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Mackie Digital 8-Bus Console: SHORTCUTS AND “STAYING IN TOUCH”

You did your research. Applied for some new credit cards. Checked out the competition one last time, and you now own a Mackie Digital 8-Bus (D8B) console.

You did your research. Applied for some new credit cards. Checked out the competition one last time, and you now own a Mackie Digital 8-Bus (D8B) console. The D8B features many ways to accomplish a single task. After owning it for a year, I’m still finding new shortcuts, and now’s a good time to acquaint yourself with the online support that’s in place, as the D8B’s software will be undergoing numerous upgrades/improvements and added features in the foreseeable future.

Simply by opening the manual (ugh-do I have to?), you’ll find some of my favorite keyboard shortcuts: F1 thru F4 toggles through the fader banks. The Escape key closes windows. Double-clicking the shift button on the board selects all faders in the active bank, and some windows. Ctrl+8, Ctrl+9 and Ctrl+0 open Mackie FX cards A, B and C, while Ctrl+- opens card D. Ctrl+], used for Go To Unity, and Ctrl+[, for Go To off, are good ones too. You can fade out a selected fader by typing the letter F, or fade in with letter G. Save your fades in Channel>Edit Fades (Ctrl+K).

Double-click a Select button (on the board or with the mouse) to bring up the Fat Channel. If you double-click again, the Fat Channel goes away.

To remove automation, bring up the Event List window. There, check the All box, Press Ctrl+A to select all the automation events, then press Ctrl+X to delete them.

Tweaking Levels in a Mix: Several Methods
The D8B offers many ways to adjust levels; here are some you know about, and perhaps a few new ones.
1. Rewrite with fader automation.

2. Edit fader nodes manually in Mix Editor and/or Event List.

3. Mark the region in the Mix Editor (with the I-Beam button) and use up-down nudge arrows to tweak up or down globally within the mark. Each click corresponds to about 0.3 dB near the sweet spot, and the dB level gets coarser toward the bottom of fader travel range.

4. Rewrite digital trim with v-pot automation (“All” mode).

5. Edit digital trim nodes manually in Mix Editor and/or Event List.

6. Mark and nudge digital trim in Mix Editor as in #3.

7. Rewrite compressor output level with v-pot automation (in “All” mode-comp has to be turned on for this to work).

8. Edit comp output nodes manually in ME or EL.

9. Mark and nudge compressor output in Mix Editor as in #3.

10. You can also assign your faders to the virtual group masters and overdub volume changes as well.

Visit, a site sponsored by Mackie, which pays the bill to support this open-no censorship-forum. Maintained by user Mark Hopkins, it’s a great place to troubleshoot your setup, ask questions or post wishes for features you’d like to see implemented in future software revs. You can also download or upload EQ, compressor and FX files from/to this site. The Keith olsen EQ and compressor patches are a must-have; the MPX_1_LikeVerbs (30 presets in all) are also definitely worth having and certainly worth the (free) price of admission.

More D8B secrets can be found at, but meanwhile, thanks to Mark Hopkins, Rick Powell and Jon Chase for their suggestions and tips presented here.