Mackie have just announced a pair of new audio interfaces incorporating their respected Onyx mic preamps and teamed with highly-specified Cirrus Logic A-D/D-A converters capable of 114dB dynamic range (A-weighted).The Onyx Blackjack is a two-in, two-out compact USB recording interface (£210 inc VAT) designed for desktop use, and it incorporates zero-latency input monitoring in either mono or stereo. Its Onyx preamps include phantom power, it has built-in DI inputs, and there are separate level control for monitors and headphones. Blackjack is bus-powered, which makes it very portable, and it works with pretty much any Mac or PC audio software. Don’t have a DAW? Don’t worry, as Mackie’s Tracktion 3 recording software is included.
For those whose needs are on a different scale, the Onyx Blackbird rack-mount FireWire recording interface (£499 inc VAT) provides 16 inputs and outputs, eight of the inputs being equipped with Onyx mic preamps with switchable phantom power. Two of the preamps are designated Super Channels and benefit from low-cut switches, DI inputs and insert points. Again you get zero-latency monitoring, in both mono and stereo, as well as a bundled copy of Tracktion 3. The same high-quality converters are used supporting sampling resolutions up to 24-bit, 96kHz.
There are also numerous sophisticated features such as wordclock I/O, JetPLL jitter elimination technology, an eight-channel ADAT I/O expander port and the Blackbird Control DSP Matrix Mixer that can route any input to any output. Furthermore the Blackbird can function as a stand-alone eight-channel mic preamp with up to 96kHz ADAT S/MUX II outputs. Blackbird also incorporates the key functions you’d expect to find in a monitor controller such as studio, main and alternative outputs with independent level control and source selection plus a pair of headphone outputs, again with independent level control and source selection. Paul White