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Mackie MCU - Robust enough to buy used?

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by zemlin, Jun 28, 2005.


Mackie MCU - New or Used?

  1. New

  2. Used

    0 vote(s)
  1. zemlin

    zemlin Well-Known Member

    I've decided my next purchase is a Mackie controller. Not interested in alternatives unless they are as well LCD'd well as as the Mackie rig.

    My question is ... new or used?
    I can afford to buy it new. I am not afraid of eBay - lots of good transactions, and only a couple of marginal ones. I can save about $300 buying used, but I don't want to go there unless these things are robust enough to act like new, even if a couple years old and handled with less-than-kid gloves.

    While I'd love to run over to GC and walk out with a box under my arm so I can play with it tonight, I'm not willing to pay a big premium for that.

    Have you had to have your MCU repaired? Should I be concerned about how much warranty is left on a used MCU?
  2. zemlin

    zemlin Well-Known Member

    Well, I seem to be asking questions nobody wants to answer these days. In light of:
    1) A lot of activity on eBAY regarding these things - ie high prices
    2) A lot of folks selling them having "only used them a few times" - ie uncertainty on my part as to how valuable these things really are
    3) The benefit of having a 2-year warranty

    I decided to buy new. I'm glad I did - in fact my experience so far has me a little concerned about what I'm getting into with this $1000 gadget. Guitar Center had a demo unit that was beat to crap - I elected not to get that one. Sam Ash had one in a box - got it home and clearly this was not a brand new unit. Scuffs, scrapes, no plastic film on the digital display, fingerprints on the manual, etc - and two bad faders. They would not make the full trip up and down with the unit was powered up and did not communicate the correct values to the host application (I tried Samplitude and Adobe Audition).

    So I exchanged that box with their display unit with the understanding that when they get a new unit in stock I can exchange again to get a new one. This one is in better shape and all the faders work, but it has one dead segment in the LED readout.

    I hope these aren't accurate indications of the reliability of these controllers.

    On the plus side, I LOVE THIS THING!!!! I had a 15 min choir orchestra recording that I was not looking forward to mixing. There are a lot of different styles of performance in this one work and I was looking at some unpleasant mouse work to get it all in order.

    I sat down with the Mackie Controller and pressed play - adjusted levels for the first section, jog-wheeled back and held the faders in the position and then proceeded to mix the rest of the piece. When I'd hit something that needed adjustment I'd back-pedal with the jog wheel and have another run at it. I mixed the whole thing in about 30 minutes and am tickled with the results.

    This thing's going to be a HUGE time saver. I just hope I get one with all the parts working at the same time.

    MAXIMILIAN Active Member

    What DAW software do you use? And is the mcu any good for controlling things like eq, plug ins, etc? According to the mackie website it is...

    Looking to get one of these in a few months when I can afford it.
  4. zemlin

    zemlin Well-Known Member

    Keep in mind I've only been messing with this thing for a few days. I use Samplitude - and their support for the controller is less than 100% - there are a few little flakes here and there.

    It can be used to adjust EQ in Samp, but it's rather cumbersome - I think I'll stick with mousing for that. I like tweaking the SEND levels with the controller, but I think adjusting settings within the plugins will still be best done via mouse work.

    I think if you wanted to tweak plugin settings it might be best to get the C4 - perhaps with that you could have dedicated knobs for plugin settings (?) just guessing - but otherwise I'd think every plugin would work differently and you'd be looking at the PC screen to know what was going on anyway - might as well mouse if that's the case.

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