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 Onyx Blackbird, Recording Interfaces


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Mackie Onyx Blackbird

Model: Onyx Blackbird
16x16 Firewire Recording Interface

Studios, regardless of size, can’t usually afford to buy all the gear they want at once. That’s why investing in gear designed with performance, flexibility and expandability in mind is critical. Mackie’s Onyx Blackbird Premium 16x16 FireWire Recording Interface delivers industry-leading recording quality via eight boutique-quality Onyx preamps and high-end 24-bit/96kHz conversion in a sleek, rackmount design. Two front panel “Super Channels” provide quick access to crucial recording tools and feature true analog hardware monitoring, in both mono and stereo, for hassle-free zero-latency recording. The additional mic inputs, onboard 8x8 ADAT and word clock I/O provide easy integration into any digital or analog setup. For more complex sessions, the powerful Blackbird Control DSP Matrix Mixer allows for quick mix creation and routing of any input to any output. Plus, since Blackbird works as a standalone 8-channel preamp rack, you’ve got a single box solution ready for integration into your studio or digital live setup.


Great recordings start with high-quality preamps and you will simply not find preamps at this price range better than Blackbird’s Onyx preamps. We invested significant R&D efforts into developing our flagship Onyx mic preamps. Found on our most expensive studio consoles, Onyx pres are designed to meet or surpass expensive, esoteric standalone mic pres in terms of fidelity, headroom and transparency – as well as improved radio frequency (RFI) rejection and ultra-wide dynamic range. And with a full 60dB of available gain, would-be competitors are left in the dust.


Quality doesn’t stop at the boutique Onyx preamps. The Onyx Blackbird uses Cirrus Logic® converters offering 114dB dynamic range (A-weighted) – a specification other companies sometimes charge thousands of dollars to achieve. Our preamp circuitry is aligned precisely with the onboard analog-to-digital conversion to always provide you with the most headroom and the lowest noise and distortion possible, a real sonic benefit that is often ignored on interfaces.

Studio growing? Blackbird can work into your studio in a number of ways. It’s the perfect front end to your DAW using the FireWire connection. Plus, if you get more preamps later (like another Onyx Blackbird), you can simply connect them via Blackbird’s integrated 8x8 ADAT I/O, delivering a full 16-channel 24-bit/96kHz resolution recording solution. There’s also onboard word clock I/O perfect for any scenario incorporating multiple pieces of analog/digital gear. That means Blackbird is also an ideal standalone 8-input preamp unit for integration into a larger studio or digital live setup.

Even though there’s tons of available I/O on Blackbird, the two front-panel “Super Channels” offer extremely useful features, right within your reach. First off, both channels utilize combo inputs, allowing you to easily swap between mic, guitar, keys, drum machines or whatever comes up during the session. Dedicated 48V phantom power is perfect for any studio-quality condenser microphone. And because these inputs feature true analog hardware monitoring, in either mono or stereo, you can route the signals directly to your studio monitors or headphone, bypassing the need for a matrix mixer, so you and your artists can get right to work. Zero-latency overdubs have never been easier to setup or control.

The Onyx Blackbird is powerful all on its own. However, for more complex applications, Mackie provides you with the custom-designed 18x16 Blackbird Control DSP Matrix Mixer application. This powerful graphic user interface (GUI) allows for customization and ease-of-use that the competition is simply unable to achieve:

- Route any input to any output at any volume and pan orientation
- Apply custom names to all channels and output mixes for quick, at-a-glance reference and control
- 18x16 design, offering a stereo playback stream routable to all monitoring paths
- All DSP mixer I/O is fully customizable in this powerful, one-click solution
This intuitive software looks and operates just like an actual mixer, with the ability to pan, solo, mute and control various output levels. Each stereo output is controlled by a dedicated 18x2 mixer, with each output mixer accessible at the touch of a button. Blackbird Control also indicates input levels and peaks, allows for mono/stereo linking of adjacent channels…and more. It not only simplifies the engineer’s job, it is powerful, sleek and fun to use.

In true Mackie tradition, Onyx Blackbird features a “Built-Like-A-Tank” design, with a powder-coated, all-steel chassis that can get bumped around with the best of them. It’s ultra-compatible, working with any DAW that supports WDM/ASIO (PC) or Core Audio (Mac). This includes popular applications like Logic®, SONAR™, Cubase®, Ableton® Live, and Final Cut Pro®. It also comes with Mackie’s Tracktion 3™ Music Production Software to get rolling right out of the box.

So, if you are looking for a new mothership for your studio, or want to expand upon the setup you already have, consider the Onyx Blackbird. Tons of boutique-quality pres, unmatched AD/DA conversion and a host of flexible, professional features…it’s the perfect solution for any studio.

  • Eight boutique-quality Onyx mic preamps with class-leading fidelity and dynamic range

  • High-headroom design with ultra-low noise and distortion

  • Professional 16x16 24-bit/96kHz recording/playback
    » Flexible FireWire routing
    » 8x8 ADAT I/O for ultimate expandability
    » Onboard wordclock I/O for studio and live integration
    » Acclaimed JetPLL™ jitter elimination technology

  • High-end Cirrus Logic® AD/DA converters with 114dB dynamic range (A-weighted)

  • Compatible with most major DAWs
    » Pro Tools® 9
    » Logic®
    » SONAR™
    » Cubase®
    » Ableton® Live
    » Final Cut Pro®
    » ...and more

  • Powerful and flexible “Super Channels”
    » Front panel connectivity for easy access
    » True analog hardware monitoring of inputs, in mono or stereo, for easy zero-latency recording
    » 80Hz low-cut switches
    » Dedicated 48V phantom power
    » Built-in DI for direct connection of guitars, bass, etc.
    » Inserts for outboard processing gear

  • Ideal eight input standalone preamp unit with up to 96kHz ADAT (S/MUX II) outputs

  • 48V phantom power on all inputs for use with condenser microphones

  • Studio monitor, main and alternative outputs with independent level control and source selection

  • Two headphone outputs with independent level control and source selection

  • Includes powerful Blackbird Control DSP Matrix Mixer
    » Route any input to any output
    » Zero-latency tracking of all inputs
    » Quickly set up independent mixes for headphones and more

  • Easily aggregate up to four units on Mac or PC

  • “Built-Like-A-Tank” sleek and ergonomic chassis design

  • Includes Tracktion 3™ Music Production Software for Mac or PC

General Specifications
Noise Characteristics: Equivalent Input Noise (EIN), mic input @ insert, 150Ω source impedance,
22 Hz to 22 kHz
60 dB (max) gain: -127.0 dBu
40 dB gain: -126.5 dBu
Equivalent Input Noise (EIN), Mic input @ insert, 50Ω source impedance,
60 dB (max) gain: -130.5 dBu
40 dB gain: 130.0 dBu
Output Noise Figure (1/4" Main Out, Alt Out, or Mon Out with Mon level @ unity gain)
-91.0 dBu (95.0 dB SNR, ref +4 dBu), A-Weighted
FireWire Through (Record + Playback) Dynamic Range
111.5 dB, ref + 22 dBu max output level, A-Weighted
Frequency Response: Mic to insert
<10 Hz to 150 kHz: +0 dB / -1 dB
Mic to Monitor or Main Outs (direct monitor analog-only path), unity gain for XLR input
<10 Hz to 80 kHz: +0 dB / -1 dB
Line to Monitor or Main Outs (directly monitor analog-only path), unity gain for 1/4" TRS input ( +20 dB on mic preamps)
<10 Hz to 22 kHz: +0 dB / -1 dB
Firewire Through, mic input to any output, unity gain
44.1 kHz sample rate: ±0.5 dB, 20 Hz to 20 kHz,-3 dB at 21 kHz
96 kHz sample rate: ±0.5 dB, 20 Hz to 20 kHz, -3 dB at 45 kHz
Total Harmonic Distortion (THD+N): Mic to insert, 20 Hz to 20 kHz, 20 Hz to 80 kHz bandwidth
+4 dBu in, untiy gain, +4 dBu out: 0.001%
Line to insert, 20 Hz to 20 kHz, 20 Hz to 80 kHz bandwidth
+4 dBu, unity gain (+20 dB on mic preamp), +4 dBu out: 0.0015%
Hi-Z to monitor (direct monitor analog path, stereo), 1kHz, 22Hz to 22kHz bandwidth
+0 dBu in, unity gain, +0 dBu out: <0.004%
Firewire Through, +4 dBu mic input, to Blackbird control, routed to Main Output, all gain stages unity, 20 Hz to 20 kHz
All Inputs muted except active channel: 0.004%
No analog inputs muted: 0.006%
Attenuation/Crosstalk: 1 kHz relative to +0 dBu, 20 Hz to 20 kHz bandwidth, unweighted
Main Out, Direct Monitor (TO MON) knob at min: -87 dB
Monitor Out, Direct Monitor (TO MON) knob at min, Monitor knob at min: -108 dBu
Monitor Out, Direct Monitor (TO MON) knob at max, monitor knob at min: -82 dBu
Common Mode Rejection Ratio (CMRR): Mic input, 150Ω termination(1kHz): >70 dB gain
Maximum Levels: Mic input, gain at min(0 dB): +22 dBu
Mic input, gain at max(60 dB): -38 dBu
Line input, gain at -20 dB: +22 dBu
Instrument input, gain at -20 dB: +22 dBu
All Outputs: +22 dBu
FireWire: Sample rates available: 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz, 88.2 kHz, 96 kHz
Buffer Sizes: 64 (44.1 kHz and 48 kHz only), 128, 256, 512, 1024, 2048, 3072
Resolution: 24-bit

ADC: Cirrus CS5368
114 dB Typical, 24-bit, A-weighted, 10 Hz to 20kHz BW 0.006% typical, 0.0011% maximum THD+N, 24-bit, - dBFS, 10 Hz to 20 kHz BW

DAC: Cirrus CS4385
114 dB typical, 24-bit, A-weighted, 10 Hz to 20 kHz BW, 0.001% typical, 0.002% maximum THD+N, 24-bit, 0 dBFS, 10 Hz to 20 kHz BW
Meters: Bi-color channel meters:
Red Overload, +18 dBu
Green Signal present, -20 dBu
AC Power Requirements: Power Consumption: 25 watts
Universal AC Power Supply: 100-240 VAC, 50-60 Hz

Operating Temperature: 0° - 40°C, 32° - 104°F
Input and Output Impedance: Mic Input: 2.8 kΩ balanced
Line Input: 30 kΩ balanced / 15 kΩ unbalanced
Hi-Z Input: 1 MΩ balanced
Phones Output: 25Ω
Channel Inserts: 150Ω
Monitor Outputs: 300Ω
Physical Properties: Height: 1.8 in / 46 mm
Depth: 10.2 in / 260 mm
Width: 19.0 in / 483 mm
Weight: 8.2 lb / 3.7 kg


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CFX.mkII Mixers - CFX12.mkII | CFX16.mkII | CFX20.mkII | On-Stage Mixers - ProFX8 | ProFX12 | ProFX16 | ProFx22 |
PPM Powered Mixers - PPM 608 | PPM1008 | PPM1012 |
Loudspeakers | PortablePowered - SRM150 | SRM350v2 | SRM450v2 | TH-12A |
TH-15A | SRM1801 | High-Def Powered - HD1221 | HD1521 | HD1531 | HD1501 | HD1801 | HDA | PortablePassive - C200 | C300z |

Studio Monitors
- Active Monitor - HR824mk2 | HR624mk2 | MR8mk2 | MR5mk2 | MR8 | MR5 | Monitor Control - Big Knob |
Digital Recording- Compact Mixers - Onyx 820i | Onyx 1220i | Onyx 1620i | Onyx 1640i | ProFX8 | ProFX12 | ProFX16 | ProFx22 |
Recording Interfaces - Onyx Blackjack | Onyx Blackbird | Software - Tracktion3 | Control Surfaces - MCU Pro & Extender Pro |

Amplifiers - Powered Mixers - PPM608 | PPM1008 | PPM012 | Software - Music Production Software - Tracktion 3 | C4 Commander |
d8b Plug-Ins - d8b v5 | Pro Audio Lab | DSR-1 | Final Mix | Saturated Fat | Real Time Analysis 31 | Delay Factor | Filter Machine | Time Pak |
Auto Tune | ADX100 | MDW2x2 | Accessories - Loudspeaker Bags - SRM450/C300z Bag | SRM350/C200 Bag | TH-15A Bag | TH-12A Bag |
Loudspeaker Covers - HD1221 Cover | HD1521 Cover | HD1531 Cover | SRM1801 Cover | HD1501 Cover | HD1801 Cover |
Loudspeaker Hardware - SPM200 | SRM350/C200 Bracket | PA-A1 | PA-A2 | FB221 | ACC-R280S | ACC-CK100 | HDA Rigging Kit L |
HDA Rigging Kit R | HDA Rigging Pin Kit | Mixer Bags - ProFX8 Bag | ProFX12 Bag | ProFX16 Bag | ProFX22 Bag | 402-VLZ Bag | 802-VLZ Bag |
1202-VLZ Bag | 1402-VLZ Bag | 1604 -VLZ Bag | PPM Bag | Onyx 820i Bag | Onyx 1220i Bag | Onyx 1620i Bag | Onyx 1640i Bag| CFX12.mkII Bag|
CFX16.mkII Bag | CFX20.mkII Bag | Mixer Covers - ProFX16 Cover | ProFX22 Cover | 1604-VLZ Cover | 2404-VLZ Cover | 3204-VLZ Cover |
Onyx 24.4 Cover | Onyx 32.4 Cover | CFX12.mkII Cover | CFX16.mkII Cover | CFX20.mkII Cover | Mixer Hardware - 1202-VLZ Rack Ears | 1402-VLZ |
1642-VLZ Rack Ears| 1604-VLZ Rotopod | Onyx 820i Rack Ears | Onyx 1220i Rack Ears | Onyx 1620i Rack Ears | Onyx 1640i Rotopod Kit |
ProFX16 Rack Ears | CFX12.mkII Rack Ears |

Discontinued Products -
d.2 | Onyx 1220 | Onyx 1620 | Onyx 1640 | Onyx FireWire Card | 1202-VLZ Pro | 1402-VLZ Pro | 1642-VLZ Pro | 1604-VLZ Pro |
MIXERS-Onyx 80 Series | MIXERS-SR Consoles | MIXERS-Onyx 80 Series | Onyx 2480 | Onyx 3280 | Onyx 4080 | Onyx 4880 |
Onyx 2480 | Onyx 3280 |
Onyx 4080 | Onyx 4880| MIXERS-SR C
onsoles |
SR24•4 VLZ PRO | SR32•4 VLZ PRO | Tracktion 2  | Spike  | Onyx 400F | Onyx 800R | MCU & Extender |
Mackie Control C4 | DFX•6 | DFX•12 |