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Mackie Onyx 1640i 16-Channel Premium Analog Mixer with FireWire Interface

Record with 16 Onyx mic preamps -- then mix on real faders, with true analog summing. The Onyx 1640i has a built-in 16-in/16-out FireWire interface. (16) Read 6 reviews for this product | Rate and review this product
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When it comes to analog mixers, the Mackie Onyx 1640i is a seriously powerful, flexible choice. Yes, it's got 16 Onyx mic preamps and top-quality converters for your front end. But it's also got a 16-in/16-out FireWire interface and smooth 60mm faders ready to mix 16 DAW tracks in the analog world. Integrating seamlessly with both "ends" of your DAW, the Onyx 1640i mixer is an ideal analog mixer for your home studio. To top it off, this mixer is designed with legendary Mackie build quality. And if you're setting up to record live shows right off the console, the 1640i can't go wrong.

This video from Mackie explains the power of the Onyx-i series:


A Full-Fledged Analog Mixer

Even if it didn't have a built-in 16x16 FireWire interface, the 1640i would still be an awesome analog mixer. For starters, 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 -- 16 of them, in this case. Onyx mic pres are designed for accuracy, transparency, and detail -- no matter what kind of mic, instrument, or line-level source you're plugging in. And then there's the Perkins EQ on each channel, named for the veteran engineer that developed these "British-style," natural-sounding filters to sweeten any source. The 4-band, sweepable-mid EQ section has a true hardware bypass, of course. And because the 1640i is a full-fledged analog mixer, it's an excellent real-time monitoring solution: just use its six aux sends to build headphone mixes in the analog domain with zero latency, regardless of what is going on in your DAW.

Capture 16 Channels With Flexible Routing

The Onyx 1640i really starts working its magic when you plug in a FireWire cable. Your 16 channels sail through high-end Cirrus A/D converters and into your DAW at up to 24-bit, 96 kHz resolution. Because it's a 16-in/16-out FireWire interface, you can capture 16 simultaneous channels -- or, choose to capture 4 channels along with your 4 mono subgroups, 6 aux sends, and stereo mix. It's all about routing flexibility with the 1640i. Each channel on the 1640i has a pre/post button, 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 the "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 vocalist's headphones, but still record the vocal track "clean." However you set up the routing, FireWire is fully integrated into the Onyx 1640i -- making external interfaces or converters completely unnecessary.

Plays Nice With Outboard Gear -- Or Plug-ins

Got outboard gear? With 1/4-inch insert plugs on every channel and on the master stereo bus, you can easily insert your favorite hardware compressor on the 1640i. And with six aux sends, there's plenty of room to patch in your hardware reverbs and return them to the four stereo channels. Now, if you're of more of a plug-ins processing person, that's where the 1640i's FireWire integration comes in handy. Let's say you're overdubbing vocals through the 1640i into Pro Tools, and you want to add reverb from a plug-in. Just call up the reverb plug-in on a Pro Tools aux channel, and assign its output to, say, FireWire channel 2. Then just press the FireWire button on the 1640i's channel 2, and there's your reverb. Now you can balance and EQ the "dry" channel with the "wet" channel, right on the 1640i's faders. Want to print that reverb sound back to Pro Tools on a separate track, while you capture the vocal dry? Just assign channel 2 to a subgroup by itself, and press the "subs to FireWire" button. That's the flexibility you get when you use well-thought-out hardware like the Mackie Onyx 1640i.

16 Channels of Real Analog Summing for your Studio

You may have heard a lot about digital recording setups with an "analog front end." Indeed, it's important to run your signal through great mic preamps and converters on the way into your DAW. But don't forget about the analog "back end": the process of sending individual channels back out of your DAW to an analog console, to be mixed on real faders, using real EQs, through a real analog summing bus. While many home studios invest in the front end, they forget about the back end. That's where the Mackie Onyx 1640i comes in. After you've recorded your session and done any in-the-box editing and processing, you can send up to 16 channels back to the 1640i to mix and tweak with its smooth 60mm faders and musical EQ. Because this board has a 16-in/16-out FireWire interface, you may choose to capture each channel back into your computer individually, post-fader -- with the EQ and mix level applied. It's like using the 1604i as a hardware insert for your DAW: push your tracks through the fat Perkins EQs and saturate them with analog warmth, then send the discrete tracks right back to your hard drive. Even better, you can take advantage of the Onyx's high-quality analog summing bus, and capture the 1604i's stereo mix (and your six aux sends and four subgroups, too) back into your DAW. That's a true tape-style mixdown -- and it's what the professional analog-meets-digital studio is all about.

Ideal For Live Shows, Too

Because it's so perfect for integrating with DAW software, people think of the Mackie Onyx 1640i as the heart of a home recording setup. But the 1640i is equally capable as the brain of a live PA. If you run sound at a venue, and you want to record shows digitally to a laptop, the 1640i lets you capture up to 16 tracks individually -- completely independently of the house mix. And with six aux sends with pre/post-fade switches, you've got six flexible stage-monitor sends. There's an input for an external talkback mic (since live shows are bound to be too noisy for using the 1640i's built-in talkback mic), and a BNC connector for a gooseneck lamp in dark venues. Plus, you can fatten up those live vocals with smooth Perkins EQ (just engage the low-cut on each channel, so you don't blow your subwoofers every time the vocalist utters the letter "P.") The 1640i is even perfect for playing music between bands: hit the "Assign to Main Mix" button to play a playlist from your FireWire-connected computer.

Features:

-16 Onyx mic preamps with individual phantom power
- Hi-Z instrument inputs on channels 1 and 2
- Musical, 4-band Perkins EQ section on each channel
- Integrated 16-in/16-out FireWire interface at up to 96 kHz/24-bit resolution
- Real analog summing for your DAW
- Flexible FireWire routing: 6 auxes, 4 subgroups, or all channels
- Built-in talkback mic plus external talkbalk mic jack
- Tough Mackie build quality throughout
- Includes free download of Tracktion software

Why invest in a premium analog mixer like the Mackie 1640i for your home studio? Pro studios use DAWs to record and edit music, just like the typical home studio. So what makes pro studios sound so "pro"? Often, it's the analog mixer -- on the front and back end of their digital system. Try this mixer and hear what true analog summing can do for your signal path.

zZounds is an authorized dealer of Mackie products.
Minimum System Requirements For General Use
FOR PC
- Microsoft Windows 7 32 / 64 RTM, Vista 32 / 64 RTM or XP 32 SP 2
- Pentium 4, Celeron or Athlon XP processor
- 512 MB RAM

FOR MAC
- Mac OS X 10.4.11 - 10.6.2
- G4 processor
- 512 MB RAM

Minimum System Requirements For Pro Tools M-Powered 8 Use
FOR PC
- Microsoft Windows Vista 32 SP2 or XP 32 SP 3
- 1GB RAM

FOR MAC
- Mac OS X 10.5.5 - 10.5.8
- 1GB RAM

The following computer systems have been qualified by the Mackie test department for use with all major DAW's including pro tools m-powered 8. This list does not represent the only systems that will function faultlessly and is intended to be a guide, however we cannot guarantee or support problem free system setup outside of these qualified systems.

For PC:
- HPCP7700P
- Chipset Q963
- Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 @ 2.13GHz
- 2GB RAM
- Ultra ULT40109 8 port FireWire / USB 2.0 card (VIA chipset)

FOR MAC:
- 8-core 3GHz
- Mac Pro (first generation, second revision)
- 4GB RAM
- MFG date April 2007 Power Mac G5

PowerMac (third generation, 7th revision):
- 2x 2.3 GHz

Using your Onyx-i Series Mixer with any other major DAW?
Onyx-i Series mixers are compatible with all major DAWs. This list includes (but is not limited to):

- Logic(r)
- Sonar(tm)
- Cubase(r)
- Ableton(r) Live
- Final Cut Pro(r)
- Tracktion(tm)
- Digital Performer(tm)

Register your Onyx-i mixer with Mackie and you will be given Instructions for the Mackie Universal Driver and Mackie Authorization Application that unlocks your mixer for use with Pro Tools M-Powered 8. The driver purchase allows your registered mixer to work with as many supported computers running Pro Tools M-Powered 8 as you have access to.

Our 30-Day 100% Satisfaction Guarantee applies to the Mackie Onyx Mixer. Buy it, and if it isn't just right for you, return it!

M-Audio Pro Tools M-Powered Recording Software cannot be returned once opened due to copyright law.
Dimensions and Weight in Packaging
Base Item
Shipping Weight: 44 lbs
Shipping Dimensions: 32 x 24 x 12 in
If you have additional warranty questions, please contact the manufacturer at 800-898-3211 and 425-487-4333

Product Description

The 16-channel Mackie Onyx 1640i FireWire Recording Mixer combines the benefits of an extremely powerful computer interface with the tactile, hands-on control of a sleek premium analog mixer. Proven, professional features like 16 Onyx mic preamps and classic Perkins EQ provide unmatched sonic performance.

The 1640i allows you to send channels, aux sends, groups or master L/R signals discretely to your Mac or PC for recording. You can even return all 16 channels back to the mixer for a truly professional mixdown. Compatible out of the box with most major DAWs, and qualified for use with Pro Tools(r) M-Powered(tm) 8 via downloadable driver upgrade at Mackie's website.* See Note below.

Features

- 16-channel premium analog mixer with integrated 24-bit/96kHz FireWire I/O
- Qualified by Mackie for use will all major DAWs, including:
-- Logic(r)
-- Sonar(tm)
-- Cubase(r)
-- Ableton(r) Live
-- Final Cut Pro(r)
-- Pro Tools M-Powered 8 (Requires $49.99 USD driver upgrade at www.mackie.com)
- Includes free download of Tracktion software
- 16 Onyx boutique quality microphone preamps
- 4-band Perkins EQ with sweepable mids on all channels
- Full 16x16 FireWire channel streaming for ultimate DAW integration
- Flexible FireWire routing including aux sends, groups and pre/post EQ assignment for all channels
- 6 aux sends with pre/post assignment and solo
- Smooth 60mm channel and master faders
- Built-in DI on first two channels for direct connection of guitars, basses, etc.
- Individual 48 volt phantom power switches on all microphone inputs
- 4-segment metering on every channel
- 4-bus architecture for flexible sub-grouping of channels
- Talkback section for use with internal or external microphone
- Planet-Earth switching power supply for worldwide use
- Rotating I/O pod for desktop or rackmount operation - rack ears included

Recording and Mixing

Send all channels, aux sends or the master L/R straight to your computer for recording. Pre/post EQ taps on every channel allow you to integrate the renowned Perkins EQ into the record path. Plus, returns from your DAW are assignable to the control room section or straight back into a channel for mix integration.

Powerful Effects Engine

With all aux sends routable to your DAW, Onyx-i allows you to use your favorite plug-in as a realtime effect. Just route an aux send to your DAW, apply the plug-in and assign your DAW outputs to the control room or to a channel strip for instant integration into the mix.

Live Recording

Live sound recording could not be simpler with Onyx-i. The ability to record individual channels either wet or dry allows for studio quality multitrack recordings for later editing and mixdown. Or simply record the main mix, allowing for immediate creation of CDs right at the gig.
Customer Reviews
4.5 out of 5 (16 ratings) Rate and Review This Product
zZounds has verified that this customer bought this product from us. This review has been selected by our experts as particularly helpful. "You gotta have this."
Overall: I have been recording and doing live sound in various situations for about 3 years now. I used to have a Phonic Helix board 24. I purchased the phonic because I loved the concept of a real mixing board with firewire included. I did a lot of recording with the Phonic with good results. Over time I began to notice that the noise which was only sight when I bought the Phonic was getting louder. I really needed something quieter and mellower sounding. Thus the 1640I Although unlike the other people who are amazed by the flexibility that an analog mixer with firewire offers, I am not. The Helix offered this capability for a long time before anyone else came out with competitive products and I am already used to this. This thing is Dead quiet. I have the ability to turn phantom on and off on each channel, which is nice, and the ability to use the EQ section dumping into the DAW or not with the press of a button The ability to do 16 outs is no big deal to me. As near as I can figure out the usefulness of this feature is so you can insert VST plugins from your DAW into each channel thus giving you all sorts of effects for Live performances. I really don't foresee myself using this because it inserts delay, and eliminating delay on monitoring was the main reason I wanted an analog mixer in the 1st place. The Good: The onyx Preamps stand up to all the hype. They are Dead quiet, provide lots of gain, and have a very mellow sound (not sterile). I compare the sound to a friendís Tascam 16 from the late 60ís which is extremely musical, and though the musicality of the Onyx is not as extreme, it still has a similar smooth sound. The EQ is awesome for Live work with 4 bands, they sound great. I still don't use them for recording as I prefer to dump straight out of the Pres into the DAW. This board is built like a tank The 6 aux and 4 group channels are very nice to have The Manual is very well written, and funny. Check out the section on button 21 It is nice to be able to turn phantom on and off by channel. It is nice to be able to use the EQ on the board if so desired into the DAW. The NOT Good: The pres have a nonlinear gain response there is very low gain till you get to about ĺ of the way up then there is suddenly LOTs. (still very quiet and musical even in this range) This really doesnít matter since the signal to noise level is so low, I can just pump the levels up to where I want them in the DAW. No effects processor. If you want to change the pod configuration you have to purchase a $70 bracket.
Style of Music: anything that doesn't make me feel yelled at.
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zZounds has verified that this customer bought this product from us. Mackie Onyx 1640-i Mixer Customer Review
Sound: The sound is present, clear and open. Believe the hype! The Onyx preamps are terrific - amazing really at this price point. I have tracked drums, guitars, piano, bass and vocals and gotten great results all around. Paired with decent mics, you have no excuse for getting a bad recording through this board. Feature: It would almost be greedy want more from it. OK, automation would be pretty rad, but not gonna happen at this price. Ease of Use: The learning curve wasn't overwhelming, but if you have limited console experience (as I did) it is a lot to wrap your head around at first. Aspects of the manual could have been more in-depth or better explained, I think. And some tasks, like doing a tape-style mixdown, took more trial and error than I expected, but over the course of a couple of days, I got the hang of it. B+ for ease of use. Quality: It's fantastically well built. No issues so far. Value: A great value. I know of no other Pro Tools-compatible firewire mixer with this much I/O and this many features that sounds this good. Not at this price, anyway. Manufacturer Support: No issues to date (knocking on wood). As I said - it's very well built. The Wow Factor: Some people knock the design, but think it looks really cool, and it feels great. I like to put my hands on it. 'Nuff said. Overall: I took a leap of faith with this mixer. No one I knew had one or had ever worked with one, but it had everything I was looking for an d then some. Still, I rarely drop that much money, and I exceeded my initial project studio budget by $500 to get this unit, which I only did after many months of scraping and saving. I have not regretted it once. The quality of my recordings was vastly improved from the second I plugged the first mic in. As a DAW front end, it is practically ideal. It looks great. It sounds great. All of the musicians I've shown it to - some professional engineers themselves - have been mightily impressed. If you want a first rate audio interface but also want the magic of analog and the tactile pleasure of working with a console, get it. Love it.
Style of Music: Indie, Pop, Rock, Psychedelic, etc
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