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what to do with all the Outs?

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  • what to do with all the Outs?

    I wonder about the practical use of having Out3, given the other outputs. I understand that we have a line level headphone / mix output and 2 eurorack level outputs 1&2, one wet one dry. However, what do you use Out3 for? maybe for external fx?

    And how practical are the Outs 1-3 with non-eurorack gear?

    Please consider my question as a manifestation of my curiosity and not as a critical statement.

  • #2
    I'm kind of curious about the use case for the multiple outs in a non-eurorack scenario as well.

    I'd like to run things into some guitar effect pedals and then back in to re-sample, but am assuming the outs other than the phones out will be too hot, and even if my pedals can be adjusted to accept hotter input, I'd prefer to leave them as they are for my guitar.


  • #3
    The blackbox is all eurorack level. +/-5V. However, it works well with line-level gear because the input and output stages have a wide enough range to accommodate. I use mine with NTS-1, guitar pedals, kaos pad, iOS devices, various recorders, mixers, etc. I also use with my eurorack gear. It is pretty seamless, actually. there is nothing special to do besides setting your levels.


    • #4
      There are 2 ways I use the outputs:
      • Sometimes I use all 3 outputs sent to 3 separate tracks in the mixer or DAW interface in order to prevent samples from stepping on each other in ways I don't like. I route most things to Output 1 and use the other two for any samples I find to be "problematic" (likely to step on other samples) or "fragile" (likely to lose some of their magic due to being stepped on by other samples).
      • Sometimes I use outputs 2 and 3 to send specific samples to other hardware like the Minitaur or Strega.


      • #5
        To send 6 Mono outs to my Zoom Livetrack L-8. If it had more outs I’d have gotten the L-12/20 or Tascam Model 12/16/24. Makes it a LITTLE quicker to get out of BBS into a DAW than resampling each pad to the MicroSD. HOPING We get ability to export Song to MicroSD in an update tho.


        • Georges
          Georges commented
          Editing a comment
          from what you describe, your workflow seems to focus on bb as a sampler (one shots) rather than for playing back clips recorded directly onto the bb ? If it were the latter (which is my main use case), it would not make sense quality wise to use the Outs for stem recording, would it?

      • #6
        I only use multiple outs on one of my Blackboxes - they're connected to six inputs of a Zoom R24. Before doing my live mix-down I set different elements to different outs for the purpose of providing stems for friends to take away and work on. In my other two machines my finished stereo mix is the finished piece of music so I don't use them.


        • #7
          I process all the outputs differently when I use them. Some may go through external reverb and delay, some through filters, panning, eq, etc.
          You typically don't want to run the whole mix through everything though, so multiple outs are very useful. Plus, if you record them separately, you can still adjust the levels afterwards, or add some eq.


          • #8
            Hi everyone, first time poster. I've had BB for almost two years now. I am using it as an alternative for laptop+DAW for onstage playbacks. In this case, I am using different outputs for actual playbacks and also click track, which should only go to in-ear monitor channels, as opposed to FOH channels.


            • #9
              Sometimes i use te different outputs to send into my audio interface's differents IN, but sometimes i use them to make special installation with 6 differents speakers and i can send different sound wherever i want making something kinda "immersive".


              • #10
                Hello, I am an audio newb in general and a new Black Box owner. This thread addresses my biggest question coming from initial use of the Black Box. My question concerns this statement in the user manual: "The audio output will be at Eurorack levels which is +/- 5 volts. This is louder than a consumer electronics line level, so you may need a mixer to connect with consumer electronics gear."

                My studio is very simple: just a Mac Laptop, an Apollo Twin MK II. (The Apollo Monitor Outs go to two powered monitor speakers.) I have three related questions:

                1) Is it safe for me to run a simple 3.5 stereo to L/R1/4 cable out of the headphone jack and run the 1/4 jacks into the line inputs of my Apolllo Twin?
                2) Would it be safe to do the same from any of the other three audio outputs, without an attenuator in the chain?
                3) Related to all above questions: Are the headphone output and the audio outputs at the same level? Or is the headphone out a line level and the audio outs are Eurorack level?

                Many thanks for any help. My newer than newb status will no doubt result in some painfully elementary questions — but I'll do everything I can to try to be specific!
                Last edited by Steve Lindstrom; 01-31-2022, 05:05 AM.


                • jonnnnny
                  jonnnnny commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Hi Steve, I think I'm pretty much at the same level as you, though I've got a Focusrite rather than Apollo. I found that taking an output from the BB (NOT the headphone out) into the Focusrite was a bit too quiet. I'm wondering if it's better to use the headphone out because I can then adjust the volume in the BB. Did you have the same issue?

              • #11
                I just ordered one with the main reason being that it has 3 stereo outputs. If you play live using a hardware mixer, it's pretty essential to be able to route the different tracks to individual channel, so you can have some hand one control on the mixer to mute groups and use different send effects settings.

                One of the biggest selling point of the blackbox in my opinion.


                • #12
                  Originally posted by Steve Lindstrom View Post
                  1) Is it safe for me to run a simple 3.5 stereo to L/R1/4 cable out of the headphone jack and run the 1/4 jacks into the line inputs of my Apolllo Twin?
                  Yes. The only real risk in connecting the outputs to other audio gear is that it will distort if it is too loud. Any kind of Pro audio interface should work great.

                  Originally posted by Steve Lindstrom View Post
                  2) Would it be safe to do the same from any of the other three audio outputs, without an attenuator in the chain?
                  3) Related to all above questions: Are the headphone output and the audio outputs at the same level? Or is the headphone out a line level and the audio outs are Eurorack level?
                  All the outputs are electrically the same level. The headphone output can drive a lower impedance, as some headphones require this.


                  • Steve Lindstrom
                    Steve Lindstrom commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Many thanks Aaron. I would have tried it out sooner or later but I greatly appreciate being able to do so fearlessly!

                • #13
                  It’s a bit of a pity that one can’t use the input as an external effects send in conjunction with Out1-3. The idea would be to connect say Out 3 to an effects device and then from the effects device back to the In. As I understand it, this would be dangerous because Outs 1-3 are sent to Headphone Out at the same time.

                  Wouldn’t it be nice if one could disable routing eg Out3 to Headphone Out?


                  • #14
                    Following up on my previous post.

                    Based on this great video made by shankiphonic ( - thank you!!), it is actually pretty easy to set up the bb with an external effects device.

                    Physical connections
                    Blackbox __Out2__ —> External effects In
                    External effects Out —> Blackbox In

                    Before you hit Play
                    * Select the source pad that you to enrich with effects, goto to its Conf screen and set Output —> Out2

                    * Select the target pad onto which you wish to record: (__be very careful!!__) set Mon Output to Out1 (default) or, if you must, Out3 - in the latter case don’t switch monitor outputs while playing back the source pad !! In any case, Mon Output must never be Out2!!! Also be careful with recording level and headphone output level because some effects increase volume (e.g. sustain or size reverbs).

                    If you want to record, it is easiest to set your FX device to 100% wet, so you can mix dry and wet later on the bb. Unfortunately, there is no way to remove a pad (e.g the one routed to Out2) from the Mix Out, so mixing on the FX device while playing back is impractical (see On the other hand, recording with 100% wet allows you to be way more flexible later on - for example, you could route an LFO to the dry and/or wet pads’ output level.

                    Why not use Out1 as physical Out?
                    * Mon Output is probably most often set to Out1, so you would have to be very careful since the start if connecting anything to Out1, which is not a realistic assumption.
                    * Out1 takes into consideration bb’s own FX and EQ, which you may want to skip.

                    Any limits?
                    * You cannot use this workflow for live play with any other sound source than the bb itself. This would require an external mixer AFAICS.
                    * You cannot set Out2’s level (that’s the one routed into your FX device).