I'm running away from Behringer's parts and quality issues and bought a 16r to try out. It is truly fantastic - sounds better, efficient, elegant etc. Perfect in every way except for the TINY SELECTION of Reverb and Delay on board FX.
The Behringer XAir, its direct competitor, has 4 FX busses (or inserts) and 22ish choices of FX. Tools like a dynamic multiband parametric are crucial for live work. Their Dimension D works miracles on female voices.
I'v shown a couple of B people the 16r - they are very impressed, but would rather keep their XAir because of the very limited FX. I know, Studio One, but you should not have to carry a computer and run a DAW just to get enough FX just to mix a band.
And the otherwise comparable 24r and X32 rack is even stupider - X32 has 48 types of FX on 4 FX busses, and 4 more insertable anywhere.
Even if you engage a 3rd party developer and SELL them, you guys MUST offer a wider variety of on board FX.
Yes, the Series III mixers sound pristine and the good sound makes thoughts and ideas fly, but the technical design of the 16/32/64-channel mixers is 'fixed', as they say and there is no chance that additional functions and features can be added. It is said there would be the option to add a de-esser, but it would 'eat' most of the Fat Channel functions, which does not make sense. You will have to use external processing and as long as you can use the digital insert per channel, the world of DAWs and plug-ins can be added to a live mix. You get Studio One Artist for free, which has a lot of nice plug-ins and you can add plug-ins and create effect chains as you like.
The Series III mixers use "DSP Single-, Dual- and Quad-Core-Engines" for sound processing and 'single' means the 16R and 'quad' the 64S. This sounds good, but the reality is that the Series III mixers are maxed out technically. There is no processing power left for more and other sound processing. If you want or need 'more', you will have to add DAW processing...
Nevertheless, there will be new things coming on the software side. The Offline Edititor will come and UC Control shows that there are working on a new version of UC Surface. Just compare UC Surface of the newer audio interfaces to UC Surface of the StudioLive mixers. There are significant differences.
While presonus stands still (almost), Behringer has long released Wing, which can do everything that studio live can do and much more, while at least it sounds no worse than presonus. I'll even say more - the final mix sounds better, because there are a lot of opportunities to do it the way you want. It is even more interesting in terms of functionality than CL5. They have done a great job. When you work constantly on different equipment, every day - different sites with different equipment - there is an opportunity to evaluate, compare.
And I would not consider the competitor 16r and XR 18. In the first, the sound is better, in the second - everything else. But is sound so important in those places where consoles of this class are used? They both sound worthy of their price.
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