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Onyx Satellite represents a breakthrough for computer-based audio and music production. As the world's first two-piece FireWire recording system, Satellite consists of a portable recording Pod with premium Onyx mic preamps, and a desktop Base Station with additional inputs and outputs. You simply undock the Pod when you want to record on locationleaving the Base Station connected to all your desktop studio gear (microphones, instruments, headphones, studio monitors, etc.). Then, once you've returned to your studio, simply dock the Satellite Pod back into the Base Station with a reassuring "click."
The Base Station provides additional I/O, monitor control and Talkback with a built-in mic. And the system comes with a full-featured copy of Tracktion 2 music production software with Mackie Mixing and Mastering tools, so you can go from initial idea to final CD. (Of course, with WDM, GSIF, ASIO and Core Audio drivers, Onyx Satellite can also be used with most major audio software on Mac or PC.)UNSURPASSED SOUND QUALITYWhen developing a FireWire audio/recording interface, it pays to know your stuff. So it's worth noting that Mackie started as a professional audio company, not a software or computer peripheral company. As such, we engineered Satellite with a focus on crucial components like mic preamps, superior analog circuitry, and A/D and D/A converters.Instead of me-too, off-the-shelf mic preamps, Satellite offers our premium Onyx mic preampsgiving you dynamic range and noise specifications rivaling much more expensive standalone mic pres. (Click here to read some of the glowing reviews.) All the analog circuitry was designed by the veteran Mackie engineering team in Woodinville, WA with higher headroom and lower noise specs than anything in its class by far. And we specified professional AKM-brand, phase-accurate 24-bit/96kHz Analog-to-Digital and Digital-to-Analog converters, to ensure that what comes in, is what goes out, and back in, and back out.THE GO-ANYWHERE SATELLITE PODIn addition to the aforementioned Onyx mic preamps, the robust aluminum-and-steel Satellite Pod features Neutrik' Combo input connectors on Channels 1 and 2, which allow you to use either a 1/4" TRS connector or an XLR connector. A global 48V switch applies phantom power to both XLR input connectors, so you can power your studio condenser mics. Channels 1 and 2 also feature an Instrument Select switch, which lets you connect an acoustic, electric, or bass guitar directly to the 1/4" input, eliminating the need for an external direct box. The Pod also has a stereo Control Room output and two stereo Headphone jacks, each with separate level controls (the Control Room and Phones 1 outputs share a level control). And of course, there's a FireWire connector for jacking into your desktop or laptop. Because the Satellite Pod is bus-powered via FireWire, there's no need for a separate power supply.THE SATELLITE BASE STATION*When the Pod is docked to the Base Station, it gains additional features and expanded I/O capabilities. Namely, a separate XLR connector, two 1/4" TRS line-input connectors, and a 1/4" TS instrument connector for each channel, with Select switches for each input source. Plus Insert jacks for Channels 1 and 2, letting you send and return the signal to an external processor (like, say, a killer vintage outboard compressor/limiter you bought from some dude on eBay for like $100 bucks because he didn't know what it was).The Base Station also gives you six channels of analog balanced line outputs, provided on 1/4" TRS connectors. Two of these can be used as stereo Control Room outputs, with an A/B Switch to route the signal to two separate pairs of monitors for comparison. For communicating with studio talent, the Base Station also serves up a built-in Talkback microphone, that can be routed to the Phones/Control Room output or to the DAW for slating.And like the Satelitte Pod, the Base Station can be powered directly from the FireWire bus (when using a six-pin FireWire connector), or from the 12V DC power supply included in the box.MONITORING AND SURROUND CONTROL As mentioned, the Base Station's Control Room section allows you to select between one of two monitor outs for multiple monitor speaker setups. Additionally, you can switch monitoring between your DAW outputs and the connected inputsso you can plug in to jam or listen to your iPod without having to boot your DAW software. Lastly, the Satellite/Base Station combo allows you to control the volume of six outputs for Surround sound with a single volume knoba feature that would cost a bundle if you had to buy it separately. And its worth mentioning that all these things stay connected on your desktop, so you never have to repatch cables when you go to record on location.TRACKTION 2 SOFTWARE AND MACKIE MASTERING TOOLS The Satellite system comes with Mackie's popular Tracktion 2 Music Production Software. Tracktion 2's hallmark single-screen interface and intuitive workflow make it the perfect audio and MIDI production solution for both novice and seasoned DAW users alike. And T2's feature set is immense: unlimited track count, VST and ReWire support, a high-definition 64-bit mix engine, QuickTime video import, external synchronization, MIDI controller mapping, Mac and PC compatibility, and integrated Mackie Control Universal and C4 support, just to name a few. But more importantly, Tracktion 2 does it all in a way that never gets in the way of your creativity.
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Mackie ONYX SATELLITE FireWire Recording System Reviews