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Backup Mixer

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Backup Mixer

Postby Dave B » Thu Mar 14, 2019 3:11 pm

Does anyone have one / regularly cart it around to gigs?

I do like the idea of redundancy / failover, but a whole mixer seems a little extravagant - until things start to go wahooney-shaped. Did a gig last weekend and, whilst it went smoothly rigging, there was a moment of buttock clenching terror when the mixer sulked on power on and didn't come up. It's a lovely QSC Touchmix and part of me was half convinced that it was just the screen that didn't light up (and might still have been usable over wifi) rather than a total failure. Fortunately, a combination of 'tech fault fix #1' and unplugging the cables seemed to make it happy and it performed flawlessly all night.

But what raced through my mind was : even if this only happens occasionally, we would have to get it serviced and we are just too reliant on having lots of auxes and remote control. So I'm thinking of splurging on a Berry X18R as :

a) it's cheap (ridiculously so given it's abilities)
b) it can pack away in a small bag which is rather funky
c) it's got the features we need
d) our FOH is used to the control software as he runs an X32 system for his church
e) another band I play in uses one and this would make it a spare for that scenario as well.

Any one got any better ideas?

My only gripe is that it acts as a usb interface, so I'd need to take an iPad or laptop around to record anything. And I'm still not wild about a 'black box' type solution - but I know others who run them regularly and they seem happy.
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Re: Backup Mixer

Postby MarkPAman » Thu Mar 14, 2019 4:29 pm

My main desk these days is an SQ6 and I'll take my Qu-Pac to all my larger gigs as a backup.
A small (analogue) Alto tends to go to all the smaller ones where the Qu-Pac is the main desk - though the Alto's only really enough to get vocals and one monitor mix running, it would be better the nothing!

So far, I've never had to use the spare......(probably going to regret saying that)

If I didn't have those available, I'd definitely be getting the Behringer one. I know several people who have them and I've used them enough to know that it would make a fine back up desk.
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Re: Backup Mixer

Postby Mike Stranks » Thu Mar 14, 2019 4:51 pm

Exactly the same happened to me once Dave with my Touchmix. I did the same as you and all was well.

I thought it might be a deeply-buried bug, but thinking back after came to the conclusion that it was a mains-blip that caused it.

And I never carry a spare mixer... :shock:
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Re: Backup Mixer

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Mar 14, 2019 4:59 pm

More or less the same here, the DL1608 goes in the car whenever I'm gigging the X32 and the old 1202, now an XR12, when I'm giving the DL. If I'm giving the XR12 I can manage by just singing louder (but I probably have an AER in the car.........). Actually the FOH and monitor cabs all have a mic input or two so I can cobble something together to get the gig done with a duo or three piece.
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Re: Backup Mixer

Postby CS70 » Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:02 pm

Hmm... I've been thinking of carrying a spare drummer at times but then maybe I'm talking the concept too far :D
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Re: Backup Mixer

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:06 pm

:shock: :shock: :shock:
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Re: Backup Mixer

Postby The Elf » Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:19 pm

I don't carry spares of everything, but I do have a few (e.g. laptop), and I have thought-out backup/fall-back plans for if things go awry. So far, so good, but one day I suppose I'll get a failure for something I've never considered!

Many keyboards can act as secondary inputs for others, such as Kurzweil K-series synths, and even the Roland System 8. These are good synths to have on hand in a fix.
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Re: Backup Mixer

Postby Wonks » Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:22 pm

CS70 wrote:Hmm... I've been thinking of carrying a spare drummer at times but then maybe I'm talking the concept too far :D

How many songs do you play that are in 5/4 or 6/8 where you need a second drummer to play the extra beats per bar beyond 4?
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Re: Backup Mixer

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:39 pm

I only have that problem when the drummer is in the MU and is working to rule :D
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Re: Backup Mixer

Postby Dave B » Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:36 pm

Hmmmnnn.. brain is slowly kicking into gear here. I've just realised that I have a 1202 in a rather nifty gig bag which is doing nothing and is left at home. This should live in my 'big gig trunk' which has lights, cables, spares and stageboxes. That way, if anything did go wrong with the main mixer, I have enough inputs for vox+keys and a couple of auxes handy. We could blag our way through a gig with that - the two wedges that we have are loud enough for us all to hear something at a pinch and the drummer can take a headphone feed for the click direct from it's source (iPad).

So I don't need to rush out and buy another mixer right now - that's me being a good boy for a change. In the mid-long term, I think that my plan to get an XR18 is still a valid one - handy to have a 'b' rig which can give us what we need, and it would still be a valid backup for other uses.

I've just tested the QSC and it's happy as the proverbial - so between that and Mike's comment on having seen it before, I'm happy it's an odd thing. I've also double checked some other gear and it's all happy too so all in all a productive thread / evening.

Cheers all.
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Re: Backup Mixer

Postby Bob Bickerton » Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:16 pm

I’ve never worked with a backup mixer before but did strike an issue with an MR18, Midas equivalent of the XR18, which had a complete breakdown in terms of communicating with my iPad. Fortunately the gig was fairly close to home and the band were able to play acoustically until I picked up a replacement mixer.

At that point I decided to never use a mixer which relied solely on a tablet to drive.

I’ve never had an issue with the TouchMix, but there are times when I think maybe I should have an analogue mixer in the back of the car just in case...........

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Re: Backup Mixer

Postby The Elf » Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:54 pm

Bob Bickerton wrote:I’ve never worked with a backup mixer before but did strike an issue with an MR18, Midas equivalent of the XR18, which had a complete breakdown in terms of communicating with my iPad. Fortunately the gig was fairly close to home and the band were able to play acoustically until I picked up a replacement mixer.

At that point I decided to never use a mixer which relied solely on a tablet to drive.
I've only just acquired the XR18 and had already decided long before it arrived that I will NEVER rely on a tablet device, or a wireless connection. The only way to do this is with an Ethernet cable and a laptop - with spares!
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Re: Backup Mixer

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:28 pm

I've only ever had one issue with my iPad connections via a dual band router (Apple Airport Express or Extreme) and that was with an old iPhone that only had 2.4GHz WiFi. The built in WiFi in the X Air mixers is 2.4GHz only and that band get's maxed out pretty quickly in a busy venue. I suppose the 5GHz band will, eventually, become the same but so far I've had no issues there. You can always add an external router but that seems to make the built in WiFi a little pointless. It is my only quibble with the X Air mixers, otherwise my XR12 is a decent and useful bit of kit (well, if it could run a wired iPad along with the WiFi access point that would be great but is 'either/or' unfortunately).
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Re: Backup Mixer

Postby blinddrew » Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:56 pm

I've never taken a spare mixer to a gig but having read this thread I'm now paranoid and will put my old 1202 in the gig trunk like Dave!
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Re: Backup Mixer

Postby Wonks » Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:08 pm

Take the 2112 if it's a prog gig.
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Re: Backup Mixer

Postby AlecSp » Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:54 pm

Backup mixer is a great solution, but needs to be part of a bigger plan. If the mixer isn't a duplicate of your main one, you need to be confident that it's enough for the show, and know how long it will take to get it up and running.
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