Digital mixing desks

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  • andyozandyoz Frets: 664
    edited September 2017
    I hadn't seen that model before and realised its relatively knew.  Knowing Yamaha it will be well sorted and great value.

    I think units with a screen on front are a good bet if you can afford it in case the wifi goes AWOL as you can at least keep things going.

    EDIT: just had a closer look and IOS and Android apps look really well sorted.  It will be a hit no doubt.

    I assume this is yours and looks like a bargain. https://www.guitarguitar.co.uk/product/170602310985008-681893--yamaha-tf-rack-digital-mixer-ex-demo-bcxh01022?gclid=CjwKCAjwo4jOBRBmEiwABWNaMSp1LwsGRjgxYZnpkIwnxfSDwzKtvZS9KJqgcCKOE0vvV_v6Bs2M0RoCflcQAvD_BwE

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  • Yeah, the Yamaha name was a big factor.

    My only concern is expansion. To add more channels I'd need an NY-64D expansion card plus a Tio1608-D unit. Not cheap.

    R.
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  • smigeonsmigeon Frets: 79
    edited March 1
    Hi all - I'm bumping this thread as I found it very illuminating for a person like myself who is in the market for a new (digital) mixer for my band, and I thought I'd check if anyone had new thoughts since the thread dried up - e.g. any further experiences with digital mixers, or any recently released products.

    We are a 6-piece pub rock band with 2 singers, 2 guitarists (who also sing), and bass and drums. We are used to putting everything through our PA, which has decent EV speakers and power amps, but we're frustrated with our old 16 channel Yamaha mixer - e.g. we can't get enough personal monitoring feeds from it and we're tired of setting up snakes.

    Based on the discussion, I'm pretty well eliminating Soundcraft and Mackie, and am mulling over the following digital mixers (prices as per Thomann):

    - RCF M 18 (£360)
    - Behringer X Air XR16 (£400)
    Behringer X Air X18 (£440)
    - the t.mix DM 20 (£570)
    - MIDAS MR 18 (£616)
    - Allen & Heath QU-SB (£870)

    We might also be persuaded to spend a bit more cash and consider things like:

    - Allen & Heath Qu-PAC (£1,177)
    - Yamaha TF Rack (£1500)
    - Allen & Heath Qu-16 Chrome (£1,570)
    - Yamaha TF-1 (£1900) (probably out of range of our pockets!)

    I take the points made in the discussion above about the benefits of a physical control surface as opposed to iPad only control, but I *think* we're probably going to be content with the cheaper iPad-only solutions, given that we are pretty much a "set and play" band.

    Would much appreciate any thoughts... Key criteria? Recommendations??
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  • RolandRoland Frets: 1951
    Horses:courses. @Danny1969 likes Allen & Heath. My colleagues are very cost conscious, and went for the Behringer X18.

    It does what we need. The sound is clearer than our analogue desk. We use an external wireless router for resilience, reliability, and better security. The bass player has a Mac cables into the desk. Three of us connect our iPads, mainly to adjust our personal monitor mixes. 

    On Saturday we did our first repeat location since getting the desk. We loaded the saved settings from the previous visit, checked that everything was connected, and were ready to go.

    Using an iPad rather than a physical desk takes getting used to. There are some controls that you have to find through sub-menus. However once set up there’s very little that you have to change between venues.

    One thing which we’ve found very useful is the ability to record into a PC, then go out front and listen to the playback. Apart from backline, which is low volume for personal monitoring, and of course the drums, you’re hearing what the audience hears.
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  • smigeonsmigeon Frets: 79
    edited February 26
    Yeah, thanks @Roland. We're pretty cost conscious as well :-).

    I actually thought that the Behringer X18 X Air had been discontinued as it's not available at Thomann anymore. But I see it still is widely available elsewhere, so I'll add that to my list. It seems to sell new for £440.

    Do you find your X18 robust enough?? Just from looking at photos, the XR16 (rack model) looks more robust - although on the downside it seems to have only 8 XLR inputs, with the rest being 6.3mm jacks - which seems a bit of a pity.
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  • andyozandyoz Frets: 664
    edited February 26
    If it was me I'd limit choices to the Midas MR18 or A&H QU-SB.  QU-SB is essentially the core of their QU 32 desk so there's lots in there..

    Friends use the Behrigner XR16 and it actually failed BUT Behringer collected it from house and had it back them fixed within 2 days (important that).  they actually regret not getting the XR18 as its got onboard recording etc (not sure how the Midas MR18 differs from the XR18 to be honest).  Note that the onboard multi-track recording on the QU range is VERY well sorted.

    I personally have the QU-SB as it's just a more pro looking unit in term of casing as it's a rack width and all metal casing - it feels premium product and I noticed they did have to drop the price a good bit about a year ago to keep competitive.  There is no comparison in the flesh between it and the Behringer/Midas offerings...the QU-SB feel 'tough'.  Once racked up I guess it doesn't matter as much.  I assume mic pre-amps etc are similar though...

    Having compared the QU and Behrinegr ipad apps I actually preferred the Behringer one.  I guess they have a user base say 10 times that of Allen & Heath so can put more funds into it and the revisions. They use color better so it;s easier to see what window your in ...monitor mix etc.

    if you are a set and play band then the non fader version should be fine...first few gigs will be interesting but once you've got the setups then it settles down..  Remember the non fader version essentially function as a stage box and you can sit it on the ground etc so easier for small venue...you can put it places you wouldn't want place a full desk.   Means cable runs can be simpler....i.e. put it beside the drummer so cables tend to be going to rear of the stage instead of across the stage to the typical mixing desk on a sub at side of stage setup.

    Also remember that the onboard Behringer wifi is generally regarded as being poor great so plan on using an external router anyway (unless they have improved it?) and don't base your decision on the Behringer/Midas being an all in one solution.

    No matter what, all this stuff a complete bargain compared to what you'd have to spend for the same functionality 10 years ago.

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  • robinbowesrobinbowes Frets: 1804
    I went for the TF-Rack and am really pleased with it.

    R.


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  • John_PJohn_P Frets: 1588
    If you don’t need it to be in a rack then the x18 is a bargain.     I use one and an x32 and for pub gigs the x18 is fine, robust enough imo but put it in a bag.  Mine sits in a flight case.  Just check it has  enough monitor sends and you are fine with the aux buses being a jack output.  
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  • andyozandyoz Frets: 664
    edited February 26
    I'd love to see how the Yamaha TF-1 compares to the venerable QU-16.

    Yamaha rarely make mistakes and the QU design is getting older now.

    Yamaha desk looks the part anyway.
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  • robinbowesrobinbowes Frets: 1804
    A couple of tracks from my first attempt at recording with the TF-Rack. All 16 tracks were recorded live into Logic, and I did a quick mix the following day.






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  • andyozandyoz Frets: 664
    edited February 26
    Yamaha TF series wasn't out when I was looking.

    The TF-1 screen looks better than the QU-16 for starters.  Digital Scribble strips too.
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  • robinbowesrobinbowes Frets: 1804
    I didn't do an extended comparison, but I tried out the remote apps, and we'd done a couple of gigs with some other models - eg. the Qsc and X18.

    My impression was that the Yamaha is a more pro-level piece of kit.

    I'm considering adding a further 16 channels with the NY-64D expansion card plus a Tio1608-D unit as we use all 16 channels (and that's with just 4 mics on the kit and no brass!).

    R.
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  • andyozandyoz Frets: 664
    Do you find not having the inputs on the front a bit of an issue?  I always thought that was a big advantage of the 'rack' type gear.
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  • robinbowesrobinbowes Frets: 1804
    edited February 26
    *edit* - sorry misread.

    No, the control surface is on the front - it's fine having the inputs on the rear, although I'll probably get a stage box at some stage to cut down on the spaghetti cabling.

    What I would have liked Yamaha to provide is a rack-mount control surface and a Dante expansion port(s) and then use it with a separate Tio1608-D stage box or two.

    R.
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  • andyozandyoz Frets: 664
    edited February 26
    I really like the way the QU SB has them on the front with sloping panel.  You can quickly scan across and see your channels connected.
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 3561

    We brought another QU16 for the band that was using the Mackie DL1608, it cost £1100 second hand on Ebay but was essentially new in the box. Bit of a bargain really. So that's 3 QU-16's and one QU-24 across 4 bands now. 

    So far in the 5 years of using them I've not seen a single fault, not a sticky motorized  fader, not a blown backlight on a screen ...nothing of the desks  at all. The build quality is superb

    I did repair the matching digital AR2412 stage box though which developed a fault in the SM power supply. There was a rectifier diode on the PCB fitted vertically and the vibration onstage had caused the diode to crack it's solder joint on one leg. Annoyingly I didn't spot this until I had brought another AR2412 SMPS unit from A&H and fitted it .... noting the replacement unit had the diode globbed in mastic so it's a known fault and remedied :) I was able to sell the one I fixed though for 70% of what the new one cost so it wasn't too bad. 

    As an electronics engineer I can't recommend anything Behringer ... that doesn't mean I won't use any of their kit I do and some bits like the X32 are well proven and installed in all kinds of places .... Portsmouth Guildhall house desk is an X32 (has had a couple of failures but nothing show stopping ) and there are loads of PA companies using them but over the years I've just seen too many badly built Behringer bits of kit to recommend buying anything for non redundant for pro use ...particularly in the all important area of the SMPSU cos when that fails you basically have a doorstop. They attack the market on price point and they do cut corners to get there. I can't say categorically state every bit of Behringer kit is designed badly though, I've not even seen the inside of an X18. You can buy an X32 SMPSU as a service part and it's only around £180 which is pretty good. I've not seen service parts for the X18 ... but @andyoz experience of a 2 day turnaround to fix one is quite impressive.

    As far as the surface \ no surface area goes just remember with no surface your at the mercy of the iPad so having a spare is a good move. 


    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • andyozandyoz Frets: 664
    edited February 26
    Was just chatting to a mate who's moving on from the QU-32 to a SQ6.  They look tasty.  I like the big 'go to' knobs on the left hand side of the LCD.  Nice is a dim pub!

    he's just had to replace the LCD on his QU-32 which he did himself so good that they are serviceable parts wise.
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  • maltingsaudiomaltingsaudio Frets: 895
    edited February 26
    I was getting  quite happy with Ipad mixing until friday night when I had the nightmare of wifi dropping out for a past time. This was with me sitting under 6 feet from the router. The venue was an ex church Brick walls which I assume was the problem. Fortunately it wasn't a gig stop as the ipad was just a supplement to the desk.Set up for those interested was Ilive, Ipad and airport express.

    Quick two pen orth on the SQ great bit of kit but in real life and in my humble opinion, it just adds a whole bunch of unnecessary stuff to the party which most of us don't need.
    www.maltingsaudio.co.uk
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