Behringer XR18 Wifi Problems and Embarrassing Stories

TimMc

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Premium Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2017
I'm glad you didn't go on that rant. Believe me - I'd rather use a physical device ANY day. The reason I bought the XR18 was because it was the cheapest digital mixer I could find with the most channels. I use physical mixers (most of the time) with the schools and theatres that I work with, but at this time, I can't afford the X32, M32, StudioLive Series III, or any others of that ilk. I went with the XR18 because I want to deliver high-quality live sound with the most customization possible.

Where I'm from, the "pro" sound engineers do the bare minimum on a gig - they never mic everything up, they never run compression, they barely EQ, they never run any sort of effects at all, they never bring rack gear (besides a graphic EQ), and they never bring a digital mixer (unless it's anything high profile - but they keep them a secret elsewhere). They'll charge anywhere between $600-$1,500 a gig and everyone comes away underwhelmed.

There's not a rental house in the area and if I (or anyone else) approaches a sound engineer to borrow/rent their gear - we're always told no and these guys (who will act like your friends) will attempt to steal your gigs from you.

I initially built my reputation on being able to adapt to the various house systems in the area - and just do good mixing (usually on analog consoles).
Now people get me because of my mixing, how I study bands/scripts, my sound design skills, and my sound quality (which they think is magic - but I owe a lot to the simplicity of digital). It's important to me that I can maintain this quality anywhere I go - so I've upgraded systems in the houses I usually work in, and I bought the XR18 so that I could be consistent with that quality anywhere I go.

I'll eventually buy a quality digital console - and when I do I know a lot of my current headaches and worries will go away. But that's a year or so down the line - and I need to make the most out of this fancy, frustrating $600 brick as I can. It has yielded me some great results when it has worked perfectly.

UPDATE:

The next few weeks are filled with gigs for me - some in more crowded areas than others - so ever since making this thread, I've taken a bit of an initiative to try to solve my problems. Since making this thread, I've spent a great deal of time in the XAir Edit app and in the iPad app and I've read article after article on operating these mixers successfully online.

First, I wanted to see if I could establish a hardwired connection between my computer (MacBook Pro Retina Mid-2014) and the mixer via ethernet. I have become comfortable enough in the app where I could use my computer to mix if I absolutely have to. I didn't want to buy a ethernet -> lightning adapter for the iPad immediately because a lot of the models out there look cheaply made and I've heard some stories about the annoying "this accessory is not supported" pop-up. I plan on getting one of these soon - but for now I've bought a ethernet adapter from Apple that connects via my laptop's Thunderbolt port - sold through Sweetwater.

When I received the adapter, I opened it up and connected everything - switched the mixer over to "ethernet" expecting it to "just work". It didn't.

I read that the process is easier if you use your external WiFi router as a hub. So I tried that. It didn't work.

After following instructions on countless websites including Behringer's and Apple's - I never got the thunderbolt/ethernet connection to work in any configuration that I tried.

This morning, I realized I have an old MacBook (not pro) from 2008 or so in my closet - and I remembered that it had a ethernet port - so I decided to give it a go. I connected everything up and followed all the steps I could find online and it still didn't work.

Since I also experienced problems with my iPad dropping connection to this external router or the app not recognizing it at all - I figured I should just buy a new router because the one I have is obviously unreliable and could be the root of all my problems.

So I just returned from the store after buying the seemingly best router that I can afford at the moment. Dual band, 5GHZ - all that good stuff.

After a lengthy setup process where I changed the name and password of the unit and made the network "hidden" as some have recommended I hooked it up to my Behringer XR18 and had immediate success. I was instantly able to connect to the router via my iPad, my MacBook Pro, and my 2008 MacBook. Then - foregoing this thunderbolt/ethernet interface - I connected the new router directly to the ethernet port on the 2008 MacBook. The MacBook instantly recognized the ethernet connection and everything worked perfectly.

I pulled up a recording of a band in Logic - and I pumped the tracks through the mixer as a "virtual soundcheck". Everything worked well - then my iPad lost connection. Then my MacBook Pro lost the Wifi connection. My old MacBook continued to operate the mixer (assumedly through the ethernet connection).

I turned off Wifi on all my devices for a moment. I felt that maybe the issue was that I had three devices trying to communicate with the mixer - and in reality I'd only really be using one at a time. I turned WiFi on my iPad and connected to the mixer - successfully. I played around with the bass and snare drum mix - then I went to unmute the electric bass channel. Connection lost.

I attempted to regain a connection for five minutes or so - then I flipped the switch on the mixer over to "access point" then back to "ethernet". It connected again. I successfully unmuted the drums - but this time when I went for a vocal track, it lost connection.

I did this dance for about 45 minutes and then attempted to send Behringer a message on their customer support website. For some reason, my message wouldn't send to them so I tried calling them - I didn't have any luck, presumably because it's after 5:00. I left a message explaining my problem and I'll hopefully hear back from them.

Sometimes my iPad connects successfully and it shows me everything BUT the faders. For whatever reason - I just can't maintain a connection between the iPad and the external router. My computer will stay connected a little longer - but it eventually gives out too.

So for those of you who read that massive wall of text:
- Any advice?

I'm really curious to see what Behringer says - but I just can't believe that I used this product successfully for a few good months without any hiccups - and now I'm going through all of this. I couldn't even confidently sell this thing because (from my perspective) it's not even functioning properly!

YET ANOTHER EDIT:

I relocated all my gear to my studio space to prep and do a dry run.

I once again did my virtual soundcheck process and my iPad has remained connected to the mixer for more than an hour and a half now. This feels like a miracle after everything I’ve been through.

It is typical that after I restart the mixer, I can usually quickly connect. This is the longest I’ve stayed connected in a while, though.

I’m really hoping that the router with its 5ghz, dual band, and hidden network will really help me out in the busy, gentrified Atlanta suburbs.

Now off to check the hardwired connection and see if I can get it to function properly.

One More Update:

I'm back at square one.

I walked around a little bit trying to feel out the range that I'll have. I lost a connection about a hundred feet away when I wasn't in the line of sight with the router. I had forgotten to elevate it anyway.

I re-connected successfully then when I tried fooling around with the MacBook with the hardwired connection - my iPad started acting wonky and dropping the connection. I shut down my ethernet efforts and returned to the iPad - closing out the app and opening it again. Sometimes it wouldn't find the mixer. Sometimes it would. Sometimes it would let me control the mixer for a split second before losing connection. Sometimes it would show me the RTA and more - but wouldn't let me use the faders. Sometimes I'd mess around with the menus and it would give me the faders back - but then drop connection again.

I restarted my router, turned off all nearby WiFi devices, and did everything short of restarting the mixer completely or "initializing". I could never maintain a connection for more than a couple of seconds. I got completely frustrated and now I'm home taking care of other things on my plate and hoping that Behringer will give me a call back tomorrow.
The snarky side of me wants to do a little iFruit rant but that doesn't really help you much. I have a first-gen iPad that is pretty much too old to run the latest versions of anything so I've stopped using it. Back when I could, 3 or 4 years ago, I had disconnection issues with X32. They didn't seem to be WiFi disconnections as the iPad network settings showed the connection as established. I never successfully determined what the problem was as it could happen almost any time, even standing 10 ft from the WAP in a lightly occupied 2.4/5gHz environment. I switched to a cheap Android tablet and *most* of the problems went away. Running something like Team Viewer (for our Avid consoles) on the iPad was flawless until distance/obstacles became a factor so I attributed part of the X32 problem to RF and part to how the app and the console worked together (or not). With the Android app, it works reliably, subject to distance/obstacles/venue WiFi (phone) saturation.

If I read your detailed (thank you!) response correctly, you were unable to establish a network without a DHCP server (in your router); did you assign fixed IP addresses to all of the devices, in the same subnet? Sometimes this is easy-peasy and sometimes it's a hair-pulling experience, but the IT Gurus swear it's the way to do our kind of networking and should "just work" if it's set up correctly. Using a typical "router" (which is several devices in one box-DHCP server, authentication server for wireless access, inter-network router, firewall, wireless access point) *can* solve problems and occasionally create a few (usually when a device won't give up its fixed IP address when it finds a DHCP server).

Now after reading the One More Update.... it is possible that you have more than 1 device per IP address? Which RJ45 on the 'router' is connected to the XR? (Hint- I hope NOT the WAN)

Does you Macbook, wire-connected to your 'router', connect and stay connected if no other devices are introduced to the network?
 
Joined
Nov 19, 2017
Location
Southern Georgia
There are plenty of rental houses in the gentrified suburbs of Atlanta, and even Macon. Who have you tried? Honestly, I have had great luck with my X32 Rack and an el cheapo Netgear router. Then again, I dont run the shown wirelessly. Showtime is always hardwired.

-Live from gentrified Marietta
I'm not based out of Atlanta - I'm closer to Florida - I just work in Atlanta occasionally.

I have/do consider renting when it's practical/the budget allows in the Atlanta area (for example I've used Gotham Sound when I've done film work before). At my home base, the closest rental houses that I've been repeatedly pointed to are in Savannah, Valdosta, and Jacksonville Florida. Each of those are an hour and thirty minutes - two hours aways from home and they have their pros and cons. I've successfully used a place in Jacksonville - but that was for a large festival where a budget was set aside for sound reinforcement rental.

It's hard for me to adequately explain the environment I'm in, the weird animosity/competition/camaraderie between sound engineers, and just why there are so many gigs for a small area that should be dead. There's a whole lot to it - family dynasties, local politics, business connections, etc... I've seen guys actually sabotage gear so that they'll be called back and paid to make a repair, or to ensure that anybody else can't figure out how to use the system. Due to their reputations in the community and their last names, though, nobody would ever believe that to be true.

Anyway - it's important that I have my own basic piece of gear that's reliable and I can easily travel with.

Penultimately - I didn't mean to use the term "gentrified" in a derogatory way, though I understand that it's often used in such a context. I was really just trying to paint a specific picture of the busy areas that I run into.

Lastly (or ultimately) - I want to say that I see a ton of theatre in Atlanta and I'm totally a fan of your work.
 
Joined
Nov 19, 2017
Location
Southern Georgia
The snarky side of me wants to do a little iFruit rant but that doesn't really help you much. I have a first-gen iPad that is pretty much too old to run the latest versions of anything so I've stopped using it. Back when I could, 3 or 4 years ago, I had disconnection issues with X32. They didn't seem to be WiFi disconnections as the iPad network settings showed the connection as established. I never successfully determined what the problem was as it could happen almost any time, even standing 10 ft from the WAP in a lightly occupied 2.4/5gHz environment. I switched to a cheap Android tablet and *most* of the problems went away. Running something like Team Viewer (for our Avid consoles) on the iPad was flawless until distance/obstacles became a factor so I attributed part of the X32 problem to RF and part to how the app and the console worked together (or not). With the Android app, it works reliably, subject to distance/obstacles/venue WiFi (phone) saturation.
Just saw this post...

I wouldn't mind if you did a snarky rant - I've been very dissatisfied with Apple for a while now. Still, I'm not at the point where I want to throw out all of my stuff and go to PC/Android - because I really enjoy some of the proprietary programs that Apple has.

For this new router, I'm not experiencing WiFi disconnections, the app just won't recognize the mixer (exactly like your problem). I'm using the latest model iPad, though, so I'm sure it's not some issue with the tech being obsolete (though I ran into that back when I tried to use my first generation iPad). I might have to give the Android tablet a shot - but I don't even know anybody that owns an Android tablet so I can try it out first!

If I read your detailed (thank you!) response correctly, you were unable to establish a network without a DHCP server (in your router); did you assign fixed IP addresses to all of the devices, in the same subnet? Sometimes this is easy-peasy and sometimes it's a hair-pulling experience, but the IT Gurus swear it's the way to do our kind of networking and should "just work" if it's set up correctly. Using a typical "router" (which is several devices in one box-DHCP server, authentication server for wireless access, inter-network router, firewall, wireless access point) *can* solve problems and occasionally create a few (usually when a device won't give up its fixed IP address when it finds a DHCP server).

Now after reading the One More Update.... it is possible that you have more than 1 device per IP address? Which RJ45 on the 'router' is connected to the XR? (Hint- I hope NOT the WAN)

Does you Macbook, wire-connected to your 'router', connect and stay connected if no other devices are introduced to the network?
I'm still learning when it comes to this wireless internet thing. I just learned today how to modify settings on my external router such as name, password, channel, etc... So while I think I understand what you're talking about, I can't be sure at this particular moment (away from all the gear) how the IP addresses were set up.

I DO KNOW, however, that I got a notification on my 2008 MacBook at one point that told me that the IP address was already in use and it could not connect to the network. After a few seconds - this notification went away by itself and the computer connected anyway. This was around the time that I began having my problems, so it very well might be my other devices trying to connect to the network that's causing the problem. After all, when I moved all my gear to my studio - everything was shut off and restarted. For the hour and a half that I was connected, everything worked like a charm and I had not yet booted up my 2008 MacBook. My 2014 MacBook was connected to another WiFi router so I could do some research. The only device introduced to the mixer and router at that point was my iPad.

I think you're on to something there. I'll try everything out in the morning and hopefully get Behringer's insight on it.

EDIT: I forgot to mention - if by the WAN you mean the Internet port on the router - I don't have anything connected to that.

UPDATE AS OF 4/4/19 AT 5:54PM:

After taking car of some errands this morning, I set everything up and gave it another go - trying to replicate the situation where I was successful for an hour and a half yesterday. Everything seemed to work properly - until the iPad lost connection.

Behringer hadn't returned my call yet so I dialed their number and I sat on hold for 20 minutes. The tech support guru that I was finally connected with was pretty helpful, and thorough - although at times he seemed annoyed like he had heard all these problems too many times.

He asked me a lot of questions to gauge that everything was set up properly - then he had me perform a router reset with a paper clip. (New thing I didn't know - holding it down for 2 seconds is the router/ethernet reset - holding it down for 10 seconds or so factory resets the whole mixer).

After booting up - the mixer wasn't recognized by the iPad. He assured me it would show up eventually - and it did about six minutes later. Once I got connected, though, the signal dropped. After this, he asked me some questions about the lights on the ethernet port and suggested my ethernet cables were bad. After I explained to him that they were brand new - he suggested that maybe the cable was seated incorrectly.

After wiggling and re-plugging the mixer magically worked. I don't know if this is the case with everybody's XR18 - but there's a lot of play or wiggle room in the ethernet port for some reason. I'm thinking I'll need to take some gaff tape to it to ensure it doesn't move and lose contact.

He gave me his extension and told me to run the mixer overnight and let him know what happens either way - something that definitely reassured me.

I ran the mixer for two hours with no lagging, dropouts, or anything.
I'm doing a few more stress tests on it tonight (just standard connecting, disconnecting, and live setup) just to be sure it'll still work. Then I'll mess around with the ethernet hardwiring and see if it'll consistently work.

I'll be off to a gig on Saturday - so I'm counting on resolving all issues tonight and tomorrow morning. I feel like I'm beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Nov 19, 2017
Location
Southern Georgia
Just a quick update...

Had my first gig today in the Atlanta area. It was an event affiliated with a theatre and the band I do sound for (and they’re all actors) performed at the event.

I showed up early and the sound designer for the theatre was there (coordinating other aspects of the event). He complimented my setup and helped me get all the lines run before he had to break away and take care of other things. That felt nice and I was glad to have someone that knew what they were doing lending a hand!

The mixer connected to the iPad wirelessly and laptop via Ethernet instantly. I was skeptical - as there weren’t a lot of people there yet.

Sound check went wayyy smooth and the venue was filled to capacity shortly before the performance began. I’m very glad to say my laptop and iPad remained connected the ENTIRE time.

There was once when the RTA info started acting slow and glitchy - but I maintained control the whole time! That’s the first time that’s happened in a while!

It went really well! I got to try out a set of in-ears on one of the band members, recorded the show, and i ran two additional monitor mixes and subs!

The band was pleased with the sound and so was the venue and the event organizers. I don’t think that they were expecting something quite so well put together for this. I’m just glad things didn’t go awry!

Doing sound for them again tonight in Macon then I’m doing orchestra monitor mixes (among other things) for a musical the next two weeks, a library convention after that, and a small play with a lot of crazy sound design elements. I’m really excited and I’m finally somewhat confident that I’ve gotten rid of most of the problems.

Thanks to everyone for your input! It really helped a lot!
 

TimMc

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2017
Just a quick update...

Had my first gig today in the Atlanta area. It was an event affiliated with a theatre and the band I do sound for (and they’re all actors) performed at the event.

I showed up early and the sound designer for the theatre was there (coordinating other aspects of the event). He complimented my setup and helped me get all the lines run before he had to break away and take care of other things. That felt nice and I was glad to have someone that knew what they were doing lending a hand!

The mixer connected to the iPad wirelessly and laptop via Ethernet instantly. I was skeptical - as there weren’t a lot of people there yet.

Sound check went wayyy smooth and the venue was filled to capacity shortly before the performance began. I’m very glad to say my laptop and iPad remained connected the ENTIRE time.

There was once when the RTA info started acting slow and glitchy - but I maintained control the whole time! That’s the first time that’s happened in a while!

It went really well! I got to try out a set of in-ears on one of the band members, recorded the show, and i ran two additional monitor mixes and subs!

The band was pleased with the sound and so was the venue and the event organizers. I don’t think that they were expecting something quite so well put together for this. I’m just glad things didn’t go awry!

Doing sound for them again tonight in Macon then I’m doing orchestra monitor mixes (among other things) for a musical the next two weeks, a library convention after that, and a small play with a lot of crazy sound design elements. I’m really excited and I’m finally somewhat confident that I’ve gotten rid of most of the problems.

Thanks to everyone for your input! It really helped a lot!
I'm happy to hear that things are improving. For those playing along at home, what steps did you take, what changes did you implement that likely resulted in this improvement?
 
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Location
Southern Georgia
I'm happy to hear that things are improving. For those playing along at home, what steps did you take, what changes did you implement that likely resulted in this improvement?
1. Updated the firmware for the mixer. I'm not sure how helpful this was in the long run - but it didn't hurt.
2. Replaced my ethernet cables - nothing fancy, just 14ft strands from Staples
3. Replaced my router with a $70 dual band unit. I set the network to be hidden and password protected. There was another step I took to prevent the network from being found but I don't recall it (I'll edit the post if I remember). And I think channel configuration is set to auto.
4. Connected my router to the board and then had another ethernet cable run out the router to a computer to hardwire the mixer.
5. Changed the network settings on the mixer to "DHCP" so that I could hardwire a computer
6. Bought a thunderbolt peripheral for my MacBook Pro so I could hardwire my ethernet. Since it initially didn't work, I haven't checked it since and I just brought an extra laptop on the road with an ethernet port. I temporarily disabled wifi on that computer and it automatically connected.
7. (This is where Behringer helped out) - My particular mixer has a lot of play in the ethernet port. No matter what cable you use - if it isn't seated just right then the connection is spotty. I don't know how this happened or if this is the case with a whole batch of these. Once it was seated properly it maintained a better connection to the iPad.
8. I "reset" the ethernet/internal router on the mixer since it was occasionally still giving me problems. You use a pin to trigger a small button close to the ethernet port on the mixer. Hold it down for 2 seconds. Any longer and you run the risk of resetting the whole mixer - so be sure to save your scenes.

After all this - all the issues were eliminated.

When I got this mixer, I sort of knew what I was getting into. I played keyboard for a Rush cover band for a while that used the "desktop" version of this mixer and they constantly had problems with the signal going in and out. Knowing all that, I looked up some info on the mixer and I was confident in purchasing one because I thought I could make the appropriate changes to prevent the problems they had. The mixer worked like a charm on my first outing with it with a cheap router around thousands of people around. It wasn't until a few gigs in when it started giving me problems.

Here I am - almost a year later - and I've finally solved my issues with it. I can't say I'm 100% confident that I'll never have problems with it again, but I'll at least be comfortable knowing I've got a backup running on my computer. The next step is getting an ethernet connector for my iPad - because I'd much rather interface with the mixer through the iPad than the computer.

For anyone interested - I ran the mixer on the last couple of gigs ~almost~ maxed out. 16 inputs total, stereo out, USB recording into Logic, subs on AUX, four monitor sends. In the software, I ran four effects - two reverbs, a stereo delay, and a pitch shifter for vocal thickening. Compression on most channels too. It all worked out!
 

jonliles

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I'm not based out of Atlanta - I'm closer to Florida - I just work in Atlanta occasionally.


Lastly (or ultimately) - I want to say that I see a ton of theatre in Atlanta and I'm totally a fan of your work.
Let me know if you are ever near the Big Chicken (Marietta), I'll buy a couple of beers!
 
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CrazyTechie

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Location
Salt Lake City, UT
I'm assuming that by router you are referring to the all-in-one consumer wifi/switch/combo/thing-a-ma-jig. Go to your favorite electronics store and find one from a brand you've heard of within your budget. Linksys, Netgear, Asus are all big players in the consumer market. Don't worry too much about the "max speed" that they claim you can get. Spoiler alert, you'll never hit it unless you operate in an RF vacuum with the perfect client. Even if your device can reach those speeds, the network cables you use will likely be maxed at 1Gbps anyway so being able to do 1750Mbps on the wifi is a moot point...

WiFi 6, or ax, is the new kid on the block and offers more speed on the 5GHz band. So, if you want to future proof your setup, I'd go with an AP that'll do that. Avoid mesh routers, or at the very least, don't use a mesh setup. The backhaul may slow things down for you.

I only skimmed through the posts, but I also wouldn't bother with hiding the SSID. It doesn't really add much in the way of security and it'll slightly increase the amount of time it takes for your devices to connect to the wireless network as they have to do a few extra steps to find the right one. Think of it like having a key and a row of locks of the same model. The only way to know which one your key goes to is to try them until you find the one that works and there's no way to remember which one is the one that works. Wireless devices have to do the same thing with hidden SSIDs, but if you let it broadcast it's as if you labeled the lock and now you can say "oh, this is the one I need."

If you want to go with enterprise gear and have a POE switch, Ruckus is my preferred brand and you only need to change the firmware to an Unleashed version and you're off to the races without the need for an extra controller to manage things. As far as I know, Ubiquiti does not have a solution like that.
 
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macsound

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If you want to go with enterprise gear and have a POE switch, Ruckus is my preferred brand and you only need to change the firmware to an Unleashed version and you're off to the races without the need for an extra controller to manage things. As far as I know, Ubiquiti does not have a solution like that.
Wondering what "unleashed" is for the Ruckus equipment is.
For Ubiquiti Unifi you only need to run the controller to setup the system, never needs to be on after that. For my home setup I just used my mac.

While for controlling live audio, I wouldn't recommend using wifi at all, if you're able to run a cat5 cable.
As I recall was part of the previous conversation, there's only so many ways you can anticipate what will happen with wifi when you're walking into someone else's space. Mall, school, office building, they've already belabored their network design so their wifi will work as close to 100% of the time and in many cases, prevent rogue APs from cropping up.
 

CrazyTechie

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It's a different firmware version that they release for free that removes the need for a controller and licensing costs. Once you have an AP running on the Unleashed firmware you can log into the AP like you would a home router and manage SSIDs, DHCP, captive portals, and all the other wifi bells and whistles. The perk being that you don't have to spin up a controller to change settings as the AP becomes the controller.
 

Lyle Williams

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Location
Australia
As an XR18 user, I do use an offboard wifi access point. I'd also point out that many "dropouts" have seemed to be traceable to the autodiscovery mechanism used between the XR18 and the app. Have the XR18 IP address handy at your tablet. (The network may be working fine, but the app is struggling with the name-to-address mapping.)
 

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