Pro Tools - Reason - Ableton Live - Mac

by Steve Mallett

I'm stepping waayyy out of my comfortzone and into the mix. I've been a huge fan of what I'll no doubt poorly name, electronica, and very recently, Danger Mouse & the Kleptones. I've begun turning my mac into a music studio & could use some community assistance & encouragement.

Here's the story:
I'm no doubt a real poser when it comes to electronica. Over the past few years I've been a fan of Zero7, Kosheen, Underworld, and various unheard millions of songs I've listened to over streaming radio from BeatBlender at SomaFM.

I played with ACID (the music/loop making util) on my dual boot windows/linux tower here. While it was fun it wasn't my cup of tea. When GarageBand came out I tinkerd a bit. I knew right away that the teaser version was only that and I wasn't ready to commit.

Well, this past week I felt I was ready to start getting into it.

My first feeling was that GarageBand was a natural. I number of computer music mags were 'cool' with it. OK, it has street cred. But, once I started digging deeper there were some problems. I have a maxed out G4 iBook. Ding! Ding! Ding! Not going to happen. There was concensus among those in the know that while GarageBand is extremely newbie friendly, you gotta run at Warp 9. That's G5 land. Dang.

So I've now a setup with something called M-Audio MBox. This is a soundcard/mixer-ish thang. With it I bought... Pro Tools, Reason & Ableton Live (cruddy link warning!). There were some other tools in there, but this is overwhealming enough in itself. I also picked up a M-Audio 02 USB Midi Controller. What's that? you ask. I'd call it a mini keyboard.

I thought this was going to be roses. I've weathered Apache, Linux, etc etc.. -this- is complicated stuff!

In short I'm looking for some community around these tools. If you've suggestions I'd love to hear them. I learned apache and linux by hanging online with those folks in the know & I think this will be no different.

First lesson: don't upgrade your mac too fast. All the software I bought appears to not run on OS X 10.3.5 yet which is what I'm running. One step forward two steps back. Now working! Whoo hoo!

*For clarity's sake I should mention that I've been a basement analog musician for 20 years.


2004-10-09 08:41:28
Pro Tools and Reason
Hi Steve,

Digidesign (the makers of Pro Tools) has a web zine called "digizine". There are some columns that you might find helpful getting started here;

There are some great Reason tutorials on the Propellerheads site here;

As for community, there's the digi users conference here;

...and the Propellerheads have a forum on their site that I've found very helpful.

--Phil Calvert

2004-10-09 08:48:46
Pro Tools and Reason
Sweet, Phil! I'm in the digidesign user forum now seeing if not downgrading to 10.3.3 is the real cause of some of my initial setup issues.

Thanks, see you there.


2004-10-09 09:12:50
Digital Audio at Mac OS X Con
You also might want to check out the digital audio track at the upcoming Mac OS X Conference, plus there are two great music tutorials on the Monday before the sessions begin. Reason, Pro Tools, Ableton... we got it there, and by the pros.
2004-10-09 23:53:14
Pro Tools and Reason
Are you using an M-box(device rom digidesign) versus an 'M-Audio' (company which makes devices) maybe?

I'm running an M-box with protools LE 6.4, core audio driver 6.5.1, on 10.3.5 with no problems. I also use reason 2.5, and have dabbled with ableton on this system.

You probably want to just start with getting the core audio driver installed and then connecting the device. After that verify its working by selecting it as your preferred audio device and fire up iTunes.

Here's a tune I put together with this setup.

2004-10-10 04:57:45
Pro Tools and Reason
MBox! Quite right. Lots of new jargon here for me. The mixer/soundcard thang is the MBox while my midi controller is from M-Audio. Good Call. I'm going to edit the above post to reflect that.

10.3.5 is working huh? Interesting. That's good news. I wiped a windows machine last night (who cares what's on that right?) to test out the gear & it all worked fabulously.

2004-10-10 18:48:47
Got it!!!
Well, after an entire weekend of installs, uninstalls, same on a windows box (to dbl chk that it wasn't the gear) I now hav:

  • Pro Logic installed

  • Reason Adapted installed

  • Reason is no longer crashing

  • I can play Reason's audio output through either the onboard audio -or- the MBox

It may have been the very recent software update that fixed the above issues which I updated just this morning before doing another install.


2004-10-10 22:01:19
Pro Tools and Reason
Make sure your using the latest digidesign core audio driver . . . that was the bottle neck for me with panther. Lots of reason instability prior to that.

Good Luck.

tim roberts
2004-10-12 07:14:50
Online Resource
Besides the DUC, you might want to check out daw-mac.

There are a lot of really knowledgeable people there.

2004-11-06 19:37:10
Online Resource
Yes. there many reousrce at :
. posted by soudown
2006-09-19 21:19:43
Hey Steve,

I'm looking for some help with my MBOX on a Mac Pro Tiger (OS 10.4.6), maybe someone who's a reader here will be able to help me.

Initially before i found out that my Pro Tools LE version 6.1 that came with the mbox hardware wasn't compatible with the Mac Pro, i tried installing the 6.1 LE. After that I tried to open pro-tools, and obviously it didn't and there was an error, saying that the hardware wasn't accessible.

So i went in search of the latest drivers. I found out about the paid upgrade, and etc. I also attempted uninstalling pro-tools and installing the Core Audio Stand alone driver 7.0. It made my system crash without notice. Also tried the 6.9.2 version. Whenever I try to open the Core Audio Manager the system crashes.

I know that it is possible to have the mbox working without pro-tools installed, but I cannot select it to be input/output with the Core Audio Drivers on the system preferences:sound menu.

So, if anyone can help, contact me at I would appreciate that immensely.

Thanks, and regards.

J Saboia

Paul Reiners
2007-03-07 07:01:21 is a nice community:

2007-04-14 20:09:11
I can't visit
Any one can help me?
2007-04-14 20:10:39
I can't visit
Any one can help me?
--by itwik.
Chris B
2007-05-13 12:09:51
There's a very active set of forums at the Pro Tools Users Community website....

check it out at