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Can i link my Ensemble and a Blackbird Onyx via ADAT? Multi-Channel Preamps
Old 14th April 2011
Here for the gear

Can i link my Ensemble and a Blackbird Onyx via ADAT?

Looking to expand the inputs on my Ensemble without having to spend another 2 grand on another Ensemble.

Been reading some threads that talk about linking interfaces via ADAT.

Is this Easy to do? How?

And in this case..... possible?


Old 14th April 2011
Gear Nut
jacksonburn's Avatar

I'm interested in this too since I'm looking at an additional interface for my Ensemble that has decent converters, decent utility pres, and is ADAT AND S/MUX compatible for a total of 12 channels of A/D at 96/24.

Especially interested in the Onyx product having used a 1640 Onyx board and a Mackie HD recorder for live recording with great results. Those Onyx pres are not bad at all....

I'm assuming, just by reading the Mackie Blackbird's page, that it is obviously possible (SMUX too):

I would be interested in seeing just how well it integrates with the Ensemble/Maestro workflow. Or if I would be better off ditching the Ensemble setup and getting an Aurora 16 w/ a FW card (since FW is my best option running an iMac)...
Old 15th April 2011
Here for the gear

funny how we're under the same predicament. I've been reading all those posts that you commented on and it seems like no one has a clearcut answer. Well, i might now.

My sales engineer told me today:

"The Blackbird is an interface and is designed to only communicate with
the host computer, not another type of interface. Although it has the
preamps and ADAT connections you need, it will not work along with any
other interface, except another Blackbird.

This basically holds true with all other interfaces too. Many
interfaces are capable of stacking multiple units of the same model
allowing you to increase input capabilities, but this is typically done
with a firewire connection between each identical unit."

He seemed pretty sure of himself. He also said this:

"Using another interface, like the Onyx Blackbird will not work along
with the Ensemble. You will need to use something like the PreSonus
DigiMax D8 or M-Audio Octane that offers preamps with A/D conversion and
ADAT output. Using ADAT connections is extremely simple to setup and

Then he went on to say that the PreSonus (even though cheaper) was the best option for the job (without breaking the bank).

Hope this helps.
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