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IS the MACKIE Analog 8 Bus good for anything?
Old 8th December 2002
  #1
no ssl yet 
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IS the MACKIE Analog 8 Bus good for anything?

I know it's not the best pre/eq in the world but is there anything redeeming in this board before I sell my 24x8?

Does a way to mod this thing and make it better exist?? How about if I mix it with other pieces of outboard?

Surely it must be good for something other than a paperweight with faders?

So pleas guys no jokes just info (If that's possible I know I just asked this in the Hi end forum LOL)

I seem to remember some cool mixes coming from these things before (from other peoples studios) So have I been missing something?

Maybe the ffx returns will be good when used in tandem with ptools and mixing out of the box ffx or something. I could sub mix ffx units on it and need fewer inputs to ptools.

Or maybe I could use the mix B bus and sum a ptools mix ?

Someone with experience help

Is selling it the best thing I can do with this board?
Old 8th December 2002
  #2
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Roland's Avatar
Re Mackie analogue 24-8

These boards are great! Well for the money. Sure there are some downsides, but look at what you are paying. Probably wouldn't buy you a single channel strip from a modern Neve or SSL. There have been some very serious engineers in the business that have used them, and no end of charting records have been recorded on them. I own and have owned various Neve, Amek, Focusrite and other exotic mic pre's and eq's, not to mention the countless boards and eq's I've used in other peoples facilities and yes I did own a Mackie 8 buss. I use a DMX-R 100 Sony mixer in my studio now, but there are other reasons for that.

Just before I sold my old Mackie I tracked a live jazz gig featuring Maria Ewing for DVD recorded in Ronnie Scotts in London, and I have no issues at all with the sound quality of the board. In fairness the album was mixed digitally but from a tracking point of view the Mackie was perfectly suited and valid. The mic amps (possibly due to the fact they are a design unique to Mackie) can sometimes have a slightly odd treble quality, but it depends on what you are recording and the mic's you use. A little eq can usually correct this. This desk can produce very usable sound in the hands of a good engineer.

Regards


Roland
Old 9th December 2002
  #3
Lives for gear
Yea,
I agree. I use to own one as well and one suggestion is it can have some headroom problems which can effect everything bunching together when you mix on it. I found that by keeping the volume low and puting a Avalon 747 on the output to make up the extra gain, it made my mixes much better. I've also moved on to another board but the 8 buss did fine when I had it.
Old 9th December 2002
  #4
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
I didn't have any technical problems with mine while I owned it but I was never in love with it. If I had one now I'd avoid the preamps and EQ and use it just to monitor. Aside from the preamps, EQ and overall lack of headroom my other "problem" with it was that mix B didn't have mutes or solos which made life really difficult when I was using mostly console preamps.

Band: Can we hear just the bass and drums for that one section
Me: Uhhh... yeah... I guess... (pulling patches or destoying the monitor mix)

Just before I bought my Trident I was debating keeping the 24x8 and adding an expander and more outboard preamps or launching it and buying a new console. I think I made the right choice but that was two years ago. But, if you don't have a console in the studio I'd keep it around. You won't get a hell of a lot for it, it doesn't take up a lot of space and it'll come in handy at some point for something. Personally I wouldn't use it in place of the PT mixer unless you were going to use lots of analog outboard and effects.
Old 9th December 2002
  #5
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Roland's Avatar
Re Mackie analogue 24-8

Exactly! For the money it is great. Though I would have more problem with it for mixing than for tracking. Purely as a set of mic amps a basic EQ it is fine. Mixing and monitoring is has limitations, but then it doesn't cost anywhere near as much as the trident and the maintainance on the Trident will cost more a year than the mackie is to buy.

Analogue consoles are increasingly difficult to justify as so often the maintainance is a greater cost than the purchase. In the UK (where I am based) there are no end of high end consoles available for a fraction of their original purchase prices, and they are not selling. A Neve console for £25,000 may look like a bargain, but the maintainance is that of a £200,000 piece of kit. Tendency is to do the bare minimum of servicing and then sell the console on when the real problems start to occur.

Sad fact of life is the idustry is more depressed now than at any time in the past, coupled with the fact that digital gear is so capable these days. I now do all my mixing digitally, and the benefits outweigh the drawbacks significantly. eg. I am able to get sound quality that would be difficult in even the best recording studios with £500,000 worth of gear, using equipement that cost less than a 10th of that. I know there are those amongst you who will dissagree, but to them I would point out there practically isn't a record for a major label that isn't Pro-Tooled these days.

With systems like Logic Audio, Pro-Tools, and Pyramix it is time for those analogue die-hards to really listen and try this gear.

Regards

Roland
Old 9th December 2002
  #6
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Re: Re Mackie analogue 24-8

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Roland
[B]Exactly! For the money it is great. Though I would have more problem with it for mixing than for tracking. Purely as a set of mic amps a basic EQ it is fine. Mixing and monitoring is has limitations, but then it doesn't cost anywhere near as much as the trident and the maintainance on the Trident will cost more a year than the mackie is to buy.

** Not really. Maybe I got lucky but I've spent well under $1000 on maintaing my Trident over the two years I've owned it. Actually, figure in maintaince on the JH-24 and A80 and I'm still under $1000 for two years. I have a friend with an 80C (the one from Smart) an A80 2" and an APR-24 and he said that he's spent about $1000 to maintain all of those over the course of a year.

Analogue consoles are increasingly difficult to justify as so often the maintainance is a greater cost than the purchase.

** Only for consoles that are trashed. Buy a board that's 15-20 years old and needs all new caps, switches and a deep cleaning and yeah, you'll spend as much or more to get it running right then you spent on it to begin with.

Tendency is to do the bare minimum of servicing and then sell the console on when the real problems start to occur.

** I've seen that many times. But, if you take your lumps and rebuild it you should be solid for a number of years with the odd failure here and there. Ask Tony (drumsound) about his 3M M79 2" deck.


With systems like Logic Audio, Pro-Tools, and Pyramix it is time for those analogue die-hards to really listen and try this gear.

** I have Logic and it blows. At least the user interface does. Pro-Tools? Hmmm... try again. Good interface, not too into the sound compared to analog. The Radar sounds good though. Digital might be getting better but it's still not there yet IMHO. I don't think that higher sample rates are the answer either. I want better converters that don't cost a fortune. Especially when the early digital decks like the 3M and Mitsubeastie sound great, way better then an 888 IMHO. And I know several people who agree. So how's that for progress?
Old 9th December 2002
  #7
I'm in the process of trying to find a decent analog console so I can ditch my Mackie 32/8.
Interesting posts Roland and Jay!
Anyway, my contribution is that I've never really thought too hard about the sound quality - or lack thereof - of my Mackie.
Last week however I was tracking some bass. We were using my Api lunchbox - direct in to Pro Tools. At one point we had a problem with a part and to cut a long story short I ended up sticking the bass direct in to the Mackie (so we could hear what we were doing better).
By accident I recorded a couple of takes through the Mackie. When I realised we reverted back to the Api. After my friend had gone I listened to both tracks (playing the same part). The Mackie takes had a muddiness in the mid range and were weirdly but mildly distorted.
It certainly made up my mind to keep everything, including samplers, away from the Mackie as much as possible.
Old 9th December 2002
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Roland's Avatar
Re Mackie analogue 24-8

Jay Said: Not really. Maybe I got lucky but I've spent well under $1000 on maintaing my Trident over the two years I've owned it. Actually, figure in maintaince on the JH-24 and A80 and I'm still under $1000 for two years. I have a friend with an 80C (the one from Smart) an A80 2" and an APR-24 and he said that he's spent about $1000 to maintain all of those over the course of a year.

**I think you have been extremely lucky! I've seen people go through repair bills of £5,000 in a month. Your friend also with his 2" machines. Get a head relap or replacement and start watching the costs mount. Sure your bill may have only been $1,000 the last two years, but it will cost more later.


Jay said: Only for consoles that are trashed. Buy a board that's 15-20 years old and needs all new caps, switches and a deep cleaning and yeah, you'll spend as much or more to get it running right then you spent on it to begin with.

**Most people don't tend to sell good reliable boards, not in the present economic climate, maintainance is still costly and good reliable pro engineers are expensive.

I've seen that many times. But, if you take your lumps and rebuild it you should be solid for a number of years with the odd failure here and there. Ask Tony (drumsound) about his 3M M79 2" deck.

**But how many people run 2" machines these days? The 3M was a crummy machine even when it was new.


I have Logic and it blows. At least the user interface does. Pro-Tools? Hmmm... try again. Good interface, not too into the sound compared to analog. The Radar sounds good though. Digital might be getting better but it's still not there yet IMHO. I don't think that higher sample rates are the answer either. I want better converters that don't cost a fortune. Especially when the early digital decks like the 3M and Mitsubeastie sound great, way better then an 888 IMHO. And I know several people who agree. So how's that for progress?


**Personally I have no problems with the Logic interface, total recall, full automation of all parameters? Client comes back a week later and says they want the vocal a touch louder. Straight away!!

I Would never endorsed the sound of Pro-Tools and personally don't like them, but I would hazzard a guess that 95% of everything you here on a major release was put through it at one stage or another. Radar does sound good, but there are other modern digital devices that sound great too, my Pyramix for instance. The Digidesign 888 was never considered a great AD device, but the old Mitsubushi's were not good either. What many people fail to remember these days about old 2" tape was the way that the top studio's used to back up the good takes to a mix reel in order not to scrub the sound off the tape (thats if they could afford a second machine). Most of the great engineers that I have ever met, really seem to have no or little problem with digital. Only time problems seem to surface are in articles by trendy would be "rock 'n' roll" rebels telling people that digital equals cold clinical sound. This just isn't true. There are as many beautifully warm digital recordings made, as there are clinical sounding analogue records from the past.

Returning to the Mackie, in skilled hands, great results can be had. I take your point about the lack of solo buttons, and headroom, but these things can be worked around, and at $1,000 secondhand its for nothing. I remember working in an 8 track studio 23 years ago, and we paid £3,000 secondhand then for a truly awful Soundcraft Series II.

With the majority of chart records being recorded by writers/producers in Pro-tool production studios, its no wonder that studio rates have been so depressed.

Regards


Roland
Old 10th December 2002
  #9
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Re: Re Mackie analogue 24-8

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Roland
[B]I think you have been extremely lucky! I've seen people go through repair bills of £5,000 in a month. Your friend also with his 2" machines. Get a head relap or replacement and start watching the costs mount. Sure your bill may have only been $1,000 the last two years, but it will cost more later.

*** And I'm sure it will but in the meantime it's all good. Do you have any idea how long heads last before they need to be replaced or relapped? A casual user (home studio) probably won't ever wear out a set of heads with 50% on them. For a pro studio once the heads are worn that low the cost of maintaining them is a non-issue. Also anyone who's spending that much on maintaince for their console every month has bigger issues and probably should launch their console. That's about $7500 USD right? ****, you can hire a tech to recap a whole Trident 80 or similar (32 input) console for about half of that and then it won't have to be done for another 10 years or so unless it runs really hot. Then you'll get maybe 5 years out of it. Average that cost over that time and it's nothing. The electric to run it costs more per day.


Most people don't tend to sell good reliable boards, not in the present economic climate, maintainance is still costly and good reliable pro engineers are expensive.

** True enough. But lots of people do sell boards that are in good shape. Mine was and the person who I got my Trident from bought another Trident that was also in great shape. Sure, there were minor problems with it but nothing that stopped a session.

But how many people run 2" machines these days?

** More then you'd think. Most of the bigger rock acts over here track to tape before it gets dumped into a DAW. I run mine all the time. There's another studio over here with five 2" 24's split between three rooms that get run 5-7 days a week year round. Sure, they have DAW's in each room but the majority of the work gets done on 2".

I have Logic and it blows. At least the user interface does. Pro-Tools? Hmmm... try again. Good interface, not too into the sound compared to analog. The Radar sounds good though. Digital might be getting better but it's still not there yet IMHO. I don't think that higher sample rates are the answer either. I want better converters that don't cost a fortune. Especially when the early digital decks like the 3M and Mitsubeastie sound great, way better then an 888 IMHO. And I know several people who agree. So how's that for progress?


Personally I have no problems with the Logic interface, total recall, full automation of all parameters? Client comes back a week later and says they want the vocal a touch louder. Straight away!!

** I won't remix or recall a song a week later to bump the vocal 1dB. It's not worth my or my clients time. I'll get the mix right the first time and run alternates. If I missed the boat I'll remix and then having recall doesn't matter. There are times when it would be great to press a button and have everything snap back to where it was but I don't need that "feature" to work.

I Would never endorsed the sound of Pro-Tools and personally don't like them, but I would hazzard a guess that 95% of everything you here on a major release was put through it at one stage or another. Radar does sound good, but there are other modern digital devices that sound great too, my Pyramix for instance. The Digidesign 888 was never considered a great AD device, but the old Mitsubushi's were not good either.

** But the 888 shouldn't suck for what it costs should it? It should sound pretty damn good but I don't think they do. Witness the Lucid 8824 which is cheaper and sounds better...

Most of the great engineers that I have ever met, really seem to have no or little problem with digital. Only time problems seem to surface are in articles by trendy would be "rock 'n' roll" rebels telling people that digital equals cold clinical sound. This just isn't true.

** I don't have a problem with digital either. I'll make a record with whatever's put in front of me. Given the choice for the music I do I want tape. Maybe in 5 years my JH-24 won't be used anymore and I'll be tracking to a hard disc system. If that's the way everything goes and tape gets way too expensive I'll make the jump. Until then I have a rig that works and makes me money and keeps my clients happy.

There are as many beautifully warm digital recordings made, as there are clinical sounding analogue records from the past.

** Steely Dan anyone?!


Returning to the Mackie, in skilled hands, great results can be had. I take your point about the lack of solo buttons, and headroom, but these things can be worked around, and at $1,000 secondhand its for nothing. I remember working in an 8 track studio 23 years ago, and we paid £3,000 secondhand then for a truly awful Soundcraft Series II.

** And I didn't think I said records couldn't be made on it. I just said I don't like it.

With the majority of chart records being recorded by writers/producers in Pro-tool production studios, its no wonder that studio rates have been so depressed.

** True DAT.
Old 11th December 2002
  #10
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David R.'s Avatar
 

Still have my 32x8 Mackie and am very happy with it. It is not an SSL, and it (and me) knows it. I have not used the pre's in a long time but that is not a problem. I have made some great mixes on it.

Only a couple of problems with it in the 7 or so years I've had it. Master fader replaced and lights in the meter bridge VU's.
Old 16th December 2002
  #11
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digiman's Avatar
The Mackie board is what I use as a monitor mixer when I'm doing my initial writing and sequencing. I like to run all of my modules and keys with all indiv. outputs maxed out into the Mackie board. When I'm writing I get a chance to hear what all of the midi parts sound like altogether before I start to dump to tape/disk. The Mackie allows me to audition sequences before I start patching to my recording/tracking chain. For that purpose, it does a great job of letting me get a reference for what I ultimately want on tape. Typically, after I've got all my sequence together, I'll do a quick stereo DAT or CD dump from the mackie board to get a reference for mixing. I'll generally start with this as a reference and say, "This is the worst that my mix should sound" and use that as my starting point when I get to mixing.
Old 19th December 2002
  #12
urumita
 
7rojo7's Avatar
 

my big problem with mackie and some other mfg's. gear is the lack of the phase invert switch and the inability to do phase hunting on multi miked instruments. I have a mackie 1204 vlz and as long as i don't use the eq i can record with it, it works good for small live performances. you could use yours with mic. splits to run real time monitors whilst doing digital recording, for instance.
Old 10th April 2019
  #13
Deleted 300228d 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
I'm in the process of trying to find a decent analog console so I can ditch my Mackie 32/8.
Interesting posts Roland and Jay!
Anyway, my contribution is that I've never really thought too hard about the sound quality - or lack thereof - of my Mackie.
Last week however I was tracking some bass. We were using my Api lunchbox - direct in to Pro Tools. At one point we had a problem with a part and to cut a long story short I ended up sticking the bass direct in to the Mackie (so we could hear what we were doing better).
By accident I recorded a couple of takes through the Mackie. When I realised we reverted back to the Api. After my friend had gone I listened to both tracks (playing the same part). The Mackie takes had a muddiness in the mid range and were weirdly but mildly distorted.
It certainly made up my mind to keep everything, including samplers, away from the Mackie as much as possible.
Oh please there's not anything wrong with the board maybe the bass tone was ****
Old 10th April 2019
  #14
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jwh1192's Avatar
just under 17 years .... not bad ....
Old 10th April 2019
  #15
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EvilRoy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jwh1192 View Post
just under 17 years .... not bad ....
Some people like to carefully consider their comments, I suppose.
Old 10th April 2019
  #16
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

FWIW, Chrisso got it exactly right.
Old 10th April 2019
  #17
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jwh1192's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
FWIW, Chrisso got it exactly right.
i had one of the 32/8 for about a month .. was doing some Summing Tests .. Sold it ..

i agree Chrisso is right ..

doing a Julia Fordham taping / multitrack and the audio truck only had amackie 32/8 .. so, i went and rented 16 channels of API for the good stuf ..the mackie was used for all the other crap .. audience mics, etc .. the mackie sounded seriously thin ..
Old 10th April 2019
  #18
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jwh1192 View Post
i had one of the 32/8 for about a month .. was doing some Summing Tests .. Sold it ..

i agree Chrisso is right ..
I've been subjected to them off and on for half my life, seems like. They're handy for fiddly routing when the audio isn't critical, like if you're doing a VO session that combines ISDN and phone patch and Skype (yes, it does happen). They have talkback. The monitor section is only kind of terrible.

But keeping them clean and non-intermittent is really hard, and they really do sound awful. And it's not just the preamps -- they're the least-bad thing, seems to me.

As a summing device, all they'll contribute is less lows, less highs, and a "squink" in the middle. But it's an analog squink.

And how is this in High End?

Last edited by Brent Hahn; 10th April 2019 at 09:32 PM..
Old 10th April 2019
  #19
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EvilRoy's Avatar
 

Yeah, there's a big difference between the EQ in my new D&R and the Mackie. D&R has more headroom, but with sensible gain staging, line in to line out....no difference. I was unable to compare squink specs. I think an 8 bus is still a great option for large keyboard rigs and you want to actually use them all at the same time. Still a great tool if tracking real players even if you're using outboard pres. 32x8s are going for <$400, great deal.
Old 10th April 2019
  #20
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jwh1192's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
I've been subjected to them off and on for half my life, seems like. They're handy for fiddly routing when the audio isn't critical, like if you're doing a VO session that combines ISDN and phone patch and Skype (yes, it does happen). They have talkback. The monitor section is only kind of terrible.

But keeping then clean and non-intermittent is really hard, and they really do sound awful. And it's not just the preamps -- they're the least-bad thing, seems to me.

As a summing device, all they'll contribute is less lows, less highs, and a "squink" in the middle. But it's an analog squink.

And how is this in High End?
you are going to have to answer to "The Squink" !!!
Attached Thumbnails
IS the MACKIE Analog 8 Bus good for anything?-screen-shot-2019-04-10-1.26.31-pm.jpg  
Old 10th April 2019
  #21
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Squawk's Avatar
Did somebody call me?

Oops, my mistake. Carry on...
Old 11th April 2019
  #22
Lives for gear
Mackies 24-8s are hot on ebay for that vintage raw sound missing ITB a Soundgas refurb is going for 7k
Old 11th April 2019
  #23
Deleted 300228d 
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elsapo2001 View Post
Mackies 24-8s are hot on ebay for that vintage raw sound missing ITB a Soundgas refurb is going for 7k
A what?
Old 11th April 2019
  #24
Gear Guru
 
jwh1192's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted 300228d View Post
A what?
you know the Soundgas Refurb ... com'on man, everyone knows what one of those is .. Right !!

so, what the hell is it !!!
Old 11th April 2019
  #25
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jwh1192 View Post
... so, what the hell is it !!!
We can start by assuming it's short for "Refurberation."
Old 11th April 2019
  #26
Gear Guru
 
jwh1192's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
We can start by assuming it's short for "Refurberation."
Haha, I got that part. It was the Sound Gas part that has me ... not familier with that company .. North South Korea .. like I call Canada, North North Dakota
Old 11th April 2019
  #27
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swafford's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted 300228d View Post
A what?
That's the mod that makes it fart instead of squink.
Old 11th April 2019
  #28
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Desk refurberation is all nice and ting but we're talking about a Mackie here. It's better for if you lack a place for defecation than for refurberation.
Old 11th April 2019
  #29
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by swafford View Post
That's the mod that makes it fart instead of squink.
Or maybe the fart counteracts the squink. Like running a TLM103 through a UA 610. Too wrongs not making a right, necessarily, but at least a less-wrong.
Old 11th April 2019
  #30
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swafford's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Or maybe the fart counteracts the squink. Like running a TLM103 through a UA 610. Too wrongs not making a right, necessarily, but at least a less-wrong.
Or possibly enhances in a grotesque and uncomfortable way, the musical equivalent of a shart - the squart.
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