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A Note to anyone buying a Soundcraft UI Mixer
Old 27th February 2020
  #31
Here for the gear
 

hi all I'm just wondering if anyone has had any issues with stability when using the ui16 with just the monitor and a mouse connected? i have had one off a friend on trial and literally it loses connection constantly when connected wirelessly via iPad or MacBook
cheers all
Old 3 weeks ago
  #32
Gear Maniac
 

I'm going through this frustration now with a UI24r, spent ALL DAY trying to set this up.

-Can't access it via LAN
-95% of the time, if I change ANYTHING in Hotspot settings, the SSID never becomes available again and I have to reset and start over.
-If I try to connect to a network, the SSID shuts down and doesn't come back.
-I I try to change LAN settings, the same thing.

If I can't connect to LAN, an external router will not work, obviously.

This is frustrating and annoying
Old 1 week ago
  #33
Gear Maniac
Don't believe the horror stories that the Ui12 and Ui16 are unreliable. I'm convinced that, aside from possible lemon individual units, the connection issues are permanently resolvable. I base that on my experience of hundreds and hundreds of disparate gigs and rehearsals with a Ui16 and, for the past year, a Ui24R. I was also able to resolve a friend's connection issues with a Ui12 the same way.

My mixers could melt down tomorrow, sure, but my experience is overwhelmingly positive.

I bought a new Ui16 in August 2016, after months of reading what may be the longest thread in GS history. Over three months of using it several times a week with the onboard hotspot, I had exactly one disconnect that required a reboot. One.

My techie stepson then configured a surplus dual-band Netgear router and explained networking better than I understood it before. Once I was able to repeatedly connect to the Ui via the router wired to its Ethernet port, I disabled both the internal hotspot and wi-fi connection options in the Ui's Settings menus. From that moment forward, zero connection issues.

It seems that the three connection modes can conflict in unpredictable ways. The hotspot router is just crappy hardware, a compromise for price and varying international regulatory reasons that is not sufficiently robust for reliable use in noisy wi-fi environments. The wi-fi option is susceptible to aggressive local networks and systems built into our devices that make them want to seek and connect to the strongest signal. Get the wrong collision of some well-intentioned coding, and they stop talking.

The solution is a good external router through the LAN port as the only connection mode. The router runs its own private network, which can be hidden and password protected, and the mixer talks to your control devices via that private network. You can also hardwire a laptop to the LAN port by using one of the router's other switch ports; Ethernet cable from UI to one switch port, and the laptop to another switch port.

I put gaffer's tape over the Internet port on the router after a helper plugged the cable into it during setup one night. The Internet port isn't used in this network setup.

You need to give your mixer a static IP address outside of your router's DHCP range to keep automatic switching from disrupting the connection. That string of numbers and dots then becomes, essentially, your mixer's name as a website.

I've used my Ui16 like this since November 2016, and my Ui24R for the last year. You may get the occasional "connecting" message briefly after first connecting, but it always resolves momentarily. I've also had my workhorse Huawei M5 MediaPad tablet not want to connect at first after I was using it elsewhere, but a quick power cycle clears whatever was stuck.

If it seems to be resisting connecting at first, always go back and check your tablet's wi-fi setting. Those aggressive local networks can hijack your wi-fi.

I use Netgear WNDR3400v3 routers, which I pick up on eBay for $15-25. I have a restore file that I use to clone new ones. They can also restore one if it gets corrupted, but that hasn't happened yet. That first surplus router was a v1, and it was trickier to initially configure than the v3, but I have a restore file for those as well.

Please feel free to PM me if you want a detailed setup guide and a copy of the clone/restore file. Many thanks to GS brother Rocklander for his excellent schematic showing how all the components connect. I can send you a copy of that too, plus screenshot images of what your UI Settings screens should look like. I promise to check for messages more often than I did for the two I neglected at the end of last year.

Finally, I addressed another minor flaw in the Ui12/16, the wallwart external power supply, by mounting it inside and retrofitting a standard IEC receptacle on the outside. It's straightforward, and I left a message with photos in the original Anyone Get a Soundcraft Ui16 GS thread.

I have no connection to Soundcraft or any of its vendors beyond that of satisfied customer and borderline evangelical fan of this amazing mixer and its first-rate audio control software. If you like what you see and need to believe that it can be reliable, talk to me.
Old 1 week ago
  #34
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by manymanyhaha View Post
I'm going through this frustration now with a UI24r, spent ALL DAY trying to set this up.

-Can't access it via LAN
-95% of the time, if I change ANYTHING in Hotspot settings, the SSID never becomes available again and I have to reset and start over.
-If I try to connect to a network, the SSID shuts down and doesn't come back.
-I I try to change LAN settings, the same thing.

If I can't connect to LAN, an external router will not work, obviously.

This is frustrating and annoying
I don't think it's possible to connect via the LAN port without first establishing a connection with the hotspot and configuring and enabling the LAN port, power cycling and then trying to connect by cable.

I firmly believe that Soundcraft did an abysmal job of telling UI users how to connect with the wi-fi and LAN options. The users who know networking well seem to figure it out pretty quickly, but an awful lot of us have floundered in unfamiliar technology.

Once you get it set up, though, it's everyday reliable. They should have bundled a decent router with it, preconfigured to plug and play, but they put out a $400US prosumer mixer with an insane bundle of features and a seductive GUI while relying on the poor onboard hotspot router to make it a one-box deal. It was a marketing and product-placement compromise that has frustrated too many people.

I never spent any time with the onboard router when I upgraded from the Ui16 to the 24, just long enough to replicate the LAN settings that worked with my external router and then disable the hotspot and wi-fi connection options. So I don't know what sort of setup loop you may be in.

The good news is that it's pretty easy to fix. Please see my long message nearby, and hang in there. I've been doing pretty good sound work for 20 years, and the Ui is by far the best tool I've ever used.

We're all hunkered down here in Northern California sweating out this pandemic. I have plenty of free time. Send me a message and I'll walk you through it.
Old 1 week ago
  #35
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by disco kev View Post
hi all I'm just wondering if anyone has had any issues with stability when using the ui16 with just the monitor and a mouse connected? i have had one off a friend on trial and literally it loses connection constantly when connected wirelessly via iPad or MacBook
cheers all
The Ui16 isn't a computer and can't be operated by simply connecting a mouse and monitor directly to it. It's essentially a website/server in a box with audio inputs and outputs. The HDMI port isn't enabled on the Ui16, and the usb ports are there to support record and playback functions (and incidentally can charge your mobile devices).

If you're getting connected wirelessly but experiencing dropouts, the most reliable connection is through an external router hardwired to the Ethernet LAN port with the internal hotspot and wi-fi connection options disabled. The hotspot router is junk.
Old 1 week ago
  #36
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldChico View Post
The solution is a good external router through the LAN port as the only connection mode. The router runs its own private network, which can be hidden and password protected, and the mixer talks to your control devices via that private network. You can also hardwire a laptop to the LAN port by using one of the router's other switch ports; Ethernet cable from UI to one switch port, and the laptop to another switch port.
I appreciate your detailed instructions. While I've been tempted to take a sledgehammer to my Ui-12 several times (I gave up a couple of years ago after dozens of unsuccessful attempts to establish connections to a router or directly to a laptop via the LAN port), I've been saving it as a backup mixer and will take it out at some point in the next few weeks and try again using your instructions here.
Old 1 week ago
  #37
Gear Maniac
Brad-Soundcraft could have absolutely dominated the sub-$1000 digital mixer market if they'd jumped right on fixing the pre-amps, phantom power, and wallwart power supply issues with an early upgrade and a bundled, pre-configued decent router, while they worked on the complete re-design of the hardware that gave us the brilliant Ui24R. The documentation on connecting was awful, and a lot of early users were left to figure out the networking on their own. That epic Gearslutz thread was an invaluable resource, but the frustration angst was thick!

But everyone else was selling single boxes with antennas, so I think it was just a price-point marketing decision. Every pro-sound engineer I know uses external routers, even with the big-league units.

The bundled goodies from the Harman audio family alone meant that most prosumer users could ditch a whole big rack unit of outboard gear and associated cable spaghetti. Four Lexicon FX engines, feedback suppression, compression, gates, EQs everywhere, amp modeling, onboard recording, all inside one box that's mostly empty space if you open it up. Up to six Aux outs by using the headphone jack.

Pretty breathtaking stuff for less than $500US with a dozen xlr inputs.

Alas, Harman is a huge company herding a lot of brands and forced to make priority compromises across its product lines, and the Ui12/16 were just good enough to evade a prompt upgrade. Someone decided that a stellar Ui24R at twice the price of a 16 would make the flawed units they bought from SMPro a fading placeholder. In retrospect, I'm not sure it was such a bad call.

The software was, and is, simply a spectacular audio control interface, and the 24 finally gave it a suitable hardware platform.

The connection issues go away with a good external router via the LAN port and the other options disabled. The pre-amps are just an operating limitation to be lived with or addressed with outboard gear, as is the noisy phantom power. I put my power supply inside the can and put an IEC receptacle where the original connector was. With those user mods, I was happy as a clam with it until I had a gig that maxed out my inputs and I found a great deal on a Ui24R a year ago.

I kept thinking I'd sell the 16, but I wonder what I can get for it with new ones at $350-400. Then, just before the covid-19 lockdown, I got a chance to mix for a show downtown an hour after a scheduled band rehearsal at home. I took the 16 to the club and set up before rehearsal, then hurried downtown after we were done at home. The opening act was a graduate of our local university's Recording Arts program (and lead guitar/sax player/vocalist for a local band that has grossed over a million dollars). He'd found the spare tablet I'd left there, figured out the GUI, set up his three-piece act, and already run a sound check. All I had to do was fine tune from the audience after they started.

THAT'S how universal this great software is, and it convinced me to keep the 16 as a backup.

I know I'm writing long-form here. Time on my hands sheltering in place. It was nice to see a UI thread with recent activity, and I want to share my positive experience, as I see the usual detractors are still at it.
Old 1 week ago
  #38
Lives for gear
 

@OldChicago,

I completely agree with you. As good as the Behringer XR series was, the Ui12 and Ui16 had the potential to really take that market by storm.

As good as the Ui is though, I tend to avoid recommending the 12 and 16 because of the issues you mentioned. Truly a shame and a wasted opportunity IMO.
Old 1 week ago
  #39
Lives for gear
 

I'm sure this is just networking 101, but it's the first hurdle I always encounter when I try to set up a router for the Ui mixers: most devices won't let me connect to the router if it's not connected to the internet. I can't even connect to it via Ethernet: I can join the router's network but if I type in the router's IP address I get a "can't connect" message. There must be something so basic that I'm not doing that it's not covered in the dozens of sites and tutorials I visited online.
Old 1 week ago
  #40
Lives for gear
You may remember my posts critical of my experience with my ui12 disconnections. OldChico sent me the setup files and I bought the specific router suggested by OldChico. I've only done one 45 minute live performance in front of an audience, but didn't have any disconnection. OldChico might be onto the secret sauce and I want to publicly state my thanks for the terrific help. The instructions were clear and things went much better than I was able to figure out on my own previously.

Soundcraft, however, .....
Old 1 week ago
  #41
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2manyrocks View Post
You may remember my posts critical of my experience with my ui12 disconnections. OldChico sent me the setup files and I bought the specific router suggested by OldChico. I've only done one 45 minute live performance in front of an audience, but didn't have any disconnection. OldChico might be onto the secret sauce and I want to publicly state my thanks for the terrific help. The instructions were clear and things went much better than I was able to figure out on my own previously.

Soundcraft, however, .....
Yea ... one wonders why this great information that OldChico gave us wasn't supplied by Soundcraft. Could have saved them some angry customers.
Old 5 days ago
  #42
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by OneEng View Post
Yea ... one wonders why this great information that OldChico gave us wasn't supplied by Soundcraft. Could have saved them some angry customers.
Maybe I should post it all here?

The key in my learning curve was when my stepson explained that the router is the hub of its own private network, irrespective of whatever other wi-fi traffic is in the air. Before that, I thought the mixer ran the show and the router was just the messenger.

The mixer is a controlled device in the network, and your tablets, phones and computers are control devices.

The Ui16 threads are so bulky now, maybe I should start a new one dedicated to connecting via external router and putting the wallwart inside? I sorted it out in November 2016, and it's been hundreds of gigs since then.

Soundcraft doesn't seem motivated to retrofit the the Ui12 and Ui16 with the Ui24R technology, but they continue to offer the original rebadged SMPro boxes for a few hundred bucks. If you can live with the pre-amps and dodgy phantom power, they're still your economical access to that GUI and treasure chest of built-in features.

I love my 24, but I'm keeping my 16. Thanks for everyone's kind words about what I've been able to do to help. We're in this together.
Old 5 days ago
  #43
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by bradh View Post
I'm sure this is just networking 101, but it's the first hurdle I always encounter when I try to set up a router for the Ui mixers: most devices won't let me connect to the router if it's not connected to the internet. I can't even connect to it via Ethernet: I can join the router's network but if I type in the router's IP address I get a "can't connect" message. There must be something so basic that I'm not doing that it's not covered in the dozens of sites and tutorials I visited online.
It does sound like Networking 101, as I'm not sure how you're set up and how you're trying to connect. I'm wondering if you're trying to use the router's Internet port?

You shouldn't have to type in the router's name anywhere, unless you've hidden its SSID. If it's up and running, it should show up in your tablet's wi-fi settings along with every other nearby network.

You select it there, then use a browser to access the mixer.

Most tablet operating systems should allow you to override the "no Internet" prompt. My Nexus 7 never raises the issue. My iPad 4 seems to be more interested in directing me to the iTunes Store, but that's dismissable too. My Huawei workhorse tablet offers to find an Internet network for me, but a "cancel" leaves me connected to my router.

All of this presumes that your Ui's network has been properly configured and the other connection options disabled. And, as I've noted above, a strong local network will occasionally hijack your wi-fi settings, so always check your cabling and tablet settings if you're not connecting. I carry a half dozen Cat5/6 cables, mostly for different lengths for router placement in a venue, but also to be able to try a different cable if I suspect a bad one. Hasn't happened yet, though.

I think it's time to start that new thread and lay it all out with graphics...
Old 5 days ago
  #44
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldChico View Post
It does sound like Networking 101, as I'm not sure how you're set up and how you're trying to connect. I'm wondering if you're trying to use the router's Internet port?

You shouldn't have to type in the router's name anywhere, unless you've hidden its SSID. If it's up and running, it should show up in your tablet's wi-fi settings along with every other nearby network.
No, here's what I did:

1. I attached an ethernet cable to one of the WAN ports (not the modem port) on the router, and the other end of the cable to the ethernet port on my laptop. I can connect to the network this way with my laptop, but I can't access the router's configuration page (that's why I was typing in the router's configuration page IP address). I tried six different ethernet cables, same result each time.

2. I also tried to connect to the network with my iPad, but it won't allow me to connect to a network that has no internet connection; there's probably a way to bypass this on the iPad but after 2 hours of searching online and trying different things I gave up. I suppose I could get an Android tablet instead but I hesitate to throw more money away at getting this thing working.

It would be awesome if you posted your detailed instructions here. I remember you posted something once before and I thought i copied it but can't find it.
Old 5 days ago
  #45
Gear Maniac
Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by bradh View Post
No, here's what I did:

1. I attached an ethernet cable to one of the WAN ports (not the modem port) on the router, and the other end of the cable to the ethernet port on my laptop. I can connect to the network this way with my laptop, but I can't access the router's configuration page (that's why I was typing in the router's configuration page IP address). I tried six different ethernet cables, same result each time.

2. I also tried to connect to the network with my iPad, but it won't allow me to connect to a network that has no internet connection; there's probably a way to bypass this on the iPad but after 2 hours of searching online and trying different things I gave up. I suppose I could get an Android tablet instead but I hesitate to throw more money away at getting this thing working.

It would be awesome if you posted your detailed instructions here. I remember you posted something once before and I thought i copied it but can't find it.
You can't connect to a UI mixer through the router's WAN port. That's for connecting to your Internet modem, and then on to your ISP.

Most consumer routers have one WAN port and four LAN ports.

A simplified description:

Assuming you have been able to connect a control device (tablet, phone, or computer) to the mixer's hotspot (the out-of-the-box default) and manipulate the user interface, you need to configure both the external router and the Ui to be ready to connect via Ethernet cable to the router.

The router is configured according to the manufacturer's manual. Typically, that involves connecting it to a computer that is not connected to the Internet, opening up the configuration menus, and entering a number of values. In the case of the Netgear routers I use, the first generation (WNDR3400v1) is unwieldy, but my techie stepson got it right for me. I was then able to make a backup/restore file that lets me easily clone other v1 units.

The v3 routers I use now have a much simpler config system, and I was able to put my v1 numbers in manually, then make a restore file for those models.

The numbers I use came from our Gearslutz brother Rocklander, who sent me a great schematic of how it works.

Once the router is set up to run the mixer's private local wireless network, the LAN settings in the Ui's Network Settings menus need to be set up to specify the gateway (the IP address of the router) and to assign a static IP address to the mixer. Part of setting up the router is designating a DHCP range for the network, a range of IP addresses for devices that use the network. The router automatically assigns such addresses to control devices when they log into the network, and, apparently (this is where my networking mastery gets fuzzy) can switch them around after lapses of time. Some early Ui users believe that this switching caused mixer disconnects, so a static IP address that never changes eliminates that possibility.

Only after the router is set up correctly and the Ui's LAN connection option has been assigned to the router's gateway can you attempt to connect your wireless control devices to the mixer via the external router. Once you can connect, manipulate the user interface, and disconnect a few times, go back into Settings on the Ui, disable both the hotspot and (if enabled) the second connection option (wi-fi), save, power cycle, and wait until the mixer, router, and control device can talk to each other, then this miracle happens:

To use your mixer reliably, connect the Ui's Ethernet port to any of the router's LAN switch ports. Power on the mixer and the router. Wait 30 seconds or so until your new private network shows up in your list of available wi-fi networks on your tablet and select it. Open a browser and type in your mixer's static IP address, hit return.

Your tablet will see the mixer as a website that will allow you to use the best audio control software on the planet to run your sound system.

Most control devices will remember the address after the first time, and your router should remember your devices and not require the password more than once. On Android devices, you can readily create a home screen icon to launch your browser and go directly to the mixer. In Apple's iOS, that's only available in Apple's Safari browser, which is a good example of why a lot of people don't care for Apple products...

A couple of other interesting things I discovered tinkering with the setup.

First, I found that I could connect multiple tablets to the router, and thus to the mixer, on either or both of the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz networks, and they all performed the same. I'll do that at high-profile gigs as a fail-safe against one of the networks having a glitch.

Second, in setting up a friend with a spare router to stabilize his Ui12, I discovered that one tablet can control two or more separate UI mixers at the same time. Not in one browser window, which is what the Ui24R can do in cascading mode, but simply by connecting the second mixer to one of the spare switch ports on the router and typing in the second mixer's static IP address into a second browser window.

So you can have, say, four tablets, two on the 2.4 and two on the 5, running two UI mixers simply by switching between browser tabs.

Amazing. This opens up things like using a Ui12 to mic a drum kit as a sub-mixer and feeding its output into a channel on a Ui16 for main outputs to the speakers if you run short of channels. The monitoring would get a little tricky, but it would sure be useful in some situations.

A few more notes for now:

Put a bit of gaffer's tape over that WAN port so you never make the mistake of plugging your Ethernet cable into it.

To hardwire a laptop to the mixer, just use another one of the switch ports, which are simply parallel connections to the router. Think power strip for AC power. The Ethernet cable to the mixer is the AC plug in the wall socket, and you can plug multiple AC devices into the power strip's receptacles. You will have to configure the laptop to see the Ethernet connection.

Pick up a second router of the same model and configure it as a spare. That also means a spare power supply.

And watch for a new thread with all the details.
Old 4 days ago
  #46
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldChico View Post


You can't connect to a UI mixer through the router's WAN port. That's for connecting to your Internet modem, and then on to your ISP.
Oh duh, that was just a slip of my fingers -- I did of course connect to the LAN not WAN port; I've set up at least a dozen home wifi and Ethernet networks over the years, for myself and friends/family. But for some reason this one has me stumped. Anyway, thanks for all the details and thanks in advance for the connection details. It would be nice to have the Soundcraft as a backup live mixer in case my regular mixer ever fails (QSC Touchmix, which is excellent and has served me well for the past 4-5 years).
Old 4 days ago
  #47
Gear Maniac
Please forgive me if I seemed a bit pedantic. I was quite bewildered by the initial complexities of networking when I first started to use the Ui16, and it's really frustrating see the potential of the mixer while being unable to use it reliably.

I tried reading up on it online, but there's a lot to the big picture, and I quickly felt lost. I don't want a Computer Science degree, just a cool mixer.

So when I see in 2020 that UI detractors are still flogging a horse from 2015, I feel compelled to share my positive experience.

It's not child's play to set up a UI mixer for bulletproof reliability, but neither does it require an IT professional.

Yeah, the QSC mixers are nice. Lightweight, powerful, versatile. Not thrilled about the hybrid approach to gain staging with analog trims, but it's not a big deal. A friend and former bandmate of mine with an exceptional home recording studio used a TouchMix 16 for the band. He's now moved on to a Behringer X-32. Affluent and retired, so I suppose a Wing is next...

My main concern about the TouchMix is that they are considerably more expensive than the Ui for similar functionality, and the need for outboard recording hardware. The direct-to-usb-stick multi-track capabilities of the Ui24R are spectacular. A 64gb drive the size of my fingernail can hold a bunch of live shows between DAW uploads, all remixable, and carry a folder full of mp3s for break music.
Old 4 days ago
  #48
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldChico View Post
My main concern about the TouchMix is that they are considerably more expensive than the Ui for similar functionality, and the need for outboard recording hardware. The direct-to-usb-stick multi-track capabilities of the Ui24R are spectacular. A 64gb drive the size of my fingernail can hold a bunch of live shows between DAW uploads, all remixable, and carry a folder full of mp3s for break music.
Actually the Touchmix does the same thing: just plug in a USB stick or (much better) a small SSD like the Samsung T5 and you can record multitrack audio (all the ISOs and/or the stereo mix, whatever you want), play it back, play back MP3s for break music, and even mix and do overdubs using the Touchmix without a DAW. But yes, they're more expensive and I agree about the hybrid analog/digital gain, which makes it a bit harder to use the mixer as a stage box and control all the sound on a phone or tablet during a show.
Old 4 days ago
  #49
Gear Maniac
I guess I didn't realize that it could record on board like that. It would be nice if Soundcraft could upgrade the software to allow overdubbing within the mixer, but for now live mode and Soundcheck are mutually exclusive.

Does the TouchMix have a Soundcheck mode too? The Ui24R can capture a pre-show soundcheck performance, then play it back with the band out FOH and make mix changes. Great feature if you don't carry a sound tech. I mix our band from my mic stand.
Old 4 days ago
  #50
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldChico View Post
I guess I didn't realize that it could record on board like that. It would be nice if Soundcraft could upgrade the software to allow overdubbing within the mixer, but for now live mode and Soundcheck are mutually exclusive.

Does the TouchMix have a Soundcheck mode too? The Ui24R can capture a pre-show soundcheck performance, then play it back with the band out FOH and make mix changes. Great feature if you don't carry a sound tech. I mix our band from my mic stand.
I did the same thing ... but beware, if you have much stage noise at all (guitar amps, bass amps, acoustic drums, etc), the mix out front without the stage noise won't sound the same in smaller venues.... of course, outdoors is quite different.
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