steps:
Apple System Settings for
Mac OS X
To ensure optimum performance with
Pro Tools LE, configure the following settings
before you install Pro Tools software.
Do not use the Mac OS X automatic Software Update feature, as it may install components that have not yet been qualified for
Pro Tools. For details on qualified versions
of Mac OS, refer to the latest compatibility
information on the Digidesign Web site
(www.digidesign.com).
1 Configuring “Apple System Settings for
Mac OS X” on page 17.
To configure Mac OS X for Pro Tools LE:
2 “Installing Pro Tools LE” on page 18
1 Make sure you are logged into an administra-
3 Restarting your computer.
4 “Launching Pro Tools LE” on page 19.
tor account where you want to install
Pro Tools LE. For details on Administrator privileges in Mac OS X, refer to your Mac OS X documentation.
5 “Configuring Pro Tools LE” on page 19.
2 Choose System Preferences from the Apple
6 Making audio connections to the Mbox 2.
Menu and click Energy Saver.
(See Chapter 4, “Mbox 2 Hardware and Connections” for details.)
3 Click the Sleep tab and turn off the Energy
Saver feature by setting the sleep feature to
Never.
4 Return to the System Preferences and click
Software Update.
5 Deselect “Automatically check for updates
when you have a network connection.”
Chapter 3: Macintosh Configuration
17
6 Close the Software Update dialog box.
7 Proceed to “Installing Pro Tools LE” on
page 18.
Connecting Mbox 2 to the
Computer
Before launching Pro Tools LE software, connect Mbox 2 to your computer.
Installing Pro Tools LE
After the Apple System software settings are configured, you are ready to install Pro Tools LE.
To install Pro Tools LE on Mac OS X:
1 Make sure you are logged in as an Administrator for the account where you want to install
Pro Tools. For details on Administrator privileges in Mac OS X, refer to your Apple Mac OS X
documentation.
2 Insert the Pro Tools LE Installer CD-ROM in
your CD-ROM drive. Double-click “Install
Pro Tools LE.”
3 Enter your Administrator password and click
OK to authenticate the installation.
4 Follow the on-screen instructions to continue
and accept installation.
5 In the Installer window, make sure the Install
Location is on your Startup hard drive.
6 In the Installer window, choose Custom Install from the pop-up menu, and click Install.
7 Follow the remaining on-screen instructions
to install Pro Tools and options. (See also “Optional Software on the Pro Tools Installer CDROM” on page 19.)
8 When installation is complete, click Restart.
18
Getting Started with Mbox 2
To connect Mbox 2 to your computer:
1 Connect the small end of the included USB ca-
ble to the USB port on Mbox 2.
2 With your computer on, connect the other
end of the USB cable to any available USB port
on your computer.
If the USB LED on the front panel of the
Mbox 2 does not illuminate after installation, try unplugging the USB cable from the
Mbox 2 USB port, and plugging it back in.
If the USB LED still does not illuminate,
shut down the computer, disconnect
Mbox 2 and start the computer. Once the
computer has fully restarted, reconnect
Mbox 2.
Mbox 2 may not function properly if connected to a USB hub. If you need to use a
hub for other USB peripherals, connect the
hub to a separate USB port; Mbox 2 must be
connected to a dedicated port on the computer in order to function properly.
Optional Software on the
Pro Tools Installer CD-ROM
Your Pro Tools Installer CD-ROM includes several software options.
Pro Tools Demo Session
The Pro Tools E Installer CD-ROM includes a
demo session that you can use to verify that
your system is working.
To install the demo session:
1 Insert the Pro Tools LE Installer CD in your
CD-ROM drive. Locate and double-click the
demo session installer icon.
Configuring Pro Tools LE
Pro Tools System Settings
Pro Tools LE allows you to adjust the performance of your system by changing system settings that affect its capacity for processing, playback, and recording.
In most cases, the default settings for your system provide optimum performance, but you
may want to adjust them to accommodate large
or processing-intensive Pro Tools sessions.
Hardware Buffer Size
3 When installation is complete, click Quit.
The Hardware Buffer Size (H/W Buffer Size) controls the size of the hardware cache used to handle host processing tasks such as Real-Time AudioSuite (RTAS) plug-ins. The H/W Buffer setting
can also be used to manage monitoring latency.
Launching Pro Tools LE
◆ Lower Hardware Buffer Size reduce monitoring latency, and are useful when you are recording live input.
2 Select your audio drive as the install location
and click Install.
To use Pro Tools LE and Mbox 2 you must have
an iLok with an authorization for Pro Tools LE.
One pre-authorized iLok is included with the
Mbox 2 package
To validate Pro Tools LE software:
1 Double-click the Pro Tools LE application (lo-
cated in the Pro Tools folder, inside the Digidesign folder).
◆ Higher Hardware Buffer Size settings allow for
more audio processing and effects, and are useful when you are mixing and using more RTAS
plug-ins on your system.
In addition to causing slower screen response and monitoring latency, higher
Hardware Buffer Size settings can affect the
accuracy of plug-in automation, mute data,
and timing for MIDI tracks.
2 Enter the authorization code in the dialog
when prompted (making sure to type it exactly
as printed, and observing any spaces and capitalization) then click Validate.
Your authorization code is located on the inside
cover of this guide.
Chapter 3: Macintosh Configuration
19
To change the Hardware Buffer Size:
To change the CPU Usage Limit:
1 Choose Setups > Playback Engine.
1 Choose Setups > Playback Engine.
2 From the H/W Buffer Size pop-up menu, select
the audio buffer size, in samples.
2 From the CPU Usage Limit pop-up menu, se-
3 Click OK.
lect the percentage of CPU processing you want
to allocate to Pro Tools.
3 Click OK.
DAE Playback Buffer Size
The DAE Playback Buffer Size determines the
amount of memory DAE uses to manage disk
buffers, which affects system performance.
Playback Engine dialog for Mbox 2
CPU Usage Limit
The CPU Usage Limit controls the percentage of
CPU resources allocated to Pro Tools host processing tasks such as Real-Time AudioSuite
(RTAS) plug-ins, as follows:
◆ Lower CPU usage settings reduce how much
Pro Tools processing affects other CPU-intensive
tasks (such as screen redraws), and limit the
amount of processor resources available for
Pro Tools tasks. They are useful when you are experiencing slow system response, or when running other applications at the same time as
Pro Tools.
◆ Higher CPU Usage Limit settings allocate
more processing power to Pro Tools, and are
useful for playing back large sessions or using
more real-time plug-ins.
Increasing the CPU Usage Limit may slow
down screen response on slower computers.
The maximum CPU Usage Limit is 85 percent
for single-processor computers, and 99 percent
for multi-processor computers. (The 99 percent
setting dedicates one entire processor to
Pro Tools.)
20
Getting Started with Mbox 2
◆ Lower DAE Playback Buffer Size settings can
improve playback and recording initiation
speed. However, a lower setting can make it difficult for slower hard drives to play or record
tracks reliably.
◆ Higher DAE Playback Buffer Size settings can
allow for a higher density of edits in a session.
However, a higher setting can cause a time lag to
occur before playback or recording begins. It can
also cause a time lag to occur when you are editing during playback.
To change the DAE Playback Buffer Size:
1 Choose Setups > Playback Engine.
2 From the DAE Playback Buffer pop-up menu,
select a buffer size.
3 Click OK.
Pro Tools Hardware Settings
Clock Source
Using the Hardware Setup dialog, you can select
the default sample rate and clock source for your
system.
Using the Hardware Setup dialog, you can select
the clock source for the system.
Default Sample Rate
The Sample Rate setting appears as the default
sample rate when you create a new session.
(This setting is available in the Hardware Setup
dialog only when no session is open.)
You can change the sample rate when creating a new Pro Tools session by selecting a
different sample rate in the New Session dialog. (See “Starting a Session” on page 35.)
To change the default Sample Rate:
1 Make sure that no Pro Tools session is open.
2 Choose Setups > Hardware Setup.
Internal Use this setting if you are recording analog signals directly into Mbox 2 analog inputs
1–2 and/or are recording digital inputs into
Mbox 2 inputs 3–4 where the digital device is
synchronized to the Mbox 2 digital output.
S/PDIF Use this setting if you are recording material into Mbox 2 S/PDIF inputs from an external digital device. This setting will synchronize
Pro Tools to that digital device.
To select the clock source:
1 Choose Setups > Hardware Setup.
2 Choose the clock source from the Clock
Source pop-up menu.
3 Click OK.
3 Select the sample rate from the Sample Rate
popup menu.
4 Click OK.
Your digital input device must be connected
and powered on for Pro Tools to synchronize to it. If your input device is not powered
on, leave the Clock Source set to Internal.
Configuring I/O Setup
Hardware Setup dialog for Mbox 2
Using the I/O Setup dialog, you can label
Pro Tools LE input, output, insert, and bus signal paths. The I/O Setup dialog provides a graphical representation of the inputs, outputs, and
signal routing of the Mbox 2.
Pro Tools LE has default I/O Setup settings that
will get you started. Use the I/O Setup dialog
only if you want to rename the default I/O
paths.
Chapter 3: Macintosh Configuration
21
To rename I/O paths in I/O Setup:
1 Choose Setups > I/O Setups.
Mbox 2 CoreAudio Driver
The Mbox 2 CoreAudio Driver is a multi-client,
multichannel sound driver that allows CoreAudio compatible applications to record and
play back through Digidesign hardware.
The CoreAudio Driver is installed by default
when you install Pro Tools.
For information on configuring the Mbox 2
CoreAudio Driver, see the Mbox 2 CoreAudio Guide.
I/O Setup dialog for Mbox 2, Output page
2 Click the Input, Output, Insert, or Bus tab to
display the corresponding connections.
3 To change the name of a path or subpath,
double-click directly on the Path Name, type a
new name for the path, and press Return.
4 Click OK.
Refer to the Pro Tools Reference Guide (or
choose Help > Pro Tools Reference Guide)
for more information on renaming I/O
paths.
Hard Drive Configuration and
Maintenance
It is recommended that you start with a newly
initialized audio drive. You should also periodically defragment your audio drive to ensure
continued system performance.
If you are using an ATA/IDE or FireWire hard
drive, initialize your drive with the utility
named Disk Utility included with your Apple
System software.
Avoid Recording to System Drives
Audio MIDI Setup (AMS)
(Optional)
If you plan to use MIDI with Pro Tools and
Mbox 2, configure your MIDI setup with the Apple Audio MIDI Setup (AMS) utility. See
Appendix C, “Configuring AMS (Mac OS X
Only)” for details.
22
Getting Started with Mbox 2
Although Pro Tools will let you record to your
system drive, this is generally not recommended. Recording and playback on system
drives results in lower track counts and fewer
plug-ins. You should record to system drives
only when necessary—for example, if your computer system has just one hard drive.
Removing Pro Tools on
Mac OS X
If you need to remove Pro Tools from your computer, you can use the Installer CD-ROM or the
downloaded Installer file.
To remove Pro Tools from your computer:
1 Make sure you are logged in as an Administrator for the account where Pro Tools is installed.
For details on Administrator privileges in
Mac OS X, refer to your Apple OS X documentation.
2 Insert the Pro Tools 6.8.1 Installer CD-ROM in
your CD-ROM drive. Double-click “Install
Pro Tools LE” or “Install Pro Tools TDM,” as appropriate.
3 Enter your Administrator password and click
OK.
4 In the Installer window, choose Uninstall
from the pop-up menu, and click Uninstall.
5 Follow the on-screen instructions to remove
Pro Tools.
6 When finished, click Quit to close the Installer
window.
Chapter 3: Macintosh Configuration
23
24
Getting Started with Mbox 2
chapter 4
Mbox 2 Hardware and Connections
This chapter explains how to connect your Mbox 2 for monitoring, playback and recording. If you are
new to working with digital audio workstations, first read through the Mbox 2 Basics Guide for basic
setup information (such as connecting audio inputs, headphones, mics and instruments).
The following illustrations show two possible setups depending on the equipment in your studio.
monitor
outputs
mixer
powered speakers
DAT or
CD recorder
S/PDIF
digital I/O
microphone
USB
cable
MIDI device
Mbox 2
instrument
FireWire
drive
headphones
computer
display
Figure 1. Mbox 2 micro studio configuration running Pro Tools LE on a desktop computer
Chapter 4: Mbox 2 Hardware and Connections
25
MIDI
cables
USB
cable
FireWire
drive
Mbox 2
instrument
MIDI Device
Laptop
headphones
Figure 2. Mbox 2 micro studio configuration running Pro Tools LE on a laptop computer
26
Getting Started with Mbox 2
Mbox 2 Front Panel Features
The Mbox 2 front panel has the following features:
Input 2
Input 1
Headphone Monitor
Level
Level
S/PDIF
LED
USB
LED
Mix
(Ratio)
Gain
Mono 48V
Peak
LED
Source
selector
Pad
Gain
Peak
LED
Source
selector
Pad
Headphone
Output
Mono 48V
LED LED
DI/Mic LEDs
DI/Mic LEDs
Figure 3. Mbox 2 front panel
S/PDIF LED
Headphone Level
This LED indicates that Mbox 2 is using the
S/PDIF inputs as the clock source. See “S/PDIF
Digital I/O” on page 30.
The headphone knob adjusts the output level of
the Headphone port, which outputs the signal
that is routed to Outputs 1–2 in Pro Tools LE,
and mirrors the Line Outputs.
USB LED
The USB LED indicates that the Mbox 2 has received power from its USB connection. Once the
USB light is on, audio can pass in or out of the
system.
Monitor Level
The Monitor knob adjusts the output level of
the Line Out ports. In Pro Tools, this will be the
signal routed to Outputs 1–2.
Front Panel Headphone Output
Use the Headphone Output to connect stereo
headphones with a 1/4-inch stereo mini connector.
Chapter 4: Mbox 2 Hardware and Connections
27
Mix (Ratio) Control
Mono Switch and LED
Mbox 2 gives you the ability to monitor your
analog input signals while recording, without
the delay incurred by A/D/A converters and
host-based processing.
The Mono switch sums the input channels to a
mono signal (delivering that identical signal to
both speakers). This has no effect on Pro Tools
playback monitoring, recording, or on the main
outputs. Switching your stereo source signal to
mono is useful when you are recording a mono
input while listening to stereo playback (to hear
your playing in both sides), or for checking the
phase relationship of stereo inputs. When engaged, the Mono LED lights.
This zero-latency analog monitoring is controlled with the Mix knob, which you can use to
blend and adjust the monitor ratio between
Mbox 2 analog inputs and Pro Tools playback.
The Mix knob has no effect when you are using
S/PDIF digital inputs, since it controls the signal
before it reaches the A/D converters.
To listen to just the Source input signal, turn the
Mix knob fully left to Input. To listen to
Pro Tools output only, turn the knob fully right
to Playback.
The output from the Mix control is routed directly to the TRS line outputs, and is mirrored in
the Headphone ports and S/PDIF output ports.
This ability to blend and control the relative levels of Pro Tools playback and latency-free live
analog inputs can be particularly effective when
overdubbing.
Monitoring while Overdubbing
By panning signals to the center or using the
Mono switch, as opposed to panning them hard
left and right in the Headphone outputs, you
can create a more focused monitor mix to help
minimize distractions while overdubbing.
In situations where you are monitoring stereo
microphones, stereo synthesizers, or any source
pairs with a comfortable balance, you will probably not want to use the Mono switch.
Checking Phase Relationships
The Mono switch can also be used for a quick
check of the phase relationship between
Source 1 and Source 2 inputs.
When the two input signals are out of phase,
pressing the Mono switch will result in a sudden
“hollow” sound that is the result of phase cancellation. This quick test with the Mono switch
can help to avoid phase problems later when
mixing these tracks. Frequent checking of phase
relationships with the Mono switch can also assist you in finding the optimal microphone
placement.
28
Getting Started with Mbox 2
48V Switch and LED
Pad Switches and LEDs
Phantom power is activated by the switch labeled 48V on the front panel of Mbox 2. The
LED, when lit, indicates that 48V phantom
power is active on the Mic/Line inputs. These
inputs provide phantom power for microphones that require it to operate.
The Pad switches engage a –20 dB pad on their
corresponding input channels. When engaged,
the Pad LEDs light.
About Phantom Power
Dynamic microphones (such as a Shure SM57)
do not require phantom power to operate, but
are not harmed by it. Most condenser microphones (like an AKG C3000) do require phantom power to operate.
Although phantom power can be used
safely with most microphones, it is possible
to damage some ribbon microphones with
it. Always turn off phantom power and
wait at least ten seconds before connecting
or disconnecting a ribbon microphone.
If you are not sure about the phantom power requirements for your microphone, consult your
microphone’s documentation or contact the
manufacturer.
Source Selectors and LEDs
These switches select either the Mic or DI inputs
for each channel. The DI and Mic LEDs indicate
the current source input. For more information,
see “Analog Audio” on page 32.
Removable Handle
Mbox 2 includes a handle that can be used for
carrying and tilting, as well as a replacement
panel that makes the unit more compact.
◆ The handle can be used as a stand that tilts the
unit into a more easily viewable angle when the
Mbox 2 is placed on a desktop. The handle can
also be used to carry the unit.
◆ The handle can also be replaced with the optional Mbox 2 faceplate panel. This panel lets
Mbox 2 sit flat on a desktop, and reduces the
space required when packed for traveling.
To replace the handle with the Mbox 2 panel:
Peak LEDs
These LEDs are clip indicators. If the Peak LEDs
flicker occasionally, the signal reaching Mbox 2
has clipped.
Gain Controls
These knobs adjust the input gain levels of the
Mic/Line inputs.
1 Unscrew the handle mounting screw located
along the right edge of the handle (when viewing from the front).
2 Remove the handle.
3 Mount the replacement panel in position
where the handle had been.
4 Secure the panel to the unit in its new posi-
tion using the same screw you removed in
step 1.
5 Repeat the above basic instructions to replace
the panel with the handle.
Chapter 4: Mbox 2 Hardware and Connections
29
Mbox 2 Back Panel Features
Figure 4 identifies each port on the Mbox 2 back panel.
Input 2
(analog
input 2)
Mic
Input 1
(analog
input 1)
DI
Line
Mic
DI
Line
Monitor
outputs
S/PDIF
digital I/O
MIDI I/O
USB port
Figure 4. Mbox 2 back panel
The Mbox 2 back panel has the following features:
USB Port
This standard USB v1.1 connector is used to
connect your computer to the Mbox 2. One
standard USB cable is included with your system.
The Mbox 2 is compatible with USB 2.0 ports.
However, the USB 2.0 bus will switch to the
slower USB v.1.1 speed to accommodate
Mbox 2.
MIDI I/O
The MIDI In and MIDI Out ports are standard 5pin MIDI ports, each providing 16 channels of
MIDI input and output.
30
Getting Started with Mbox 2
S/PDIF Digital I/O
The S/PDIF in and out ports are unbalanced twoconductor phono (RCA) connectors that utilize
a full 24-bit, two-channel digital data stream.
The Sony/Philips Digital Interface Format
(S/PDIF) is used in many professional and consumer CD recorders and DAT recorders. To
avoid RF interference, use 75-ohm coaxial cable
for S/PDIF transfers and keep the cable length to
a maximum of 10 meters.
In use, the S/PDIF input channels are available
in addition to the two channels of analog audio
input. This lets Mbox 2 be used as a 4-in/2-out
digital audio interface for Pro Tools LE.
The S/PDIF output channels always mirror the
main outs 1–2.
Mon Out (Monitor Output)
These outputs support balanced TRS, or unbalanced TS, 1/4-inch connections. To monitor
your mix, these outputs can be connected to a
mixing board, directly to a monitoring system
such as a stereo power amp, or another stereo
destination.
The Mon Out Left and Right play the audio that
is routed to analog outputs 1 and 2 from within
Pro Tools, respectively. These analog outputs
feature 24-bit digital-to-analog converters.
Source 2 is at the far left (when looking at the
back panel), and Source 1 is to its right. The back
panel inputs for Source 1 and Source 2 are located such that they are directly in line with
their associated input controls on the front
panel. This lets you locate input jacks more easily when viewing from the front of the unit.
Though the XLR connectors support instrument and microphone level inputs, whenever a TRS cable is plugged in to the
Line(TRS) port, the XLR port on that channel is ignored.
Input 1 and Input 2
Each analog source input channel (Input 1 and
Input 2) provides Mic, DI, and Line (TRS) ports.
These balanced/unbalanced analog audio inputs support a broad range of input levels, as follows:
Making Signal Connections to
Mbox 2
Mbox 2 can be used in a variety of audio setups.
This section describes how to make basic connections for:
• Mic (microphone) for XLR inputs
• Monitoring
• Line (TRS) for line level signals on TRS or TS
inputs
• Analog and digital input for recording
• Inst (instrument) for other 1/4-inch TRS or
TS connections
• Mixdown
On the front panel, the input signal is adjusted
by the Gain control for each channel and the
source (Mic/Line, or DI) is chosen using the
Source selectors.
• MIDI
Monitoring Audio
Connect headphones to the 1/4-inch port on
the front panel to monitor through headphones. Use the Headphones level control to
adjust level.
Mbox 2 Mon Outs (monitor outputs) play the
audio that is routed in Pro Tools to Analog Outputs 1–2, and can provide left and right outputs
to a two-track deck for mixdown, or to another
stereo destination.
Chapter 4: Mbox 2 Hardware and Connections
31
The Mbox 2 Monitor Outputs feature 24-bit digital-to-analog converters capable of maximum
output of +4 dBu/+2 dBV (balanced/unbalanced
signal). The connectors are TRS ports; unbalanced TS connectors are also supported.
You cannot monitor Pro Tools audio
through speakers connected to your computer. To monitor audio, connect headphones, powered speakers, or an external
amplifier to your Mbox 2.
To connect headphones:
• Connect headphones with an 1/4-inch stereo
connector (or an adapter) to the Headphone
jack.
The Mbox 2 headphone output can produce
very loud output levels. Prolonged exposure
can cause hearing damage. Adjust headphone volume carefully using the front
panel Headphone Level control.
Connecting Audio Sources to
Mbox 2 for Recording
Digital and analog audio sources can be connected directly to Mbox 2.
Analog Audio
Analog audio signals are output by microphones, synthesizers, mixers, and instruments
with magnetic pickups. Of these sources, microphones and magnetic pickup instruments output the quietest signals, and generally require
the most amplification. Keyboards, preamps,
and mixers output “line-level” audio, which
varies with each device between the –10 dBV
and +4 dBu standards.
To accommodate these varying sources, Mbox 2
provides switchable line input types with adjustable gain for each input channel.
To connect an analog audio source:
To connect to a home stereo:
■ Using 1/4-inch cables, connect the left and
right Mon Outs on the back panel of Mbox 2 to
the appropriate inputs on your stereo.
Home stereo systems often use RCA connectors. You can use an adaptor or a special cable to convert from the TRS or TS connectors
used by Mbox 2 to the RCA connectors on
your home stereo.
To connect monitor speakers with a power amp or
self-powered monitor speakers:
■ Using 1/4-inch cables, connect the left and
right Mon Outs on the back of Mbox 2 to the appropriate inputs on your mixer, power amp, or
powered speakers.
32
Getting Started with Mbox 2
1 Do one of the following:
• To connect a microphone, plug an XLR cable directly into the Input 1 or Input 2 Mic
input.
• To connect a keyboard, mixer, or other
1/4-inch TRS source, plug its TRS cable(s)
directly into the Input 1 and/or Input 2
Line (TRS) ports. Make sure nothing is
plugged into the same channel’s Mic input.
• To connect a guitar, bass, or similar device,
plug its TS cable into the Input 1 or Input 2
DI ports.
2 On the front panel, press the channel Source
Select switch as appropriate:
• To select the Mic input (XLR), press that
channel’s Source switch until the Mic LED
lights. Make sure nothing is plugged in to
that channel’s Line (TRS) port.
• To select the Line (TRS) port, press that
channel’s Source switch until the Mic LED
lights.
• To select the DI port, press that channel’s
Source switch until the DI LED lights.
To activate phantom power:
If your microphone requires phantom power,
first make sure the microphone is connected,
then press the Phantom Power switch (labeled
48V).
■
Enabling phantom power enables 48V
through both mic inputs.
Digital Audio
Mbox 2 provides digital inputs and outputs for
S/PDIF format digital audio. The two channels
of S/PDIF digital input can be used in combination with the two analog inputs (for a total of
four simultaneous input channels).
2 Connect the device’s S/PDIF output to
Mbox 2’s S/PDIF input port, and the device’s
S/PDIF input to Mbox 2’s S/PDIF output port.
To configure Mbox 2 to record from a digital
source, choose Setups > Hardware Setup in
Pro Tools, then select S/PDIF in the Clock
Source.
To configure Pro Tools to record from a S/PDIF
device:
1 Choose Setups > Hardware Setup.
2 Choose S/PDIF from the Clock Source selector.
On the front panel, the S/PDIF LED lights to indicate this setting.
3 On the recording track, choose the appropri-
ate stereo or mono S/PDIF source from the track
Input selector.
S/PDIF Mirroring
Pro Tools LE uses S/PDIF mirroring to automatically “mirror” the audio that is sent to Line Outputs 1 and 2 on the S/PDIF RCA outputs. This is
useful, for example, if you are monitoring a mix
using your Line Outputs, and also recording the
same source to an external S/PDIF device.
MIDI Connections
About S/PDIF
S/PDIF (Sony/Philips Digital Interchange Format) I/O is available on many CD recorders,
DAT decks and other digital devices. Each
S/PDIF connection provides two channels of 24bit digital audio.
To connect a S/PDIF device to Mbox 2:
1 Use two 75-ohm coaxial cables with male RCA
connectors on both ends (purchased separately).
The two MIDI ports on Mbox 2 let you take advantage of all the MIDI features of Pro Tools LE,
including recording and editing MIDI tracks.
See the Mbox 2 Basics Guide for information on basic MIDI concepts.
If you need additional MIDI ports you can add a
compatible MIDI interface. USB MIDI interfaces
work effectively with Pro Tools systems on Windows or Macintosh.
Chapter 4: Mbox 2 Hardware and Connections
33
Serial MIDI interfaces are supported on Windows systems only.
Only USB MIDI interfaces are compatible
with Pro Tools systems for Mac OS X. Modem-to-serial port adapters and serial MIDI
devices are not supported.
See Appendix B, “Configuring Midi Studio
Setup (Windows Only)” or Appendix C,
“Configuring AMS (Mac OS X Only)” for
detailed information on how to identify external MIDI devices connected to your MIDI
interface and configure your MIDI studio
for use with Pro Tools.
To connect MIDI devices to your system:
1 Connect the MIDI OUT of your MIDI device
or controller to the MIDI IN port on the back of
Mbox 2.
2 Connect the MIDI IN of your MIDI device or
controller to the MIDI OUT port on the back of
Mbox 2.
MIDI is not audio. To hear the output of
your MIDI devices within Pro Tools, you
must route the audio output of your MIDI
device into your Mbox 2 inputs, and monitor or record the audio into your session. See
“Making Signal Connections to Mbox 2” on
page 31.
34
Getting Started with Mbox 2
Connecting a Recorder for
Mixdowns
After you record and mix your sessions in
Pro Tools, you may want to mix them down to a
DAT, CD recorder, Mini-Disc, or other stereo 2track recording device.
For more information on mixdown options,
see Chapter 5, “Working with
Pro Tools LE.”
Connecting an Analog Deck
Connect the left and right Mon Outs on the
back of the Mbox 2 to your recorder’s analog inputs. Mon Outs Left and Right should be routed
to the left and right inputs, respectively, on your
recorder. These outputs are TRS ports. You may
need adapter cables if your mixdown deck has
RCA inputs.
Connecting a Digital Deck
If you have a CD recorder, DAT deck or other device that accepts S/PDIF connections, connect it
to the S/PDIF In and S/PDIF Out RCA ports on
the back of Mbox 2
When recording from Pro Tools to a digital
device, make sure the Pro Tools Clock
Source setting is set to Internal clock mode.
chapter 5
Working with Pro Tools LE
This tutorial of Pro Tools LE software introduces
its main windows and features, and also includes a step-by-step overview of audio recording (see “Basic Recording” on page 48).
Starting a Session
All features described in this chapter are explained fully in the Pro Tools Reference Guide.
2 Choose File > New Session.
To create a new session:
1 Launch Pro Tools LE.
3 In the New Session dialog, set the sample rate,
You can view an electronic PDF version of the
Reference Guide by choosing it from the Help
menu.
bit depth, and other options for the new session.
Session Basics
Pro Tools LE projects are created and saved as
sessions. Sessions store all tracks, audio, MIDI,
and other session information. Audio and fade
files are stored in folders within the session
folder.
New Session dialog
4 Select where you want to save your session. If
you are using external hard drives with your
Pro Tools system, make sure you select the appropriate drive in the New Session dialog.
5 Type a name for your session.
Session file, Audio Files and Fade Files folders
6 Click Save. The new session opens its Mix,
Edit, and Transport windows (see Figure 5 on
page 36).
Chapter 5: Working with Pro Tools LE
35
Main Windows
The Mix, Edit, and Transport windows are the
main Pro Tools work areas. You can show any of
these windows by choosing them from the Windows menu.
Press Control+Equals (=) in Windows or
Command+Equals (=) on Macintosh to
switch between the Edit and Mix windows.
Mix Window Displays the Pro Tools mixer, with
its familiar fader strip controls for volume, pan,
solo, mute, and signal routing.
Edit Window Displays tracks in the session along
the Timeline, for editing of audio, MIDI, and automation data.
Transport Provides standard transport controls
for Play, Stop, Rewind, Fast-Forward, Pause, and
Record. The Transport window can also show
Counter and MIDI Control displays.
Edit window
Workspace The Workspace browser is a DigiBase feature available in Pro Tools 6 and higher.
For more information see the DigiBase Guide.
Rulers
Pro Tools LE provides several different rulers to
select as the timebase for your session.
Timebase Rulers, displayed along the top of the
Edit window, include Bars:Beats, Minutes:Seconds, Samples, Tempo, and Markers. The current
timebase determines the format of the Main
counter, and provides the basis for the Edit window Grid.
To select a Timebase Ruler:
■ Click the name of the ruler at the top left side
of the Edit window (Bars:Beats, Minutes:Seconds, Samples, Tempo, or Markers).
Mix window
Main Counter
Rulers
Tracks
Transport window
Figure 5. Main session windows
36
Getting Started with Mbox 2
Main Counter
Tracks
Setting a Tempo
Using the Click Plug-In
You can set the tempo for your session by using
the Song Start Marker, located in the Tempo
Ruler.
The Click plug-in creates an audio click during
session playback. This works like a metronome
that you can use as a tempo reference when performing and recording.
To set the session tempo with the Song Start
Marker:
1 In the Tempo Ruler, double-click the Song
Start Marker.
The Click plug-in is synchronized to the tempo
and meter of the Pro Tools session, and follows
any changes in tempo and meter.
The Click plug-in is one of many plug-ins
that can be inserted on a Pro Tools track.
See “Plug-Ins” on page 56.
Song Start
marker
Song Start marker
2 In the Tempo Change dialog, enter the BPM
(beats per minute) value you will use for the session (so the inserted tempo event replaces the
default tempo).
Click plug-in
Click Parameters
MIDI In LED Illuminates each time the Click
plug-in receives a click message from the
Pro Tools application, indicating the tempo.
Accented Controls the output level of the accent beat (beat 1 of each bar) of the audio click.
Change Tempo dialog
3 To base the BPM value on a different note
Unaccented Controls the output level of the unaccented beats of the audio click.
value (such as an eighth-note rather than the
default quarter-note), select a note value in the
Resolution section.
4 Click OK.
Chapter 5: Working with Pro Tools LE
37
Using an External MIDI Click
To use the Click plug-in:
1 Choose MIDI > Click to enable the Click option.
– or –
Select the Click button in the Transport window.
Pro Tools also provides a MIDI Click option that
lets you use an external MIDI device to play a
click. This feature can be turned on and off in
the Transport window, and is configured from
the MIDI Click Options dialog.
To configure and enable an external MIDI click:
Click button
1 Choose MIDI > Click Options.
Click and Tempo Controls in the Transport window
2 Create a mono Auxiliary Input (Aux Input)
track.
3 Insert a Click plug-in on the Auxiliary Input
track.
4 In the Click plug-in window, choose a click
sound from the Librarian pop-up menu (this
menu displays “factory default” when you first
insert the plug-in).
5 Choose MIDI > Click Options and set the
Click and Countoff options as desired. (Click
OK to apply these options.)
The Note, Velocity, Duration, and Output
options in this dialog are for use with MIDI
instrument-based clicks and do not affect
the Click plug-in.
Refer to the Pro Tools Reference Guide for
more information on configuring Click options.
6 Begin playback. A click is generated according
to the tempo and meter of the current session
and the settings in the Click Options dialog.
38
Getting Started with Mbox 2
Click/Countoff Options dialog
2 Configure the click parameters as needed for
your MIDI sound source.
See Appendix B, “Configuring Midi Studio
Setup (Windows Only)” or Appendix C,
“Configuring AMS (Mac OS X Only)” for
detailed information on how to identify external MIDI devices connected to Mbox 2
and configure your MIDI studio for use with
Pro Tools.
3 Select the desired MIDI sound source from the
Output pop-up menu and click OK.
4 During recording or playback, you can turn
the Click on or off with the Click button in the
MIDI Controls display of the Transport window.
System Resources and Settings
You can change specific Pro Tools system settings to optimize system performance.
Click button
Playback Engine Dialog
Tempo Controls
Click and Tempo Controls in the Transport window
Saving Sessions
The Playback Engine dialog lets you adjust system buffer sizes and allocate CPU processing
power to Pro Tools.
To configure system resources:
■
For Windows systems, see Chapter 2,
“Windows Configuration.” For Macintosh
systems, see Chapter 3, “Macintosh Configuration.”
As you build a session by adding tracks and
changing session controls, you will want to save
your work. Pro Tools provides three ways to save
sessions.
To save a session:
Choose File > Save Session, Save Session As, or
Save a Session Copy In.
■
Save Session Saves the currently open session
file, leaving it open for you to continue working.
Save Session As Creates a duplicate session file
with the name you choose, and leaves the duplicate open for you to continue working. It does
not create a new Audio Files or Fade Files folder.
This can be useful if you want to experiment
with different arrangements in the session without affecting the original session.
Choose Setups > Playback Engine.
System Usage Window
The System Usage window displays approximate information on CPU load, DSP usage, and
(on Macintosh systems only) overall disk performance, so you can gauge your system’s processing capacity.
Meters in the System Usage window
To view system resources and usage:
■
Choose Windows > Show System Usage.
Save Session Copy In Saves copies of the session
file and the files that you are using in the current session. This can be useful for creating a final copy of the session that does not include audio files or fades you are no longer using.
Chapter 5: Working with Pro Tools LE
39
Transport Controls
The Transport window provides access to all
Pro Tools LE transport commands. Different
transport controls can be displayed or hidden in
this window.
The Transport window can also display a Master
Counter, as well as the following MIDI controls:
Wait for Note, Click, Countoff, MIDI Merge,
Conductor, Meter, and Tempo.
Click
Wait for Note
Countoff
To show the Transport window:
■
Choose Window > Show Transport Window.
MIDI Merge
Return To Zero
Tempo Controls
Fast Forward
Rewind
Online
Play
Go to End
Stop
Record
Meters
Conductor
Transport window (MIDI Controls)
To start and stop playback:
1 Click Play in the Transport window to begin
playback.
2 Click Stop in the Transport window to stop
Transport window (Expanded view shown)
To configure the Transport window:
Choose Display > Transport Window Shows
and select view options.
■
The Transport window provides Play, Stop, and
other standard transport controls.
The Expanded view of the Transport window
provides pre- and post-roll, start, end, and
length indicators for Timeline selection, as well
as the Transport Master selector.
40
Getting Started with Mbox 2
playback.
Press the Spacebar on your computer keyboard to start and stop playback.
Pro Tools LE starts playing from the location of the cursor, or from the beginning of
the current selection. The current setting of
the Link Edit and Timeline Selection command in the Operations menu also affects
playback. See the Pro Tools Reference Guide
for more information.
Tracks
Track type is indicated by the Track Type icons
just below the faders.
Pro Tools LE lets you create audio and MIDI
tracks for audio and MIDI recording, submixing,
routing, automating, and editing.
Pro Tools provides four types of tracks: audio
tracks, Auxiliary Inputs, Master Faders, and
MIDI tracks. Audio tracks, Auxiliary Inputs, and
Master Faders can be mono or stereo.
Audio Tracks Record and play back audio to and
from hard disk, monitor audio input when
record-enabled, and edit audio regions
Auxiliary Inputs Audio mixer channels, used for
input, routing, and submixing
Master Faders Provide master channel controls
and options for any output or bus path
MIDI Tracks Record, play back, and edit MIDI
data
To create a new track:
1 Choose File > New Track.
New Track dialog
2 Specify the number of tracks, track type, and
mono or stereo (for all types except MIDI).
Audio
track
Aux
Input
MIDI Master
track Fader
Tracks in the Mix window
Track colors are assigned based on track type
(audio, Aux Input, Master Fader, or MIDI track).
You can customize the color of tracks by clicking the color bar of each track and choosing its
color from the color palette that appears.
In the Edit window, tracks are displayed horizontally along the Timeline. The area in which
audio appears for each track is the Playlist.
3 To create multiple new track types in one step,
click the “+” button in the New Tracks dialog.
Specify the number of tracks, track type, and
track format for each additional row of new
tracks you want to create.
4 Click Create.
In the Mix window, audio tracks, Auxiliary Inputs, Master Faders, and MIDI tracks appear as
vertical channel strips.
Rulers
Audio track
Timeline Rulers and a stereo audio track in the Edit
window
Chapter 5: Working with Pro Tools LE
41
Audio tracks, Auxiliary Inputs, Master Faders,
and MIDI tracks can be automated.
Inserts
Sends
Input
Output
Automation mode
Pan sliders
Record
Enable
Solo
Audio Tracks
Audio tracks, Auxiliary Inputs, and Master Faders share many identical controls. Master Faders
provide all the same features as audio tracks and
Auxiliary Inputs, with the following exceptions:
Input Selector A Master Fader’s output assignment determines its input, or source (always
outputs 1–2).
Inserts Inserts on Master Faders are post-fader
only. (Audio track and Aux input track inserts
are all pre-fader.)
Sends Master Faders do not provide sends. To
send an output to another destination, use an
Auxiliary Input.
Mute
MIDI Tracks
Open Output window
Volume
fader
Clipping indicator
(lights red)
Level meter
Voice selector
Color Bar
Group enable
Track Type icon
Volume
Track name
Track comment area
Figure 6. Stereo audio track in the Mix window
42
Getting Started with Mbox 2
MIDI tracks provide volume, solo, and mute, in
addition to MIDI input, output, channel, and
program (patch) controls. MIDI volume, mute,
and pan can also be automated using Pro Tools
automation features (see “Mix Automation” on
page 57 for more information).
Regions Lists
Navigating in a Session
A region is a piece of audio or MIDI data that can
also have associated automation data. For example, a region could be a loop, a guitar riff, a verse
of a song, a sound effect, a piece of dialog, or an
entire sound file. In Pro Tools, regions are created from audio or MIDI files, and can be arranged in audio and MIDI track playlists.
Pro Tools LE provides many ways to navigate in
a session, including using the mouse or entering
a memory location into one of the counters.
All regions that are recorded, imported, or created by editing appear in the Audio and MIDI
Regions Lists. Regions can be dragged from either list to tracks and arranged in any order. Audio regions can also be auditioned from the Regions Lists by Option-clicking the audio region
name. The Regions List pop-up menus provide
features for managing regions and files (such as
sorting, selecting, importing, or exporting files).
2 Enable the Selector tool at the top of the Edit
Drag border to resize
width of Regions Lists
Click Audio Regions
for pop-up menus
To navigate to a location in the Edit window:
1 In the Operations menu, make sure Link Edit
and Timeline Selection option is enabled.
window by clicking it.
Selector tool
Edit tools in Edit window
3 Click in a track or Timebase Ruler. The cursor
appears at the selected location and the
counters display the current time location.
Click in a track or on a Timebase Ruler
Drag border to
resize height of
Regions Lists
Click MIDI Regions
for pop-up menus
Clicking with the Selector in the Edit window
Click to hide Regions Lists
Audio and MIDI Regions Lists
For more information on Regions Lists, refer
to the Pro Tools Reference Guide or the
DigiBase Guide.
Chapter 5: Working with Pro Tools LE
43
To navigate using the counters:
1 Click in the Main counter and enter a location
using your computer keyboard.
2 Press Enter (Windows) or Return (Macintosh).
3 In the New Memory Location window, you
can define a marker, store a selection, or store
any combination of the other available settings.
These settings include track height, group enables, pre- and post-roll values, and track
Show/Hide status.
4 Choose settings for the memory location and
click OK.
Navigating with the Counter
Press the * (asterisk) key on the numeric
keypad as an alternative to clicking in the
counter. (The cursor will always appear in
the Transport window’s Main Counter if it
is displayed.)
Memory Locations
Memory Locations provide another way to navigate within sessions. Memory Locations appear
as markers under the Timebase Rulers.
To define a memory location:
1 Navigate to the location at which you want to
store a marker or memory location.
– or –
Begin playback.
2 Create a memory location by doing one of the
following:
• Press Enter on the numeric keypad.
On some Windows laptops, you can press
Fn+Enter to create a memory location. This
is especially useful for laptops that do not
have a numeric keypad.
– or –
Click the Marker Well (“+”) button, located to
the left of the Markers Ruler.
44
Getting Started with Mbox 2
New Memory Location window
To go to a stored memory location:
1 Choose Windows > Show Memory Locations.
2 In the Memory Locations window, click the
name of the memory location.
Viewing and Zooming
To zoom in or out on any area of a track in the Edit
window:
When viewing tracks in the Edit window, you
can adjust the height of tracks as well as zoom in
vertically and horizontally using the Track
Height selector and Zoom tools.
1 Click to select the Zoomer.
2 Click or drag with the Zoomer to zoom in horizontally for a track or Ruler.
– or –
Zoom buttons
Zoom presets
Zoomer
Press Alt (Windows) or Option (Macintosh) and
click with the Zoomer to zoom out horizontally
for a track or Ruler.
To zoom in or out incrementally:
■ In Pro Tools, click the appropriate Zoom button:
• Left Arrow (Horizontal Zoom Out)
• Right Arrow (Horizontal Zoom In)
• Waveform and MIDI buttons, to increase or
decrease vertical zoom of the appropriate
track type (audio or MIDI)
Track Height selector
Zoom and Track Height tools in the Edit window
To change track height:
Click the Track Height selector, and select a
track height from the pop-up menu.
■
Pro Tools also provides five Zoom preset buttons. You can use these to immediately return to
established zoom levels; you can define the
magnification level for each preset, on a sessionby-session basis.
To use a stored Zoom preset:
■
You can apply many commands, including
track height selection, to more than just a
single track. Hold down the Alt key (Windows) or Option key (Macintosh) while performing an operation to apply it to all
tracks. Hold down both the Shift and Alt
keys (Windows) or Shift and Option keys
(Macintosh) while performing an operation
to apply it to all selected tracks.
Click the appropriate Zoom preset 1–5.
To store a new Zoom preset definition:
■ Command-click a Zoom preset number to
store the current horizontal and vertical Zoom
to that preset.
Chapter 5: Working with Pro Tools LE
45
Using Memory Locations for Zoom Control
To import a CD audio track on Macintosh:
Pro Tools Memory Locations let you store many
attributes with each marker or memory location, including Track Height and Zoom Settings.
By creating Memory Locations that are neither
Markers nor Selections, but have Track Height,
Zoom Settings, or other options enabled, you
can use Memory Locations to zoom in and out
using just the numeric keypad.
1 Insert the CD into your computer’s CD drive.
For more information on creating memory
locations, see “Memory Locations” on
page 44.
Importing Audio
Pro Tools LE lets you import existing audio files
from disk. This is very useful if you have audio
files already recorded to disk or if you are working with CD-based sample libraries that you
want to use in a new session.
2 Open the Workspace browser by choosing
Windows > Show Workspace.
3 Navigate to the CD drive to display its con-
tents in a browser window.
4 From the Workspace browser, drag a file from
the CD and drop it into the Audio Regions List,
onto an existing track, or onto the grid in the
Edit window.
You can audition the audio file by clicking
on its name in the Workspace Browser and
pressing the Spacebar. To stop the audition,
press the Spacebar again.
DigiBase provides additional options for
importing audio. See the DigiBase Guide for
more information.
To import a CD audio track on Windows:
To import audio files or regions from disk:
Choose File > Import Audio to Track to import
files and regions to new audio tracks (they will
also appear as regions in the Audio Regions List).
■
– or –
■ Choose Import Audio from the Audio Regions
List pop-up menu to import files and regions to
the Audio Regions List only.
For more information on importing audio
into sessions, refer to the Pro Tools Reference Guide.
1 Put the source CD into your computer’s CD
drive.
2 Use a third party software program of your
choice to extract audio from the CD.
3 In the session, create a new track by choosing
File > New Track.
Creating a new stereo audio track
4 In the New Track dialog, specify 1 Stereo Au-
dio Track, and click Create.
46
Getting Started with Mbox 2
5 Open the Workspace Browser by choosing
7 Drag the audio file from the Workspace
Windows > Show Workspace. The Workspace
Browser is a window where you can find, audition, and manage your audio files.
Browser to the audio track you created in your
session.
Opening the Workspace Browser
6 In the Workspace Browser, navigate to the lo-
cation where you saved the audio you extracted
from your CD in step 2.
Dragging the audio file from the Workspace Browser to
an audio track
DigiBase provides additional options for
importing audio. See the DigiBase Guide for
more information.
Browsing in the Workspace Browser
You can audition the audio file by clicking
on its name in the Workspace Browser and
pressing the Spacebar. To stop the audition,
press the Spacebar again.
Chapter 5: Working with Pro Tools LE
47
Basic Recording
This section describes how to record audio and
MIDI into Pro Tools LE.
4 From the pop-up menu, select the interface in-
put you want to record. For example, select In 1
if your audio source is plugged into one of the
Input 1 jacks on the back of the Mbox 2. Select
In 1–2 if your audio source is stereo and is connected to Input 1 and Input 2 connectors.
Preparing for Recording
To prepare an audio track for recording:
1 Verify the connections to your instruments.
For more information about connecting instruments to Mbox 2, refer to Chapter 4,
“Mbox 2 Hardware and Connections” as
well as the Mbox 2 Basics Guide.
2 Create a new track to record on by choosing
File > New Track. Specify 1 Mono Audio Track
and click Create.
3 In the Mix window, click the Input selector on
the new track.
Input selector
Choosing an input in the Mix window
Routing an input to a stereo track
Mbox 2 lets you record as many as four
tracks simultaneously, by creating and assigning tracks to analog inputs 1–2 and
S/PDIF inputs 3–4 (left and right).
5 Use the Gain controls on Mbox 2 to maximize
the signal going into Pro Tools while avoiding
clipping.
Clipping occurs when you feed a signal to
an audio device that is louder than the circuitry can accept. To avoid clipping, adjust
the Gain control to a level where the Peak
LEDs on the front of the Mbox 2 flicker occasionally.
6 On the front of the Mbox 2, turn the Mix
knob fully left to Input. To hear an equal mix of
playback and input signals, turn the Mix knob
to the center. See the Mbox 2 Basics Guide for
more information on using the Mix knob during recording.
48
Getting Started with Mbox 2
3 Click Stop in the Transport window or press
Recording an Audio Track
the Spacebar to stop playback.
To record an audio track:
1 Assign the input for a track and set its input
Recording MIDI
levels appropriately.
2 Click the Record Enable button for a track.
1 For Macintosh systems, choose MIDI > Input
(See Figure 6 on page 42).
3 Choose Windows > Show Transport to display
the Transport window.
Return To Zero
Online
Play
Go to End
Stop
Devices and make sure your input device is selected in the MIDI Input Enable window. Click
OK to apply your changes.
2 Choose File > New Track and specify 1 MIDI
Fast Forward
Rewind
To configure a MIDI track for recording:
Record
Track, then click Create.
3 In the Mix window, click the track’s MIDI Output selector and choose the destination (assignment) for that MIDI track by choosing a MIDI
interface port, a channel, or a device from the
pop-up menu. Choices vary depending on the
operating system, Pro Tools version, and the
hardware and instruments you have connected.
Transport window (Expanded view shown)
4 Click Return To Zero to start recording from
the beginning of the session. You can also record
according to a selection or from the cursor location in the Edit window.
5 Click Record in the Transport window to en-
able recording.
6 Click Play or press the Spacebar to record on
all record-enabled tracks.
7 Record your performance.
8 Click Stop in the Transport window or press
the Spacebar when you are finished recording.
To play back a recorded track:
1 Click the track’s Record Enable button a sec-
MIDI Output selector
4 You can assign a default program change to
the track by clicking on the Patch Select button
in the Mix window and making the necessary
selections for program and bank select, and then
clicking Done. Default program changes are
sent when playing a track.
ond time to take it out of Record mode.
2 Click Play in the Transport window or press
the Spacebar to start playback.
Chapter 5: Working with Pro Tools LE
49
5 In the Mix Window, record-enable the MIDI
track.
To play back a recorded MIDI track:
6 Make sure MIDI > MIDI Thru is selected, then
MIDI track out of Record mode.
play some notes on your MIDI controller. The
MIDI instrument assigned to the track should
sound, and the track’s meters should register
MIDI activity.
To record onto a MIDI track:
1 Verify that the MIDI track you want to record
to is record-enabled and receiving MIDI.
2 In the Transport window, click Return To Zero
to start recording from the beginning of the session. You can also record according to a selection or from the cursor location in the Edit
window.
3 Click Record in the Transport window.
4 Do one of the following:
• Click Play in the Transport window or press
the Spacebar to begin recording.
• If using Wait for Note, the Play, Record, and
Wait for Note buttons flash. Recording begins when the first MIDI event is received.
• If using Countoff, click Play. The Record
and Play buttons flash during the Countoff, then recording begins.
5 Play your MIDI instrument.
6 When you have finished recording, click Stop
in the Transport window, or press the Spacebar.
The newly recorded MIDI data appears as a MIDI
region on the track in the Edit window, as well
as in the MIDI Regions List.
50
Getting Started with Mbox 2
1 Click the Record Enable button to take the
2 In the Transport window, click Return To Zero
to play back from the beginning of the track.
You can also play back according to a selection
or from the cursor location in the Edit window.
3 Click Play in the Transport window to begin
playback. The recorded MIDI data plays back
through the track’s assigned instrument and
channel.
Monitoring MIDI Instruments Without a Mixer
To monitor your MIDI instrument’s analog output, you can use an Auxiliary Input. Auxiliary
Inputs function as inputs for both internally
bussed signals and external audio sources.
To configure an Auxiliary Input for MIDI
monitoring:
1 Connect the MIDI instrument’s audio output
to the appropriate inputs on your Mbox 2.
2 Choose File > New Track and specify 1 mono
or stereo Auxiliary Input, then click Create.
3 Click the Input selector of the Auxiliary Input
channel and choose the input to which your
MIDI instrument is connected.
4 Adjust the level of the Auxiliary Input with its
volume fader.
Editing
Pro Tools LE provides several tools for editing
audio and MIDI. In the Edit window, audio and
MIDI tracks can be edited into regions or repeated in different locations, to create loops, rearrange sections or entire songs, or to assemble
tracks using material from multiple takes.
Edit Modes
Edit Tools
Edit modes and tools (Slip mode, Smart Tool enabled)
Audio and MIDI editing are typically used to:
• Fix or replace mistakes
• Re-arrange songs and projects
• Clean up track timing and rhythm by
aligning hits to Grid values like bars and
beats
The Edit mode affects the movement and placement of audio and MIDI regions (and individual
MIDI notes), how commands like Copy and
Paste function, and also how the various edit
tools (Trimmer, Selector, Grabber, and Pencil)
work.
For detailed descriptions of Edit modes, refer to the Pro Tools Reference Guide.
Edit Tools
Pro Tools LE has seven Edit tools: Zoomer, Trimmer, Selector, Grabber, Scrubber, Pencil, and
Smart Tool. Select an Edit tool by clicking it in
the Edit window. The Zoomer, Trimmer, Grabber, and Pencil tools have multiple modes,
which you can select from a pop-up menu when
you click the tool.
Trimmer
Grabber
Selector
Scrubber
• Create final tracks using selections from
multiple takes (also known as comp tracks).
Edit Modes
Zoomer
Pro Tools LE has four Edit modes: Shuffle, Spot,
Slip, and Grid. The Edit mode is selected by
clicking the corresponding button in the upper
left of the Edit window.
Smart Tool
Pencil
Edit tools in Edit window
Press the Escape key to toggle through the
Edit tools.
For detailed descriptions of the Edit Tools,
refer to the Pro Tools Reference Guide.
Edit mode buttons
Press F1 (Shuffle), F2 (Slip), F3 (Spot), and
F4 (Grid) to set the Edit mode.
Chapter 5: Working with Pro Tools LE
51
Playlists and Nondestructive Editing
Editing Regions
Playlists let you create and retrieve multiple versions of track edits. A playlist can be a complete
take, an overdub, or an arrangement of selections from multiple takes. You can duplicate
playlists to save edits in their current state, then
continue making additional edits to the new
playlist knowing you can always go back to the
previous version.
The Edit tools in Pro Tools LE are used to edit regions in the Edit window.
To create multiple playlists for editing:
1 Start with a track on which you want to try
different edits.
2 From the Playlist Selector pop-up menu,
choose Duplicate.
Audio region
Trimming Regions
After recording an audio track, you will have an
audio region on that track. If there is some silence at the beginning of the region, or there is
some extra audio at the end of the region, you
can use the Trimmer tool in Slip mode to
shorten the beginning or end of the region.
Playlist Selector
pop-up menu
Playlist Selector pop-up menu
3 Name the duplicated playlist and click OK.
Audio region on a track
To trim an audio region:
4 Make your first series of edits.
1 Select Slip mode.
5 Return to the original playlist by selecting it
2 Select the Trimmer tool.
from the Playlist Selector pop-up menu.
6 Repeat steps 2–5 for any further edits.
3 Move the cursor near the beginning of the audio region (notice the cursor displays as a “[”).
In this way, you can try out different edits of a
track, and switch back and forth between playlists for comparison.
Trimming the beginning of a region
4 Click at the beginning of the region and drag
right to shorten the region.
52
Getting Started with Mbox 2
5 Move the cursor near the end of the audio region (notice the cursor displays as a “]”).
5 Record a drum track (see “Recording an Audio
Track” on page 49) keeping in mind that you
want to use only the best bar (measure). Your recording should fit the grid at the specified
tempo and meter.
– or –
Trimming the end of a region
6 Click at the end of the region and drag left to
shorten the region.
Import an existing audio file, such as a drum
loop from a sample library, and place it on an
audio track (see “Importing Audio” on page 46).
6 Click the Selector tool, and drag on the waveform with the Selector to make a one-bar selection. Note that the selection snaps to the
specified grid.
The trimmed region
You can also extend a region using the Trimmer
tool if there is audio data beyond the current
boundaries of the region. If extending the region’s beginning, drag to the left; if extending
the region’s end, drag to the right.
Arranging Regions
There are many ways to edit and arrange regions; the following example demonstrates how
you might create and arrange a drum loop to
compose a rhythm track.
Making a selection in Grid mode
7 Create a new audio track (File > New Track).
8 From the Grabber pop-up menu, select the
Separation Grabber tool.
9 With the Separation Grabber tool, drag the selection to the beginning of the new audio track.
A new region is created and appears at the beginning of the new track.
To create and arrange a rhythm sequence:
1 Open or create a session in Pro Tools LE.
2 Specify the session meter (MIDI > Change
Meter) and tempo (MIDI > Change Tempo).
3 Select Grid mode.
4 Prepare to record using a MIDI click (see “Us-
Dragging a selection with the Separation Grabber tool
ing the Click Plug-In” on page 37 or “Using an
External MIDI Click” on page 38).
Chapter 5: Working with Pro Tools LE
53
10 With the new region still selected, choose
Edit > Repeat.
Using Channel Strip Controls
Volume Increase or decrease the track level by
dragging its Volume fader up or down.
Pan Pan a track left or right in the mix by dragging its Pan slider left or right.
Repeat dialog
11 In the Repeat dialog, enter a number of repeats, and click OK.
Mute Mute a track by clicking its Mute button.
You now have a new rhythm track with a
“looped” (repeated) phrase. You can use these
editing tools to do much more advanced and involved editing of regions. For example, you
could separate beats or “hits” into individual regions and rearrange them in Grid or Shuffle
mode as a way of coming up with new and interesting rhythms.
Basic Signal Routing
Mixing
Together, these signal routing features let you
set up virtually any mixer architecture for your
projects, including sends and returns for effects
processing and submixing.
The Pro Tools mix environment provides many
familiar channel strip controls for setting volume, pan, solo, and mute. Mixer and I/O controls can be shown in both the Mix and Edit
windows.
To view the Mix window:
■
Select Windows > Show Mix.
Press Control+Equals (=) in Windows or
Command+Equals (=) on Macintosh to
switch between the Edit and Mix windows.
54
Solo Solo a track (muting all other tracks) by
clicking its Solo button.
Getting Started with Mbox 2
Signal routing is accomplished by assigning
track inputs and outputs. Audio track inputs can
be from any hardware input or bus path. Once
recorded, an audio track’s input is its audio file
on disk. Auxiliary Inputs can be any hardware
input or internal bus path. For all types of audio
tracks, outputs can be routed to any hardware
output or internal bus path.
Send and Return Submixing for Effects
Processing
When you are submixing for reverb, delay, and
similar effects processing, you can use sends and
Auxiliary Inputs to achieve traditional send/return bussing. You can use a real-time plug-in
(see “Plug-Ins” on page 56) as a shared resource
for all tracks included in a submix. The wet/dry
balance in the mix can be controlled using the
track faders (dry level) and Auxiliary Input fader
(wet, or effect return level).
Creating a Send
Creating a Return
Pro Tools LE provides up to five sends per audio
track. A send can be mono or stereo, routing to
an output or one of 16 internal bus paths.
Auxiliary Inputs can be created to act as return
channels for busses, as well as for inputs from
hardware sources.
To assign a send on a track:
Send window
Send
to bus 5–6
Real-time plug-in
1 Make sure Sends View is enabled in the Mix
window (Display > Mix Window Shows > Sends
View).
2 Click the Sends button on an audio track and
choose a path from the pop-up menu.
Assigning a send to a stereo bus path
3 Set the output level of the send. You can set
the send level to zero by Option-clicking the
send fader.
You can configure the default level for new
sends to be –∞ or at unity gain (0 dB) by
enabling or disabling the Sends Default To
“–INF” option under the Operation
Preferences.
Aux Input
input from bus 5–6
Audio and Auxiliary Input tracks configured for a send
and return
To create a return:
1 Choose File > New Track and specify 1 mono
or stereo Auxiliary Input, then click Create.
2 Click the Input selector of the Auxiliary Input
and set it to the bus path you assigned to the
sends on the source tracks.
3 Click the Output selector of the Auxiliary In-
put and choose an output path.
Chapter 5: Working with Pro Tools LE
55
Master Faders
Master Faders are used as output and bus masters, and can control any mono or stereo output
or bus path in a session. You can then use the
controls on the Master Fader to control the volume, solo and mute, or apply inserts to those
paths.
When you are mastering your final mix, it is recommended that you use a dither plug-in on the
Master Fader controlling your main outputs (for
more information on dither, see “Using Dither
on Mixdown” on page 58).
2 In the Mix window, click the Master Fader’s
Output selector and choose the output path that
you want to control. You can choose either outputs or internal busses.
To use a Master Fader as a master stereo volume
control for all tracks in a session:
1 Choose File > New Track and specify 1 stereo
Master Fader track, then click Create.
2 Set the outputs of all audio tracks in the ses-
sion to outputs 1–2 and set the panning of each
track.
3 Set the output of the Master Fader to your
main output path (outputs 1–2).
Dither plug-in applied to final mix
Plug-Ins
Output assigned to control main mix
Plug-ins provide EQ, dynamics, delay, and
many other types of effects processing, and
function either in real time or in non-real time.
RTAS plug-ins are nondestructive effects, which
are inserted on tracks to process audio in real
time—just like an external hardware processor
(during playback).
AudioSuite plug-ins are used to process and
modify audio files on disk, rather than nondestructively in real time. Depending on how
you configure a non-real-time AudioSuite plugin, it will either create an entirely new audio file,
or alter the original source audio file.
Master Fader controlling main outputs
To create a Master Fader:
1 Choose File > New Track and specify 1 mono
or stereo Master Fader track, then click Create.
56
Getting Started with Mbox 2
Real-time plug-ins are assigned to tracks from
the Inserts view in the Mix or Edit windows.
Once assigned to a track, plug-ins appear in the
track’s Inserts view, and can be opened by clicking the Insert button.
Insert button
Plug-In window
Mix Automation
Mix automation lets you record, or automate,
changes to track and send levels, mutes, pan,
and plug-in parameters. MIDI tracks provide
volume, pan, and mute automation only.
To write automation:
1 In the Automation Enable window
(Windows > Show Automation Enable), enable
an automation type (volume, pan, mute, send
level, send pan, send mute, or any plug-in automation).
2 Select an automation mode for the tracks to be
automated (Write, Touch, or Latch mode).
3 Start playback and begin writing automation
Compressor plug-in
by adjusting faders and other controls during
playback. Pro Tools LE remembers all moves
performed on enabled parameters.
To insert a real-time plug-in on a track:
1 Make sure the Inserts View is shown in the
Mix or Edit window.
2 Click the Insert selector on the track and select
the plug-in that you want to use.
Pro Tools comes with a complete set of DigiRack
plug-ins, and many more are available from
Digidesign and our Development Partners.
Enabling automation (left) and choosing a track
Automation mode (right)
For more information about plug-ins, see
the DigiRack Plug-Ins Guide, the Digidesign Plug-Ins Guide, and the Plug-Ins chapter of the Pro Tools Reference Guide.
Chapter 5: Working with Pro Tools LE
57
Once written, automation can be re-written or
displayed and edited graphically in the Edit window.
Selection or Track Length If you make a selection in a track, the bounced mix will be the
length of the selection. If there is no selection in
any track, the bounce will continue until it
reaches the end of the session.
To Bounce to Disk:
1 Choose File > Bounce to Disk.
Track view set to Volume
Volume breakpoint automation
2 Select any mono or stereo output or bus path
as the source for the bounce.
Volume automation in a track in the Edit window
3 Select the File Type (such as WAV), Format
For more information on using automation,
see the Pro Tools Reference Guide.
Final Mixdown
The Bounce to Disk command lets you write a final mix to disk, create a new loop, print effects,
or bounce any submix. Once you have bounced
your final mix to disk, you can use another program to burn the resulting file to compact disc.
When you bounce a track to disk, the bounced
mix includes the following:
Audible Tracks All audible tracks are included in
the bounce. Any muted tracks do not appear in
the bounce. If you solo a track or region, only
the soloed elements appear in the bounced mix.
Automation All read-enabled automation is
played back and incorporated in the bounced
mix.
Inserts and Sends All active inserts, including
real-time plug-ins and hardware inserts, are applied to the bounced mix.
58
Getting Started with Mbox 2
(such as mono or stereo), Resolution (such as 16bit), and Sample Rate (such as 44.1 kHz).
To create a mixdown that can be written to
an audio CD, be sure to select WAV, stereo
interleaved, 16-bit, 44.1 kHz.
4 Click Bounce.
Using Dither on Mixdown
You should use a dither plug-in when using the
Bounce To Disk command, or when mastering
to an external device. Bounce to Disk does not
automatically apply dither. To dither a bounce
file, insert an included Digidesign Dither plugin, or another dither plug-in, on a Master Fader
assigned to the bounce source path. Master Faders are often preferable to Auxiliary Inputs because Master Fader inserts are post-fader (which
is better for dither applications).
For more information on using dither, refer
to the Pro Tools Reference Guide.
appendix a
Windows System Optimizations
When installing Pro Tools on Windows XP,
there are many system variables that affect performance. If you have followed all the Windows
configuration instructions in Chapter 2, “Windows Configuration” and are still experiencing
problems, try the following troubleshooting
suggestions.
Norton Ghost is highly recommended, as it
lets you save your system in a working state
and easily revert to that state should you accidentally disable anything that your computer needs.
For more information on Ghost, visit the Symantec Web site (www.symantec.com)
Advanced Settings
The following system optimizations may help
Pro Tools perform better on some systems. It is
recommended that you only try these optimizations if necessary, as they may disable or adversely affect the functionality of other programs on your system.
Disabling Network Cards
If applicable, disable any networking cards
(other than a 1394 “FireWire” card that you
might use to connect an external drive to your
system).
To disable a network card:
Troubleshooting
1 Right-click My Computer and choose Man-
Blue Screen at Startup
2 Under System Tools, select Device Manager.
If, after installing Pro Tools and QuickTime,
your computer crashes with a blue screen, do
the following:
3 In the Device Manager window, double-click
• Use Add/Remove Programs to uninstall
Pro Tools.
• Use Add/Remove Programs to uninstall
QuickTime.
• Repeat the installation instructions in “Installing Pro Tools LE and Mbox 2” on
page 10.
age.
Network adapters, then double-click the Network Adapter card you want to disable.
4 Under the General tab, choose “Do not use
this device (disable)” from the Device Usage
pop-up menu, and click OK.
5 Close the Computer Management window.
Appendix A: Windows System Optimizations
59
Processor Scheduling
To Adjust Processor Scheduling Performance:
1 Choose Start > Control Panel.
2 In Classic View, launch System.
If you disable any of the following startup items,
do so carefully:
• Portable media serial number (required for
applications that utilize a copy protection
key)
• Plug and play
3 Click the Advanced tab.
• Event log
4 Under the Performance section, click the Settings button.
• Cryptographic services
5 Click the Advanced tab.
6 Under the Processor scheduling section, select
the Background Services option.
7 Under the Memory Usage section, select the
System cache option.
8 Click OK twice. You will need to restart your
computer for the changes to take effect.
Startup Items
The fewer items in use by your computer, the
more resources are available for Pro Tools LE.
Some startup applications may be consuming
unnecessary CPU resources, and should be
turned off.
• DHCP Client, TCP/IP Net BIOS, and other
networking-related items (unless the computer has no network or internet connection, in which case these items can be
disabled)
Norton Ghost is highly recommended, as it
lets you save your system in a working state
and easily revert to that state should you accidentally disable anything that your computer needs.
For more information on Ghost, visit the Symantec Web site (www.symantec.com)
To Disable System Startup Items:
1 From the Start menu, choose Run.
2 Type “msconfig” and click OK. The System
Configuration Utility opens.
3 Under the General tab, choose Selective
Startup.
4 Deselect Load Startup Items and click OK.
5 Click Restart to restart the computer.
6 After restarting your computer, a System Con-
figuration message dialog is displayed. Try
Pro Tools to see if performance has increased before you uncheck the don't show this message
again box. If performance has not changed, run
“msconfig” and return your computer Selective
Startup back to Normal Startup. Alternatively,
try disabling start up items and non-essential
processes individually.
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Getting Started with Mbox 2
appendix b
Configuring Midi Studio Setup
(Windows Only)
MIDI Studio Setup
MIDI Studio Setup (MSS) lets you configure the
MIDI controllers and sound modules that are
connected to your system, and control the routing of MIDI data between your MIDI equipment
and Pro Tools.
MSS automatically finds MIDI interfaces, and
lets you specify a custom name for each of the
MIDI ports within the MIDI Studio Setup document.
MIDI Studio Setup Window
The MIDI Studio Setup window is organized
into three sections. Interface controls are at the
top of the window. All the currently defined instruments are displayed in the Instrument
Name list on the left side of the window. A detailed view of MIDI parameters is shown in the
Properties section on the right.
MSS also supports XML-based patch file names
for storing and importing patch names for your
external MIDI devices.
Entire MIDI Studio Setup configurations created
within MSS can be imported and exported.
MIDI Studio Setup window
Interface Controls
Create This button adds a new instrument to
the Instrument Name list.
Delete This button deletes the instrument or instruments selected in the Instrument Name list.
Import This button lets you import an existing
MIDI Studio Setup file.
Appendix B: Configuring Midi Studio Setup (Windows Only)
61
Export This button lets you export the current
MIDI Studio Setup file.
To define an instrument with MIDI Studio Setup:
Show Duplicate Emulated Ports When this option is selected and you are using a MIDI interface that supports timestamping (such as MIDI
I/O), in addition to the MIDI ports on Mbox 2,
the MIDI Studio setup window shows both the
DirectMusic time-stamped output ports, and
non-stamped duplicate emulated output ports.
2 Click Create.
Some MIDI Interfaces will not properly load
or unload their drivers unless you quit and
re-launch Pro Tools. Check the documentation that came with your MIDI interface for
more information.
Instrument List
The Instrument list contains all the currently
defined instruments. Selecting an instrument in
the list displays that instrument’s properties in
the Properties section of the window.
Properties Section
The Properties section lets you edit information
for new instruments, or instrument currently selected in the Instrument list.
1 Choose Setups > MIDI Studio Setup.
3 In the Instrument Name field, type the name
of your instrument, and press enter.
If you do not enter an instrument name, the
Instrument Name field will automatically
inherit information from the Manufacturer
and Model pop-up menu.
4 Set a manufacturer and model for the new de-
vice from the corresponding pop-up menus. If
the Manufacturer and Model pop-up menus do
not provide a name for your particular device,
choose None.
5 From the Input pop-up menu, choose the in-
put port on your MIDI interface that is connected to the MIDI Out of your instrument.
6 From the Output pop-up menu, choose the
output port on your MIDI interface that is connected to the MIDI In of your instrument.
7 Enable the appropriate MIDI channels (1–16)
for the Send Channels and Receive Channels
options (These determine which channels send
and receive MIDI.)
Instrument Name
The Instrument Name field shows the user-definable instrument name for the currently selected instrument.
Manufacturer
MIDI Studio Setup Properties section
When a previously defined instrument is selected in the Instrument list, the Properties section changes to reflect the properties of the selected instrument.
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Getting Started with Mbox 2
The Manufacturer pop-up menu provides a list
of MIDI equipment manufacturers. This list is
derived from the XML-based MIDI device files.
For more information, see “Patch Name
Support” on page 63.
Model
Receive Channels
The Model pop-up menu provides a list of MIDI
devices, filtered by the manufacturer name. This
list is derived from the XML-based MIDI device
files provided with your Pro Tools installation.
The Receive Channels grid sets the receive channels for the MIDI device specified in the Instrument Name field.
For more information, see “Patch Name
Support” on page 63.
Input Port
The Input Port pop-up menu displays a list of
available MIDI interface input ports. Inputs will
include Mbox 2 and any additional MIDI interfaces enabled on your system. The MIDI interface port that is set and displayed here is the
port through which MIDI data is sent from the
external MIDI device specified in the Instrument Name field into your MIDI interface.
Patch Name Support
Pro Tools supports XML (Extensible Markup
Language) for storing and importing patch
names for you external MIDI devices. Pro Tools
installs MIDI patch name files (.midnam) for the
factory default patch names of many common
MIDI devices. These files reside in directories,
sorted by manufacturer, in Program Files\
Common Files\Digidesign\MIDI Patch Names\
Digidesign.
To import MIDI patch names into Pro Tools:
If you set the input port to None, the defined
instrument will not appear as a choice in a
MIDI Input selector.
Output Port
The Output Port pop-up menu displays a list of
available MIDI interface output ports. The port
set and displayed here is the port through which
MIDI data is sent from your MIDI interface to
the MIDI device specified in the Instrument
Name field.
1 Verify the MIDI Device name in the MIDI Stu-
dio Setup window (see “MIDI Studio Setup” on
page 61).
2 Verify the MIDI track’s output is correctly assigned to the MIDI device.
If you set the output port to None, the defined instrument will not appear as a choice
in a MIDI Output selector.
Send Channels
The Send Channels grid sets the send channels
for the MIDI device specified in the Instrument
Name field.
Appendix B: Configuring Midi Studio Setup (Windows Only)
63
3 Click the MIDI track’s Patch Select button.
6 Click Open.
The Patch Select dialog is populated with patch
names and the Patch Name Bank pop-up menu
appears in the upper left hand corner of the window.
Patch Select button
Patch Select button, Edit window
PAtch Select button
Patch Select button, Mix window
Patch Select dialog with patch names
4 In the Patch Select dialog, click the Change
Once patch names have been imported into
Pro Tools, they are available for that MIDI device in all sessions.
button.
To clear patch names:
■ In the Patch Select dialog, click the Clear button, and click Done.
Change button
Patch Select dialog
5 In the Open dialog, navigate to Program
Files\Common Files\Digidesign\MIDI Patch
Names\Digidesign\<name of manufacturer>,
and select the MIDI Patch Name file (.midnam)
for the MIDI device.
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Getting Started with Mbox 2
MIDI patch name files (.midnam) can be
edited in any text editor, or you can use
third party patch librarian and editor software to create your own custom patch
names.
appendix c
Configuring AMS (Mac OS X Only)
Audio MIDI Setup
Pro Tools recognizes the ports on your MIDI interface as generic ports. With Mac OS X, you use
Apple’s Audio MIDI Setup (AMS) utility to identify external MIDI devices connected to your
MIDI interface and configure your MIDI studio
for use with Pro Tools.
2 Click the MIDI Devices tab. AMS scans your
system for connected MIDI interfaces. If your
MIDI interface is properly connected, it appears
in the window with each of its ports numbered.
To configure your MIDI studio in AMS:
1 Launch Audio MIDI Setup (located in Applica-
tions/Utilities).
– or –
In Pro Tools, choose Setups > Edit MIDI Studio
Setup.
Audio MIDI Setup (MIDI Devices tab)
3 For any MIDI devices connected to the MIDI
interface, click Add Device. A new external device icon with the default MIDI keyboard image
will appear.
4 Drag the new device icon to a convenient lo-
cation within the window.
Appendix C: Configuring AMS (Mac OS X Only)
65
5 Connect the MIDI device to the MIDI interface by clicking the arrow for the appropriate
output port of the device and dragging a connection or “cable” to the input arrow of the corresponding port of the MIDI interface.
To configure an external MIDI device:
1 Select the external device icon and click Show
Info (or double-click the new device icon).
External Device Icon
2 Select a manufacturer and model for the new
Making MIDI input and output connections
device from the corresponding pop-up menus.
(If the Manufacturer and Model pop-up menus
do not provide a name for your particular device, you can type a name.)
6 Click the arrow for the appropriate input port
of the device and drag a cable to the output arrow of the corresponding port of the MIDI interface.
To remove a connection, select the cable and
press Delete. To delete all connections, click
Clear Cables.
7 Repeat steps 3–6 for each MIDI device in your
MIDI setup.
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Getting Started with Mbox 2
Naming a new MIDI device
AMS refers to one or more files with the suffix “.middev” in the directory Root/Library/Audio/MIDI Devices for Manufacturer and Model names. Pro Tools installs
two such files that contain information for
many commercially available MIDI devices,
“Legacy Devices.middev” and “Digidesign
Devices.middev.” If the Manufacturer or
Model names for any of your external MIDI
devices is not available in the AMS Manufacturer and Model pop-up menus, you can
add them by editing any of the current
.middev files in any text editor (such as
TextEdit).
3 Click the More Properties arrow to expand the
4 Click the device image. The window expands
dialog, then enable the appropriate MIDI channels (1–16) for the Transmits and Receives options. (These determine which channels the
device will use to send and receive MIDI.)
to show images for various MIDI devices (such
as keyboards, modules, interfaces, and mixers).
Select an icon for your device.
Selecting a device icon
Enabling MIDI channels
To use your own custom icons, you can
place TIFF image files in /Library/
Audio/MIDI Devices/Generic/Images, and
they will appear as choices in the AMS device window.
5 Click OK.
The device names you enter appear as MIDI input and output choices in Pro Tools.
Appendix C: Configuring AMS (Mac OS X Only)
67
Patch Name Support
4 In the Patch Select dialog, click the Change
button.
Pro Tools supports XML (Extensible Markup
Language) for storing and importing patch
names for you external MIDI devices. Pro Tools
installs MIDI patch name files (.midnam) for the
factory default patch names of many common
MIDI devices. These files reside in directories,
sorted by manufacturer, in /Library/Audio/MIDI
Patch Names/Digidesign.
Change button
To import MIDI patch names into Pro Tools:
1 Verify the MIDI Device name in the Audio
MIDI Setup window (see “Audio MIDI Setup” on
page 65).
2 Verify the MIDI track’s output is correctly assigned to the MIDI device.
3 Click the MIDI track’s Patch Select button.
Patch Select button
Patch Select button, Edit window
Patch Select dialog
5 In the Open dialog, navigate to /Library/Au-
dio/MIDI Patch Names/Digidesign/<name of
manufacturer>, and select the MIDI Patch Name
file (.midnam) for the MIDI device.
6 Click Open.
The Patch Select dialog is populated with patch
names and the Patch Name Bank pop-up menu
appears in the upper left hand corner of the window.
Once patch names have been imported into
Pro Tools, they are available for that MIDI device in all sessions.
To clear patch names:
■ In the Patch Select dialog, click the Clear button, and click Done.
Patch Select button
Patch Select button, Mix window
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Getting Started with Mbox 2
MIDI patch name files (.midnam) can be
edited in any text editor, or you can use
third party patch librarian and editor software to create your own custom patch
names.
index
Numerics
C
32K clusters 15
channel strip controls
Mute 54
Pan 54
Solo 54
Volume 54
click 38
Click plug-in
Accented parameter 37
Unaccented parameter 37
Clock Source 14
clock source
digital output 34
S/PDIF 14
Clock Source (Mac) 21
cluster size 15
connect 33
CoreAudio 22
CoreAudio driver 22
CPU Usage Limit 20
A
AMS (Audio MIDI Setup) 65
configuring MIDI devices in 66
analog
inputs 31
outputs 31
ASIO driver 11
audio
analog 32
editing 51
importing 46
monitoring 31
preparing 48
routing 48, 54
audio connections
home stereo 32
self-powered monitors 32
Audio Regions List 43
audio tracks 41, 42
authorization 12, 19
authorizing Pro Tools 19
automation 57
creating 57
Auxiliary Inputs 41, 42, 50, 54
B
Bounce to Disk command 58
D
DAE Playback Buffer Size 20
defragment
Windows 15
Digital 32
digital
connecting 33
output setting 34
recording 33
S/PDIF 14
S/PDIF clock source 21
Digital clock source 14, 21
Disk Cleanup 15
drivers
CoreAudio 22
Index
69
E
Edit mode buttons 51
Edit modes 51
Grid 51
selecting 51
Shuffle 51
Slip 51
Spot 51
Edit tools 51
Grabber 51
Pencil 51
Scrubber 51
Selector 51
Smart Tool 51
Trimmer 51
Zoomer 51
Edit window 36
editing 51
editing regions 52
F
fade files 35
FAT32 15
G
gain
headphones 27
input 29
Grabber tool 51
Grid mode 51
H
handle 29
hard drive
and Macintosh system drive 22
and Windows system drive 16
hard drives 20
cluster size 15
formatting 22
maintenance 15
space requirements 4
Windows maintenance 15
Hardware Buffer Size 19
hardware installation 7
USB 10
70
Getting Started with Mbox 2
headphones
gain control 27
output
front panel 27
Hibernate 8
I
I/O Setup
Macintosh configuration 14, 21
Windows configuration 14
iLok
authorization 12, 19
importing audio 46
indicators
peak level 29
phantom power 29
S/PDIF 27
USB connection 27
input and output connectors 30
input monitoring
mono 28
inputs
analog 1–2 31
gain 29
mono summing 28
inserts
plug-ins 57
Internal 34
Internal clock source 14, 21
K
key commands 6
L
latency
see monitoring
M
Master Faders 41, 42, 56
creating 56
Mbox 2
back panel 30
features 2
front panel 27
memory locations 44, 46
defining 44
recalling 44
MIDI
connections 33
editing 51
monitoring 50
MIDI click 38
MIDI controls 38, 40
MIDI Regions List 43
MIDI tracks 41, 42
mix automation 57
mix control 28
Mix window 36, 54
mixing 54
MME 11
Mon Out 31
monitor outputs 31
monitoring 31
audio 31
MIDI 50
when overdubbing 28
zero latency 28
mono switch 28
multi-processor 20
Mute button 54
N
NTFS 15
O
output monitoring
S/PDIF mirroring 33
outputs
analog monitor 31
playback
starting and stopping 40
Playback Engine dialog 39
playlists 52
creating 52
plug-ins 56
power
Windows System Standby 8
Pro Tools
authorizing 19
capabilities 2
Macintosh configuration 17
main windows 36
software configuration 19
validating 19
Windows configuration 12
Pro Tools LE
installing on Macintosh 18
installing on Windows 10
Q
QuickTime 10
R
ratio control 28
recording
audio 49
digital inputs 33
MIDI 50
regions 43
arranging 53
creating 43
editing 52
trimming 52
returns 55
creating 55
rulers 36
P
Pan slider 54
Patch Select dialog
Macintosh 68
Windows 64
peak indicators 29
Pencil tool 51
phantom power 33
indicator 29
when to use 29
S
S/PDIF 14, 30
clock source 21
connecting 33
input indicator 27
mirroring 33
recording 33
Sample Rate 13, 21
Scrubber tool 51
Index
71
Selector tool 51
sends 42, 55
assigning 55
sessions 35
creating 35
duplicating 39
navigating 43
saving 35, 39
saving copies of 39
Shuffle mode 51
Slip mode 51
Smart Tool 51
Solo button 54
sources
analog 31, 32
instrument 31
line 31
microphone 31
selecting 29
Spot mode 51
submixing 54
summing
inputs 28
system requirements
MIDI 33
system settings 39
Clock Source (Mac) 21
Clock Source (Windows) 14
CPU Usage Limit 20
DAE Playback Buffer Size 20
for Windows 7
Hardware Buffer Size 19
I/O Setup 14, 21
Sample Rate 13, 21
System Usage window 39
T
tempo 37
track height
changing 45
tracks 41
audio 41, 42
Auxiliary Inputs 41, 42, 54
creating 41
Master Faders 41, 42, 56
MIDI 41, 42
playing back audio 49
playing back MIDI 50
recording audio 49
recording MIDI 50
types 41
Transport
MIDI controls 40
Transport window 36, 40
Trimmer tool 51
U
USB 10
connection indicator 27
port 18
V
validating Pro Tools 19
Windows 12
Volume fader 54
W
WaveDriver 11
Windows
required System settings 7
System Standby 8
windows 36
Edit window 36
Mix window 36, 54
Transport window 36, 40
Windows System Standby 8
Windows XP
maintenance 15
Workspace 36
Z
Zoom presets 45
recalling 45
storing 45
Zoomer tool 51
Zooming 45
72
Getting Started with Mbox 2