The Mackie Onyx 1640i is a large system that is easily capable of doing live location recordings and sending the captured audio directly to Pro Tools. The device features 16 high quality Onyx pre’s that are combined with 16 in and out FireWire I/O ports and a high performance Cirruc converter. This makes the Mackie Onyx 1640i a very powerful and yet still portable 24-bit/96kHz recording device with 16 channels.
The Onyx 1640i doesn’t use any menus, automation, or presets. However, it is very easy to use and straightforward. There’s no confusion over what does what. The device has real XLR inputs, not TRS adapters or shared adapters. The bus outputs, inputs, aux send/returns, and control room outs are all balanced lines, too.
The device does not typically require any device drivers, so installing and using it on any computer is incredibly simple. This only adds to the portability of the 1640i. If using it with M-Powered 8 and some softwares, however, there may be a bit of work, and a few different drivers may be required. However, once the Mackie driver is installed, it’s quite easy to power up the 1640i and get to work.
As far as the portability aspect of the Mackie Onyx 1640i goes, the entire device weighs 39 pounds. That’s a bit on the heavy side, true, but for everything you get, it’s worth a little back ache. This is one console that is truly versatile and works very well both in your home studio and on the road. With its simple to use interface and powerful software, this is one DAW package that no one should be without. At only $1,699, it’s relatively affordable, too.
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