Recording - December 2010 - 27

At home or on the road, it’s always been dead solid reliable, and its Onyx mic preamps make everything that comes into it sound as it should. With the Onyx Blackjack, Mackie now has a USB solution for audio users in need of a simple, rugged, reliable audio interface. The Onyx Blackjack costs a bit more than some other entrylevel 2x2 USB interfaces, and when you open the box it’s instantly evident as to why. It’s built into a heavy steel enclosure that’s bolted into a steel ring that serves as a base and sets the interface at a good working angle. There’s nothing cheap anywhere in the construction, right down to the smooth and clean pots, the genuine Neutrik Combo jacks for the inputs, and the Cirrus Logic converters under the hood. The Onyx Blackjack offers two inputs for XLR mic signals or 1 /4" TRS balanced line-level signals; each input has a frontpanel switch to set it to Hi-Z instrument input use if desired. The front panel has input-level pots, a pot for zero-latency input monitor blend (with switchable mono or stereo input), and separate pots for the rear-panel 1/4" TRS balanced Monitor outs

and the front-panel 1/4" TRS stereo headphone jack. LEDs indicate power on, USB link, Phantom on (from a global switch), and Signal/Overload for each input. The Onyx Blackjack is class-compliant, and just works when you hook it up to any Windows (XP SP2 or better) or Mac OS X (10.4.11 or better) computer, providing two inputs and two outputs. The Onyx mic preamps sound fantastic, and you can really hear the tonal improvement in the Hi-Z inputs. The A/D and D/A converters sound excellent, with 24-bit resolution and 44.1 or 48 kHz sample rates available. Operation is easy as pie, and you’ll be enjoying great audio input and silky playback in no time. There’s even a free copy of Mackie’s Tracktion 3 DAW software if you’re looking for a recording application to go with your interface. I offer only one caution with respect to this interface, and it’s in the realm of “what if?” rather than anything I found in my tests, which were flawless across the board. With no provision for an external AC power supply, the Onyx Blackjack is completely reliant on the USB port for its power. Some folks will argue that this makes it a risky proposition for phantom-powering some old or finicky condenser mics, and other folks will run into problems if they hook it up without using some common sense first—for example, hanging it off an unpowered hub with a bunch of other peripherals connected to an inexpensive laptop. I never had issues, but an external AC option would have made a nice security blanket. [Mackie comments that their only performance issues were seen with unpowered hubs, and recommend a powered hub when using the Onyx Blackjack with other USB peripherals.—Ed.] I got a real kick out of the Onyx Blackjack. It’s simple, instantly useful, sounded fantastic, and built to take a tumble. Thanks, Mackie, for updating my Onyx Satellite into an affordable and future-friendly design.—MM
RECORDING DECEMBER 2010

27


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording - December 2010

Recording - December 2010
Fade In
Contents
Talkback
Recording’s 2010 Holiday Gift Guide
Theme Music for TV—A Production Report
Royer Labs R-101 Ribbon Microphone
Recording SFX—A Career Option?
Primacoustic IsoTools
Avenson Audio IsoDI
Getting Your Music Heard In Today’sCommercial Culture
Preview: Yamaha AvantGrand
It’s Your Music—Know Your Rights.Chapter 9: Trademark Basics
Sonoma Wire Works GuitarJack Model 1and FourTrack 4.0.1
Readers' Tapes
Advertiser Index
Fade Out
Recording - December 2010 - Recording - December 2010
Recording - December 2010 - Cover2
Recording - December 2010 - 1
Recording - December 2010 - Fade In
Recording - December 2010 - 3
Recording - December 2010 - Contents
Recording - December 2010 - 5
Recording - December 2010 - Talkback
Recording - December 2010 - 7
Recording - December 2010 - Recording’s 2010 Holiday Gift Guide
Recording - December 2010 - 9
Recording - December 2010 - 10
Recording - December 2010 - 11
Recording - December 2010 - 12
Recording - December 2010 - 13
Recording - December 2010 - 14
Recording - December 2010 - 15
Recording - December 2010 - 16
Recording - December 2010 - 17
Recording - December 2010 - 18
Recording - December 2010 - 19
Recording - December 2010 - 20
Recording - December 2010 - 21
Recording - December 2010 - 22
Recording - December 2010 - 23
Recording - December 2010 - 24
Recording - December 2010 - 25
Recording - December 2010 - 26
Recording - December 2010 - 27
Recording - December 2010 - 28
Recording - December 2010 - 29
Recording - December 2010 - 30
Recording - December 2010 - 31
Recording - December 2010 - 32
Recording - December 2010 - 33
Recording - December 2010 - Theme Music for TV—A Production Report
Recording - December 2010 - 35
Recording - December 2010 - 36
Recording - December 2010 - 37
Recording - December 2010 - 38
Recording - December 2010 - 39
Recording - December 2010 - Royer Labs R-101 Ribbon Microphone
Recording - December 2010 - 41
Recording - December 2010 - Recording SFX—A Career Option?
Recording - December 2010 - 43
Recording - December 2010 - Primacoustic IsoTools
Recording - December 2010 - 45
Recording - December 2010 - Avenson Audio IsoDI
Recording - December 2010 - 47
Recording - December 2010 - Getting Your Music Heard In Today’sCommercial Culture
Recording - December 2010 - 49
Recording - December 2010 - 50
Recording - December 2010 - 51
Recording - December 2010 - 52
Recording - December 2010 - 53
Recording - December 2010 - 54
Recording - December 2010 - 55
Recording - December 2010 - Preview: Yamaha AvantGrand
Recording - December 2010 - 57
Recording - December 2010 - It’s Your Music—Know Your Rights.Chapter 9: Trademark Basics
Recording - December 2010 - 59
Recording - December 2010 - 60
Recording - December 2010 - 61
Recording - December 2010 - Sonoma Wire Works GuitarJack Model 1and FourTrack 4.0.1
Recording - December 2010 - 63
Recording - December 2010 - Readers' Tapes
Recording - December 2010 - Advertiser Index
Recording - December 2010 - 66
Recording - December 2010 - 67
Recording - December 2010 - 68
Recording - December 2010 - 69
Recording - December 2010 - 70
Recording - December 2010 - 71
Recording - December 2010 - Fade Out
Recording - December 2010 - Cover3
Recording - December 2010 - Cover4
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