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Behringer AIR app on smartphone and general mixer experiences

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by il_mix, Mar 15, 2019.


  1. il_mix

    il_mix

    Dec 15, 2017
    Not really a sound-related question, but still a live-related one...

    We are planning a mixer upgrade with my band. We mainly play in clubs.
    We'd like to switch to a digital mixer, and have more aux for personal monitors.
    We are interested in the Behringer AIR models; good preamps, handy form factor, enough featuresfor our needs.
    I'd like to know your opinions regarding the control app. Main question is: is it usable with a smartphone, so with a small screen, or is a tablet (almost) mandatory? For personal monitor regulations I suppose a smartphone can be enough. But maybe controlling the main mix can be quite a pain with a small screen.

    Also, generic opinions/experiences/... regarding this mixer and similar quality/price digital mixers are welcome!

    Note: we are a 4 people band (guitar, bass, drum, voice).But it can be that the mixer will be used with more instruments in other projects.
     
  2. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    Ft.Worth/Dallas
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    usable? yes!
    Ideal? no!
    preferable with tablet-sized screens? yes!

    You CAN use a phone, but I wouldn't want to run FOH on one.. Monitor mixes are do-able, but IMHO you need at least an iPad mini-size device for FOH.

    If you go with the XR18, I recommend using a dual-band external router.. so factor in the expense there ($50+).
     
    b-b-b-bass, woody357 and Nick Danger like this.
  3. bwildt

    bwildt

    Mar 21, 2017
    Wichita, Kansas
    Generally, yes you can, but a small screen would require more navigation to different features. If you guys mix from stage (limited changes, set and forget) it may not be too much of a problem.

    A few thoughts.
    - Yes, an external wifi router is almost a necessity in a busy wifi environment with a lot of phones and access points. The internal access points may work OK for home use or rehearsal.
    - I assume that the xr18 would be used as a stage box and would be up on stage with you. You might think about a Windows/Mc/Linux laptop up on stage with you with a wired ethernet connection to the mixer. Run X-Air Edit on it. Pretty much any old computer would work. The processing load of the mixer is very small.
    - For mobile device mixing, the Behringer app runs on Apple IOS and Android. However, the IOS version runs on a tablet, but NOT on an iphone. There is another app, Mixing Station, that does run on iphone. I think it costs about $5. Many like it better than the X-air app. It is created by the same person that created the X-Air app. I am not sure if the Android version of X-Air runs on Android phones. Something to check.
    - If you want or need a tablet, about any cheap Android tablet will work. I picked up a couple of tablets for church at $30 each. They don't have much memory for a lot of apps, but they work fine when dedicated to X-Air use.
     
  4. il_mix

    il_mix

    Dec 15, 2017
    Thought about buying an old+cheap tablet.
    So the AIR software available for PC, too? Interesting news. Tought it was only for Android/iOS.
    Heard about the fact that an extra wifi router (actually, an access point is what I need, right?) could be useful. Didn't think it was that important. BTW, this very day I'm moving to a new office at work, and there are a couple of access points that we'll dismiss. I think I'll take one from the dumpster...
     
  5. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    Ft.Worth/Dallas
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    Yes, there are desktop apps for the Behringer consoles.

    And...You should get a DUAL band external router/WAP. The X-airs built-in [WEAK] WiFi is 2.4G and the average club is CLUTTERED with devices in the 2.4G band. The 5G band is still pretty open, and while it has shorter range than 2.4, it works just fine in the average club. Been using it for years without issue. You'll also need to install a wifi analyzer on your phone to determine the best open frequency at each location. You can then change to that freq in the router. You generally only need to scan once at each venue.. :)
     
    walterw likes this.
  6. GlassToMouth

    GlassToMouth Supporting Member

    Jul 1, 2014
    Rhode Island
    Currently posting during my 1st set break at a gig after using the X18 for about 6 months. I run sound and I love this board. I typically control the main and monitor mixes due to feedback paranoia, but I allow a member with knowledge to control his own mix with my 5 year old spare Android phone. Yes a tablet is ideal, but the phone works just fine. I've gotten some stellar recordings for it as well. The early going of playing bass while running sound was stressful, but I'm pretty much on cruise control now. I am most definitely an advocate for this mixer. Clear sound out front, for the band, and clean audio captures as well. Save presets, EQ to each individual room, and funk it up.

    A cheap Amazon router keeps things stable and secure.
     
    b-b-b-bass, Nick Danger and s0c9 like this.
  7. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    you can find out for yourself with all these digital mixers because the apps are all free and all have "demo mode" so you can play around with them before buying anything.

    the one glaring hole in the XR18 universe is no iphone app!

    there's a great 3rd party app called "xairmonitormix" that's like $4 and is very easy for tweaking one's own monitor mix.
     
    bfields and woody357 like this.
  8. il_mix

    il_mix

    Dec 15, 2017
    Thanks for all your feedbacks! Interesting info and hints.
    You are confirming that this device can be ideal for our needs. We can probably go step by step; test the mixer with phone and no router, bringing the spare WAP as backup just in case; if the connection seems too unstable, we'll buy a better router (5GHz); if the phone is not confortable enough, we'll search for an old android table, that will have just the mixer's sofware installed (alongside the wifi analyzer).
     
  9. il_mix

    il_mix

    Dec 15, 2017
    I've downloaded the apps "X Air" and "X Air Q". From a superquick test, looks like "X Air Q" have a sort of "demo" mode, where you see a series of fader that you can control with the various levels "moving"; looks quite fast even with my crappy smartphone. "X Air" instead searches for a mixer first, so you won't see/can't try anything if you on't have a mixer at hand.
     
    s0c9 likes this.
  10. DirtDog

    DirtDog

    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    I think the XR Air has the best and most useful form factor out there for digital mixers. I liked it so much I bought one for use with the band. I hated the app so much I traded it in for a Mackie DL1608. I like the Mackie's form factor less, but I like the app sooooo much more.

    Make sure you test drive the app.
     
  11. GlassToMouth

    GlassToMouth Supporting Member

    Jul 1, 2014
    Rhode Island
    I find the X Air app manageable, and I've become quite used to it. Mixing Station for X Air is much better. Pay a few $$$ for the pro version and you can really customize your work flow.
     
  12. jaco944

    jaco944 Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2005
    I use one called M32-Q on my IPhone for the Behringer at church. It’s fine for tweaking my mix but I wouldn’t want to do any serious mixing.
     
  13. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    Ft.Worth/Dallas
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    it's not meant to.. it's the Midas version of the monitor mix app. All it does is let you choose a mix bus, then mix the output.
    You'll need the full apps to do any FOH mixing :)
     
  14. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    ^ my experience as well. (XR18). but: i've done it several times --- an LG smartphone!
     
    s0c9 likes this.
  15. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    also love the mackie app, much more intuitive.

    mackie has just this year tried to catch up with behringer, releasing nice little rackmount versions of the DL mixer! the 16ch is a straight-up XR18 copy (so disappointed they didn't squeeze in a couple extra monitor auxes) while they have a new 32ch version that's smaller than their previous DL32. that one's frankly also a little disappointing, 32 channels with only eight aux outs is just not a great balance between ins and outs.

    a 24x10 version would have made a lot more sense.
     
    DirtDog likes this.
  16. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    there should still be a demo mode for that one
     
  17. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    5GHz routers are like $40 now, and i recommend going higher end with the android tablet, so something like a used samsung 10" for $100 :)
     
    Frankjohnson likes this.
  18. Absolutely agree. Have used my Xair for about 3 years now, and although not an expert, and fairly good with it. I personally prefer laptop to tablet, but thats me. I like the layout and flow.
     
  19. jad

    jad

    Aug 29, 2002
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I advise against waiting until you have problems before attaching an external router. That's not something you want to start trying to figure out with a room full of people watching you. Really, you should just consider it part of the price of admission to the world of digital mixing and have it in place from day 1.
     
  20. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    Ft.Worth/Dallas
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    That is why I recommended they buy a dual-band router to access an XR18. Get them out of the 2.4G clutter and not have to work thru issues during a gig.
    And of course.. use the rig at practice a number of times before using it live :)

    I have a whole page of stuff I can post on how to setup your band wifi/router access to be both secure, usable and industrial strength.
     
    DirtDog and jad like this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Dec 5, 2020

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