There seems to be quite a lot of mid-grade mic preamp/FireWire interfaces around these days. Mackie’s entry into the field puts an emphasis on its new Onyx mic preamps, which are the first four of ten total inputs. For me this makes it more functional than your standard 2 mic pre FireWire interface, but not enough to do an involved field recording. That’s what the more pro 1200f with 12 pres is for. The Onyx 400f is more for small personal setups and is around $700 — a thousand dollars less than its big brother. It’s a combination of a quality multi-channel mic preamp and a music production interface complete with MIDI, SPDIF, and sync capabilities. It’s also bundled with a program called Tracktion2 — a simple but powerful audio and MIDI sequencer.