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  • XR18 Questions

    Hey, folks!

    Is there anything in this list I can't do with an XR18? Just making sure before I start planning to buy one. Trying to lighten my load for non-critical gigs where I could limp through with a small analog backup console if something goes wrong with the iPad thing --

    - 2 monitor mixes
    - stereo out
    - each monitor mix separately EQable with 100 band RTA
    - each input EQable with 100 band RTA
    - each input EQable with parametric
    - able to make three subgroups
    - able to compress individual inputs and "see" the gain reduction
    - able to compress subgroups
    - able to use all 18 inputs and effects simultaneously
    - able to do good reverb and slap-back
    - able to route effects to one monitor channel
    - able to make that same monitor channel post-fader
    - able to record all tracks with the help of a laptop
    - able to create a separate stereo "recording mix" to send to a Zoom H4n or something (USB would be even better)

    I think I can do all those things from my reading.

    Aside from more inputs and knobs, is there a reason to go X32? Is there a clean way to get more inputs on the XR18?

    Has anyone explored MIDI control? It would be neat if I could, say, tweak master faders and effects to select "lead singer" with program changes sent from my piano. I suspect this isn't possible though, what I have read is that MIDI program changes select snapshots, which is not something you want to use mid-show in an environment where you have EQd for the room etc.

    Thanks,
    Wes
    Do daemons dream of electric sleep()?

  • #2
    Hi wesg,

    Looks like you can do everything you listed.

    I own an X32 Rack, and my bass player has the XR18, so I am pretty familiar with both.

    Things you get with the X32 Rack that you don't get with the XR18:

    - 22 inputs vs 18 (not including usb playback)
    - More mix busses
    - 8 efx engines vs 4
    - Matrix mixes (useful for driving more than just 1 set of speakers)
    - 16 sends vs 6+4 (aux+fx)
    - 8 mute groups vs 4
    - LRC capability vs just LR
    - 14 vs 8 outputs (expandable to 22)
    - Built in SD recording card option for multi-track record and playback
    - More flexible routing (might be good or bad depending on how you look at it)
    - talkback mic
    - Expansion to 38 channels using AES50 to stage box
    - Front end UI in case of failure

    I use mine for my band (5 piece, 2 guitars, bass, drums, keys). Honestly, I would be hard pressed to keep within 18 inputs, and I use the outputs and matrix mix for my IEM system.

    I always thought I might add a stage box for more channels; however, I have yet to find a situation that I can't get it done with 22 inputs.

    If the XR18 had been out at the same time as the X32 Rack, I may have gone that way; however, I am glad I didn't. The new recording card they are releasing soon (~$200) is really slick and allows some really cool usages in addition to just recording my gigs and practices.

    I have seen plenty of local bands getting it done (well) with the XR18 though. It is a lot of mixer for very little cash.
    Last edited by OneEng; 12-08-2017, 06:06 PM.
    With Greater Knowledge Comes Greater Understanding

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    • #3
      Only 6 mute groups on the X32 series, not 8. The X32 is definitely a much more flexible mixer though, which may or may not be a good thing for you.

      The X32 app is A LOT better than the XR app. It takes a lot more time to get around in the XR app.
      B.

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      • #4
        Hey, thanks for the feedback and the fantastic food for thought.

        To do the SD-Card recording thing, you need the $250 X-Live add-on card, right?

        Here's an odd(?) question........possibly because I don't use Matrix mixes in analog-land, but .... what's the difference between a Matrix mix and "aux sends" on your subgroups? Anything?

        I've been weighing my options, thinking about the different acts I work with...........I'm now thinking about going with an X32 Producer-T, which is at the absolute top of my budget. $500 buys me a physical control surface and road case, this seems to be a good value. Buy once, cry once, right? I hope.

        That guy has enough inputs, but not enough mic pres for my rock band when in "big show" config (I use 1-4 drum mics for small shows, and 7 for big shows; kick snare tom tom tom oh oh). I guess I can always use the mic pres from another mixer's insert points in "big show" mode until I can swing an S16. Is there a better way? Any idea if the line ins are sensitive enough to pick up, say a 57 pointed at a guitar cabinet?
        Last edited by wesg; 12-10-2017, 07:27 PM.
        Do daemons dream of electric sleep()?

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        • #5
          BTW, thanks for pointing out the apps are substantially different. That never occurred to me. Speed of navigation is key....my big beef as a performer with sound guys using digital equipment is the 15-20 minutes they all seem to spend poking and prodding it while I sit on stage waiting for sound check to start. I have no intention of being one of those guys.
          Do daemons dream of electric sleep()?

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          • #6
            This >< close to pulling the trigger on the X32 Producer-T. Been working with X32-Edit. WOW there is a lot stuff in there. Surprised the 100-band RTA doesn't have a matching 100-band GEQ. As long as things work the way I think they do (LOL), the routing on this thing is both powerful and straightforward. I have more-or-less replicated my analog system at this point.
            Do daemons dream of electric sleep()?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by wesg View Post
              Hey, thanks for the feedback and the fantastic food for thought.

              To do the SD-Card recording thing, you need the $250 X-Live add-on card, right?

              Here's an odd(?) question........possibly because I don't use Matrix mixes in analog-land, but .... what's the difference between a Matrix mix and "aux sends" on your subgroups? Anything?

              I've been weighing my options, thinking about the different acts I work with...........I'm now thinking about going with an X32 Producer-T, which is at the absolute top of my budget. $500 buys me a physical control surface and road case, this seems to be a good value. Buy once, cry once, right? I hope.

              That guy has enough inputs, but not enough mic pres for my rock band when in "big show" config (I use 1-4 drum mics for small shows, and 7 for big shows; kick snare tom tom tom oh oh). I guess I can always use the mic pres from another mixer's insert points in "big show" mode until I can swing an S16. Is there a better way? Any idea if the line ins are sensitive enough to pick up, say a 57 pointed at a guitar cabinet?
              The X-Live card can be found for "much" less than $250. Depending on mixer but in general with a digital mixer adding channels to an Aux/Bus then sending them to L/R will add a small amount of Latency. Matrix doesn't. May or may not matter to you. That and of course your freeing up a Bus/Aux if these are in short supply ;-)
              I have a Midas M32R and got hook on Matrix Mixing as the XM32PRO app makes it easy to do. For a few bucks the Pro app. is much better!
              Doug

              Sent you a PM as well.
              Last edited by Dookietwo; 12-13-2017, 10:51 AM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by B. Adams View Post
                Only 6 mute groups on the X32 series, not 8. The X32 is definitely a much more flexible mixer though, which may or may not be a good thing for you.

                The X32 app is A LOT better than the XR app. It takes a lot more time to get around in the XR app.
                Thanks for the correction. You are right. 6 mute groups on the X32 Series.
                With Greater Knowledge Comes Greater Understanding

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Dookietwo View Post

                  The X-Live card can be found for "much" less than $250. Depending on mixer but in general with a digital mixer adding channels to an Aux/Bus then sending them to L/R will add a small amount of Latency. Matrix doesn't. May or may not matter to you. That and of course your freeing up a Bus/Aux if these are in short supply ;-)
                  I have a Midas M32R and got hook on Matrix Mixing as the XM32PRO app makes it easy to do. For a few bucks the Pro app. is much better!
                  Doug

                  Sent you a PM as well.
                  The X-Live card is listed all over the place for $200.00. I suspect you will be able to get a bit below that if you ask for a lower price (the $200.00 is MAP, not what they can sell for).

                  A Matrix mix is a mix of other mix busses. The most obvious use of this is to take the L/R bus and mix it onto a matrix bus. Route this matrix bus to another set of outputs (for a camera, for another room of speakers, different rows of speakers in a large venue that each need delay's, etc, etc). You can then process the L/R signal separately through another bus and use another fader to control the output.

                  I use one for cooling off the L/R mix going into my IEM transmitter to keep the input from peaking if the sliders all get moved up (as they tend to do over time).

                  You are 100% correct on the pro app. Worth every penny 100 times over.
                  With Greater Knowledge Comes Greater Understanding

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by wesg View Post
                    Hey, thanks for the feedback and the fantastic food for thought.

                    To do the SD-Card recording thing, you need the $250 X-Live add-on card, right?
                    Yes, but I think you will be able to get one for under $200.

                    Here's an odd(?) question........possibly because I don't use Matrix mixes in analog-land, but .... what's the difference between a Matrix mix and "aux sends" on your subgroups? Anything?
                    See my previous post on matrix mixes and what they are. I also use my matrix mixes when I play one venue that has 2 rooms. One room has the main FOH speakers and the other room is the pool room/dart room speakers. This lets me eq them differently and set the volume different. All mixing done to the L/R then carries over to both rooms through the show.

                    I suppose you could use sends for such a thing if you tapped the sends post fader from every channel.... but you would not be able to bring the efx into the alternate mix using this method since the EFX return goes into the L/R bus. You would also lose any processing done on the L/R bus.

                    I've been weighing my options, thinking about the different acts I work with...........I'm now thinking about going with an X32 Producer-T, which is at the absolute top of my budget. $500 buys me a physical control surface and road case, this seems to be a good value. Buy once, cry once, right? I hope.

                    That guy has enough inputs, but not enough mic pres for my rock band when in "big show" config (I use 1-4 drum mics for small shows, and 7 for big shows; kick snare tom tom tom oh oh). I guess I can always use the mic pres from another mixer's insert points in "big show" mode until I can swing an S16. Is there a better way? Any idea if the line ins are sensitive enough to pick up, say a 57 pointed at a guitar cabinet?
                    The "line-in" may well have enough gain to handle a microphone. I haven't tried it.

                    You can get an SD8 for under $400.00 which should get you through most shows (24 mic inputs + 6 line inputs).
                    With Greater Knowledge Comes Greater Understanding

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by OneEng View Post

                      The X-Live card is listed all over the place for $200.00. I suspect you will be able to get a bit below that if you ask for a lower price (the $200.00 is MAP, not what they can sell for).

                      A Matrix mix is a mix of other mix busses. The most obvious use of this is to take the L/R bus and mix it onto a matrix bus. Route this matrix bus to another set of outputs (for a camera, for another room of speakers, different rows of speakers in a large venue that each need delay's, etc, etc). You can then process the L/R signal separately through another bus and use another fader to control the output.

                      .
                      Your right. My eyes read matrix and my brain was thinking DCA. I know better but I was seeing one thing and thinking of another.
                      Doug
                      Last edited by Dookietwo; 12-13-2017, 04:46 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by OneEng View Post



                        The "line-in" may well have enough gain to handle a microphone. I haven't tried it.

                        I tried a sm58 with a xlr to trs 1/4 adaptor. It was roughly 20dbs less gain than a standard xlr input. There is enough more gain available but the noise floor increase can be heard. I think on a more dynamic source and a good output mic being used sources like kick drum , snare, toms would be OK. I haven't tried it yet as I have a dl16 as well as 16 inputs on my m32r. I think wireless microphones into the auxes then patched to regular channels (17 /22) would work well.

                        Doug

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                        • #13
                          Wow! Great advice in here. I've been reading about the X32 in this forum for several years now, but some it washes over your head until you're trying it for yourself.

                          SD card thing and the SD-8 -- these are scheduled as discretionary purchases later this year. I didn't know the SD-8 existed. It's actually pretty ideal, I can plunk it front of the drummer in my rock band and have him use that instead of the 8ch snake he uses now. I thought I was going to have to pony up for an S16. With an SD-8 in the mix, I'll have a few extra mic pres and several line in/outs to spare in my biggest group. This is ideal.

                          I get matrix mixes now. They are like subgroups for busses instead of channels Using one to burn some gain is an interesting idea. I'm currently looking at using the X32 to also replace my DRPX, which I use as a combination GEQ and crossover. I tried to set it up tonight using the LR bus for the tops and the M/C for the sub, which lets me use the M/S selector on each channel to select whether I want it in the sub or not.....sort of like aux-fed subs. I was having a routing problem, but as I typed this message I realized what it was.

                          So far, this thing is great. I can't wait to touch the actual hardware. I'm curious if I'll be able to use it for my high-profile gig in February. It might be the first show I have to run sound for this year. Next two are scheduled for venues with in-house systems. I don't like trying new stuff for high-profile shows.....maybe I'll offer up my services for a night to a bar band that needs somebody cheap and doesn't mind being a guinea pig...
                          Do daemons dream of electric sleep()?

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                          • #14
                            This is kind of fun. It's like a mixer construction set!

                            https://snag.gy/vB83tK.jpg
                            Do daemons dream of electric sleep()?

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                            • #15
                              And - you guys talking about the pro app - that's Android-only? Suspect I will up wind mixing with an iPad, but if the Android app is really that much better...then maybe I'll see what I can scare up. My goal is to configure the desk on mac, line check with the physical interface, then sound check with the iPad out front. Then make minor adjustments throughout the night on the physical interface, just like I do with my analog desk. I run post-fader sends to my own wedge and take some guesstimates re. stage bleed. It's far from perfect, but it's a bar band in a small market. Pro-production is just out of reach for us.
                              Do daemons dream of electric sleep()?

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