M-Audio has announced the release of version 2 firmware for its Black Box, a device that enables guitarists to interface with Macs or PCs and model a number of different amps, preamps, beat-synced effects and more. The firmware update is free for existing users; Black Box costs $329.95.
Your guitar plugs into the Black Box’s 1/4-inch input, and it attaches to the Mac or PC using USB. Originally equipped with 12 guitar and bass amp emulations, the system now emulates 40, including the Fender Deluxe Reverb, Marshall JCM-800, Roland Jazz Chorus, Peavey 616 MkII and many more. The effects section includes five different reverbs, compression and new modulation options — a total of 121 effects in all.
The Black Box provides drum patterns, as well. New to this firmware release is a Link Drumbeat feature that lets you save specific drumbeats with individual presets. There are also two new tempo modes — Global, which locks the Black Box’s tempo to whatever value you’ve set, and Drumbeat, which sets the tempo based on the optimal playback speed of the selected drumbeat.
The Black Box now works as a Pro Tools M-Powered audio interface; it syncs drums and effects to the current project tempo. M-Audio claims that Black Box is the only dedicated guitar product to work as a Pro Tools M-Powered-compatible audio interface.