1010Music BlueBox

Starting a new topic here about the powerful little noiz mixer known as the BlueBox since it started to derail the conversation elsewhere. :stuck_out_tongue:

here’s part of that convo and hopefully people can chime in with their tips and uses for this little beast…
:smiling_imp:

i’ve done three concert performances with the BlueBox so far.
one in which i REALLY took advantage of the fact that it can handle Eurorack level signals.
instead of being stuck with my two little Euro mixer modules…i was able to go directly from audio out of several modules right into the BlueBox.

it even allowed me to use the TipTop Audio Z-DSP as an AUX send/return effect and easily route other noiz weapons (like the M8) to the Z-DSP without any need for Eurorack line conversion. :stuck_out_tongue:

as mentioned earlier…i am using a FaderFox PC12 to control all the features i need live on the BlueBox.
(so no menu diving for me)
things like level, pan, internal FX sends, AUX sends, gain, mute.
also controlling all of the features of the internal delay and reverb.
haven’t really used the two built in Kaoss Pad like FX controls on stage…but they are neat.
here’s a live recording and performance i did for the Modular HTX group with the BlueBox.

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I have a RME Fireface UFX as my audio interface and there’s plenty enough inputs for me, but reading elsewhere that Bluebox can handle eurorack levels it got me interested. Could be an interesting box in making mixdown out of the rack before the interface or into Octatrack, and recording patches without firing up the computer and DAW. I occasionally do that with Zoom H2 but as it’s not permanently in the setup it’s a bit of a hassle sometimes. So I’m kinda thinking about it right now even though before I wasn’t that interested in adding a digital mixer into my setup. Kinda funny how TE is able to do that even if their own product isn’t the one I’m interested in :wink:

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yeah!
the Eurorack module out to direct input on the BlueBox has REALLY changed my use of my modular rig.
being able to use it as a sound source or just another FX box without the need for IN/OUT level conversion is great!

also being able to multi-track as well as 2-track record simultaneously while performing on stage is phenomenal.
(as long as i remember to arm the tracks and hit record. :stuck_out_tongue: ) HAH!

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Interested in this thread because I own a Bluebox.
I’ve used it live but now mainly use it in a DAWless tape setup where I use it as a mixer and multitrack recorder.
I use it together with a Novation Launch Control XL to control it. Works really well.
It’s great to be able to do some live Dawless jamming and pull out the multitrack recordings in case something really nice happend.

I find the user interface is a bit quirky and doesn’t always feel smooth for me. I’m especially annoyed by the faders that don’t follow a logarithmic scale like every other mixer. I hope they fix that in a future update.

I use my RME together with my modular and in takes the modular levels without a problem. Doesn’t that work for you?

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Another happy Bluebox user here. I had been struggling the past few years to have a mise-en-place setup, no computer. Maybe a cliche. But the Bluebox feels like a 21st century portastudio in terms of usability. It isn’t perfect but the workarounds are easy (it doesn’t date recordings so I name by projects by date, needs special cables, etc) I’m currently pairing it with a faderfox UC-4.

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Yes it does, it’s not about levels but that my space is a quite cramped and stuff is positioned a bit awkwardly from each other and it would be terrible to run several patchable cables from modular to interface. I’ve been thinkin about getting a patch bay but even that I think would be hard to get in in a smart way.

The batchpay is actually my solution. Together with a bunch of different lenghts of 1/8 jacks to 1/4 jacks.
It’s a spaghetti anyway so those cables don’t bother me. The other solution would be an a ES-4 with adat cable maybe?

I must say that I’m happy with my bluebox but the way i’m using it now as a multitrack recorder and together with a midi controller i could have just got an extra audio interface and us an old laptop just for multitracking.Then the mulittracks would end up directly in the DAW as opposed to me transferring them now.

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A friend of mine used to have this problem - he bought or built some kind of cheap “stage box” type setup where you hook up a couple of cables on the interface end, then run them in one thick snake to wherever the synths are, and hook them up to an equivalent of a multiple there so that you can plug / unplug things easily on that end.

Also keep in mind you can use the DURec in UFX to record any/all tracks on an attached USB drive / stick, even without turning on the computer :slight_smile:

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excellent!
one thing i just recently tried out for a performance was using the USB Host feature off the BlueBox to power and receive FaderFox PC12 control and also using the FaderFox standard MIDI out to control the M8.

The BlueBox just keeps becoming a bit of a noiz Swiss Army knife. :stuck_out_tongue:

i use a stylus i picked up for an iPad mixer and V4EX video mixer i use.
works great to quickly jump around and select features or assign inputs.

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I just got back from a 7 city tour with the BlueBox. I used it for mixing and routing all the synths that were part of my rig. Some thoughts:

  • I didn’t trust the 3.5mm non-balanced main output as a way to reach the house system at the venues. So, I ran the main out to a MOTU Ultralite, and the master from that to the house system. The MOTU outs are ¼" TRS balanced pro line level… and this ensured quality in the generally longer runs to the house system.

  • I didn’t bother with any MIDI control of the BlueBox: All the synths I have have a master volume knob, so general level changes were always at hand, no need to do it in the mixer. I did use the UI on the BlueBox to sometimes mute tracks, and during set up to adjust gain and base levels as needed. I find the UI pretty easy and quick once you learn it - and fine with my stubby fingers.

  • I really like the size of the BlueBox, small but not crazy small like the TX-6. I bought an Analog Cases case for it which works, though doesn’t hold the power adapter.

  • A key feature for me was being able to multi-track record. It is great as I have remixable parts for the live shows that I did, as well as the master that was heard live. And, “it just works”. I’m not using this as a portastudio, and am dubious that it is workable for me: Having to set a tempo afore-hand and work in measures and beats, doesn’t work if you have change tempo and meter changes in a peice!

Two negatives:

  • I find the noise level a bit high… but it seems only in some situations. I haven’t yet fully debugged this, but it definitely occurs when I use OUT2 to feed an effect box and bring the return in through one of the other channels.

  • 3.5mm TRS cables that both fit the jack spacing, and are high quality seem hard to find - or at least hard to know what you’re getting when you buy them. I usually trust Hosa, but their 3.5mm plugs are too big… I bought a whole bunch of various cables for this tour, and more than half were either too janky to use at all (picked up noise very easily) or broke while on tour!

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I’ve found the internal compressor (on by default) is pretty noisy, so that might be part of the noise problem.

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Quoting you, but really asking anyone: do you record individual tracks pre or post faders and eq? I still don’t own one, but I read the latest firmware allows both. What would be the best for someone like me who currently record the main stereo out live, and use the PC later just for mastering?

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Personally, I record pre-fader & eq. If I’m going to re-mix it, then I’m going to hand adjust the volume and eq on each track anyway - no reason to pile on top of what I did live.

Similarly, I used the BlueBox’s reverb as a sort of “post all” warming of my sound and will adjust it based on the room. Any musically important reverb or delay is done in the synths themselves. When I remix later I’ll add back in some reverb to get the sound I want - which will be generally different than what I wanted live.

I don’t use the unit’s delay at all. I find it easier to use (and sync) delays that are built into other synths or units.

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I record post fader. Since I’ve got the EQ set up as a highpass and lowpass filter and use them dynamicly in the music. And I also use the faders on midi control to mute instruments. It was set to pre-fader in the factory settings. So i was a bit disappointed with the first recording I made that didn’t incorporate any of the ‘genius’ mixing i did with the faders and the filters.

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Anyone experienced with running Bluebox on a power bank? Any recommendations? Issues with noise?

for one of my gigs i used a couple of direct boxes but i am investing in one of these…
PRO AV2

i have been able to alleviate a lot of the noise problems with some of these on things like the M8 and the SC1000Mk2. (USB powered instruments which can have a problematic noise floor.)
i bought several of these:

i picked up several of the 1010Music cables during a Perfect Circuit sale and i also started using the MyVolts Candycords which are both well made and easily fit.

i found that a military style small square MedPak style case works great!

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FWIW, about the compressor being noisy: compressors often get bad rap for having a lot of noise, because if your source signals have a high noise floor and you amplify the noise floor or squash the loud parts and amplify the signal overall which is what you usually want to do with a compressor, you naturally get more noise. I suppose unless one’s talking about low-fi vintage analogue compressor pedals, or the action is really weird in some way, they problem’s usually solved at the source / input.

(With all the talk about TX-6 being cramped, I didn’t realize the BlueBox requires thin’ish 3,5mm connectors to make the cables fit as well. That’s good to know as I’ve been considering getting one a couple of times for portable use.)

Anyone else have a BlueBox with a wonky screen? Mine is definitely slightly rotated. It doesn’t effect the unit functionally, but is annoying aesthetically.

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The BlueBox jacks are set 10.5mm apart.
The TX-6’s seem to be 7.5mm apart.

Most of the cables in my studio will fit the BlueBox - almost none will fit the TX-6.

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The Bluebox is probably the best purchase I’ve made in a long while. It has allowed me to start recording music again.

My main gripe is that it’s not possible to move a recording back and forth in the timeline, which would allow some basic arrangement options. I don’t expect it to replace my DAW but this functionality should be easy enough to add. With the EQ, compression, and effects, you could potentially make a full track on there.

I wish more people would upvote this suggestion on the 1010forum (disclaimer: not my suggestion, mind you). I plan to corner Aaron if he appears during Superbooth!

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