The Onyx Blackjack also comes with Tracktion 3 recording software for Mac and PC. Included in the box is a serial number for the app that you can download after registering. Tracktion is rather odd looking and initially gives the impression of being some kind of Java project, especially as it could take some time thinking about things.
Admittedly, I didn’t get off to a good start with Tracktion 3 as I’d previously set the Onyx Blackjack to 44.1kHz in the Audio MIDI Setup utility for use with iTunes and tests with Steinberg's Cubase Elements. Alas, I couldn’t get the Onyx input to work until I changed it back to 48kHz. It seems that Tracktion 3 likes to deal with any sample rate changes personally.
Tracktion settings menu
The app is certainly different, with project window shrinking to 800 x 600 to hand from a single click to make room for other apps or to use on a netbook. You can muddle through, but some basic tasks such as normalisation of recordings needed a few hoops to jump through (Loop edit > Loop info > Basic audio File Operations) to apply the changes. If there was a shortcut, it wasn’t obvious.
In fact, there’s quite a lot that isn’t obvious with Tracktion 3 as it does offer a rather different way of working, but it seems that perseverance pays dividends. The effects racks that can be strung together from basic Tracktion components are a bit of a diversion as there as some rather good Mackie VST effects on-board too. MIDI is supported and can trigger Tracktion 3’s on-board sampler.
VST effects on-board too
Indeed, if you didn’t take some time getting familiar with Tracktion 3, you might easily dismiss it as being basic, but it’s worth checking out the impressive demo songs that really show off its depth and capabilities.
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Roland Edirol UA25
Have to say that i have the Roland Edirol UA25 and use it with logic and a macbook pro and i wouldn't rate it. All sorts of problems including output clipping when i have my mac volume at maximum (no matter how much i turn down the device in audio/midi settings). The headphone output doesn't work either.
Alesis Mixers have never matched the pristine signal quality of Mackie.
Not to mention the longevity of the pots and faders...
I used to have that Alesis mixer once, cause it was cheaper than the Mackie my friend had... it was crap, sold it on ebay...
So I have no reason to believe that an Alesis at half the price will have anywhere near the same quality mic preamps or for that matter any part of it being the same quality as Mackie.
Unless the new owner Loud plans to just coast on Mackie's good name for a couple of years selling cheap crap, but that would be very foolish way to ruin an excellent franchise, so I doubt it.
Re: It's for more than 2 channels
If you want 8/16/24 digital channels back from a multi-channel mixer then USB 1.1 isn't anywhere near enough. It's JUST fine for a stereo mixer with phantom power.
Re: Leyton C
Try an IO|2! :-) They're great for recording.
I haven't noticed any latency on Mac OS and I think it comes with special low-latency drivers for Windows.
would love one key thing answered about this unit:
Are your monitors protected from loud pops when turning on or off the computer or the mackie unit itself?
I had a Tascam firewire unit, way more expensive than this, yet it fried the tweeters on my old Alesis Studio Monitors due to unforgivably loud pops when the computer hooked up to it was turned on or off.
I have no taste for a repeat on my new KRK's....