Studio Consoles 2011

Nov 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Matt Gallagher



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The 16-channel Mackie Onyx 1640i ($1,899.99 MSRP) FireWire production mixer combines the benefits of a computer interface with the tactile, hands-on control of an analog mixer. It derives its sonic performance from 16 Onyx mic preamps and Perkins EQ. Mackie qualifies the 1640i for use with all major DAWs, including Pro Tools M-Powered 8; the mixer can send channels, aux sends, groups or master L/R signals discreetly to a Mac or PC for recording. Users can also return all 16 channels back to the mixer for mixdown. Other models in Mackie’s Onyx-i Series include the 1620i, 1220i and 820i.

The Mackie 1604-VLZ3 ($1,149.99) 16-channel/4-bus compact mixer builds on the legacy of Mackie’s best-selling 1604-VLZ Pro mixer. Sixteen studio-quality, XDR2, second-generation mic preamps, along with redesigned 3-band active EQ circuitry (with sweepable midrange), give the 1604-VLZ3 its sound quality. All channels feature insert points and line-level inputs for extreme versatility. The Rotopod option allows for two desktop and three rackmounted configurations. A new multivoltage power supply allows the 1604-VLZ3 to be used anywhere in the world. Other models in Mackie’s VLZ3 Series include the 1642-VLZ3, 1402-VLZ3, 1202-VLZ3, 802-VLZ3 and 402-VLZ3.

The Mackie Control Universal Pro ($1,399.99 MSRP) control surface for music production software offers nine motorized, touch-sensitive Penny + Giles faders, eight V-Pots and more than 50 master buttons for adjusting parameters. Unlike generic MIDI controllers, the MCU Pro employs a sophisticated communication protocol that delivers ultra-precise control, makes setup easy—no mapping is required—and enables users to see their mix in action with real-time visual feedback via a large backlit LCD and eight LED rings. Users can expand their control options with the Mackie Control Extender Pro.

Manley Labs16x2 MIC Mixer provides 16 mic preamps with up to 60 dB of pure Manley gain. Each channel features pan and mix level controls on silent conductive-plastic rotary faders, with solo, mute, insert and phase-reverse switches. These 16 solid-state channels are summed to an all-vacuum tube stereo bus (complete with flexible monitor and metering sections), and then coupled to the outputs via custom-wound Manley transformers. Audiophile components are used throughout, and a robust outboard power supply reduces noise and heat. For versatility, each channel has a combo jack input that allows it to serve double-duty as a line-level summing mixer. The 16x2 is available in MIC ($9,900), LINE ($9,000) and 8 MIC + 8 LINE ($9,500) versions.

Merging TechnologiesRamses MSC console control system offers a fully integrated multitrack audio recording, editing, processing and mixing environment. The system is scalable from 16 to 256 simultaneous input and output channels (512 I/O), with a 256 user-configurable bus structure. The dedicated automation section allows for control of all mixing parameters, and the different automation states can be split and assigned to faders, pans, EQ, dynamics, etc., independently. The monitor section offers external source monitoring and comprehensive facilities such as summing and down-mixing for all supported formats. The control surface offers tactile control with both channel strip and centralized control of EQ, dynamics, aux and pans. Full support of VST plug-ins is freely assignable on any input, bus or output. Touch-sensitive moving faders and dual-concentric encoders means all mix elements can be automated.

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