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  • #91
    Am I crazy, or is it too much to ask that adapters be included with the Onyx series so their product can be used out of the box immediately after purchase?
    I have been waiting for a week to receive an adapter for my Firewire 800 port in order to use my Onyx. The local computer superstore workers look at me like I am nuts when I ask if they carry these adapters in stock.
    Meanwhile, I just sit and stare at my new decoration, dreaming of the day I can acutally begin using it as I await the $5 part that I had to pay $6 shipping to get. FRUSTRATING!!!

    Comment


    • #92
      Quote "Next, I loaded a really complex project in Sonar: Lots of MIDI and digital audio, Reason 3.0 rewired into it with a big Reason Drum Refill loaded, and East-West Colossus loaded as a virtual instrument. 256 samples didn’t cut it, as there were lots of dropouts. Just in case using Sonar 5’s 64-bit engine was screwing things up, I disabled it; same thing. So, I bumped the number of samples up to 512, and everything worked perfectly."


      Ok, I use M-Audios WDM drivers currently and they are FAB, and I mean incredible, I can get regular 2.9 latency at low buffer rates and never locks anything up until about 15 tracks.

      What was/is your latency at 512 with ASIO in Sonar, using the 64 bit engine, and whats the difference in latency using 32 mode?

      Also, can you do record and playback in 32 bit, and then switch to 64 bit mode to mix, or does it ahve to start and finish in one mode? I think I am and see where it takes my clarity.

      And lastly, how are the EQs and compressors that come with Sonar 5 now in 64 bit mode? Good stuff? I still cant find a full list of the included 64 bit plugs...

      Thanks
      Paul

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      • #93

        But...

        I do feel that the singlecoil/humbucker analogy is a bit of a red flag for me. I mean really, there is a huge difference there and to me it says that these dacs truly do have a unique and identifiable sound, and this really is a bit of a concern for me.

        Craig you have used the word "presence" and to me, between that and the "singlecoil" analogy it could be taken to mean "bright"


        This is where words might not be quite enough and leaves the reader often wondering where the product stands. As a keyboard player, the "single coil/humbucker" analogy doesn't do anything for me. How do I know that it's better than my Tango 24 convertors ? Is it worth the upgrade ?

        A reference to older technology or a reference to top of the line products and products in it's class much like automobile reviews might set us straight. A comparison to what has come before and the SOTA as it is now. Something like :

        The sonics of the 400F is clearly a step-up from my DA-7 digital mixer. (or maybe I heard no difference)
        or
        The sonics of the 400F is much cleaner/clearer and with more defined bttom than my older XYZ convertors. Definitely a step-up.
        or
        Clearly, the Lavry Blue convertors is in a league of it's own. The 400F sounds positively clinical in comparison.


        I don't really know. I'm thinking of what might be helpful to me.

        I can't possibly try too many convertors and especially at one time which would be the most revealing. (My retailer probably wouldn't go for that)
        88 keys

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        • #94
          <<How do I know that it's better than my Tango 24 convertors ? Is it worth the upgrade ?>>

          The problem is...define "better." Please go up 8 posts, and you'll see me describing the sound in a way other than using the pickup analogy.

          But as you're a keyboard player, here's a good analogy for you: Remember how FM synths sounded "crispier/brighter" than analog synths? Same sort of deal, but not to such an extreme by any means.

          <<A reference to older technology or a reference to top of the line products and products in it's class much like automobile reviews might set us straight. A comparison to what has come before and the SOTA as it is now. Something like :

          The sonics of the 400F is clearly a step-up from my DA-7 digital mixer. (or maybe I heard no difference)>>

          I already addressed this, actually They sound different, but not by much. Some might prefer the sound of one, some the sound of the other.

          Now let me say something that will get everyone REALLY riled up:

          It doesn't matter.

          I really think the problem is that people want me to be able to say that X is better than Y. But at this point in technology, the best I can say is that X is different when compared to Y.

          It wasn't always this way. When the first 20-bit converters came out, there was an obvious, distinct improvement compared to 16-bit converters. Yes, they sounded different, but when I heard my first 20-bit system (PARIS) compared to my 16-bit Pro Tools setup, there was no comparison. Period. I bet even a tone deaf grandmother would have picked PARIS as sounding better.

          But I think we're getting into "speaker territory" in this thread. Put five high-end pairs of speakers next to each other, and they'll all sound slightly different. Now put five high-end audiophiles in the room, and listen them argue about which is better. Fact is we have different preferences. I've taken great pains to point out I like crisp, bright, clean, transparent sounds. At least I'm consistent: Back in 1968, I was using solid-state keyboard amps for guitar because guitar amps weren't defined enough for me. Others prefer a more rounded, warm sound. Sure, I could say the 400F converters are "better" than the ones in the DA7. But are they? I can guarantee some people would prefer the sound of the DA7, and some, the sound of the 400F.

          I'm not trying to cop out here. It's like me trying to convince you that your favorite color is blue because I like blue, even though your favorite color is red. Ultimately, this speaks to the limitations of the printed word, and why Lynn Fuston has done his set of A/B comparison CDs. If there's one thing those CDs have proven, it's that there is no universal consensus on what sounds "best." No wonder there are so many models and so many brands -- each has its fans.

          Now let's zoom out even further. I've already said that I don't believe the 400F's sound causes me to alter my mixes. It's not like a situation where a speaker is deficient in the low end, so you turn up the bass. I adjust the mix for the same amount of high end regardless of whether I listen to the 400F, the Creamware DA, or the DA7. It's just that the resulting sound is subtly different.

          Bottom line: Put great music through the 400F, and you'll be hearing great music My personal opinion is that if the feature set floats your boat, that trumps minor differences in sound. The only time it becomes a factor is if you have two units with similar feature sets and can't decide between them. At that point, it's worth setting up a rigorous test to decide if one has sonic qualities you prefer over the other.
          N E W S O N G ! To Say 'No' Would Be a Crime (Remix) is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

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          • #95
            We would love some feedback from you guys if this MCU mode would be useful to you. Basically, you could take the 400F and the MCU and mix a small show at a club, as long as the interface and channel count were acceptable to your needs.



            It would be very useful, indeed. Especially if it meant being able to create super-low latency headphone/monitor mixes while tracking. Presumably this feature would also be included on the 1200F? That's where it would really come in handy. Two questions related to this:

            1. Would these interfaces be able to function in this MCU controlled mixer mode while simultaneously handling DAW I/O?

            2. While controlling the interface (400F or 1200F) in this mixer mode, would the MCU be unavailable to control whatever DAW was being used? Or could it somehow switch modes and control both the interface mixer function and the DAW? Bank switching with some banks controlling the DAW and some controlling the interface's mixer functions?

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            • #96
              The Console software has five mixer pages (one for each output pair) and a settings page. We’ve already discussed the Settings page, so let’s move along to the “Matrix Mixer” itself.

              Click on the attachment to see a picture of the mixer.

              Note that this mixer has a 64-bit signal path (seems like there’s more and more of that going around these days), and operates at a 192kHz sampling rate. So yeah, it’s pretty fine-sounding digital mixer.

              To refresh your memory, the rear panel has eight input jacks (four line, four mic, eight line out jacks, control room jacks (which mirror outs 1/2 or 7/8, depending on the switch setting in the Settings page), and SPDIF in and out (essentially I/O channels 9+10).

              There are also four insert jacks for the mic pres that go post-gain control and pre-D/A. You can also use these as direct outs for the mic pres, which normally wouldn’t be that big a deal, but you may like the mic pres enough to want to use them to feed other devices. The insert jacks are, as expected, unbalanced TRS types that put the send on one line and the return on the other.

              So why are insert jacks important? Cool analog mic stuff, baby! Stuff in your fave vintage tube compressor, Pultec equalizer, TC Helicon or DigiTech voice warping box, or whatever.

              Looking at the mixer, you see the 10 audio input channels along the bottom, along with a two-channel return from your DAW (channels 11+12) and the master output. You can rename the labels along the bottom if desired.

              The rest of the mixer is pretty conventional. Each input channel has a solo and mute button; mutes and solos are additive. If both are selected on the same channel, then mute wins. There’s always a certain amount of controversy about this choice – some people think that if they’ve chosen solo, then dammit, solo should win while others feel that if you’re trying to mute something, it’s for a reason and that should dominate. There’s also an overload light and panpot.

              As this is a Mackie product, Washington State law requires that it have a Rude Solo light…and it does. Additional MIDI indicators show activity on the MIDI in and out lines.

              And that’s about it. The big deals here are, of course, the ability to use the mixer for zero-latency monitoring as well as stand-alone applications. Having a separate page for each output means that in a studio situation, it’s easy to set up something like separate headphone mixers – although you’ll only have one possible mix in the Onyx 400F headphone outs, so separate headphone mixes would require running the line outs to separate headphone amps.

              It probably goes without saying, but this is obviously a stereo device…surround need not apply. I suppose if there was enough demand for surround capabilities, it would be possible to devise a mixer configuration that accepted up to eight DAW outs and fed them to the eight line outs. Call me wacky, call me crazy...but why do I think that few, if any, people reading this thread are going to complain about lack of surround capabilities?

              Also, note that you have to turn off the DSP mixer if you want to monitor your DAW's output at the line outs.

              One final point: You can save and load different mixer configurations, which is essential for stand-alone applications as you can’t adjust the mixer controls from the front panel. So for example, you could save a “Keyboard Mixer” setup and load it in before going to the gig.
              N E W S O N G ! To Say 'No' Would Be a Crime (Remix) is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

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              • #97
                Please see my post about ASIO / Sonar latency above

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                • #98
                  This is a great forum and review!!!

                  I am considering this product, but I am also building a PC computer to go along with it. What kind of firewire does the 400F use? Is it 1394a (up to 400Mbps) or 1394b (up to 800Mbps?) Does this really matter? Also, can anyone suggest a particular firewire PCI card that works well with this product? The motherboard I am thinking about getting is the ASUS P4P800-E, which has a VIA 1394a controller. I need not say more about VIA and pro audio....

                  Thank you for any and all help.

                  (keep those "suck" nobs turned down to -11)

                  -Wood

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                  • #99
                    <<What was/is your latency at 512 with ASIO in Sonar, using the 64 bit engine, and whats the difference in latency using 32 mode?>>

                    I believe it's around 11 ms. I'll check next time the music computer is up and doing its thing. There appears to be no difference in latency when using 32 or 64 bits.

                    <<Also, can you do record and playback in 32 bit, and then switch to 64 bit mode to mix, or does it ahve to start and finish in one mode? I think I am and see where it takes my clarity.>>

                    You can switch to 64 bit to mix, but it doesn't seem there's any penalty to leaving it on all the time. It's for calculational purposes; I don't believe files are recorded in 64-bit resolution.

                    <<And lastly, how are the EQs and compressors that come with Sonar 5 now in 64 bit mode? Good stuff? I still cant find a full list of the included 64 bit plugs...>>

                    I believe the Sonitus plugs have been converted to 64-bit operation. From what I understand (I'm not using the 64-bit version of the software, although I use the 64-bit audio engine with the 32-bit version), the "BitBridge" feature in Sonar allows the 64-bit version to host 32-bit VST plug-ins.

                    And now, back to Mackie...
                    N E W S O N G ! To Say 'No' Would Be a Crime (Remix) is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

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                    • <<What kind of firewire does the 400F use? Is it 1394a (up to 400Mbps) or 1394b (up to 800Mbps?)>>

                      My assumption is that the "400" in the product name is a clue. The manual doesn't say anything about this, and I think it would if this was a 1394b device. Dan?

                      <<Does this really matter?>>

                      Probably not, I don't think Mackie is asking the 400F to do anything extraordinary with respect to bandwidth and 1394a.

                      <<Also, can anyone suggest a particular firewire PCI card that works well with this product? >>

                      Well this isn't a recommendation, but I'm using a 3-port no-name FireWire card I bought at Circuit City back in 2000 for $25. I'm pretty sure it uses the TI chip set. I would think that if the 400F can work with that, it can work with anything!
                      N E W S O N G ! To Say 'No' Would Be a Crime (Remix) is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

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                      • My assumption is that the "400" in the product name is a clue.

                        Actually, Craig, I believe the 400 refers to the fact that there are 4 Onyx pre's in the unut. The upcoming 1200F has 12 Onyx pre's, thus my assumption.

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                        • Hi,
                          Craig, this is just great. I am really enjoying this review.
                          I use nuendo to score for films and commercials, as well as record pop artists here and there. I used to use a M-Audio FW 1814, which worked okay but operated at consumer level (TS outputs).
                          Although, I haven't had the Mackie all that long, I really like it. I like the colourless preamps and the solid design. I hope to have it for a long time.
                          One thing that the M-Audio had going for it was a control panel that could be adjusted from the Nuendo DAW. From Nuendo, you could turn the DSP mixer on/off and control the volume of what was being monitored from Nuendo's mixer.
                          The mixer software included with the Onyxx 400f works fine and everything that I could do with the M-Audio, I can do with the 400f. The only thing that I miss is the ability to control the dsp mixer from my DAW.
                          I was wondering if the developers were considering enhancing the software to make it so the direct monitoring and volume volume can be bridged to a mixer in a DAW like Nuendo and Cubase?
                          Tadpole

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                          • Originally posted by 88keys:

                            "This is where words might not be quite enough and leaves the reader often wondering where the product stands. As a keyboard player, the "single coil/humbucker" analogy doesn't do anything for me. How do I know that it's better than my Tango 24 convertors ? Is it worth the upgrade ?"

                            OK, gotta chime in here again, sorry.... I just heard one today with keyboard, yes its better than the Tango converters.


                            I see it as a frustrating sitch here, that people are wanting the right "words" to solidify their decision , but arent willing to listen to certain "words", and dismiss them as jargon. AND at the same time, complaining that they cant "use" it before they buy it!

                            I think Craig is doing a very nice job on this review, and is more extensive than a mag review, if for nothing else, for the simple fact that its "interactive". It seems like its not that stupid of an idea for some to email Craig, and gently persuade him to say what they want to hear!! LOL!!!

                            I guess some short conversion A/B clips would help, or would they?? Might confuse someone even more?

                            I sound like Craigs lawyer here, which is pretty sad, because I would be better off with him as MY lawyer!!!
                            http://www.myspace.com/guitarlessonsinriversideca

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                            • What kind of firewire does the 400F use? Is it 1394a (up to 400Mbps) or 1394b (up to 800Mbps?) Does this really matter?

                              I think the 400 in the name is purely coincidental, but I'm almost certain that this is a 1394a device. Difference is essentially bandwidth and throughput, not that it should matter for 10in-out. At some point, specs just become bragging rights if they're not actually doing anything functional. I could see 1394b compatability being more relevant if someone were to daisy-chained 3 of these things, or on units that will also be streaming lots adat channels.
                              Also, can anyone suggest a particular firewire PCI card that works well with this product? The motherboard I am thinking about getting is the ASUS P4P800-E, which has a VIA 1394a controller. I need not say more about VIA and pro audio....

                              Anything with a TI chipset should be fine.

                              Comment


                              • <<Actually, Craig, I believe the 400 refers to the fact that there are 4 Onyx pre's in the unut. The upcoming 1200F has 12 Onyx pre's, thus my assumption.>>

                                Well, that makes more sense than my theory. Remind me not to post too early in the morning!
                                N E W S O N G ! To Say 'No' Would Be a Crime (Remix) is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

                                Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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