Mackie, maker of sound reinforcement and recording gear, introduced their new DL1608 mixer last week at NAMM. For many live sound engineers, the Mackie name is synonymous with the mid-priced, workhorse sound mixer, starting with the LM-1602, introduced in 1988. If you’ve ever done live sound, you’ve probably come across one of these mixers somewhere in your travels. The new DL1608 builds on that legacy, but with a twist. It uses your iPad as the brain for the mixer, eschewing physical faders and knobs for touchscreen ones instead.
The mixer is built with a large cradle where your iPad is inserted, creating the face of the mixer. Of course, with an iPad’s horsepower at your disposal, there’s a lot more that you can do than just virtual faders, and the Mackie DL1608 takes full advantage of the power of the iPad, including the killer feature, wireless control over the mixer.
Mackie’s Master Fader iPad app provides the user with control over the DL1608, either in the cradled position, or wirelessly over Wi-Fi (wireless control requires an additional Wi-Fi router connected to the DL1608). Multiple screens give you fader control, EQ and compression and gate settings, as well as access to Reverb and Delay effects, and a 31-band master EQ. Presets can be saved, and you can recall mix snapshots with a touch.
The most awesome feature is the wireless mixing. Now you can take the iPad from the mix position and wander around the venue, tuning the system and mixing from any spot in the room. You can fine tune the monitor mix while standing on stage with the musicians. In fact, Mackie will allow up to ten iPads to control the same DL1608 mixer, giving those on stage the ability to fine tune their own monitor mixes, for example.
Other features include 16 Onyx mic preamps, 24 bit Cirrus Logic® AD/DA converters, channel images to identify mixer channels with a photo, and stereo recording of the main mix directly to the iPad.
Check out the video below for a lighthearted look at what the Mackie DL1608 can do.