This summer, Mackie unveiled a new line Onyx-i firewire mixers that you could, with the purchase of a $50 driver, run Pro Tools M-Powered 8 with. You don’t need to own a M-Audio interface. It would just “work”. A lot of people thought Mackie was going to get a taste of Digidesign’s lawyer division in short order. BUT….it seems they have indeed licensed something with Digidesign, so it is now “legal” to run Pro Tools on a Mackie Onyx mixer.
So, why? And why should you care? I think the reason is that Avid (Digidesign and M-Audio’s parent company) has seen that tons of people are using other pieces of software. Logic, Sonar, Digital Performer, Cakewalk, to name but a FEW. Allowing Mackie hardware to use ProTools allows the software, which is really great IMHO, more exposure. Plus you could have a full 32 track studio happening if you bought 2 Onyx 1640i mixers. True, you don’t get the motorized faders that something like the 003 has (if you have Pro Tools LE) or the Project Mix I/O. But both of these only have 8 preamps.
Anyhow, It is great news. Mackie and Digi working together? Hmmm….