Mackie DL1608 Live Sound Mixer

By Barry Rudolph

Now running updated Master Fader App (ver 1.1), the Mackie DL1608 16 x 8 Live Sound Mixer is the hottest new live sound audio product I’ve seen in years. Any Apple iPad™ locks into the DL1608’s docking tray and provides the GUI for control, signal processing and mix of any combination of 16 microphone and/or line level analog sources coming into 16 Onyx analog mic/line pre-amps. There are eight balanced analog bus line level outputs—master stereo bus and six auxiliary outputs. The six TRS aux output jacks are useful for driving stage wedges or IEMs and are controlled on separate GUI layers with complete mix signal processing available for every channel of each auxiliary.

While docked to the DL1608, your FOH mix can be recorded into the iPad in full CD-quality and saved for retrieval via iTunes® sync with your computer. Premium 24-bit Cirrus Logic™ AD/DA conversion technology is used throughout the DL1608. When undocked, all the functionality (except recording) is the same wirelessly using any standard WiFi router/hub connected to the DL1608. Ten iPads can connect (sync) and control concurrently with tiered access coming.

At this high level of technological complexity, it’s amazing that all of this worked immediately letter-perfect when I connected a combination of analog line level track stems from Pro Tools HD as well as a collection of live microphones. The Onyx microphone pre-amps sound clear and the mixer have loads of headroom—nearly impossible to overload.

The iPad’s Master Fader App stores all settings: fader levels, mutes, channel names, channel icons, processing settings, output bus levels, effect setting, send levels and preset modifications as nameable Snapshots within folders called Shows.

This is a brilliantly thought-out live mixer system that has EQ, noise gate and dynamics processing on every channel and bus output plus a 31-band graphic EQ, great sounding stereo reverb and tempo tapped delay effects available. The Mackie DL1608 16-Channel Digital Live Sound Mixer is $1,249.99 MSRP. You can get way more information at http://mackie.com/DL1608.