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Onyx Blackbird/Blackjack

Discussion in 'Recording' started by hueseph, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    At the risk of resembling Spam:

    Mackie has introduced two new interfaces. The Blackbird and Blackjack recording interfaces. I wonder if these will be able to use the M-Powered Hack? It doesn't appear to be available for these two. I wonder if they would be willing to send a sample over to audiokid for evaluation? Nudge Nudge @ Mackie. :biggrin:

    Thoughts?
     
  2. gdoubleyou

    gdoubleyou Well-Known Member

    Their HQ is down the street from me, might have to go take a peek.
     
  3. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Ask them how they count up the "8 x 8 ADAT I/O for ultimate expandability" on the Blackbird. Where do they hide the other 4 optical connectors?
     
  4. gdoubleyou

    gdoubleyou Well-Known Member

    The fiber optic cable is capable of moving 8 tracks at 44.1KHz, 4 tracks at 88.2KHz.
     
  5. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Even in a marketing executive's hyped-up prose, the statement "8 x 8 ADAT I/O" implies 8 ADAT optical connectors. The rear panel photo of the Blackbird shows 2 input and 2 output optical connectors, and there are none visible in the front panel photo.

    It can't mean "8 + 8" (i.e. counting input and output channels separately), as the expression should then be "16 + 16", and the Mackie marketing people would never under-sell the unit.

    One guess is that the original specification for the unit had the 8 connectors, but it got whittled down to 4 in the engineering design and nobody told the copywriters. The user manual only talks about the 2 input and 2 output ADAT connectors.
     
  6. jammster

    jammster Active Member

    Hello everybody, how are things?

    I just picked up the blackbird yesterday and set it up last night. My first impressions are that Mackie has made a real strong competitor in the marketplace here. I am very impressed with the performance of this interface. I got the latency down to 5ms on my Macbook Pro. All around big improvement from my presonus boxes.
     
  7. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Nice. Let us know how things go. Post some examples if you get a chance.
     
  8. jammster

    jammster Active Member

    Yeah, it is indeed a hot summer here. I have been swamped with work lately which is good, but I do plan on working on several recording projects this summer. I will be sure to post something sometime in the coming weeks. As things sit right now I'm lucky to get one day a week to have fun in the studio.

    Cheers!
     
  9. AToE

    AToE Active Member

    I'm running 2 blackbirds right now, probably will get a 3rd soon. With the really easy to use monitor mixing and overall good quality for a silly low price I honestly think this model is going to own the marketplace for a while other than for people who are looking for built in FX.
     
  10. jammster

    jammster Active Member

    Yesterday I did a session with two really good friends of mine and a brand new EV RE320 mic, the result are in and the Blackbird is fantastic! I did my session at 88.2k and the latency was hardly noticeable. I use a Lucid GenX6-96 word clock and run alongside the firestudio 26 right now. I really don't like the fact that four of the 8 outputs are on the front panel, but other than that I really love the quality of this interface, its a win win for the price! AToE has the right idea, I'm going to get a second Blackbird!
     
  11. AToE

    AToE Active Member

    You've got 4 inputs on the front? I only have 2. And yes, I agree, I hate that, makes the gear look a lot more amateur (to be fair that is what it is, but still!) and is bloody annoying when trying to run a 16ch snake or something.
     
  12. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    I read that as "outputs" in jammster's post. He's referring to the two headphone jacks.

    Going back to my previous puzzle about the "8x8" designation of the ADAT I/O (Post #5), I've cleared that up. There are only 8 ADAT channels available in each direction at both the lower and higher rates. At the standard (lower) rates, the leftmost optical connectors only are used (input and output). At the higher rates using s/mux protocol, both jacks of each pair are used.
     
  13. AToE

    AToE Active Member

    Oops, yes, my mistake...
     
  14. jammster

    jammster Active Member

    Huseph I would love to post the session from the July 5th but I don't know how I can since its not my song and I need permission to post, however if you would like to hear a high quality MP3 of the session just PM me and I will send it to your email.
     
  15. jammster

    jammster Active Member

    Mackie states that the blackbird is a 16x16 interface without disclosing that there are only 2main out x4 , the manual even indicates this to be true and it will not give multi outs for mixdown on my console! I was really counting on this to work, oh well!
     
  16. jammster

    jammster Active Member

    Turns out I got the 8 outs to work today after getting on the horn with Mackie. The Blackbird Control software determines how the mix is made for each output pair. You can assign either DAW outs or mic/line outs from the interface before they reach the DAW, that way you have real-time monitoring without any latency. So, its great to finally get things up and running right.

    I've heard so many complain about Mackie's support of their products, but they did not seem bad to me?
     
  17. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    There's issues with every piece of gear out there. It's a matter of taking the time to ensure that your hardware is compatible and that your software is all legitimate. I would dare guess that 30% of the issues people have is due to their use of illegal software. Not that, that applies to you. Mackie has been good to me in the past. The build quality has been a bit questionable lately but no less than with any other hardware made in (insert third world country here). Which pretty well implicates most of the major companies out there right now.

    Glad to hear it's working out for you. Are you a happy owner?
     
  18. jammster

    jammster Active Member

    Yes, I am happy with the Onyx Blackbird, it is worth every penny. The issue with the output was due to the Blackbird Control software. By default it is setup for monitoring outputs straight from the preamp and not from the DAW. You have to select the tabs and arrange each mix accordingly so that the desired output is made. Its very open ended, and its intended to be used for individual headphone mixes 1 and 2.

    So, yes I will be able to use the Blackbird the way I want, and it does sound better than anything I have used before. I may consider selling the firestudio to get another Blackbird soon.
     

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