- Feb 15, 2017
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.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.
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.
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?