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Video Review: Mackie DL1608 Digital iPad Interface Mixer

Mackie introduced the DL1608 at this past NAMM and it immediately caused a big stir.  A REALLY…


The reason: though iPad connectivity in new gear was at an all-time high at last NAMM,  only a few companies have integrated the iPad so deeply into their mixing system. All of the digital mixers in the “musician-friendly” (or at least friendly-ish) price point offer remote control via an iPad. Mackie, Line 6 and Behringer all offer direct control while the PreSonus StudioLive has the iPad controlling a computer connected to the console. (BTW, there are advantages to doing it this way… More on that later.) All of them offer the ability to connect multiple iPads so the peeps in your band can control thier monitor mix. The PreSonus system even allows control via an iPhone and you can lock one specific iPhone to one specific monitor mix and shut your drummer out of the rest of the system. Neve give too much control to a drummer…

What is different about the 1608 is that the iPad itself IS the interface. You literally slide the iPad into the mixer frame and mix on the iPad. And when you want to go wireless, you slide it out and you’re free to roam. (Note that ALL of the remote control schemes from ALL of the manufacturers require the mixer and the iPad to be on the same network. Behringer and Mackie require a wireless router to be plugged into the console. Presonus needs the remote computer and the iPad to be on the same wireless network and Line 6 allows you to plug a USB wireless “stick” into the mixer and you’re ready to go.)

The mixer itself offers the same features that has made Mackie famous in the mixer universe: 16 of Mackie’s Onyx mic preamps, 12 XLR ins, 4 combo mic/line ins, and 14 bit Cirrus Logic AD/DA converters that provide a 114db dynamic range. The built-in DSP processing includes 4-band EQ, compression and gate plug-ins, as well as reverb, delay, and a 31-band graphic EQ and limiter on the main and aux outs. In addition to all that, the DL1608 serves up total snapshot recall, saveable easy to use channel presets, AND the ability to record your mix from the L/R stereo outs directly to your iPad for easy sharing.

In short – there’s a lot to like about this unit and the future of digital mixing. We’re going to break down every aspect of the features later – but first check out the intro video which is a basic rundown of the interface and how it works with your iPad.

And away we go…


About the author

Bill Evans

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