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Author Topic: Rack mountable mixers the future or a trend?  (Read 17288 times)

Larry Jedik

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Rack mountable mixers the future or a trend?
« on: February 10, 2017, 10:20:14 am »

I'm seeing more and more rack mount mixers hit the market. I understand why someone would want this, but having to solely rely on a tablet device or computer to access my interface would personally scare the heck out of me.
I use my iPad to run shows all the time once sound check is done, but still find myself using the board with physical faders when I need to make deeper adjustments to compressors, gates & EQ.
Just looking to see what other opinions are in this popular trend, will it last or is it a fad and everyone will end up back to mixing desks?
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Will Knight

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Re: Rack mountable mixers the future or a trend?
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2017, 10:27:59 am »

You must change your display name to your real name inorder to post on the PSW forums as explained in the RULES when you registered.  Otherwise, your post will be locked.
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Jay Marr

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Re: Rack mountable mixers the future or a trend?
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2017, 10:33:44 am »

I'm seeing more and more rack mount mixers hit the market. I understand why someone would want this, but having to solely rely on a tablet device or computer to access my interface would personally scare the heck out of me.
I use my iPad to run shows all the time once sound check is done, but still find myself using the board with physical faders when I need to make deeper adjustments to compressors, gates & EQ.
Just looking to see what other opinions are in this popular trend, will it last or is it a fad and everyone will end up back to mixing desks?

Absolutely not a fad.

What I can possibly see in the future is bigger tablet mix surfaces. (like the Slate Raven).....but I think that may be a ways away.
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Mark Knapp

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Re: Rack mountable mixers the future or a trend?
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2017, 07:07:13 pm »

I'm seeing more and more rack mount mixers hit the market. I understand why someone would want this, but having to solely rely on a tablet device or computer to access my interface would personally scare the heck out of me.
I use my iPad to run shows all the time once sound check is done, but still find myself using the board with physical faders when I need to make deeper adjustments to compressors, gates & EQ.
Just looking to see what other opinions are in this popular trend, will it last or is it a fad and everyone will end up back to mixing desks?

I find myself using tablet only more and more.  Some things are easier to use on the tablet. Still prefer the desk whenever possible,  however in club land, it is becoming less of an option.
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Jonathan Goodall

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Re: Rack mountable mixers the future or a trend?
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2017, 12:14:08 am »

A Soundcraft SIE 1 is rackmountable and doesn't NEED a tablet to make it work, as are several others.  Just depends on what you are prepared to pay and what you are willing to forgo.
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Brian Jojade

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Re: Rack mountable mixers the future or a trend?
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2017, 02:37:32 am »

I see rack mount (and smaller) mixers becoming more and more popular. I do have concerns with mixers that MUST have control by another device, such as the Behringer X-air mixers. The problem is, if your network connection breaks, you're screwed.  With the X32 Rack, you have access to all controls on the rack device. 

For live mixing, a tablet offers the convenience of being able to roam the space, but does not offer the tactile feedback of a physical surface.  With a physical surface, you can operate the basic functions without looking at the unit.   With a tablet, you simply can't.  Until tactile feedback is available on a tablet, I'll always prefer mixing on a full surface.

As far as rack mixers go, I see more going in that direction, and I really hope that more players get into the physical surface controlling said rack units.  A&H iLive has it, and does it quite well.  ALL of the processing is in the rack, and the mixer is just a dummy controller.  disconnect the mixer, and sound still passes.  It's what others have with tablet control, but with a physical surface involved.   I'm surprised that isn't a more common approach.
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Brian Jojade

Keith Broughton

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Re: Rack mountable mixers the future or a trend?
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2017, 07:11:30 am »

I can see the rack mounted "mixers" are here to stay but the whole wireless "your device here" control has it's limitations.
Possibly, there will be physical, tethered control surfaces that are more compact but still have the "touch" of a regular fader and knob console.
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: Rack mountable mixers the future or a trend?
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2017, 08:15:22 am »

They have their place, and they're definitely here to stay.  I like my Qu-Pac and it has its niche in my inventory, but I wouldn't try mixing a full-blown musical on it.  The tactile feedback is just too important for things like that - when I'm adjusting a half dozen faders at a time, or I need to kill a channel NOW.  To me, rack mixers are more applicable to the band/bar/club group that are only mixing a handful of channels (read as 16 or less) and don't need much adjustment after sound check.  I use mine for corporate work when I'm only mixing a single mic or two and maybe some filler music...  I'm in the same boat too that any rack mixer I must rely on needs to have an actual interface (such as the Qu-Pac, X32 Rack, etc.).  In all, it's just another tool in the box and it's up to you to weigh the pros and cons when considering purchase! 
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Scott Bolt

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Re: Rack mountable mixers the future or a trend?
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2017, 12:42:12 pm »

As others have stated, for bar venues, I can see no future for the full console.  The space and weight consideration of those moving around from bar to bar (and up and down the basement stairs) is an insurmountable advantage for the wireless rack mixer.

For larger venues which are specifically designed for musical entertainment, consoles will remain the norm IMO.  As pointed out, larger and more complex shows get difficult on a tablet.  I would guess that even some of these shows will be infiltrated with rack mixers, but I would think it would be the minority.

For touring acts, only digital consoles will be present IMO.

Rack mixers are here to stay for sure.  A&H are ahead of the game with the concept of a dedicated rack mixer and an independent head console.  It may well be that all mixers gravitate this direction so that rack mixers are the only thing out there in any venue.  The only thing that would be optional would be the remote physical console.
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Weogo Reed

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Re: Rack mountable mixers the future or a trend?
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2017, 01:07:32 pm »

Hi Larry,

It appears you are addressing mixers like the
A&H QU-Pac/SB, Behr X32R, Mackie DL32R, Presonus RM16/32AI, Soundcraft Ui24R, Yamaha TF-Rack??

Much of my work is dances.
Years ago this meant a mixer at the back or side of the hall, and this worked ok.
Being able to mix with a tablet and go out on the dance floor has made my sound better.

I also do quite a few weddings and other events where years ago sometimes this meant mixing from behind the band.
Now I'm out in the hall.

I'm now doing almost all my really small shows on a Mackie DL1608, and anything larger on DL32Rs.
Mackie now has the Axis surface with real faders, but there's no place for one on a dance floor.
For some concerts and other events real faders would be handy, but to be honest, I'm now pretty quick and comfortable on the tablet.

If the router(carry a spare, and tablet, and mixer) totally goes, I can
dock a tablet in the DL1608, and
have setup the wired adapters to tablet for the DL32R just in case at larger events.
The Apple adapters work, but the
Rebotnix RB-Connect is simpler:  https://rbconnect.rebornix.com
(A new unit with pass-through power is in the works.)

At a concert in a soft-seat venue a motorized fader on a bigger digital mixer  almost  failed.
Every layer change had it struggling to get in position, with me helping as best possible,
accompanied by lots of noticeable whirring noise.  No fun.
Not cleaning and replacing motorized faders is fine with me.

Every choice is a compromise.
Choose what works best for you.

Thanks and good health,  Weogo

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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Rack mountable mixers the future or a trend?
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2017, 01:07:32 pm »


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