Powerful mixer. Bang for the buck!
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
This is a great little mixer! I love that it can send 18 channels to a DAW via USB. I can record gigs & band practices, PLUS I can also do virtual soundchecks! In the laptop app, there are presets that allow you to quickly switch between analog or USB input across the board, so you can quickly jump in & out of virtual soundcheck. You can also select individual channels for USB input, so if someone is absent from band practice, you can use a recording of him/her from a prior practice session. Using the Ultranet feature with a Powerplay P-16M, it's SO EASY to get a great monitor mix. Plus, having 6 AUX outs means I have enough for the other band members (they don't use Ultranet, their loss), plus an AUX that I can dedicate to our FOH subs. It also has MIDI control over certain parameters. Using a MIDI foot controller, I unmute/mute a particular effect return at key points in a particular song. The same (and more) can also be accomplished via CC commands from a DAW, as long as your interface has MIDI. For FOH EQing & live soundchecks (not virtual soundchecks), I go wireless using an external router (for more security and the ability to use 5GHz). During performances, my laptop is hardwired to the XR18 via CAT5, and USB for DAW interaction. The CAT5 just in case the router flakes out, plus using USB for the DAW means the laptop is in close proximity to the mixer anyway. Whenever we have a "volunteer" to do our sound, he/she can mix wirelessly from FOH.
Pros: - Good mic preamps - Ability to connect external router, wifi baby! - Can record 18 channels to DAW - Flexible & intuitive apps for laptop, iPad, and Android - Ultranet allows ridiculously easy monitor mixing - Small & lightweight, no bigger than a snake breakout box; includes rackmount ears
Cons: - Built-in router is only WEP encryption, and is limited to the 2.4GHz band. - No iPhone support. Yup, you read correctly, no iPhone. - One more thing to mention. This isn't really a CON because the sheer number of CCs required makes this method of implementation necessary (or maybe it's industry standard). But if you use MIDI, know that the fade, mute, and pan CCs are on separate MIDI channels, so the mixer will hog up to 3 channels if you intend to use all the features.