Mackie mixer opinions please

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Jewish Guitar Hero
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Mackie mixer opinions please

Post by Jewish Guitar Hero » Fri Dec 25, 2009 10:29 am

I'm after a mixing desk and I've got the option of acquiring a Mackie 32:8 for a good price, but I don't know much about the model.
Can anyone give me any advice or opinions about this model?
Thanks

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Dakota
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Post by Dakota » Sat Dec 26, 2009 8:05 am

Depends on what you want a mixer to do for you. If it's lots of routing and utility, a mackie like that will definitely do it for you for reasonable money. If you want a mixer to contribute a layer of euphonious analog timbre and EQ, it won't. Potentially somewhat neutral if gain staged carefully, brittle if pushed.

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Post by Jewish Guitar Hero » Sun Dec 27, 2009 7:47 am

Thanks for the input. Flexible routing and usable preamps were what I was after. But on reflection 32 channels are probably overkill for my current setup.

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Post by losthighway » Sun Dec 27, 2009 7:54 am

You might give a look at some of the newer Soundcraft models, I believe Spirit is their current studio series. They have some smaller boards that have gotten very good reviews.

To go above that quality/price point (the $800-$1,300) you make a very sudden leap into Toft and Neotek and you easily double or triple or quadruple the price (and the quality (?)).

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Post by LazarusLong » Sun Dec 27, 2009 1:09 pm

A good marriage of both sound and routing is the Mackie Onyx stuff. Those boards sound GREAT. The pres and the EQs are VERY useable and the routing is still Mackie goodness.
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Post by Brett Siler » Sun Dec 27, 2009 2:38 pm

I heard the Onyx a big step up from their old boards. I wouldn't say their old boards are bad, if used correctly, but you can preobably find something that sounds cooler for around the same price like a Soundcraft 200B or a Soundtracs Topaz.

I learned some of my recording knowledge on an older Mackie 32X8 at school, and the recordings still hold up after 8 years, so I'm not gonna knock it.

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Post by calaverasgrandes » Sun Dec 27, 2009 5:11 pm

I tried and tried to make use of my mackie boards over the years. There was this kind of zeitgeist in the 90's that Mackie boards sounded good, or at least neutral. In hindsight they were just better than peavey.
I would MUCH rather have a soundcraft or Allen and Heath anything over a Mackie. Maybe the Onyx is good but the marketing speak on that mixer is revolting.
Also the 8 buss series of mackies are known to have a ribbon seating problem. I dont recall the details but its a known issue for a good number of them.
As far as brittle, I think the later Mackies suffered from the brittle sound factor more than the earlier versions. the last mackie I had was a 1604, the first model that had sweep eq, and it wasnt brittle at all, in fact you had to kind of hit it hard to get it to open up at all. It generally was fairly dark sounding.
another mixer to look into are the old Ashly 8 channel rack mixers, they have parametric EQ I believe and decent preamps. pretty small too.
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Post by JWL » Tue Dec 29, 2009 12:23 pm

I think the Onyx series is fine. No Magic Toob Character Mojo, but a nice clean mixer, cool firewire interface, quite usable for mobile recordings or live mixing.

If you can't get something run through it to sound good (or at least decent) then you have bigger problems than your mixer.

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Post by ddorman » Thu Dec 31, 2009 8:47 am

I had a Mackie 16.8 for quite a while and still to this day it's my favorite board as far a the routing, layout and overall functionality. That thing can do just about anything, for everything I ever did the design of that was perfect. I especially loved the meter bridge (though you can get it without). It definately didn't sound bad but it also didn't ad a ton of awesomeness or charactor either. It just functioned extremely well for me, I miss it sometimes. We're using a Toft now, and while that board is an extreme step up in terms of sound and build quality, I feel it's kind of lacking in routing functionality. The monitor section of each channel works a bit goofy to me, and I really miss having the MixB from the Mackie.

Personally, I don't think it will hurt your sound at all, unless you're running some really nice mics into it in which case it might not quite let those shine as much as they could.

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Re: Mackie mixer opinions please

Post by Nick Sevilla » Thu Dec 31, 2009 8:55 am

Jewish Guitar Hero wrote:I'm after a mixing desk and I've got the option of acquiring a Mackie 32:8 for a good price, but I don't know much about the model.
Can anyone give me any advice or opinions about this model?
Thanks
I've used them plenty over the years, until I bought my Allen & Heath GL2800-32.

They are good mixers, and if you can get one that works well for cheap, go for it.

You could do worse...

Examples of big groups using Mackie 32*8 for misc duties:

Early Madonna, her first record.
Early Billy Idol, his first two records.
Depeche Mode (they still own one in on of their home studios)

A bunch of other bands that used it when it came out originally... take your pick.

Cheers
Realizing vibratory excursions from a paper widget.

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Re: Mackie mixer opinions please

Post by calaverasgrandes » Thu Dec 31, 2009 9:25 am

noeqplease wrote:
Examples of big groups using Mackie 32*8 for misc duties:

Early Madonna, her first record.
Early Billy Idol, his first two records.
Depeche Mode (they still own one in on of their home studios)
fact check please?
I dont think Mackie was even in business yet in 1982 and 1984 when Billy Idols first two albums came out.
or for madonna's record in 1983.
Maybe, they were using tapco, or one of the early mackie LM series mixers?
I checked the Mackie site for info on when they started but could find none. IIRC they started in the early 90's.
??????? wrote: "everything sounds best right before it blows up."

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Re: Mackie mixer opinions please

Post by Andy Peters » Fri Jan 01, 2010 12:48 pm

noeqplease wrote:
Jewish Guitar Hero wrote:I'm after a mixing desk and I've got the option of acquiring a Mackie 32:8 for a good price, but I don't know much about the model.
Can anyone give me any advice or opinions about this model?
Thanks
I've used them plenty over the years, until I bought my Allen & Heath GL2800-32.

They are good mixers, and if you can get one that works well for cheap, go for it.

You could do worse...

Examples of big groups using Mackie 32*8 for misc duties:

Early Madonna, her first record.
Early Billy Idol, his first two records.
Depeche Mode (they still own one in on of their home studios)

A bunch of other bands that used it when it came out originally... take your pick.

Cheers
Wow, the folks who recorded Billy Idol's and Madonna's early records must've had a time machine, because I remember first hearing "White Wedding" and "Into the Groove" when I was still in high school in the early 80s, and the Mackie company didn't exist until the early 90s.

-a
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Nick Sevilla
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Re: Mackie mixer opinions please

Post by Nick Sevilla » Fri Jan 01, 2010 4:33 pm

calaverasgrandes wrote:
noeqplease wrote:
Examples of big groups using Mackie 32*8 for misc duties:

Early Madonna, her first record.
Early Billy Idol, his first two records.
Depeche Mode (they still own one in on of their home studios)
fact check please?
I dont think Mackie was even in business yet in 1982 and 1984 when Billy Idols first two albums came out.
or for madonna's record in 1983.
Maybe, they were using tapco, or one of the early mackie LM series mixers?
I checked the Mackie site for info on when they started but could find none. IIRC they started in the early 90's.
The producers said Mackie... but you're right it could be an earlier incarnation of board. Remember Greg has been around long before his company started, making all kinds of stuff for clients. It was not called Mackie until the 90's, when Greg decided to put it all under one "roof" so to speak.

At least I know Billy Idol's producer and I asked him, plus it was in an interview from him somewhere in some mag... Keith Forsey -from his mouth to my ears. Maybe it was a later record, but Keith kept talking about "Rebel Yell"... it has been a long time.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keith_Forsey

The other producer, Madonnas' was the guitarist of Chic : Nile Rodgers. "Like a virgin" was the album. I'm sure they used one in pre-production.

Cheers
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Post by ofajen » Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:37 pm

If you are interested in details about Mackie preamps, the subject came up on the Ampex list two months ago. I can't quote any of that due to the copyright limitations of posts on the list, but you could look it up on the archive. Look for discussion of November 7, 2009.

To paraphrase, one common issue of both earlier and later Mackie preamps is that, because of size and cost constraints, they all show a LF response varying with the setting of the gain trim control (the corner frequency rises with increasing gain levels). The size and cost of the needed capacitor to flatten that response is not viable in a compact, low-cost mixer.

Having said that, I find the preamps on my old CR-1604 are still usable if treated right, though they are a tad dark. However, these days, I don't use those preamps much. If I could update, I'd probably go for the later version, like an Onyx, but that would mainly be for the more versatile EQ.

Cheers,

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Sean Sullivan
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Post by Sean Sullivan » Mon Jan 04, 2010 2:53 pm

I've got a CR 1604 I'm trying to sell for Ben Keith, Neil Young's lap steel player, that he used when recording Jewel's "Pieces of Me" album. $150 for some vintage Mackie mojo 8)
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