NAMM 2017: Having been around for over a decade now, Mackie's Big Knob is certainly due an update, and the launch of the second generation of the US music tech giant's popular monitor controller at NAMM 2017 certainly doesn't disappoint.
For starters, there are now three of them! The new Big Knob line-up comprises Big Knob Studio+, Big Knob Studio and Big Knob Passive.
Starting at the bottom, Big Knob Passive offers analogue path switching between two sources and two monitor pairs, with volume control via the eponymous large dial, and features Mono, Mute and Dim buttons. As the name implies, it doesn't need a power supply.
Big Knob Studio and Studio+ are altogether different propositions to Passive, combining source and monitor switching with USB 2.0 audio interfacing. Big Knob Studio supports three sources and two monitor pairs, while Big Knob Studio+ can handle four sources and three monitors.
Both feature a pair of Onyx mic preamps with phantom power and two (Studio) or four (Studio+) outputs, dual headphone outs, trim controls, direct input cue mixing, input metering, an integrated talkbalk mic, a choice of recording paths, a mini-jack input for smartphones and tablets, and the bundling of the excellent Tracktion DAW.
Big Knob Studio+ also throws in 192kHz recording and playback (the Studio maxes out at 96kHz), external mic and footpedal input for talkback, and amp-driven studio output for headphone distribution.
"With the expanded lineup and comprehensive feature set, Big Knob offers flexible solutions for any type of studio," said Mackie Product Manager Jon Rundle. "Looking for a streamlined monitor switcher? Looking for a high-resolution interface? The Big Knob Series offers all this and more. Big Knob will truly be the nerve center of your studio."
All three Big Knobs are available now, priced $89.99 (Passive), $259.99 (Studio) and $389.99 (Studio+). Find out more on the Mackie website.