Any opinions on the Mackie Onyx for recording?

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by straticus, Oct 14, 2005.


  1. straticus

    straticus Member

    Messages:
    3,101
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2003
    Location:
    Nevada City, Ca.
    I've been thinking about selling my Aardvark Q10 and replacing it with a Mackie 1640 Onyx.

    Has anyone tried the Onyx mixers for recording via Firewire? If so, how'd it sound?

    Any other insight appreciated.

    BC
     
  2. 85db

    85db Member

    Messages:
    286
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2005
    I wanted to buy Mackie Onyx mixer with a Firewire card too because I liked the idea of the front-end being a real mixer. I dumped that idea when I learned that all of the recording outputs are PRE EQ! Which means that all those nice Perkins EQ that Mackie is bragging about could not be utilized for recording!

    A big Mackie dealer told me that this is the biggest customer complaint they're hearing and that they reported it back to Mackie. At first Mackie defended their position by saying "you should never apply EQ when recording" -- which a purist approach -- but eventually agreed that they just "blew it". Notice that all the older Mackie mixers like VLZ-Pro had post EQ recording outs. I wouldn't be surprized if Mackie released some sort of Onyx mkII very soon.

    Another possible problem with Mackie is that I believe they don't support zero-latency monitoring.
     
  3. straticus

    straticus Member

    Messages:
    3,101
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2003
    Location:
    Nevada City, Ca.
    I agree that it would be nice, and it makes sense, to have the EQ in the recording chain but only if it's defeatable, IMHO. I don't EQ the in-coming signal anyway so that isn't a big problem for me. But you're right, the option to have the EQ in or out of the chain would be nice.

    The idea that Mackie might come out with an "up-graded" model with the EQ in the chain, thus making the current version worth much less, is a little scary too.

    I'm also wondering what people that have used the Onyx for recording think about the mic pre's?
     
  4. 85db

    85db Member

    Messages:
    286
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2005
    Yes, EQ must be defeatable.

    Bare in mind that since most of us use software-based DAWs for recording AND mixing, we end up using software-based EQs which, in my opinion, sound mediocre (well, aside from the specialized ones that cost big $$$ like UAD, Waves, etc). Cubase EQ is nearly terrible, while Sonar's is more musical. In the end, none of then can compare to a real thing.

    If you know your instruments and equipment well, you can track with EQ -- many engineers do that for the instruments and parts they know well. For instance, if you know the frequency where your bass lacks some presence, it'd be better to add it during the recording -- simply because Perkins will sound more musical than the Cubase EQ. You can always undo some of it with Cubase EQ if you applied to much of the Perkins. Some people who know what they want, print their tracks wet from the start. For instance, Mike Oldfield does that a lot. I consider his records to be some of the best recorded records ever made. It works for him because he knows what he wants and he prefers to move fast.

    Yes, in a purist approach you'd record everything un-eq'ed and dry. But remember that this approach might require extra gear. In ideal, super-purist environment, you'd have a separate fader-automated console (Neve?) that would be used for mixing only. That way you can avoid using your DAW's EQ and digital mixer all together. Actually, this is what many pros do now. The problem is that these solutions cost hundreds of k.
     
  5. dougb415

    dougb415 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    9,476
    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2005
    Location:
    On the farm, an hour south of Nashville
    There has been discussion on the Mackie forums about a shop (I think it's in Texas) that does the mod to make the outputs post-EQ.
     
  6. 85db

    85db Member

    Messages:
    286
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2005
    Great news for Mackie Onyx owners!
     
  7. dougb415

    dougb415 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    9,476
    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2005
    Location:
    On the farm, an hour south of Nashville
    Here is the message I was referring to:

    "hi all, THERE IS A MOD AVAILABLE! I found a service center in Dallas that offers a mod for the Onyx small format consoles. The cost to change my 1620 was $295, same price for 1220, the 1640 is $395. The service center does happen to be an authorized Mackie repair station, but they were quick to point out that at this point, this is not an official Mackie sanctioned mod therefore the mod itself is not warranteed, although the mod doe not affect the warranty on the mixer or the firewire card. As for the mod, they gave me a form to fill out to specify which channel to mod or ignore, and whether the channel should be changed to "post eq-pre fader" or "post fader". If you're interested contact Technical Services-John Eldridge. Phone is 972-421-4230, his email is "support@tecserv.biz". Hope that's helpful!"
     

Share This Page