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Topic: Mackie mixer or Octane?

  1. #1

    Mackie mixer or Octane?

    With all the new gadgets and widgets coming out these days, I was looking into future prospects for a good multitrack device. I always thought I\'d get an 8 track Mackie mixer to mic my drums with, along with some vocals and guitar. I then ran into M-Audio\'s new Octane that came out. It\'s a rackmount module with 8 high quality preamps loaded on it.

    My question is, even though Octane doesn\'t have as many \"mixing\" options on it, wouldn\'t the preamps be better than the (for example) Mackie 1402 VLZ Pro? Couldn\'t I just use the software mixing console in Sonar? The next thing I want to do is mic my drumset, which would consist of 5 mics. Has anyone used Octane, and is it worth it for multitracking situations? Just asking anyone\'s thoughts on this decision.

    NOTE: I wouldn\'t care too much about the price difference, cause I\'d pay to get the better unit.

    Octane page:
    http://www.m-audio.com/index.php?do=products.main&ID=fb3e9310bc0341f272b3 b31d2cbf4e97

    Mackie 1402 VLZ Pro


  2. #2

    Re: Mackie mixer or Octane?

    I don\'t know if the Octane is the right unit, but I\'d recommend against the Mackie. Why? Cause it\'s not the product you\'re looking for.

    I\'ve got a 1402-VLZ PRO and it\'s perfect for me. I love it! I use it for preamps, routing, monitoring. And if anything is too loud, I\'m not mousing around for the volume. I just reach up, grab the master faders and pull \'em to zero.

    The Mackie preamps are pretty neutral. I generally listen to them through the mixer, and they get to be a bit noisy that way. Each pre has an effect send, but it\'s single-ended, and when it comes to low-noise I\'m a balanced output freak. So it\'s not the quietest game in town.

    But it sounds like you\'re shopping for a set of preamps and A/Ds, not a mixer. So don\'t get the Mackie or any other mixer for that matter. Focus on pure pres.

    Is the Octane the right rig? I don\'t know. Personally I\'d like it more if it had a Firewire output. Then there\'s no need for another sound card. With lightpipes, you need to spend the money on a multi-input card, if you don\'t already have one. I\'d either want the all-in-one Firewire solution or the purist get-the-digital-away-from-my-analog solution of separate preamps and A/Ds - and then firewire or lightpipes to the PC.

    But all of this means squat if it doesn\'t have the sound you want. You should really bring your mics and headphones to the nearest pro-audio shop and do some auditioning.

    Who knows? You may like the sound of the VLZs better than the ozone. In that case, buy a mixer.

    Edit: I just noticed that the lightpipes are 44.1/48. I didn\'t realize that they didn\'t do 96/192. Given that I\'d shop for nice preamps without spending money on un-needed 44.1/48 A/Ds.

  3. #3

    Re: Mackie mixer or Octane?

    Thanks for the replies so far guys. The soundcard I have is a Delta 1010LT. I\'d think that it has all the inputs I\'d ever need. The thing is friggin loaded with them. Would this work well with the Octane, considering both products are M-Audio also?


  4. #4

    Re: Mackie mixer or Octane?

    The lightpipe out is defintely something that\'s turned me off and away from the Octane. If it had some other output options available, I would definitely consider purchasing it. It would be nice if I knew whether or not the pres are better than those in my aardvark 24/96\'s.

    Ack, Jon my new Grace design pre-amp turned out to be defective! The phantom power isn\'t working!

    I tried the cascade VX20 out on my aardvark last night though, and it is actually pretty decent!

  5. #5

    Re: Mackie mixer or Octane?

    Originally posted by JonFairhurst:
    Edit: I just noticed that the lightpipes are 44.1/48. I didn\'t realize that they didn\'t do 96/192. Given that I\'d shop for nice preamps without spending money on un-needed 44.1/48 A/Ds.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Some of the digital pre\'s use 2 sets of lightpipe out to create a 96k mix. I haven\'t used this method, but I read that it does occur. The hammerfall cards support this method of input I believe.

    However, ultimately you want, like jon says, a good a/d converter and some good pre\'s. The mixer in my studio only serves the purpose of monitoring for me. Find you a card that handles digital ins, and get either a good set of a/d converters with some nice pre\'s or get one of those firewire interfaces that have 8 pre\'s in it. Just remember it will only sound as good as your weekest link - that being the pres or the a/d converters. Just remember:

    Good a/d converters + bad pre\'s = very good sounding crap

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