Mackie DL 1608 Lightning

Mixer

  • Lightning mixer for Apple iPad
  • Compatible with iPad models from the iPad 4, as well as the iPad mini
  • 16 Microphone inputs
  • 6 AUX sends
  • 4-Band EQ
  • Compressor
  • Gate per channel
  • 31-Band graphic EQ and compressor/limiter in the outputs
  • Reverb and delay
  • XLR master outputs
  • Jack AUX outputs
  • Can be used wirelessly with an external Wi-Fi router
  • Up to 10 iPads can be used simultaneously
  • Intuitive Master Fader app
  • Visual feedback
  • Preset and snapshot recall
  • Easy recording directly to the iPad
  • Playback music from any iPad app and incorporate into the mix
  • PadLock feature locks down iPad for security
  • Industry standard Kensington lock secures mixer
  • Includes Pro Tools | First and extensive plugin bundles for creating professional recordings right away, including: the Musician Collection featuring 23 exclusive Mackie plugins such as BBD delay, the 304 bundle and Eleven Lite; the DAW OEM bundle featuring 16 powerful plugins such as Equaliser, Compressor, Reverber8 and Limiter.
  • Dimensions: 394 x 292 x 99 mm
  • Weight: 3.2 kg
  • Matching cover available under Article Nr 322025 (not included)
  • Software available in the following languages: German, Spanish, French, English
  • Free-of-charge "Mackie Master Fader" app can also be used without a DL mixer
  • Compatible with    iOS, Android, MacOS and Windows

Further Information

Buses 6
Inputs 16
Channels (max. amount) 16
DCA (Digitally Contr. Amp.) No
Card Slot (external) No
Touchscreen Yes
Offline Editing Yes
Demountable Stagebox No
External Power Supply No
Port For Ext. Power Supply No
19" Rack Unit No
Built in Audio player No

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43 Customer Ratings:
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
4.8 /5
  • handling
  • features
  • sound
  • quality
Total
Great but not perfect
Peeter K., 19.08.2014
So, as a practicing live sound engineer, I decided to exchange my Yamaha 01v96v2 for the DL1608 in order to get rid of the heavy lifting of multicore cables and the dirty job of rolling them up after a gig.
I have done three gigs with it so far (same group every time: vocals, string quartet and spanish guitar) and the impression is generally very positive. Saves a lot of time on smaller gigs by not having to set up a FOH area/booth. Just leave the mixer on stage, connect everything directly into it and just take the iPad and go.
I have been using a Zyxel router for the wireless control and it has worked pretty darn well. Only on the first gig I lost the connection while moving to the back of the audience but that was just for a moment and the drop out didn't have any effect on the sound. So, by the topic:
Handling:
Small, compact, easy to carry. The only handling you'll really be doing with the mixer itself is adjusting gain and headphones level with some fairly standard knobs. However, I feel that the turning of the knobs should offer a bit more resistance but it's not a big concern. The iPad app handles very well. Very responsive, intuitive, and manages to give you a lot of information at a glance. Since you can only view 8 faders (and input meters) at once, it's not quite as comfortable as having 16 physical faders at your disposal at all times, but it's very good, considering the restrictions of the iPad screen size. But contrary to the small loss in fader operation, the eq, compressor and really any other control interface is a joy to use, the touchscreen really enhances that stuff.
Features:
This is where the mixer's biggest shortcomings appear. First, no internal group buses. Yes, you can physically patch one using an aux send, but for a stereo group you will be giving away 2 channels and 2 aux sends. Same with stereo inputs for a cd player/stereo keyboard etc, although that's really ok, the aux sends are more valuable than the input channels. Also, there are two internal stereo effect channels, but for some reason, on is fixed for reverb and other for delay. On my three gigs, I would have killed for 2 reverb channels, albeit I think that for most occasions, one is fine. Of course, you can always opt for an external fx processor, but again, you'll lose 2 aux sends and 2 inputs. In conclusion, it's would be a hell of a lot versatile, if it had 2 more aux sends, if both fx channels were assignable to either delay or reverb, internal group buses and a stereo in, or at least six channels with xlr/trs combo inputs instead of the current 4. Other than that, it has got everything: compressor and gate on every channel, hpf, 4-band eq, graphic eq, mute groups - the whole nine yards.
Sound:
No complaints here, sounds excellent. The effects can be tweaked to sound very good too.
Quality:
Generally well made. The plastic feels a bit cheap, but with a case and the price point, a minor concern.
All in all, it's a great digital mixer for a good price that serves most of my gigs very well. With up to 16 channels, you can probably mix most standard-size bands with ease. I suppose you could always extend it with an analogue mixer, but that route obviously has it's limitations. Certainly recommended! I only wish they'd make a bigger one, 2410 for example.

Edit: Some time has passed since writing of the review. Mackie has released a software update for the console, and it adds 4 VCA-s subgroups and digital input gain trim among other features, so a lot of my issues are resolved.
Also, got a chance to compare it to the similarly priced Behringer X32 Rack: Sound quality wise I'd say they are both very good.
The Master Fader app is imo a lot better than the Behringer counterpart. Objectively, you get more bang for your buck with the X32 when it comes to features, but the Master Fader app is imo a lot better than the Behringer counterpart and for everyday mixing in small to medium venues where you don't need all the digital networking and routing, or multi-track recording capability, I think the Mackie is more comfortable to use, especially with the recent software update.
Also, it is a lot more compact and it is easy to set it up as a regular desk in mixing booth, if needed.
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Total
handling
features
sound
quality
So many features I haven't even discovered them all!!
LizCJ, 08.02.2019
I love this desk so much! There are so many features that I know I haven't even discovered yet, but it's easy enough to set up (with a little help from technologically minded friends.
Plenty of channels, we use it in our wedding band and we connect the dj decks to it afterwards and it works perfectly!! Easy to mute specific channels on the ipad, and it charges the ipad while it's plugged in.

Just be careful of which ipad you use.
And if you want to use the ipad wirelessly, you need a router!!
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Outstanding!!
Jason O., 17.10.2019
Would recommend this little beauty to anyone looking for a extremely high quality mixer.
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Total
Mackie DL1608
FergalC, 30.03.2015
If you already own an iPad this is the way to go. Huge amount of features including full gates and compressors for 16 mic channels.6 way monitor mix as well and of course the option to mix remotely via wireless router and let each band member sort out their own mix via the iPhone or iPad.
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