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Mackie Onyx mixer line with firewire card

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by cotenyc, Feb 21, 2007.

  1. cotenyc

    cotenyc Active Member

    Anyone have any feedback?

    Looking to use this as my MAIN soundcard, looking for awesome sound and firewire.
    Thank you
     
  2. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    It's great, both in terms of sound AND cost-effectiveness. Anything specific you'd like to know?

    Make sure you check out the Mackie forums, as well over on the Mackie website. Lots of good, honest stuff there, from users of all walks of life. You can also do a search here in this forum, I (and many others) have made many comments about the ONYX Product line. If you liked the VLZ line, you'll really like the ONYX stuff.

    As you may or may not know, however, the Digital audio feed is after the input pot & bass rolloff, but BEFORE everything else, so be warned. Unless you have someone mod the board, you will NOT be tracking with EQ, unless you use a different output other than the DIs and DB-25 cable connectors. Most digital recording folks don't mind this, but there was a great hue and cry over this when it was first out.

    I did a review of the 1640 ONYX in Mix magazine (you can find it there by searcing their article database at http://www.mixonline.com), and since that time, I've purchased a 1220 ONYX for my studio/monitoring area, and just recently picked up the mid-level unit (the 10 mic input - 1620?) for times when I don't need all 16 inputs on live gigs. (The 1640 is BIG, compared to the older VLZ version, believe me...)

    There are of course many Mackie bashers out there, but I'm not one of them. I don't want to shill for the product (they have plenty of $$ of advertising) but if you have anything specific you'd like to know, fire away. :cool:
     
  3. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    Oh btw., it's NOT a digital board per se; it's a great analog console with a digital interface, that can be used for live gigs, studio tracking, or simply monitoring stuff out of your computer. (Esp the 1220; four mic pre's, four stereo line ins, and a host of control-room style inputs for PB and monitoring.)

    With all of them, there's a talkback feature that's great for tracking, and the firewire return (from the computer) comes up in the monitoring section, so yes,it's a GREAT "Soundcard" and mixer combined. Thats' how I use my 1220 instudio, while the 1640 and 1620's are used out on location, etc. If you're thinking of using this for a project/home studio, it's a very flexible/useful package.
     
  4. cotenyc

    cotenyc Active Member

    Hey Joe (no pun u know?)

    Thanks for all that info.
    I was thinking of getting the 1220, along with the f/w card for my setup..
    What you said about the eq.. So if I plug lets say a bass in, eq a bit, would this be the actualy sound recording as well as for playback through phones/mains?

    Also, how is it in terms of size?
    I'd like to be able to pack it with my laptop and not hire a team of dogs to pull me around..

    Someone also recommended I check out the onyx 400f
     
  5. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    Hey Joe (no pun u know?)

    I know... ;-)

    "where'm I goin' with that MIXER in my hand..."

    Thanks for all that info.
    I was thinking of getting the 1220, along with the f/w card for my setup..
    What you said about the eq.. So if I plug lets say a bass in, eq a bit, would this be the actualy sound recording as well as for playback through phones/mains?


    Interestingly, NO. The DI out is before the EQ. So, any changes in EQ that you hear through the mixer (and out of the monitor) does not get printed. The channel faders also do NOT affect the recording outs. But you CAN make a stereo 2-mix (CD/DAT backup, etc.) from the main bus that is all post-fader, post-eq, etc.) This is also available in the digital output as well, but it's only stereo, coming off the main bus.

    Some folks go as far as routing the signal out of a channel (POST-EQ) and then back into a second channel, then using THAT channel to feed the Firewire output, but personally, I think that's too much effort, and I like my software's EQ anyway, perhaps at least as much as the ONYX EQ.

    Also, how is it in terms of size?
    I'd like to be able to pack it with my laptop and not hire a team of dogs to pull me around..


    The 1220 is considerably smaller than the 1640, (BIG!!!) or the 1620 (not so big) but it's STILL a lot bigger than the original 1202 VLZ. I still have both, and side by side, the 1220 is easily twice as high, and much wider, deeper, etc. It's not insanely heavy, but again, you'll want to pick it up and see how it feels if you're thinking of moving it around. They do sell gig bags for 'em, too, so you're not alone in this thinking.

    Someone also recommended I check out the onyx 400f

    I'm sure it's a great bang for the buck; lots of features, etc. (And sonically, it's the same pre's, as far as I know...) I just find that once you've gotten as far as the 4 pre's, you're halfway there to 8 pre's, and by then, you might as well be looking into the more high end stuff (Grace, Millennia, etc.) but thats' just me.

    I really like having the ONYX stuff for all my day to day work (it lacks for nothing for what "I" need), and I'm not against having the high end esoteric stuff for projects that call for it. (I also track high end stuff with a Grace m802). For many live gigs that I do (Classical, Jazz, Theater, and 100's of other oddball gigs), it's the most flexible option out there. Add to that the fact that I really, honestly, don't hear any major difference in the converters and pres vs. roughly 90% of everything else out there, I do think it sometimes just comes down to what you're comfortable working with.

    And for me, the Mackies are my "Swiss-Army knife/Comfy chair" in everything I do. As always, YMMV.
     
  6. pedrodash

    pedrodash Guest

    the 400f will give you more features if you're into recording.
    It has 4 preamps, inserts, line-ins, MIDI I/O, and S/PDIF I/O.

    This should work fine for you!
     
  7. cotenyc

    cotenyc Active Member

    thats kind of a deal breaker, the eq thing that is... not sure why they would design it that way. I'm going to look into the 400f, read up a bit.. I'm not in a big hurry. I have a small home studio, although I pump out some serious recording here, not much multi tracking..
    I've been using an audigy2 (believe it or not) with a 4-track converted to mixer for some time now, and a shure 58.. with great results, but feel its time to jump up a few notches.

    I tried the presonus firebox, great unit.. although the preamps were so low that Id have to spend more on another box (preamp)... back to the store it went.
    Next, tried an m-audio 410. Not bad, but not much difference from my audigy2 setup, at least not enough to warrant the $350 cost, plus rearrange my anal-retentive life.. back to the store again.

    So I am back to square one, but am looking to upgrade soon.
    I'd like to get an AT 4040 mic, and plug that into a real kickass firewire unit and rid myself of the audigy altogether.

    If you guys have any other suggestions, please throw 'em my way.

    ps. I'm not highly evolved in the recording world, I don't know about all the routing, busing, dsp, outboard gear etc. etc. and I don't have a rack.. so ideally, I'd like something kind of compact that I can use with my laptop to cut some live drums or horns form time to time.

    I only record audio, use mainly soundfonts, a handful of selective plugins and sonar 6PE all on a pretty quick computer. set up real well.

    Thanks again guys.
     
  8. The guys here do a great mod so that you can use the fw card with eq , sends and aux either pre or post ader and its pretty cheap

    http://www.frontendaudio.com/SearchResults.asp?Search=mackie+mod&mfg=

    Also if anyones looking i had bought 2 onyx boards and daisy chaned them but only need 1 so i have a onyx 1620 forsale if anyone is interested.
     
  9. Scoobie

    Scoobie Active Member

    I'm a Mackie (nut) user also. I think it's the best board you can get without spending a ton of cash.

    That said, I don't use the firewire option. I use the DB-25's into RME converters.

    I'll 2nd the MOD. Warren Dent at Frontend Audio
    is the man to see for your mackie MOD's. He is also known as WarHead on there fourm.

    Peace............Scoobie
     
  10. vdrummer

    vdrummer Active Member

    I have a question about fire wire mixers in general that I want to make sure I understand since that is one option I'm looking at for a new recording interface. Just to understand, at what point do fire wire mixers send the signal from the board to the computer? I gather from what I read that the signal goes to the gain knob first than on to the computer, bypasses the slider, send signals, channel EQ, main EQ, and is this correct? If so it seems like such a waste if one cannot use the mixers capabilities to affect the recording signal.

    Also it have been mentioned that boards can be modified, any more specific information on cost, and added capabilities this adds?
     
  11. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    The mod fixes the problem you mentioned in the previous paragraph: it allows you to record the signal after it has passed through the rest of the Onyx channel strip.

    I will be leaving my 1620 as it is however: I often record on location with only headphone monitoring, so I would leave all the EQs bypassed anyway if they were in the record path. As they are not in the record path I can use them for foldback mixes without affecting the signal to tape.

    This would also be a good way to record a gig: you could use the Onyx board to mix the front of house & monitors while recording clean un-EQed signals to be mixed later.
     
  12. Scoobie

    Scoobie Active Member

    Ditto what IIRs said.......I have a 24 channel Onyx board that don't have the MOD for live recordings. I never had any luck printing the FOH EQ, so I just record the dry signal anyway. I do sometimes record the stereo mix from the board if asked too.

    I do however have a 1220 that's has been MOD. My son has it and it works great. It was bought from Frontend Audio. Go to the web site that SonicLabsAudio has on his post. You can find out all the information that you need on that site.

    Peace..............Scoobie
     
  13. HansAm

    HansAm Active Member

    I have realy kicked on this 1640. Just found it, didnt know it excisted. It seems to satisfy my every need, just reading the specs, and the reviews are good to. But i see some reviews pointing a finger at the build quality. What do you think about it? Is it solid anough? Whats not good with the build quality??
     

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