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Mackie Onyx 1220i FireWire Production Mixer
|Price:||$649.99 & FREE Shipping|
- 12-channel premium analog mixer with integrated 24-bit/96kHz FireWire I/O
- Compatible with Pro Tools M-Powered™ and all major DAW software
- 4 Onyx boutique quality mic preamps
- 3-band Perkins EQ with sweepable mids on mic/line channels
- 3-band Perkins EQ on stereo line channels
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The 12-channel Onyx 1220i delivers stunning performance in a size that is decidedly desk-friendly. Premium analog features like boutique-quality Onyx mic pres, smooth 60 mm channel faders and the proven tone-sculpting capability of Perkins EQ allows for performance that is unmatched in this category. The 16x2 built-in FireWire interface will simultaneously deliver all 12 channels, all auxes and the master L/R signal straight to your favorite DAW with zero routing. How easy is that? You can even return a couple of channels from the DAW right back into a channel strip for mix integration. It's easy, it's professional--it's the Onyx 1220i.
DAW-Friendly Doesn't Even Begin to Cover It
Mackie-designed gear is more often than not the result of customer interaction and suggestion. After all, we are making gear for you. For years, our customers have been asking for the freedom to work with any DAW they choose. So when we designed the Onyx-i series, we took this suggestion to heart. We are very proud that Onyx-i mixers are more DAW-friendly than any other interface ever. Onyx-i mixers are qualified by Mackie for use with all major DAWs, including Pro Tools M-Powered 8* Logic, SONAR, Cubase, and more. Now, dedicated Mackie customers can enjoy using their Mackie mixer with the world's most popular DAW. And Pro Tools M-Powered 8 users now have a variety of new--and different--tools to use with their favorite DAW. It's a win-win situation.
*Pro Tools M-Powered 8 users will need to purchase the Mackie Universal driver upgrade available at Mackie.com.
Deep FireWire Integration
The Onyx-i Series features deeper FireWire integration than any other mixer out there and offers immensely powerful routing capabilities:
- Wet or Dry?--Every channel on the mixer can be routed pre or post EQ to the computer, allowing you to choose whether to implement "EQ to tape" or not.
- Studio Quality Effects--All aux sends are routable to the computer, allowing you to utilize your computer as a powerful FX engine by implementing your favorite plug-ins in a live scenario.
- Preserve Your Mix--Master L/R is routable to the computer for recording your analog mix. Burn and sell CDs of the mix at the end of the gig!
- Mix Integration--Stereo return from the computer can be routed to either the control room for instant monitoring or to a stereo channel for mix integration.
- Latency-Free Overdubs--Having a "real" mixer has its benefits. Latency-free overdubs are simple since you are using an analog mixer. No more wasted time dealing with the complicated "DSP" mixers commonly used on standalone interfaces.
TThe 1220i delivers seamless, routing-free FireWire connection to your favorite DAW. All channels, auxes and (of course) the master L/R are simultaneously available to your DAW--with zero routing. The Onyx-i FireWire connection has amazing bandwidth, and the 1220i takes full advantage.
Premium Analog Mixer
When it comes to the high pressure environment of a recording session or live performance, you simply cannot beat the stability and reliability of an analog mixer. With features honed over 20 years of design by some of the legends in the industry, the Onyx-i Series mixers are simply the best sounding full-featured analog mixing boards available to the modern sound engineer.
The 1220i has a plethora of analog features that are sure to please. First off, there are four Onyx mic preamps which have been proven as some of the best boutique quality preamps available today. That is, without having to re-mortgage your house in order to pay for all the inputs you need. Then there's the Perkins EQ, which offers highly musical Q filter without sacrificing the precise control that Mackie EQs are known for. Four mono mic/line channels feature 3-band Perkins EQ with a sweepable mid and the additional stereo line channels have 3-band EQ. So, regardless of the type of signal you need to input, there is sure to be a channel with the right EQ for the application. Other analog tools include two aux sends with pre/post fader assignment, allowing for monitor mixes, effects loops or additional headphone mixes. There are built-in DIs on the first two channels for direct connection of guitars or bass and a dedicated talkback section with a built-in mic that lets you easily communicate with band members while on stage or recording. With all these proven, great-sounding analog features, it is easier than ever to create a memorable mix.
Smacks of Quality
The Onyx 1220i offers a tremendous collection of professional analog features and extremely deep DAW integration, but it is so much more than that. The sleek, modern design might even tempt you build a museum quality display for your engineer friends to admire. Plus, since it's a Mackie, you can be sure that it is "built like a tank" and will survive years of abuse.
Any audio company can cram a bunch of inferior components into a chassis and, believe us, a lot of them do. This is never the case with a Mackie mixer. Everything about the Onyx-i Series smacks of quality, because only the most quality, high-end components are used throughout the entire signal path. At the front end, you have the pristine signal boost offered by the Onyx mic preamps, which will likely get routed through the legendary Perkins EQ. The signal then passes through a series of sealed rotary knobs, which keep dust and grime out of the potentiometer. Then your mix hits the summing bus, which has been custom-designed to offer the highest possible headroom while preserving the sonic quality offered by the aforementioned components. Maybe you assigned the signal to stream across the FireWire outputs. If so, they had the pleasure of passing through the high-quality Cirrus analog-to-digital converter on their way to your computer. Or maybe you were overdubbing and streamed your backing tracks from your DAW and integrated them into the mix. In that case, you can thank the ridiculously high-end AKM digital-to-analog converter for the immaculate quality of the playback. These converters are extremely high-quality and easily rival the most esoteric (and expensive) interfaces out there today. From start to finish, no matter how you use it, the 1220i offers the quality demanded by industry professionals.
Included software: Includes Tracktion 3™ Music Production Software for Mac or PC.
- Microsoft Windows 7 32 / 64, Vista 32 / 64 RTM, or XP SP 2
- Pentium 4, Celeron, or Athlon XP processor
- 512 MB RAM
- Mac OS X 10.4.11 – 10.6.2
- G4 processor
- 512 MB RAM
Top Customer Reviews
Very good sound for price range, nice EQ
FireWire digital audio out & in
Instrument level input option on channels 1&2
No drivers for Mac OS Yosemite, must use work around
No light indication for Channel On/Mute
Mackie mixers have a well founded reputation for good sound and tough build. I found this Onyx unit to be no exception - it's a quality mixer, and the instrument level input is a nice touch, letting my passive pickup acoustic guitar to be plugged directly into the mixer and sound very good. My biggest complaint with the basic mixer (and all my previous Mackie mixers) is the lack of a light in indicate when a channel is on/not muted. You have to look carefully at the mute button to check it's position. Annoying in regular light, and downright awful in a dark club. Please fix this Mackie! However, I don't think the folks at Mackie are listening to their users much, as the reviews here and elsewhere are full of complaints about the driver support problems, which is the main reason for this review. Here is the bottom line on using the Onyx with the two Mac OS's I currently use:
Snow Leopard (10.6.8): Still my favorite Mac OS, but my Mac Pro running this OS wouldn't see the mixer. In spite of Mackie's claim that the Onyx mixers "work with Mac Core Audio out of the box", I had to install "Mac Driver V4.1.0 + CP V1.0.02" (from Mackie's web site) to get the OS to see the mixer. I was then I able to record multiple tracks simultaneously into Logic 8 with no issues.
Yosemite (10.10.4): There are no drivers available for Yosemite, and apparently no plans by Mackie to provide drivers. To get around this you have to install the driver I refer to in the Snow Leopard section above, then cheat using Terminal. Apparently Mackie doesn't want to pay Apple's fee to authorize drivers for Yosemite, and Yosemite has a new "feature" to verify all drivers before loading. If a driver wasn't approved by Apple, the driver won't load. To get around this problem, and if you're comfortable working in Terminal - knowing it's possible you could break your OS - then type this command:
Sudo nvram boot-args="kext-dev-mode=1"
You must include the quotation marks as above. If accepted, this will allow unauthorized drivers to load after re-boot. My first several tries at this did not work. I was copying the Terminal instruction from an internet site, and for some reason it wouldn't take. I had to type the command in manually to get it to work.
To see if the command was accepted, you can type:
sudo nvram boot-args
The Terminal response should include "kext-dev-mode=1". If the response doesn't include at least that string, the command was not accepted and you won't see the mixer.
Keep in mind that this Terminal command is defeating a security step in your OS designed to only allow authorized drivers to load, and could potentially open your system to damage.
That said, the mixer does work just fine in Yosemite once the command is accepted. You have to re-boot of course, and the system should then see the mixer. I have used it to multitrack in Logic X on my new (mid 2015) Macbook Pro 15" with no problems so far.
The "low digital audio output" problem: Many reviewers complained about the digital audio signal strength put out by the mixer, which is supposedly reduced 18db by Mackie's design. I haven't had a problem with this, and actually like it so far. When mixing live, I often find I'm pushing the levels pretty hard on the board, and it's about impossible to reach the digital clipping level with this FireWire output design. The signal I get in Logic from live recording is totally useable.
So I really like this mixer's combination of sound and the built in DAW interface. But I'm very annoyed by Mackie's lack of driver support to new Mac OS's, thus the 3 stars. I ended up returning the 1220i to Amazon (thanks Amazon - as always!). I wish I could say it was a "screw you Mackie and your lame Mac OS support" return, but it wasn't. I needed more mic channels, so i got a 1620i instead.
I bought this one specifically to use for recording live comedy events. I mix live shows for a local comedy group that mocks movies live in the theater. I generally have 3 or 4 vocal mics, two mics picking up the room, a stereo insert for music. I have most recently added a stereo insert for the movie itself, and I now control the volume of the film playing through my mixer yet outputting to a separate speaker system (the theater sound, as opposed to the PA where the vocals go). It is brilliant and this mixer has all the inputs and outputs and options I need to do all this.
I'm recording all this via the firewire out to my laptop (windows 7) running Adobe Audition, and am recording 4 mono channels (vocals) and 4 stereo channels (room, music, movie, mains) simultaneously. I had a slight learning curve here, as there were a few kinks I had to iron out to get the recordings right. But I chalk that up more to my inexperience than to any defect on the mixer's part. The only thing I don't understand is that the mixer's specs say that it can output a wide variety of sample rates, but my software only recognizes 44.1. It might be a driver issue (I've read many critical reviews of Mackie's driver). But once again, this may just be something I do not understand about how to properly set things up. As far as the quality of the recordings I'm getting, they are superb.
When doing research, I was also considering a setup that required a mixer and a separate input device (mostly USB), but even with the less expensive mixers on the market (e.g. Behringer), I was looking at a more expensive setup and much larger mixer just to get the number of digital outputs I needed to my laptop. Also, it seems that most of the other firewire mixers (especially the cheaper ones) only output the stereo mix, whereas I wanted more channels.
The portability of the mixer is also a big plus. I got the Mackie mixer bag and I am able to transport this, all my cables, and my laptop to the theater on my bike.
I've been using this mixer for almost three months now and absolutely love it. And I always look forward to the gigs because of it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Mixer is used in a live setting, and works well for that. The preamps are superb - very clean and full sounding.Read more