Last month we reported a leak on new Mackie Podcasting tools due to be released today. Well, they’re here, but importantly, are the Mackie Element USB mics what we were hoping for? We take a look at the Carbon, Chromium and ECM-91 mics and accessories.
We’ll be honest, this latest release of Mackie Element podcasting solutions isn’t exactly what we’d hoped for, or expected from Mackie. As we covered last month we caught wind that Mackie was releasing a new suite of podcasting and streaming tools. Without a doubt, what we hoped for, was a new mixer based solution to bring the fight to the Zoom P8 Podtrak and the Rode Rodecaster Pro.
We all know Mackie’s history of making affordable, well-built, workhorse mixing consoles. Undoubtedly, this could have been a great opportunity to bring that mixer knowledge and expertise to the Podcasting market. Instead, we’ve been given a range of USB Microphones and accessories, which if we’re being honest, is somewhat underwhelming.
Non the less, the additions to the Element series come to us at very accessible price points. It’s difficult to argue at the value on offer here, especially from a big name in the industry.
Let’s dig in then, and take a look at these latest offerings from the Mackie Element microphone series.
The Mackie Carbon is a multipattern USB condenser microphone which you’ll be pleased to see offers five selectable polar patterns, including a stereo microphone mode. We’re happy to see Mackie’s Onyx mic preamps used although we’re underwhelmed with just 16bit/48kHZ A/D conversion across the Mackie Element range. The Mackie Carbon comes with a mic stand and USB-C cable included.
The Chromium is perhaps the most interesting of the new releases as it combines a USB microphone with a 2 channel mixer. The microphone specs, so far as we can tell, are identical to the Carbon. We think this could be a handy solution if you’re a solo podcaster or acoustic musician looking to get into live streaming.
If you’re looking for a simple plug and play USB mic, then the EM-91CU is possibly the microphone for you. It’s a basic cardioid mic aimed at “content creation, online meetings, voiceover and music”. For the price, it’s difficult to argue with a simple solution such as this.
Mackie has also released a range of podcasting and streaming accessories; you might find them useful as a first-time podcaster. There’s the DB-100 Desktop Microphone Boom Arm. The PF-100 Pop Screen and even some closed-back headphones in the shape of the MC-100
- Mackie Carbon – $149.99
- Mackie Chromium – $199.99
- EM-91CU $49.99
- Manufacturer’s Website