Mackie Big Knob Studio Plus: The Ultimate Monitor Controller for Professional Recording Studios at a Non-Ultimate Price

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I. Introduction

The Mackie Big Knob Studio + Monitor Controller is a high-quality, versatile piece of equipment that is designed to enhance the monitoring and recording capabilities of any recording studio. With its comprehensive set of features and functions, this unit is capable of providing accurate, transparent monitoring while also serving as a source selector for a wide range of audio inputs.

Key Features and Functions:

  • 4×3 routing and switching matrix
  • Large volume knob for easy level adjustment
  • Dedicated headphone amplifier with independent level control
  • Mono, mute and dim controls
  • Dual source selection
  • Built-in talkback microphone
  • USB playback and recording capabilities
  • High-resolution 192kHz/24-bit DAC

II. Design and Build Quality

The Mackie Big Knob Studio + Monitor Controller has a sleek, modern design that is both functional and visually appealing. The unit is constructed with high-quality materials that provide durability and long-lasting use. The large volume knob and clearly labeled controls make it easy to navigate and operate, while the sturdy housing ensures that it can withstand regular use in a busy studio environment.

III. Features and Functionality

The Mackie Big Knob Studio + Monitor Controller is packed with features that make it a powerful and versatile tool for any recording setup. The unit functions as both a monitor controller and source selector, allowing you to easily switch between different audio sources and adjust the volume levels as needed. The dedicated headphone amplifier provides independent volume control for headphone monitoring, while the built-in talkback microphone enables easy communication with artists and engineers in the control room. The USB playback and recording capabilities are also a useful addition, allowing for easy playback of recorded tracks and direct recording into your DAW.

The interface of the Mackie Big Knob Studio + Monitor Controller is intuitive and user-friendly. The controls are clearly labeled and easy to navigate, allowing you to quickly adjust levels and settings with minimal effort.

IV. Performance and Sound Quality

The sound quality of the Mackie Big Knob Studio + Monitor Controller is excellent, providing accurate and transparent monitoring for recording and mixing tasks. The unit’s high-resolution DAC ensures that audio playback is crystal clear, while the headphone amplifier provides ample power to drive a variety of headphones and earbuds. The unit’s ability to drive a range of speakers and headphones is particularly noteworthy, as it allows you to use the gear you prefer for your monitoring needs.

V. Compatibility and Connectivity

The Mackie Big Knob Studio + Monitor Controller offers a wide range of connectivity options, including multiple inputs and outputs. The unit is compatible with a range of audio interfaces, computers, and other audio equipment, making it a versatile addition to any studio setup.

VI. Improvements from the Original Mackie Big Knob Studio Controller

The Mackie Big Knob Studio + Monitor Controller offers several improvements over its predecessor, including the addition of USB playback and recording capabilities, a built-in talkback microphone, as well as the ability to use your own, a high-resolution DAC, and 2 Mackie Onyx preamps. These improvements enhance the unit’s overall performance and usability, making it an even more valuable tool for recording and mixing tasks. Although I only use it as a monitor controller, you can use it for tracking in a pinch.

VII. Price and Value

The Mackie Big Knob Studio + Monitor Controller is priced competitively, offering excellent value for its range of features and capabilities. While it may be a significant investment for some studios, its durability and versatility make it a worthwhile investment in the long run.

VIII. Pros and Cons


  • Comprehensive set of features and functions
  • Excellent sound quality and transparency
  • Wide range of connectivity options
  • Intuitive and user-friendly interface
  • Durable construction and high-quality components


  • No built-in metering or level indicators
  • Some users may prefer more extensive routing and processing options

IX. Conclusion

Overall, the Mackie Big Knob Studio + Monitor Controller is an excellent tool for any recording studio looking to improve its monitoring and source selection capabilities. Its high-quality components, versatile connectivity options, and accurate monitoring make it a worthwhile investment for any serious recording engineer or producer. At a retail price point of around $349 the Big Knob studio plus is a “no brainer”; and truth be told, I got mine on the “slightly used” market for under $170.


  • Professional recording studios seeking a high-quality, versatile monitor controller and source selector
  • Home studios looking to improve their monitoring capabilities and integrate seamlessly with their computer or audio interface

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