I'm going to try and keep this post short and sweet... Last Tue I went to the Australian Tech Expo "ENTECH". I wandered up to the JANDS booth and realised there was a Soundcraft rack-mount digital mixer sitting in their case. Upon talking to the representative about the Soundcraft UI24R Mixer I quickly saw the crazy potential of this digital mixer.
Straight up "wow" factor features:
- 20 inputs (10 TRS/XLR combo jacks, 10 XLR)
- USB recording interface!
- WIFI - Web-based ui for mixing.
- What this is, is instead of downloading an APP (which can be very buggy with versions etc), a web based mixing ui is literally a webpage run locally through the units WIFI connection. Meaning any device that is WIFI and HTML5 compatible (basically any smart phone) can connect to it... Regardless of OS version etc... Because it is run in a browser window.
- I need to elaborate on this more.. So here is a scenario: All of your headphones and AUX mixes are going out of the 8 AUX outs. Every person can control their own mix with their smartphone (or even nintendo DS is they want). While one sound engineer sets up the foldback mix and the other sound engineer configures the FOH mix. The representative informed me that up to 10 simultaneous connections are possible. This is ridiculous....
- Studer preamps, Digitech Amp Modelling (ch 1 and 2), lexicon digital FX and DBX compressors..... Again.. Stupidly good...
- Smart-chip technology "Harman Connected PA" integrated with specific AKG mics allowing total recall of settings regardless of channel. Label that mic, pull up the eq and compression, save it and never have to set it up again, regardless of which input you choose to plug it into.. Turn the system off, back on again, plug that mic in to any channel and the settings for that mic stay.
- 8 AUX outs + MANY MORE Features...
That's it.. I need to stop.. Go buy one and throw out all of your recording gear and mixing desks...
I hate to say it but WIFI digital mixers with touchpad friendly ui's are fierce competition for digital and analogue consoles in live AND studio applications... Yes ok, workflow is much faster on a console, I know.. You have two hands zipping around the desk doing things. But wait... This mixer can recall mixes AND with the smart technology they have incorporated with AKG and JBL it seriously speeds up your workflow. You could individually label drum mics and not have to worry about tweaking the settings each time. A viable investment if you ask me?
The only place this mixer falls down is the DAW workflow for pro's. They can have their $80,000 fully automated SSL desks and we can kick back with our UI24R's that cost <$2000 AUD and just keep clicking around in our DAW's (some of us have found decent control surfaces to improve workflow). PLUS! don't forget the Soundcraft UI24R can be easily lugged to gigs.
Special mention - I also advocate the idea that it is possible to get the entire mix in the unit using the above mentioned onboard FX and Compression. Reducing the amount of "in-the-box" mixing that we have to do in our DAW's. Another plus for reducing CPU load! Here's the last scenario I'm going to leave you with... When I record drums, I always find myself reaching over to my interface to tweak levels. If I had this unit I could do all of that from an Ipad mounted on a mic stand. Need more be said?
I need to get my hands on one of these.... So I can do a proper video review...
Disclaimer: I'm an independent musician with no journal ties to any company. I am purely sharing my discovery for people to think about.
Regards, James Founder JTM Music