Feeds
85%
Mackie Onyx Blackjack

Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB audio interface

Solid sender

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

Geek Treat of the Week In the early 1990s, the Mackie name became synonymous with project studio recording consoles that, while not the most sophisticated, offered a good deal of routing flexibility and mounting options. The CR1604 was the breakthrough product for the company – a mixer that is still in production in various guises. The idea behind this and other Mackie products was to deliver low noise mic pre-amps, so that even though the mixer might be basic, the signal wouldn’t suffer.

Mackie Onyx Blackjack

Sound choice: Mackie's Onyx Blackjack

Now owned by Loud Technologies, Mackie’s design ethic still remains evident in the Onyx Blackjack dual channel USB audio interface. Now, this model isn’t the cheapest of its kind and there’s no MIDI or effects on-board either, but it’s no flimsy plastic box that will fizz with interference as soon it you place it near a laptop. Its all-metal casing keeps it well-shielded and it has decent-sized knobs and switches on the control surface that tell you at a glance what’s what. The weight of the Onyx Blackjack is an advantage too, at 800g it certainly doesn’t be skate around the desk on the whim of a springy cable.

The back panel is home to a pair of balanced audio inputs on combo XLR/TRS jack connectors, with the monitor output on just balanced TRS jack sockets. There’s also a USB port here, as the unit is bus powered from the host computer. It’s all very tidy, leaving the cable sprawl at the rear, apart from the 1/4” headphone socket on the front.

The front panel kicks off with the gain controls for both channels with line/high impedance switching – the latter option being for mainly for guitars – that works on the 1/4” jack inputs. Use the XLR connectivity for mics and if you use the condenser sort, there is 48V phantom power switching available too. With any source, the signal presence light shines green so you can turn up the gain until it flashes red and then back off to keep it in the green to avoid distortion. All very simple.

Mackie Onyx Blackjack

Balanced audio interfacing throughout

In the centre, the input monitor section performs duties of letting you either hear the signal direct. This way you avoid the oft-times distracting delay (latency) that you get from the signal being returned via the recording software. There’s even a mono button for input monitoring, so if you’re just tracking guitar, you don’t get it in just one ear. If you can live with some delay, the niceties of panning and effects can be applied when playing from within the recording software. So you can ignore the input monitor option and just listen back from the main monitor output. The phones level is independent of the monitor too, which is useful.

Boost IT visibility and business value

Next page: Soft options

More from The Register

next story
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Apple to build WORLD'S BIGGEST iStore in Dubai
It's not the size of your shiny-shiny...
Just in case? Unverified 'supersize me' iPhone 6 pics in sneak leak peek
Is bigger necessarily better for the fruity firm's flagship phone?
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?