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Hi, I know this has been discussed here before so I ask for your indulgence. I'm trying to a Mackie 12 channel mixer as a patchbay- plugging my Avalon m5, API, Focusrite, Neve Portico and maybe an old Joemeek down to two inputs into my OO2.
I've read about someone, maybe Kurt bypassing the preamps in his Mackie when heading ito his DAW,
Am I on the wrong track?
Do I really need to be looking for a RME or Apogee product?


Cucco Wed, 07/27/2005 - 07:04

Well, you could plug them into the returns or you could simply run them "line-level" into the line ins. You'll still bypass the pres by doing so.

The only problem is that the summing bus on most Mackies is probably their biggest weakness. I understand the Onyx is better, buy I haven't used it so I can' comment with any authority.

You will find summing to be much better on mixers from folks like A&H (much better), Soundcraft (marginally better), Crest (much, much better), Midas (different league) and then of course the big boys - Neve, SSL, Euphonix, etc. I know, I'm giving you a $100,000 solution to a $200 problem - I'm just saying, think about what you're putting between such nice pres and your recording medium. Is it worth it?

There are also several devices that do nothing buy act as summing mixers - Manley, SPL, Speck are just a few.


KurtFoster Fri, 07/29/2005 - 13:45

A clarification Jeremy. Plugging into the "line inputs" on a Mackie, still runs through the pre amps. The line inputs are just padded down with a resistor to keep line level signals from overloading the pre. To bypass the pres in a Mackie, you need to come in on the insert return. As you mentioned, this still subjects the signal to Mackies notoriously bad summing and EQ however. If I have my druthers, NOTHING ever passes through the Mackie on the way to the recorder. I only use the Mackie to mix latency free phone cues and to monitor off while I track.

Cucco Fri, 07/29/2005 - 20:15

Holy Crap!!!!

Thanks for pointing this out Kurt! I never knew that they patched their line-ins through their mic pres - HOW RIDICULOUS! (I guess I should have actually looked at their schematics...) Anyway, I'm kinda with you - I don't send a signal through the mackie to any recording source. I do use it for monitoring on-location and for cue mixes. It's particularly nice cuz if someone breaks it - not sad. If someone spills on it, not sad. But, FWIW, some serious sh*t has happened to my 1202 and it still looks brand new!


KurtFoster Sat, 07/30/2005 - 11:28

A lot of mixers do not have true dedicated line inputs. Most the mixers found in PDS recorders use the same type of arraignment. That is why I usual don't recommend outboard mic pres to the people that say they are using them. If you want the full benefit of an outboard mic pre then be sure you mixer has inserts to accommodate bypassing the internal mic pres completely.

Yes Mackies are built like tanks. I saw an ad once where one of the design engineers was standing on a 1604 ..... try that with a Behringer. :roll:

I love Mackie stuff for live PA work and I have even recorded a few projects with my SR24 that came out very well. If forced, I could do a whole record with a 1604 and a 1/4" 4 track .... well, ok ... 2 - 1/4" 4 track machines. :lol:

Mackie mixers run out of headroom and do not sum as well as they could. But for what they cost, Mackie mixers are remarkable. I have seen original 1604s that are still in service, In fact I mixed a show last X-Mas on one. The word on the street (from reliable sources IMO) is the new ONYX line of mixers has better summing and headroom ... but I want to hear it myself before I commit to that.

baze sax Thu, 06/03/2010 - 15:41

I am gled there is such a good place on the net. I've learned many things here. particularly this, how to bypas small mixer preamps. I wasn't satisfied using line input. thats actually padded stage of the preamp. and what about the last (stereo)channels on the mixer? is there any preamp,and can I also connect outboard preamp there? greets


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