Mixers Loudspeakers Studio Monitors Digital Recording Amplifiers & Processors Software Accessories
General: Hardware: Software Detailed

 How do I register / unlock the plugins on my Digital 8 Bus (D8B) mixer?
All of the D8B plugins are available to download from our website.  Click here to obtain the plugin software.  There are also instructions available to assist you in making the disk images.  It is essential that you do it properly so it is a good, idea to reference the instructions.  The instructions differ depending upon the computer you're using to download (Mac or Windows).  Once the software is installed on your D8B, you can test drive ALL of the plugins (assuming you have the appropriate effects cards installed in your D8B). 

There are 2 different effects cards available for the D8B:
MFX - runs the MFX 3.0 and IVL Vocal Studio plugins.
UFX - runs all of the other plugins.

The MFX 3.0 plugin automatically unlocks IF you have an MFX Card installed in your D8B.
The IVL Vocal Studio plugin automatically unlocks IF you have more than one MFX card installed in your D8B.
The TC FX II and Mackie Mono Delay plugins are included for FREE with the purchase of a UFX card, but they must be registered for use on your system.  You can register them ***here***.
All of the other plugins require that you purchase a license either online, or through a Mackie Dealer.

When you decide you'd like to purchase one or more of the plugins, check the Mackie Mart online, or your Mackie Dealer.  When you purchase a plugin, you'll receive a Box ID Code (aka License Number) in the packaging.  You will also need the ESN (electronic serial number) of your D8B when you register the plugin license on our website.  With these two numbers you will be issued  an authorization (or unlock) code.

  • Go to the D8B Setup menu and find your ESN under the Licensing tab (example 0000-1234-ABCD). 
  • Watch out for B's and 8's - people often confuse them.
  • Go to the Plugin Registration Page on our website.
  • Read the first page - if you're authorizing TC or Mono Delay, it shows you which Box ID Codes to use.  When you've finished, click Register Now.
  • On the next page, complete the form and click Next.
  • In the top 2 fields, enter your Box ID Code.
  • In the next 2 fields, enter your D8B's ESN.
  • Make sure you've entered them correctly and hit Next.
  • If everything was entered correctly, the system will issue you an Unlock Code.
  • Back on the D8B, in the Setup / Licensing menu, find the plugin you're authorizing in the list.  Click on it to highlight it, and then click the Authorize button.
  • Enter the Unlock Code - don't forget to use caps & dashes.
  • Click Enter.  A message will appear indicating that you must reboot in order to complete the authorization process.  If you're authorizing multiple plugins, you do not have to reboot after each code is entered.  Continue on and enter all of the codes. 
  • Then reboot and check the Setup / Licensing menu to see if the plugins are now unlocked (look at the little Lock icon next to each plugin in the list - you'll see which ones are unlocked & which are still locked).


 I installed Plugin Service Pack 3 on my Digital 8 Bus (D8B) mixer. Why are some of my previously unlocked plugins now locked?
The Plugin Service Pack 3 download includes ALL of the plugins available for the D8B.  Some of the existing plugins have been updated in Service Pack 3, and will therefore require a NEW unlock code for full functionality.  After you install Service Pack 3, check the Setup / Licensing menu.  If you look closely at the Lock icon beside each of the plugins in the list, you can see if they're locked or unlocked.  If you had previously unlocked certain plugins, and now they're locked, simply register those plugins again through our Online Plugin Registration Page.  Our system will provide you with the updated codes so you can authorize the updated versions of you plugins on your D8B.  You WILL need your D8B's Electronic Serial Number (ESN) AND the Box ID Code (aka License Number) of your plugins in order to register them again.  If you have trouble locating your Box ID Codes, contact Mackie Technical Support.


 Where can I buy plugins for my Digital 8 Bus (D8B) mixer?
We have begun to sell some of the plugins for the D8B through our website.  You can also check with your Mackie dealer if you prefer to purchase them the good old fashioned way.  Acuma Labs' Pro Audio Lab is only available for purchase through our website. 

Click HERE for information on the different plugins available for the D8B.

Click HERE to see which plugins are available to purchase online.


 If I already have a license for v5 on my D8B, do I need to purchase another license to unlock v5.1?
We would appreciate the extra cash, but it is not necessary to purchase a second license to upgrade from v5 to v5.1 for the D8B.  When you purchase v5 (or now v5.1) you are issued a Box ID Code.  This is your license number for v5 AND v5.1.  You must register your license to obtain the unlock code that is specific to your console.  Currently, the unlock code for your console is the same for both v5 AND v5.1.

If you just purchased a license, you do not need to install v5 before installing v5.1.

If you purchased a license for v5, but have not yet installed the software on your D8B, you can skip v5 and go right to installing & unlocking v5.1.

If you already installed and unlocked v5 on your D8B, you can install v5.1, and it should NOT ask you to enter the unlock code - the D8B will remember the unlock code you entered for v5 and (since it's the same for v5.1) simply unlock v5.1.  If you format the hard drive before you install v5.1, you will need to re-enter the unlock code to unlock the full functionality of v5.1.


 Why won't my Mackie digital product (D8B, HDR24/96, MDR24/96) read the OS disks?
The most common causes of this problem are bad floppy disks or floppies that were not properly created. Make sure to try fresh floppy diskettes if you're having trouble. Also, make sure to follow the installation instructions that accompany your specific product's software download.

Common error messages of this nature:

  • Error: Non System disk or Memory Extraction Error - This means the disk has no boot record on it.
    • First verify that the disk was made correctly. Read through the download instructions for your particular product.
    • Make sure you are inserting the first install disk (and not the second or third). Don't rule out the possibility of a mislabeled diskette.
    • Try making a new set of disks from a fresh download with a new set of floppies.
  • Floppy drive doesn't read - If the CPU BIOS settings are not correct, the floppy drive may not be considered as a boot device. Check out our Detailed FAQ for information on properly configuring the BIOS.


 What type of memory do I need to upgrade my CPU on my D8B?
The new V5 OS will support up to 256 MB of RAM. The type of memory needed is PC100 (or faster IF backwards compatible) 168 pin DIMM SDRAM. Preferably, use two 128MB sticks, although you can use a single 256MB stick IF it is double sided.

NOTE: If you have the older 166 MHz motherboard you will need to Auto-Detect Hard Disks in the BIOS for the new memory to be recognized. To determine which motherboard you have, hold down the 'Delete' key on your keyboard while booting. Once it has entered the BIOS menu, check the top heading.

  • If it says, "AMIBIOS Simple Setup Utility Version 1.17" you have the older motherboard. Using the arrow keys on your keyboard, move over so the "Auto Detect Hard Disks" option is highlighted and press 'Enter'. The BIOS should find the new memory - you can look next to "Total Memory" in the lower right hand corner of the screen to be certain. Then press 'Esc' to return to the front page, press the 'F10' key to save the settings, press 'y' then 'Enter' to save the setting.
  • If your BIOS did not say AMIBIOS then you have a new motherboard. DO NOT PERFORM AUTO DETECT HARD DISKS!!! Simply hit F10, then press 'n' and 'Enter' to exit without saving changes.
  • The console may display System Error 43 during this process - do not be alarmed.
  • The OS will display the amount of available RAM on the top center of the video monitor. Keep in mind that the OS, automation and plug-ins load into RAM, so the number at the top of the screen will not be the total you've installed.


 What is System Error 43?
System Error 43 is a generic code telling you that your unit did not boot. The text that appears on your video monitor while the console is displaying the System Error 43 message is more informative:
  • DSP Card Not Ready - This Error is generally caused by a missing or bad connection in the Data cable or the Sync Card. Typically, it is not a hardware failure issue. On the D8B, check the Data cable between the console and CPU. Make sure it is properly connected to the correct port at each end. Otherwise, try removing and reinstalling the Sync Card. If you are using the Apogee clock card in your D8B, you can try using the Sync Card that was originally installed to determine if there is a Sync Card specific issue.
  • Boot Fail - This error is displayed when your Mackie digital product is not able to properly load the OS. This may be due to a number of reasons:
    • The OS is corrupt on the hard drive. Action: Reinstall the OS from your OS floppy installer disks.
    • The CPU is not addressing the hard drive properly. Action: Check out our Detailed FAQ for assistance with checking your BIOS settings.
    • The hard drive is corrupted. Action: Re-Format the Hard Drive. NOTE: THIS WILL ERASE EVERYTHING ON THE HARD DRIVE. Check out our Detailed FAQ to learn more about reformatting your hard drive.
    • There could be a bad connection between the motherboard and hard drive. Action: Check out our Detailed FAQ for instructions on how to check the connection between the Hard Drive and the Motherboard inside of the CPU. Your friendly neighborhood computer geek might be able to help you with this as well, but unless you are confident, don't risk voiding your product's warranty.
  • CMOS Settings Wrong - This error means the BIOS settings on the motherboard are set incorrectly. Check out our Detailed FAQ for more information on checking your BIOS settings. The settings may not be correct because:
    • There is a battery on the motherboard (Duracell DL2032) that may be dead or failing.
    • A previous user may have changed the BIOS settings.
    • A power surge could have changed the BIOS settings.
  • If the monitor is blank or has not powered on, follow these steps:
    • Check the cables to the CPU; make sure that they are connected properly & securely.
    • Verify that the monitor works on another computer.
    • If you're using a monitor extension cable, try removing it.
    • Try re-installing the OS from floppy OS installation disks.
    • Try booting the D8B with the mouse, keyboard and monitor disconnected.
    • Still confused? Contact Technical Support


 If this is a 56-input, 72-channel mixer, why do I only see 25 faders?
The D8B is organized into four fader "banks" of 24 channels each, which allows the channel strips to be used for more than one signal channel at the same time. The channel strip parameters (fader, mute, pan, send levels, etc.) will all "snap" to the currently selected fader bank.

MIC/LINE - comprised of 12 microphone/line inputs and 12 line inputs for a total of 24 dedicated analog inputs.

TAPE IN - comprised of 24 tape (or other recorder) return inputs. These are labeled as channels 25-48, even though they represent tape return inputs 1-24.

EFFECTS - comprised of the effect return channels, split between 16 internal effect returns and 8 external returns (fed by the ALT I/O card slot inputs).

MASTERS - comprised of 8 virtual group faders, 8 dedicated MIDI channels, and 8 sub bus master faders. The Master L-R fader will always control the Main L-R mix level.


  What are the card cages on the rear of the console and how do I use them?
The D8B card cages are a perfect example of the "open architecture" format of Mackie Digital Systems products. You can customize your D8B for specific applications by providing the appropriate cards for the card cages that give you the routing formats and effects processing you need.

The Tape I/O card slots are for routing signals to your tape (or hard disk recorders) and returning those signals back into the console. Any of the Mackie Digital Systems Tape I/O cards can be installed into these slots.

The ALT I/O card slot provides eight I/O capabilities in addition to the three Tape I/O card slots.

The Effects card slots are used for internal parallel effects processing. Either the MFX or UFX card can be installed in these slots.

The Sync card slot is for the D8B's clocking mechanism. A standard sync card is installed in this slot at the time of purchase, but you can install the Clock I/O card in this slot.


 What is the ALT I/O slot & how is it different from the other Tape I/O slots?
ALT I/O stands for Alternate input and output. This slot can output any combination of auxiliary sends 1-8, sub busses 1-8, or the master L-R mix bus. Inputs to this slot will appear on RET 1-8 channels on the Effects fader bank, which are without the standard channel dynamics found on channels 1-48. This slot is the recommended I/O platform for bussing signals between two (or more) cascaded D8B's. Typical uses of this slot would be for digital auxiliary sends and returns, sending a surround mix to a multi-track recorder, bussing pairs of stereo sends to different devices, or receiving auxiliaries or busses from a slave D8B.

You can use any of the approved Mackie Digital Systems Tape I/O cards installed in this slot.


 Now that I know about the card slots, what cards are available to install in these slots?
Mackie Digital Systems has many different cards available that allow you to customize your D8B for your particular needs. The following four* cards are designed for the Tape I/O and ALT I/O card slots, and each card handles up to eight channels of I/O:

AIO•8 for balanced +4dBu (line level) analog signals.

DIO•8 for either ADAT™ optical or T/DIF digital formats, available in 16-bit or 24-bit versions.

PDI•8 for AES/EBU formatted signals.

OPT•8 for ADAT™ optical format only

The following two cards are designed for the Effects card slots and are used for internal parallel effects routing:

MFX (Mackie Effects) for reverb, chorus, mono/stereo delay, and ping pong effects. One MFX card comes installed in the D8B at time of purchase.

UFX (Universal Effects)** supports third party plug-in effects. This card is a universal DSP engine and comes with a t.c. electronic™ reverb package at time of purchase. Additional plug-ins can be purchased individually and loaded onto this card for internal effects processing.

The D8B comes with a standard clock card installed in the Sync card slot at time of purchase that controls the mixer's internal clocking mechanism. However, the Clock I/O card is an available add-on if you need to slave the D8B to an external word clock source. It is a super low-jitter, vari-speed clock card that provides word clock I/O and pull-up/down capabilities.


 Can I use two D8B's together and have them work as one?
The D8B comes standard with a 10 base-T ethernet port, which can be used to "cascade" two or more D8B's together. This links the D8B's controls like fader bank switching, solo logic, auxiliary selection, and cue controls. All signal routing is done through the ALT I/O slots, which allows you to bus eight channels of signals (which can be the auxiliaries, sub busses, or the master L-R mix) from each cascaded console back to the master desk. Two D8B's cascaded together give you 48 dedicated analog inputs, 48 digital inputs, and 8 channels of auxiliary or sub bussing from the slave to the master D8B.


 Why are there 12 auxiliary send jacks and no auxiliary returns in the jackfield?
We have provided the ALT I/O slot as an auxiliary return platform. Inputs to a Tape I/O card installed in this slot will conveniently appear on the Effects fader bank as RET 1-8 (or channels 65-72). The ALT I/O slot can also be used as your auxiliary sends as well.

When using a digital Tape I/O card in this slot, the D8B allows you to perform parallel effects processing to external processors while keeping your signals within the digital domain.


 What kind of external MIDI control capabilities does the D8B have?
The D8B can be configured to be a huge MIDI controller. All faders, pans, mutes, snapshots, and transport controls can be assigned with continuous controller data, program change messages, note on/off, and polyphonic after-touch. It provides the ability to control multiple DAW's, lighting boards, and other MIDI-controlled equipment right from the console. In addition, the D8B receives MTC as its time code base and exports standard MMC commands.


 Can I load other applications or programs inside the D8B's CPU unit?
The D8B host CPU is only compatible with Mackie Realtime OS and any other Mackie-approved applications and/or software revisions.


 What kind of recording media would you recommend using with the D8B?
Whatever kind of recording media you want! The beauty of the D8B is that it is fully compatible with any recording media, whether it's an analog tape machine, a digital multi-track recorder, or a computer-based DAW. It can be customized for any conceivable application based on its open architecture and ability to mix analog and digital sources together seamlessly.

In a typical recording studio scenario, we recommend using the dedicated analog channels (1-24) as the microphone and/or line inputs from your sources, and then sending the digital signals directly to some kind of digital recording format so that the amount of A/D and D/A conversion is kept to a minimum. Then, your recorded signals return to the D8B through the Tape In fader bank for mixdown. This whole process can be executed simultaneously.


 If I have four eight-track recorders, how can the D8B handle the 32 channels of mixdown?
We have designed the ALT I/O card slot (which can be equipped with any of the Mackie Digital Systems Tape cards) to provide eight extra inputs. These can be used for a fourth eight-track recorder's returns, external auxiliary returns, or sub mix returns from a cascaded "slave" D8B. Remember, the D8B has a total of 56 inputs that can be used for any mixdown situation!


 Can I upgrade the D8B's processor and/or hard drive for increased performance and capabilities?
The Mackie Realtime OS was designed to work at 100% efficiency while using less than 50% of the Pentium 166MHz processor's capabilities. This means that upgrading the processor will not necessarily make the D8B work any "faster" or "better".

Most of the session and effect parameter files that are stored on the D8B's internal hard drive require a very small amount of memory. The 4.2GB hard drive is well equipped to handle as many sessions and effect parameters as a user can generate. We recommend backing up your files to either a floppy disk library or an external hard drive/computer through the D8B's networking protocol.


 How does the D8B handle surround mixing?
The D8B has a very easy-to-use surround matrix, which allows you to position and automate every channel of audio in a surround mode (LCRS, Quad, 5.1, and 7.1) by using the mouse. All surround mixing is done through the eight sub busses and you can bus a surround mix out digitally to an eight-track MDM while you monitor the mix out of the dedicated analog Sub/Surround outputs. With new Version 3.0 Depth of Center and Low Frequency Enhancement parameters, the D8B offers a very powerful surround-mixing environment.


 What kind of onboard automation comes with the D8B?.
The D8B has dynamic, snapshot, and trim level automation modes. Automation may be used in standard write-ready or auto-touch configurations. All digitally controlled parameters can be automated on the D8B, including EQ settings, surround panning, auxiliary send/return levels, parallel effect parameters, and more!

Automation may be used in as simple a manner as making a rough mix and adding a couple of dynamic moves in sync with time code. Or, you can get a little more complicated by using automated snapshots in sync with time code. What the heck, just go hog wild and automate everything -- snapshot and dynamic automation simultaneously!

All automation moves are managed through a unique, offline Mix Editor and are listed out in the Event List.

MIX EDITOR - A graphic auto-scrolling interface that displays all automated parameter moves as ramp and inflection points that represent changes in those parameters synchronized with time code. Moves can be edited either on- or offline by cutting, copying, and pasting events between channels. Expanded channel viewing, nudge tools, and time code locator give you superior DAW-style automation editing control.

EVENT LIST - A list and corresponding timecode stamp for every automated event. Create new events or modify existing events in a listed-out format for precise, exact automation moves. Customize and organize the list by viewing certain parameters for certain channels or everything at once.


 How do I handle different patching configurations with the D8B?
The D8B is designed to allow the engineer to route signals from the touch of a button or the click of a mouse rather than pulling out and inserting standard patch bay cables. Once the D8B is installed in your studio, you can re-route signals and change your bussing options right from the console. Send different signals to different tape outputs, adjust your sub bussing layout, and juggle different auxiliary send and return configurations without ever using an external patch bay. Signal routing assignments may be saved as a snapshot configuration within a session, or as a session itself. Routing assignments can also be dynamically automated.


 If the D8B is a 24-bit mixer, how can I get my audio down to a 16-bit format for CD mastering?
The D8B uses the Apogee UV22™ noise shaper as a tool to convert your 24-bit word length down to a 16-bit format. UV22 helps maintain the dynamic range of 24-bit audio in a 16-bit format by shaping the noise floor to the level of audio and storing any noise generated at 22kHz. The UV22 can be used on any of the D8B's digital outputs, including all tape sends and master outputs. In addition to its mastering application, the UV22 is very handy for recording a session onto 16-bit multitrack recorders.

Press |  Register a product |  Dealer Locator |  Jobs |  Corporate Info |  Legal |  Comment?

Alvarez | Ampeg | EAW | Mackie
Copyright © LOUD Technologies Inc. All Rights Reserved.