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|Posted: Tue Feb 17, 2004 6:48 pm Post subject:
Mackie mixers with firewire interface
Hailed by Mackie as their ‘next generation’ of small-format mixers, the Onyx 1220, 1620 and 1640 feature completely redesigned mic preamps and a new four-band EQ developed by engineer Cal Perkins. The mixers not only feature direct balanced analogue outs on every channel (via 25-pin ‘D’-Sub connectors) but, with an optional Firewire card, they can send up to 18 channels of 24-bit/96kHz digital audio to a computer while receiving a further two channels for monitoring purposes.
The Onyx 1220 is a 12-channel, two-buss mixer (four mic/line inputs and four stereo line inputs) with three-band sweepable-mid EQ and two aux sends.
The 1620 features 16 channels (eight mic/line inputs and four stereo line inputs), two busses, a four-band EQ (two sweepable mid bands) and four aux sends.
At the top of the pile, the Onyx 1640 features 16 mono mic/line inputs, four busses, four-band EQ and six aux sends. As with Mackie’s 1604VLZ Pro, the rear section of the Onyx 1640, which houses all the inputs and outputs, can be rotated, allowing the mixer to be used on a desk or in a rack.
All three mixers feature a main output, a headphone out, unbalanced stereo tape in and out, and a control room/monitor out. In addition to monitor mix controls, all three mixers feature a built-in talkback mic. The Onyx range is expected in April, with esimated prices of £579 for the 1220, £749 for the 1620 and £1299 for the 1640.
The Onyx Firewire card can be installed in any of the Onyx mixers and allows for the multi-channel ouput of every mixer channel, plus the main stereo mix, to be sent to a computer DAW at 24-bit/96kHz, while receiving a stereo monitor mix in return. The card, which can be installed by the user, has three Firewire ports and the mixers can be daisy-chained together. It’s compatible with Windows XP (ASIO, WDM) and Mac OS 10.3 (Core Audio). The Firewire expansion card is expected to retail at £439, and will come with a free copy of Tracktion, the multitrack audio and MIDI recording software that accompanies Mackie’s Spike desktop recording system.
Mackie have also produced a 1U rackmount multi-channel mic preamp based on the circuitry in the Onyx mixers. The Onyx 800R features eight Onyx preamps and a 24-bit/192kHz digital output. Each channel has a three-LED level indicator and low-cut filter, phase-reverse and phantom-power switches. Channels one and two offer variable input impedance, with four settings between 300 and 2400?, and M&S stereo matrix decoding, while channels seven and eight will accept an unbalanced, high-impedance instrument input. There are XLR mic inputs for each channel on the back panel, plus balanced line-level inputs and outputs via D-Sub connectors. Digital output is available simultaneously in AES-EBU, ADAT and S/PDIF formats, in 16- or 24-bit and at sample rates ranging from 32 to 192kHz. The Onyx 800R is expected to cost £1099, and should be available from April.
Another new Mackie product displayed at the Winter NAMM show was the splendidly named Big Knob, a stereo desktop studio monitor controller centred around, well, a large rotary volume control. The unit has four stereo inputs (one equipped with a phono preamp), four corresponding outputs, three more outputs for three sets of control-room monitors (selectable from the front panel) and an output for the studio monitors. There are also two headphone outs with individual level controls, mono, mute and dim switches and a built-in talkback mic. The Big Knob should also be available in April, priced at £325.
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