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firewire mixer

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by doubleJ, Mar 31, 2005.

  1. doubleJ

    doubleJ Active Member

    I'm a bit naive about this so please excuse me...
    Using some of the new firewire mixers (mackie onyx for example) will each channel of the mixer output directly to a channel of whatever multitrack software is being used? In my case it's Adobe Audition. I've used it with different computer interfaces (pci and usb), but never a mixer. I was thinking of how to mix for live sound/recording and record individual tracks for mixdown in post-production. I think this is how a local studio does it with their super-expensive pro-gear setup, but I wasn't sure if it was the same on the lower-end.
  2. rhydian

    rhydian Active Member



    You will need to set up a track in your audio software, select an input for it, and the track will then take the input. If you have a mixer that is compatible as a front end for a DAW, then you select one of those channels as an input e.g from the Mackie Onyx (which has up to 18 channels streamed to the computer)....

  3. doubleJ

    doubleJ Active Member

    From the digital mixers/recorders that I've been looking at, it looks like the onyx is the only one that really does what I'm talking about. Is this true?
    I've seen plenty of digital multitrack recorders that have usb, but I think that's just for copying the wavs to the pc later, not transferring in real-time. Is this true?
    Are there any others of note?
  4. KEN1

    KEN1 Member

    I run an Onyx 1640 with my laptop(for live recordings)and in my studio and after 2 months with it I could'nt live without it. The sound quality is amazing. I stream 16 tracks into Cubase SX2 at a time with the 1640 and my Dell inspirion 9200 laptop does'nt cough one bit. In my studio my Onyx is irreplacable(unless they make a 24 channel Onyx).
  5. doubleJ

    doubleJ Active Member

    I noticed that there are 24/32/40/48 channel onyx mixers with 8 buses, but they don't seem to have the firewire option. I've yet to see information for them on mackie's website, outside of press releases. If the 2480 had firewire, I couldn't think of much better.
  6. doubleJ

    doubleJ Active Member

    Oh, and on a side note, can any of the mixers double as daw control surfaces? It seems like the onyx streams the audio to the computer, but that's it. It would be sweet if you could activate it as a control surface and control levels and such.
  7. elmaestro

    elmaestro Guest

    JJ, you have mistaken the 8-bus VLZ-series consoles with the Onyx line. Currently only an 8/12/16-channel option is available in the Onyx line. The mixer will not operate as a control surface, meaning that mixdown levels have to be set in the software. Again since this is so new and there isn't much written yet about it there is much speculation on the details. One thing I'm certain of is that it cannot be used as a control surface or to control levels after it has been recorded. Since people have reported to use this to record while they're using it to provide live sound reinforcement this leads me to believe that during recording the fader levels are a monitor mix and do not fluctuate the levels during recording. The individual preamps and the master level out on the firewire card are the sole means of controlling the recording levels.

    I am currently using a digi002 and have had much success with it both for live and studio use. I was eying the MOTU 896HD after seeing two of them in action and hearing the results on an ECM label release. After doing some research I am now considering the Onyx 1640. I like the option of being able to use it as a standalone mixer as I did with the 002. I do lots of club/outdoor gigs with my Schertler PUB powered speakers and having a mixer is key. Even though the 002 doubles as a control surface I honestly never use it and achieve more accurate results in ProTools with the mouse. All volume automation I do is as minimal as possible and the faders can make a mess of it. Also having only four onboard mic pres is a joke and a max analog input of 10 channels is another frustration.

    The 896HD can sample up to 192k while the Onyx is still at 96k. While using the 002 at 24/96 I never once thought, "I really should be using 192!". I doubt that the material I regularly record will benefit all that much from 192 but I could be wrong. Hopefully Mackie is making the Onyx series "future proof" by allowing future upgradeability but to be able to sample at a higher rate requires different converters and that means either sending it in or worse, buying something to replace it.

    Sorry for the long post but this is seemingly virgin territory. For those of you who have an Onyx, how is the included Tracktion software? How does it compare to PT as far as editing and automation are concerned? Does it have as many options? What is your preferred recording app with Onyx for OSX? I'm also interested in getting the Spike for compact field recording. Any info would be greatly appreciated.
  8. doubleJ

    doubleJ Active Member

    Actually, there is a sound reinforcement version of the onyx. I don't believe it has a firewire interface, though, which is a shame. Mackie doesn't have it listed in the products of their website, but it is in their press releases and the last catalog release from Kingdom (church media company) lists each with pricing. I think it's basically just a standard 24x8, etc... with the onyx channel strips.
  9. elmaestro

    elmaestro Guest

    Ah, so. Interesting. Thanks for the correction.

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