Let’s Skip the Mixing Board: Mackie’s DL32R Crams One into 3 Rack Spaces, with iPad Virtual Control

Virtual gear has two halves that are often associated but don’t have to be tethered: creation and control. By “creation” I mean the actual generation and manipulation of sound, like amp simulators and software plugins. But digital control over analog gear is just as exciting, perhaps even more so for the curmudgeonly among us who still prefer the sound of analog equipment but envy the instant recall, the presets, the space-saving benefits of the digital realm.


So Mackie’s DL32R is a pretty exciting little piece of rack gear. It crams 32 preamps and 14 outputs into a mere 3 rack spaces. But here’s the key part: it’s not just a lot of pres and outputs. We’ve been there and done that. The DL32R provides an entire mixing suite in the box, and features control over that functionality via an iPad. A small rock club could easily get away with including this tiny whizbox in the rack with the power amps on the side of a stage and not routing any other cables across the club to a live sound engineer’s desk. In fact, that desk is no longer needed. The soundperson could mix from the shitter, fully realizing a metaphor for a weekday night local metal gig.

Other bells and whistles included in the DL32R are 4 effects returns, 28 output buses, and three stereo effects processors. It also allows you to assign two inputs as an A/B for one channel, in case a mic or cable goes band and you need to quickly do some swapping.

Mackie’s DL32R will hit stores this month, with a retail price of $1999. Head here for more info.

Source: Sound on Sound

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Chris Alfano has written about music and toured in bands since print magazines and mp3.com were popular. Once in high-school he hacked a friend's QBasic stick figure fighting game to add a chiptune metal soundtrack. Random attractive people still give him high-fives about that.

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