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Mackie Onyx 400F Firewire

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Quick Overview

A Superior Recording Preamp and FireWire Interface in a Single Box.There are plenty of FireWire audio interfaces on the market today. But if you're a musician or engineer who insists on absolu...
A Superior Recording Preamp and FireWire Interface in a Single Box.

There are plenty of FireWire audio interfaces on the market today. But if you're a musician or engineer who insists on absolute quality, then the Onyx 400F Studio Recording Preamp with 192kHz FireWire I/O is the pre-eminent professional choice. The 400F is a no-compromise recording interface that brings superior sound, robust construction, and several "world's first" features to those looking to record to Mac or PC. And it comes bundled with Mackie's popular Tracktion 2 software for easy recording right out of the box.


The Onyx 400F is a 10-channel premium mic preamp and FireWire audio interface featuring four boutique-quality Onyx mic preamps. These highly acclaimed preamps offer superior headroom, sonic detail, and clarity vs. the competition—delivering 123dB dynamic range and an amazing .0007% THD—and a sound that has been widely praised as exceptionally "open" and "revealing." The Onyx 400F also offers TRS inserts for inserting your favorite outboard gear into your signal path before sending it to your Mac or PC, plus an internal 10 x 10 DSP Matrix Mixer with full recall and 64-bit floating point processing—a feature not found on any other FireWire interface, at any price.


With four Onyx mic preamps, four line inputs and stereo S/PDIF digital inputs, the 400F is the ideal box for tracking anything from smaller overdub-style projects to a full band. Operation is refreshingly straightforward. You simply plug in your mics and instruments to the front or rear panel, and plug a FireWire cable into your Mac or PC. The 400F's eight individual outputs can be used for surround mixing, or for sending four discrete stereo headphone mixes to a headphone amp like one of our new HM Series (coming soon). For overdubs, the 400F's dual headphone outputs give both the engineer and musician their own headphone outs with independent volume control. And the internal 10 x 10 Matrix Mixer allows near-zero-latency routing of any input to any output.


A common question regarding the sound quality of any digital audio interface is often "What converters does it use?" Specifically, the Onyx 400F features mastering-grade 24-bit/192kHz AKM® 5385 and 4358 audio converters—the same top-notch, phase-accurate converters you'll find in our flagship Digital X Bus. But at the same time, the 400F's "sound quality" is a function of its entire system — the superb Onyx preamps, the well-engineered summing circuitry, the 64-bit floating point processing, and more. Unlike other audio interface manufacturers, Mackie has a grizzled team of veteran analog engineers in-house. So we didn't just design the 400F, we over-designed it, paying attention to every last detail.


The Onyx 400F is the first FireWire audio interface with a true 64-bit onboard Matrix Mixer with floating-point DSP. The DSP-controlled mixer lets you route any input to any output with panning, level control, mute and solo controls, storing your mixes for instant recall. And it operates with or without a computer. So you can, for example, make five custom mixes of incoming live inputs, plus two channels coming back from your computer—patch in external compressors or reverbs—and send individual near-zero-latency stereo headphone mixes to up to four musicians, with an extra independent digital mix to your DAT or CD recorder.

The 400F remembers how you have set the Matrix Mixer via control panel software and retains this routing when you power it up, even with no computer attached, for convenient standalone mixer functionality. And with 64-bit floating-point processing and high-definition 192kHz sampling rates, the DSP mixer preserves the original fidelity and clarity of your sound sources.


In fine Mackie tradition, the Onyx 400F offers a host of helpful "extras" to make life easier. These include dual high-impedance instrument inputs so you can connect an acoustic, electric, or bass guitar directly to the unit, eliminating the need for an external direct box. There's also stereo Control Room outputs and dual stereo headphone outputs on the front panel, each with individual volume controls. In addition to 192kHz S/PDIF and Word Clock (BNC) I/O connections, the rear panel of the 400F offers dual FireWire connectors for daisy-chaining devices like external hard drives, optical drives, and even another Onyx 400F on Mac OS 10.4 and higher systems.

On the construction side of things, the Onyx 400F is also exceptional. The unit features an extremely robust design with an all-steel chassis, aluminum faceplate and front-panel knobs, long-life switches, and ultra high-quality connectors on front and rear panels.


The Onyx 400F makes a perfect recording preamp and audio interface for all the major audio software applications. But for those looking to record and produce music with minimal hassle, we've included Mackie's Tracktion 2 Music Production Software. This popular new application is drawing raves from the press and users alike, thanks to its refreshingly simple single-screen interface and fast workflow. Yet it offers serious features like a 64-bit mix engine, unlimited track count, QuickTime support and much more. There's even a plug-in bundle with a complete suite of Mackie Mixing and Mastering tools.