Author Topic: Behringer XR18 compared to Mackie:  (Read 887 times)

Weogo

  • Knight
  • ****
  • Location: Western North Carolina
  • Posts: 127
Behringer XR18 compared to Mackie:
« on: December 13, 2016, 07:08:04 PM »
Hi Folks,

I'm considering putting an XR18 in a local venue.
 
A few XR18 ~ Mackie comparison points:
) XR18 has apps for computer, Ipad and Android. 
   Between platforms, the apps look quite different, as if they were written by different developers.   
   Not all functionality available in Ipad app, for instance, no L/R master pan. 
   Mackie is Ipad only, but it is one of the best apps out there, so fine by me.
) Allows channel patching. 
   DL1608 does not, DL32R does.
) 18-track USB recording. 
   Two-track on DL1608, 32 track on DL32R.
) Being able to re-arrange faders looks useful, though
   the Mackie View Groups work fine for me.
) Phantom per channel. 
   DL32R has this, DL1608 is global.
) Combinator multi-band compressor would be useful for me. 
   Not available on Mackie.

) Easy wired connection to laptop. 
   This is possible with Mackies, but kinda clunky.
) Six auxes/groups is adequate for my smaller shows, in particular because
   I wouldn't need any outs for recording, like the DL1608. 
   Mackie has six auxes AND four sub-groups.
   If I need more auxes, the Mackie DL32R is the tool of choice.
) USB in/out adds lots of possibilities. 
   Not possible with the DL1608, DL32R has USB and Dante option.
) XLRs for aux outs are nice. 
   DL32R has these, the DL1608 TRS jacks are acceptable.
) No rack needed, sits fine on the floor. 
   DL1608 doesn't need rack.  DL32R best kept in a rack.
) Built-in power supply. 
   DL32R has this, DL1608 is external.
) Inexpensive, small light. 
   DL1608 not much more expensive.  DL32R costs more, but delivers more.

Things to improve:
) No Line-Delay.  In one venue, the tops are supposed to be delayed 4.8ms to match the subs.  In another venue I often run delay-fills.   
   Excellent output delays on Mackies.
) Sub-Groups can be assigned to a DCA, but the L/R can't be in that DCA. 
   Mackie has this feature.
) All reports are that the built-in WIFI is nearly useless. 
    I suggest they massively upgrade this, or take it out for one less failure point.
) With the Ipad and Android apps, it is difficult to set a frequency filter to exactly A440 or any other number. 
   On the computer, 440 isn't an option.
   Very easy to set frequency, etc. with Mackie.

Questions:
) Does anybody know the Low-Cut and Hi-Cut filter type and slope?  For instance Linkwitz-Riley, 24db/octave?
) I have tried the X-Air computer, Ipad and Android apps.  Also took a look at Mixing Station  -  any advantage to using this?
) How is the hardware holding up for you? 
   MusicGroup website says factory 3yr warranty.  Would you count on this, or
   buy from a place like Amazon that offers a 4 year, any failure replacement warranty?

) What 10" tablet would you use with the XR18?
   Looking for reliable, low-latency, good battery life.

Thanks and good health,  Weogo

WK154

  • Door #3
  • Master
  • *****
  • Location: Valencia CA
  • Posts: 2005
Re: Behringer XR18 compared to Mackie:
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2016, 11:35:30 PM »
Going to a Christmas party right now (after a performance) but I will give you an assessment owning several of these. The DL32 does not belong in this unless you want to also compare it with the X32.
Cheers

When in doubt KISS

Weogo

  • Knight
  • ****
  • Location: Western North Carolina
  • Posts: 127
Re: Behringer X32R compared to Mackie:
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2016, 10:26:21 PM »
Hi WK,

Thanks, I look forward to your post!

I have the DL1608 and DL32R and Yamaha 01V96.
(And work on DM1000, LS9, M7CL, QU16, Touchmix, early Presonus)

For me, this is a comparison exercise,
figuring out how the XR18 compares to what I know.


And you're right, the X32 has many good points.
Keeping it small, I ask we limit this mostly to the X32Rack.
(And knowing there are many options in the range, up to the Midas M32.)

) Most of the positives noted earlier carry over from the XR18 to the X32R.

) With 16 analog XLR inputs and 8 XLR outputs, it does not have
the channel or output count of the DL32R.
Though with the extra TRS inputs and outputs, and the Talkback mic input,
it all adds up to enough for most of my shows.

) If WiFi was down and no hardwired connection available, one could run the X32R from the front panel.
Not easily, but it could be done.  Not possible with XR18, DL1608 or DL32R.

) Using the PC program, I tried to set the output delay to 4.8ms.  My choices are 4.3 or 6.3. 
The Ipad app could do 4.9ms.  Close enough. 
Kinda hard to get it to get it to stop on the chosen number.
I like how the Mackies have the numerical entry option, and QSC Touchmix has coarse/fine and nudge.

) Trying to set a filter at 440Hz, the closest it will do is 432.5Hz or 447.7Hz. 
1/20th octave resolution.  Again, close enough. 
(My Yamaha 01V96 has 1/12 octave resolution.)

) I do a whole lot of folk music gigs, so many of the effects in the Behringers aren't so useful for me.
Hmm, maybe I need to try that Rotary Speaker on the next Banjo I see    : -)

) 100 Band RTA vs. Mackie 31 band.

) At 14.4#, It is a little lighter than the 18# DL32R.

) Three year factory warranty on the X32R.   DL32R is only one year, though many places, like Sweetwater, are tacking on a year.
I checked with Mackie and they said the DL32R has had a near zero failure rate.

) There are many more X32s out in the wild than there are Mackies.

All of these digital mixers have high and low points.
And any of them can pretty much run circles around my old analog mixers!

Thanks and good health,  Weogo

WK154

  • Door #3
  • Master
  • *****
  • Location: Valencia CA
  • Posts: 2005
Re: DL1608 vs. X18/XR18
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2016, 08:16:39 PM »
Hi Weogo,
Usually a comparison of equipment is done to make sure that all the needed features are there and you have a good idea of what you get for your money. So cost is certainly an important criteria, otherwise the choice would be quite simple, get the one with the most features no matter what the cost. A rare situation for most indeed.

So based on MAP pricing and as a comparison to the DL1608 ($599) with a +/-20% cost ( +/- $120)  the X18 ($499) and the XR18 ($699) qualify. No DL32 or X32 would meet that criteria. With also a very minor difference between the X18 and the XR18 the X18 is the better priced unit. The DL806L ($499) also fit in this price range but only has half the channels.
So what are the differences with these units that could make it a buy or be a deal-breaker? A lot would of course depend on your requirements and more important your workflow. It's not an easy question to answer since workarounds are usually available for workflow unless the hardware features or firmware is lacking.

Here goes the X18 vs. Dl1608 since they are the same form factor.  Hardware first and I will leave the biases and opinions up to you. Just the facts a I understand them.
Form factor is quite similar X18 has a tray, DL has a form fitted iPad tray that serves as a docking station and lock. This provides for charging of iPads/iPhones. Both can be rack mounted at extra expense. The DL is slightly smaller and lighter but should not be a deal breaker in any case.

The DL  requires an external 12V DC power supply unlike the X18's internal one. If you are battery operating your rig then the DL would be better because no AC converter is required.

So let's follow the signal chain. The input channel on the X18 has a combo jack on all 16 channels with individually select-able phantom power. There are also two additional RCA inputs (stereo)  for line gear, hence the #18. The DL has global Phantom power and only four combo jacks. This limits some mics and wiring choices. The X18 has a completely digital gain adjustment as oppose to the DL manual adjustment with a minor digital tweak as an afterthought. Both preamps are more than adequate for the job and the preferences I'll leave to you. The max input on XLR's for the X18 is 23 dBu the DL's is 21 dBu. The X18 TRS/RCA are only 16dBu as opposed to the DL's 30 dBu for line input. The X18 also has 2 channels of high Z input (1&2) for Guitar's etc. the DL is lacking this feature. Both units have USB I/O but the DL's is limited to 2 channels and does not meet USB specs (iPad specs only). The X18 can handle 2-18 channels for recording and playback, far more flexible. Both units have headphone outputs with the associated loudness control, however the X18 has an additional RCA output (not available on the XR18) for a powered monitor  with a source switchable between L&R or headphone (solo). The DL has none. Both units also have comparable Ethernet 10/100 connections for control but the X18 also includes a WiFi module (802.11 b/g) with a fixed internal antenna. A limit of 4 control surfaces are imposed. A DHCP server is also available for use in WiFi and wired use, the DL has none.

Next would be all the software/firmware features which I will leave for another time (after the Holidays). So let's move on to the output features.

The X18 has 16 dBu of output on all XLR/TRS/RCA connectors. The DL's is 21 dBu on all but headphones which is 18 dBu.
From a output perspective both units are quite similar in the usual L&R and Aux outs (6) but that's were it ends for the DL. The X18 has Ultranet out for PM or compatible speakers as  well as MIDI in/out for 3rd party controls and Behringer's X-touch which is also available via the Ethernet input.

If any of the above are missing must haves then consider them unavailable till the next hardware version. Any missing software/firmware features could always come along at a future time.  ;)

Happy Holidays,
Cheers

« Last Edit: December 17, 2016, 06:47:11 PM by WK154 »
When in doubt KISS

Weogo

  • Knight
  • ****
  • Location: Western North Carolina
  • Posts: 127
Re: Behringer XR18 compared to Mackie:
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2016, 09:42:28 PM »
Hi Wk,

Thanks for the post.

I have read the X-Air and X32 feature specs, have a pretty good idea of what they can do, and
am aware of costs.
Whenever possible I go for XLR and balanced connections, so the XR18 would be my choice over the X18.

I'm looking for a mixer for a small venue.
1  My first choice would be a DL24R.(Currently just a fantasy.)  Has enough functionality, and
I have used a lot of different mixer apps and by far, Mackie is my first choice.
2  In some ways the DL1608 would work well here, in particular being able to assign a DCA to the L/R master and an aux for the center-fill.
3  The XR18 would be adequate, and not needing a rack is a plus.
Also, the recallable preamps would be useful, and the two extra inputs.


For the X-Air app:
) The  Ipad app has pretty limited functionality. 

) The Windows program appears to have fairly complete mixer control.
Does the Windows program control ALL parameters?

) Does the Android app control all parameters?
) Does the Mixing Station app have more or less functionality?


Does the Android app work well on an 8" screen, or would you recommend 10"?
Will an inexpensive tablet work, or do you suggest a better quality, higher-powered unit?
Any specific suggestions?

Thanks and good health,  Weogo

WK154

  • Door #3
  • Master
  • *****
  • Location: Valencia CA
  • Posts: 2005
Re: Behringer XR18 compared to Mackie:
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2016, 04:31:12 AM »
I'm quite aware of your Mackie bias and you do have the DL1608 and a Dl32R. So why is it not sufficient for your usage? The X18 is the same form factor and the XR18 is not worth $200 extra for less I/O. Spend it on WiFi or a nice case. The Aux's are balanced just not XLR connectors.
To answer your other questions. Yes the PC/MAC?Linux app controls all parameters as does the Android. I would use Mix Station it has more features (iDCA's). It's also available for other mixers. Not to mention the fast response from the developer when a issue arises. Not the over a year for a full release of all features for the iPad from Behringer or Mackie's bug fixes. The iPad app is said to be in beta and hopefully released soon  ;). You can get a feel for what it will be like from the X32 iPad app. 10" would be my minimum screen size even for Mackie. If you are going for a Android tablet I use the Lenovo Tab 2 A10-70F at $170 a lot less than any iPad new. If time is not a problem I would wait for the iPad app release. My big issue is with Behringer's documentation, it's pitiful.
Cheers
P.S. "For me, this is a comparison exercise".  A comparison exercise may be useful for someone else buying.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2016, 01:51:22 AM by WK154 »
When in doubt KISS

Weogo

  • Knight
  • ****
  • Location: Western North Carolina
  • Posts: 127
Re: Behringer XR18 compared to Mackie:
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2016, 07:56:03 PM »
Hi WK,

In addition to the Mackie DL1608 & DL32R, I own Soundcraft(analog), and Yamaha(01V96) mixers.
In the past year I have also mixed on Allen & Heath, Behringer and Roland digital mixers.
The way I see it, my choice of Mackie, Behringer, or anything else is simply choosing the best tool for the job.

To answer your question, the DL32R is quite sufficient, except
it is often rented to another venue.
And with storage space at a premium in this new venue,
a little XR18 takes a good bit less space than a DL32R in  a rack.

I really appreciate the program/app and tablet notes and recommendations!
And agree, documentation can use improvement.

Now the question is, wait for the MR18?
If they added speaker delay I would go that route...

Thanks and good health,  Weogo

TimmyP1955

  • Charter Member
  • Youngling
  • **
  • Location:
  • Posts: 19
Re: Behringer XR18 compared to Mackie:
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2017, 04:44:53 PM »
The XR18 has two positives over some mixers:

The compressor is after the EQ, so when you EQ out the mic's proximity effect, the comp is no longer being pounded by that big 200Hz bump ( http://padrick.net/LiveSound/Proximity.jpg )

The compressor has sidechain EQ, so you can tailor the detector response.

Any mixer that does not offer at least one of the above is a non-starter for me, no matter how nice it is otherwise (Soundcraft Impact for instance).

Weogo

  • Knight
  • ****
  • Location: Western North Carolina
  • Posts: 127
Re: Behringer XR18 compared to Mackie:
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2017, 05:40:50 PM »
Hi Tim,

How are ya?!

Agreed, my general preference is EQ then comp.  Best is having it assignable.

Have you seen the Soundcraft Si24 announced at NAMM?
Am curious to see where it sits in all this.
For me, four rack spaces is going in the wrong direction...
Has anybody seen whether it has output delays?

Thanks and good health,  Weogo

musicman7722

  • Knight
  • ****
  • Location: Hamtpon NH, USA 03844
  • Posts: 160
    • Triple Play
Re: Behringer XR18 compared to Mackie:
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2017, 02:52:03 AM »
This is my second X-air mixer.  I had one maybe 3 years ago and sent it back.  I have ben using a Dl1608 for maybe 6 years.  I have really grown to dislike the form factor and the outputs seems weak.  Finally the right main out started to fail so I picked up a new X Air last week and I really do like it on many levels and I plan to keep it as my main board.

I have to mention that I feel the DL1608 is better on the app side than the XR.  It also has some features I am going to find hard to work without.

The primary feature is not being able to lock people out of areas using the app. to control their monitor   Another feature I miss is the ability to mute a channel in the fronts during break but not in the monitor.  My band is all direct with IEM to boot and they like to fiddle with their mix during break.  my drummer uses VDrums and he is always fiddling during a break.  Well now they can't as I can't shut them off out front.

Again these won't keep me from using the XR but I do miss them.

WK154

  • Door #3
  • Master
  • *****
  • Location: Valencia CA
  • Posts: 2005
Re: Behringer XR18 compared to Mackie:
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2017, 04:39:23 PM »
Musicman the approach to personal mixes is different and in the XR world it's a different App called X-air Q. Someday the iPad guys will get their act together and offer it as well. As to your mute issues, not having a more detailed workflow description, I'm sure it can also be handled.
When in doubt KISS

musicman7722

  • Knight
  • ****
  • Location: Hamtpon NH, USA 03844
  • Posts: 160
    • Triple Play
Re: Behringer XR18 compared to Mackie:
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2017, 05:58:56 PM »
Thanks for the reply.  I was just voicing the things I missed.

musicman7722

  • Knight
  • ****
  • Location: Hamtpon NH, USA 03844
  • Posts: 160
    • Triple Play
Re: Behringer XR18 compared to Mackie:
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2017, 06:00:29 PM »
Say could somebody who mixes off an Android Tablet post a screen shot of what their app looks like? 

I am setting up a PC laptop on my rig which is using Xair app sure if there are different types for a PC .

WK154

  • Door #3
  • Master
  • *****
  • Location: Valencia CA
  • Posts: 2005
Re: Behringer XR18 compared to Mackie:
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2017, 10:57:17 PM »
Say could somebody who mixes off an Android Tablet post a screen shot of what their app looks like? 

I am setting up a PC laptop on my rig which is using Xair app sure if there are different types for a PC .
Luckily you have two main apps on Android. Behringers and Schumann's. the better one.
https://dev-core.org/blog/
Take your pic they all have screen shots.
When in doubt KISS

TimmyP1955

  • Charter Member
  • Youngling
  • **
  • Location:
  • Posts: 19
Re: Behringer XR18 compared to Mackie:
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2017, 06:58:53 AM »
Nabi Big Tab 20.