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Digital Mixer with Remote Control

Hi Folks?

What are you using for a digital mixer with remote capabilities?

I'm looking for something that does NOT require that you do it with an iPad?

I've read that the SoundCraft U16 will. Anybody have experience with that or something similar?

http://www.soundcraft.com/products/ui16

Often mentioned is the QSC TouchMix 16, but from what I can see if you want remote control you need to use an Apple device. Since I don't already have anything Apple, that's an expense I'd prefer to avoid.

ST

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I had thought about the Soundcraft Ui16 or even the new Behringer line, but the initial release units had a few issues. I hear that the Soundcraft Ui16 are much better now at maintaining the connectivity with your controlling device.

I had also wanted to do a USB connectivity into my PC/Laptop for recording, but they only output 2 channels, except the bigger Behringer model X18 had full channel USB connectivity.
Hi Joel,

Great to hear from you. Thanks for the heads-up about this.

I found it at Long & McQuade (it looks like you were trying to send me a link).

https://www.long-mcquade.com/6...ss_Digital_Mixer.htm

Thanks for that. Wow - nice low entry point to try out this new-to-me format for mixers. I've got a long and very successful relationship with Long & McQuade and I might be able to work out something with them.


I'm looking for something that works in any browser. Specifically - I'd like to be able to use my Surface devices (Windows 10).

The SoundCraft U16 looks interesting but the reviews are rough when it comes to reliability of the wifi connection and some aspects of the touch interface. But it appears that there are workarounds for that.

It's a whole new world now that I'm looking for a new mixer to run with my F1 system. My Yamaha O1V sounds good, but it's like a dinosaur on a leash. Well - actually it feels like I'm on a very short leash when I use it.

ST
Hi ST,

As far as pricing goes, the Soundcraft Ui16 seems to be very affordable. I even had a look in that direction myself last year. Regarding reliability, I can't say anything along those lines, but almost every (if not actually every) manufacturer has problems with new products at the beginning, especially when there's a lot of software being used (you've seen enough updates yourself in the L1 field). The Soundcraft is probably no different. What impressed me, however, was the audiovisual support on Youtube. They have a pretty good series on the Ui16 on Youtube (hands on type of thing). The Youtube channel (if you don't actually already know it) is:

Soundcraft Youtube Channel

There's also bound to be a forum of some sort for the Ui-series.

Sorry I can't be of more help. Let us know how you get on with your search.

Take care,

Tony
Hi ST,

As always, you're welcome to anything I can do to help.

Yes, the user interface does seem to be pretty extensive and full of possibilities. It may still be having teething problems on the software side, though. From what I can find out about it, it's a first generation unit and a few people seem to have (or have had) problems with the wi-fi connection. I've also read that some people use an external router connected directly via cable to the mixer. How much one can read into such things is usually a bit "iffy"

I've found a pretty good description of it at Sweetwater. Here's a link to it.

Soundcraft Ui16 at Sweetwater

It might be worth your while reading the hands on review there. Regarding the wi-fi connection, Soundcraft have apparently improved the reliability of it with a firmware upgrade. I've not had any experience with wi-fi at gigs, but it does appear to be one of the things that manufacturers have to come to terms with (not just soundcraft). Using wireless on instruments and microphones can also cause problems on some stages.

I like the idea of having the possibility of using amp modeling software. How good it sounds will probably be a pretty subjective thing. Whether or not the amp modeling is a really viable live thing remains to be seen. On principle, though, it sounds interesting, especially maybe for "Open mike" things where an electric guitarist can maybe just use an overdrive pedal into a clean amp model.

As far as the price goes, it seems to be in a league of it's own (in a very positive sense), and if it can deliver what it's promising, it's got to be worth a more detailed look.

I hope that this has been of some help, ST.

I also know that you'll keep us posted on any progress you make along these lines.

Take care,

Tony
Hi ST,

Just an FYI on WiFi for live mixing: all of the techs that I work with are using tablets (mostly iPads) with different makes of digital consoles including some that are just stage boxes like the Soundcraft Ui16. Their biggest complaint is that everything works fine during sound check but once the audience comes in to the venue just before show time they loose WiFi connection because of all the WiFi devices (smart phones) adding a lot of traffic on the spectrum. It can take a few minutes to get a stable connection reestablished and then it will be fine after that.

One tech explained that at one show the band started to play but he was locked out for 5 minutes where he couldn't make any adjustments. The work around seems to be to attempt to make adjustments just before show time to verify the WiFi connection.

Keeping this in context, these problems usually occur with audiences of hundreds or thousands...

This is just an FYI to keep in mind. I don't have first hand experience with this.
Thanks Mark!

I appreciate the real-world experience and advice. It's hard to get that in one-off reviews.

I'd like to get a mixer that has the option of a physical network connection. That complicates things but all of my Surface devices have a USB port and the option to use a network adapter. So that can be my backup when wireless isn't working.

What I'm enjoying, at least in shopping mode, is that we no longer have to pay for the hardware aspect of pots and faders, meters and screens. We make up for it in having to provide our own devices for the user interface.

ST
Hi ST
I have been using the Behringer XR18 Air for a while now and it works really well.the wifi is nice and you can set it up with password protect so no one can have access to it unless you know the password.The app to use it is a free download from there web site.It has all the effects you would need that the high price mixers have.I love mine it just sets up on stage and everyone just hooks onto it.You can also save your settings for each club you play in at you finger tips.It also works with a network cable to direct wire it.I love mind and it was not that much money.

Just my 2 cents worth
Todd
quote:
I'd like to get a mixer that has the option of a physical network connection. That complicates things but all of my Surface devices have a USB port and the option to use a network adapter. So that can be my backup when wireless isn't working.


The Soundcraft Ui16 seems to offer you this, too, ST

Tony
Just an afterthought ST. Depending on your Budget, or where you aim to make use of the mixer, it might be an idea to check out the Behringer X32 Rack. The X32 series of mixers has been receiving some pretty good reviews, and the possibilities seem to be almost endless. Here's a link.

Behringer X32 Rack

The live recording possibilities also seem to be massive with this unit.

Tony
Hi Todd, Tony,

There Behringer products look interesting but it appears that there's no generic user interface (e.g. Browser based, operating system agnostic). It looks like the control apps are for iPad and iPhone only.

Things don't look quite as attractive if I have to buy an iPad to use them.

But this is still great information for someone who already has an iPad or iPhone.

Thanks!
Hi Tony

quote:
Originally posted by Seagullman:
Hi ST,

As always, you're welcome to anything I can do to help.

Yes, the user interface does seem to be pretty extensive and full of possibilities. It may still be having teething problems on the software side, though. From what I can find out about it, it's a first generation unit and a few people seem to have (or have had) problems with the wi-fi connection. I've also read that some people use an external router connected directly via cable to the mixer. How much one can read into such things is usually a bit "iffy"

I've found a pretty good description of it at Sweetwater. Here's a link to it.

Soundcraft Ui16 at Sweetwater


Thanks for the link. You know that I'm in Canada.

My Bose dealer (who also sells SoundCraft) is trying to get pricing that would be on par with the landed price of bringing one in from the US.

I'm still in the exploration stage.
quote:


It might be worth your while reading the hands on review there. Regarding the wi-fi connection, Soundcraft have apparently improved the reliability of it with a firmware upgrade. I've not had any experience with wi-fi at gigs, but it does appear to be one of the things that manufacturers have to come to terms with (not just soundcraft). Using wireless on instruments and microphones can also cause problems on some stages.

I like the idea of having the possibility of using amp modeling software. How good it sounds will probably be a pretty subjective thing. Whether or not the amp modeling is a really viable live thing remains to be seen. On principle, though, it sounds interesting, especially maybe for "Open mike" things where an electric guitarist can maybe just use an overdrive pedal into a clean amp model.

I had not spotted that yet. Thanks.
quote:

As far as the price goes, it seems to be in a league of it's own (in a very positive sense), and if it can deliver what it's promising, it's got to be worth a more detailed look.

I hope that this has been of some help, ST.

I also know that you'll keep us posted on any progress you make along these lines.

Take care,

Tony


Thanks Tony.
quote:
Thanks for the link. You know that I'm in Canada.


Hi ST,

Yes, I know that you're in Canada (Vancouver, which gets its name from George Vancouver who came from Kings Lynn in Norfolk - I sent you a picture last year, I think, but I only found out about the link between George Vancouver and the City of Vancouver in the last couple of weeks or so). The stuff about Vancouver was purely out of interest.

I send you infos from e.g. Sweetwater because they're in English, easy for me to access, and have prices that you can probably relate to better than my Euro prices from over here. The information there is also in english, which probably makes it easier for you.They're for the information they hold about gear and I know that you'll know where to look when it comes to finding out availability and pricing in your area.

quote:
There Behringer products look interesting but it appears that there's no generic user interface (e.g. Browser based, operating system agnostic). It looks like the control apps are for iPad and iPhone only.


Sorry I hadn't noticed that. Apparently you can edit some things on Windows Computers (maybe even on Android units), but It seems to be iPad as far as the live mixing goes. It might be worth your while to ask Behringer directly on that account.

Have to go for now, but I'll keep an eye on this thread.

Take care,

Tony
Hi ST,

Behringer also do other WiFi controllable Digital Mixers with iPad + ANDROID controllability as Todd described earlier. According to Behringer, the X Air Series is designed for use with iPad and Android tablets.

Here's a link to ... wait for it ... Long & McQuade

Behringer - X Air Series 18-Channel, 12-Bus Stagebox

The DSPs appear to come from the X32 series, and apparently the XR18 has 4 stereo effect engines which I find to be pretty extensive in this price range.

The XR18 has 16 fully programmable mic preamps. Depending on whether you need so many mic preamps and channels, they have the X16 and the X12 in the series which are naturally less expensive. I'll post direct links to those, too, also at Long & McQuade

Behringer - X Air Series 16-Channel Stage Box

Behringer - X Air Series 12-Channel Stage Box

The XR18 will give you the most flexibility, especially if you've become used to the number of microphone channels on offer with a Yamaha 01v, but if you can live with less, the other 2 can save your wallet.

Here's also a link to the Behringer Homepage description of the XR18.

18-Channel, 12-Bus Digital Mixer for iPad/Android Tablets

I hope that this is of some help to you ST.

Take care,

Tony
Howdy ST,
I have two friends with the QSC and one with a Behringer, all use iPads. Both seem very capable, full-featured, and zero problems with connectivity.
The thing that *I* like about the Behringer over the QSC is the same beef I have with the T1 - both the T1 and QSC you have to plug all your cables into the unit which is visible and you need to have it handy for access (EVEN with the remote iPad with the QSC). The Behringer is more like a snake box that you can hide away, and ALL the controls are via the tablet - the box is nothing but plugs, and the source of the wifi.

HIDE the WIRES!!

It will be interesting, as always, to see what Bose finally offers up as the T1 Version 2..

Best luck - MIKE O'
Hi ST,

regarding the Behringer XR18 I've just read this in the Long & McQuade description, which could also prove to be interesting features, depending on how you plan to use the mixer. It certainly can't hurt to have these possibilities in your arsenal.

quote:
Recording Simplified

The incredibly fast and comprehensive 18 x 18 channel, bi-directional USB interface makes the XR18 an amazingly powerful digital mixing solution for recording directly to your iPad or PC. Dial in the perfect monitoring mix with effects and zero-latency, while sending up to 16 microphone signals and the keyboard player's MIDI notes to your DAW for recording. It's never been easier to record stunning tracks with exceptional clarity.

Revolutionary Auto-Mixing

A major first for compact audio mixers, Behringer's revolutionary X AIR Gain Sharing technology can easily manage fully automated mixes with up to 16 live microphones. Based on the legendary Dan Dugan automix system, the XR18's gain sharing paradigm automatically controls the levels of all selected microphones in real time, without any gating artifacts or noise modulation.

This function dramatically reduces the typical feedback, studio noise and comb filtering challenges that can occur when two, or more mics are in close proximity of each another. X AIR Gain Sharing technology provides a consistent system gain structure, even when multiple speakers are talking at the same time.


The multichannel USB-recording seems to be limited to the XR18. I'm not so sure about the Auto-mixing with the X AIR Gain Sharing technology.

I hope that this is of some help ST.

Tony
Hi Tony,

That's interesting information for sure. However, until Behringer have a remote app that is accessible my Surface devices, I'll be looking elsewhere. I'm not looking to buy two more devices (iAnything or Android) to control a mixer at a gig. Why two? Backup.

I've read lots of controversy about using a web based application for doing remote controlled mixing, (native app vs HTML5). I'm not convinced that in a real-world setting, that this would be a limiting factor. I'm still researching that.

ST
Hi ST,

on Feb. 07 you wrote:

quote:
I'm looking for something that works in any browser. Specifically - I'd like to be able to use my Surface devices (Windows 10).


Somehow that seems to have disappeared into the "Shadows" for want of a better word.

I don't know why, but I was off on the Android thing as a result of you writing at the beginning:

quote:
I'm looking for something that does NOT require that you do it with an iPad?


Sorry about that. It might, however be worth the effort to contact Behringer and ask them directly if that's possible (and if not, if they have any plans in that direction in the foreseeable future). You never know. Many professionals may prefer to use a PC in preference to a Tablet for such things. If you're running Windows 10, then the Surface isn't really any different, is it?

If it's not really a pressing point at the moment you can definitely take your time researching the possibilities. As I've said in other threads here, in Germany we have several Music stores which offer a 30 day refund on anything you order online. This gives people a chance to test out gear extensively before they are compelled to keep what they've ordered. The only thing is that you have to take care of the goods and not abuse them (but that goes without saying). I think that this is a good system. Legally any online orders have a 14day return policy. These stores just extend it to give the customer more time. In your case, such an offer would probably be a really good thing.

If I see or hear of anything along the lines that you are looking I'll let you know.

Tony
Hi Tony,

Thanks for the link to the Sweetwater video.

On the Behringer page for the XR-18 there's no sign of support for running the control application with Windows, but I dug around on the downloads page and found this X Air Edit for PC. I've had a quick look at it. I'm a little concerned that it may be limited compared to some other products with respect to the built-in effects.

I'm still in research mode. I haven't heard by from my Canadian supplier regarding price and availability for either the SoundCraft or the latest Mackie.

ST
I have been reviewing the three brands also. Soundcraft has an online demo on their website and it is quite nice. I've downloaded the Behringer and the Mackie apps also. A dissapointment on the new Mackie is that they do not supply phantom power, big bummer for me. The Behringer (which will run on Win 10) app appears pretty usefull although Soundcraft provides more "Name brand" effects.

The pricing here stateside is very reasonable, but I keep wondering am I trying to complicate, rather than simplify my Gig's. There is a lot to be said for the simplicity and convenience of the T1 on a Mic stand. In my case I am usually just working a Solo or 1 partner.

I did help a friend with the bigger Mackie 16 channel unit as it is hard to play and monitor/adjust while working. It was very nice, but did have an iPod in it that I took out and did some adjustments. I believe you can use an android tablet with it. I would have to go back and check on the Win 10 capabilities, but I don't think so. For me the new smaller units, no phantom is a deal breaker.

Joelheck
Hi Joel,

Good to see you.

Yes - I agree that the SoundCraft User Interface looks nice and I like that the unit has more effects. I'll have to dig into that further. I was talking with someone about all of this and I pulled up the SoundCraft app online. I demo'd the features for her (not having seen any of it before) and found that it was all pretty intuitive.

If there's no phantom power on the new Mackie, it's out of the running for me. Yes, a deal breaker.

I won't be using any of these products in a situation where I am currently using a T1®. I'm considering these for band situations with F1s not multiple L1®s.

I wonder what people do when they want to use a tablet to control a mixer (one with it's own wifi router), AND access the web at the same time?

ST
You can control the Behringer XR18 from a Windows PC (Surface) or a Mac. In fact, I vastly prefer the mixer layouts on the PC and Mac versus the ones on the iPad or Android. The PC or Mac can be hard wired or use WiFi. I have used the XR18 at multiple events running full bands and hard wired in ear monitors. Mixing with a mouse can be a challenge at times. Thus, the Surface or a touch screen PC is the best choice for me with an XR18. I always prefer hard wired connectivity, if possible.
The XR18 is a highly functional and flexible mixer, with effects, gates, compression, Parametric EQs, etc available on every channel.
Hi Folks,

Here's a quick update. (and this is not a recommendation or endorsement). I picked up a SoundCraft ui16.

The appeal for me was that it was one of the few that allows you to control it from a browser. So far it works with every device that I've tried (Surface [many models including the original Surface RT], Windows phone, and several others].

It has it's own wifi router (only 2.4), it can connect to an existing wifi network, and it allows for a hardwired connection. I haven't dug in far enough to know if I can connect another router to this, but the first two options seem pretty good.

In addition to the main left and right outputs (XLR and ¼ inch jack Tip-Ring-Sleeve ) there are four Aux outputs. That means that at most, you've got four individual monitor mixes.

It's called a ui16, but it's got 12 XLR inputs (8 or which are combo jacks). Then you've got a couple of RCA inputs and you've got two more inputs if you consider that it will play audio tracks directly from a USB storage device. Interestingly you can record to a USB storage device (stereo mix no individual tracks).

This is a small mixer. I think this would be fine for a four piece band running through a pair of F1 Stacks (Model 812 with F1 Subwoofer) x 2 if you don't mic all the individual drums.

There's a cool feature that I hadn't noticed when I was comparing units. On the first two channels there are Digitech guitar amp emulations. These will not replace my Kemper, but they do sound pretty good. I could certainly get through a gig if I had to do it without my Kemper. (Yay - I've backup built right in, in the mixer).

This is my first foray into this kind of technology and I wasn't ready to plunk down a lot of cash. The Behringer XR18 was close to double the price and it did have more channels, and more features. For what I need to do right now, it looks like the SoundCraft will do, and it was so inexpensive, there was little risk.

On the downside - there are no ToneMatch Presets. This means that it will be more work to set things up to get great sound, but there are some nice tools built into the unit. I'm just going to have to dig in to figure it all out.

I'm doing a private event in a couple of weeks. It's small enough to do with a couple of Compacts. I've been asked to be prepared for up to six performers at a time. I've done lots of events like this with a couple of Compacts with two T1®s. I'll definitely take the T1®s this time (backup), but I'll probably take the SoundCraft ui16 to give it a run.

Thanks to everyone who offered suggestions. I'll let you all know how it goes.
Here's a quick update on the SoundCraft Ui16.

I ran into a little line noise when I used an unbalanced cable to the Model II. This was solved as soon as I used a balanced cable.

Also - a correction to my note. At first glance it looks like there are only four Aux outputs, but it turns out that you can configure the two headphone outputs as Aux outputs. That makes it possible to have up to six monitor mixes.

As I'm getting to know the unit better, I'm more and more impressed with the user interface, flexible signal routing, effects, and overall sound quality.

Unfortunately the show that I mentioned in my post above was postponed. It may be a little while before I get this out live.

ST

HI ST

Just wondering if you kept the Soundcraft and how did it compare sound quality-wise with the T!? (Tonematch aside, and feature differences aside.) I was needing something with a little more input capability, the ability to change scenes with a footswitch, and easy stereo, but I can live without these missing items from the T1, if, by getting them, I had to give up any of the T1 audio quality. 

Thanks!

Bryan

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