Live Portable Sound

Highlighted

Mackie vs Behringer digital systems and their Apps

Contributor - Level 1

Hi everybody,

 

I've been hesitant to go digital, but i'm ready. I often mix 5-7 bands(without time to sound check more than one) in a night and haven't wanted to get lost in an ipad but I've gotten better on the ipad recently. I worked with an engineer recently who sent me home with the Mackie D1608 to familiarize myself with. I know it's a bare bones easy board but I enjoy easy, simple, and perhaps even fun!

 

So I'm used to the Mackie Master Fader App now. I might buy a Behringer XR18 so that I can see if I like the X Air app. 

 

Goals:

 

1) I need more than 16 channels, about 24 would do but everything is sold in 16 or 32...more or less.

2) Need a simple enough system. I enjoy having mental clarity before a show vs having a gear head headache.

3) Mackie or Behinger - which is more user friendly?

4) Mackie has the DL32S or R which is all ipad and one unit on stage (but talk back mic and headphones - are you guys going wireless for these? seems ugly to have such a simple system and then wireless for headphones and talkback)

5) Behinger - seems like you have to buy this plus that to get more than 16 channels? X32 Rack + S16?, or X32 Compact +2 S16s or the 32 channel stage box. True? or are there other options besides the X32 full which seems like too much board, weight, size.

 

Ofcourse I'm not making a living at this, yet. I do mix a few national touring acts per year and that's when I wish I had more advanced gear, but at the same time need the simplicity. I'd rather have less advanced gear and fully know how to implement it's ability, than to have the deluxe and get snagged in the depths of audio hell Smiley Happy

 

Any advice would be greatly greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

 

1 REPLY 1

Re: Mackie vs Behringer digital systems and their Apps

Contributor - Level 2

Hi, and welcome to the forum

 

I haven't used the Mackie digital desks or their app, so I can't comment on that part of your question.  What I can say is that my band uses the 3rd-party Mixing Station Pro app, and much prefer the increased functionality of that vs the slightly more 'polished' looking official apps that don't have the same levels of functionality or flexibility.  In short, check out Mixing Station Pro as well as the official Music Group apps.

 

In answer to your questions/goals:

1) I need more than 16 channels, about 24 would do but everything is sold in 16 or 32...more or less.

Yep - that seems to be about right.  24 channels used to be a 'standard' option in the past, but not so much any more.  Note that the XR18 will not give you all the channels you say you want, nor can it be extended with additional stage boxes.  Getting an XR18 seems like quite an expensive experiment, unless you have one available cheap/free?

 

2) Need a simple enough system. I enjoy having mental clarity before a show vs having a gear head headache.

I can't comment on the simplicity of the Mackie gear, but I can tell you that I have found the Behringer gear relatively simple to use, apart from the routing, which can be difficult to get your head around initially.  However, the flip side of that is that is immensely powerful and flexible, enabling the whole of the X32 'eco-system' to be connected together in various ways to get the signals (inputs and outputs) to where they need to be (within some specific constraints).

 

3) Mackie or Behinger - which is more user friendly?

I can't comment on that - sorry.

 

4) Mackie has the DL32S or R which is all ipad and one unit on stage (but talk back mic and headphones - are you guys going wireless for these? seems ugly to have such a simple system and then wireless for headphones and talkback)

Yes - wireless is the only way to do that if all of the I/O and mixing is taking place on stage.  The alternative for the X32 Rack to buy one of the smaller I/O boxes, e.g. SD8 and connect that - that's possibly cheaper than getting good/reasonable quality wireless kit for both talkback and monitoring, and the quality is likely to be better, unless you soend a LOT on wireless.

 

5) Behinger - seems like you have to buy this plus that to get more than 16 channels? X32 Rack + S16?, or X32 Compact +2 S16s or the 32 channel stage box. True? or are there other options besides the X32 full which seems like too much board, weight, size.

The X32 Rack has a total of 22 input channels (23, if you count talkback): 16 XLR with pre-amps + 6 TRS (Aux In) Line level inputs.  So, depending on what signals you have, that may be enough, noting that the TRS inputs can be used for keyboards, DI bass, DI guitars, etc.  If you want more than 16 XLR inputs (i.e. you want/need the preamps), then you will need to buy additional I/O in the form of the SD8, SD16, S16, S32 or the MIDAS equivalents (better preamps, but more expensive).  You will also need to think about outputs and how many FoH and monitor busses you want/need.  If you plan to use/offer in-ear monitors (IEMs), they should be in stereo for best effect, so you'll need a lot of monitor busses to create those.  What we did was to buy 2 x X32 Racks and use them so that each Rack acts as the stage box for the other, i.e. we have a 46-input, 28-output, 38-bus, 12-matrix mixing solution split over the two desks.  Each X32 desk can only mix 40 channels at any one time (38 inputs + 2 USB), but some channels go only to FoH (e.g. background/fill music) and some channels only go to monitors (e.g. crowd mics).  We split the desks so that we have a dedicated FoH desk and a Monitors desk, which works well for us.  Whilst 2 x X32 Rack is slightly more expensive than, say, a Rack + S16, the additional busses make it a no-brainer (for us) in terms of the additional processing and the ability to create a dedicated Monitors desk that we can control via iOS/Android devices.

 

HTH

Conversation Stats
  • 1
  • Reply
  • 45
  • Views
  • 0
  • Kudos Given
  • 2
  • Contributors