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Mackie Onyx: Not bad!
Old 26th January 2009
  #1
Lives for gear
 
Jake Dempsey's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Mackie Onyx: Not bad!

I'm in the process of selling and trading a bunch of preamps right now. Out with the old, in with the new. I have 6 channels on the way, but my preamp selection is pretty limited right now. I have one 512c, one UA Solo 610 and 16 of these Mackie Onyx pres. 8 on a 1620 board and a 800R.

I had tracking sessions with a pretty great band sat-sun. Guys who can play and a drummer who hits hard and knows what he wants his kit to sound like. Bass Player plays a Bennavente. Pretty monstrous sounding modern type bass with active EQ. The band is doing a mix of reggae, afro latin and other island-centric stuff.

Anyway, they tracked drums, bass, guitar and a scratch vocal live. Ended up being 14 tracks I think. I just ran everything into the Mackies, including the DI bass. (we had planned on dubbing bass through an amp later)

The material sounds pretty fantastic! I was using a nice assortment of mics. These are solid, accurate preamps. I have overlooked them for the 3 years I've owned them. Everything sat in the mix beautifully. I was particularly pleased with the bass DI. Sounds huge. I used a Peluso R14 ribbon for some quiet percussion overdubs. I had to peg the preamp to get output from the mic. The track is clean and the character of the mic is all there.

Transparent, musical and cheap. Try them. Really.
Old 26th January 2009
  #2
Lives for gear
 
henge's Avatar
Just finished off a whole album with Onyx pre's. No complaints and I'm going to keep them around.
Old 26th January 2009
  #3
KAB
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
Jake Dempsey (or anyone else),

Did you use the 800R's A/D converter? If so, what do you think of it?

Thanks.
Old 27th January 2009
  #4
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Ol' Betsey's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
I agree.

I normally use 3124's for tracking drums but the last two projects I've done have been with a Onyx 1640 and I'm really happy with the results.

A few gremlins peeked in via Firewire but nothing that paying some attention and a power-cycle didn't cure.

I really have no qualms whatsoever using that desk again.

R.

P.S. Perkins EQ or no Perkins EQ I recorded everything flat or with a few very slight touches with a couple 550's and 560's.
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #5
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Ol' Betsey's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by KAB ➑️
Jake Dempsey (or anyone else),

Did you use the 800R's A/D converter? If so, what do you think of it?

Thanks.
Well like I mentioned earlier, I used the Firewire card in the 1640 while working on location and the conversion sounded fine. It certainly didn't get in the way of making a great recording that's for sure. And I assume that it's probably similar conversion, minus the bells and whistles, as the 800R?

I have to say though that my normal conversion are the rather long in tooth Apogee AD8000's so I'm not comparing it anything new and swanky but still, they sound good enough on record for me!

Take care,

R.
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #6
KAB
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ol' Betsey ➑️
Well like I mentioned earlier, I used the Firewire card in the 1640 while working on location and the conversion sounded fine. It certainly didn't get in the way of making a great recording that's for sure. And I assume that it's probably similar conversion, minus the bells and whistles, as the 800R?
Thanks for the reply. I would think it's highly similar conversion in both units, as well.

Cheers,

K
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Jake Dempsey's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by KAB ➑️
Jake Dempsey (or anyone else),

Did you use the 800R's A/D converter? If so, what do you think of it?

Thanks.
The converters are fine to my ears. It clocks to my RME FF800 without any problem.

My only issue with it is that the gain coming off the meters of the 800R are a lot hotter than what shows up on the faders in Logic. Not really an issue, but if I had to pick one that's it.

The thing works.
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #8
KAB
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
Thanks, Jake. FWIW, I remember reading a review where the test unit also had a slight level/meter reading inconsistency, but no other problems of any real consequence.
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Jake Dempsey's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I'll also add that these are not sterile boring preamps. They have a little vibe. Punchy sources are staying punchy on playback. Good for kick and snare.

I've been recording kick and snare with a Neve Designs Portico 5012 or API 512cs' for years. These aren't Neves or APIs', but compared to tracks I've recorded with those pres, I'm very impressed.
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #10
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
I just bought a used 1620 for drum tracking and love the Onyx preΒ΄s. As OP, I also tried bass DI with a Focusrite Compounder and it sounded great.

I agree with OP, the Onyx preΒ΄s are clean, wide and not boring. Very nice preΒ΄s for the price...

Best
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #11
Gear Addict
 
kojak's Avatar
 
10 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
i've had an onyx satellite for about a year now that i've used for demos and location work, and i really dig the pres...certainly per dollar, they're extremely useful if you have a few great channels, but need extras for toms or a live backing vocal. nothing ultra world class, but definitely worth the money. and the satellite base station has oodles of ins and outs so there's very little fiddling with plugging and unplugging cables and stuff. hip unit.
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
any samples of tunes using only onyx pres? heh
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #13
Lives for gear
 
cavern's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
i've said that before.
i bought an onyx 1200f and couldn't be happier.
i have other pre's but the onyx pre's are just gems.
that's just the way it is.
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #14
Lives for gear
 
Jake Dempsey's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Micah Tolentino ➑️
any samples of tunes using only onyx pres? heh
I'll pop a snippet of a rough mix up when I get the chance.
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #15
Lives for gear
 
Jake Dempsey's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Micah Tolentino ➑️
any samples of tunes using only onyx pres? heh
I'll pop a snippet of a rough mix up when I get the chance.

OK. here's the setup

Kck-D112
Sn- 57
toms- md421s'
OHs- Neumann KSM184s
Hat- Earthworks SR25
Bass- Onyx 800r DI
Guitar- Neumann TLM103 on an Orange Tiny Terror
Aux Percussion- Peluso R14 Ribbon
Congas- MD421 on each and a TLM103 as OH
Rhodes- R14 on a Fender twin
Clav- R14 on the Tiny Terror
Grand piano is the Ivory Plugin

Mackie onyx are the only pres used. This is *rough*. Don't be too quick to judge.

Doing B3/Leslie this weekend.

Only light compression and EQ on snare. Everything else is unprocessed.
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Jake Dempsey's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Server won't let me upload 5mb file? I'll try again tomorrow.
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #17
Gear Head
 
scottmckaygibson's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Micah Tolentino ➑️
any samples of tunes using only onyx pres? heh
I recorded this song using only the 800r pres on everything recorded: Drum kit, DI Bass, Vox, Guit, Percussion, etc.

"I Will Take You Under" Music Video by Natalie Warner on Vimeo
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #18
Lives for gear
 
Jake Dempsey's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Cool Drums! Is a lot of that sequenced? Really nice.
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #19
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
I recorded this using Onyx on all the drums. Live band with no overdubs or editing too.

No artificial verb on the drums either. Its all room.

http://www.sodiumglow.com/media/Gree...hin_Street.mp3
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #20
Lives for gear
 
Empire Prod's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I did a preproduction gig at this guys demo studio and he had an 8 channel ONYX pre unit. I was shocked that it sounded pretty darn good to me. He said that the unit is around $900. That is so cheap it is ridiculous. It is Mackie so I am sure there is a catch. They must break or something.
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #21
Gear Addict
 
JordanA's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Those ONYX pres do sound fantastic for the price. They even sound better than alot of products that cost alot more!
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #22
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usamike's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
That's good to hear. I know it's un-slutty, but good players on good instruments will sound good without slutty mic pres.
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #23
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Phaidon's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by usamike ➑️
I know it's un-slutty, but good players on good instruments will sound good without slutty mic pres.
Boy,you can say that again! thumbsup
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #24
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottmckaygibson ➑️
I recorded this song using only the 800r pres on everything recorded: Drum kit, DI Bass, Vox, Guit, Percussion, etc.

"I Will Take You Under" Music Video by Natalie Warner on Vimeo
This sounds very good ! What was the setup mic wise etc? How did you mix it?



Thomas
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #25
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottmckaygibson ➑️
I recorded this song using only the 800r pres on everything recorded: Drum kit, DI Bass, Vox, Guit, Percussion, etc.

"I Will Take You Under" Music Video by Natalie Warner on Vimeo

That sounds pretty good for only $125.00 a channel. VERY interesting. I may have to order one of these bad boys.
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #26
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by sodium glow ➑️
I recorded this using Onyx on all the drums. Live band with no overdubs or editing too.

No artificial verb on the drums either. Its all room.

http://www.sodiumglow.com/media/Gree...hin_Street.mp3
Very nice drum recording. What kind of mics did you put on the set?

Nice room!
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #27
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Micah Tolentino ➑️
Very nice drum recording. What kind of mics did you put on the set?

Nice room!
If I remember correctly...its been a while on this one...

Kick In- AKG D112
Kick Out- some cheap LDC
Snare Top- SM57
Snare Bottom- SM57
Toms- All Senn MD421 on the tops
Floor Tom bottom- Shure KSM 44
Hat- Some Senn SDC
OH- Berliner SDC (I Love Berliner mics!) Berliner Microphones | High End Classic Tube Microphones - Berliner Microphones, USA
Rooms 1 - Studio Projects SDC (pair)
Rooms 2 - Audix PZM (pair)

Sorry I don't remember all the model numbers but I'm pretty sure the list is correct.

As for the room...I record drums in that room as often as I can. It is an old 150 seat church built around 1900. No acoustical treatments of any kind just a big box with lots of wood but I love the way it sounds!

Thanks
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #28
Lives for gear
 
henge's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Micah Tolentino ➑️
any samples of tunes using only onyx pres? heh
All the tunes on my site are Onyx pre's!

Anton Evans - Home
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #29
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
These are pre-mastered mixes of a local band I did last year:

Warren Dent - N o W h e r e R a d i o . c o m

All of the drums are Onyx. No triggers, no replacements, no click track, just imperfect yet single take performances with no edits or corrections. I probably should have replaced that kick as he does have a strange foot...

Most of the overdubs are Pacifica, Great River and maybe something else that floated in during the project.

Bang for the buck, Onyx preamps are quite good.

War
Old 28th January 2009
  #30
Gear Guru
 
theblue1's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake Dempsey ➑️
I'm in the process of selling and trading a bunch of preamps right now. Out with the old, in with the new. I have 6 channels on the way, but my preamp selection is pretty limited right now. I have one 512c, one UA Solo 610 and 16 of these Mackie Onyx pres. 8 on a 1620 board and a 800R.

I had tracking sessions with a pretty great band sat-sun. Guys who can play and a drummer who hits hard and knows what he wants his kit to sound like. Bass Player plays a Bennavente. Pretty monstrous sounding modern type bass with active EQ. The band is doing a mix of reggae, afro latin and other island-centric stuff.

Anyway, they tracked drums, bass, guitar and a scratch vocal live. Ended up being 14 tracks I think. I just ran everything into the Mackies, including the DI bass. (we had planned on dubbing bass through an amp later)

The material sounds pretty fantastic! I was using a nice assortment of mics. These are solid, accurate preamps. I have overlooked them for the 3 years I've owned them. Everything sat in the mix beautifully. I was particularly pleased with the bass DI. Sounds huge. I used a Peluso R14 ribbon for some quiet percussion overdubs. I had to peg the preamp to get output from the mic. The track is clean and the character of the mic is all there.

Transparent, musical and cheap. Try them. Really.
Similarly, I had disdained the mic pre's in my lowly Mackie VLZ board, assuming I needed the various colorations and characters afforded by my motley collection of mid-low range pres and then one day a friend and I did a highly informal personal shoot out on our collective mic pres (and a couple compressors).

At first I didn't even include the Mackie pres... but when I went back I found that they were my second favorite of all those we tried. (As noted, these were not high end pres. The 'winner' was a dual channel for about $500, a nice pre. Some would say, a real nice pre... heh None of the pres, single or dual channel, was over $500.)

I never had a problem with the sound of the Mackie pre's... I always thought they sounded fine in a neutral kind of way... I just felt, maybe overly influenced by my first couple years with digital recording (the 'too clean' years), that I needed color... but when I finally sat down to test my assumptions, I found I'd been laboring under false ones... I actually preferred the VLZ's for the vocal and acoustic guitar I used to test.
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