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Midas MR18!? Behringer XR18?? Mixers (Digital)
Old 19th December 2016
  #1
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dickiefunk's Avatar
Midas MR18!? Behringer XR18??

I just saw on HD Pro Audio's an announcement for a new upcoming Midas MR18 digital mixer? This looks physically identical to the Behringer XR18 but the app looks different.

http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http...FNfxcPLQJBvenF

I'd be interested to know if this is an identical product but with different app or improved audio quality and fx etc?
Pricing is $899 MAP according to the advert.
Old 19th December 2016
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dickiefunk View Post
I just saw on HD Pro Audio's an announcement for a new upcoming Midas MR18 digital mixer? This looks physically identical to the Behringer XR18 but the app looks different.

http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http...FNfxcPLQJBvenF

I'd be interested to know if this is an identical product but with different app or improved audio quality and fx etc?
Pricing is $899 MAP according to the advert.
Nice find

My guess is that it will have the same EFX engine as the XR, a good wireless router, and MIDAS preamps.... the biggest win being the good wireless router
Old 19th December 2016
  #3
I'd bet it's just the XR-18 with Midas Pro Preamps.

And it's interesting that they think there's a market for that preamp at that price point.

I'm wondering if perhaps eventually they might just retire the Behringer line of digital mixers (XR18, X32) in favor of the Midas versions, since they've recently dropped Midas pricing.
Old 20th December 2016
  #4
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mintaka007's Avatar
It says right on the PDF download. Differences are midaspro preamps and trimode router. Unless the price is very near the xr18, I already have an airport express and the Pres are fine.
Old 20th December 2016
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by mintaka007 View Post
It says right on the PDF download. Differences are midaspro preamps and trimode router. Unless the price is very near the xr18, I already have an airport express and the Pres are fine.
"trimode" router != "better" router
Old 20th December 2016
  #6
Gear Addict
 

Interesting, although seems an odd choice to me.
Old 20th December 2016
  #7
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Just had a look again, the pre-amps definitely seem to be described differently - Midas pro on mr18 Vs Midas designed on the xr18. The tri mode router seems to be the same wording on both though.
Old 20th December 2016
  #8
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if this is ultimately nothing more than just different pre amps, different branding and different router then its bit of a fail for mine..

I don't own XR18 but from everything I see people aren't complaining about pre amps, the router upgrade would be handy but needing a better router wasn't a deal breaker previously I didn't think.

its possible that making the item almost identical (especially in appearance) may erode the perception of Midas.. the first thing i think looking at that box is its just rebranded Behringer. there needs to be more points of difference I think.
Old 20th December 2016
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ebulb View Post
if this is ultimately nothing more than just different pre amps, different branding and different router then its bit of a fail for mine..

I don't own XR18 but from everything I see people aren't complaining about pre amps, the router upgrade would be handy but needing a better router wasn't a deal breaker previously I didn't think.

its possible that making the item almost identical (especially in appearance) may erode the perception of Midas.. the first thing i think looking at that box is its just rebranded Behringer. there needs to be more points of difference I think.
Interesting thought. I was thinking that as well.

With the M32, there was a complete mechanical overhaul in addition to the preamp changes. IMO, this justified the price difference and product differentiation (better faders, more robust chassis, more viewable angle on the UI).

This one seems a bit strange.

Why not just make an XR18 rev 2? Keep the preamps, but fix the router.

The MIDAS version seems a bit out of place. I agree.
Old 20th December 2016
  #10
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Curious. The screen shot in the background of the PDF doesn't look like PC edit or android. Maybe it has a different GUI?
Old 20th December 2016
  #11
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dickiefunk's Avatar
If this does have better preamps and router I may be interested if Midas releases an MR12 version.
I had the Behringer XR12 here and the preamps were noticeably noisier than the A&H QU-PAC. I set the gains and both channel and master faders identically on both mixers and I was getting more hiss with the XR12.
Saying that, what I'd really like is a QSC Touchmix 8 v2 with digitally controllable gain.
Old 20th December 2016
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OneEng View Post
With the M32, there was a complete mechanical overhaul in addition to the preamp changes. IMO, this justified the price difference and product differentiation (better faders, more robust chassis, more viewable angle on the UI).
yeah i agree, there were enough hardware differences there..

Quote:
Originally Posted by dickiefunk View Post
If this does have better preamps and router I may be interested if Midas releases an MR12 version.
there is mention of MR12 also on the facebook link where the PDF came from..

https://www.facebook.com/hdproaudio/
Old 20th December 2016
  #13
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My observations

1 - Tri-band could mean you now get 1 terrible 2.4 Ghz and 2 new terrible 5 Ghz wifi. Regardless, if it's my show I'm still packing and racking an external router as a backup anyway. So, while nice if the router is improved, in practice, it doesn't mean much, to me anyway.

2 - Just my opinion, but the pre-amps in the XR18 sound plenty good to me. This just seems like an easy upgrade to make for the sake of minimal disruption on the assembly line. Is it possible they are the same pre-amps? The literature I see for the XR18 talks about "Midas designed" pre-amps. So is it just a name or is it materiallly different?

3 - Oh the irony! - Does anyone else find it humorous that, after spending 20 yrs making cheap knockoffs, then buying some of the "name brands" in the industry, Behringer is now going the other way and making more expensive clones of their own products?

4 - There are some serious bugs in the Behringer ios app and the android app looks hideous with a poor work flow. IMO, it's a slap in the face of current users, myself being one, that they'd spend time on this initiative instead of fixing the apps. The ios app hasn't been updated in over a year and, with ios 10, doesn't even show main bus levels any longer without multiple restarts and crossed fingers.

5 - IMO, this is a needless product. Unlike the M32, a "rider friendly" version of the X32 that, at least, has physical faders with a higher duty cycle, there are no moving parts in the XR18. It's also a small format mixer, and really isn't anything someone looking to buy Midas would be interested in unless it was just flat out refusal of looking at the Behringer name.
Old 20th December 2016
  #14
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Michael Maeurer's Avatar
I assume there will be no new router inside... It is tri-mode, not tri-band... tri-mode is the one from X-AIR series, too...
Old 20th December 2016
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikesilence View Post
I assume there will be no new router inside... It is tri-mode, not tri-band... tri-mode is the one from X-AIR series, too...
Good catch, and I wondered about that, but then looked up tri-mode router and mistakenly read about tri-band. Considering the antenna looks the same, I'd guess it's the same router too.
Old 20th December 2016
  #16
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I think they refer to tri mode as
1, Ethernet - to connect hard wired
2, Wi-Fi client - using internal router to connect to another network
3, access point - internal router creates it own network.

I would expect the router to remain the same, it does a job. I don't see it as a weakness of the xr18. But then I don't see the pre-amps being a weakness either which I why I can't get my head around the point of this product. As others have said I can see the point of releasing x32 Vs m32. Perhaps if the mr18 could be expanded to 32 channels by using aes50 and an sd16 then that would be a serious reason to choose the Midas line. I doubt very much that will happen though.

Last edited by Phil0; 20th December 2016 at 06:23 PM.. Reason: must tri to do better
Old 20th December 2016
  #17
Gear Head
This looks like a cynical attempt from Music Group to use Midas' cachet as a marketing tool, I seriously doubt any changes are little more than cosmetic. The Midas brand is going down the drain...
Old 20th December 2016
  #18
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A few other things

- The marketing document says "Confidential, for internal use only. Not to be reproduced" so it's possible this thing won't make it. I've seen other vaporware never come to market. A (trade dress) rip off of the Line 6 G30 wireless comes to mind. Even though 1 or 2 retailers got a hold of some documentation, I don't believe these ever saw the light of day. In this case I'm guessing Line 6 had something to say about that though.

- My guess is the "pro" in the pre-amp is simply the locking mechanism, which is absent from the XR18

- Behringer, Midas gives you some real R&D horsepower and a "golden" name in the industry. Is it really worth sacrificing the brand to pick up a very small number of customers willing to pay $200 just to be rid of the Behringer name? Forget the XLR locks. Put a decent, dual band router in the box, fix the ios app, and pretty up the android app if you can. Add another bell or whistle feature to the software, and continue under the Behringer badge. This is not a mainstream target product for Midas, unless that is, you're purposely trying to dilute the brand and cause confusion in the marketplace. I know it's tradition, but why do it to yourself?

Last edited by abzurd; 21st December 2016 at 01:43 PM..
Old 20th December 2016
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abzurd View Post
A few other things

- The marketing document says "Confidential, for internal use only. Not to be reproduced" so it's possible this thing won't make it. I've seen other vaporware never come to market. A (trade dress) rip off of the Line 6 G30 wireless comes to mind. Even though 1 or 2 retailers got a hold of some documentation, I don't believe these ever saw the light of day. In this case I'm guessing Line 6 had something to say about that though.

- My guess is the "pro" in the pre-amp is simply the locking mechanism, which is absent from the XR18

- Behringer, Midas gives you some real R&D horsepower and a "golden" name in the industry. Is it really worth sacrificing the brand to pick up a very small number of customers willing to pay $200 to essentially be rid of the Behringer name? Forget the XLR locks. Put a decent, dual band router in the box, fix the ios app, and pretty up the android app if you can. Add another bell or whistle feature to the software, and continue under the Behringer badge. This is not a mainstream target product for Midas, unless that is, you're purposely trying to dilute the brand and cause confusion in the marketplace. I know it's tradition, but why do it to yourself?
Exactly.

When Behringer first came out with the X32 line, I had thought that it would be difficult for a hardware company to realize that it was now a software company..... ie, the part of the device that people interact with becomes the most important piece of the product. The hardware in this case is just expected to do its job. All the "magic" is in the software application.

Designing good software for cross-platform and cross-product consumption is not easy ..... even for companies that have been doing it for many years. I don't find it surprising that Behringer is struggling with this portion of their digital mixers.

Abzurd,

FWIW, the X32 version of the Android app doesn't have the "bling" of the iOS (Behringer) app, but it is very functional covering every possible use case I can currently think to need. The iOS app is definitely very usable and rock solid stable. I just don't use it any more in favor of both the Android OS and the Android app both better fitting my needs.

Behringer should be careful. Soundcraft's Ui mixer was a "near miss" due to hardware problems (noise floor due to bad preamp design and grounding methodology). The app side was outstanding on the Soundcraft.

Seems silly to re-badge a Behringer product as a MIDAS product just because you replaced the pre-amps, A/D and D/A chips.

They really should have put a good 5Ghz wireless radio onboard IMO. Even single band, this would have made a world of difference in stability. An auto-scan for open channels would also be a very nice touch.
Old 20th December 2016
  #20
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The first of Behringer or SC to offer a great combination of both hardware and software interface is going to blow this market open. IMO, the ui isn't there hardware wise and the xr isn't there software wise. I own both and would pay for the right combination of both hardware and software. I don't understand why behringer offers so many different apps instead of one great app that functions the same across operating systems like the ui? The xr could be totally fantastic for so many users if they would just improve their software.
Old 21st December 2016
  #21
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by abzurd View Post
Forget the XLR locks. Put a decent, dual band router in the box, fix the ios app, and pretty up the android app if you can. Add another bell or whistle feature to the software, and continue under the Behringer badge. This is not a mainstream target product for Midas, unless that is, you're purposely trying to dilute the brand and cause confusion in the marketplace. I know it's tradition, but why do it to yourself?
Homogenize the app across ALL platforms, utilizing the existing iOS app workflow as the template, and make sure there is access to all functions. Take a tip from Presonus...they got that right...
Old 21st December 2016
  #22
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2manyrocks View Post
The first of Behringer or SC to offer a great combination of both hardware and software interface is going to blow this market open.
For me, the Allen & Heath Qu-SB is a great combination of both hardware and software. Way more powerful than the XR series and the software is quite good and allows you to operate all the mixer's functions. Best of all, A&H keeps updating both the firmware and software with new functions.
Old 21st December 2016
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pixieotronic View Post
For me, the Allen & Heath Qu-SB is a great combination of both hardware and software. Way more powerful than the XR series and the software is quite good and allows you to operate all the mixer's functions. Best of all, A&H keeps updating both the firmware and software with new functions.
How is the Qu-SB "more powerful" than the XR?
Old 21st December 2016
  #24
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by OneEng View Post
How is the Qu-SB "more powerful" than the XR?
It has the Qu-32 Core, so it is in fact a 38X24 mixer, obviously you need an extension rack, but the XR18 doesn't have that option, the "Ultranet" is just for personal monitoring (which the Qu can also do).
Also, 11 monitor mixers vs 6, 4 stereo Groups, DCA and Mute Groups.
Old 21st December 2016
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pixieotronic View Post
For me, the Allen & Heath Qu-SB is a great combination of both hardware and software. Way more powerful than the XR series and the software is quite good and allows you to operate all the mixer's functions. Best of all, A&H keeps updating both the firmware and software with new functions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OneEng View Post
How is the Qu-SB "more powerful" than the XR?
Hardware wise, the QU-SB has more auxes and the recording straight to USB is nice, but "more powerful"? I'm sorry but it's just not, at least processing wise. Noted though that it can be expanded. That could be important for some, but I'd guess not many. When you're talking 30+ channels you probably want the option of physical controls and aren't really putting a premium on hiding your mixer in a small rack. These types of mixers are really geared for the "self serve" market.

I'm actually coming from using a QU-16 and the XR18 is actually "more powerful" in the sense it has far more processing options. Still I was going to buy the QU-SB simply because it was A&H. When I was looking though they weren't widely available. Then, when I found out the rack ears weren't included and I'd be nickeled and dimed for that, I went to the dark side.

Last edited by abzurd; 21st December 2016 at 10:06 PM..
Old 21st December 2016
  #26
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by abzurd View Post
Hardware wise, the QU-SB has more auxes and the recording straight to USB is nice, but "more powerful"? I'm sorry but it's just not, at lest processing wise. Noted though that it can be expanded. That could be important for some, but I'd guess not many as, when you're talking 30+ channels you probably want the option of physical controls.

I'm actually coming from using a QU-16 and the XR18 is actually "more powerful" in the sense it has far more processing options. Still I was going to buy the QU-SB simply because it was A&H. When I was looking though they weren't widely available. Then, when I found out the rack ears weren't included and I'd be nickeled and dimed for that, I went to the dark side.
I see that you changed your answer, but I still argue that is "more powerful" in the sense that you can do more with and it is prepared for bigger shows/more complicated setups, for me it is what matters. The Qu with the D-Snake can do the same as a XR32, the XR18 can't do that.
The XR-18 might have "far more processing options" than the Qu-16, but that isn't the case with the Qu-SB, which is a QU-32 in a small rack (with less physical inputs/outputs, but with the same processing power).
Old 22nd December 2016
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pixieotronic View Post
It has the Qu-32 Core, so it is in fact a 38X24 mixer, obviously you need an extension rack, but the XR18 doesn't have that option, the "Ultranet" is just for personal monitoring (which the Qu can also do).
Also, 11 monitor mixers vs 6, 4 stereo Groups, DCA and Mute Groups.
Ahh. I see.

I'll give the SB the nod on the aux outputs (11 vs 6) for those that need more than 6 (although that seems like a reasonable number of aux outputs for this price range of mixer).

The groups can be useful for doing things like compression of many mics covering a choir. I'll give it another nod there for some use cases.

The XR has DCA's and Mute Groups.

The biggest advantage I can really see is the Qu-drive direct to disk recording capability. I think that for most people, the other features are not very relevant.

Now, what Abzurd was alluding to (and my thought was as well), is that the XR actually has more processing capabilities built in than the Qu. A good example of this is the multi-band compressor, the side-band trigger capability of both the compressors and gates, the frequency band triggers for both, and a plethora of plug-ins on board to do a huge list of processing tasks that are not possible on the Qu.

Neither one of these are a bad solution IMO.
Old 22nd December 2016
  #28
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these stage box mixers (X Air, X32 Rack, QuSb etc) are cool but if a tablet is the main interface then I want a laptop hardwired in the background at all times.. that is the problem i see with A&H, they need to release a PC app for the Qu-Sb... its not inspiring confidence to have a tablet as the only interface..

X Air has the onboard WiFi if your router has problems and can also connect direct to laptops ethernet port (without the router).. that's two redundancy options with hardwired being especially useful. QuSb has a lot going for it but X32 rack still has the edge IMO purely for the ability to have a backup option for controlling it.

Last edited by ebulb; 22nd December 2016 at 03:26 PM..
Old 22nd December 2016
  #29
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by ebulb View Post
these stage box mixers (X Air, X32 Rack, QuSb etc) are cool but if a tablet is the main interface then I want a laptop hardwired in the background at all times.. that is the problem i see with A&H, they need to release a PC app for the Qu-Sb... its not inspiring confidence to have a tablet as the only interface..

X Air has the onboard WiFi if your router has problems and can also connect direct to laptops ethernet port (without the router).. that's two redundancy options with hardwired being especially useful. QuSb has a lot going for it but X32 rack still has the edge IMO purely for the ability to have a backup option for controlling it.
The inbuilt routes are worthless and I agree that it would be nice to have a PC app, but that alone doesn't put the XR over the QU-Sb, it's just a niggle that might be addressed by A&H. By the way, the Qu app is nothing like the piece of crap that Behringer servers to its customers, it's stable, up to date, responsive and controls all the mixer's functions. It's just a different level of support and security and you get what you pay for.
Old 22nd December 2016
  #30
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by OneEng View Post
Ahh. I see.

I'll give the SB the nod on the aux outputs (11 vs 6) for those that need more than 6 (although that seems like a reasonable number of aux outputs for this price range of mixer).

The groups can be useful for doing things like compression of many mics covering a choir. I'll give it another nod there for some use cases.

The XR has DCA's and Mute Groups.

The biggest advantage I can really see is the Qu-drive direct to disk recording capability. I think that for most people, the other features are not very relevant.

Now, what Abzurd was alluding to (and my thought was as well), is that the XR actually has more processing capabilities built in than the Qu. A good example of this is the multi-band compressor, the side-band trigger capability of both the compressors and gates, the frequency band triggers for both, and a plethora of plug-ins on board to do a huge list of processing tasks that are not possible on the Qu.

Neither one of these are a bad solution IMO.
You're right about the DCA and Mute groups and I would love to have a multi-band compressor, but A&H keeps updating the features, so, who knows. In the end, both have 4 effects buses, but I prefer the ones on the Qu (even though the XR has the abilities you mention).
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