So I have ultimately decided to go the digital route with my latest system upgrade. I am still debating on the X32 Rack but the main focus of my questions is the X32 producer vs the Allen & Heath Qu-16. The x32 producer I can get for around $1275 vs $1700 for the Qu-16. I am only going to need 16 channels max so that is not really a debate. As far as sound quality, build quality and functionality, is the Qu-16 worth the extra $425?
Cory did a great job of doing the overall benefits of each.
I own an X32 Rack and was torn between this and the X32 Producer. It was very difficult for me to go to a nearly complete virtual mix interface (I used to have a MixWiz).
My situation is that I run sound predominantly for my own band, and occasionally for friends as a favor.
From a rational standpoint, I reviewed my gig videos and found that having a good tablet interface would be my best bet mixing from stage.... and that when I do mix for others, I would rather mix remotely without my snake since I continuously find that many venues I play simply don't have a good spot for a FOH mixing area to be placed.
My experience in going without faders has been very positive. I believe that Bill (who is about 1,000,000 times as experienced in live sound as I am) has had similar experiences.
I have an iPad Mini and a mic stand holder for it. My mixer is now right in front of me all night with a complete meter bridge showing me all the input strengths at a glance.
My current process is that we setup the FOH and stage, do a sound check while recording multi-track to reaper on a laptop, then play it back while standing out front and mixing down the band.
We use IEM's and I use the reference level I get after sound check as my "good mix" through the night to boost and cut different inputs either to adjust for song differences, or to adjust for a band member that can't keep their hands off of their volume knob
I spent quite a bit of time deciding between the QU and Producer before I decided to completely make the plunge and just go virtual all the way (which I now really love).
For me, the biggest factor was the lack of DCA's on the Qu-16. I find that the majority of my mixing is all done simply by adjusting the DCA group for drums, bass, guitars, or vocals.
In either product, I suggest getting a good 5Ghz wireless router. I had a cheep 2.4Ghz I was using for about a month, but got spotty reception (not disconnects, just dropouts in VU meter and changes made). I now use a android app that shows me all the different SSID's being used and which channels they are using so that I can easily find one that isn't being used.
I haven't had any issues with this process since November of last year.
I would enjoy having the ability to record multi-track directly to a USB hard disk. I would bring a laptop anyway since this would become my backup should something happen to my iPad or the wireless network should become unusable for some reason.
I don't think you will be disappointed with any of these products. They are all outstanding.