Mackie Onyx 1640 (FW) - any thoughts about it?

I’ve been offered a mackie onyx 1640 with the firewire card (not the 1640i), at a really good price.

Any of you guys got something to say about it - pros and cons?

I had a good old vlz1604 for a couple of years and loved it, and this seems an updated version in a way.
How does the FW works - does it record the signal before EQ or after ? and so on ?

I’m without a mixer in my setup at the moment, and I really really need one - so if I love the vlz1604 is this the right mixer for me ?


Apple has started to drop FireWire compatibility from the more recent OS upgrades. Make sure your OS can jive with the current Onyx drivers. I would also look in to whether the mixer would be compatible with a lightning/FireWire adapter. It’s harder and harder to find used macs with FireWire ports.

Oh, thanks for the heads up !!

I have the Onyx 1220i. Mackie have been terrible about keeping the driver updated and for two releases of the Mac OS it didn’t work (well it did, you just had to bypass Apples security certificate checks via a Terminal command).

They finally released an update but for Mavericks. Fortunately, this also works on Sierra. But they said they will no longer support the mixer from this point on.

As for FireWire, I can confirm that it works for me with a FW > Lightning 2 adapter (into my iMac).

Personally, I won’t buy a Mackie product again. Selling a mixer even though the driver doesn’t work is pretty shitty.

Hope this helps.

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Thanks for the reply :))

I’ve had a bit of trouble finding out how it records the audio using firewire - is it like a insert, after the preamp or ist post-eq ?

I loved my 1604 even that it was a bit noisy - all those channels, subgroups, 4 sends and cheap.

The 1640 is about same price as a 1604vlz3, so even if the FW isnt working properly it’s a pretty good mixer either way.

Not aware of what the differences would be but I use a 1640i every day (recording through Firewire into Ableton occasionally). It’s fantastic – perfect for my needs anyway. SERIOUS routing capabilities.

Are you running Sierra?

Yes. There are two versions of the 1640i. In a weird turn of events my model (first run I think) suddenly became 100% OS X compatible again thanks to this:

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I have a later 1640i in the studio running OSX 10.6. on iMac, Works great. (I rarely update MacOS in studio). Yes officially the mixer is might not be supported by latest OS. I can run the mixer into my MacBook Air via Thunderbolt to FW adapter running El Captiano 10.11.6 and Ableton Live, works absolutely fine.

I like Mackie mixers and been using them since the CR1604 came out 20+ years ago. My only gripe with the 1640i is that you cannot send post-fader (effects) through each channel 1-16 via FW. So sending AUX effects via FW takes up 6 channels to the computer, reducing channel count to FW. There are some mods you can do to it but never investigated it properly if can resolve my niggle. Otherwise a great work horse mixer.

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I own an onyx 1220 (not 1220i, also bought at a good price), just to use as a mixer as I needed 4 stereo + 4 mono channels + 2 sends.
As a straight up mixer, it sounds fine, nice eq’s, and basic level meter LEDs per channel. Better audio quality than running everything through the octatrack.

It has the firewire card also, so i daisy chained it to my motu 828mk2, which already had a fostex 8ch adat connected. Now with an aggregate audio device in osx, getting 40+ channels of audio. No issues with drivers, though I am using older osx version.

The 2 common complaints with the onyx family is that the audio is sent out pre fader/eq, so you re just getting the straight audio signal, only affected by the gain trim, sent through the firewire channels. You won’t be recording EQ affected channels. Also, the volume in your DAW comes in very low, though that is fixable with a volume utility.

Using an 820i here for the past 5 years. No problems even through all of the OSX upgrades. I highly recommend Mackie mixers.

Hi, I know this threads a little old but I’m thinking of getting a mackie Onyx 1620 to run a drum machine and a few synths through.

Are you still using a mackie onyx with a mac running Sierra?

If so are you just installing mackie drivers using a firewire to thunderbolt adapter and away you go?


I also have a 1620i that I bought on this forum but have yet to try it over Firewire to my Mac Mini running OSX Sierra.

Taken from a Gearslutz post.

‘If you’re fortunate enough to have an Onyx mixer with the Oxford chipset (mixer serial number starts with 003) it works fine on macOS Sierra 10.12.’

Ok I’m on the hunt for 003 haha. Cheers

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Just an update …got on Ebay mackie onyx 1602, serial NOT 003. Plugged into MacBook Pro, Retina mid 2015 running Sierra via Firewire to thunderbolt adapter and recognised in Logic Pro X.

16 channel hands on interface for £330…Awesome!

Hmmm daisy-chain two for 32 firewire desk …Nice!

Anyone tried running a Mackie Onyx 1640i (204… serial number) with the Mac OS 10.13 High Sierra? Thanks. -JA

My 1640 sits broken in the corner.
It was a reasonably ok mixer.
AUX sends were noisy tho.