Avid Technology Inc. subsidiary M-Audio has introduced
the Black Box, a new device for guitarists that combines amp modeling, beat-synced effects, guitar and mic preamps and drum tracks with an audio interface designed for recording on a Mac or a PC. Co-developed by M-Audio and Roger Linn Design, the Black Box can be used standalone or as a plug-in hosted by popular music software — Black Box’s software supports Core Audio and ASIO. It’s compatible with Mac OS X v10.3.7 or higher and requires a G3/500MHz or faster, 512MB RAM and USB. It ships this month for US$329.95.
Black Box emulates 12 legendary guitar amplifiers including Fender Bassman, Fender Deluxe, Fender Twin, Vox AC-30, Marshall JTM-45, Marshall Plexi, Marshall JCM-2000, Hiwatt DR-103, Soldano SLO-100, Mesa Boogie Maverick, Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier and Bogner Uberschall. It also features 100 drum patters in a variety of styles, with the ability to set tempo manually, tap tempo or synchronize to an external MIDI clock. Effects can be beat-synced to drum patters or to a master clock, including tremolo, flanger, chorus, random filters, tremolo sequences, filter sequences, wah wah, auto wah, talk box, arpeggiators and MIDI effects.
The hardware interface has separate pre-amp channels for 1/4-inch guitar and XLR microphone inputs, with status and clip LEDs. 1/4-inch stereo headphone and 1/4-inch balanced TRS connector outputs are included. And a S/PDIF output sends DSP signals at 24-bit/44.1kHz.
One hundred factory presets come with the Black Box, along with 100 user programs. The device features a large LCD panel, buttons and rotary encoders and programmable expression pedal input and two momentary pedal inputs. The system is designed to be firmware-upgradeable to support new capabilities. The Black Box also integrates a guitar tuner and includes a mic stand adapter. It touts a Kensington lock slot for security, and is powered by a 9V AC power supply.