M-Audio Black Box

Published: Apr 11, 2014 Filed under: Gear

Black Box

Company: M-Audio
Release Date: 2005

Rating (out of 5):

Note: from guitarhoo review archives originally dated May 8, 2005

Creative USB Tool Kit with Groundbreaking Effects

M-Audio Black Box

The M-Audio Black Box is a recording device and all around tone and fx tool for the guitarist.

It's pretty much a POD with a mic pre, only with way more flexibility. If you ever tried recording with the POD XT's usb you will understand what we mean.

On its own as an I/O it's up to par with any USB single channel I/O, like the M-Audio fast track, only with a Roger Linn "Adrenalin" mixed into it.

It can be used on its own (not hooked up to a computer) and used as a practice tool or writing tool. Heck, we even hooked it up to an amp and used it as a jamming tool.

The amp models sound great especially the Soldano SLO , the Marshall DSL, and Mesa Maverick. The Fender models were great too.

Now onto the effects. All are pretty awesome, some are just good sounding delay.

Where this unit really shines is the time based effects can be beat synced with the onboard drum patterns.

You can set up to record with no drivers but only get the amp sound. We tried it and Cubase SX - it worked but a little bit of latency occurred.

So, we loaded the Drivers - that's when the fun happened!!! We got pretty much zero latency and found out the beat sync feature can even happen from the tempo in Cubase. Also you can have the effected Guitar sound and a clean sound if you choose too.

The coolest effect for me was the random filter - it's super cool and we had a lot of fun and played some stuff we would have never thought of otherwise.

All in all a cool device.

Some of the specs and features are:

• 12 of the most realistic virtual amp models anywhere.
• 43 beat-synced effects.
• 99 drum patterns and guitar tuner built in.
• Effects and drum machine sync to tap tempo or external MIDI clock.
• Built-in USB audio interface with S/PDIF out (24-bit/44.1kHz)


Co-developed by M-Audio and Roger Linn Design, the Black Box is the first creative tool for guitarists that combines amp modeling, powerful beat-synced effects and a drum machine with an audio interface for computer-based recording.

Based on AdrenaLinn II technology, the Black Box can be used as a stand-alone amp-modeling and effects unit featuring spot-on models of 12 of the greatest guitar amps of all time. 99 built-in drum patterns with tap tempo make it easy to try out different grooves and tempos.

The Black Box also incorporates tons of inspiring unique effects that automatically beat-sync to your drum patterns. A built-in microphone preamp is also included for recording and processing vocals and acoustic instruments. One simple USB connection sends your output to your favorite computer-based recording software -and syncs the Black Box’s drums and effects to your tracks.

The Black Box gives you killer tone, groundbreaking effects, huge beats and easy recording all in a single, easy-to-use package.

Check out the recordings that have been produced using the technology inside the Black Box:

• Green Day, "Boulevard of Broken Dreams"
• John Mayer, "Bigger Than My Body"
• Beyonce’s "Naughty Girl" and "Me, Myself and I," played by guitarist Aaron Fishbein on the Dangerously in Love album
• Red Hot Chili Peppers, "By The Way"
• Audioslave, "Audioslave"
• Pearl Jam, "Riot Act"
• Beck, "Sea Change"
• Marillion, "Marbles"
• Macy Gray, "The Trouble With Being Myself"
• Morcheeba, "Parts Of The Process"
• Michael Omartian, "Animator"
• Ima Robot, "Ima Robot"

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