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Mackie Onyx 1620i Reviews

4.5 stars based on 6 customer reviews
  • from Lawrence, KS February 10, 2014Music Background:
    Hobby musician/producer

    I'm telling everybody how cool this board is

    I did a lot of research on medium-sized mixers. I found myself in the market after my Mackie classic CR1604 stopped working after abusing it for over 20 years. During that time, I also used a huge Behringer 32 channel Eurodesk but, found it hard to dial in the sound. It was too much and the components weren't impressive.

    It was also time to start recording direct to my Mac. Even though I work with myself or maybe one other player at a time, the idea of being able to zap 16 channels at once was very appealing. I didn't fully realize how easy and convenient recording this way made the entire process. Ideas were recorded on the fly, inserted into the mix (because I could). I had studied the manual prior to purchasing, so I hit the ground running with little effort.

    There were specific reasons I chose this mixer:
    1) Latency. It drives me crazy. The 1620i sends the mix back to the board through channels 15/16 (a stereo pair). When you overdub, there is NO latency whatsoever.
    2) Overdubs in general. I mix using Tracktion 4 DAW on the computer. I didn't need to have my hands on an actual mixer to mix down. But when the entire mix is routed back through 15/16 it's a nice little subgrouping of the whole thing so if you need the recorded tracks less hot while you're overdubbing, you just adjust one slider. Very convenient way to dial in the overdub mix.
    3) Computer performance/multitracking. This was a leap of faith. My computer is an unmodified, out-of-the-box iMac from Best Buy. I had concerns that it could handle a lot of tracks without choking. The first song I made was about 17 tracks and it recorded and played back perfectly. No problems whatsoever. And I was recording stereo tracks on everything at 24 bit/96kHz.
    4) The preamps and Perkins EQ. I think anything above that Eurodesk is a step up for my ears. These preamps are warm and musical. I'm using very little EQ and when I do, a little goes a LONG way. The option of running dynamic and condenser mics side-by-side is perfect with the 49V phantom power button on each of the 8 XLR inputs.
    5) Overall sound. You don't know until you record YOUR music. When I get equipment that works right, it makes me more creative because I'm not spending time figuring out problems. I love the sound. The preamps make capturing an acoustic guitar or vocal very musical because it's not harsh. With some mixers, I've had to dial back the high end because it was too brittle (digital) sounding. The mixes are smooth and full.

    I do recommend this mixer. Grab it by both hands and pick it up -- feels very solid. I've heard a lot of internet crap about Mackie hype but, I used my Mackie for 20 years so I know they last. That's fact, not hype.

    Now the CONS:
    1) It comes with a Firewire cable but it's the regular pin on both ends. They also included an adapter for the mini connection but, my iMac needed something else. Radio Shack - $23.
    2) The signal before using gain could be hotter for my taste. I have to turn the sliders up high to get a hot enough signal. I use gain sparingly but find myself using more of it to get what I need.

    Everything else is perfect. If you're evaluating mixers, include this one because I love mine.

  • from United States May 21, 2012Music Background:
    Recording Artist, Recording Engineer, Pro Musician, Student

    Guys, Buy IT

    The preamps are awesome. The EQ is flawless. The sliders feel very comfortable and the talk back, amount of ins and outs, and control and phones source functions are amazing as well. I record and play live with this beast. It's heavy construction. Very Very well built. Just do it and own it forever.

  • from BRAZIL October 29, 2010Music Background:
    Arranger, Producer and Keyboards

    Simple Analog Layout

    Simple analog layout with fireware recording. I'm using with Pro Tools M-powered 8. No bugs, no problems and the pre's are great. I've been working with 96Khz. The sound is great. Very clean, but powerful. Thanks Alan to make me the right choice. Thanks Sweetwater.

  • from IL March 28, 2010Music Background:
    Recording artist

    Best Mixer for smooth acurate detailed audio at this price!

    This unit with the Onyx preamps is the way to go.
    I moved up from the 1604VLZ3. This is the way to go.
    The features and ease of use are a plus also.
    Detailed studio sound that is worth the investment.
    Hear what's been missing.

  • from Minneapolis MN October 8, 2009

    Fantastic Wow!

    I have been looking for an audio interface analog mixer combo that can feed my Daw. I bought a 16 channel mixer with 8 direct outs and 4 sub groups to run into my motu 828. Nice set up but not intuative.
    This mixer feeds all my needs 16 ins as i have a lot of outboard synths, and i can run them all in ALL 16 CHANNELS AT ONCE SWEET!!!!!!. Also i can send two back in to monitor what my computer hears.
    So far fantastic plug and play on my mac pro. No drivers just hook it up and play.
    Worth more than i paid for it i believe and a great saving from these guys, and dont forget the free candy:)
    Clean lines and designed for a musician not an engineer. Simple manual i didnt even open to hook up. Manual maybe 20 pages thats all you need.
    My first Mackie product now i see what all the fuss is about.
    Thanks guys now i can make music not swap cables and try to find routing signals and the tactile feel of a quality mixer.
    A+++ MAckie

  • from Rochester, NY January 5, 2015Music Background:
    Home recording studio, guitar hobbyist, recording engineer

    Good til it quits working

    I fell in love with this at first, has all you need to start creating great mixes. Unfortunately the electronics didn't last long in my case, bought it in 2011, FireWire card died within first 6 months. Sweetwater was good about fixing the issue. Got her back and she worked great for another 3 years. Just lost channel 3 today, warranty has been up for a while now. Mixer still is in working order outside of that . Mind you this has never left my home studio, treated it like a baby. Very lite use. Hopefully sweetwater will come through and bail me out and get her back up and running to her full potential. Big investment for the small timers like me .

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