One of the big trends we noticed at Winter NAMM 2012 was the integration of iOS devices into music gear — and it went beyond simple interfaces and apps. A great example is Mackie’s DL1608 digital mixer. It packs 16 acclaimed Onyx microphone preamps and Cirrus Logic digital converters into a Mackie-tough chassis, but lets you use your iPad for navigating your mix. Using familiar iPad gestures, you can navigate through virtual faders, manage signal routing, and tweak processors and effects.
What really makes the Mackie DL1608 stand out, though, is that it gives you the ability to mix wirelessly with your iPad, from anywhere in the room! In our personal demonstration, Mackie’s product specialist removed the iPad from the DL1608 while a full mix was playing. He tweaked multiple settings just as you would if you were walking the room and judging the sound. He then slipped the iPad right back into the DL1608’s dock. Audio playback never skipped a sample. Even better, we learned that as many as 10 iPads can be connected wirelessly so that band members can control their own monitor mixes! If you’ve ever looked at the price of personalized monitor mixing systems, the DL1608 should have some serious appeal.
It’s been interesting to watch how the music industry is adapting Apple’s iOS products toward serious audio use. It’s easy to dismiss some products as a “me too” way of using the iPad, but when you dig in a little deeper, you truly realize how many cool new things we can accomplish with these amazing devices. If you’re looking for a new way to approach mixing live sound, you’ll definitely want to learn more about Mackie’s DL1608!