Updating Title: Digital Mixer - Soundcraft Ui16

blueshadow

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Pretty well set on getting the Behrigner XR18 in the next month or so and looking for suggestions on a rack mount router, suppose it doesn't have to be rack mounted but think that would be a lot quicker to set up if it's in a rack with the mixer and the furman power strip would like to stay around $100 if possible

edit: Updating this thread....ended up buying a Soundcraft UI16 yesterday
 
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earteaga

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I use MikroTik routers for my audio racks, in particular the hAP AC Lite model. They have a small footprint and loaded with features. Range is very good, along with being dual band. Having 5ghz is important due to there being so much traffic on the 2.4ghz band. Amazon has this router selling at around $45.


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drums1225

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I own and love the XR18. Two of my bands use my bass player's XR18 rig (mainly) as an in-ear monitor mixer and it's been rock solid for 3 years and counting (or is it 4?).

I don't rack mount my XR18, simply because its small size and portability are its main features, as far as I'm concerned. It's the size of a small loaf of bread, without the rack ears, and I carry it in a Gator bag: https://www.amazon.com/Gator-Padded-Behringer-Mixers-G-MIXERBAG-1306/dp/B019ICBOBE. I can fit my small PA (XR18 and 2 QSC K10's) in my Honda Civic sedan along with my 4 or 5 pc kit. I can also easily carry the XR18 on a plane for fly dates.

On the other hand, my bass player built an 8 space rack for his XR18 (which we mainly use as an in-ear monitor mixer, but also as a FOH mixer on private gigs when we need to provide our own sound. He has 2 rack mountable 8 channel splitters, a patch bay, power strip and router. It's a great system, but total overkill, in terms of size and (relative) lack of portability. All I need to equal his capability is a splitter snake and a power strip (I have the Furman SS-6B ) Basically, you can get the same job done without taking on the size of a rack.

Unless you're set on a rack, and plan on installing several components that require power, I'd just maybe put some velcro on top of the XR18, and on the bottom of a "normal", non-rack-mountable dual band router. You won't even need a rack mountable Furman power conditioner, as you'll only need two outlets (one for the XR18 and one for the router). It'll save you some money and is far more portable than the rack solution.

Just my 2 cents.

Chris
 
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blueshadow

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Thanks for the replies. I already have a rack mount Furman. My thought is to have a shallow rack set up and have it set up front basically in place of a snake. The furman would be up front close to the monitors and mains (powered) so that it would be quicker and short run to plug everything in. Was thinking a rack mount router would already be plugged in and ready to go but really wouldn't take that long to set up a regular router....seems like the main thing is to have a router password protected for the rig.
 

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Definitely password protect your router or else anyone with the X-Air app could get in and mess with your mix. It would be nice if the onboard router were adequate, but it's really not. I use the X-Air in my studio and it's fine, but in a public space with dozens/hundreds/thousands of wireless devices pinging it, you'd be asking for trouble.

You'll love the XR18 and the app is pretty intuitive. My advice: Set the "FINE" adjustment on the app, so the faders react with higher resolution and are less "jumpy", so you can more easily make adjustments on the fly, while playing drums. My other band uses the QSC Touchmix 30 and the virtual faders on the app are much harder to control accurately than on the X-Air.

Enjoy!

Best,
Chris
 

blueshadow

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Thanks again Chris, yeah I have several of the apps on my phone to play with and have decided price and practicality of the XR18 is hard to beat. I was leaning towards the QSC but was pushing my budget just for the TM8 and 8 channels would be fine for most gigs but will be best to have the 16, plus two more aux's. I looked at the Soundcraft Ui which says it's internal router is password protected which is a plus...but all the comparison reviews point towards the XR18 as being the winner. Even better they have the XR18 in stock at my local pro audio shop (not GC!) and can get some good hands on pointers before I leave the store
 

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You won't regret your choice. For the record, you can password protect the XR18's internal router, it's just not a dependable router in public spaces. Honestly, if there was an XR24, I'd choose it over the QSC TM30 Pro without a moment's thought. To me, the X-Air app works better than (though is admittedly not as "pretty" as) the QSC's, with a few (IMO) essential features that the QSC is missing. The main one is that the QSC doesn't allow you to save and/or load individual channels; only complete mixer scenes. This might not be a problem for most people, but in a 7pc. band with a horn section that uses subs frequently, it's a huge inconvenience.

Let us know how it works out. Once I got over my "Behringer" brand aversion, I can say the XR18 is the single best "bang for the buck" investment I've ever made in music gear. It's revolutionized our live performances.
 

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You won't regret your choice. For the record, you can password protect the XR18's internal router, it's just not a dependable router in public spaces. Honestly, if there was an XR24, I'd choose it over the QSC TM30 Pro without a moment's thought. To me, the X-Air app works better than (though is admittedly not as "pretty" as) the QSC's, with a few (IMO) essential features that the QSC is missing. The main one is that the QSC doesn't allow you to save and/or load individual channels; only complete mixer scenes. This might not be a problem for most people, but in a 7pc. band with a horn section that uses subs frequently, it's a huge inconvenience.

Let us know how it works out. Once I got over my "Behringer" brand aversion, I can say the XR18 is the single best "bang for the buck" investment I've ever made in music gear. It's revolutionized our live performances.
Gotta correct a couple things here...

1) Any built-in stock router/Wi-Fi is going to have issues on these digital boards. Sooner or later, they'll figure out to stop including weak WiFi chipsets on these things, and just leave it to the buyer to setup and secure their own remote access solution with an ethernet connection - coz they all suck at it. It's the number one "issue" that continually crops up with these, and the fact is, 95% of it is user error, and not understanding how a router needs to be configured for this type of scenario. These are sound companies, not tech companies - I don't expect them to build a really good router lol... The X18, Soundcraft UI series, and stock QSC dongles are all pretty much hot garbage, and collapse under too many pings in crowded public places. Get a real router and secure it. Otherwise, you are asking for trouble.

2) You can save individual presets on the TM30 (and 8 & 16). As well as full scenes, I don't know why you would think you can't... I much prefer the QSC app and layout to the X18.

3) Behringer pre-amps vs QSC pres. I'll let you decide which is more robust and higher quality ;)

4) The TM and UI's FX loops/comps/EQs are in a word... Brilliant. I cannot say the same for the B-word.


I own a TM16, TM30Pro, and Ui12 & 16's. Had multiple occasions to demo and be sold on the X18, and the Presonus boards (I own a full production and live audio business, BTW. I own multiple systems for a reason). It fell very flat for me, and sorry but once you've been turned off to the brand, I'm certainly not interested in putting my entire production in the hands of a company that has serious QC issues and every piece of gear I've ever owned has failed miserably in less than 1-2 years of service. Not acceptable. I know the X18/32 were Midas designs, but I have ZERO faith in Behringer as a ProAudio manufacturer. None. I'll never get "over" my brand-aversion to that company. Burn me once, shame on me....

For ease of use, reliability, and sound quality - the QSC and Soundcraft offerings are far superior IMO. I use them both multiple times per week, and they are rock-solid and sound fantastic.

YMMV.
 

mgdrummer

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When I put together our IEM system with an X32 I simply bought a single space rack shelf & velcro’d a router to the shelf. It all lives in a rack case and I haven’t had to mess with it in the 4-5 years it’s been in use.
 

blikum

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I did exactly what you're thinking for my X-Air setup. Except I only had half a rack space available.. I found this Netgear router and custom fabbed a rack mount bracket to make it work. And it works flawlessly, plenty of range. The internal router on the X-AIR is crap. This solved that issue for me.

IMG_2544.JPG
 

drums1225

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Gotta correct a couple things here...

2) You can save individual presets on the TM30 (and 8 & 16). As well as full scenes, I don't know why you would think you can't... I much prefer the QSC app and layout to the X18.
If you can tell me how to save and load individual channels independently from an overall scene (I'm referring to complete channel presets, including input gain, fader level, panning, all effects, routing, phantom power on/off, etc.), on the TM30, I would be forever indebted to you.

I've always thought I was overlooking something obvious, but an email from QSC support confirmed the option is not available. I was on the phone with QSC just last week, with high hopes they had added this functionality with the recent firmware update, and they told me it still wasn't possible to load individual channels; only a full scene.

It's very easy to do on the X-Air. Save Channel Preset > Load Channel Preset. For instance, load "KICK Beta 91a" or load "KICK Beta52"; load "Doug Trumpet" or load "Mike Trumpet".

If there's a workaround, I would be very interested in how you do it, because the way my band deals with it is less than ideal, bordering on frustrating.

Re: QSC TM30 vs Behringer XR18 Preamps: To be fair, we use the TM30 exclusively as an IEM rig, and my other bands use the XR18 mainly as an IEM rig, and as FOH on a small percentage of smaller gigs where we provide our own sound. Preamps don't make THAT much of a difference at this level, and considering the TM30 is more than 3X the price of the XR18, and it has many more inputs and outputs, it's not really an apples to apples comparison.

The way I got over my "B-word" brand aversion (which was real and strong) was when my bass player bought an XR18. I was skeptical until we used it over and over without any problems, for months of live gigs. I was so convinced that I went out and bought my own XR18. We've both used the XR18 for approaching 4 years, and it's been rock solid, of course with a password protected external router.

Best,
Chris
 
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MonkeyGrass

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If you can tell me how to save and load individual channels independently from an overall scene (I'm referring to complete channel presets, including input gain, fader level, panning, all effects, routing, phantom power on/off, etc.), on the TM30, I would be forever indebted to you.

I've always thought I was overlooking something obvious, but an email from QSC support confirmed the option is not available. I was on the phone with QSC just last week, with high hopes they had added this functionality with the recent firmware update, and they told me it still wasn't possible to load individual channels; only a full scene.

It's very easy to do on the X-Air. Save Channel Preset > Load Channel Preset. For instance, load "KICK Beta 91a" or load "KICK Beta52"; load "Doug Trumpet" or load "Mike Trumpet".

If there's a workaround, I would be very interested in how you do it, because the way my band deals with it is less than ideal, bordering on frustrating.

Re: QSC TM30 vs Behringer XR18 Preamps: To be fair, we use the TM30 exclusively as an IEM rig, and my other bands use the XR18 mainly as an IEM rig, and as FOH on a small percentage of smaller gigs where we provide our own sound. Preamps don't make THAT much of a difference at this level, and considering the TM30 is more than 3X the price of the XR18, and it has many more inputs and outputs, it's not really an apples to apples comparison.

The way I got over my "B-word" brand aversion (which was real and strong) was when my bass player bought an XR18. I was skeptical until we used it over and over without any problems, for months of live gigs. I was so convinced that I went out and bought my own XR18. We've both used the XR18 for approaching 4 years, and it's been rock solid, of course with a password protected external router.

Best,
Chris
Next time I have the trailer out (I'm about to do that big FW upgrade on the TM30 next week) I'l run thru the process and document it. As far as I remember you simply save your user instrument preset once you have it set up, and then it's there to recall in the future, just like the scenes. There are certain levels that just don't carry over, I think pan and aux levels, maybe a couple others, but that's just how it works.

Pre-amps make a huge difference at any level. It's one of, if not the single most important part of your signal chain and overall quality. I do hear the difference, but that's probably because I'm an audio engineer and own a studio so.. that's kind of my job to hear those things.

I don't think I'll ever get over my B-word aversion. Seriously. Every. Single. Piece. I've just got too much PTSD from trying it, and then having to work around it when running someone else's system. And really... why? They are not the only game in town, that's for sure. I paid $300 for my UI16 and it blows the X18 out of the water IMO. And at under $800 - the UI24r is the *real* deal in this category. I understand not wanting to pay QSC's premium (they sure are proud of those 3 little letters!) but there's nothing that can touch the TM30 for I/O, processing, reliability, and quality. The fact that a 32 ch digital desk like that is even available for under $2k is simply astonishing to me, a guy who grew up on analog systems and entire trailers full of racks to do what the TM30 Pro does right out of the box.

To the OP - You don't really need a rack-mount router. Those are typically industrial and a bit of overkill for this type of application. I use a TP Link Archer dual band router, it is just velcro'd the the back-inside of the rack I keep the UI16 in. Make *sure* it's a dual-band 2.4 & 5 ghz router. The 5ghz is what you're going to need to use out in the wild to prevent issues.
 

blueshadow

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I paid $300 for my UI16 and it blows the X18 out of the water IMO. And at under $800 - the UI24r is the *real* deal in this category. I understand not wanting to pay QSC's premium (they sure are proud of those 3 little letters!) but there's nothing that can touch the TM30 for I/O, processing, reliability, and quality. The fact that a 32 ch digital desk like that is even available for under $2k is simply astonishing to me, a guy who grew up on analog systems and entire trailers full of racks to do what the TM30 Pro does right out of the box.

To the OP - You don't really need a rack-mount router. Those are typically industrial and a bit of overkill for this type of application. I use a TP Link Archer dual band router, it is just velcro'd the the back-inside of the rack I keep the UI16 in. Make *sure* it's a dual-band 2.4 & 5 ghz router. The 5ghz is what you're going to need to use out in the wild to prevent issues.
Thanks, I initially was looking at the UI16 and leaning more and more that way, most of the bad reviews were about the internal WiFi which we've obviously have addressed here with the external router
 

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Next time I have the trailer out (I'm about to do that big FW upgrade on the TM30 next week) I'l run thru the process and document it. As far as I remember you simply save your user instrument preset once you have it set up, and then it's there to recall in the future, just like the scenes. There are certain levels that just don't carry over, I think pan and aux levels, maybe a couple others, but that's just how it works.
Still not exactly a plug-and-play, one click solution like on the X-Air, but I would greatly appreciate seeing how you do it.

I've seen this as a glaring oversight by QSC and communicated that to them twice. They really didn't have an answer for me, other than, "we'll send this concern to our development team".

Pre-amps make a huge difference at any level. It's one of, if not the single most important part of your signal chain and overall quality. I do hear the difference, but that's probably because I'm an audio engineer and own a studio so.. that's kind of my job to hear those things.
Fair enough. I recently upgraded my 8 preamp Presonus Digimax FS to an Audient ASP880, so I'm not discounting how important preamps are. My point was that within the "prosumer" price range, the difference between preamps (to the end listener) is negligible, especially in a live situation.

I don't think I'll ever get over my B-word aversion. Seriously. Every. Single. Piece. I've just got too much PTSD from trying it, and then having to work around it when running someone else's system. And really... why? They are not the only game in town, that's for sure. I paid $300 for my UI16 and it blows the X18 out of the water IMO. And at under $800 - the UI24r is the *real* deal in this category.
I'm seeing X32 boards (and a stray M32) EVERYWHERE. Both locally (NYC area), and on the road (from coast to coast), in big venues and small. I don't blame you for not trusting Behringer, if you've been burned in the past, but I think they've come a long way toward ridding themselves of the stigma they earned in the past. The XR18 is the first and only Behringer product I've ever owned and I'm totally happy with it.

I understand not wanting to pay QSC's premium (they sure are proud of those 3 little letters!) but there's nothing that can touch the TM30 for I/O, processing, reliability, and quality. The fact that a 32 ch digital desk like that is even available for under $2k is simply astonishing to me, a guy who grew up on analog systems and entire trailers full of racks to do what the TM30 Pro does right out of the box.
Yeah, I "grew up" on analog stuff too, but have no nostalgic feelings about it since taking part in the digital mixer revolution. The fact that I can fit a giggable P.A. system in the front seat of a Honda Civic is something I would never have imagined in my wildest dreams. Not to mention that wireless control of individual mixes is a complete and total game-changer. Never having to flag down the sound engineer in the middle of a song, and perform sign-language to adjust the mix is worth its weight in gold. I can never go back. Except on those (fortunately) very rare occasions when I have no choice.

Chris
 

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There is a Midas dealer here in town selling the MR-18 for 600+ bux, way less than Sweetwater. I picked it up instead of the XR18 and there is definitely a difference between the two. Our rock band uses the Behringer and our country band uses the Midas. The warmth and output db difference is significant. Id consider spending the extra bux and check out the Midas, plus the user interface on the iPad is more intuitive with the Midas. My .02
 

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Thanks, I initially was looking at the UI16 and leaning more and more that way, most of the bad reviews were about the internal WiFi which we've obviously have addressed here with the external router
PLEASE do not let the reviews from technically incompetent guitarists sway you. I beg you. A $30 router and 10 minutes of setup, and you'll have an absolutely killer rig.

Just because something is digital, doesn't mean it's "plug n play" - especially if you don't have any sort of background in IT or Audio Engineering. Lots of folks seem to confuse a "box that can do it all" with a "box that DOES it all for you" and then get frustrated and blame the gear, when they simply do not have a clue how to either 1) Setup a secure wireless router/hotspot correctly or 2)...actually mix and dial in a band's sound.

I've had a 12 and 2 16's that have been flawless for over a year now. They are brilliant, IMO.
 

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Still not exactly a plug-and-play, one click solution like on the X-Air, but I would greatly appreciate seeing how you do it.

I've seen this as a glaring oversight by QSC and communicated that to them twice. They really didn't have an answer for me, other than, "we'll send this concern to our development team".

QSC really does have a corporate arrogance that I truly don't understand. I had a similar go-round with their team on the absolutely amateur-grade WiFi dongle that they spec for the TM series. It's a joke, and they generally burn out within 3-5 months of regular use. When I and several others called them out on why they even include a POS dongle that gives everyone problems, it's the #1 complaint on the support boards, and in fact at their price point, it should be a more robust networking solution... they more or less replied "That's how we do it if you don't like it, oh well too bad" You see the same attitude reflected in their pricing as well...

Fair enough. I recently upgraded my 8 preamp Presonus Digimax FS to an Audient ASP880, so I'm not discounting how important preamps are. My point was that within the "prosumer" price range, the difference between preamps (to the end listener) is negligible, especially in a live situation.

I get it. If live is all you are doing then it's more than good enough. Since I also use the TM30's live-to-disc multi-track feature to create audio tracks for our promotional materials, I definitely notice the difference once I pull the tracks into my DAW and start mixing them down.


I'm seeing X32 boards (and a stray M32) EVERYWHERE. Both locally (NYC area), and on the road (from coast to coast), in big venues and small. I don't blame you for not trusting Behringer, if you've been burned in the past, but I think they've come a long way toward ridding themselves of the stigma they earned in the past. The XR18 is the first and only Behringer product I've ever owned and I'm totally happy with it.

The X32 is a Midas product and design (M32) with Behringer's name slapped on it. Tons of Pro FoH and production houses have used and trusted them for a long time, so that's not a stretch. It's a great unit and a pretty solid design, granted it has some UI issues. I work with many engineers that use the X/M32 consoles for their primary FoH installs. I've also had serious hearing damage incurred at a big-name venue, by a engineer who had a nasty FX feedback loop buried on a sub-routing page of his X32 which he couldn't find, turns out it was 4 pages deep in a settings menu. That's not good UI design IMO. My ears are still paying the price for that.

The XR18 is their "take" on a smaller, cheaper version. It's a B-word design and I simply don't trust it. I know a few bands that use the XR18 to run their own sound and like it. I also know several that hated it, and went to the QSC or Soundcraft systems, or back to their old analog setup ;) I went TM30 for the big rig, and UI12/16 for smaller local stuff, and have no reason to look back at any Behringer product. I am fortunate that I do enough Pro Audio to have a large truck and 6x12 trailer stuffed with speakers, lights, multiple boards and FoH setups, IEM racks, etc.. so budget-conscious purchases aren't really a factor for me anymore. I buy what I trust and what I know is going to work 99.99% of the time. If budget is a factor, I recommend the Soundcraft UI series to anyone who asks for advice.


Yeah, I "grew up" on analog stuff too, but have no nostalgic feelings about it since taking part in the digital mixer revolution. The fact that I can fit a giggable P.A. system in the front seat of a Honda Civic is something I would never have imagined in my wildest dreams. Not to mention that wireless control of individual mixes is a complete and total game-changer. Never having to flag down the sound engineer in the middle of a song, and perform sign-language to adjust the mix is worth its weight in gold. I can never go back. Except on those (fortunately) very rare occasions when I have no choice.


Chris

You and me both. Between the UI's and TM30, a micro digital line array and lightweight powered speakers, it's as good as it's ever been in that respect. I've taken my UI16, Handsonic, and my wireless mic/IEM rack to gigs - in my Miata. ;) Life is good!
 

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Updating the thread....went with the Soundcraft UI16 got it last night at GC, my local shop that I love doesn't carry Soundcraft or would have bought from them. Would have ordered from Sweetwater which is my online go to but wanted to pay cash, wanted it for this weekend as I don't have gigs and will have time to dive deep into it and get it all set up!
 

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I've used the Behringer X32 (and smaller), the Midas (very similar to the Behringer), Allen & Heath QU16, and the Soundcraft U16.

The Soundcraft is cool as you don't have to use an app to adjust the mixer and/or monitor/IEM mixes ... you basically use the internet /wifi while all the other brands I've used you have to download an app to adjust your monitor mix, etc.
 

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I've used the Behringer X32 (and smaller), the Midas (very similar to the Behringer), Allen & Heath QU16, and the Soundcraft U16.

The Soundcraft is cool as you don't have to use an app to adjust the mixer and/or monitor/IEM mixes ... you basically use the internet /wifi while all the other brands I've used you have to download an app to adjust your monitor mix, etc.
I've been looking at them all for quite a while and finally took the plunge, the Soundcraft just seems to hit all the right spots for the money. I have 45 days to return to GC if I don't like it but I think I will! Excited to play with it this weekend our singer lives close by so once I get everything dialed in I'm going over there to have him sit down with it to fine tune before the first gig with it.
 


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