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Mackie Onyx 1220i Reviews

4.0 stars based on 6 customer reviews
  • Dave Bangert
    from New Haven, IN. April 1, 2011Music Background:
    Musician, Studio owner.

    Onyx Baby!

    I had my aging Mackie 1220 board in to Sweetwater for service in 2010 and got the 1220i as a loaner for my next weekend gigs. My keyboard player and I both looked at each other at the end of the first set that weekend and said wow! What a clean and detailed sound. He wanted to know what I was doing deferent. I pointed to the 1200i board. He said there was no way he would let me return the board to sweetwater so I bought the 1220i to repalce the aging Mackie 1220.
    I found that the quality difference between the two board was incredibly noticible at the gig.
    Several months later I was asked to record a local three piece band. I had previouly sold most of my recording gear so I was short on a good interface for recording. It just hit me that the 1220i board, that was packed away in my van, has a firewire interface. I pulled out the board, installed the mackie drivers on my laptop and within 15 minutes I was recording with the 1220i. I am very impressed with the clean, low noise, and great mic pres on this board. If you want an all around board for giging and recording at a dirt cheap price then this is it. Thanks Mackie!

  • Keenan
    from Cedar Falls, IA March 22, 2012Music Background:

    Great Recording Interface

    Fantastic recording interface with great pre-amps and lots of headphone routing options. The only reason I'm giving this 4.5 rather than 5 is that the virtual channels could have been better implemented to allow for a "cue" channel to route through the headphones as well. In other words, there are only one set of stereo outs coming from the computer back to the board, and I think it would've been beneficial to include another set (since it advertises multi-outs). That said, its a good blend of digital and analog and does most of what I need it to do very reliably.

  • Finding Reason
    from United States January 6, 2013Music Background:
    Working musician, amateur sound engineer.

    Smaller version of the 1604 I already love

    I wanted a smaller version of my Onyx 1604 that I use for live applications to use in my home studio (the 1604 is in a rack box and takes up a lot of space). I looked at lots of USB and Firewire mixer options and decided to stick with the Onyx because the preamps are consistently given high marks. Though I would prefer to have more preamps, the 1220i has enough to get me through most recording situations at home. 4 stars instead of 5 because it's a little pricey, but I guess you pay for quality, right? Also, the Firewire software has given me no issues.

  • David Butterfield
    from hi-desert, CA May 15, 2011Music Background:
    garage bands, roots, filmmaker

    onyx 1220i

    I upgraded from the 1202 vlz analog mixer I had for about ten years. This firewire interface is good and the 1220i is quiet. I'm very inexperienced with computer recording and had some "figuring" to do to make this work with my iMac and Logic. I was sitting in front of the computer about a week after my purchase when the phone rang--it was Dennis Konicki from Sweetwater following up to see if all was well with my purchase.

    My problem was: setting the input levels and recording on multiple channels from multiple channels on the 1220i. Problem #1 was solved by Dennis.

    I did not understand that the faders on the mixer only control the analog signal to the analog outs, and analog monitoring levels on the mixer. The digital levels are set by the GAIN knob at the top of 1220i channel strip. In other words, no matter how the faders are set (off to full-on) it doesn't change the record level in Logic (or whatever you use) Nor does changing the software fader level effect the record level in Logic. The software faders only effect levels in playback and mixdown (bounce in Logic). The record level is set by the Gain knob on the Mackie.

    The other problem I had was recording simultaneously on multiple (more than 1&2) on the mixer and more than 1 in Logic. Dennis referred me to Sweetwater Tech Support for this answer.

    In Logic the routing of hardware mixer channels is selected in Tracks/new track/format/input. If in mono format, only one hardware mixer channel can be recorded. If in stereo format only 2 mixer channels can be used on that channel input (say 1&2). To record multiple stereo format tracks from multiple hardware mixer channels. So if you have mixer channels 3 and 4 in use, the input (dropdown menu in new track) set for 3&4. Then record enable your two stereo tracks. Only two channels per stereo track, or one channel per mono track.

    Now I'm up to speed on this basic stuff. Thanks Sweetwater. My first purchase from this company. I am impressed with the service and follow up of Sweetwater.

    I was a little disappointed to find out the faders on the Onyx are not used for setting record or software playback levels. The only function the Onyx faders serve in Logic recording is balancing live sound in headphones while overdubbing--I like live sound louder than prerecorded tracks for example. The record level setting with GAIN knobs is touchy and those brand new pots are scratchy when adjusting, too. The range is tiny also. So getting the levels , stereo balance, requires microscopic turning of the knobs. This seems less than great to me.

    So I give Sweetwater 4 stars and the Onyx 1220i, 3 stars.

  • Customer
    from Seattle, WA USA February 13, 2012Music Background:


    Good mixer, don't be fooled into thinking you'll be able to use your universal audio plugins in a live situation, native plugins are fine. The faders are made of VERY cheap plastic and are inconsistent with the otherwise solid design of this product. Setup with ProTools was annoying.

  • Sean
    from June 4, 2011Music Background:
    Voice Over / Radio

    Excellent mixer with terrible drivers

    I want to give this mixer a much higher rating. The quality is excellent, preamps are great, has tons of features, etc. However, I've been through two of these, two different computers, multiple firewire cards, multiple firewire cables, etc., and there's a crackle/popping on playback that all but makes this unusable.

    Read up on this and you'll find that this is an all too common problem with the Macki "i" series mixers. I'm trying to decide if I shoudl abandon the hundreds of hours of troubleshooting and get a new mixer or just give up on the firewire interface and just use this as a mixer and not a "sound card" for the computer .

    I am very comfortable with computers, troubleshooting, etc., but this problem doesn't seem to have a fix.

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