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"I have worked on some larger boards in bigger rooms: The Crest at Neumo's and the Fillmore; Allen & Heath, the large Yamahas at the Henry Fonda Theater and the Crystal Ballroom... I'm able to do more on the TT24 and with less confusion as to the signal flow."

My experience with Mackie's TT24:
Sunset Tavern--Ballard, WA
June 30, 2004

by John Randolph

I have wanted to work on a digital mixer for quite some time. I figured I would try one in the studio and have more time to figure out all of it's nuances. Then I was given the opportunity to try the TT24 live at the Sunset Tavern. I was a bit skeptical at first. Mostly, I just wanted to make sure that it was up and running without a hitch so that the night would run smoothly and the bands wouldn't even know.

Smoothly it did run. With just a short lesson from John Boudreau, I felt very comfortable running this board, and not just the basics. For a digital mixer with so many features, the TT24 really is very intuitive. Here are some of the things I really liked about the board:

  • Dynamics, EQ, and effects on every channel.
  • The compression settings I dialed in on the vocals really did the job much better than our house compressors.
  • The vocals sounded much smoother, and I was able to get them up front with plenty of headroom on the TT24. Not an easy task when I'm running sound for loud bands.
  • I also used the dynamics as a limiter on the kick drum.
  • I was able to bring that up nicely into the mix.
  • Occasionally I would glance at the subwoofer amplifier, it didn't peak once. This was extremely helpful as we have blown a subwoofer or two at the Sunset Tavern.
  • Having compression/limiting and gates with so many tweaking options on every channel is incredible--unheard of in live analog boards.
  • I was tempted to just throw at least a bit of compression on every channel to really bring everything out.
As for the EQ, I really like having the option of switching between shelving and parametric on the lo and high bands. To have four bands of sweepable EQ on every channel and be able to change the slope is really a live sound person's dream. It was nice to be able to link channels in stereo and run EQ and dynamics, with one touch, over both of them.

The feel and look of this board is awesome. It's really not as big as I had imagined, and all the necessary functions are within less than an arm's reach. I really like being able to touch the display and have the view become bigger. It is also great to have the FAT button to return to an overview of all compression, EQ, effects, and monitor send settings for a channel. The LED lit pots that control panning, aux sends, and gain reduction for each channel are very intuitive for an analog guy like myself. To be able to see the gain reduction on a specific channel, all I had to do was toggle the pot like a button. The metered LED lights then displayed gain reduction instead of input metering, and the pot changed from digital input gain to threshold control for the compressor.

I found myself going to the LCD screen and corresponding knobs more often. After all, every parameter regarding the Dynamics, EQ, Sends, Effects and routing are right there.

One of my favorite features is the Control button on the upper right hand of the board. By pressing it and just nudging a fader or barely touching a knob, the board returns that function to it's normal state--useful and very cool.

Probably the coolest feature on this board is simply the recall. Every fader, aux send, effects & returns, dynamics, and EQ can be saved and recalled in a second. This is so crucial for doing soundchecks. In the past with analog boards I would either write things down or physically move the XLR inputs into new channels on the back of the board, which creates more stress on the cables, not to mention hassle. Even if I didn't run out of channels from time to time and have to share some, I'd still have to reset and patch in my compressors for each act. With the TT24, it's all recallable without having to unplug a single cable or repatch a limited supply of compressors.

Overall, I felt like a kid in a candy store that night at the Sunset. I would like to congratulate and thank Mackie on creating a digital board that was so easy to get around. This was my first time working on anything like that, and I can't wait to do it again. It was very intuitive and quick to get around. More important, it really does sound good.

About Mackie

Mackie, a LOUD Technologies Inc. brand, is known worldwide as a leading developer and marketer of high-quality, affordable professional audio systems. Mackie products can be found in professional and project recording studios, video and broadcast suites, post production facilities, sound reinforcement applications including churches and nightclubs, retail locations and on major musical tours. For more information visit: www.mackie.com.

Mackie is a registered trademark of LOUD Technologies Inc. in the United States and other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

 

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