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Choosing a digital mixer

Discussion in 'Rigs and Routing' started by Eliju, Aug 24, 2018.

  1. Eliju

    Eliju
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    So I want to finally take the leap for my board and I’d like the input of the more experienced folks. Basic bar band, so 16 channels is enough. The drummer, when he does mic, has a little board so he just needs 2 inputs.

    I’ve been really digging what I’ve seen of the Presonus 16.4.2 and they’re available at a nice price now that series 3 is out. The 6 aux is nice for individual mixes if we go to in ears, which I’m pushing for. The channel fx and compressors and all would allow me to dump the rack gear we use and the options for recording are a nice bonus.

    What I like most about this board is that it looks like it’s very quick and intuitive to make changes without going through tons of menus and stuff and it has all the rouring options I could ever want, even if we expand our setup.

    So that being said, is this a decent board? Is there something else in the price range I should look at? I see them for under $1000 all over and it seems like a good deal.

    Thanks for any input!
     
  2. dpeterson

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    Keep in mind if you go stereo mix's 6 aux's will give you 3 mixes total.
     
  3. Eliju

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    I figured this as I didn’t see anything about stereo auxes. That’s ok tho. A mono monitor is fine and if we want stereo 3 should still be enough.
     
  4. s0c9

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    Soundcraft Ui24R or Behringer X32R - my top choices.

    I still own several consoles, one of which is a Presonus 16.4.2 :)
    It's easy to use coming from the analog world, but the 2 listed above are way better IMHO.

    FWIW - I work for a local SR provider and run sound for festivals [on down] when not playing.
     
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  5. iaresee

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    I bought a Behringer XAir 18 -- gotta say I'm not thrilled with the iPad-only interface. It can be a little cumbersome to get around quickly. Maybe once we're running and have everything snapshotted and saved it'll be better. But the bring-up with the unit and the band has been a struggle. I'm considering going to an X32R to get some physical interface on the unit itself.

    The matrix routing is awesome though. We run mono so we've each got a personal mix independent of the mains now in our 6-piece.
     
  6. yek

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    Yup, same here. Switched to X32 Producer.
     
  7. Eliju

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    The x32 looks cool with how you can adjust your monitor mix by iPhone. The other thing I saw with the Presonus is the integration with their speakers and stuff to auto tune to the room or however that works. Does it? I have to mix the band while playing so anything that does anything automatically as good or better than I can is worth the money to me. Is that even something that would be worth worrying about?

    The x32 does seem to be way more robust.
     
  8. kruzty

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    I'm pretty happy with the Soundcraft Ui16. I think the UI is great and works with any device with a modern browser (you don't need a separate app), but if you need physical controls it won't work for you. I run sound for our band when we play at a place with a larger Presonus digital board. I do like the physical controls, but it sometimes gets confusing switching between things like monitor mixes and individual channel settings because some of the board real estate is re-used, so you have to be careful about which thing (channel, monitor mix, FX) is selected. That is where the pure virtual interface shines - you can focus on certain things (channel, all channel levels, all channel gain, monitor mix, etc.) and the UI changes to best meet those needs.
     
  9. Eliju

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    I think I’d hate the pure digital interface and I don’t own an iPad so that’s just an added cost that would take me way over budget right now.
     
  10. TravisG406

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    I've had a QSC Touchmix 16 and now the 30 and love them - built in screen for control, and room tuning/feedback killing are great
     
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  11. Eliju

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    So that stuff works?
     
  12. s0c9

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    You can't autotune a room without running an RTA scan on it.. and even so.. it will [likely] change every time you do it.. temp, humidity,number of people in the room, and so on.
    I'm not sure I'd use the "autotune" feature as a selling point.
     
  13. unix-guy

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    Mackie DL32R is what we use... Similarly, it requires iOS devices to manage. And must be iPad to control more than "basic" mixer functions.
     
  14. s0c9

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    The touchmix 16 works.. but it's more $$ than either the X32R or Ui24R :(
     
  15. favance

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  16. TravisG406

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    We use it to flatten the response of my crappy kustom monitors, but the feedback eliminater is amazing for killing the ringing from my violin in the mains and vocals in the monitors
     
  17. TG3K

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    I have both the XR-18 and the UI24r. We had been using the XR-18 for a year or so and liked it a lot, but I wanted the extra features (mostly more outputs and a consistent user interface regardless of device) from the UI24r, so I bought one. I used it for one gig, but didn't have time to dial everything in (nobody in my band wants to show up early for a soundcheck). As a result, our sound was off that night and the other band members hated the mixer, so I went back to using the XR-18. In hindsight, I should have spent more time learning the UI better before the gig, but the XR has lots more effects available, and it does what we need. I've brought up the idea of trying the UI again with more time to get it set up, but the negative reactions from the rest of the band have pissed me off, so I'm going to put it up for sale.

    One of the nice things about the tablet-based interface is you can have more than one running at the same time. Our drummer is an accomplished sound engineer, so he runs the monitor mix while I handle FOH. (I use a wireless rig for my guitar, so I can walk around the venue while we're playing to hear how things sound.)

    One thing that I've learned after using the XR for a few years now is that tablets suck for daytime outdoor gigs. It's next to impossible to see the screen, especially if I'm wearing sunglasses. I'm considering buying a Behringer X-Touch for such occasions, but we're weekend warriors who only play a few times per month, so I've not convinced myself the expense would be worth it. (And none of the deadbeats in my band are willing to spend ANYTHING on new gear. Hell, they won't even replace their own cables when they go bad because they know I'll grab a spare one out of my bag and let them use it.)
     
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  18. Eliju

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    Oh man. I know money can be tight but if my band didn’t wanna buy new cables I’d quit

    My old bass player didn’t change his strings for years. It’s like dude...
     
  19. Narzugon

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    I've been working with some guys that run an X-Air 18 with an Ipad II and an external router. The iPad would continuously drop connection no matter how close I was to the router (always line of sight). The touch interface just wasn't ideal for me but made it work. We tried different routers, different channels and it was always the same. No matter if it was a very rural gig or a downtown gig.

    The guy who owns the system showed up with a Windows based laptop on the last gig and had me try it. Not one single issue the entire gig. Maybe the iPad II couldn't keep up? I mean the PC proves it wasn't the routers. We have a couple of gigs over the weekend. We'll see how the PC does.

    Have you guys seen anything like that with your ipad? Which iPad are you running?
     
  20. TG3K

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    The sad part is we all have real jobs. We just play gigs because we like playing for an audience. (Three of the four of us used to do it for a living.) They're just cheap bastages lol, but we've all been friends for decades.

    I'm using a cheap RCA Android tablet. (Two, actually, because a single one doesn't have enough battery life to get through a gig.) The drummer is using an iPad though, and I don't think he's had any problems connecting to our external router. Not sure what model he's running, though. I think it's a fairly new one, because he bought it to use with his drone...he does commercial mapping jobs with it. Are you using 5 gig or 2.4 gig wireless? If you're using 2.4, you might try the 5 gig range. There's less chance of interference, although it sounds like that might not be the problem if it's also happening at rural gigs.
     

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