As for the hardware, the Onyx Blackjack is definitely a clean machine – cranked right up there was not the slightest hint of the low level digital chatter that features on cheaper USB interfaces. The mic inputs are forgiving too, if not given too much abuse. Likewise, you’ll need to keep an eye on levels when using the instrument input options too, but the clipping signal indicator seems well calibrated to help things play nice.
Overall, the Mackie Onyx Blackjack inspires confidence. You can plug just about anything into it and get a good, clean signal out of it. Its layout is perfect and its robustness admirable. The Tracktion 3 software is a bonus too, which, albeit rather quirky, is certainly capable and seems to have hidden depths. This interface no cheap option but is worth the money because it’s not been designed cheaply either. ®
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Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB audio interface
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....