Mackie News Flash
EXPERT Review in american songwriter magzine:
Mackie MDB Direct Box Series
Mackie enters the Accessories market with Audio Tool Series
" (...) Mackie finally entered the direct box market with their new MDB line, part of their new Audio Tools series which debuted at Winter NAMM 2018. Four models are part of the initial launch: The MDB-1A, the MDB-1P, the MDB-2P and the MDP-USB. Other units in this category include their MTEST-1 cable tester and M48 Phantom Power Supply. We received the 1A, 2P and USB for our evaluation.
(...)The MDB-1A, MDB-1P and MDB-2P are basic DI boxes that do their job well. They’re quiet, transparent, feel (and look) good, priced right, and get the sound signal to where it needs to go. The lettering on each unit is clear and easy to read, which is crucial for quick setup time on a show. (...)
The MDB-USB has a completely different application from the other boxes. It’s designed for connecting your laptop computer to the mixer.
It has a USB input connector, right/left XLR output, a mono switch, ground lift, a volume level, plus a headphone jack for monitoring. It’s perfect for DJ’s of course, but has applications for songwriters and strummers who use backing tracks from a computer in their performance.
I found it to be a nice addition to my arsenal for sound engineering gigs. Often times I’m caught with someone who needs to connect a laptop to the board and I find myself scrambling to find the 1/8” to 1’4” or XLR adapter and hoping it works and stays connected. The MDB-USB is a simple plug and play box, powered by the computer. Setup is easy, with no drivers needed. You will need your own USB cable (male to Type B male).
Once connected, the computer identifies the DI in your preferences section and then you’re set. From there, it’s all about levels!
In a live setup, you’ve got three gain stages in the chain- the computer output, the MDB-USB level and your mixer controls. Once you dial in your sound, the unit does the work. With a good set of quality headphones, playback monitoring was not an issue in a noisy bar. The MDB-USB also came in handy in the recording studio when I was looking for a quick connection to listen to tracks from the guitarist’s computer. The interface is 96K 24 bit hi-rez and there’s no distortion in the playback. I could also see applications for this in a home stereo setup if you have an older stereo preamp that doesn’t have modern connection options.
The Mackie MDB series is a long-awaited and affordable entry into the DI and accessories market, with the MDB-USB getting special credit for addressing the needs of those who use a computer for live music."