The QSC TouchMix-16 is a digital mixer designed for live sound applications. It features twenty inputs including 16 mic/line channels, two stereo TRS line channels and a dedicated Talkback Mic input. Four professional quality effects can be applied to each channel. Outputs include Main Left/Right, six mono and two stereo auxiliary mixes. There is also a dedicated headphone out and monitor outputs for the sound engineer.
At 3.5” x 14” x 12” and less than six pounds, the QSC TouchMix-16 is compact and sturdy. The rugged enclosure is more than road-worthy, especially when carried in the included padded case. Knobs and buttons feel solid and provide positive tactile feedback when adjusted. The Master Control knob in particular offers the perfect amount of travel and resistance to ensure accurate adjustments.
One of the more innovative and user-friendly aspects of the TouchMix-16 is the ability to control the mixer from the touch-screen or by selecting parameters on screen and using the physical controls. For those seeking greater precision, the Master Control knob lets you select course or fine resolution by simply pushing it down (or not) while turning.
QSC offers a free iOS app called TouchMix Control that duplicates all the mixer controls so you can walk the room and dial in your mix, or use your iPad (or multiple iPads) to expand your user interface at the mix position, or give performers individual control over their own monitoring destiny. QSC even includes the Wi-Fi adaptor, creating its own Wi-Fi network. No computer or additional network hardware is required.
TouchMix can provide 8 individual monitor mixes (6 mono, 2 stereo). The two stereo outputs use ¼” TRS jacks and can drive wired In Ear Monitors directly. This is great for drummers and keyboard players who stay put on stage.
In keeping with the fabulous hardware, design and construction that make the QSC TouchMix-16 a top contender in its class, each input includes a responsive four-band parametric EQ, a compressor and a gate. The mixer takes advantage of its graphics capabilities by presenting displays that help you see what you’re doing. Of course there’s a graphic display showing your EQ curves. There are also innovative compressor and gate displays that could help you understand dynamics processing better than ever. TouchMix features four incredibly musical, studio-quality effects engines including reverb, echo, delay, pitch shift and chorus. To help you use all this effects horsepower, there’s an Effects Wizard that makes it easy to select the right effect and route signal to and from it. Also included is a professional pitch corrector that is assignable to any one of the 16 mic/line input channels.
While it takes almost no time at all to build a mix, QSC wants you to get the most out of of the time you’ve put into dialing in the board. Did you nail the settings for your drummer’s kick? Save it as a channel preset. Dialed in a delay that’s perfect for the singer? Save it as an effects preset. Got a mix that’s just right for a room you play or even for a specific song? Save it as a scene. Every tweak you make can be saved internally or to a USB drive.
A mixer with the power of the TouchMix-16 could be daunting to novices but QSC has included Wizards, Simple Mode and the ability to access the entire instruction manual by pushing the Info button (how cool is that!). One of the most powerful features is channel presets. TouchMix offers more than one hundred channel presets that were created by seasoned mix engineers for use in real, live-sound situations. Finding the right one is simple and the results are amazing. If you don’t have much mixing experience, the presets may give you the best sound you’ve ever had. If you’re an old hand at the console, the presets are a way to get you to a great starting point in seconds. Either way TouchMix controls and graphics are so intuitive that even the least experienced user can quickly master advanced controls.
This mixer makes it incredibly easy to make a multi-track recording. All you need is a USB disc drive and you can grab all twenty inputs plus a stereo mix. Mix these tracks on your TouchMix, use them for a “virtual sound check” or import them into your favorite DAW for over-dubs and post-production.
QSC says that the TouchMix is designed to deliver results and it does. The capabilities and sound quality will satisfy demanding live sound engineers and the work-flow and mixing aids the mixer offers make it accessible to anyone who cares about the audio quality of their production.
Chris Loeffler is a multi-instrumentalist and the Content Strategist of Harmony Central. In addition to his ten years experience as an online guitar merchandiser, marketing strategist, and community director he has worked as an international exporter, website consultant and brand manager. When he’s not working he can be found playing music, geeking out on guitar pedals and amps, and brewing tasty beer.