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Mixing With My Mind
January 26, 2012 10:35 AM   Subscribe

The mind-altering power of the Mackie DL1608 Digital Mixer needs to be seen to be believed. SLYT.
posted by Paid In Full (54 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
That was pretty cool. Content consumption, my behind.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:38 AM on January 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Awesome mixer, great job.
posted by hellojed at 10:40 AM on January 26, 2012 [7 favorites]


Behringer launched an iPad mixer at NAMM also.
posted by frenetic at 10:41 AM on January 26, 2012


And as soon as they can figure out how to record more than two mono inputs on the iPad I will pretend to be happy.
posted by frenetic at 10:41 AM on January 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I can't tell if this is serious or a gag in the vein of Powerthirst
posted by adamrice at 10:48 AM on January 26, 2012


As a former sound guy, I can tell you that those hallucinations are pretty much industry standard for longer gigs.
posted by The White Hat at 10:48 AM on January 26, 2012 [9 favorites]


I've freshened up from a urinal and it didn't cost me $499.
posted by narcoleptic at 10:50 AM on January 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Obligatory Onion Link
posted by schmod at 11:25 AM on January 26, 2012


Hello, Apple, we want this for Logic.
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:27 AM on January 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


And as soon as they can figure out how to record more than two mono inputs on the iPad I will pretend to be happy.

I'm not sure why that would be all that desirable. The iPad costs as much as a great computer that can already do that and handle the processor and memory load that the iPad can't touch in order to run plug-ins and get a decent track count. Being able to carry the thing around and have a touch screen is a pretty pointless gimmick if you're trying to record multiple inputs into it.

As a mobile control surface, the iPad is a horribly overpriced but cool toy. As a recording studio brain, it's stupid.
posted by The World Famous at 11:28 AM on January 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


I would be very, very happy if I had a fully-integrated touch control surface on the iPad I already own. Trying to manipulate simulated knobs and sliders with a mouse is difficult, counter-intuitive, and inaccurate. Connect it to Logic on the desktop via Bluetooth, and I'll be a happy camper.

There's already some great touch interface synths for the iPad - I think it has tons of potential for the musician and recordist.
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:33 AM on January 26, 2012


There's an app for that, isn't there?
posted by The World Famous at 11:38 AM on January 26, 2012


As a recording studio brain, it's stupid.

Tools are only as good as the artists wielding them.
posted by digitalprimate at 11:43 AM on January 26, 2012


Tools are only as good as the artists wielding them.

So, if I'm a good enough musician, an iPad will magically be able to run ten simultaneous tracks of Omnisphere and 30 or 40 audio tracks?

I realize that, since you say so, I must not be a very good artist. But I didn't know I could enhance the processing power and memory of a computer if only I would stop sucking so bad.
posted by The World Famous at 11:45 AM on January 26, 2012 [10 favorites]


Mackie are high as kites.
posted by word_virus at 11:48 AM on January 26, 2012


The World Famous: “As a mobile control surface, the iPad is a horribly overpriced but cool toy.”

Well, I'm not sure about that. I still remember when people were paying five thousand dollars each for those Lemur things. The iPad drove down the prices of many touchscreen devices (most of which were overpriced as it is simply because they were in niche markets) and control surfaces were no exception to that. So, yeah, it was pretty fantastic to suddenly be able to get a control surface for a few hundred dollars after that. And I'm pretty sure the iPad remains the cheapest touchscreen that is really versatile enough to work as an audio control surface.

Your main point is totally correct, however: iPads aren't going to be one-piece studios any time soon.
posted by koeselitz at 11:54 AM on January 26, 2012


Based on the sound guys (and gals) I have known, Mackie targeted their audience perfectly here.
posted by idiopath at 11:56 AM on January 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


The World Famous: "As a mobile control surface, the iPad is a horribly overpriced but cool toy. As a recording studio brain, it's stupid."

Have you seen what advanced control surfaces usually cost? Tablets are a huge bargain by comparison. Personally, I find the recent range of single-purpose iPad/iPod/iPhone integrated products to be somewhat poorly-conceived, considering the fact that iOS is a fairly closed platform, but it's no secret at all why it's such a popular trend. It drives R&D and production costs way down on niche devices that can/need to take advantage of the iDevice's processing, communications, and touchscreen capabilities.

Personally, I find the prospect of cheap OEM Android tablets that can be directly built into other products to be a much more exciting possibility. It'll be cheaper too. However, Google's seriously letting Android fall by the wayside, and have failed to really capitalize on the potential for its use in embedded devices. They need to get their act together, and they need to do it now.

As a mobile recorder, an iPad is probably not the best solution to use, but I don't see why it couldn't be used in a pinch. The most difficult/expensive parts (the flash memory and processor) are already there, and it can be used for many purposes. You just need a good ADC to capture the inputs themselves.

That said, the prices for great-quality portable digital recording devices have recently fallen through the floor. Ultimately, I will concede that a digital recorder is an inherently simple enough device that you're best off using a standalone device if that's all that you need. If you're doing more than just recording (ie. live streaming/processing), it's not at all a bad idea to use the extra "oomph" that an iPad/iPhone could provide.

Lighting control surfaces are even more niche than audio mixers, and can cost upward of $50k for an advanced console. Most of that cost goes toward recovering high per-unit R&D expenses, small-batch PCBs, weirdly-expensive mechanical keyswitches, encoders, and faders. Build a good control surface out of commodity hardware, and suddenly you can have the capabilities of a $50k console for 1/20th of the price (even if it takes 6 iPads and some other custom hardware to do it).
posted by schmod at 11:59 AM on January 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


idiopath: "Based on the sound guys (and gals) I have known, Mackie targeted their audience perfectly here."

Wait. Mackie markets itself toward professional sound guys?

I kid....I kid......
posted by schmod at 12:00 PM on January 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


That's exactly why I quit mixing.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 12:02 PM on January 26, 2012


I have a test I try to live by, which I usually call "How do I explain it to the cops". Before I do something I try to figure out what I'm going to say when it goes horribly wrong, and how stupid that is going to sound. If I was mixing a show and suddenly there was ear shattering feedback and/or guitars and a sound meltdown, and people looked back at me and I was frantically playing with an ipad, that wouldn't pass the test. At this point "play" is what you do with an ipad.
posted by bongo_x at 12:06 PM on January 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I wonder how soon until the iPad3/4/5 will have Thunderbolt so we can start seeing some real beefy specialized A/V hardware to attach to them.
posted by wcfields at 12:09 PM on January 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


There's an app for that, isn't there?

Looks a little bit one-size-fits-all, but that's new since the last time I looked around. Thanks!
posted by Devils Rancher at 12:11 PM on January 26, 2012


NEEDS MOAR ZACH GELAFINAKIS
posted by slogger at 12:27 PM on January 26, 2012


I have no comment about the product itself but I much enjoyed the ad.

This explains many sound men I have encountered.
posted by mazola at 1:13 PM on January 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I wonder how soon until the iPad3/4/5 will have Thunderbolt so we can start seeing some real beefy specialized A/V hardware to attach to them.

The Alesis io dock seems like a good start, for the hobbyist/on-the-go-type. But yeah, I hadn't thought about Thunderbolt as an i/o for the iPad. I wonder.
posted by Devils Rancher at 1:53 PM on January 26, 2012


During the time I had an iPad (before giving it away due to irritation) it was far and away the buggiest, most crash-prone computer/tablet/whatever I've ever used. I used one of the apps that interfaced with Logic, and it was fantastic -- when it actually worked; and I had similar experiences with the other audio apps for the iPad. My main concern with audio processing/editing/mixing/etc on the iPad isn't that the apps aren't good -- there are some great apps. No, it's that it would be foolhardy to try to, say, mix a live show on a device that seems constructed precisely to crash at the most inopportune times. Mixing desks don't crash, but iPads do. A lot.
posted by Frobenius Twist at 2:09 PM on January 26, 2012


When you visit Mackie's site, you realize the video was nothing compared to the mural.
posted by Smart Dalek at 2:12 PM on January 26, 2012


far and away the buggiest, most crash-prone computer/tablet/whatever I've ever used. I used one of the apps that interfaced with Logic,

Oh, well, there's your problem - you were running music software.

...says the guy who optimistically tried to set up an all-software music studio in 2001, and had only recovered enough to even think about installing Ableton Live last month
posted by Mars Saxman at 2:12 PM on January 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I really don't see why anyone is saying this product is designed as a recording deck. This is a mixer. And I've done several shows in spaces where this product would have been a god send, because the mixing booth was either backstage (why in gods name I have no idea) or the mixing booth is all the way on the other side of the auditorium and trying to do a sound check by yourself is damn near impossible because you have to set a level, run all the way to the stage, make a noise and pray the level you set wasn't too hot and is going to feedback or blow a speaker up. This type of interface is perfect for being able to walk around to different "sweet spots" in a room and adjust the levels on the fly. Any other use is not what this is intended for. It would also be great for performers who need to do their own stage mix and having a huge clunky mixing board with all the cables and wires and everything on stage is just ugly. Having your mixer on an iPad on a little stand or small table would be ideal.

Informed opinions, you are entitled.
posted by daq at 2:15 PM on January 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I participated sort of tangentially in a show recently where the sound was run on a system that that allowed several different sound guys stationed in different parts of the venue to roam free with iPads in a set up like this one. I don't know if this is the same system they were running, though.

The iPads didn't crash. And the sound was close to the best of any concert I've ever attended.
posted by The World Famous at 2:16 PM on January 26, 2012


Ipad control is great and all...but it still sounds like a Mackie.
posted by aloiv2 at 2:44 PM on January 26, 2012


Drop that thing in the middle of the show and what happens? As a long time sound engineer I can tell you it's a cool little gimmick but not very useful as a mixer. Real consoles Like the Yamaha M7CL can be networked and run from an iPad quite easily but if the iPad was broken or whatever it would not effect ones ability to finish the show. Aloiv2 has it right.
posted by gigbutt at 2:59 PM on January 26, 2012


gigbutt,
I see what you are saying, but isn't that Yamaha a little bit overkill for anything smaller than a concert hall? I mean, a club or bar isn't going to drop that kind of money on an audio mixing console. For it's purpose, the Mackie is more than suitable for venues that aren't specifically show spaces.
posted by daq at 3:25 PM on January 26, 2012


You can have multiple iPads connected to it, so I guess that the mixing and effects are actually run inside the console, and so it would work just like a Yamaha, where if the controlling computer crashes, the show goes on. Tho if the iPad breaks, you're screwed unless you have a replacement.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 3:32 PM on January 26, 2012


The M7CL is a fairly large mid-range digital console -- a small venue would likely use something like a 01v96 or an LS9-16.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 3:34 PM on January 26, 2012


Too cheap to spring for Tim & Eric to direct or what? I mean, cuz... Like if they didn't want Zack Galafinakis, to star and that guy just happened to look like him and all those weird assemblages that tried too hard to be well... like Tim and Eric's style, then... I dunno.

I think whoever wrote this really really really wanted Tim and Eric on board, and for some reason couldn't get it.
posted by symbioid at 4:09 PM on January 26, 2012


Also, is the use of the WinXP background a hint that it will use an embedded WinXP like the old digital X bus?! Conspiracies, conspiracies.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 4:28 PM on January 26, 2012


Nthing aloiv2 & gigbutt & Monday, stony Monday.

Also, daq, "all the cables and wires and everything on stage" -- how would those not still exist ?? You still need mics & mic cables to plug into the Mackie to get any sound. The iPad's just a removable control surface. It would maybe eliminate 1 large multi-channel snake cable from the stage to where the mixing position is, and one smallish power cable run alongside it.

Many current digital consoles have some kind of iPad control app.

Also, I've heard a supposed ship date of May, which still kind of puts it in "vaporware" land. I'm pretty sure Behringer "released" their digital mixer at last year's NAMM, and it's still not out yet.

And Mackie's website says, "Supporting up to 10 iPads simultaneously, the Mackie DL1608 allows multiple engineers to control the mix." On a 16-channel board ????

This is like Ford announcing that a new feature in all its 2012 cars is a steering wheel and brakes at every seat. "Everybody in the car can drive !! Isn't this great ???!!!"

WTF. Somebody's sure on drugs . . . .
posted by soundguy99 at 4:58 PM on January 26, 2012


as someone that plays small gigs with a small band with no regular soundman, this mixer looks awesome. tons of bar bands mix themselves these days and it would be very helpful to run around the bar to hear the mix. boohoo to all the naysayers dissing mackie for not giving them an imaginary 24 track recorder. for bar bands, this kind of a mixer is perfect. and mackies rock for us hobbyists.
posted by readyfreddy at 5:04 PM on January 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


oh wait, now I see. it's the soundmen that are bitching. carry on. with your new job.
posted by readyfreddy at 5:05 PM on January 26, 2012


This is neat, but I'm over thirty and therefore this is against the natural order of things.

Plus, it made me pick up my MS1202 and give it a big metal-heavy hug.
posted by sonascope at 5:17 PM on January 26, 2012


It's not the soundmen bitching about its' lack of multi-track recording . . . . .

And, yes, thanks, I will carry on with my new (same old same old) job of not doing gigs for bar bands. Ten pounds of crap in a 5-pound bag for no money. Please please please buy this and use it happily and never call me again. I'll be busy doing real gigs.
posted by soundguy99 at 5:35 PM on January 26, 2012


Much agreed, schmod. I really, really wish there was an alternative to both Android and iOS. When presented with the choice between slow and shitty or closed and expensive, I opt for neither.
posted by hellslinger at 5:52 PM on January 26, 2012


Oh boy. Give me more more more posts that are product adverts. Can't get enough advertising on the internet!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by Twang at 6:06 PM on January 26, 2012


I think the sound guys are mostly not very impressed by LOUD and the companies they've acquired (Mackie, EAW) when it comes to releasing digital products. Remember the EAW console? Oh, right, it was never released. Or the now-discontinued tt24?

And of course there was the amusing episode where they were heavily promoting their "Gunness focusing", named after a guy... who left them to found another company a few months later. Oops.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 7:46 PM on January 26, 2012


I am just trying to figure out how he used the ipad to transport himself to the windows xp desktop. Parallels for the ipad?
posted by psycho-alchemy at 8:13 PM on January 26, 2012


I mean that he is walking on the xp desktop.-isn't he?
posted by psycho-alchemy at 8:14 PM on January 26, 2012


I get to drive by the Mackie headquarters every day and that's good enough for me.
posted by bz at 8:38 PM on January 26, 2012


I thought this was going to be like a Mackie manual from the 90s in video form. IT WAS SO MUCH MORE (and less, of course).

I miss that old 1604VLZ
posted by infinitewindow at 9:20 PM on January 26, 2012


Hitting this post after an hour or so of surfing YTPs was like one of those dreams where you think you've woken up but then realize YOU'RE STILL IN THE DREAM
posted by Lazlo at 12:36 AM on January 27, 2012


A sound guy in my area has been doing this since the first iPad came out. IIRC, he had a digital mixer hooked up to a MacBook or whatever and used remote desktop on the iPad to walk around the venue adjusting levels. It's about time they starting building the capability directly into the mixer though.
posted by daHIFI at 8:40 AM on January 27, 2012


I think I've only ever seen Nortec Collective using iPads live. Interestingly, they built big Star Wars cabinets for them.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zYaCGEtFDU
posted by rush at 11:03 AM on January 27, 2012


Oh hey! I know that guy!
posted by Lutoslawski at 1:39 PM on January 27, 2012


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