Mackie Spike USB Audio Interface with DSP

No longer available at zZounds
A complete recording solution from Mackie featuring a 24-bit/96k USB Audio/MIDI interface, great-sounding Mackie preamps, incredibly easy Tracktion recording software.
Meet Spike: A complete desktop solution for 24-bit/96kHz audio recording & MIDI production on a Mac or PC.

Recording music on a Mac or PC just got exponentially easier with Spike, a complete digital recording solution from Mackie. Spike consists of the XD-2 USB 24-bit 96kHz Audio/MIDI Interface featuring clean, high-headroom Mackie mic preamps and onboard SHARC dynamics processing; incredibly easy-to-use Tracktion multitrack audio recording software with unlimited track count and VST plug-in support; and the Nomad Factory Blue Tubes Warmer Phaser plug-in. Quite simply, this is the easiest open-ended system for computer music production.

XD-2 USB Audio/MIDI Interface
The XD-2 is a two-channel, mic/line/instrument USB audio and MIDI interface with 24-bit, 96kHz resolution, high quality internal effects for tracking and monitoring, and support for ASIO 2.0, WDM and OS X Core Audio. Its footprint may be small, but this compact interface offers great sound, channel dynamics & EQ for tracking and monitoring, and comes with enough software to get up and running right out of the box. Since the XD-2 has an onboard SHARC processor, it allows things like low-latency monitoring and powered dynamics processing -all controllable via an intuitive on-screen graphic display.

Tracktion Software
Tracktion is an intuitive audio recording and MIDI production software based around a refreshingly simple user interface, thoughtful features--and personality!
Tracktion integrates all the major features of a read more professional digital audio workstation into a simple working environment that gets all the technical stuff out of the way, allowing you to focus on making music. And with full VST plug-in support, you can use all your favorite plug-ins from other applications. Find out more.

Tracktion Features:

Unlimited track and effect count (based on computer's processing power)

Full VST support, including VSTi synths

Drag & drop waveform editing

Full automation capabilities

Built-in Sampler, Reverb, Chorus, Delay, EQ, Compressor, and Phaser

Pitch Shift and Time Stretch features

Full ReWire support

Audio file rendering, exporting, and archiving capabilities

Ableton Live Mackie Software

Ableton Live Mackie is a powerful version of the award-winning Ableton Live software application. This revolutionary program acts as a real-time audio sampler and sequencer, which you can play like an instrument.
Live Mackie integrates complete multi-track recording and editing functionality into a unique user interface that lets you play your studio arrangements on stage, or record live improvisations and edit them in the studio. Even better, Live Mackie lets you manipulate the speed and pitch of any audio while it's streamed from disk with exceptional flexibility and fidelity. In short, Live Mackie lets you use audio any way you want.


XD-2 Features:

2-channel 24-bit/96k USB audio and MIDI interface for Mac or PC

2 mic/line/instrument inputs with high-headroom Mackie mic preamps

Onboard SHARC chip for full channel dynamics & EQ with intuitive computer-based control - all without a drain on the host computer

Low-latency monitoring with effects

DSP available for mixdown

Easily fits in a laptop bag with unique, "swivel foot" design

Effects

Spike gives users several ways to tap into high-quality effects.

For starters, the XD-2's onboard DSP provides channel dynamics & EQ for tracking and mixdown, plus low-latency monitoring with no drain on host computer's CPU.

The bundled Tracktion software includes built-in Reverb, Chorus, Delay, EQ, Compressor, and Phaser. It also allows users to run any of thousands of VST effects plug-ins (sold separately) and comes bundled with all the Maxim Digital Audio (MDA) virtual instruments and plug-ins.

To get started, Spike also includes the Warmer Phaser plug-in by Nomad Factory: a special edition VST plug-in with all of the characteristics of a traditional analog phaser, plus panning, vibrato and tube simulation.

Applications

Spike is perfect for recording applications including home studios, project studios, live performing & recording and anywhere that high-quality 24-bit/96k digital recording is needed.

Compatibility

Windows XP & Mac OS X

ASIO 2.0, WDM, and OS X Core Audio
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If you have additional warranty questions, please contact the manufacturer at 800-898-3211 and 425-487-4333
(44 ratings)
Submitted August 23, 2004 by a customer from hotmail.com
"Definitley worth a look!"
I plan on using this for years, and I'm confident that it'll last a long time.
Sound
I've only had it a few weeks, but so far I think it sounds great.
Features
Lots of extra features (like compression while recording vocals) make this a step above the alternatives. I want to respond to a previous reviewer that said you may need to buy a new sound card in addition to the Spike system- but the XD-2 (part of Spike) is an audio interface- that IS a sound card. There's no need to buy another one. Not sure what he was smokin'... Or maybe a sleazy sales guy told him otherwise...?
Quality
The build quality seems very solid. The casing is metal, and I have a feeling that I could throw it against a wall and it'd be fine- but I think I'll hold off on that test...
Value
Good value for what you get.
Manufacturer Support
The only time I talked to Mackie was right before this came out- I called about the ship date of the Spike system. Unfortunatley I got four different answers from four different people about when the damn thing was coming out- I'd appreciate someone saying "I don't know" if they really don't have an answer. But, it was very easy to get in touch with them, with minimal hold time.
The Wow Factor
I guess we've all got our fetishes, but mine doesn't include hardware. Still, this is a funky-looking piece of gear, and the vertical design saves space on my desk.
Musical Style:
rock, alternative
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