How to Troubleshoot an Mbox Mini

Updated April 17, 2017

The Mbox Mini is a sound card and digital input/output device produced by Digidesign. It enables the use of Pro Tools, an audio production software that comes packaged with the Mbox Mini and is also developed by Digidesign. The Mbox Mini operates much like its more advanced counterparts, the Mbox2 and Mbox Pro, but carries less input options. Problems can occur due to compatibility issues between the Mbox Mini and various computer systems. Here are some of the issues that most frequently arise for users of the Mbox Mini.

Click on the "Setup" menu in Pro Tools, and then click "Playback Engine" if the audio playback from Pro Tools is cutting in and out intermittently.

Click on the list next to "H/W Buffer Size." Increase the buffer size by selecting the next available size up. You may notice that increasing the buffer size causes a short delay between the instant you click play and the actual beginning of playback. This is to be expected as your computer buffers the audio before playing it back. If sound continues to cut in and out, or is "glitchy" in any way, try increasing the buffer size to a higher rate.

Shut down your computer if increasing the buffer size has no effect on the problems with audio playback in Pro Tools. If you notice that audio playback is cutting in and out during programs outside of Pro Tools, increasing the buffer size will have no effect on the problem. Restart your computer. This should refresh the Mbox Mini.

Call Digidesign technical support if none of the above methods resolve the problem.

Inspect the back of your Mbox Mini to make sure your outputs are set up correctly. Make sure the speaker cables are connected to your left and right outputs, and that both speakers are powered on.

Open your "Control Panel" or "System Preferences," depending on whether you are using a PC or Mac. Select the option to set up your sound. Make sure to set the Digidesign Mbox Mini as your output. If any other option is selected, whether it is your system's internal sound card or another external sound card, you will be unable to hear sound being output from the Mbox Mini to your speakers.

Remove any Digidesign software from your computer and then reinstall it. Use the installation discs that came packaged with your Mbox Mini.

Call Digidesign technical support if reinstallation fails.

Inspect the input connection on the back of your Mbox Mini. Make sure that the proper cable is being used for your input device. A microphone, for example, must be connected to the "Input 1" channel using an XLR cable. If you are using a microphone, press the "48 V" button next to the XLR input.

Turn the corresponding "Input" dial to the right to increase signal. If the dial is turned all the way to the left, you will be preventing any signal from being picked up.

Arm your audio track in Pro Tools for recording. Click the circle under the track's title and it will blink red. Until you do this, you will be unable to monitor any sound coming from your input device. If you notice a slight signal coming in on the volume meter, but it is too low, try increasing the input volume even higher.

Call Digidesign technical support if you are still unable to get any input signal.

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About the Author

Daniel Sole is a proud resident of Brooklyn, N.Y. He has worked with various youth programs, led writing workshops for high school students and contributes to a music blog. Sole graduated from NYU with a Bachelor of Arts in sociology and creative writing.