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Soundcraft Ui24R digital mixer w/onboard Wifi

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by BurningSkies, Sep 26, 2017.


  1. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    Not too much on this on TB yet...So I figured I'd add to the knowledge base.

    My band just purchased the Soundcraft Ui24R (released earlier this year) as a 'small gig' PA solution but mostly as a dedicated IEM mixer solution. Our first notion wast the Behringer XR-18, but we were sort of dissuaded by some connectivity issues and lackluster user reviews.

    We've only used this unit for a few occasions but as of right now we're pretty happy.

    What we like so far:
    -8 aux sends
    -20 XLR inputs
    -dual band wifi
    -HTML5 interface
    -up to 10 wireless devices can connect
    -the actual interface is great, easy to use, well thought out
    -Multitrack recording to USB flashdrive
    -Well designed, mostly well thought out layout

    Basically, on club stages we'll use this for our IEM mixes, and for smaller gigs (weddings, etc) we'll use it for both FOH and monitor.

    We used it for a wedding the other night and had the best FOH we've had. Full suite of professional level EQ, compression, reverb, etc. While our first night with it, we were up and running in less than an hour. All 7 members have been able to connect easily with a variety of phones and devices. No drop outs or problems. While spending some dedicated time last night nailing down our monitor mixes with all 7 of us on our phones and adjusting levels, it didn't blink, and we multitracked successfully with it as well.

    Right now my one 'con' is that it has main out level controls & the unit does have some hiss once you're above 3 o'clock on them. We didn't have any headroom problems with our K series QSC's out front, but if you were under powered you might.


    Here it is, racked with a pair of ART S8 splitters:
    21765148_1678398875526955_2058516321622061344_n.jpg
     
    Omega Monkey, MrLenny1 and filmtex like this.
  2. filmtex

    filmtex Commercial User

    May 29, 2011
    S. Texas Hill Country
    Annsman Pro Audio Dealer
    I've been using a UI16 for several months and have basically the same results. No issues with hiss so far, but I may not be driving my system as hard. I guess. I really like it, that's for sure. Good review.
     
    BurningSkies likes this.
  3. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    I'm sure I'll have more thoughts along the way. But the main tech heads in the band are myself and one other. He owns and operates an internationally known recording studio and was a touring live sound engineer for over a decade. He did the initial setup and has been really impressed at the ease of setup and live use. We're not going to go easy on it.

    I think we all appreciate that there's no app to download...just a web-address to load into your chosen browser.

    Word is that they upgraded the channel preamps on this from previous units as well. We were 'warned off' by my rep at Sweetwater who said he'd gotten a few sales that came back from people who had problems with glitchy software, but we haven't had any issues yet. There was a recent firmware update.

    By the way, I put together this whole system (rack units, cabling, IEMs & packs, some new mics and DI's) by going to my "Sweetwater Rep"...you know the guy who calls you and sorta annoys you to ask about how you like the new guitar stand you bought from them last week. I told him I had a bunch of stuff and I'd like to see what kind of deal I could get...and it was a sizable discount from their already good web-pricing.
     
    filmtex likes this.
  4. This looks like a very interesting piece of equipment.

    Is it relatively easy to mixc on the fly? My band rarely or never gets a soundcheck and we often find ourselves making adjustments during the first song.

    Have you done any recording yet?

    Also thanks for the Sweetwater tip. Just emailed my rep.
     
  5. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    Hollywood
    Interesting.
     
  6. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    It's pretty intuitive once you get working on it. We spent one night in the rehearsal space using it (mostly vocals) then took it to a 'private party gig' and used it for FOH (big barn wedding) and used it for 3x vocals, 2x keys, kick & snare and 2 monitor mixes. We were up and running with full 7pc. setup in about an hour or so, so it didn't slow us down. Our hand drummer (who also was a live sound engineer for over a decade) took a walk out front during the first song of the set and did some quick adjustments on his phone (notched out problem freqs., etc) and it was good. We did bring our 16 channel beater Behringer board just in case.

    We've set up our unit so all the inputs are marked by instrument/function and saved the setup on the interface, including gain, basic EQ and monitor mixes. They're also labeled in the interface so when we set up everyone can access their monitor mix for the IEMs. Most of the members have been 'locked out' of the main mix so they don't screw with it, but easy enough to unlock as needed.

    We ran multi-track to flashdrive on Monday while we were goofing with our IEM mixes. Worked fine and wasn't glitchy. I haven't listened but again our in band sound/recording/engineer was psyched by what he got. I don't know that it will replace a legit FOH board recording (we're only using a handful of the lines for our IEMs on most stages)...but will totally work for roughs, practice and live reference recordings for us.
     
  7. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    The real idea for us is that beyond small gigs...in club settings we'll be able to drop this on stage, everyone will run their own 'line' (whether that's their mic XLR or their DI) to the rack for the channels we need in our IEMS...then the house will run lines from the set of DI outs to their FOH snake(s). That's what the ART S8's are there for. The isolated outs will run to the Ui24R, the direct outs will run to snake.

    Our gain settings are saved in the unit. We're carrying DI's and mics for the stuff that we need IEMs so the signal levels will remain consistent.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2017
    s0c9 likes this.
  8. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    Ft.Worth/Dallas
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    This is basically what we did with our X32 Rack system.. basically the same hookup wherever we played..
    There's a 16-channel rack mount snake splitter in the back.. One leg permanently connected to the X32, the other goes to house snake... Everything is ALWAYS connected to the splitter.
    IEM mix is consistent from gig to gig. The "WI-FI" box top left is a router configured for 5 Ghz band only, so we can connect to run FOH (if needed) and control our IEM mixes.

    upload_2017-9-28_9-34-22.png

    IEM_rack_front.jpg
     
    Ethereal Thorn and hbabels like this.
  9. hbabels

    hbabels Supporting Member

    Jul 26, 2015
    Phoenix, AZ
    What brand / model of router are you using ? Can most dual band routers be configured for 5g only ?
     
  10. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    Here's the only thing that's stopped us from supplying a 16 channel XLR snake. We've worked a bunch of stages where there's multiple sub-snakes (stage left, stage right, kit) and we were concerned that a 16 channel snake would only work in a few settings. We considered multiple 8 channel ones as well.

    In the end we decided we'd let the venue worry about the splitter to snake run and take care of the run in front of the splitters.

    The Soundcraft has onboard dual channel 2.4/5ghz, and that's been effective so far. I wanted fewer janky bits and boxes for the rig so having integrated wifi is good. In this case it acts as a server and you just access the interface through any browser which stops some of the by-brand connectivity issues or the need to download an app.

    My original hope is that our 'jumpers' between splitters and mixer could stay attached, but the lid on the SKB is just a little too shallow. The other slight weirdness is that the front of the unit and rear will have plenty of XLRs to and from.

    I would guess that wireless units will be next. People will have to purchase on their own though if they want. I have another 3 and 4 space rack for those if needed.

    We've got white gaffers tape front and back that lists the channels/inputs etc. It's easy enough for me. I'm channel 4 and my aux is aux 4.
     
    s0c9 likes this.
  11. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    Ft.Worth/Dallas
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    I'm running an Archer C7.
    As far as I know.. you simply "turn off" 2.4 broadcast..
    Keep in mind that while it DOES reduce interference and congestion, 5 gig doesn't have the range that 2.4 does... but for the average band that should NOT be an issue.
     
    hbabels likes this.
  12. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    Ft.Worth/Dallas
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    Yeah, that's often the problem with "festivals" with multiple bands.. The SR provider sources snakes, mics, cabling etc. We did one where all their vocal mics were wireless.. and there was no way for them to get from the receivers to our IEM rack. :(
    However, if an SR outfit does their job and advances the gig with stage plots, etc.. you should be able to work it out.
     
  13. hbabels

    hbabels Supporting Member

    Jul 26, 2015
    Phoenix, AZ
    Cool thanks. Yeah I knew that about the 5 g being shorter range but I don't think that'll be an issue for most stages
     
  14. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    Yeah, I haven't updated my plot and line list yet. I'll probably do a block diagram like yours and include it. The plan right now is to use this where we can and not use it for some of the bigger stages where we're the 'little fish' and don't have much leverage and/or they actually have a full monitor setup and side of stage monitor board.

    We're at a place where we're headlining regionally and doing a fair amount of out of town stuff where we're either headlining or opening.
     
  15. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    Ft.Worth/Dallas
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    Most SR's I've worked with should be able to work with a self-contained "band" IEM rig. They are becoming pretty common these days with many of us (even weekend warriors) moving to full IEM rigs due to price reductions and digital tech.
     
    Ethereal Thorn and BurningSkies like this.
  16. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    I see it more and more often in small festival settings.
     
  17. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    Last night was our first stage setup with this unit and overall it was successful. I think it will take a bit for people to get on task and efficient at setup. The idea is that everyone will run their own lines therefore not creating any additional work for other members. It was sort of that way (but not really) as people were cornfused about where they needed to input or aux out, etc. Also at the end of the night people are supposed to be on top of pulling their own XLRs and keeping them and that was a 'hurdle' for people like singers who live charmed lives without stage responsibilities. ;)

    Mixing on stage by phone was fine. There is a different 'feel' to playing this way but I think people will get used to it. My bigger problem was unlocking my phone and getting to the interface rather than any connectivity issues. We started with saved mixes from rehearsal and tweaked from there and it was solid.

    Engineer was solid with the setup although was sort of grumped that we had our own XLR lines to the splitters and not a snake to the house snake head. So that will probably be our next move...because he ended up with a pile of XLR spaghetti between our unit and the FOH box.
     
    hbabels and s0c9 like this.
  18. hbabels

    hbabels Supporting Member

    Jul 26, 2015
    Phoenix, AZ
    Thanks for the info on this. My band is seriously considering either this unit or Behringer X32 rack for just this type of application.

    Currently using Presonus Studio Live 16.4.2 but need more inputs & outputs.

    One thing I've found that helps with phone - tablet Mixing is to turn off the screen timeouts so the screen always stays on Kills your battery faster but solves unlocking problems etc..

    Also having a good mount for phone tablet to mic stand or rack makes life easier
     
  19. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    Alas...I can't; my iphone doesn't have that option as I also use it for work and there's baked in security settings since I deal with sensitive and personal information. I'm looking at a cheap smaller tablet solution though.
     
  20. hbabels

    hbabels Supporting Member

    Jul 26, 2015
    Phoenix, AZ
    Ahh that's a drag.
    You also might consider an old iPhone of you have any lying around or iPod touch as those can work good as just device controllers.
     
  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.

     
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