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Author Topic: "Cheap" digital mixers running FOH at big festivals!!! Wow!  (Read 3031 times)

Mark Scrivener

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"Cheap" digital mixers running FOH at big festivals!!! Wow!
« on: August 18, 2019, 03:26:50 am »

I was just looking at the Ui24R facebook page. A sound engineer at the Frequency Festival in Austria posted photos and videos of the Ui24R being used at the main stage for FOH! Well, actually he has 2 Ui24R's cascaded to get more inputs, both located on stage, Ethernet cable to FOH for mixing on a touch screen, small box for talkback and headphone monitoring via the same Ethernet cable.

There were a few comments about being brave using a sub $1k box vs a high end industry standard, and his response was basically "hey, the high end console can fail just as easy as the inexpensive box, and I like this better".

I own and love the Ui24R, but not sure I'd use it for a large big dollar festival (web says ~140K attendance). But I have to admit, the delta between high end and mainstream budget gear is getting less and less. I know there is much more to a live console than audio quality, but I've recorded gigs using the Ui24R and was seriously blown away how close it came to what I could do in my recording studio with MUCH more expensive gear. You could by several Ui24r's for just what my A/D converters cost. Heck I have more money in patchbays than the cost of the Ui24R. Now I'm not replacing six figures of recording equipment with a little $1k blue box anytime soon, but just think what tape machines used to cost back in the day....and now we use a computer and some A/D converters. In live sound, racks of outboard have already disappeared. Could high dollar digital live consoles be on the endangered list?

As someone once said, "The times they are a changin'"
« Last Edit: August 18, 2019, 04:04:22 am by Mark Scrivener »
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John Halliburton

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Re: "Cheap" digital mixers running FOH at big festivals!!! Wow!
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2019, 10:18:09 am »

I was just looking at the Ui24R facebook page. A sound engineer at the Frequency Festival in Austria posted photos and videos of the Ui24R being used at the main stage for FOH! Well, actually he has 2 Ui24R's cascaded to get more inputs, both located on stage, Ethernet cable to FOH for mixing on a touch screen, small box for talkback and headphone monitoring via the same Ethernet cable.

There were a few comments about being brave using a sub $1k box vs a high end industry standard, and his response was basically "hey, the high end console can fail just as easy as the inexpensive box, and I like this better".

I own and love the Ui24R, but not sure I'd use it for a large big dollar festival (web says ~140K attendance). But I have to admit, the delta between high end and mainstream budget gear is getting less and less. I know there is much more to a live console than audio quality, but I've recorded gigs using the Ui24R and was seriously blown away how close it came to what I could do in my recording studio with MUCH more expensive gear. You could by several Ui24r's for just what my A/D converters cost. Heck I have more money in patchbays than the cost of the Ui24R. Now I'm not replacing six figures of recording equipment with a little $1k blue box anytime soon, but just think what tape machines used to cost back in the day....and now we use a computer and some A/D converters. In live sound, racks of outboard have already disappeared. Could high dollar digital live consoles be on the endangered list?

As someone once said, "The times they are a changin'"

A fellow engineer and friend from Ireland has been traveling with his A&H SQ5 for over a year now, currently in Milwaukee at the largest Irish music festival in the world taking feeds from DLives, SD7, among others.  Clearwing have a bunch of DLive there as well as SQ on the smaller stages this year.  Pretty cool.

Best regards,

John
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Tim Weaver

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Re: "Cheap" digital mixers running FOH at big festivals!!! Wow!
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2019, 12:39:50 pm »

I suspect that the reason the Ui was used at FOH was because it requires no footprint. Visiting desks have more real estate to set up without a house desk in the way. Holmes can wrangle the MC and BGM channels with an ipad. It makes the strike at the end very easy.

Festivals are a marathon not a sprint. Sometimes it's about managing your workload. These headless mixers do a great job of that.
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Mal Brown

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Re: "Cheap" digital mixers running FOH at big festivals!!! Wow!
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2019, 12:55:32 pm »

Iím a big fan of the UI-24r and use it almost exclusively now. Over the winter Iíll add another and learn the ntracies of cascading. 

The Australian Company SM was the original developer bought out by Harmon.  The old UI product manager Danny Olesh is an active FOH engineer down under.  That could be one reason you see it in use at big shows down there.

My UI rig is based on a good external router, a Dell All In One Touch screen PC - all held up by an APC 900 va UPS.  For me it has been bullet proof.

I am still running firmware v2.  Following the news on v3.  It is Harmon after all... I may do he upgrade after the busy season ends.  For sure not now!
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Keith Broughton

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Re: "Cheap" digital mixers running FOH at big festivals!!! Wow!
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2019, 02:35:49 pm »

I still cannot come to terms with my show being at the mercy of a tablet on wireless.
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brian maddox

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Re: "Cheap" digital mixers running FOH at big festivals!!! Wow!
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2019, 02:58:04 pm »

I still cannot come to terms with my show being at the mercy of a tablet on wireless.

It does sound like this situation was hardwired ethernet to FOH.  Yeah, using WiFi for a large show wouldn't just be a bad idea, it likely just wouldn't work...
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Mark Scrivener

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Re: "Cheap" digital mixers running FOH at big festivals!!! Wow!
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2019, 03:03:52 pm »

It does sound like this situation was hardwired ethernet to FOH.  Yeah, using WiFi for a large show wouldn't just be a bad idea, it likely just wouldn't work...

Yes, from what I can tell this show used a hard wired Ethernet connection. That said, I have seen other posts in the group where people used commercial WiFi routers to insure solid coverage and indeed mixed wireless....and they were very big shows. Even with a high end WiFi router, that seems brave.

Alec Spence

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Re: "Cheap" digital mixers running FOH at big festivals!!! Wow!
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2019, 04:00:41 pm »

Nothing wrong with using a mixer like the UI24 for a show like that with a wired connection to the control device.

What amazed me recently was realising that Elton John's monitor mix uses SAC.  I'd written that off as cheap Heath Robinson technology from a previous era.  But you don't get much bigger than Elton...
http://fohonline.com/articles/production-profile/elton-john-farewell-yellow-brick-road-tour/

Also, while Digico is hardly low end, I remember Ed Sheeran being mixed on an SD11 for a few years...
« Last Edit: August 18, 2019, 04:02:52 pm by Alec Spence »
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Mal Brown

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Re: "Cheap" digital mixers running FOH at big festivals!!! Wow!
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2019, 04:23:01 pm »

I still cannot come to terms with my show being at the mercy of a tablet on wireless.
Hard wired LAN always.  The tablet is for wandering, ringing out monitors, rough monitor mixes, etc.  The PC on the LAN is FOH.
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Dan Mortensen

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Re: "Cheap" digital mixers running FOH at big festivals!!! Wow!
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2019, 04:31:28 pm »

Well, actually he has 2 Ui24R's cascaded to get more inputs

Do the Ui24R's allow all busses to be cascaded as well as the PFL's and headphone outputs?

Pretty cool if so.
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Re: "Cheap" digital mixers running FOH at big festivals!!! Wow!
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