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What Is Your Preferred Digital Mixer?

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Smallmouth_Bass, Jan 23, 2019.

  1. Behringer XAir XR18

    32 vote(s)
  2. Mackie DL16S

    3 vote(s)
  3. Soundcraft Ui24R

    14 vote(s)
  4. QSC TouchMix-16

    6 vote(s)
  5. Yamaha Tio 1608-D

    1 vote(s)
  6. Other (Please Specify)

    25 vote(s)
  1. Smallmouth_Bass


    Dec 29, 2005
    I am looking to get into digital mixing to use mainly for small to medium bars, but also for rehearsals and potential recording.

    My requirements:
    Minimum 12 inputs (XLR/line).
    Minimum 6 monitor outs (8 would be even better).
    Will be used for front of house and monitoring.
    Drums will mostly not be going through the system. Maybe just the bass drum.
    Will work well with in-ear monitors.
    I'd like it to be fairly compact.

    What do you recommend? What are you using or if you changed from one unit to another, why did you change?

    I am assuming that any recommendations take into account the software that is bundled with it.

    Budget is up to $2000 (Canadian, exchange rate is about +25% US).
    bassartist likes this.
  2. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    Having used ALL of your above list (except the Yammy) and others you have not listed such as TM-30, A&H Qu-24 & PAC - I'd go with the X32 Rack (it's not on your list).
    The advantages are 6 AUX outs + 8 output busses, plus a VERY stable, fully expandable system. Built in connection for the P16's (Aviom-like system).
    Fully expandable means ability to add (if necessary) the SD8/SD16 and S16/S32 units. More inputs and outputs.
    Add an external router (something I HIGHLY RECOMMEND with ANY of the consoles listed, especially those WITH built-in Wifi) and control both FOH and monitor (wedge/IEM) mixes.
    Given the price/benefit/ROI - gotta go with the X32R as it's definitely the best bang for the buck.
    For less than your budget, you can get 32 inputs and 16 outputs by adding an SD16/S16.

    That said.. the Ui24R has some seriously NICE features - such as HTML5 (device independent interface), touch screen capability.
    Sadly, the ONLY expansion capability is to daisy-chain a 2nd unit. That is was makes the X32R my #1 choice over it.
    If you won't ever need to go beyond what it has.. then go with it!
    I'd still use an external access point (router) and not it's built-in wifi.
    It would be my 2nd choice.

    My $0.02
  3. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    I have. PreSonus 16 w 6 aux’s. Works great. Find them used for a good price
    saabfender, DirtyDuke and 3bc like this.
  4. I have experience only on the XR18 and the Ui16. Based on your criteria - the Ui16 could JUST make the minimum. But based on my limited experience with both platforms, I feel the Soundcraft is a MUCH better interface. Easier to use, much more intuitive, better workflow. I find the Behringer confusing - and I started with the Behringer first.....
  5. Paulabass


    Sep 18, 2017
    I have a small sound company, and a house sound gig. I have 3 ui24r's. I'm liking them a lot, after about 200 gigs.
    Install an external router immediately, don't even mess around with the internal. ( bonus is that it lets you put the unit on the floor, where a stage box outta be). I don't understand the gripe about expandability- 40 inputs and 20 auxes isn't enough?
    It has one bizarre behavioural quirk- sometimes on boot up, some singular feature doesn't appear, for eg. you might find the HPF's are mysteriously GONE. Re open the mixer, and they re-appear. Sometimes the sub-mix fader 'knobs' are not there:thumbsdown:. These will prob. be addressed next update.
  6. Paulabass


    Sep 18, 2017
    I know the Behringers QC reputation has supposedly been fixed, and they bought Midas, and yadda yadda, but I sold Behringer products retail for 10 years, but I will never be able to use a Behringer product and not worry that it will get me thru the gig. I threw out 100's , if not a thousand, of their products. It's a mental thing, even if they prove to be the best, most reliable mixers on the market, I will never buy one.
    saabfender likes this.
  7. filmtex

    filmtex Commercial User

    May 29, 2011
    S. Texas Hill Country
    Annsman Pro Audio Dealer
    Ive been using a UI16 for about a year now and it works great. Not one problem. I am also working with a fellow building a music venue here in the Hill Country and we just installed a PreSonus system with a StudioLive III and it's very cool. Overkill in this case, but I highly recommend their stuff as well. Uses a PreSonus app- UC Control unlike the Soundcraft and its HTML5 interface.
    SoCal80s likes this.
  8. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    i have both the XR18 and the Ui24R: both are good/reliable (i'm 'noobier' on the Ui24R) and i can see advantages vs. disadvantages, between the two, depending on real-world use.

    i'm thinking the Ui24R has more out-of-the-box appeal (features) and possibly a less steep learning curve. it certainly has the features you're looking for --- good luck with your choices! :thumbsup:
  9. Paulabass


    Sep 18, 2017
    ^ I like the way the studiolive works. I was fixing one, and noticed the faders are not bolted to the chassis. Probably great for studio, or an install, but that would be a 'danger Will Robinson' for touring. Make sure it goes in a hard case that doesn't close on the faders.
  10. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    A single Ui24R doesn't have 40 inputs nor 20 auxes...
    Sure, you CAN get that by BUYING another unit... and that WAS my point. . You need to BUY a SECOND Ui24R if you want MORE than what it comes with.. 22 mic/line inputs + 2 RCA's, 8 outputs (yes the headphone jacks can be used as additional outs) + L/R.

    As I mentioned, expandability is the ONLY thing that stopped me from going with it, and buying the X32R instead. Otherwise.. it's my #1 choice at that price point! :)

    And.. FWIW, as I mentioned, my other job doing SR allows me to run a variety of these consoles - including larger ones.
  11. Wanker_Joe


    Sep 26, 2017
    My go to for mixers and other "pro audio" has been Yamaha for a long time now. I haven't tried any of the ones you mentioned, but realistically were I in your position I would likely opt for the Yamaha. Their stuff, in my experience, is reliable, great sounding and reasonably priced. My Yammy gear has outlasted the mackies, yorkvilles and behrengers that I've also used.
  12. Smallmouth_Bass


    Dec 29, 2005
    Thanks for the input so far!

    The models I listed in the poll are actually beyond my needs, so they've been listed as units I could grow into.

    And yes, I was fully expecting I would have to get an external router to remove connectivity issues.

    I must have missed the PreSonus StudioLive series mixers. I only initially saw integrated mixers with the sliders and stuff. I'll have to check those out too.
  13. Smallmouth_Bass


    Dec 29, 2005
    Another quick question concerning these types of units:
    Can you mix mains and monitors separately or are you just getting the mains mix in the monitors and can only adjust the levels?
  14. you can adjust mains and aux/monitor mixes separately. Each aux/monitor mix will have it's own independent level control.
    twocargar likes this.
  15. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    To clarify.. you can separately adjust individual channel output LEVELS between FOH and monitor mixes.
    But.. BOTH outputs use the same input [source] channel.
    What this means is (lets use channel 1 - kick as an example) .. depending on where you tap the signal, the monitor mix for the kick may be identical to FOH, but you can control how much of it is in your monitor mix. .i.e. different volume LEVEL.
    You should tap monitor mixes as PRE-FADER, but some of these consoles let you also TAP PRE or POST-EQ and/or PRE or POST-EFFECTS (compression, reverb, etc.).
    But if you change the EQ (or input gain) on Ch1, BOTH FOH and the monitor mix are affected.

    One approach to getting a totally separate monitor mix (on consoles with enough channels) is to map/route/mirror inputs 1-16 to 17-32. So channel #1 (kick) goes into ch-1 and ch-17. Ch-2 goes to 2 and 18, and so on..
    This is called a split mix. FOH is run from channels 1-16 and the monitor mix is run from 17-32 (or vice versa). :)
    You can then send ch-1 with all settings (gain, EQ, effects, etc.) to FOH and setup ch-17 for a monitor mix with it's own independent settings.
    Adjusting ANY settings on either channel will be independent of, nor impact the other.
    saabfender and juancaminos like this.
  16. Smallmouth_Bass


    Dec 29, 2005
    Thank you! That is very helpful.
  17. Smallmouth_Bass


    Dec 29, 2005
    Another question, slightly off topic:
    Can you put an instument in monitors without going through the mains? For example, if I don't want any bass in the mains, but someone wants it in their in-ears.

    Each channel will have an input gain adjustment/setting and a volume fader level control. If you don't put up the volume fader level, will that have an effect on the ability to get any volume to the monitor?
    kittywithabanjo and s0c9 like this.
  18. Paulabass


    Sep 18, 2017
    ^ yup. Monitor sends are pre-fader.
    twocargar likes this.
  19. Smallmouth_Bass


    Dec 29, 2005
  20. Spent


    May 15, 2011
    Upstate NY
    My band just picked up a Soundcraft ui and we love it. Took longer to plug it in than master it. We did go back and forth between this and the Behringer, which seems to rate well, but in the end we just couldn’t risk it. Every Behringer we’ve owned seems to come with an expiration date. In fact, we bought it because our previous 24 channel board was becoming unreliable. It was a Behringer.
  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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