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Author Topic: Touchscreen Mixers - Who uses them?  (Read 5605 times)

Rory Buszka

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Touchscreen Mixers - Who uses them?
« on: April 17, 2019, 10:56:37 pm »

I am considering a Soundcraft Ui24 for my system, since the touch-screen format (using an iPad/Surface or a connected laptop) seems to greatly decrease the cost of admission to digital mixers. Also, the form factor and light weight are attractive for one-man operations.

What I'd like to know is, who is using these in a professional context, where you are not the client? I have seen a few local bands where someone in the band (Keyboard player, bass player, whoever) is mixing the band from the stage (never the greatest solution), and it looks like they are using this as an alternative to hiring a "sound guy", with the built-in drawback that no one in the band or on staff is really focusing on the mixing task. But in your experience, are these stage-box mixers really up to the task of regular use in a rapidly changing show situation? I have this nagging concern about not being able to mute a channel in time to prevent nasty feedback. In your experience, do you find this to be a problem?
« Last Edit: April 17, 2019, 11:01:38 pm by Rory Buszka »
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Tim Hite

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Re: Touchscreen Mixers - Who uses them?
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2019, 11:44:40 pm »

I use a Ui24r amongst others tablet based mixers from Midas and A&H.

For the Soundcraft, you should definitely go jump into the Ui24r Users Group on  Facebook. It's a great community resource.

Loads of people here on the LAB are using tablet based mixers and tablet control of bigger mixing consoles fr gigs in various capacities.

I used mine for smaller gigs and haven't had any issues other than spotty wifi. The consensus is using 5GHz and an external WAP for connection as none of the tablet based mixers have a great radio in them for Wi-Fi.

Once the wi-fi is solid, the mixers are great tools. I certainly love not having to deploy a FOH console on smaller shows. My Ui24r sounds great and has a ton of features. There's certainly a lot going for these shoebox mixers if they are big enough to handle your gigs.

I also use ai-fi to connect to my X32 and a couple of A&H QuPac mixers I've put into installations. It's a great way to work, once you get the layout of the apps down.


I am considering a Soundcraft Ui24 for my system, since the touch-screen format (using an iPad/Surface or a connected laptop) seems to greatly decrease the cost of admission to digital mixers. Also, the form factor and light weight are attractive for one-man operations.

What I'd like to know is, who is using these in a professional context, where you are not the client? I have seen a few local bands where someone in the band (Keyboard player, bass player, whoever) is mixing the band from the stage (never the greatest solution), and it looks like they are using this as an alternative to hiring a "sound guy", with the built-in drawback that no one in the band or on staff is really focusing on the mixing task. But in your experience, are these stage-box mixers really up to the task of regular use in a rapidly changing show situation? I have this nagging concern about not being able to mute a channel in time to prevent nasty feedback. In your experience, do you find this to be a problem?
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Mike Caldwell

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Re: Touchscreen Mixers - Who uses them?
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2019, 11:57:18 pm »

As a QU Pac and a Ui16 user I second what Tim just said.

I only bring my large boards out maybe twice a year anymore.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2019, 03:42:53 pm by Mike Caldwell »
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Luke Geis

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Re: Touchscreen Mixers - Who uses them?
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2019, 12:16:42 am »

I have done it many times for different paying clients....... It is not fun. While it is convenient, quick and perhaps a relatively cheap way to do the job, it is not ideal, nor prudent as a business model. It is certainly something I wouldn't do unless I was VERY familiar with how to work around potential problems.

Wi-Fi is not a 100% reliable thing unless you spend real money and have a very well designed and robust network. That being said, most who get into tablet-based mixing don't exactly go out and buy Cisco networks and switchers. They get airport expresses, or other N300-600 routers from Staples and go to town. This is not what I consider a high-grade system. It works 90-95% of the time, and when it doesn't work, it is always when you need it to.

This is why you have to be 110% familiar with the system you're using. If you lose connection with the tablet, you must be able to quickly and easily abate disaster. This isn't usually a possibility with Core-based systems where there is no physical work surface and or all functions are within some sort of menu that is only accessible from a small number of buttons. Going with this format is very risky for mission-critical situations. It may be just fine for bands and other nonessential events, but for any gig where you are charging significant ( full market rates ) it is not wise.

Having been there and done that, I am glad to report that since I had gotten a smaller digital surface to work on, the X32R has not been out. I had an X32R that I sold to a club and then bought another to replace it. It went out on two shows before I purchased an M32R ( 16 channel physical surface ) and since then the X32R has not seen the light of day. So If you want an X32R that is in like new condition, I have one for sale :)     

I will say that the X32R is not a bad unit to be out with. You can set it up to mix a full band without using a tablet and while it is not as fast or as fun, you can do it. I have used an older version of the Presonus rack and it was very much not what the X32R is. You MUST have a work surface or GUI that is accessible when you don't have Wi-Fi or you will end up screwed.
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Dave Garoutte

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Re: Touchscreen Mixers - Who uses them?
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2019, 02:33:54 am »

One thing I like about the UI24 is that the 'app' allows the layout to be completely customized.  View groups, mute groups channel order, etc.  I'll be using it this weekend for a small Earth day gig.
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Steve Litscher

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Re: Touchscreen Mixers - Who uses them?
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2019, 03:27:06 am »

I *greatly* preferred using a wireless surface/tablet over using our physical consoles. We did 80 shows last year, and the C3500 went out twice, and the M32 went out once. For everything else, it was usually the dLive MixRack and a Surface Pro tablet, the X32R and an iPad, or the M32 Core w/DL32 and an iPad.

I understand the argument against relying on wireless... but consoles can also (and do) lose connectivity to a mix rack. Nothing in our fun little business is 100% reliable.

That said, having a good, reliable, professional-grade wireless access point and a "fall back" plan in place are critical to relying on touchscreen mixing. I'd argue that the Airport Express is pretty-darned reliable... been using them for the past 4 years in venues/settings large and small without issue. Properly deployed, they're solid performers.

Would I mix a national tour from a wireless/touchscreen surface? No way. Small festivals, regional acts, club gigs, corporate events? Absolutely.

Chris Grimshaw

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Re: Touchscreen Mixers - Who uses them?
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2019, 03:40:05 am »

My experience with tablet-controlled mixers has been pretty good. I own a QSC TM16, and take it to pretty much every gig. It does a lot of things I like, and has a built-in screen for if the network completely craps out. For me, that was one of the big selling points over a "black box" mixer where if your network goes down, you've got literally no way of controlling it.

If I have a FOH table, I'll usually have 2x iPads controlling the desk (you get 8x channels per screen), plus a small laptop running Armonia to monitor the power amps.
I'm thinking of moving to 3x iPads so I've got 16x faders, plus a spare for messing around on (channel processing, FX, whatever). I like to have everything immediately to hand, like we did with analogue desks.

I do miss having faders, and if someone came out with a bank of faders that can connect to the USB port on a tablet and work with the app, I'd go out and buy two right now.

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Mark Scrivener

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Re: Touchscreen Mixers - Who uses them?
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2019, 04:06:20 am »

With the Ui24R you can connect via Cat 5/6 cable to the Ethernet port and not worry about loosing WiFi. This works great if you have a FOH table. The Ui24R in "Big D" mode with a large touch screen (22" is what I use) is a joy to work with. No, it isn't as nice as having physical faders, but it is easy to work with, very snappy, and sounds great. Even with a small tablet it is easy to use once you set up views (kinda like layers).

Douglas R. Allen

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Re: Touchscreen Mixers - Who uses them?
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2019, 05:50:42 am »

   Hi; 
  Two weeks ago I loaned out some subs to a friend and got to enjoy a free show. He has a Soundcraft Ui24. I thought it sounded fine and he had no problems getting a good sound in a local sit down venue. I use a M32R and MixStation Pro with good results. Kind of the best of both worlds.  I like having both available. A low cost effective setup would be something like a X32 Producer with MixStation Pro. The Producer can be rack mounted if needed and has a small form factor. You'd have the surface to get familiar with the desk and when you have a handle on that go wireless with a tablet. MixStation Pro has scribble strips that come in handy starting out.  Also the X32/M32 line can go up to 32 channels with stage boxes. (40 channels with the Aux inputs) 

  Douglas R. Allen

I am considering a Soundcraft Ui24 for my system, since the touch-screen format (using an iPad/Surface or a connected laptop) seems to greatly decrease the cost of admission to digital mixers. Also, the form factor and light weight are attractive for one-man operations.

What I'd like to know is, who is using these in a professional context, where you are not the client? I have seen a few local bands where someone in the band (Keyboard player, bass player, whoever) is mixing the band from the stage (never the greatest solution), and it looks like they are using this as an alternative to hiring a "sound guy", with the built-in drawback that no one in the band or on staff is really focusing on the mixing task. But in your experience, are these stage-box mixers really up to the task of regular use in a rapidly changing show situation? I have this nagging concern about not being able to mute a channel in time to prevent nasty feedback. In your experience, do you find this to be a problem?
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Bob Faulkner

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Re: Touchscreen Mixers - Who uses them?
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2019, 07:03:20 am »

I have done it many times for different paying clients....... It is not fun. While it is convenient, quick and perhaps a relatively cheap way to do the job, it is not ideal, nor prudent as a business model. It is certainly something I wouldn't do unless I was VERY familiar with how to work around potential problems.

Wi-Fi is not a 100% reliable thing unless you spend real money and have a very well designed and robust network. That being said, most who get into tablet-based mixing don't exactly go out and buy Cisco networks and switchers. They get airport expresses, or other N300-600 routers from Staples and go to town. This is not what I consider a high-grade system. It works 90-95% of the time, and when it doesn't work, it is always when you need it to.
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If you are looking for touchscreen (et al) for your band or if you are mixing for only close friends, this would work.  However, as a business practice, this would not be a good choice.

In my small business, I mix for several bands on their Ipads.  It is great... convenient... and gives you freedom.  Though, when I do my own production work, it's all on regular consoles (analog and digital).  For me, the strengths in physical consoles over touchscreen/Ipads is evident during festivals where there's multiple bands, with various stage input changes (between bands) and monitor changes (routing).
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Re: Touchscreen Mixers - Who uses them?
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2019, 07:03:20 am »


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