Old 12-03-2015, 08:19 AM   #1
martifingers
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Default Live sound over wifi

The local arts centre where I do freelance live sound is wanting to install a system for performances in a coffee bar type space. They are currently getting quotes for a stage box, hard wiring, trunking etc. I suggested they might be better off with a wi-fi set up. I have no direct experience but am inspired of course by the likes of serr (respect!)
The requirements would be modest - 12 inputs, 2 stage monitors would cover it.
I came across this: http://www.thomann.de/gb/soundcraft_ui16.htm

So basically:
1. Is this feasible?
2. Would it be more reliable/ as easy to configure as hard wiring?
3. Could it work with REAPER?
4. Any issues we should be aware of?
5. Apart form the UI16 are there other solutions we should look at?
Many thanks in advance.
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Old 12-03-2015, 01:50 PM   #2
prezbass
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martifingers View Post
The local arts centre where I do freelance live sound is wanting to install a system for performances in a coffee bar type space. They are currently getting quotes for a stage box, hard wiring, trunking etc. I suggested they might be better off with a wi-fi set up. I have no direct experience but am inspired of course by the likes of serr (respect!)
The requirements would be modest - 12 inputs, 2 stage monitors would cover it.
I came across this: http://www.thomann.de/gb/soundcraft_ui16.htm
I'm afraid that audio on these is not passed by wi-fi. You still need cables/stage box/snake and above all else, speaker cables. What this unit (and others like it) does is provide you a means to mix via wi-fi.

Perhaps you know that.

There are, however, wireless solutions for speakers. Most use Bluetooth/PAN technology. I've heard a few of these, and they sound ok.


Quote:
Originally Posted by martifingers View Post
1. Is this feasible?
2. Would it be more reliable/ as easy to configure as hard wiring?
3. Could it work with REAPER?
4. Any issues we should be aware of?
5. Apart form the UI16 are there other solutions we should look at?
Many thanks in advance.
1. As long as you understand that this is a wireless MIX solution, not wireless audio.

2. It ends up about the same, reliability wise. Initial setup and config can be a pain, but once it's done, it's done.

3. As long as the wireless box can send individual channels via something like USB to a computer, yes- it would be compatible with Reaper.

4. Unknown.

5. I know people don't like Behringer, but the Air 18 (I think that's the model) of the X32 platform is quite cool. I've used them many times, and the mixer is nothing more than an app on your iPad. It also provides for individual monitor mixers via a Cat5-6 cable (they run about $250 US) which are quite cool.
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Old 12-03-2015, 02:05 PM   #3
serr
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You eliminate the snake and keep all your audio connections on the stage.

I use wi-fi for remote control of the computer. Remote desktop connection on an iPad and then a wi-fi usb hub for the midi usb controllers.

There is no audio going over the wi-fi connection. I don't think that would be possible in a reliable way.

What you can eliminate is the snake and hard wired FOH position. This can make a lot of sense in small and medium clubs or random outdoor events.

Or do something in between...
Still keep your audio connections on the stage but run an ethernet cable to FOH.
Further, you CAN do audio over a network in this scenario but the con is that the equipment is pricey enough to look to other options.

Look at some of the interfaces available now like the MOTU Stage B16.
It even connects over ethernet or wi-fi for control. Run Reaper for FOH and use the built-in Cuemix mixer in the interface for monitors. Control everything remotely however is most convenient (iPad, control surface, other).
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Old 12-03-2015, 03:18 PM   #4
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There are lots of "mixer" system that can be remote-controlled voa Wifo e.g. by a Tablet (Androd or iPad).

You also might want to look at the Behringer stuff. We use an X32, which is rather good quality for that price and very versatile but there are smaller systems as well.
-> http://www.thomann.de/gb/behringer_x_air_xr12.htm or
http://www.thomann.de/gb/behringer_x...d_rel_358424_0


Seemingly the XR12 does not provide multi-channel USB audio I/O, which is essenctial for working with Reaper. The XR18 is advertised to have "The incredibly fast and comprehensive 18 x 18 channel, bi-directional USB interface"

-Michael

Last edited by mschnell; 12-03-2015 at 03:31 PM.
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Old 12-04-2015, 03:39 PM   #5
martifingers
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Many thanks for the replies. I did of course realize that cables etc. would still be required but I am assuming that serr is correct in saying the snake would be eliminated.
I now much clearer about the various options - this feels like the way things are moving and I am just getting a feeling that that flightcase with the big mixer, effects units etc. that needs two people to lift and that massive snake - well maybe they will soon join those reel to reels and ADAT units in the technology graveyard...
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Old 12-04-2015, 04:06 PM   #6
serr
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Definitely the direction things have moved.

You have the ability to dial up the OSC touch screen stuff in Reaper just like you see with the iPad apps for Presonus Studio One and that Midas/Behringer x32 board.

Those boxes are literally an audio interface with a control surface built-in.

Their iPad apps ARE pretty slick. Reaper hasn't developed its own like that right out of the box yet but the OSC ability is there.

Here's something to consider:
If the integrated digital board goes down - you're done for the night!
If you have your own modular system, if one item (out of computer, audio interface, or control surface) goes down, you still have options. You can pick up a backup audio interface and laptop for a lot less than a whole 2nd system for redundancy too. (Then maybe your backup system can only handle mixing 18 channels instead of 36... but you're having a show.)
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Old 12-04-2015, 11:40 PM   #7
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Of course using Reaper on a dedicated PC connected to a decent USB AD/DA box is a great option as well.

I am using Reaper for live playing (VSTis) without any issues, so I can recommend this.

Obviously you need to use a very "decent" PC hardware. I built an "embedded" PC, i7 CPU, fanles, just an SSD, Windows 7 tweaked for embedded use, auto-starting, working without keyboard, Mouse and Monitor, housed in a Trunk.

In this trunk, I have a NI Audio6 using just midi-in and main out (via passive DIs). For decent mixing you would need an USB interface with multiple Mic ins.

-Michael
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Old 12-05-2015, 08:07 AM   #8
martifingers
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Thanks again everyone and especially serr for the "real life" cautions. In fact in this instance a "hard wire" solution could be up and running (a bit dirty perhaps) within minutes. Of course even analogue gear can fail but as you say the key is preparation and back-up.

BTW I have just noticed the badly phrased title I gave this thread - I should have said wireless mixing or somesuch. Thanks for everyone's contributions and I will let you know how we proceed.
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