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Mackie 8Bus Help
Old 15th November 2009
  #1
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jack.mck's Avatar
Mackie 8Bus Help

Hi, I've just registered because I desperately need help. I hope this is the right place to write this.
Basically I've just got a Mackie 16:8 off eBay and there are a few things confusing me about it.

First of all, I think the phantom power may be broken, but if there is a really strange way to apply it, it may just be that I'm being stupid. Also it's an american plug running through one of those big power converters.

Next up, the manual clearly states that the FLIP switch next to the trim control should be up for Mic/Line inputs and down for Tape Returns. However, I've found it to work down for mics and up for returns.

Finally, we're currently running a protools session with each channel output set as an individual analoge out (1-8 to be precise) and they are running back into the returns of the desk. We would like to mix the file using the faders but for some reason they are unresponsive. Basically, we can get sound out of them when all buttons are up on each channel strip, but we can only get the sound out of the MIX B level pot, not through the fader.
We've tried hitting the L/R mix buttons and a bunch of other stuff, but so far the only fader that affects anything is the L/R main mix one when we assign Mix B to L/R on the master section.

If anyone could shed any light on any of these issues it'd be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Jack
Old 16th November 2009
  #2
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jack.mck's Avatar
.

okay so i've been leaning over the desk for a good few hours now. and so fari've realised, the flip switch is correct, it is just reverd for the mix-B output. which leads onto the the other problem i had (which was unresponsive faders) which is now kinda fixed.

I can get all of the faders to act as they should with the flip switch down, but it's really really quiet.

The direct outs on my digi003 are set to +4dBu, connected via TRS to a balanced patchbay (half-normalled mode). then those channels of the patchbay are subsequently connected via TRS to the tape returns which are set to +4dBu.

The signal was so quiet, I had to initialize the EQ and pump it all up just to activate the -20dB signal LED. I also switched the tape returns to -10dBu as that seemed to make it a tad louder (although i reverted it before powering down). Does anyone know why this could be?

thanks
Jack
Old 16th November 2009
  #3
Gear Addict
Do you have your faders assigned to a bus, 1-8, or LR mix? And if so are your busses assigned to the LR mix? In the moniter section, do you have the LR mix button pushed in? And what selection are you using for the monitor output? Are the control room and/or studio knobs turned up, according to where you have the monitors plugged into. You will see the corresponding outputs in the upper right of the board.
The Mic line/ tape button should be in the down position for the faders to accept the tape inputs ( if I remember right).
Also,make sure nothing is soloed (flashing red light).
The phantom power switch powers 8 channels at a time.

Last edited by phaqu; 18th November 2009 at 04:58 AM.. Reason: Wrong button name,...my bad
Old 16th November 2009
  #4
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jack.mck's Avatar
.

Quote:
Originally Posted by phaqu View Post
Do you have your faders assigned to a bus, 1-8, or LR mix? And if so are your busses assigned to the LR mix? In the moniter section, do you have the LR mix button pushed in? And what selection are you using for the monitor output? Are the control room and/or studio knobs turned up, according to where you have the monitors plugged into. You will see the corresponding outputs in the upper right of the board.
The Mix B button should be in the down position for the faders to accept the tape inputs ( if I remember right).
Also,make sure nothing is soloed (flashing red light).
The phantom power switch powers 8 channels at a time.
Thanks for your help. The faders are assigned to LR mix, not using buses at the moment. The LR mix button is pushed in and the control room out pot is turned up.
I think the problem is before any of the monitor section as the -20dB light only floickers now and then when i use the EQ to boost the sound a little bit.
Old 17th November 2009
  #5
Gear Addict
Try taking one of the 1/4" outputs from the tape machine (DAW) that you know for sure has a good signal and move it to the next tape input, then the next down the line,and see if it does anything. Then try plugging into the direct in at the top of the channel strip, just remember to hit the mic/line switch ( down for line in ). Finally, try plugging into of of the 2 track inputs or external inputs, (engaging the right 2TK and or external switches in the monitor section) or even the AUX return, just to see if youre getting sound.
From my experience,a flickering green light is either a bad connection or a weak signal.
Old 17th November 2009
  #6
Old 17th November 2009
  #7
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jack.mck's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by phaqu View Post
Try taking one of the 1/4" outputs from the tape machine (DAW) that you know for sure has a good signal and move it to the next tape input, then the next down the line,and see if it does anything. Then try plugging into the direct in at the top of the channel strip, just remember to hit the mic/line switch ( down for line in ). Finally, try plugging into of of the 2 track inputs or external inputs, (engaging the right 2TK and or external switches in the monitor section) or even the AUX return, just to see if youre getting sound.
From my experience,a flickering green light is either a bad connection or a weak signal.
Every return is the same, tinny little sound comes through, but thats all. The external and 2track inputs work fine. Haven't tried line in or aux yet, will do tonight.
Do you think the reurn pre culd be broken?
Old 17th November 2009
  #8
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Radiogal's Avatar
MIX B turn level to Unity gain / 0
Check out what comes in Flip sw/Channel above the faders.

Above the AUX channel sends: check out what is chosen. Mix B/channel.
All faders to Unity Gain/ 0
Old 17th November 2009
  #9
Gear Addict
No signal through line in either? Also,do you have Mic/line or tape switch engaged in the trim section at the very top? That toggles the channel between the tape inputs and the mic line inputs. Up for mic and down for tape.
If you send the signal to a bus, is there any meter activity on the buss section, with the bus faders up?
Now if you do plug into the line in, and have the line in button down, by the XLR input, and the mic line/tape switch up by the trim knob,and the faders up, plug a headphone into the direct out, you should be able hear something on the phones.
And try turning the trim knob to see if it scratches or boosts the signal.
Now from my understanding, the 8 buss is wired in groups of 8 channels to a circuit board, so the chances of 2 boards going bad at the same time are slim, but you never know.
Old 18th November 2009
  #10
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jack.mck's Avatar
.

Quote:
Originally Posted by phaqu View Post
No signal through line in either? Also,do you have Mic/line or tape switch engaged in the trim section at the very top? That toggles the channel between the tape inputs and the mic line inputs. Up for mic and down for tape.
If you send the signal to a bus, is there any meter activity on the buss section, with the bus faders up?
Now if you do plug into the line in, and have the line in button down, by the XLR input, and the mic line/tape switch up by the trim knob,and the faders up, plug a headphone into the direct out, you should be able hear something on the phones.
And try turning the trim knob to see if it scratches or boosts the signal.
Now from my understanding, the 8 buss is wired in groups of 8 channels to a circuit board, so the chances of 2 boards going bad at the same time are slim, but you never know.
The the bus meters show activity, but very low, because the signal comes through all tinny and weak. It's definately not an output problem because when I put Mix B pots to unity and assign Mix B to LR mix, I get perfect sound. It's got to be something to do with the pre-amps that the line-in and returns run through right?

Also, I should note that when I connect my monitors to 2 of the direct outs, I get the pathetic quality through.

It's so weird, I really just wish someone could come fiddle with it, diagnose it and tell me how to fix it.
Old 18th November 2009
  #11
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jack.mck's Avatar
I've just checked something else I should note. Plugging a mic into the XLR ports has the same effect from the LR mix. I thought it was working before because I was listening from mix B.

So basically, only Mix B works, not LR. Although, LR sounds fine when mix be is routed through it, but I just think that makes the main fader apply to mix B.

What can I do?
I got it 3rd hand unnofficially through eBay, so I've got no cverage. So I want to either fix it, or pay to get it fixed.
Old 18th November 2009
  #12
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A couple of things: there's a -10 or +4 switch on the rear panel, make sure it's set to +4 regarding the soft playback levels you're experiencing. Also check to see if the Mic/Line buttons are up (for Mic) at the mic and line input locations. If they're down, the input impedance expects to see line level and you'll get precious little mic signal past the pre.

Also, Mix B is your monitor mix when you're tracking. Be sure the Mix B switch on the 8 Bus section is not set to "Assign to LR" when you're tracking, you want your monitor mix to come from the Mix B pots, when the flip switch is up. Your faders should be left at unity and tracking levels set with the pre pots.
Old 18th November 2009
  #13
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jack.mck's Avatar
.

yup, thats how I've got it.
I've read the manual a few times, i know how to use the desk pretty confidently now. I just need to diagnose what part is broken.
Old 18th November 2009
  #14
Gear Addict
Quote:
The Mix B button should be in the down position for the faders to accept the tape inputs ( if I remember right).
Just to correct myself, it was the Mic line/tape button I meant to say, NOT the Mix B button.
Old 18th November 2009
  #15
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jack.mck's Avatar
maybe, but it has no effect on my desk
Old 18th November 2009
  #16
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jack.mck's Avatar
Breakthrough

Earlier today I took the back panel off the desk, disconnected and reconnected all the ribbon cables and put it back together. At first the desk was working fine, but by the time I got ProTools ready to go it had reverted back to it's rubbishness. Do you think if I got some contact cleaner and applied that it would work permanently? Or should I get some new ribbons ordered?
Old 19th November 2009
  #17
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jack.mck's Avatar
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Even if the contact cleaner ket it running for a year or so, I think it'd be worth it. Does anyone have any experience? I read on the mackie forums that Mackie had a big problem with ribbons back when these were made and a bad batch of ribbons caused the connectors to be damaged.

Also, it'd be good if anyone could tell me if there was a way I could find out exactly how old the desk is from the serial number.
Old 19th November 2009
  #18
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DCtoDaylight's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jack.mck View Post

Also, it'd be good if anyone could tell me if there was a way I could find out exactly how old the desk is from the serial number.
I'd think Mackie's customer support could tell you....they might even have advice on your issue. Certainly worth a try!
Old 19th November 2009
  #19
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The ribbon cable problem was over a 2-3 year period, around 2003-2006. I had the cables in my 32-8 replaced on warranty because it was made during that time and I had multiple problems related to them. Couldn't hurt to buy a new set and plug them in.
Old 19th November 2009
  #20
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thank you guys so much for all the help. but i think i've been a bit of an idiot.
I cleaned the desk earlier (rather unnecessarily by the looks of it) and afterwards i connected the tape returns to listen to pro tools, which worked. Then whilst listening to playback i began connecting all other cables. only once i ut the insert cables in did i noticed everything dropped out!
Is it normal for an insert (that isn't connected into anything) to affect the channel?
Old 19th November 2009
  #21
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jack.mck's Avatar
and now ive realised ive connected the patch bay wrong.
ignore all that. thread over lol
Old 22nd November 2009
  #22
Gear Head
 

Jack...See me after class lol!
Old 22nd November 2009
  #23
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Mike O's Avatar
 

No reason to be embarrassed. But the most important lesson to be learned here is to 'isolate the problem'. If you believe you have problems with the desk, test with EVERYTHING else (PB) out of the chain and add items back one by one.

Works treat for a lot of the rest of life as well!
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