by Bob Malkowski | 4,2 / 5,0 | Approximate reading time: 4 Minutes

 ·  Source: Canva/Rode/Mackie

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Rode buys Mackie: It’s now official! The Freedman Group, the parent company of Rode Microphones, purchases Mackie in a deal worth $180M.

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UPDATE – 05/12/2023

In an official press release, Peter Freedman, owner and founder of the parent Freedman Group, has officially announced the acquisition of Mackie.

“I am absolutely thrilled to welcome Mackie to The Freedman Group’s roster of iconic audio brands. They are true legends, with a pedigree of live sound expertise that is simply unmatched. Today, RØDE and Mackie are both leaders in audio, and we share the same passion for creating innovative, high-quality products with a strong customer focus. With this acquisition, The Freedman Group is now a premier audio technology company offering world-class products to an even wider range of customers, from up-and-coming content creators to professionals working in live production and everyone in-between.”

So what new products would you like to see come from the new merger? What do you hope to see from the coming together of Rode and Mackie?

Personally, I’d love to see Mackie bring their knowledge of great-sounding affordable mixing desks to the digital world. We’ve all seen the success companies like Behringer and PreSonus has had with affordable, versatile digital desks for studio and stage. It would be great to see Mackie back in that playing field, once again.

Rode buys Mackie

Information on this purchase is still scarce, so we’ll update you with more news when we get it. However, it appears that Peter Freedman, the owner and founder of Rode Microphones has purchased Mackie in a deal worth $180M.

Rode is undoubtedly one of the biggest and most successful home recording/pro audio/content creator brands. Based in Australia, Rode bucked the trend of outsourcing to China, instead keeping design and manufacturing home-based.

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Mackie has historically been a very important company in our industry, but in recent years has shown a decline. Will this purchase awaken a once influential and important company?

Why is this purchase big news?

If you’re of a certain age, then the chances are that you view Mackie products with a heavy dose of warm feelings and nostalgia. I learned how to use a mixing desk, thanks to Mackie mixers and equally as importantly, Mackie’s product manuals.

Desks such as the Mackie 8 Bus were revolutionary products that brought high channel count mixing desks within the price range of home studios. Endless top 40 and number 1 records were tracked and mixed using Mackie 8 Bus desks.

Equally, Mackie’s compact mixers such as the ever-popular VLZ range brought decent mic preamps to the masses. Equally, Mackie’s SRM450 PA speakers popularised active PA speakers and were a revolution in their own right.

Mackie 1642 VLZ4
Mackie 1642 VLZ4
Customer rating:
(26)

You’ve probably noticed though, that I’ve been referring to Mackie in the past tense. If you asked around the Gearnews office for someone to name a breakthrough product from Mackie released in the last decade, the room would be quiet.

Undoubtedly, Mackie faces stiff competition nowadays from many marketplace competitors offering similar products. We simply haven’t seen any breakthrough, unique offerings from Mackie in a long time. But maybe that’s about to change?

Will the Rode acquisition change things?

Rode first broke onto the scene over 20 years ago with their breakthrough Rode NT-1 and NT-2 condenser microphones. For many of us, these were the first LDC mics we got our hands on. However, in the last decade Rode has grown far beyond traditional studio gear.

Rode NT1-A Complete Vocal Recording
Rode NT1-A Complete Vocal Recording
Customer rating:
(4596)

Take a look on YouTube and it won’t take you long to find a video made with Rode’s excellent Wireless Go microphones. Equally, Rode was poised to take advantage of the boom in podcasting and streaming with excellent and innovative products such as the RodeCaster series of interfaces.

Rode Rodecaster Pro
Rode Rodecaster Pro
Customer rating:
(169)

Interestingly, we’ve seen Mackie attempt to break into the streaming market with products like the M*Caster. Importantly, none of these Mackie products have really caught the public’s attention.

Mackie M-Caster Live
Mackie M-Caster Live
Customer rating:
(2)

Good news for Mackie and Rode?

I sincerely hope that this takeover by Rode will mark the beginning of an upturn for Mackie. As someone with a deep nostalgic love for Mackie’s breakthrough products of old, I’d like to see them return to past glories.

As a company, Rode’s proven that it’s not lacking in innovation, quality products or the manufacturing or marketing to help their products reach potential.

Is it too much to hope that Rode might inject a little bit of magic back into Mackie and bring that sparkle back again? Only time will tell…

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4 responses to “Rode Buys Mackie: Two music tech giants merge in $180M deal.”

    Michael says:
    0

    Rode can please start by fixing the well-documented stereo imbalance issues on the Mackie VLZ series. Fixing that would make those mixers best in class for the price.

      jamesf says:
      0

      That was also an issue in the Onyx product line (or at least my own Onyx mixer), which probably inhereted a lot from the VLZ.

    Anthony Waring says:
    1

    Would love to see a proper multitrack mixer from Mackie. Was very disappointed on the current Onyx series. There is still a huge gap in the market for proper multitrack mixers with both post and pre EQ. SSL’s Big Six is the closest to a proper multitrack mixer but has a huge price tag.

    SA says:
    0

    I use take these mergers as a very bad sign, but I have higher hopes for this. As others have mentioned, I’d also love to see an updated Onyx mixer, and also updated monitor controllers. I always thought highly of those Onyx preamps.

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