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new live mixer..-Advice needed


markstuk
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Dear BC collective,

I'm looking at moving to tablet based mixing and the three options that jump out (and all within £50 of each other if you shop around) are

1. Soundcraft Ui16
2. RCF M18
3. Behringer X18 Air.

They all seem to have pretty much the same features (6 auxes) - the only downer (or plus) I can see is that the Ui16 uses an HTML5 based browser UI, whereas the other two use dedicated apps..

They all have mixed reviews when it comes to the stability of the wireless connection, and I suspect most problems are environmental and/or finger trouble..

Thoughts? Experiences?

Edited by markstuk
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"[color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]I suspect most problems are environmental and/or finger trouble." - pretty much this. [/font][/color]

[color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]We use a Behringer X32 on which I believe the X18 Air has been based upon. The desk is mainly controlled by our sound engineer who also uses an iPad to go walk-about when checking the sound in different parts of the room. A few of the band also use apps on their phones to tweak monitor mixes. The WiFi connection can be a bit jittery at times and we have noticed this generally occurs when the room is full of people as distinct to when we are sound-checking when there are usually fewer folks around. When you think about it a room of 250 people has potential for +200 mobiles in there, most of which will be jockeying for a wi-fi signal in the locality. Using a decent router helps (I can't recall the model we are using) and keeping the router in line of sight and close to the performance area can also improve matters. [/font][/color]

[color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]As long as you are mindful of the potential pitfalls you shouldn't go too far wrong.[/font][/color]

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  • 2 months later...

The Ui16 has issues whereby it completely locks up and you can't regain control without a complete reboot of the unit. Had terrible issues with one at an AV company I do some work for. Allegedly the new firmware (currently available for beta testing) fixes it but I'm not massively confident. Won't use it unless I absolutely have to.

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The majority of these small format mixers are great so first of all, I think you are going the right way in going digital.

The X18 app for iOS is not as developed as it is for Android. Don't know if you are an iOS user or an Android user - but defo worth consideration. Great that is has a PC/Mac client though. Its certainly the most comprehensive on the outboard/fx route. The multitrack recording - if it's something that is of interest to you - is the killer feature that sets itself apart from the competition.

Also worth chucking the 1608 by Mackie into the mix - but you will need to budget for a router also (and it is also iOS only) if you want to use wireless. I think it has by far the easiest to use interface out of all of them and with the latest two releases of Master Fader, it has a strong reverb available to it - which historically was the weak point of the Mackie stuff. The other big plus about this one... is that the iPad is dockable... meaning that if you have wifi woes, you have a physical connection easily available to you without carrying more external equipment around with you.

All inbuilt wifi is pretty pants in my experience - defo one for having a play at home or rehearsal... but for live use, I'd definitely want a more resilient router. There will be as many people who will have an opposing view but there you go. Check out the Facebook forums for the Behringer X stuff and you'll see it comes up on pretty much a daily basis.

Edited by EBS_freak
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[quote name='EBS_freak' timestamp='1490567411' post='3266090']
All inbuilt wifi is pretty pants in my experience - defo one for having a play at home or rehearsal... but for live use, I'd definitely want a more resilient router. There will be as many people who will have an opposing view but there you go. Check out the Facebook forums for the Behringer X stuff and you'll see it comes up on pretty much a daily basis.
[/quote]

I resolved to simply use my X18 with a wired connection to laptop. No good for wandering around out front I know, but I generally do the mix from where I stand anyway...

I think I'll take it wireless one day, so then a trusted, competent person can make adjustments while the band is playing rather than having to relay messages to me in between songs...I prefer baby steps when it comes to these sort of things!

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  • 2 years later...

Hi all

I have had the rcf m18 for over a year, I use it every week for an open.mic.

I replaced my ddx 3216 and a heavy multi core!!

The first unit needed replacing as the wifi board was faulty.

I have started having wifi issues this week.

I use a wifi analyser  and note the signal is quite week on 5g, jumps from -40 good to -80 every few minutes. 

This is at home on it's own channel!

When in the club it drops out completely .

I have to re-login the wifi on my galaxy A10 tablet.

This is getting a real problem,  wish  id bought the x air 18.

Cheers all.

Edited by Wavesound
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I use a Ui 24. For the money, it's a fantastic device. It'll do 24 channel tracking to a usb as well as mxing.  The wifi seems OK.  There will inevitably be drop outs from time to time given the way wifi works, but it seems to recover pretty quickly. 

 

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Have used both X18 and Ui16 with great success.  Both benefited from an additional router as others have mentioned.  The X18 has open-source software so there are an increasing number of apps you can use for control.  The Ui16 makes it a bit complicated to save your settings - and easy to zero everything accidentally while you're looking!  X18 also has only XLR outputs for Aux sends which is a bit odd - worth a check that you have the right cables/adaptors for sending to your drummer's in-ears!

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The Behringer are very prone to loosing WiFi from cheaper wireless systems. My Smoothound is fine but when our guitarist uses his £50 one it swamps the Behringer. The best bet is to use a wireless router linked to the mixer by  cable. Then use  the 5GHz band to connect as there are far fewer 5GHz devices to interfere. 
For complete peace of mind use a computer connected by a Cat5/6 Ethernet cable. 

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  • 1 month later...

Having upgraded from an XR18 to and X32 Rack, the X32 Rack has several major advantages -

  1. 16 Aux Outputs - this means 4 in the rack for effects and 12 for monitors, or 6 stereo pairs
  2. 8 FX slots - usually setup as 1-4 for insert FX, 5-8 for global FX such as reverbs, delays etc
  3. The ability to connect digital stage boxes using a single Cat5E cable
  4. Improved input/output routing
  5. Matrices

The lack of a GEQ on the aux channels was a minor irritation but it took moments to add a stereo GEQ to the FX rack and assign them as inserts to each pair of channels and the FoH

As always, use a good external router - I use a rack-mounted dual band Swissonic Pro router that is rock solid

 

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  • 1 year later...

I use rcf digital mixer m18 for one year it’s found ok but now my problem is that the m18 wifi is not listed in my iPad and my country also not appear in the lan setting can someone help me please thanks

Edited by Sergio
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  • 1 year later...
On 15/04/2021 at 13:37, Sergio said:

I use rcf digital mixer m18 for one year it’s found ok but now my problem is that the m18 wifi is not listed in my iPad and my country also not appear in the lan setting can someone help me please thanks

Did you find a solution? Same problem here. It won't even do a hard reset?!

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Probably not the iPads fault. The advice is always the same with the small

digital mixers. Use an external router. I have had the problem with Soundcraft and Behringer mixers and have no reason to think that the M18 has a better router built in. I bought a simple TP Link 2.4 GHz router and it works fine and it works fine With my sound craft UI 16

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 05/10/2019 at 13:51, Chienmortbb said:

Then use  the 5GHz band to connect as there are far fewer 5GHz devices to interfere. 

I should add that I bought the 2.4GHz router in a rush, it was the only one that was available at Curry's at a reasonable price and it has not let me down. You shoud alos remember that the range of 5GHz signal is much less than 2.4GHz.

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We originally had a 2.4ghz router for our XR18 but found we had speed issues and disconnects in a lot of places, ended up going with a Huawei 5ghz router which can be picked up for around £20 delivered. Chose that one because it was the most compact one I could find with the least spidery antenna, important for us as it has to fit inside a 3u shallow rack bag with all the other stuff!

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11 hours ago, lemmywinks said:

We originally had a 2.4ghz router for our XR18 but found we had speed issues and disconnects in a lot of places, ended up going with a Huawei 5ghz router which can be picked up for around £20 delivered. Chose that one because it was the most compact one I could find with the least spidery antenna, important for us as it has to fit inside a 3u shallow rack bag with all the other stuff!

I do have a travel router too that is dual band but I had trouble setting it up. I might try it again, although i do the main mix from a laptop running Ethernet.

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