Digital mixing desks

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  • simonksimonk Frets: 1084
    Still loving our XR18 - superb bit of kit!
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  • we have a behringer XR16 which we will be trying out in practice for the first time on monday, so will let you know how we find it.
    Me too, exactly the same situation, trying it out at rehearsal on Monday...
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  • andyozandyoz Frets: 659
    edited November 2016
    I've just got a AH QU-SB.  Early impressions are very good.  Feels very well built/premium in the flesh - it's made in China but obviously from the iPhone type of quality factory and not the other side of the China fence.  Sounds very good, I'd say warm if that makes sense!

    One issue to bear in mind is the AH doesn't directly support Android App and the 3rd party one isn't as full featured as the iPad app (can't access the iLive fx modules like reverb for example).

    The Behringer XR18 has fully supported Android and iPad apps and can also be controlled via laptop.  Also has built-in wifi but I think that if you really want to roam around the room and get a good distance away people seem to be connecting stronger wifi gear.  Not an issue if it's a band that just wants to largely set and forget.

    The XR18 looks amazing value for money - I just preferred the full rack unit width of the QU-SB.  The XR18 has 3 year warranty and the AH only has 1yr (I bought thru Thomann so hope they are good for their 3yr promise if I need it)

    The AH does have a footswitch input which I think was clever, you can assign two switches to any parameter - mute all would be a good idea and maybe the second on a mic you're worried about going into feedback.  It gives the band back some immediate physical control. 

    One thing I like about these types of mixers is there is more flexibility in locating it on stage for say a typical 4 piece pub band.  You can find a spot that minimises/clean-up cable runs and as you don't need to fiddle with it so it can be down on the floor.  Neither the AH or XR18 has locking input connectors (output are locking) which I don't understand at all?  The whole point is these go out of sight but you can still pull cable by accident on a stage and not notice as fast as with a traditional desk

    I think they are the future for simple mixing tasks as the display tech of tablets is just going to get better.

    The AH has the full core of the QU 32 by the way.  Amazing and shows how much money is saved by stripping away the control surface.

    The AR18 includes rack mount ears, for the AH they cost a good bit extra

    If you want to dip your foot into the water, buy the XR18 is my advice.  Behringer have really turned things around lately (the Midas buyout etc. really showed their intent).  A that price, and say you only get 3-4 years out of it costs you half a gig fee a year.  The control it gives is amazing.  Stuff like shelf filtering, para EQ, high end fx modules would have cost 10 times as much 20 years ago in real terms.  Just make sure you have a cheapo 8 track analogue mixer as backup if it completely goes pear shaped - but people forget that you really need that even with a traditional analogue mixers which can also fry a power supply, etc. at the wrong time.

    I noticed AH dropped the price of theirs recently (£1,050 down to £850) and bet it's because the XR18 is killing them a bit.

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  • andyozandyoz Frets: 659
    edited October 2016

    John_P said:
    I'm thinking about buying a digital desk this week, so I'd appreciate any input.      

    Looking at the features I'm tempted by the Behringer X18,   compared to the mackie it is has built in wifi connection and multitrack recording.    The XR18 could go in a rack and has more xlr outs but rather than live in the amp rack I can use the desk format with multiple bands and I can live with jack sends to monitors and iems so the X18 might work better. The sound craft ui16 only has 12inputs and there will be times that I want a couple more.  
    I'm a bit wary of buying behringer so long term use reports would much appreciated.
    or is there another product with iPad control, 16 inputs and easy multitrack recording?
    My reading of the current crop of mixers is the QU SB has the easy Multi-track recording integrated better if it's important to you.
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  • andyozandyoz Frets: 659
    edited October 2016
    John_P said:
    Thanks Danny - I've just been sat comparing the specs,  and ideally I'd go with the AH with the behringer at around £450 I'm debating if the extra features on the AH are worth another £400 -   in the analogue world it would be easy to justify the extra but I'm assuming that with no moving parts the behringer is pretty reliable.
    Post taken about the built in wifi,   I assume if connection is lost it just tries to reconnect in the background and the audio continues but I figure I could add an external router fairly cheaply if they make a noticeable difference.  
    With the XR18 you can directly connect a laptop via USB I think?  Maybe for the first few gigs have a small laptop ready as backup until you know how well wifi works for you're particular setup.

    I wish the QU-SB had that to be honest.
    I guess AH don't want the 'cheap' QU range having features veering into their core iLive product range?
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  • andyozandyoz Frets: 659
    edited October 2016
    John_P said:
    Thanks Danny - I've just been sat comparing the specs,  and ideally I'd go with the AH with the behringer at around £450 I'm debating if the extra features on the AH are worth another £400 -   in the analogue world it would be easy to justify the extra but I'm assuming that with no moving parts the behringer is pretty reliable.
    Post taken about the built in wifi,   I assume if connection is lost it just tries to reconnect in the background and the audio continues but I figure I could add an external router fairly cheaply if they make a noticeable difference.  
    @John_P When I first searched two weeks ago alot were still showing QU-SB at £1050 but it's been reduced to £850 at all retailers now.  Makes the decision a bit trickier hey with a £250 differential hey?
    If there was still £400 in it I would have bought the XR18.
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  • Xr16 is ace. Waiting on cables from Danny (which were on the doorstep when I got back from practice). But even sharing a single mix IEMs are ace.
    This is my rant thread, there are others like it, but this one is mine.
    Bet you're wondering if this is a flounce? Truth is I haven't decided yet.
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 3538
    andyoz said:
    John_P said:
    Thanks Danny - I've just been sat comparing the specs,  and ideally I'd go with the AH with the behringer at around £450 I'm debating if the extra features on the AH are worth another £400 -   in the analogue world it would be easy to justify the extra but I'm assuming that with no moving parts the behringer is pretty reliable.
    Post taken about the built in wifi,   I assume if connection is lost it just tries to reconnect in the background and the audio continues but I figure I could add an external router fairly cheaply if they make a noticeable difference.  
    With the XR18 you can directly connect a laptop via USB I think?  Maybe for the first few gigs have a small laptop ready as backup until you know how well wifi works for you're particular setup.

    I wish the QU-SB had that to be honest.
    I guess AH don't want the 'cheap' QU range having features veering into their core iLive product range?
    QU-SB has HUI drivers so yeah you can control it from any laptop running Reaper \ Cubase \ Logic etc
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • A bit of an aside, while the in ears were great, could here everything clearly i did think my guitar tone was a bit thin, which isnt surprising really given that im now getting the mic'ed sound right on the speaker rather than the room sound. Does any one have any tips for counteracting the effect of this a bit?

    Im looking to get my palm mutes nice and chunky again. Tried dialling back the treble / presence and upping the bass but still felt a little thin.

    I could totally live with it but figured others might have more experience in how to best acheive a good IEM (and by extension FOH) sound.


    This is my rant thread, there are others like it, but this one is mine.
    Bet you're wondering if this is a flounce? Truth is I haven't decided yet.
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  • andyozandyoz Frets: 659
    edited November 2016
    Danny1969 said:
    andyoz said:
    John_P said:
    Thanks Danny - I've just been sat comparing the specs,  and ideally I'd go with the AH with the behringer at around £450 I'm debating if the extra features on the AH are worth another £400 -   in the analogue world it would be easy to justify the extra but I'm assuming that with no moving parts the behringer is pretty reliable.
    Post taken about the built in wifi,   I assume if connection is lost it just tries to reconnect in the background and the audio continues but I figure I could add an external router fairly cheaply if they make a noticeable difference.  
    With the XR18 you can directly connect a laptop via USB I think?  Maybe for the first few gigs have a small laptop ready as backup until you know how well wifi works for you're particular setup.

    I wish the QU-SB had that to be honest.
    I guess AH don't want the 'cheap' QU range having features veering into their core iLive product range?
    QU-SB has HUI drivers so yeah you can control it from any laptop running Reaper \ Cubase \ Logic etc
    Interesting, how much control would that give you compared to the full iPad QU app?

    I guess you can do faders and basic EQ which would be enough to get you out of a bind if the wifi wouldn't co-operate at a gig.
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  • John_PJohn_P Frets: 1526
    For those of you that don't have a separate sound guy and mix from stage,   how are you turning effect on and off - e.g. cut the vocal reverb between songs?    small midi footswitch?
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  • Our singer uses a pedal for vocal effects anyway so i suspect we'll do the same and jsut leave our backing vocals with a touch of verb all the time.
    This is my rant thread, there are others like it, but this one is mine.
    Bet you're wondering if this is a flounce? Truth is I haven't decided yet.
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  • andyozandyoz Frets: 659
    edited November 2016
    The Allen & Heath has input for a two button footswitch and each button can be assigned to any parameter.
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 3538
    Was using a Mackie DL1608 again last night and it crashed halfway through the first set. I'm sure the problem is with the lighting connector as when I pushed it back in after undocking it came up with a non supported product message on the iPad which means it didn't recognize the eprom in the lighting male connector. So now I'll have to change that!

    The DL1608 is becoming my least favorite desk at the moment
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • John_PJohn_P Frets: 1526
    I bought an X18 - but so far I can't get it to connect to anything, so it's looking unlikely I'll use it for tonights gig.    

     Unless i'm missing something very obvious,   when powered up it should appear in the list of wifi connections on the iPad or pc but nothing.  Tried the reset button but there doesn't seem to be anything else to adjust so no idea how to get it going :(
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 3538
    Does it broadcast it's presence ? I hide the routers presence  on installations so people don't see it as internet wi fi and try to connect. If you know it's there though you go to settings - wi fi - other - and type in the name and password to connect. 
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • John_PJohn_P Frets: 1526
    Weirdly I tried recycling the power one more time and it worked.    Played with it and tried disconnected and powering off a few times and it works every time now.    

    Got an easy local gig tonight so I'll give it a try and report back tomorrow.     First impressions are good though - feels solid and the software is easy to use.  
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  • andyozandyoz Frets: 659
    edited November 2016
    I had a touchy few hours with my AH at first until I realized the issue was my ropey WiFi at home that just has bad days sometimes.

    It's been rock solid since I connected a separate router to it.

    I'm convinced they are the way to go for simple mixing tasks.  One thing I do like with the AH is its full rack width with all 16 inputs in one row.  Makes it easier to visually align what inputs are connected with the iPad app display so one less bit of mental conversion required when going from the physical mixer to the app display ..

    I just scored an iPad Air 1 for £200 (Apple refurbishment store) and that can be dedicated to the mixer and other music stuff.
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  • There's a big problem with iPad / digital desks that is a constant source of irritation for our band:

    when you want to signal the sound man to turn up your monitor you can't. Why? Because he's wondering around with an iPad so you've know idea where he is. 

    Ed Conway & The Unlawful Men - Alt Prog Folk: The FaceBook and The SoundCloud

     'Rope Or A Ladder', 'Don't Sing Love Songs', and 'Poke The Frog'  albums available now - see FaceBook page for details

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  • andyozandyoz Frets: 659
    edited November 2016
    If you can bear to have an iPhone handy you can turn the monitor mix up yourself with most of these...they are normally a simple big slider display on phone that's hard to get confused using.
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  • andyozandyoz Frets: 659
    edited November 2016
    There's is one advantage to these. Its not unusual to have an analogue mixer sitting within fiddling distance of punters.  That issue disappears with an iPad.
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 3538
    I've taken to using an iPad mini to adjust my monitor mix, I can just leave that on my amp and use my phone for more important things like checking Facebook and being on here :)

    Ipod touch is another cheap option if you don't want an iPhone
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • andyozandyoz Frets: 659
    Good point about iPod touch.
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  • Two band gigs done with my new XR16. Bought a separate WiFi router and so far so good. We are keeping things simple at the moment with just two monitor mixes and the whole experience is great. Set up time is reduced drastically as there is no half hour messing around with the PA snake etc.
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  • andyozandyoz Frets: 659
    edited November 2016
    Looking forrward to trying mine out live.  I just need to play with it a bit more... I'd say it could be easy enough to have a major fail live the first few attempts..I.e. accidentally have something muted on one of the secondary screens etc.
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 3538
    Most mixer aps have a demo mode, so you can find your way around just sat on the sofa with your iPad. I normally do that before using a new one in a live environment. 
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • andyozandyoz Frets: 659
    Yeah, Anyone considering buying one should have a play with the app first.
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 3538
    Well the problem with the DL1608 is with the lighting port dock connector on the desk. It's a shit design and one that was always going to give grieve when you consider how small it is. It'a known fault too because you can buy a Mackie DL Lightning Dock Service Kit for it for £45 !
    Oh well, it's been ordered now 
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • John_PJohn_P Frets: 1526
    I was very impressed with the x18.     Apart from a couple of minutes while I puzzled out routing the aux bus to the aux out (was really obvious once I spotted it)   the sound check was quick and easy - being able to sit in the audience and tweak the mix was so much better than making a guess from the stage and going back and forward to check it and adjust.    I'm sure everything sounded a lot more clear as well. 
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 3538
    What's the quality of  the compressors and the main effects like with the X18 ?
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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