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Contributor - Level 2

X32 Rack w SD16 versus X32 Core w 2x SD16

First, a small ministry in rural OK. Been using a Mackie ProFX16 analog board for larger events in a "missionary tent".

I got an X16 Air on a whim so we wouldn't have to drag the analog stuff around for small services. Set up X-Air Edit running on a laptop with a 24" external monitor connected to the mixer via CAT5. Absolutely WONDERFUL!! Found the interface to be very intuitive and both me and my daughter have no problem at all "mixing with a mouse". (In fact, I liked the X16 so much that I got a smaller X12 for my own keyboard rack at home just so I could screw around with the effects!) So...

Possibility of a large permanent building with installed sound. Probably still on a budget, so I started looking at the X32. We'd have to have snakes, so all the IO jacks and whatnot on the X32 would be mostly wasted. As would all the faders and stuff if we used the EDIT interface which we really like, So...

Thinking about an X32 Rack with an SD16 snake, both up on the stage. Comparing that with an X32 Core with two SD16s. Roughly equal in price ($2100 vs $2400).

1) Is the Core just the mixing engine of the X32 minus all the IO jacks? Or is there some advantage in going that way vs the X32 rack and a single SD16?

2) Would still need a way to get a small number of signals (maybe a couple stereo feeds) to the stage stuff -- audio output from the laptop running the video monitors, etc. Right now I've just got a 75' long 1/8"TRS to 1/4"TRS cable that seems to work OK... Is there something like a 4x snake that could also interface with the X32 rack or SD16 module?

Thanks very much in advance. Still kinda new to this stuff, but having a ball.

PS: Apropos of nothing whatever, I love the fact that the X-Air EDIT is a simple executable file rather than a mess that has to be installed on everything. GREAT job on that EDIT program! It's wonderful dealing with a user interface that's logically laid out and intuitive to use. Smiley Happy
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BillHarvey Contributor - Level 2 2016-09-25

2016-09-25

X32 Rack w SD16 versus X32 Core w 2x SD16

First, a small ministry in rural OK. Been using a Mackie ProFX16 analog board for larger events in a "missionary tent".

I got an X16 Air on a whim so we wouldn't have to drag the analog stuff around for small services. Set up X-Air Edit running on a laptop with a 24" external monitor connected to the mixer via CAT5. Absolutely WONDERFUL!! Found the interface to be very intuitive and both me and my daughter have no problem at all "mixing with a mouse". (In fact, I liked the X16 so much that I got a smaller X12 for my own keyboard rack at home just so I could screw around with the effects!) So...

Possibility of a large permanent building with installed sound. Probably still on a budget, so I started looking at the X32. We'd have to have snakes, so all the IO jacks and whatnot on the X32 would be mostly wasted. As would all the faders and stuff if we used the EDIT interface which we really like, So...

Thinking about an X32 Rack with an SD16 snake, both up on the stage. Comparing that with an X32 Core with two SD16s. Roughly equal in price ($2100 vs $2400).

1) Is the Core just the mixing engine of the X32 minus all the IO jacks? Or is there some advantage in going that way vs the X32 rack and a single SD16?

2) Would still need a way to get a small number of signals (maybe a couple stereo feeds) to the stage stuff -- audio output from the laptop running the video monitors, etc. Right now I've just got a 75' long 1/8"TRS to 1/4"TRS cable that seems to work OK... Is there something like a 4x snake that could also interface with the X32 rack or SD16 module?

Thanks very much in advance. Still kinda new to this stuff, but having a ball.

PS: Apropos of nothing whatever, I love the fact that the X-Air EDIT is a simple executable file rather than a mess that has to be installed on everything. GREAT job on that EDIT program! It's wonderful dealing with a user interface that's logically laid out and intuitive to use. Smiley Happy

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Volunteer Moderator

Re: X32 Rack w SD16 versus X32 Core w 2x SD16

Hi Bill.

Glad to hear that you are very happy with the XR16, XR12 and the X-Air Edit. I agree that the app has a very intuitive interface. Good news is that the new X32-Edit 3.0 was built on that same amazing interface.

From those options you mentioned (Core + 2 SD16, Rack + SD16), I would recommend the Rack and SD16 configuration.

1) Is the Core just the mixing engine of the X32 minus all the IO jacks? Or is there some advantage in going that way vs the X32 rack and a single SD16?

The X32 engine is identical in both models. But I've used the front interface on my Racks occasionally to double check some of the settings. And in a pinch (last resort) it could be used to mix. There is also an issue with the front USB port with saving shows/scenes/snippets.

2) Would still need a way to get a small number of signals (maybe a couple stereo feeds) to the stage stuff -- audio output from the laptop running the video monitors, etc. Right now I've just got a 75' long 1/8"TRS to 1/4"TRS cable that seems to work OK... Is there something like a 4x snake that could also interface with the X32 rack or SD16 module?

Two possible solutions
1. Get a couple of DIs (or a stereo DI) to convert the unbalanced stereo line to 2 balanced lines
2. Get an SD8 and connect with an AES50 cable. This is what I recently did and have been very pleased with it.
Paul Vannatto, Volunteer Forum Administrator and Moderator. Did you find my post helpful? Give kudos or mark it as a solution!
Contributor - Level 2

Re: X32 Rack w SD16 versus X32 Core w 2x SD16

Thanks for the reply, Paul. I was hoping that's what the recommendation might be. Seems like it makes the most sense to me.

As far as sending a couple stereo feeds back to the stage, I think the SD8 might be overkill, especially at ~$500. These would be line level sends with a ~100' cable length. I can get stereo cables in a bonded duplex configuration which seems to minimize crosstalk, at least on the 75' cable I currently have. And I didn't notice too much high freq roll-off. But your suggestion of using DIs with balanced lines is something I hadn't thought of and would probably be a better solution. Definitely more economical, at any rate.

Thanks very much for your advice!

Regards,

Bill
Volunteer Moderator

Re: X32 Rack w SD16 versus X32 Core w 2x SD16

Bill Harvey;85651 wrote:
Thanks for the reply, Paul. I was hoping that's what the recommendation might be. Seems like it makes the most sense to me.

Actually my "real" recommendation is a dual Rack setup, since that is what I have. The reasoning behind it is - backup (in the unheard of case of failure). But that package costs an additional $300 more than the Rack + SD16 (cheap insurance if you ask me).
Paul Vannatto, Volunteer Forum Administrator and Moderator. Did you find my post helpful? Give kudos or mark it as a solution!
Contributor - Level 2

Re: X32 Rack w SD16 versus X32 Core w 2x SD16

To make it even cheaper, you can use standard network cable to run four balanced audio lines. In an installation you can use the cheapest shielded version.
Contributor - Level 2

Re: X32 Rack w SD16 versus X32 Core w 2x SD16

Paul Vannatto;85653 wrote:
Actually my "real" recommendation is a dual Rack setup, since that is what I have. The reasoning behind it is - backup (in the unheard of case of failure). But that package costs an additional $300 more than the Rack + SD16 (cheap insurance if you ask me).


Now THAT's a good idea! My real job is a lead facility engineer in a data center, so I'm all about redundancy. Great idea, Paul, and THANKS!!

And thanks, too, Florian. Another good idea.

Dang, I love these boards! Smiley Happy
Contributor - Level 3

Re: X32 Rack w SD16 versus X32 Core w 2x SD16

I was shocked that Paul didn't mention the 2x racks solution in his initial post: normally he's the first to advocate such a solution. +1 to his suggestion. In addition to giving you a backup DSP, having 2x racks would allow you for a FOH\Monitor split, and give you more analogue IO (aux IO) than a core+sd16. It also gives you the option for a redundant multitrack+stereo recording (each rack has it's own X-USB card and own 2-track recorder.) You could also configure one of the racks with something other than an X-USB card (Dante, MADI etc,) to allow integration with a wider variety of products. The only thing it lacks compared to the SD16 setup would be the Hi-Z inputs and combo jacks, but they're easily solved with DIs anyway.

If 2x racks are really out of the budget, I'd still prefer rack+sd16 over core+sd16, because of not only the issues of saving via the core's USB socket, if the AES50 connection between the rack and SD16 fails, you've still got 16x preamps + aux ins and 8x XLR outs+aux outs on the rack itself, which would probably be enough to finish the gig, whereas the core provides no such option. Also the rack's surface can be used to mix in a pinch if the control network dies, as Paul said.

I'd strongly recommend ensuring any AES50 connections are made using STP with ethercons. While you can get away with UTP and standard RJ45 connectors, people have shown to have audio glitches periodically due to ESD when using them, which were solved when the cable was replaced with STP and ethercons.

Good luck with it.
Contributor - Level 2

Re: X32 Rack w SD16 versus X32 Core w 2x SD16

I think two racks would be very do-able. But I do have a noob-ish question with this scenario:

I assume they could be linked via the AES50 ports? Would one be a master and the other a slave? Or would the second act more like a digital snake? Could we get all 32 inputs to appear on a common controlling app if needed? Or would the two units act as two independent mixers? I think this gets into routing (among other things) -- something I have not yet explored or needed.

Thanks yet again for all of your help!
Volunteer Moderator

Re: X32 Rack w SD16 versus X32 Core w 2x SD16

Hey Craig, my first draft of the initial post did have that suggestion. Then I decided to ease him in... thinking that I'm beginning to sound like a Rack salesman. Smiley Very Happy

Bill, the beauty of a dual Rack system is its versatility/flexibility. So the answer to your question is yes, it can do all of that, depending on how you configure the second Rack.

Most of the time, my first Rack is configured as the master console (with both FOH and MON functions) and second Rack as an S16 (ie, slave, 16 inputs, 8 outputs, Ultranet). But they can also be configured as one as FOH and the other as MON, plus add a stagebox or two, with all inputs available to both Racks and outputs configured according to the needs.
Paul Vannatto, Volunteer Forum Administrator and Moderator. Did you find my post helpful? Give kudos or mark it as a solution!
Contributor - Level 2

Re: X32 Rack w SD16 versus X32 Core w 2x SD16

Oh, please. Throw me in head first! lol

Although my experience is limited (~18 months and a dozen or so events), I'm very much an enthusiast. I've had a couple small mixers and effects units on my keyboard rack and have had synths and guitars in my home for years. All 1/4" TS stuff as you might imagine. (I'm a living-room musician... Smiley Happy

Anyway, I knew enough so that I had no real problems picking up the Mackie ProFX16 analog board and running with it. Was even thinking about some outboard EQs and stuff when I came across the X-Air ads. Took a chance and got the X16 and absolutely loved the EDIT interface from the first time I looked at it. I'm sure I've still got tons to learn, but I had no problem jumping right in to the compressor, gate, EQ, FXes, etc. Having them on each channel is awesome. The equipment seems to be quite good, and the EDIT app fits me like a glove, so I think we're gonna have a great time together.