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ONYX-i SERIES

FOR PC

Microsoft Windows 7 32 / 64 RTM, Vista 32 / 64 SP 2 or XP 32 SP 3
Pentium 4, Celeron or Athlon XP processor
512 MB RAM

FOR MAC

Mac OS X 10.4.11 – 10.7.1
G4 processor
512 MB RAM

AWARDS



MIX Award

PAR Award

Pro Sound Web Award


Onyx-i Series FAQ
1. Can I use the Onyx-i “Hi-Z” inputs as line ins?
2. How is the latency between monitoring and tracking? In the past I have tried various USB interfaces and have not been happy?
3. Why did Mackie put the low cut button at the pre-amp stage while the Mackie VLZ3 Series implements this at the EQ stage?
4. Is phantom power global or selectable per channel?
5. What sort of equalizer is present on each input of Onyx-i mixers?
6. What is the highest sample rate that you can track with? For example, is a resolution of 88.2 kHz possible?
7. How would you incorporate outboard preamps into the system?
8. Are the FireWire outputs pre-fader or post?

Onyx 1640i FAQ
9. What are the benefits of using the Onyx 1640i’s 16 FireWire returns to perform the final mix (as opposed to mixing “in the box”)?
10. The 16x16 FireWire interface in the Onyx 1640i allows you to return up to 16 DAW channels into the mixer’s channel strip for a true “tape style” mixdown. Is this true for other Onyx-i Series mixers (1620i, 1220i, 820i)?
11. Is the EQ IN/OUT switch on the Onyx 1640i a hard bypass? Does this help to minimize possible noise?
12. When you select a channel on the 1640i to stream via FireWire to your DAW, are you locked into what channel goes to what track? What about when assigning DAW tracks back to the mixers channels?
13. I have an existing 16x16 interface and want to get a Mackie console. Do you recommend either an Onyx or VLZ3 console?
14. Can you create a headphone send on the Onyx 1640i itself, or is this set up in the DAW?
15. How many mic pre amps are on the Onyx 1640i?
16. How well would the Onyx 1640i integrate into a small venue FOH desk? Simultaneous recording? Monitors?
17. Does the Onyx 1640i work as a control surface?
18. The original Onyx 1640 compact mixer has only two returns from the DAW. The 1640i has 16? How are these configured?
19. The faders are not motorized, so how does DAW control get translated to the faders on the 1640i with the FW switch down?
20. When tracks stream back from your DAW to the 1640i, are the input volumes determined by the software or the gain knob?

1. Can I use the Onyx-i “Hi-Z” inputs as line ins?
Yes. The “Hi-Z” switches on channels 1 and 2 of all Onyx-i Series mixers select between Hi-Z and line level for the ¼ inch input.

2. How is the latency between monitoring and tracking? In the past I have tried various USB interfaces and have not been happy
One of the best parts of using an Onyx-i mixer in a session is its intuitive workflow.  It’s not only your recording solution, but because it’s a full-fledged analog mixer, it’s also your monitoring solution.  Everything happens in real time, because everything is analog.  Setting up headphone mixes and monitoring your recording is all done in the analog domain with zero latency.  Here’s an example of the only situation in which you will experience latency: If you are adding a real-time plug-in (like compression) in your DAW for monitoring purposes, you will need to have the FW source switch at the top of that input channel in the down position to hear it / route it to auxiliaries for monitor feeds.  This means that instead of monitoring the analog input, you are monitoring the DAW’s output on the same mixer channel.  Similarly, you can use a plug-in from your DAW to add reverb or delay to the monitoring path, allowing your vocalist to really get in the right mood to deliver that killer performance.  Both of these will add latency, but because the Onyx-i Series uses Firewire, you should be able to achieve very low latencies for these situations.

3. Why did Mackie put the low cut button at the pre-amp stage while the Mackie VLZ3 Series implements this at the EQ stage?
By low-cutting the signal right after the preamp boost, you will be more certain to not overload your EQ bus on the way to the channel fader (if, say, you engage low-cut but also boost the LF EQ).

4. Is phantom power global or selectable per channel?
Phantom power on the entire Onyx-i Series is available on a channel-by-channel basis, perfect for situations with a wide variety of studio microphones.

5. What sort of equalizer is present on each input of Onyx-i mixers
The Onyx-i Series of mixers feature different configurations of our flagship Perkins EQ, featuring a wide, musical curve that’s extremely easy to work with.  Please visit the respective Onyx-i Series model webpage for detailed info about specific configuration per mixer.

6. What is the highest sample rate that you can track with? For example, is a resolution of 88.2 kHz possible
The Onyx-i Series of FireWire recording products all recording up to 24-bit, 96 kHz sample rates (including 88.2 kHz, 48 kHz and 44.1 kHz).

7. How would you incorporate outboard preamps into the system
The line-ins would be the preferred method, because the connection would be balanced.  The other place to enter the channel strip would be from the insert returns, for which you would need to use the ring-return path of a ¼” ‘Y’ insert cable (leaving the send portion going nowhere, and having nothing else plugged into that channel’s inputs).

8. Are the FireWire outputs pre-fader or post?
Either.  Onyx-i mixers offer a pre/post EQ switch on each channel that lets you determine whether you are recording with or without EQ and/or inserts.  Additionally, there are several available modifications that our service center network can perform, including post-fader FireWire sends, fixed post-insert FireWire sends (instead of needing to engage the EQ button), and pre-EQ auxiliary sends.  Feel free to visit our Support page to learn more

9. What are the benefits of using the Onyx 1640i’s 16 FireWire returns to perform the final mix (as opposed to mixing “in the box”)?
For one, you get to mix on a mixer – something not done since the days of 2˝ tape.  You get the benefits of using analog EQ and the ability to incorporate your rackmount gear as well.  Also, the summing bus on the Onyx 1640i is extremely high quality and noticeably different from the sonic character of common DAW summing algorithms.

10. The 16x16 FireWire interface in the Onyx 1640i allows you to return up to 16 DAW channels into the mixer’s channel strip for a true “tape style” mixdown. Is this true for other Onyx-i Series mixers (1620i, 1220i, 820i)?
Of the series, only the Onyx 1640i features a full 16x16 integrated interface making it the only mixer in the Onyx-i Series that allows an analog mixdown.  The other three Onyx-i mixers have a stereo return from the DAW making them great recording mixers for those needing lower channel counts, less mic pres, and who prefer to mix in their DAW.  And our Onyx Blackbird and Blackjack are great for those who simply need an audio interface without the ability to mix outside the box.  Here is a list of the available I/O on other Mackie Onyx interfaces:

  • The Onyx 1620i has an integrated 16x2 FW interface and 8 Onyx preamps
  • The Onyx 1220i has an integrated 16x2 FW interface and 4 Onyx preamps
  • The Onyx 820i has an integrated 8x2 FW interface and 3 Onyx preamps
  • The Onyx Blackbird is a rackmount 16x16 FW interface with 8 Onyx preamps, 8x8 ADAT I/O and Word Clock
  • The Onyx Blackjack is a desktop 2x2 USB interface with 2 Onyx preamps and true analog hardware monitoring.

11. Is the EQ IN/OUT switch on the Onyx 1640i a hard bypass? Does this help to minimize possible noise?
Yes.  The 1640i features a hard-bypass EQ switch that is used to either bring the EQ inline or to bypass the EQ section of the console entirely, making for an exceedingly clean path to the signal’s next destination.  On mixers without a hard bypass switch, after the signal is boosted to line level by the mic preamp, the signal is often next routed directly through the EQ section, and the only way to “not” EQ is to run all of the knobs in the Unity position, but even this tactic still causes the signal to travel through all of those op amps (taking along the noise floor of those components).  A hard bypass option eliminates this concern for critical signals being routed directly to a DAW, and is generally considered a more professional or “purist” approach.

12. When you select a channel on the 1640i to stream via FireWire to your DAW, are you locked into what channel goes to what track? What about when assigning DAW tracks back to the mixers channels?
The DAW itself, such as Pro Tools, allows for assignment of any 1640i input to any track in the session, and reciprocally any DAW output to any channel of the mixer.  The Onyx 1640i is extremely flexible in this regard, and most DAW output options are accessible and easy to change.

13. I have an existing 16x16 interface and want to get a Mackie console. Do you recommend either an Onyx or VLZ3 console?
A more “direct” replacement for a standard 16x16 interface would be the 16x16 Onyx Blackbird FireWire interface.  As for Mackie consoles, only the Onyx-i Series features FireWire connectivity, where the VLZ3 compact mixers are purely analog.  The VLZ3 4-Bus mixers (2404-VLZ3 and 3204-VLZ3) do feature USB connectivity, but offer a 4x2 USB interface instead of the full 16x16 FireWire interface featured on the Onyx 1640i.

14. Can you create a headphone send on the Onyx 1640i itself, or is this set up in the DAW?
In a recording scenario you would use the 1640i’s auxiliary sends to create up to six unique headphone mixes.  From the mixer, running the auxiliary outs into a headphone amp would allow all monitor mixes to be entirely in the analog domain with zero-latency, of course.

15. How many mic pre amps are on the Onyx 1640i?
The Onyx 1640i features 16 Onyx mic preamps – our flagship preamp series.  As we already mentioned, though, there are many flavors of Onyx products:

  • The Onyx 1620i has an integrated 16x2 FW interface and 8 Onyx preamps
  • The Onyx 1220i has an integrated 16x2 FW interface and 4 Onyx preamps
  • The Onyx 820i has an integrated 8x2 FW interface and 3 Onyx preamps
  • The Onyx Blackbird is a rackmount 16x16 FW interface with 8 Onyx preamps, 8x8 ADAT I/O and Word Clock
  • The Onyx Blackjack is a desktop 2x2 USB interface with 2 Onyx preamps and true analog hardware monitoring.

16. How well would the Onyx 1640i integrate into a small venue FOH desk? Simultaneous recording? Monitors?
The Onyx 1640i is a 16-channel 4-bus console with 6 pre/post assignable aux buses, so it is not only a powerful recording board, but a powerful live sound tool kit.  The built-in 16x16 FireWire interface takes it even further, allowing you to track your shows, perform a virtual soundcheck, and integrate with Waves Live MultiRack to insert your favorite Waves plug-ins right into your live mix, replacing racks of outboard gear.  The Onyx 1640i is truly just as much of a live sound product as it is a powerful recording desk.

17. Does the Onyx 1640i work as a control surface?
The Onyx 1640i is purely an analog mixer with a 16x16 FireWire interface; therefore there is no control of DAW functions from the mixer itself.  Opting to route signals back into the 1640i’s return path completely bypasses the need to use the DAW mixer, although you are free to “share” as much of the workload as you want between products.  You can edit, add plug-ins and write as much automation as you want in your DAW, and you can then opt to use the 1640i’s Perkins EQ, its inserts paths and/or its summing bus during the mixdown phase.  It’s very flexible, and the rest is up to you.  In the meantime, if you’re looking for a dedicated control surface, check out the MCU Pro.

18. The original Onyx 1640 compact mixer has only two returns from the DAW.  The 1640i has 16?  How are these configured?
The Onyx 1640i does indeed allow 16 returns from your DAW.  These can be routed into each channel instead of the mic/line input, and because most DAWs allow free routing of virtually any signal to any output, you can send whatever you like to each of the 16 channels.  Additionally, like the original 1640 with a FireWire card, the first two returns can feed your control room for basic stereo monitoring purposes.

19. The faders are not motorized, so how does DAW control get translated to the faders on the 1640i with the FW switch down?
The Onyx 1640i is not a control surface.  It is a full featured analog mixer with a FireWire audio interface, but it does not control your DAW nor does it receive control from your software.  So your faders never get out of sync.

20. When tracks stream back from your DAW to the 1640i, are the input volumes determined by the software or the gain knob?
On the 1640i the return stream from the DAW – when the FW button on each channel is depressed – is post-gain and post-high pass filter, so the output level faders in your DAW control the level returning to the console.


 

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