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  #1  
Old 02-25-2005, 08:22 AM
Doug Ring Doug Ring is offline
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Default Mackie Onyx Mixer with Pro Tools

Hi folks, I've been trying out the Mackie Onyx Mixer with Firewire card.

Through the Firewire card you can output an audio stream directly from each of the mic channels on the mixer to a computer hard drive. This means you can record each channel of the mixer as a discrete audio file so you can remix later. So I got the files onto the hard drive and then tried to import them to Pro Tools. That's when the trouble started.

Despite making sure that the recorded files were the same bit rate and sample frequency as the Pro Tools session, PT failed to work with them in several cases.

Using a "anglepoise" iMac:

-Mono WAV files gave DAE error 9035 on playback
-Stereo WAV files gave DAE error 9035 on playback
-Mono AIFF files needed conversion but would then work (but why should they need conversion?)
-Stereo AIFF files would not import ("Logical end of file reached [-39])

Using a PC laptop (HP/Compaq):

-Mono WAV files worked
-Stereo WAV files worked but needed conversion to split stereo as expected
-AIFF files would import but had no waveform display
-Stereo AIFF files would not import ("Logical end of file reached [-39])

So what's going on? Anybody else had similar problems, or has anybody actually got the Onyx to work with PT? I like the idea of the mixer as front end and only needing a single Firewire lead to work with a computer. It'll work directly as an audio input to other editing platforms, but not with PT because you have to use PT hardware - fair enough, but why PT's reluctance to work with the files the Onyx generates?

Anybody?
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  #2  
Old 02-25-2005, 08:56 AM
yeahyeah yeahyeah is offline
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Default Re: Mackie Onyx Mixer with Pro Tools

hmmm...
i was just thinking about buying one myself...
what software did you use for tracking?
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  #3  
Old 02-25-2005, 09:54 AM
Doug Ring Doug Ring is offline
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Default Re: Mackie Onyx Mixer with Pro Tools

Well the mixer comes bundled with Mackie's own software called Tracktion, which is what I used. I thought it was a really clunky program, but I spent long enough with it to give it a chance, and I think I was using it correctly. There's a version 2 about to come out, and maybe that'll solve some problems, but unless I can get some answers on this board or Mackie's own board my advice is hold off if you want to use it with PT.
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Old 02-28-2005, 03:44 AM
yeahyeah yeahyeah is offline
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Default Re: Mackie Onyx Mixer with Pro Tools

no one else?
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  #5  
Old 02-28-2005, 05:18 AM
Doug Ring Doug Ring is offline
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Default Re: Mackie Onyx Mixer with Pro Tools

I've posted in a few other forums and got some responses there. Check out TDM Systems on Mac, TDM Sytems on Windows, and LE Systems on Windows if you want to follow them.
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  #6  
Old 02-28-2005, 09:09 AM
EF EF is offline
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Default Re: Mackie Onyx Mixer with Pro Tools

I have an Onyx 1640 with firewire interface and recorded a band with it on my Toshiba Laptop using Tracktion and then imported the files into Protools with no problems or conversions that I can remember. A couple of issues that I ran into were that I didn't notice the gain slider in Traction of each channel so the tracks were to quiet and I had to use the gain plug to bring up the level. So far things sound fine with that session, I just wish I didn't have to do that. The file names were way to long and I had to rename them before imprting into PT so that I could tell what they were. I don't know if this makes a difference but my recording setup was Onyx 1640 connected to a Digidesign Firewire drive formated as FAT and then into my laptop. I had to set Tracktion to realtime before it would record without errors. I couldn't record on the internal drive, but I didn't really expect to be able to. I don't know if any of this helps but at least you can see that it can work. I am going to record my band live this Friday using the same setup and I'll let you know if I run into any problems.

Goodluck,
Eric
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  #7  
Old 03-01-2005, 06:06 AM
Doug Ring Doug Ring is offline
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Default Re: Mackie Onyx Mixer with Pro Tools

Thanks for that report, Eric. Good to know that it CAN work, then. Must be something I'm doing wrong.

Some questions for you.

You're using a PC laptop to record through Tracktion - do you have Pro Tools on that PC as well? I only ask as this is the Mac forum, so I would assume you're transferring files from the laptop to a Mac using the Firewire drive... but maybe not.

What do you mean by "I had to set Tracktion to real time"?

Is the gain slider for record input or track playback? In other words, can you boost the level coming off the Onyx, because I did find the levels off the mic channels quite low.

I too found the long file names a pain, but I just went with them. Maybe it's significant that you changed them, however. Did you keep the extension if you were feeding them into a Mac?

Finally, what bit depth / sample rate / file type did you use?
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  #8  
Old 03-01-2005, 09:33 AM
EF EF is offline
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Default Re: Mackie Onyx Mixer with Pro Tools

Doug,
I used tracktion on my PC laptop recording the files on an external FW drive. I can't open traction without FW drive hooked up so I can only give you an idea of what settings I had to set. To be able to record on FW drive without problems I had to set tractions temp directory to a location on that drive ( I think this is why tracktion won't open without drive connected). In the preferences section of traction (the middle tab) there was an option to run tracktion in realtime mode. I had to select this also because sometimes the click would do wierd things otherwise. If you select an input on tracktion, there is a slider that controls the input gain. This helps get a decent recording level. I didn't notice this on my first session so the levels ended up being real low and in PT all this is done at the hardware end. I recorded all the tracks as 24 bit 48K .wav files. Once session was done (I did tracking at a friend's studio, he has a nice room setup but not really any recording equipment yet but a Yamaha AW44 something or other), I plugged the FW drive into my Mac (Dual 1.8 G5) and tried to import the .wav files into a session in PT. The problem I ran into was that PT would only show so many characters in the filename and I couldn't tell what was what. That is why I renamed files to song initials and instrument name (ex LMB Kick). I then had to use gain plug in to bring levels up to a reasonable level ( I hope this didn't totally hose the sounds, they seem OK but psychologicaly because I know I did this I think I hear a quality difference that may or not be there; the band thinks they sound great so who knows). I am going to record my band live this Friday while mixing the show on the mixer. This will be my first attempt to use the setup the way I orriginally intended. I'll post if I run into anything weird.

Hope some of this helps,
Eric.

I just reread your post gain slider in traction affects input level. This kind of bothers me, but maybe it isn't a big deal. I have Audition of this computer but it can only record at 16 or 32 bit and I don't want to do any conversions from 32 bit to 24 for PT. And I kept the file extensions as a .wav. I may have set PT to be compatible for PC and Mac, I'm not sure though.
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Waves Platinum, UAD-1 Studio Pak, Reason 2.5, BFD
Presonus Digimax 96K, UA 6176, Mackie Onyx 1640
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  #9  
Old 03-02-2005, 07:38 AM
Doug Ring Doug Ring is offline
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Default Re: Mackie Onyx Mixer with Pro Tools

Hi Eric, thanks for taking the time to post such a detailed reply.

I think you're right about having to have the external drive connected for Tracktion to start. I didn't find it a very elegant program, and it took me a while to work out how to send files to a new destination. Even then it's frustrating that it won't let you put them inside a new folder so that everything ends up on the top level of the disc and with a hideous long file name. It's not even a very straightforward process to rename them within Tracktion. And what about that mess of overlapping input to track icons? I guess we're spoiled by the elegance of Pro Tools...

So you renamed the files outside Tracktion before you imported them to Pro Tools - maybe that's the step that would sort out my problems. I'll get onto that.

I don't think there's much harm done by the Gain plug in. I've used it in the past to smooth out levels between tracks when mastering and I can't hear any degradation. At 24 bits the dynamic range is huge so all you're doing is adding zeroes to the bottom of the digital numbers and repositioning the data higher up the range.

Hope your recording goes well on Friday. I'd love to hear all about it.

Doug.
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  #10  
Old 03-07-2005, 12:45 AM
EF EF is offline
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Default Re: Mackie Onyx Mixer with Pro Tools

Did a recording friday and everything turned out fine. Traction is still pretty clunky in my opinion but it did the job. I imported the tracks into a Protools session and I didn't check enforce PC/MAC compatibilty so that didn't make a difference. Everything imported without a hitch. I hope you were able to figure out what your problem was and have corrected it.
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Waves Platinum, UAD-1 Studio Pak, Reason 2.5, BFD
Presonus Digimax 96K, UA 6176, Mackie Onyx 1640
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