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  • Digital Mixing Consoles -- Suggestions?

    Right now I am in the market for a digital rack mount mixer for my FOH needs on my portable PA.

    I have narrowed it down to the following:
    1. Behringer X32 rack (buying anything Behringer makes me cringe, but I'm told their midas preamps and digital boards are solid)
    2. Ashly DigiMix 18
    3. Allen & Heath QU16
    4. Presonus Studiolive version something (I am not sure if these are even rack mountable)

    Currently I am running an Ashly MX508 and absolutely love it, but when I do my demos people give weird looks as analog has become a thing of the past for some reason. I'm not trying to sound stubborn or old fashioned as I definitely see both sides to the discussion. My thing is that I haven't heard any digital boards (that I know of) and analog has always had a true representation of sound with very little latency. I have a lot of experience with the Ashly products as well as the the gen 2 and 3 A&H Mix Wizard boards. They are great to work with, have zero cross talk, and I love the analog sound.
    Ashly Digimix18 Ashly MX-508 Current demo unit with custom loudspeakers
    "I don't know everything and do not claim to. I continue to learn and that is what makes me human."

  • #2
    Currently I am running an Ashly MX508 and absolutely love it, but when I do my demos people give weird looks as analog has become a thing of the past for some reason.
    Let them look; Capability and results matter.
    Analog is certainly not obsolete. Contract Riders still list certain Analog Boards as acceptable. I know providers using large analog boards.
    Anyway...
    Pragmatically speaking; experience with their product line would preclude considering option 1.
    "Not a Speaker Designer - Not even on the Internet"
    “Pride is your greatest enemy, humility is your greatest friend.”
    "If the freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter."

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Sydney View Post
      Let them look; Capability and results matter.
      Analog is certainly not obsolete. Contract Riders still list certain Analog Boards as acceptable. I know providers using large analog boards.
      Anyway...
      Pragmatically speaking; experience with their product line would preclude considering option 1.
      Sydney -- I hope I wasn't demonstrating myself as someone who is heavily influenced by others opinions; that was not my intention. There must be some merit to analog stuff because recording studios still use it and it still costs more than digital most of the time until you get into the very high end stuff. That Ashly 508 board I'm running costs twice as much as an X32 rack!
      "I don't know everything and do not claim to. I continue to learn and that is what makes me human."

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      • #4
        Unfortunately I can give specific hands road report on the other options mentioned.
        'veI had my hands on other digital boards ( larger Yamaha models ) but not those.
        ( There are some operational aspects that I found less than ideal. )
        "Not a Speaker Designer - Not even on the Internet"
        “Pride is your greatest enemy, humility is your greatest friend.”
        "If the freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter."

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Sydney View Post
          Unfortunately I can give specific hands road report on the other options mentioned.
          'veI had my hands on other digital boards ( larger Yamaha models ) but not those.
          ( There are some operational aspects that I found less than ideal. )
          My problem with most digital boards and it could be me being stubborn is that everything is embedded in sub menus and programmable knobs and buses and etc. I'm not old fashioned and can definitely be taught new things, but analog just makes more sense to me and is much more streamlined. knob for this, knob for that, fader for this, etc. You know though!
          "I don't know everything and do not claim to. I continue to learn and that is what makes me human."

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          • #6
            I've been runnig an X32 a couple times a month for the last 3-1/2 years and love it. It's so powerful and user friendly. The ability to save scenes and individual strips is great. I can't begin to explain how great it is to have a gate, compressor, parametric EQ, effects, etc on each and every channel. It would take racks and racks of descrete components to do all that. And the board is dead quiet. That's the first thing we all noticed when we switched out our old Yamaha analog board, silence. It is a Behringer product, so the look and feel isn't as professional as other brands, but its performance has been top notch.
            Craig

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            • #7
              Originally posted by STIchris722 View Post
              My problem with most digital boards and it could be me being stubborn is that everything is embedded in sub menus and programmable knobs and buses and etc. I'm not old fashioned and can definitely be taught new things, but analog just makes more sense to me and is much more streamlined. knob for this, knob for that, fader for this, etc. You know though!
              Everyone I've encountered ( who provide Sound Systems ) that has gone from the larger analog to digital boards, all have said there is a learning curve conversion. The interfaces are not as universal and transferable from prior experience. A particular issue for someone who operates unfamiliar setups.
              Example: I thought it problematic that the Display could not be easily seen in an outdoor gig. The owner/operator resorted to fabricating a cardboard hood to see the display on an expensive board.
              I'm sure future designs will improve the I/O flexibility and speed, but for now I can do things much faster "hands on"
              * btw I'll be curious as to your findings
              "Not a Speaker Designer - Not even on the Internet"
              “Pride is your greatest enemy, humility is your greatest friend.”
              "If the freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter."

              Comment


              • #8
                There have been more than a few threads on this topic at the PSW forums over the last few years and a couple things stand out to me, Presonus can't make a reliable digital mixer and the Berry X series have proven to be excellent products, very low failure rates, great sound and performance, and they set the value standard that everybody else is still trying to match. If you can't stomach buying anything Behringer(despite the fact the X32 has become the defacto bar band standard) and/or you're a stubborn Apple only consumer(the Android and Windows X32 apps are far better than the Apple version) then an A&H QU is your mixer.
                Last edited by Paul O; 07-09-2018, 11:21 PM.
                Paul O

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                • #9
                  X32 FTW

                  My buddy who runs his own contracting firm switch to that years ago, in spite of the same long running anti-Behringer bias you have, and hasn't looked back. The inclusion of the Midas IP in the design is solid, though not at the same polish as a full Midas branded console. It eliminated splitter snakes and a seperate stage side monitor board setup and replaced that with a pair of iPads and a wireless router. Easily handes all requirements for all day festival gigs with lots of change overs. He runs the full console, though I have another buddy that runs the rack, and have worked with full time bands that bring one for their own setups.

                  Paul O - I hated the Windows X86 client. Tried to use it with my Surface Pro in lieu of an iPad but the interface was small and not touch friendly at all, likely due to the high screen resolution but the lack of full screen usage and scalability was disappointing. I haven't used an Android tablet interface, but the phone version of the app is clearly targeted at someone controlling their own monitor mix and doesn't seem to let you control the main outputs at all. The IOS version seems to be the one to beat IMO.
                  Electronics engineer, woofer enthusiast, and musician.
                  Wogg Music

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                  • #10
                    If I were buying one for myself, it would be the Qu16. It's compact, has plenty of processing, and looks like it's set up well for live sound needs, but if I were buying one for a school/church for permanent installation, it would be the X32 because of that big friendly screen and the color illumination. If buying used, I'd get an M7CL-32 because I've run on it and it's not the latest and greatest but it would make me money and have all the expandability needed for smallish theatre production if the need arose.
                    Technology in the service of art, for the life of the music.

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                    • #11
                      Chris - if you still haven't bought anything, make sure you look at the Behringer XR18. It's actually a great little mixer for very little money. The apps are decent and you can even run an ethernet cable to a FOH laptop and hook up a BFC2000 and have real faders. I had 2 of the BCF units running on a 2012 Macbook Pro - one on OSX and one on a Win 7 emulator for the master section to ride effects returns and such.

                      If you need more inputs, bussing options, or wireless physical faders, I have an X32 Rack that I'll sell you at a fair price. It's only been used on 2 jobs - seriously, the band broke up unexpectedly and I decided to retire from FOH duties and retain what's left of my hearing. I still have the BCF units too.

                      But in all honesty, I really thought the XR18 was more enjoyable to mix on.
                      Co-conspirator in the development of the "CR Gnarly Fidelity Reduction Unit" - Registered Trademark, Patent Pending.

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                      • #12
                        I have been using a Behringer XR18 for a couple of months and absolutely love it.

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                        • #13
                          If you don't mind mixing with an iPad look at the Allen Heath QU Pac, rack moutable, can be expanded to 32 channels with the stage box.
                          You can operate it from the front panel if needed. I have one and it works great.
                          Mike Caldwell
                          http://www.mikecaldwellaudioproductions.com

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by wogg View Post
                            X32 FTW

                            My buddy who runs his own contracting firm switch to that years ago, in spite of the same long running anti-Behringer bias you have, and hasn't looked back. The inclusion of the Midas IP in the design is solid, though not at the same polish as a full Midas branded console. It eliminated splitter snakes and a seperate stage side monitor board setup and replaced that with a pair of iPads and a wireless router. Easily handes all requirements for all day festival gigs with lots of change overs. He runs the full console, though I have another buddy that runs the rack, and have worked with full time bands that bring one for their own setups.


                            Paul O - I hated the Windows X86 client. Tried to use it with my Surface Pro in lieu of an iPad but the interface was small and not touch friendly at all, likely due to the high screen resolution but the lack of full screen usage and scalability was disappointing. I haven't used an Android tablet interface, but the phone version of the app is clearly targeted at someone controlling their own monitor mix and doesn't seem to let you control the main outputs at all. The IOS version seems to be the one to beat IMO.
                            If its all the same to you blending with an iPad take a gander at the Allen Heath QU Pac, rack moutable, can be extended to 32 channels with the stage box.

                            You can work it from the front board if necessary. I have one and it works extraordinary.

                            SnapTube TubeMate Test Dpc

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