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Old May 11th, 2009, 09:06 AM   #1
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Recording sound with Mbox and mac book

Hi there people, really glad to be part of this community!

I've got a gig this weekend, its a short film and its going to involve recording dialogues indoors for a maximum of 3-4 people at times. I have got 3 radio mics and also a boom (will be using the 416 for outdoors, although more than 90 % of the film will be shot indoors and so I have a MKH 40 for that)
We are using an HD camera, but they want me to record the sound into a hard drive, not into the camera.
My equipment is quite limited and though I've got a location mixer, I dont have a hard drive recorder to record into (I have recommend the producer to rent a 744, and they might hire it but its low budget so they asked me to look for other solutions).
And Just been thinking of one, but didnt know if it would be to risky to put in practice.
Here it goes, I thought about using my Mbox 2 Pro and my MacBookPro to record 4 tracks...I will use two preamps of my PSC m4 A=+ and then send them into two individuals line ins of the mbox and then use the two preamps of the Mbox 2 for another two channels. the only thing with this is that will not make the sound very consistent as I will be using different preamps and that could affect to the quality and homogeneity of the sound. Other thing that concerns me is how reliable (how much could I trust) a computer and a sound card recording 4 tracks at the same time (glitch/pops, ram issues, etc...)...
Anybody have used or still use this system? or with a similar set up (computer + sound card)? Would you use external hard drive? I have got a lacie d2 quadra but its a bit noisy...Any recommendations about sequencer that I should use? (I have got ProTools, Logic, Ableton Live, Soundtrack Pro, but dont know if they are appropriate...

I guess I am missing some important details and issues but hope you can give me some feedback and recommendations from your own experiences

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Old May 11th, 2009, 02:14 PM   #2
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In your situation, any minor differences between any reasonable mic preamps will be be pretty well rendered insignificant due to differences between mics, mic distances, locations, actors, etc.

I see a number of pros using Boom Recorder with a laptop


Apple - Downloads - Audio - Boom Recorder

Metacorder and BoomRecorder

So it must work. Provided you turn off things like automated functions and don't run unrelated programs, I don't see why this would not be reliable. If maybe a bit awkward physically.

Of course you will be confirmimg this during the extensive pre-session testing you do...

And backup systems are always good, even if just a Zoom.


Last edited by Mike Demmers; May 11th, 2009 at 06:05 PM.
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Old May 11th, 2009, 03:02 PM   #3
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I have used the macbook pro and mbox pro setup many times and it is very reliable. Hardly ever do I use it for film sound but for editing, mixing, and recording pre-production on location. I agree with Mike about the difference in pres not being a big deal. All four voices will have a different tonal quality and dynamics anyway. As long as you don't do comp a voiceover in both a stairwell and outdoors you should be fine.

As far as your computer specs, you shouldn't have a problem recording 16 tracks simultaneously with a Macbook pro much less 4. The quality of converters and pres is pretty good especially compared to most camera converters and pres. I definitely wouldn't go the cheap soundcard route and stick with an audio interface like the mbox, motu traveler, etc.
Jon Bufkin
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Old May 13th, 2009, 06:17 AM   #4
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Hey guys, Thanks so much for your time and wise and interesting replies

I will defintely check and download the trial of boom recorder...and will start practicing today to get myself ready for the shooting, although doesnt seem to complicated.

About the Mbox 2 Pro, dont think their converters, preamp, etc are great but I guess it will do the job right...

Vicente Villaescusa
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Old May 16th, 2009, 09:10 AM   #5
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I went to the Boom recorder website and they don't mention the Tascam US-1641 USB interface, but if you read up and figure out that it works, you can have a 16 input recorder with the Boom software for about $650.
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Old May 25th, 2009, 10:19 PM   #6
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Boom Recorder free trial

I downloaded the 30 day free trial of Boom Recorder. I checked it out with my Digidesign Digi002 Rack and it works great. Very simple, very clean. So, the best bet is to download it and see how it works with your gear. Nice because I don't have to launch ProTools to get stuff from my DAT that I want to dump into FCP.
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Old May 26th, 2009, 12:05 PM   #7
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Tested last week for a gig and it worked and performed really well, shame it doesnt have solo/mute options and also faders or something
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