A Robust Analog Mixer Even if it didn't have a built-in FireWire interface, the 1620i would still be a serious analog mixer. First of all, it's a Mackie -- a company known for tank-like build quality. Mackie boards have long been indispensable in can't-fail environments like broadcast studios, live venues, and mobile recording rigs. Plus, the Onyx name means you're getting Mackie's flagship mic preamps -- 8 of them, in this case. Onyx mic pres are designed for accuracy, transparency, and detail. The first two channels have a dedicated switch for accepting a Hi-Z input like a direct guitar or bass. And every channel has Mackie's "British-style" Perkins EQ, named for the veteran engineer who developed these natural-sounding filters. Because the 1620i is a full-fledged analog mixer, it's an excellent real-time monitoring solution: just use its 4 aux sends to build headphone mixes in the analog domain with zero latency, regardless of what is going on in your DAW.
Send 16 Channels To Your DAW Over FireWire The Onyx 1620i really starts working its magic when you plug in a FireWire cable. Your 16 channels sail through high-end Cirrus A/D converters, through FireWire, and into your DAW at up to 24-bit, 96 kHz resolution. Each channel has a pre/post-EQ button for the FireWire output, so you can record your tracks with or without the Perkins EQ and inserts applied. For example, if your bassist needs lots of low-end punch in his headphones during tracking, you can kick on his EQ, but press his channel's "pre" button so only the clean, un-EQ'd signal is sent out through FireWire and into your DAW. Or you can insert your trusty hardware reverb for the vocal channel for monitoring, but still record the vocal track "dry." However you set up the routing, FireWire is fully integrated into the Onyx 1620i -- making external interfaces or converters completely unnecessary.
Compatible With Rack Gear and Plug-ins, Too Got outboard gear? With 1/4-inch insert plugs on the first 8 channels, you can easily insert your favorite hardware compressor on that vocal track. And with 4 aux sends, there's plenty of room to patch in your hardware reverbs and return them to the 4 stereo channels. Now, if you're of more of a plug-ins power user, that's where the 1620i's FireWire integration comes in handy. For example, say you're multitracking a band on the first 12 channels. Press a button to send a "copy" of auxes 1 and 2 out on FireWire channels 13 and 14 -- now you can use a software plug-in as an effects processor while you're tracking, returning the "wet," processed output to the 1620i's last stereo channel for monitoring. And if you'd like to capture the "board mix" in real time off the 1620i's high-headroom summing bus, just press a button to send the main stereo mix out FireWire channels 15 and 16. Flexible routing is the name of the game with the Onyx 1620i.
Ideal For Tracking Live Shows Because it's so great at integrating with DAW software, people like to think of the Mackie Onyx 1620i as the heart of a home recording setup. But the 1620i is equally capable as the brain of a small PA. For starters, FireWire makes the 1620i perfect for playing music between bands: hit the "Assign to Main Mix" button to play a playlist from your FireWire-connected computer, or assign your FireWire returns to channel 15/16 for background music while the stage mics stay on. And that's just the beginning. If you'd like to record live performances, the 1620i lets you capture up to 16 tracks individually over FireWire -- completely independently of the house mix. And with 4 switchable pre/post-fader auxes, you've got 4 flexible stage monitor sends. There's simply no excuse not to archive your live shows, when setup is as simple as running a FireWire cable from the mixer to your laptop.
All told, the Mackie Onyx 1620i packs a whole lot of power into a very small footprint. You get 8 great-sounding preamps, 4 flexible stereo inputs, Perkins EQ, and built-in 16x2 FireWire integration for your home recording setup. Of course, you get legendary Mackie build quality. And if you're setting up to record live shows right off the board, the 1620i can't go wrong. Try this mixer and replace your cheesy interface with real analog hardware!
Mackie Onyx 1620i Mixer Features - 8 Onyx mic preamps with individual phantom power, plus Hi-Z instrument inputs on channels 1 and 2
- 4 stereo line inputs
- Musical Perkins EQ section on each channel
- Integrated 16-in/2-out FireWire interface at up to 24-bit/96 kHz resolution
- Pre/post switch sends channels to FireWire with or without EQ, inserts pre/post EQ switch on all channels
- Built-in talkback mic
- Tough Mackie build quality throughout
- Includes free download of Tracktion software
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