Thursday, October 16, 2014

Best of AES 2014: Mackie DL32R

GC Pro has returned from a tremendously successful 2014 Audio Engineering Society (AES) show, held at the Los Angeles Convention Center not very far from our headquarters in Westlake Village, CA. We'll be taking a closer look at a number of products that we found especially interesting, useful, or just plain cool. Here's a new product that encompasses all three qualities: the Mackie DL32R 32-channel wireless digital mixer with iPad control.

Everything from Anywhere
We live in amazing times, especially if you work in pro audio and live sound. Take the Mackie DL32R... a 32-channel digital mixer that you control via your iPad. But wait; it's also a direct-to-drive multitrack recorder/playback tool. But wait; it's also jam-packed with digital signal processing. But wait; the whole thing is contained in a 3U rackmount enclosure. So while we were a bit skeptical toward Mackie's "Control everything from anywhere" claim with the DL32R, we have to admit: that's pretty much exactly what it does, and now your live sound venue, house of worship, or studio can do it too.

32-channel wireless digital mixer
The DL32R starts with 32 Onyx+ recallable mic pres with wireless control. It's got the professional interfacing you need, including 14 fully-assignable XLR outputs and a stereo AES digital output. All settings on the DL32R can be recalled for future use. Its 3U rackmount design is perfect for both touring or a permanent installation, and it has an expansion card slot.

Wireless Mixing: the FOH mix position is now wherever you are
You can ditch that cable snake, because you're not going to be tied down to anything with the DL32R. The reason? It operates wirelessly, giving you complete control from your iPad. Need to walk around the room and check null points and dead spots? Carry your iPad and adjust your mix while you move through the room. Need to set up a personal monitor mix? You can use multiple iPads, iPhones, or iPod touches (up to 10 separate iOS devices at once), and let the performers tweak their own IEM or stage wedge mix. Now your only question is where to put that mixer (answer: wherever you want).

Multi-track recording & playback
The DL32R offers 32x32 USB 2.0 audio interfaces for Mac or PC, as well as 24x24 recording/playback direct to USB 2.0 hard drive. Do you get wireless control over all direct-to-disk recording/playback functions via the iPad? Of course you do. And how can you use this capability? How about recording your live shows for later mixdown? Or perhaps playing back intermission music and backing tracks? Or doing virtual sound checks to tune the venue before the band has even arrived? This capability might allow the DL32R to be the centerpiece of your studio. You can even use Mac or PC audio plug-ins in a live environment.

DSP? Yeah baby!
The DL32R is packed with digital signal processing and flexible routing that you'll need for live sound, including 36 input channels with 4-band PEQ + HPF, gate and compression. You also get 32 stereo-linkable input channels, 28 output busses with 4-band PEQ + HPF/LPF, 31-band GEQ, comp/limiter and alignment delay, and much more.

Master Fader control app
Your main way of connecting your ears and your brain to the DL32R is via the Master Fader app, an intuitive and easy-to-master app for your iPad. You get fast navigation with view groups and overview, and a quick setup with tons of factory and user-definable presets. You can limit access as needed to prevent any unwanted adjustments (like, by the guy who wants to use your iPad to update Twitter). And like any app, Mackie can quickly offer updates via the Apple App Store.

About the only thing you need to provide to take advantage of the DL32R is an iPad and a Wi-Fi router. Along with those, you really can control everything from anywhere. Well, reasonably speaking. Don't try and mix a show in Cleveland from Chicago. That's just bad form.

GC Pro Knows Live Sound!
From bars and nightclubs to restaurants and houses of worship, GC Pro's representatives are experts on helping you put together the ultimate live sound system within your budget. The Mackie DL32R seems like an excellent addition to just about any live sound environment, so contact us now and get more information, or pre-order it today!

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