Mackie Onyx 1640 as an interface - Gearspace.com
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Mackie Onyx 1640 as an interface
Old 25th January 2013
Here for the gear
🎧 5 years
Mackie Onyx 1640 as an interface


I'm setting up a project studio in my church and need advice on choosing the interface. Our budget for this project is $500, which is a very tight amount for just the interface alone...

We already have a Mackie Onyx 1640 mixer (old model, not 1640i) on our mobile rack and I found out that the firewire option card is sold in eBay for $300-400. It will give us 16 inputs while other standalone interfaces would provide 2-8 inputs, but my concern is the quality of the mic pres and converter. I've used that Onyx in live and it sounded good, but I've never heard the sound recorded through it.

Has anyone used the 1640+firewire card as a recording interface? Which will be the better decision in terms of the sound quality? How does the pre and converter on the 1640+firewire card compared to the USB/Firewire interfaces under $500 (Focusrite, MOTU, PreSonus, M-Audio, etc)? Any other recommendations/thoughts/comments?

Thank you!

(Apogee is out of question, because the main DAW might be on a Windows PC....)
Old 25th January 2013
Lives for gear
dxavier's Avatar
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Your Mackie 1640, along with an additional firewire card will be absolutely fine for this purpose. The sound quality is in the ball park of Presonus, Focusrite interfaces etc. Mic Pres are fine. Not boutique as the marketing states, but fine all the same. Changing the 1640 for something else will probably cost you more money than your budget or cost more grief
Old 25th January 2013
Gear Head
André E.'s Avatar
🎧 10 years
I completely agree with dxavier's post. I've been using a Mackie 1620 w. the FW I/O option for many years now and it sounds great. In parallel, I'm using a MOTU FW interface and to be honest the sound is very, very close! Stick the Firewire I/O into the Mackie and you'll get at least 5 more years of use out of that mixer.
Old 28th January 2013
Here for the gear
🎧 5 years
Thank you both. Has any of you usrd the Onyx with Pro Tools? Dors it work well? And, how does the Windows driver perform?

Sent from my VS930 4G
Old 28th January 2013
Gear Head
André E.'s Avatar
🎧 10 years
Works fine with PT10 on Mac, Windows I can't comment from personal experience but I haven't heard of any problems!
Old 28th January 2013
Gear Addict
🎧 5 years
Yeah, it's basically like an old 800R but with EQ's! Awesome. Go for it.
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