Onyx Satellite a flop?

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by lead_ears, Aug 12, 2008.

  1. lead_ears

    lead_ears Guest

    Hi all,
    I've been shopping for a nomad soundcard and I had almost settled for a NI Audio Kontrol, but I have seen a Mackie Onyx Satellite at 150 Euros (ca. $200). I checked the US on line vendors and found that it's the current street price. Anybody has an explanation for the drastic price drop from 500+ to 200- ? Is it just out of fashion or are there any flaws? I intend to use it as a back up for my Tascam DM4800, with Samplitude 9.
  2. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2005
    I'm not sure why the price dropped so dramatically. Perhaps the current lack of Vista drivers has something to do with it? I think they are working on that however, as they are asking for beta testers on the forum: (Dead Link Removed)

    My Satellite has been working well for about 18 months now. (I usually just use the 'Pod' part when out and about with my laptop as I have multi-channel interfaces in my studio.)

    The current street price is an amazing bargain IMO: it would be worth buying one at that price just to use the Pod on its own as a dual-channel mic pre, or (like I sometimes do) to add another pair of mic pre's to a larger system.
  3. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2005
    A couple of minor points: The original firmware didn't provide any 'zero latency' monitoring at all. An update has fixed this, but only in a very basic manner: you can listen to your inputs at the same time as your DAW mix, but there is no way to adjust the balance other than to adjust your DAW master fader level against your input gain trims. Also this feature is only available from the Base Station; you still can't do it if you are using the Pod on its own.

    And, when monitoring mono inputs they are panned hard left or hard right: there is no way to route your mono bass guitar (for example) directly to both your monitors at the sme time.

    Neither of these issues affected me at all as I use a hardware mixer to set up monitoring.
  4. lead_ears

    lead_ears Guest

    Thanks for your answer.
    The other Mackie interfaces do not exhibit such a drastic drop as the satellite, so I have a feeling they will phase it out. It's a brilliant idea, but there may not be such a big market as they envisioned...I shall use it as a temporary band aid for my Tascam DM4800 while it's on repair. I'll use it for some overdubs; I believe latency with the Satellite should be the same than with the DM
  5. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    I haven't experienced this at all. Ever. I think it depends on your DAW. When I record a mono source whether in Tracktion or Cubase, it's always panned center.

    Some people have had issues with the Firewire port on the Satellite giving out prematurely. The lack of Vista and Leopard drivers is a big issue on the forum right now. As much as I like this little unit, I think it's a good idea to consider other options with better support.

    I don't mean to bash Mackie but it seems they are more concerned with their live reinforcement product than their digital interfaces right now. The product is there but the software support is lacking. They've brought all the driver development in house but it's as though they've bitten off more than they can chew.

    That being said, the Satellite is a nice little unit and mine has worked flawlessly since i bought it, with the exception of some user error issues that I had to deal with.
  6. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Distinguished Member

    Dec 12, 2001
    Oberlin, OH
    Home Page:
    I bought one of these from GC.

    I was going to use it for quick and dirty recital recordings at the local college but it had some problems.

    It would go into oscillation when plugged into the main unit. Also the firewire port seemed to have some problems staying connected. I went back to GC and they gave me another one but that too had the same problems. I took the second one back and they refunded my money.

    Nice idea, GREAT price but buggy.
  7. lead_ears

    lead_ears Guest

    Well, I ordered the thing, got it on saturday morning, took me 15 minutes to get it up and running, with 128 samples buffer at 88.2k. Sounds very clean, the headphones amp has enough juice to drive adequately my AKG K701. It makes a very nice back up (or nomad) system
  8. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Scotland, UK
    "with 128 samples buffer at 88.2k."

    :( Using Asio4all on a crappy PC I struggle at 512, 44.1KHz, after about 5 minutes.
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