Mackie Professional Audio
 Onyx Blackbird, Recording Interfaces

Homepage Clear Com Azden Sound Devices DPA Sennheiser SHURE Steinberg Tascam Yamaha JBL Mackie Data video Monitor E-Shop Zoom Visit Us 19
< Home < Main Page < Digital Recording & Mixing < Recording Interfaces < Onyx Blackbird
  Compact Mixers
  Onyx 820i
  Onyx 1220i
  Onyx 1620i
  Onyx 1640i
  Recording Interfaces
  Onyx Blackjack
  Onyx Blackbird
  Tracktion 3
  Control Surfaces
  MCU Pro & Extender Pro
  Active Monitors
  Monitor Controls
  Portable Powered
  High-def Powered
  Portable Passive
  4-Bus Sound Mixers
  ONYX-i Ser Mixers
  VLZ3 Compact Mixers
  CFX mkII Live Sound Mixers
  ON-Stage Mixers
  PPM Powered Mixers
  Powered Mixers
  Music Prod Software
  d8b Plugs-Ins
  Loudspeaker Bags
  Loudspeaker Covers
  Loudspeaker Hardware
  Mixer Bags
  Mixer Covers
  Mixer Hardware
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


Read our blogs