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Fishing for D8B feedback...

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by Sister Dimension, Jul 27, 2002.

  1. Sister Dimension

    Sister Dimension Active Member

    I've tried the D8B out, and attended a clinic... and I love the feel and
    layout of the board and software. I've narrowed down an upcoming purchase to
    the Mackie D8B and HDR2496 combo. I've seen alot of people steered away from
    the D8B (in a few different forums), but the reason is usually price and
    preference issues. Aside from this, is there anything you all can share
    regarding this mixer? Anything inherently faulty? Any positive attributes?
    Thank you for your input; it is well respected and appreciated. :)

  2. AudioKing

    AudioKing Guest

    I've recently been in the same boat as you and toiled over the D8B/HDR2496 combo and a Pro Tool set up with a Pro Control board.

    I finally made the decision and went with the D8B and HDR2496 combination. I spent just over $11,000.00 for the two (about half of what I would have spent for the Pro Tools rig I was looking at) and have been very pleased. Add to that the current D8B "Bonanza" package that Mackie's offering through it's authorized dealers (about $4,000.00 worth of "free" stuff), and it was hard to justify spending the additional money for the Pro Tools stuff.

    So far (about 3 weeks), the D8B has performed great and it sounds quite nice. I *REALLY* love the automation on the board and how easily/seemlessly the board integrates with the HDR-2496. Things are quick, smooth and good sounding.

    I'm very pleased with my D8B purchase.
  3. Henchman

    Henchman Active Member

    I have nothing but good things to say about the D8B. I have done excel;lent work with our set-up. (D8B + Failright MFX3.48).

    You must get the clockcard, and i woudl recommend an Aardvark Aardsynch as a main clock source.

  4. Sister Dimension

    Sister Dimension Active Member

    Aaron, Mark... Thanks for the vote of confidence regarding this set-up. I'm about 30 days away from the purchase (taking advantage of the 'D8Bonanza'!), and am looking very forward to it. Mark, the Aardvark you speak of, how does it tie in? I'll be purchasing the Apogee WordClock I/O for the D8B, and running the HDR as the master... Does the Aardvark act as the master source? I've read good things about it, but I'm unsure as to its role in the line-up. Any light you can shed on this or anything else regarding this set-up is greatly appreciated! Thanks again to you both. Looking forward to more responses! :D

  5. AudioKing

    AudioKing Guest

    I second the Apogee Clock Card suggestion. However, is there some particular reason you want to run your HDR as the master? I've found that with the Apogee Card, running the D8B as master and the HDR as slave works a bit smoother.

    As for the Aardvark Sync, I understand it's a nice unit, too, and a fairly popular choice. In my current set-up though, I don't have any othere devices besides the D8B and HDR that require sync. If you add a DAW or other sync-requiring devices, I understand the Aardvark is the master to have.
  6. Sister Dimension

    Sister Dimension Active Member

    Aaron... You know, I asked the Mackie rep about how I've read about different D8b owners setting up the master either way... His response was to use the HDR as the master, and he seemed solid on it. Anyhow, that was the only reason I wrote that; I figured he would know! I, too, will only have the D8B/HDR as the only devices to sync up. Just curious, when you say 'smoother' regarding the D8B as master, does that mean it smoothes out the sound, operation reliability, or both? Thanks...

  7. zeuss

    zeuss Member

    If I were in your situation I would seriously consider a lucid GenX6 clock. I have 2 D8b's and 2 HDR's and although I need the master clock to clock everything I can tell you it will make a Huge difference in sound even with just the D8b and HDR. If you go the apogee clock card definately clock the HDR from that.

    2 and a half years ago when i got my first d8b I started with the stock clock card. BLAH. sounded terrible. Then moved up to the apogee clock card and heard a definate improvement. NOW with the GenX6 it is so smooth and has such a nice depth and image I am very happy with the way things are sounding. You might not notice it right off the bat but when you have 24 tracks playing you will notice the tightness. Also it helps the converters out alot most of all. I don't use the onboard pres or the converters but they are very good for stock.

    The HDR is great and very solid. Mackie just went broadcast wav and the HDR is a perfect companion for the d8b. I have protool dudes coming in here and there and they can't believe what you can do with this setup especially for the money. The plugins are few but they are good. More are on the way. The GML EQ is amazing. The automation is top notch.I use other programs for certain things but usually can do anything I need with just this setup. Well worth the money!IF you need alsihad get an 001 with the mackie stuff and your all covered.

  8. AudioKing

    AudioKing Guest

    My understanding is that the D8B is picky about seeing other clock timing when booting up. Mackie suggests you turn the D8B on first, then your other devices. I'm guessing that this applies when the D8B clock is the master as it apparently doesn't like seeing other devices already on when set up this way.

    Honestly, though, I haven't tried it the other way around (HDR master). Everything I've read said the best way to do it is with the D8B as master and the HDR slaved.

    Also, as Zeuss points out, I have heard other users say that an upgraded external sync clock does improve the sound even more than the Apogee internal card. Aside from the Lucid mentioned, I have heard good things about the Aard Sync II from Aardvark.

    For now, I'm satisfied with the Apogee clock card. Perhaps later on as budget allows I'll look into an external clock.
  9. Sister Dimension

    Sister Dimension Active Member

    ...Thanks for the replies, guys. Zuess, I assume the GenX6 clock is external; how does it compare to the Aardvark in performance, price... Tell me more about how you utilize the Massenburg plug-in, I've heard nothing but great things about it... Also, do you all just use M-90's for backing up, or do you prefer other methods? Backing up seems crucial in the digital domain; I don't want to skimp on this aspect of the recording process... Thanks again.

  10. zeuss

    zeuss Member

    The Genx6 is an external master clock generator and distro unit. It provides 6 word clock outs as well as super clock. I tried the aardsync side by side with the lucid. I recorded about 16 tracks of stuff with each clock. They were both great and I found it hard to tell much of a difference. I went with the lucid since it was about a grand cheaper. I am very happy with it. Some have claimed the lucid is better than the aardsync.

    You hook it up by sending clock to the d8b apogee card and to the word clock input of the HDR and set them both to follow external sync.

    The mass EQ is very precise and has virtually no color. I use it on a drum sub group and some times guitar sub groups. The d8b eq's work fine for me most of the time since I don't really eq that much. A few DB's of cut or boost here and there. I use external outboard eq's more. But when needed the GML works great. You can use up to 16 mono or 8 stereo Eq's as long as you have 4 ufx cards.

    For archiving what I do is I have a lian LI frame installed in my pc. I backup my projects to the external drive (which I make myself from Lian Li mobile rack part#RH58) caddies. I then mount that in the PC and use retrospect to archive to Cdr. Way more cost effective and with a good fast plextor burner it doesnt take that long. Retrospect will span multiple discs if the project is over 650mb.

  11. Sister Dimension

    Sister Dimension Active Member

    Zuess... Great info, thanks... Those caddies you make, are they just like the Mackie M-90 pull-outs? What a good idea to have a bay installed in an outside computer rig, and back-up that way! I saw a few drive carriages on E-bay that fit Mackie HDR's. They had fans, and looked OK, but I was skeptical... Have you seen these? Anyway, that back-up method sounds efficient. I plan on purchasing an Alesis Masterlink for studio mastering... Any thoughts on how this would fit into the Mackie set-up? It sounds like a very smart idea to back-up via one of those Lian Li carriages in a dedicated tower, and then mix to the Masterlink. Safety first! Thanks for all the insight; much appreciated... Where do you find the Lian Li stuff? What are some of your thoughts regarding the Masterlink? :)
  12. zeuss

    zeuss Member

    The caddies are exactly the same as the ones mackie uses for their M-90's. You can get the caddies for $20 at various online computer stores.The drives can be purchased the same way. The only problem is 30 gig and under drives are getting hard to find and their is a current limitation of drive size on the HDR of under 30 gigs.

    The only difference in the caddies are the fans like you mentioned which I just disconnect due to extra noise. And they are beige.If you get the whole kit which consists of the frame and carrier you can take the frame and put that in a slot in your PC. This is what I did. You must put the frame on your secondary master Ide bus since that is how the HDR recognizes the drive. Don't get the ones on ebay since they are the same ones that you can get for $20 at online computer stores.

    The masterlink is also what I use as my master mixdown deck. I go AES out of the d8b into a crane song HEDD 192 then AES out into the masterlink. Everything stays at 24 bit and I send the CD-24's to my mastering guy where he does his thing at a high resolution just as it was when it was at the studio then makes the 16 bit cd.

  13. AudioKing

    AudioKing Guest

    I, too, use a Masterlink for both Red Book and CD24 transfers. It's a very sweet little unti and works just great with the D8B. I have mine set up like Zeuss - AES out of the D8B into the Masterlink.

    The mastering tools on the Masterlink are okay for quick fixes here and there, but they really aren't a substitute for a good piece of mastering software or hardware unit (such as the TC Finalizer). The FinalMix software that comes with the D8B is really not too bad, either. It has multi-band compression and eq and can do decent work. The TC Finalizer is my favorite, though.
  14. Sister Dimension

    Sister Dimension Active Member

    Zuess, Aaron... Thank you for sharing your angle on the Masterlink. That solidifies that decision for me! :) ... I'm going to look into the caddies, Zuess; I'll be sure to avoid the ones on E-bay. Is there an online source you'd recommend? Also... Zuess, what is the Crane Song HEDD 192? Thanks.

  15. Sister Dimension

    Sister Dimension Active Member

    Slightly off-topic question, out of curiosity:

    What monitors do you guys use?

    I'm set to buy the Mackie HR-824's; is there any other pair of actives that compare or surpass these, for the D8B/HDR, in the same price range?
    (I know it's a very subjective decision, I was just curious... :) )


  16. Midlandmorgan

    Midlandmorgan Active Member

    Just a quick couple of questions regarding the d8b:

    1. Does it monitor in real time, or is there any latency issue?

    2. Any known method for interfacing with an existing CPU/interface, to use DAW software as a recorder and process everything from within d8b, or is an MDR the only recording method?

    Thanks...I've only seen one of these units and it looks very impressive, but there are no actual working models within 200 miles, so I have nothing from which to compare...
  17. AudioKing

    AudioKing Guest


    WRT Monitors: I'm currently using Genelec 1031As and Yamaha NS-10s.

    I was looking at the Mackie 824s and was going to buy a set, but I got a real sweet deal on my pair of Genelecs, so I elected to go that way. I have a couple of friends who have 824s in their studios and they like them a lot. For the money, I think the 824s are a nice way to go.
  18. Sister Dimension

    Sister Dimension Active Member

    Aaron... thanks for the reply. I've heard some people say the 1031As sound 'too good'! I'll probably end up with the 824s, though; the price range is right, and I've heard great things about them... very honest monitors, I hear.

    Zuess... I looked up the Crane Song website, and read up on the HEDD 192... Sounds like it would add a bit of warmth on the way out... Interesting, I'll have to demo that - next time I'm at the music store... Also, what brand/type of hard drive do you install in your caddies?

    Midland... Can't help you with much, other than I've tried it out a bit, and love everything about the D8B. Hopefully, these guys can chime in and let you know first hand. I know some guys use ProTools set-ups (among others) with the D8B, so I know it will work in that regard... Check back for more definitive answers from experienced users! :)

  19. AudioKing

    AudioKing Guest

    I haven't noticed any latency problems at all.

    There's a lot of folks using the D8B with DAW software. While it will work well with most DAW software, it won't do the same things as something like the Pro Control 24 will do for Pro Tools.

    The D8B and the HDR 2496 are integrated very nicely and can pretty much do anything most other DAWs can do. There areplug-insavailable for the D8B as well. Certainly not as many as you can find for Pro Tools, but some very nice ones nonetheless.
  20. AudioKing

    AudioKing Guest

    I've heard people say the same thing about the 1031As. I don't find that to be true. They translate quite well to all the other systems I use for cross-reference (car, home theater system, office stereo, etc.). I do go back and forth between the 1031As and the NS-10s, so that also makes for a good cross-reference. The NS-10s are very harsh (the 1500 push will tear your head off at louder levels!) and the 1031As are very mellow, so getting a mix that sounds good on both tend to be the best way to go for me. I wouldn't hesitate to just mix on the 1031As, though.

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