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Soundcraft ui24R mixer – 1 year review (part 4)


Rarely do you find a piece of complicated equipment which doesn’t have one or two drawbacks or weaknesses. What haven’t I liked about the ui24R?

One is a result of the physical design. A headless system that mounts into a rack case is great in many ways but there are some sockets and switches that become very hard to access once it is installed. I think Soundcraft did a reasonably good job on the design and almost everything you need on a regular basis is accessed on the front panel but there is one omission, namely the power switch. I can see there might be an argument for putting it out of reach of an accidental press but, although you can’t so easily turn it off by accident, that also poses a problem for turning it on. My solution was to get a switched extension cable, so I now have a switch I can use to power the device on and off. Of course, that puts it back in the open so I don’t think that design feature quite works.

We have also had a few issues with the system locking up. It is rare enough that we can live with it but it would be helpful if we could have some kind of diagnostics. For example, it could be an overheating issue but it is so intermittent that we can’t be sure. Our experience has been that everything keeps working while it is frozen but you can’t make adjustments and you have to find a point when you can run a manual power cycle. Hurrah for saved settings which mean you can pretty quickly get back to where you were but I’d rather it didn’t crash at all.

Speaking of saving settings, that is a brilliant feature but I’d love it if we could create a library of channel settings. I’d love the sound engineer to be able to pull up “Wulf’s six string bass” or “John’s blue bass” and drop that in with all the levels, EQ and other settings that work well. A given person on a given instrument (or through a particular mic) tends to be fairly consistent but the granularity of what can be saved doesn’t go quite that far. It would be particularly handy in a setting like our church where the band each week is likely to be a different mix of people but drawn from a relatively small and consistent pool. Maybe a feature for a future firmware update?

So a few niggles but overall I’m still very happy with our choice. In the final part of this series, I’ll ponder on what other things we might try with the system as we enter our second year of flying it.

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