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Problem Solved - Thanks To Mackie!

Published: Tue August 26, 2008  News Feed

Mackie gear. The solution to all of life's problems? We'd like to think so. See how the Onyx1640 solved a problem for the guys at MacWorld.com.

Jim Dalrymple works with Macworld.com and has been writing about Macs for more than a decade. However, he is also musician and decided to make an album, posting notes about the entire creative process on Macworld.com.

During this process, he ran into a problem. Not enough preamps for all the mics needed for the recording. Simple enough problem, right? Well, when you pose this question to audio engineers in a public forum, it is bound to get more complicated. Every audio engineer has their opinion, but a large majority of readers suggested Mackie’s Onyx Compact Mixers.

There are a lot of options and Jim took some time to consider, but ultimately decided to use two Onyx 1640 mixers. Here is an excerpt from his story:

"After reading the feedback in the article forums, I noticed quite a few recommendations for the Mackie Onyx 1640 mixer. It has 16 mic preamps and all of the other features you would expect from analog mixer. You can also use two of the channels for a direct guitar input via the Hi-Z input.

"The Hi-Z input is perfect for what I’m looking for because it’s designed specifically for guitars, allowing me to plug directly into the mixer. This means that I no longer have to plug the guitar into a powered box before going to the mixer. When I’m amping the guitar signal in software using Guitar Rig or other similar application, having a direct clean signal is important for the overall tone.

"The mixer also has an internal Talkback function—another handy thing that you don’t necessarily think about until you have a group of people standing around with headphones on recording some music. Using this feature, I can push a button and talk to everyone in the band at once without taking off the headphones, making silly hand gestures or otherwise disrupting the session.

"I got two of the 1640s, giving me a total of 32 inputs. The 1640 also has a FireWire option, so I can daisy chain the two mixers together and then plug into the Mac and use Logic or GarageBand to record all 32 channels. However, I didn’t do that. With all of the mics connected to the mixer, I’m using the recording outs on the 1640 to go into Apogee’s AD-16x using a DB25-to-XLR cable. The AD-16x is connected to the Mac via the PCI Express Apogee Symphony card, which gives me a great digital signal into Logic. To decode the digital output signal to analog, I’m using an optical lightpipe connection from the AD-16 into the Apogee Mini-Dac."

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