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Bluebox owners - How do you like it?

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  • Bluebox owners - How do you like it?

    I've been a 1010music user for a long time and have had various versions of their hardware and feel like the Bluebox is the Post-Fader mixer/recorder option I've been searching for.

    I know there are some quirks with the device and I have tons of faith in 1010 to fix/address them but just wondering what y'all think after using it for awhile.

    I mostly want to record my hardware setup, post-fader with mixer settings baked into each multitrack recording, so I can play the mixer like an instrument and capture entire sections of hardware performances to cut up later in a daw. I can currently do this with my mixer but it records PREFADER so the recordings are huge blocks of sound with no breaks unless I mute the device directly, and it doesnt have the EQ settings so it's basically duplicating alot of work for me. My idea was to map the bluebox to a midi and use it as a mixer-instrument, but anyways LMK WHAT YOU THINK thanks bye

  • #2
    I guess I'm biased, but I use mine for this exact thing. And yes, we are still working on that box!


    • #3
      I have had mine since launch. It has its quirks, but it does the job. I use mine as a mixer/recorder for my modular. I love the fact that it is just set up ready to go all of the time & also the fact that it creates a new take every time. This means that I can instantly capture any jam, idea & woah moment without having to lose flow. Then I can mix everything later in my DAW. I think that it will fit your requirements very well.


      • Georges
        Georges commented
        Editing a comment
        out of curiosity, why would you still need to mix everything later in a DAW? do you also use a blackbox?

      • virtualpt
        virtualpt commented
        Editing a comment
        I mix down in the DAW because it allows me to do a lot more, controlled automation, use plugins, cut & rearrange audio etc. etc. It also allows me to focus on sections of a track, which at present you can't do with Bluebox as play always starts at the beginning every time.

    • #4
      In addition to the Bluebox, I have a Tascam Model 12 for my main setup (Jupiter XM, Moog Sub 25 and TR-8S + Novation Sl mk3).

      But I find myself spending much more time on my Bluebox centered tiny setup (which has grown quite I bit lately !) : TR-6S, MC-101, TB-03, D-05, SE-02, VT-4, Blackbox, Microfreak, NTS-1, OP-Z and Typhon.

      You guess it, the Bluebox is ideal for a “kitchen-recipe” type workflow : I choose my ingredients of the day and create a quick setup to jam with.

      I also use CME Widi Master and WiDi Jack in place of MIDI cables as well as battery banks to reduce the amount of cables and setup time. Usually the mini-setups don’t surpass 4 or 5 pieces (I plan to share a bit of this on a yt channel called @SonicEpisode someday )

      So far loving the Bluebox, mainly the fact it’s small for what it does and allows me to build a setup everywhere in my apartment or somewhere else like a little boy playing with legos.

      The Tascam is amazing too but more oriented to a fixed setup or maybe some serious live gig with actual organ musicians instead of just synths.

      I believe for my usage, mini-jack ports on the Bluebox are more of a feature than a problem. The lack of XLR/Mic preamp is compensated by the types of synths I use which for some of them include this type of inputs. I even happen to wish some of my synths were smaller and used mini jack instead of Jack/Din to avoid using adapters.

      Of course, same effect as with the Blackbox, the touch screen based intuitive user interface and the openness of the 1010music teams invites for imagination and expectations for the potential of more features to be built in there :

      - how amazing it would be if we could actually do some arrangement directly on the unit with lift/drop type interface a bit like on the OP-1 (which I used to own)

      - how about per channel compressor with side chaining and more mastering capabilities on device (global exciter/limiter/EQ).

      - of course more use of the device and host USB ports (audio or file access capabilities).

      Even if it might sound expensive for a mixer at first glance, the features like multi-track recording on sdcard and its compact form factor make it a great value for the money already. If the firmware brings some extras, it will just crush the competition as far as synth oriented mixers are concerned.
      Last edited by jayneural; 03-18-2021, 05:53 AM. Reason: minor corrections


      • #5
        I've got it for a few weeks, and it's my only mixer. I find several issues quite annoying: noise bleeding, and some other issues i think are fixed in newer firmwares, but my main beef with it is that the ports are just too damned close to each other. None of my nice cables with good shielding fit plugged next to each other, so I'm relegated to lower quality cables which, if you're plugging two mono synths on a single stereo jack, compounds the noise issues. Also, I'm not sure if I'm just using it wrong, but I'm no fan of the effects quality.
        That being said, it does the job, records well, and gets plenty of updates, the internal sound quality is really good. It allows me to be away from my computer and do my mixing later on, and it's so small, I'm more than willing to pay those prices. It handles high levels without distortion, and can mix well inputs of wildly different levels. I've found no issues with the preamp, for example.


        • Lacrymology
          Lacrymology commented
          Editing a comment
          @steve (I'm not sure how to reply to your reply):

          I'm using 2x 1/4 mono -> 1/8 stereo Y cables

          As for the effects, I'm full aware that it might be that I'm not setting them up correctly, but with the reverb, I jump from not being able to hear anything to deafening with nothing in between, and I'm not crazy about the quality either, but I might be messing up the filters/reflections/resonance as well, i don't know. As someone said in the wishlist forum, the ability to save presets, and a couple of useful factory ones as a starting point would be great

        • Steve
          Steve commented
          Editing a comment
          That was exactly the answer I was looking for! We do need to add a preset structure - we are working on that. We recognize the need for this. We are also working on a cable recommendation chart. If you use adapters, I would suggest, for now, avoiding Hosa adapters. Their cables work fine. Black Magic Y splitters are the best I have tested so far. I have some other cables that work well and can share.

          As for the reverb - I spent some time with just one single clip playing. A very basic drum groove (because I am a drummer first) that I sent into the verb. I then turned every parameter to its lowest setting and turned things up one at a time to understand how all of the parameters work. Now, I can dial in what I want. Not always quickly, mind you. I would recommend you do something like this to familiarize yourself with the controls.

          I would push back against your "quality" assessment but am happy to entertain that if you can be more specific. Thanks for posting.

        • Lacrymology
          Lacrymology commented
          Editing a comment
          I can't right now, but I will in the next couple of days.

      • #6
        Originally posted by Lacrymology View Post
        ...but my main beef with it is that the ports are just too damned close to each other. None of my nice cables with good shielding fit plugged next to each other, so I'm relegated to lower quality cables which, if you're plugging two mono synths on a single stereo jack, compounds the noise issues...
        Haha, yeah, I had the same problem but any cable with Rean 3,5mm connectors are working well, like for example Cordial branded cables. Rean is a company that makes connectors that other companies, like Cordial sometimes use, to create their cables.


        • #7
          Honestly, I’m on the verge of selling mine. It’s potentially one big firmware release away from being great, but as it is I’m having trouble figuring out who/what it’s for.

          Want to do some DAWless multitracking? Forget about it. The inability to jump to a location or overdub/punch-in makes this all but impossible unless you’re the kind of person who can do a lot in one take.

          Okay, so maybe it’s less about multitracking and more getting the takes you need with all those inputs to arrange later in the DAW. This isn’t bad! But there’s no audio drivers, so you’re stuck shuttling around an SD card instead of recording directly. And why have this EQ/verb/delay/comp if we’re just going to end up on a DAW with limitless plugin anyway?

          Alright, then, maybe it’s all about that mixing. I could see this — I love the sound of its EQ. And the Mixer/Track UI really works for me. But do you ever mix by playing an entire song end-to-end, tweaking levels, and then listening to the whole thing again, from the top? I sure don’t. But there’s no way to set loop points or jump to a bar or whatever, so that’s what you have to do.

          So I’m guessing it’s for live performers who have 3–5 instruments in their rig they need to sum with some EQ and FX, they don’t want to cart around a PC or console, and hey if they can record the live set, bonus! But, while I quite like the bluebox’s UI and am far from an expert here, I don't feel like it's great for playing like an instrument. Feels like you’d need a lot more immediate control and less menu flipping for that sort of gig?

          So I don’t know. I’m sure with updates it will eventually be good at one or two — maybe more! — of these tasks. But I don’t know which ones.

          I don’t know who it’s for now. I don’t know who it’s going to be for, eventually. And I don’t know when we’ll find out. That makes me pretty nervous about it.

          In the meantime, if you feel like the bluebox is really gelling with your flow, I’d love to hear about that. It’s so thoughtfully designed in so many ways, I know I must just be approaching it wrong.


          • Steve
            Steve commented
            Editing a comment
            pro424 - I could not have said it better. Thanks.

          • Lacrymology
            Lacrymology commented
            Editing a comment
            I'll second @pro424: I have a bedroom workspace, with several instruments. I want to play, and be able to hear everything, I want to be able to record. I'll mix later on the DAW, I'm okay with that, but it's good enough that I can record multitrack.

            Yes, cues would be amazing, and all of the hardware for a _great_ interface for those is there. I'm sure we'll get them eventually. But as things go, you can make your backing, make two or three takes to cut and paste, or record improvisations, and do a bunch of stuff.

            But I think you're missing that the main selling point here *is* portability. For the money, you can get a serious semi-pro mixer with 12 or more channels, and multi-track recording. But they don't fit in your backpack, *or* on my desktop. On top of that, it sounds pretty great.

            If you have the space, then maybe it's not for you. But if the form factor appeals to you, then it's hard to beat, and it sounds pretty good, too

          • jemmons
            jemmons commented
            Editing a comment
            I think I see. It's really focused on mixing and capturing live performances. That makes the (to me, very weird) decision to record post-fader make more sense, too. And the missing part of the live-gig puzzle (no hands-on controls) is actually something many are willing to do without in exchange for its portability. I guess I was hoping for something more general-purpose, and blinded myself to the obvious: I don't perform so there's not a lot here for me.

            This has been super-helpful, regardless. Thanks for you comments!