The Young brothers of AC/DC, Angus and Malcolm, now each have one of Mackie's revolutionary new Digital X Bus X.200 recording consoles in their personal studios–located in the Netherlands and London respectively. In addition, they have both specified Mackie HDR24/96 hard disk recorders and completed their updates with a pair of Mackie HR824 Active Studio Monitors in each studio.
Acting on a strong recommendation from Paul "Pab" Boothroyd, who is AC/DC's FOH engineer and audio consultant for their recording studios, Angus also read every review and piece of information he could gather on the Digital X Bus. This was followed by a call to Mackie and an on–site demo that showed him just how easy it was to get the most out of the new console.
Angus ultimately didn't need much convincing though–having owned and loved a Mackie Analogue 8 Bus for a number of years. This familiarity led to quick praise for how easy the Digital X Bus is to operate: "It's really useable," he commented. The Digital X Bus allows users to interface via traditional knobs and two built–in 15–inch touch screens instead of mouse and seemingly endless layers of sub–menus.
Like Angus, Malcolm appreciates the "hands–on aspect of the system", which combines a fully–functional mixing console with the ability to tap into the latest digital technology when needed. Malcolm plans to use the Digital X Bus's Mackie Control Universal layer to control his Pro Tools software.
Both Angus and Malcolm also loved the sound quality of Mackie's newest offering. In fact, when Angus was doing a demo recording with Pab, applying some of the on–board EQ and compression, Malcolm entered the studio and was amazed by what he heard. "I thought it sounded absolutely brilliant," he later recalled. "But Mackie has always had a good rap."
In their previous studio configuration, they fed the output from their recordings into a Neve mixer, and then used separate Fairchild compressors to create the sound they casually describe as "that classic valve, phat thing." Unfortunately, after years of service, their trusted compressors became unreliable, and the brothers were fed up with having to give them a thump every now and then to keep them going. With that, both Malcolm and Angus opted to specify a Universal Audio UAD–1 DSP card for their new Mackie consoles–giving them faithful emulations of favorites like the 1176LN and of course, their trusted Fairchild compressor. Each Mackie Digital X Bus will support the use of both VST plug–ins as well as accommodate up to three Universal Audio UAD–1 cards.
AC/DC records using real instruments in properly designed live rooms, so it is imperative that they get the very best from their chosen recording medium and so far, Angus and Malcolm are pleased with the recordings they are getting from their new Mackie Digital X Bus consoles. "In the world of audio equipment, there are only a few survivors," commented Malcolm. "Mackie is one of them and they have a good name all over the world."