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FDP Forum / Miscellaneous and Non-Fender Topics / PA system for Music Room

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Hammond101
Contributing Member
**********

So. Cal. USA

Jul 31st, 2017 10:13 AM   Edit   Profile  

Wow, this has to be confusing. Kiss program. Keep it as simple as possible. For years I used Mackie CFX16 and CFX20 mixers (*great btw)QSC amps and Yamaha speakers for both mains(subs too) and monitors. I dragged around a 100ft snake as well.

About 2 years ago I bought a Behringer XR18 wireless mixer. Since that time I haven't hauled a snake once. Yay! Yeah I know that name but this thing really works.

This thing has may different sides to its make up. 16 mic channels, stereo aux in and 8 aux outs allow a big band if needed. You can run 8 different monitor mixes. The built in wireless router is fine for small gathering and home use. Out of the house a carry a Linksys router for pro stability. You can mix from your cell phone a tablet or a laptop. I typically use a laptop. It makes a great recording mixer. The preamps are not as good as the Mackie's but sound great unless pushed beyond their limits with gain. FX are excellent and you can run up to four different FX at once. I you play with the same group all the time you can set up access for up to eight band members via a smart phone for their own monitor mix.

I'm in the process of getting rid of all my passive speakers and going with powered units. I'd recommend powered units if you purchase a non-powered mixer. Less room will be taken up in your studio room with power amps.

Recommendations? Actually a used CFX 16 would do very nicely and would not set you back much. You would be limited to 2 monitor mixes. Powered speaker/monitors would complete the deal. Mics, yes, the Shure stuff can't be beat. SM-58 for vocs and SM-57 for instruments.

You will be amazed at what you spend on cables to plug all this stuff together. Another reason for powered speakers. XLR (mic cables) for everything.

davywhizz
Contributing Member
********

Redesdale UK

"Still Alive And Well"
Jul 31st, 2017 10:42 AM   Edit   Profile  

Our Mackie mixer is a CR1604 - VLZ. Quite old now but very reliable and highly recommended. It was a massive improvement on the Yamaha MG12 mixer we had before that, and that one was great for the price.

I've never done it, and don't even pretend to understand it, but you can also use the Mackie for recording. Basically the first 8 channels would be used as normal, for instrument and voice inputs, but the second 8 (9-16) control "track 1", "track 2" etc of your recording. The channel strips are labelled like that. Someone on FDP will know all about this and which other mixers can do the same.

jhawkr
Contributing Member
**********
**********
******

Wichita, KS USA

It's all gravy from here on...
Jul 31st, 2017 10:53 AM   Edit   Profile  

The ProFx line has a line out for your computer.

BlondeStrat
Contributing Member
**********
**********
*****

Las Vegas NV

Can't complain but sometimes I still do
Jul 31st, 2017 12:58 PM   Edit   Profile  

Would that "line out" mean I would not need the Focusrite interface in order to record?

Edited to add: sounds like davywhizz is indicating all I need the the mixer ... Assuming I pick the right one. ;)

(This message was last edited by BlondeStrat at 03:06 PM, Jul 31st, 2017)

jhawkr
Contributing Member
**********
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******

Wichita, KS USA

It's all gravy from here on...
Jul 31st, 2017 02:03 PM   Edit   Profile  

The Mackie can do recording to a DAW.

BlondeStrat
Contributing Member
**********
**********
*****

Las Vegas NV

Can't complain but sometimes I still do
Jul 31st, 2017 02:23 PM   Edit   Profile  

DAW??

Peegoo
Contributing Member
**********
**********
******

The rain sounds like

a round of applause
Jul 31st, 2017 04:48 PM   Edit   Profile  

Digital audio workstation.

jhawkr
Contributing Member
**********
**********
******

Wichita, KS USA

It's all gravy from here on...
Jul 31st, 2017 06:55 PM   Edit   Profile  

See the "Home Recording Forum" for tons of info on DAW's and much, much more.

BlondeStrat
Contributing Member
**********
**********
*****

Las Vegas NV

Can't complain but sometimes I still do
Jul 31st, 2017 08:28 PM   Edit   Profile  

"See the "Home Recording Forum" for tons of info on DAW's and much, much more."

I have snooped around in there a bit from time to time.

After asking the question ... DAW? I did eventually figure it out. It is something I am aware of but did not put it together with DAW until I had half a day at work thinking about all this stuff.

Fortunate thing for me is I can do what I do for work and be thinking about damn near anything. ;)

BlondeStrat
Contributing Member
**********
**********
*****

Las Vegas NV

Can't complain but sometimes I still do
Jul 31st, 2017 08:36 PM   Edit   Profile  

I stopped at Guitar Center on the way home.

It was almost in my way, just pull into the parking lot as I was crossing town on Charleston.

Found a sales rep with some pretty substantial knowledge on this stuff. Says he has spent the last 22 years designing sound studios and the likes.

The problem there is he is a sales rep and will with out a doubt be thinking largely in terms of what all he wants to sell, while I'll be thinking in terms of what do I really need.

One good thing about it is with Guitar Center I have the guy there and the stuff also right there.

It is nice to be able to grab something and say, "looky here" or 'listen up to this", while you are talking about an item.

Anyway, I purchased nothing. Didn't even come close ;)



Tony Wright
Contributing Member
****

Stillwater, OK

I never met a calorie I didn't like.
Jul 31st, 2017 11:41 PM   Edit   Profile  

Regarding the Mackie CFX mixer series...good mixers and outdated now as several features have improved the newer replacement which are...

(wait for it...)

The new improved Mackie ProFX mixer series that I was suggesting.

There is NOTHING WRONG with the Mackie CFX series. I was in a band for 4 years where they had a CFX16...great mixer. I seriously considered one more than once...then when I saw they were discontinued, I started kicking my own butt...until the ProFX came out.

What does the ProFX offer over the CFX series?

USB OUTPUT on the back.

I own two of the ProFX12 and love them for simple and easy.

I love the ProFX16 because it has two monitor mixes and up to six Sub Group Outputs AS WELL as the extra input channels AND COMPRESSION (granted, it is "single knob controlled compression".)

You cannot go very wrong with any of the CFX or ProFX mixers. It is darn difficult to go wrong with a quality brand name for your speakers...whether you opt for powered speakers with internal power supply or external power amps with passive speakers.

I KNOW LESS THAN NOTHING ABOUT RECORDING.

As for the Behringer XR18Air (wireless) mixer. We have one at work. The young guys love it. We use it for several applications at the Center. We will be assigning it to the collegiate ministry that rents from us for their mid week service. The tech that works that gig is proficient on the XR18Air software and control surfaces...and he is the same age as the people involved as musicians or congregation or worship leaders at that client's services. For their fast and simple set up, they love that board and that other tech. I have successfully avoided that assignment. I get the "gray hair brigade" events and some "public speaking events"...and more than my fair share of main office assignments. For a few events, I bring in my ProFX that is appropriate (12 or 16) and go to work. I can get decent sound in less than 10 minutes. Works pretty decent for MY assignments and my own sound for hire and my own band.

BUT...there are lots of options. Find what you like. but there are lots of current model mixers that offer USB output to your recording device.

I bought one of the hand held TASCAM stereo recorders...recorded to a "card". (I am repeating what I was told.) I used it twice and screwed it up both times. The local volunteer choral group complained their "internal tech guy who knew how to set up the cumbersome recording gear" was having health issues and would not be back. They were having a panic. I offered to loan them my TASCAM DR-05 to see if it would help for the short term AND if they wanted to see about perhaps buying a smaller, simpler recorder. They bought their own after using mine for 3 performances. My son came to town lamenting his partner in a class project left the school's Tascam recorder back in DFW (Master's student in film production at UNT, Denton) I loaned and later "gave" him the DR-05 to get him thru this project. I told him that it was his, keep it.

SIMPLE recorder. I just don't do the whole digital stuff very well. This? Digital? Really, who knew, I thought I just typed and all the other stuff just appeared like magic.

Selecting a PA system is about like picking a guitar amp. For the most part, they all do the same job...

If your recorder does not have a USB input, you can always go to the mixer on either ProFX-12 or -16. Take your speakers out of the XLR main output. THEN take the recording signal out of the mixer via the 1/4 inch output on the "Main Out" and put that into your recording device of your own choosing.

Worth repeating:

It is pretty hard to screw it up beyond repair.

If it sounds good to YOU then that is the only opinion that matters.

Hammond101
Contributing Member
**********

So. Cal. USA

Aug 1st, 2017 12:21 AM   Edit   Profile  

Tony, you should really try mixing a show with the XR18. I find the control surface so much like my Mackies it is uncanny.

Other than less headroom in the preamps, and that is easily solved there isn't much I dislike.

Tony Wright
Contributing Member
****

Stillwater, OK

I never met a calorie I didn't like.
Aug 1st, 2017 06:35 AM   Edit   Profile  

Hammond...are you saying that you hit "Peak/Clip" a little quicker with the Gain above 50% with the XR18 than with the Mackoids? Probably not the end of the world.

My problem thus far is learning where stuff is hidden on screens. At least with the Presonus SL-16.4.2 there is a real board with real controls. (Uhhh, remember we have the XR18AIR not the "board" version.)

And to be fair, I have only used the XR18Air on two occasions. And even those, I probably only had full control without someone leaning over me for maybe 5 minutes each time.

...and no real training on that system in the first place.

Hammond101
Contributing Member
**********

So. Cal. USA

Aug 1st, 2017 10:44 AM   Edit   Profile  

Yeah, I have the Air model.

I will admit it was a bit intimidating at first. "What if something happens and I can't find the control?" type of thing. I take real pride in doing sound. The change was a bit un-nerving at first.

I mix mostly from a 15.5" laptop as the entire mixer fits on the screen. I set the thing up when I bought it and just fiddled with it for an afternoon. That top row of buttons for Input, EQ, Sends, FX. etc. and clicking on an individual channel is the key. I've gotten quite quick with adjustments. If seated I use a mouse. Walking around a room I use the touch screen function of the 2 in 1 laptop. I always bring a tablet as a backup and load my first scene to it just in case.

As for the preamps, it's just easier to overdrive them. The Mackie is such a forgiving board. The Behringer's sound just fine to my ears. Not an issue at all for anyone who knows what they are doing. You just need to watch your input gain (yes, on another screen) or you can detect a bit of clip if pushed too hard.

The other thing I do miss is a sub out. Very handy on the Mackie boards. With all the FX and compressors built into the XR18Air all I need is one little rack case with the mixer/stagebox and the crossover in it. I set my router on top of that.

Setting up "talk back" requires a wireless mic. Break/house music can also be problematic. I understand there are now added apps so you can send music from your control device to the X-Air software app.

FOH house mixing from anywhere in the room is sweet. Better yet is being able to walk up on stage during sound check and make monitor adjustments. Eight sends is a bit of overkill for me but I typically run 4. I get complements of, "We've never had such a good stage mix before".

I bought this thing mainly to get rid of my snake. I still own it but some venues it was not possible to use it and I'd be stuck doing a side mix. I didn't like hauling the snake, uncoiling and winding the thing back up, 100', 24 channels with 8 returns, a real Anaconda.

One more thing. Everybody who owns an XR18 should know about the reset button next to the wireless LAN switch. If the unit will not connect via wireless at setup you stick an uncoiled paperclip in the little hole to reset the unit then power cycle. Mine has never had an issue but I've reset a friends unit who had an issue at a gig. If you lose wireless connection while using the unit(unlikely and has never happened to me with the router) it just keeps going with the last settings. You can reconnect on the fly and the band or audience doesn't know the difference.

We've come a long way from the Shure Vocalmaster. I had one of those, a Phase Linear 400 and two Voice of the Theaters back in the day!

Tony Wright
Contributing Member
****

Stillwater, OK

I never met a calorie I didn't like.
Aug 2nd, 2017 02:29 AM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks for the review of the XR18.

I will try to spend some quality time on it learning the operation. Finding that time is rather hard.

Juice Nichols
Contributing Member
********

Panama City, FL

I'm just a dude, playing a dude...
Aug 8th, 2017 11:47 AM   Edit   Profile  

I've had an XR18 for a little over a year now and agree with Hammond that this thing is a beast for it's size. It's basically taking an X32, cutting it in half, and stuffing it in a stage box. I agree that the built in router is not very good outside of the house and since I switched to an external router I've never experienced a problem connectivity wise. It also doubles as my mobile recording interface and performs quite well in that configuration too!

The quality of Behringer products has increased considerably over the last few years. I own numerous products from this company and have never had one of their pieces of gear fail on me and this stuff gets gigged quite a bit.

BlondeStrat
Contributing Member
**********
**********
*****

Las Vegas NV

Can't complain but sometimes I still do
Aug 23rd, 2017 04:30 PM   Edit   Profile  

Found this in a Pawn Shop this afternoon.

I got it for $80.00 OTD, didn't feel too bad about that. It's really clean. Shows no signs of abuse at all.

It has only 4 inputs, but being an amplifier as well I can purchase less expensive standard speakers.

I'm hoping this thing can accomplish what I need in there and do it at budget pricing.

Edited to add: My buddy Mike and I tested it out (he has speakers, I don't) This unit seems to work perfectly!

And from what I could hear it should do what I need just fine and dandy :)

Peavey XM-4 Mixer Amplifier

(This message was last edited by BlondeStrat at 06:38 PM, Aug 25th, 2017)

BlondeStrat
Contributing Member
**********
**********
*****

Las Vegas NV

Can't complain but sometimes I still do
Aug 25th, 2017 05:04 PM   Edit   Profile  

Can someone give me some guidance on what I have here for speaker output.

It says 4 ohm, also speaker jacks paralleled.

Does just plugging in two 8 ohm cabinets put me right on this, or is there something more I need to know?

Also, two *ON* positions *off* at center ... Is one a standby? Nothing marked as such.

Mixer out

Bopper
Contributing Member
**********
********

Motor City, USA

Better get hit in yo' soul
Aug 26th, 2017 09:45 AM   Edit   Profile  

This help?

Manual

BlondeStrat
Contributing Member
**********
**********
*****

Las Vegas NV

Can't complain but sometimes I still do
Aug 26th, 2017 10:06 AM   Edit   Profile  

Well, maybe.

The link was indicated to be a security risk, so I won't be moving any further into it ;)

Edited to add: Found another way to it. Thanks for the suggestion. ;)

I'd still like confirmation on the speaker aspect. I'm no brainiac on this stuff and the instructions don't say any more than what is on the back of the amp.

(This message was last edited by BlondeStrat at 12:13 PM, Aug 26th, 2017)

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FDP Forum / Miscellaneous and Non-Fender Topics / PA system for Music Room




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