With the Creator Bundle, Mackie is primarily targeting media creators such as podcasters or Youtubers who need to dub their videos and edit audio material.
For this purpose, the manufacturer has put together an inexpensive starter pack, but how good are the individual components?
Details & practice
What do you get in the bundle?
Mackie’s Creator Bundle is supposed to be a solid and inexpensive basic equipment for all those who want to record their own voice and do editing and audio processing on the side.
The compact three-inchers are connected to the Mackie EM-USB USB microphone, which is the brain of this bundle, so to speak. It acts as an audio interface with one input and two output channels.
It also controls the monitor volume. Additionally, a pair of Mackie headphones is included.
The Mackie MC-100 are already known from the Studio Bundle and the Performer Bundle. Cables, clamps and tripod are the necessary accessories to be able to connect the bundle and of course also included.
The only thing missing is a computer.
Mackie’s CR3-X speakers are the studio monitors of choice for the Creative Bundle. They have 3-inch woofers and a 0.75-inch soft-dome tweeter.
This gives them a frequency range of 80 Hz to 20 kHz. Each speaker is powered by 50 watts of amplification, with the power amplifier for both housed in one speaker. The other runs quasi as a sidecar.
Thus, only the active speaker is supplied with power and receives all audio signals.
Two jack sockets, a pair of cinch sockets and a 3.5mm jack socket are available for this. A stranded cable is connected via speaker terminals, which delivers its signal to the passive speaker.
A knob on the front makes adjusting the volume from the listening position very convenient. When it is turned all the way down, the monitors turn off.
Also on the front is a headphone jack that turns the speakers off as soon as something is plugged in.
The linchpin of the Macke Creator bundle is the EM-USB microphone.
In addition to its obvious function as a condenser microphone, it also takes the place of an audio interface and monitor controller thanks to digital extras. Although it is strictly speaking a small-diaphragm microphone, it is visually based on a large-diaphragm, probably to provide enough space for the other features.
On the front of the heavy metal case, you’ll find two controls for mic preamp gain and headphone volume, as well as a mute switch that turns the mic off.
A status LED conveys the status of the microphone.
Where there would normally be an XLR connector on the bottom, on the EM-USB you’ll encounter a 3.5mm jack, which can be used to connect headphones or, as in this bundle, a pair of studio monitors.
In addition, the USB-C jack is placed at the bottom, which is used to connect to the computer.
The microphone has a fixed cardioid pattern as its polar pattern.
Headphones and accessories
The Mackie MC-100 closed-back headphones are included as a monitoring alternative. The circumaural MC-100 has a classic studio headphone shape with padded ear cups that are hinged.
The suspensions are plastic, but appear to be of sturdy construction. The padded headband has a metal core and is extendable.
The cable is not detachable and exits the headphones at the right ear.
The 3.5mm plug can be adapted to 6.3mm with the included screwable adapter.
Also included are all the cables needed to connect the whole bundle, as well as a table stand with clamp for the microphone.
The also included software bundle consists of Mackie’s Waveform DAW in the OEM version and the DAW Essentials Collection, which includes 16 plugins.
The Mackie MC-100 headphones
Connect and go
The setup of the Mackie Creator Bundle is not very complex.
As the name suggests, the EM-USB microphone is connected to the computer via USB, the speakers are connected to the microphone via mini-jack and the headphones are plugged into the front of the speakers if required.
An included diagram clearly explains how this is all supposed to work, so even beginners shouldn’t have any problems with it.
Sound and usage
The workflow with the USB microphone as interface turns out more pleasant than I had imagined, since the speakers have their own volume control on the front.
This makes them quite convenient to use.
Their sound seems a bit soft and in the bass range, of course, you can’t expect miracles from a 3-inch speaker.
That’s why the bass range ends at 80 Hz.
Headphones should definitely be used in the low range. These are strongly positioned in the bass range.
You could even say overemphasized.
The bass is a lot of fun when listening to music, but they are rather less helpful for an objective assessment of audio material.
Of course, you always have to keep the price in mind, but those who plan to deal with mixing should perhaps spend a bit more on the monitoring devices.
The EM-USB microphone is absolutely self-explanatory in its operation.
Once the USB cable is connected to the computer, everything is basically settled.
The preamplification is set on the microphone as well as the output volume.
As already mentioned in the individual test, the Mackie EM-USB has a more mid-range sound.
This shouldn’t be a problem for the content creator applications that this bundle is aimed at, because this coloration doesn’t look bad on voices.
|Bass driver dimension
|Treble driver dimension
|Total power in watts
|80 – 20000Hz
|RCA 6.35mm jack TRS
|3.5mm TRS mini jack
The Mackie Creator Bundle is a very compact setup for voiceovers, vocal recording and audio editing.
The included microphone isn’t the last word in sound quality, but the price is more than fair considering that with the speakers and microphone alone, you’re already exceeding the price of the bundle.
Beginners who are on the go with a rather slim budget will get a usable complete package here.
Mackie Creator Bundle
- Very affordable
- Compact solution
- Simple operation
- Price-performance ratio
- Headphones not particularly linear