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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Contributor - Level 3

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

Depending on your application you'd have either console as the clock master, and the other slaving off it, or they can both be slaves and get get master clock from something plugged into one of their X- Cards.

In a non FOH/mon split (like Paul's running,) we'd probably recommend connecting each rack together using a single ethernet cable. Have one rack as the clock master, one as the clock slave, and decide which will be the DSP you're actually using (which is the one you'll connect your control surfaces, eg laptops, ipads etc, to.) The other Rack is essentially just a 16x8 (really 24x16 if you include the aux IO) stagebox. Between the Racks you've got 32x preamps, +16 aux ins (there are some caveats about how many you can use at a time,) as well as 16x XLR outputs, and 16x aux outs (not to mention the cardIO and ultranet.) All sorts of routing combinations are possible to get pretty much any signal to any physical output you want.

You'd use the AES50 connection (Cat5\6 STP with ethercons recommended, as said before) to get signals from the preamps on the first Rack (Call it "Rack1") to the DSP in the other ("Rack2",) use Rack2's DSP to process and mix Rack2's own local + Rack1's remote signals, then pass whatever mixes created by Rack2 (FOH, monitors, delay fills, recording etc) to whichever physical outputs you want. If you need to pass those mixes back to Rack1 so they can appear at Rack1's outputs, you can do that over the same AES50 connection that has Rack1's preamp signals going through it to Rack2. You can even do it without burning inputs on Rack1. The AES50 connection is 48x48: bi-directional simultaneously (+a bit of room for things like preamp+48v control.) You can do remote preamp control of Rack1's preamps from Rack2, so once the routing is set up on Rack1 (which can be saved as a scene, will be recalled when rebooted,) you no longer need a control interface for it. It can be set-and-forget.

You've got 2x AES50 connections on each Rack, so in theory you could pass 96x96 channels between consoles using the AES50 connections, through the DSP is limited to only mixing\processing 38 of them at a time, you can still passthrough the rest of the signals to other destinations.

Although not exclusive to using 2x racks (you can achieve this using a rack+SD16 or core+SD16,) you can also get multiple ultranet "zones" (unofficial term,) but there's still a bit of thinking to be done re the iq processing. If you get 2x racks it solves the iq processing problem though.

Head first can be pretty deep, but it's easy once you get it. You can download the Edit apps and play around with them (multiple instances of the app open at the same time pointing to the same and\or different consoles can be useful for workflow too,) even without the consoles connected, so you can get an idea of routing before you've got the consoles. You can even set up your whole show before you've taken delivery of the hardware. I remember being at a gig a while ago using the venue's console (M7.) They gave us half an hour to soundcheck. I plugged a USB stick into the M7 and said I was done.
Contributor - Level 2

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

Thanks very much for the info, Craig.

Our initial use will be very basic: a few mics, two or three guitars, keyboard, and some house music and video display feeds from FOH. Events might be once a month on average which will give me a lot of time to experiment and learn with no pressure. (You can teach an old dog new tricks -- it just takes more biscuits...

Right now, a two rack setup is way overkill, but it will allow us to have one unit at stage front and one at stage rear (or downstage and upstage, whatever). That'll eliminate cables crossing the stage which is a big plus as many folks aren't familiar with a stage environment and don't think about not stepping on or tripping over the cables! Plus we'll have redundancy. And a really nice system that we can grow into as the ministry evolves.

Sure looking forward to it all!
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Contributor - Level 2

X32 Rack w SD16 versus X32 Core w 2x SD16

I am about to get my X32 Core with 2 SD16s (coming from an X18R). One reason for that route is that is that the core can live in the FOH which makes headphone output readily available. Just a thought

Looking forward t it.

Grif