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Mackie Onyx Blackjack vs Focusrite Scarlett 2i2

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by samurai1993, Jul 22, 2012.


  1. samurai1993

    samurai1993

    Jun 6, 2010
    Chile
    I'm between this two interfaces, I would like opinions since both of them have a so-so reputation about their drivers: The 2i2 has mixed reviews in that department, while the Blackjack drivers were just horrible. Just this year, 2 years after release, it seems to have received proper drivers.

    Both do 24 bits, the Onyx goes up to 48 khz and the Focusrite to 96 khz. I have a little more fate on the Onyx since it has proper Onyx preamps. Also the 2i2, though working great with mics, has been said that it clips badly while recording instruments connected direct to the interface: even with all the gain down it will clip.

    That's all I know about them, have anyone of you used one before? Is the info I've correct? What would you recomend me?
     
  2. JonahTheAmazing

    JonahTheAmazing

    Dec 19, 2010
    I just purchased a 2i2. Hoping for the best, I'll try to get back to you when it arrives. 4-6 business days!
     
  3. samurai1993

    samurai1993

    Jun 6, 2010
    Chile
    Thanks! For me that interface was a no-brainer and secure buy, 'til I read about the clipping issues. Sure for serious recording I would mic my amp or at least use a proper DI box, but for layin' down some demo tracks, being able to record straight into the interface is really pleasant
     
  4. JonahTheAmazing

    JonahTheAmazing

    Dec 19, 2010
    I plan on buying a DI a little later, but for now I will be recording directly. I think having a nice DI will be paramount later on, if I want tonal options.
     
  5. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    I use a Blackbird, which is the Blackjack's big brother. For interfaces in this price range, I've found that the Onyx stuff has about as high quality of preamps as you can get (in this price range), and solid A to D. The D to A side of things is a little brighter than interfaces I've compared it to, specifically an Apogee Duet. I really enjoy it, and the hardware monitoring is fantastic. Lack of analog outs is a bummer.
     
  6. samurai1993

    samurai1993

    Jun 6, 2010
    Chile
    Both units look like a very good deal, solid construction, etc. But as far as I know this segment (sub-200?) doesn't receive much love in the drivers department
     
  7. samurai1993

    samurai1993

    Jun 6, 2010
    Chile
    Any news bud? :hyper:
     
  8. JonahTheAmazing

    JonahTheAmazing

    Dec 19, 2010
    Just got this in today.

    The clipping issue does seem to be in the way. If you were trying to record slap, there may be issues. A DI or some effect on your computer might dampen or eliminate this problem, but that would take more elbow grease than just plugging in your bass and playing.

    The issue I am currently having is figuring out how to get one channel to record in mono through both headphones. I think I am stupid when it comes to DAWs, but I can't seem to find out how to get that to work.

    I will get something serviceable out and give a final verdict.
     
  9. JonahTheAmazing

    JonahTheAmazing

    Dec 19, 2010
    Here's a sample through audacity of the sound. The bass is a Squier P with the tone rolled down.

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2014
  10. samurai1993

    samurai1993

    Jun 6, 2010
    Chile
    Check out reaper!

    www.reaper.fm

    When you monitor a track through Reaper, you get the monitoring at both cans. It could be a little delay (in the ms order), but I recorded a lot of things with my old interface that way, and it wasn't an issue for me. You can do that in any DAW, but I found Reaper easier to use.
     
  11. samurai1993

    samurai1993

    Jun 6, 2010
    Chile
    The clip sounds really nice! At what level you had the gain set in the interface?
     
  12. JonahTheAmazing

    JonahTheAmazing

    Dec 19, 2010
    Not much, around 1/4 of the way up. Any more than 1/2 and you're clipping. Still trying to find a fix for slap.
     
  13. samurai1993

    samurai1993

    Jun 6, 2010
    Chile
    That sounds nice, in other forums they said that the 2i2 clipped even with all the gain down
     
  14. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    I'm a Mac guy, so concerns about drivers are generally lost on me with Mackie stuff. They seem to have a pretty solid track record on the Mac side of things.

    I did read early reports of Mackie not doing a good job with their Windows drivers, but since the interface has been out for a while, you should be okay.
     
  15. samurai1993

    samurai1993

    Jun 6, 2010
    Chile
    That's because OSX doesn't needs drivers at all, AFAIK Mackie designs it interfaces around the standard Apple i/o for that case (Don't know the exact name, but that's the idea)
     
  16. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    That's not entirely accurate. In this case, you need to install a bit of software to get the Blackbird or Blackjack to function properly. It's small, and I assume it contains some sort of drivers package.

    Additionally, Mac-only interfaces made by Apogee and Metric both require drivers to function.
     
  17. samurai1993

    samurai1993

    Jun 6, 2010
    Chile
    At the end I ordered a Scarlett. A friend of mine went to the states and should be here in a couple of days with the interface :hyper:
     
  18. samurai1993

    samurai1993

    Jun 6, 2010
    Chile
    Just receive the Scarlett, no issues with my Squier Affinity Telecaster :hyper:
     
  19. mmakar

    mmakar

    Aug 6, 2012
    I tried both the Mackie and Scarlett Interfaces. I was displeased with the Mackie for the following reasons:
    1. No 96KHZ recording
    2. I have the latest drivers but occasionally causes my Windows 7 64Bit machine to crash in the middle of a session
    3. The maximum recording level, when using a microphone is considerably lower on the Mackie than on the Scarlett. In other words, I must turn down the gain on the Mackie interface to avoid clipping at levels considerably lower than the scarlett, which means I get a better signal to noise ratio on the Scarlett.
    The only thing I like more about the Mackie is that it has a dedicated volume control for the input monitor
    I am going to sell my Blackjack and return to the Scarlett. I am also considering an M-Audio Pro
     
  20. steve_rolfeca

    steve_rolfeca Supporting Member

    I guess my comments are irrelevant, since I'm a Mac guy.

    In a Mac environment, the Blackjack kills for the money. The pre's are VERY good, and performance is stable under OS X 10.6.8 Snow Leopard.
     

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