World Music Supply | New and Improved The Behringer P16 Powerplay System

Hi guys Brian from World Music Supply here again to bring you your usual dose of guitar and gear reviews, and today I get to take a look at something that complements a previous review quite well, in this addition of New and Improved, I get to talk about the Behringer Powerplay P16 series of personal monitors. Designed to work in conjunction with the X32 mixer, the whole Powerplay series is designed to give each individual their own custom mix, no matter where they are, and no matter what they need.

The Behringer P16-M 16 Channel Personal Mixer Station

The Behringer P16-M 16 Channel Personal Mixer Station

One of selling points of a lot of mixers as of late, was that you could work monitor mixes from on stage via an iPad, but this does something negative as well, it’s only useful if you are using the traditional floor wedge style monitor, if you’re using in ears, then you are way out of luck. The other problem with this is, you can’t just have your sound man run onstage mid show and start tuning your monitors just because you aren’t 100% happy with the way its sounding, it’s just not practical.

The P16 system works by allowing each individual their own private mix that they can adjust to their liking. This is ideal for dozen upon dozens of different mixing situations, and the most commonly advertised one is using it onstage. Just think about it, you can now tune your own in ear mix without having to worry about yelling at the sound guy, or hoping they get it just right, factor in the limiter and gate on the mixer and there is no more worrying about ear damaging sound levels on stage ever again. The Cat 5e cables used to connect the system can be run very long distances without negatively effecting sound quality, so you can still have your mixer way out front so the soundman can do his job, and now you are free to do yours, except now with a perfect monitor mix.

The I/O Section of the Behringer P16-M 16 Channel Personal Mixer Station

The I/O Section of the Behringer P16-M 16 Channel Personal Mixer Station

But let’s not stop at simply using this for stage, because a system like this is as versatile as the X32 mixer it is designed to work with. In my review of the X32 mixer, I mentioned that it is sort of a Jack of all Trades, its great for live work, for studio work, you can use it for theaters and plays, you can use it for houses of worship, it just is designed to do anything you want it to, and the P16 system is designed to do all of that and more. In most professional recording studios, they have had little boxes like these for years, but the problem was the price point was well out of the way of everyday people like you and me. So most of us have had to deal with using splitter jacks to hook multiple sets of headphones up to our computers or mixing boards to try and give everyone the ability to listen back during recording, and that never works because not everyone wants to hear the mix the same way. Suddenly with the Powerplay system, and the X32 mixer, you can now have real, pro level studio equipment, at about the price of renting a studio long enough to make a decent demo.

Imagine using this for theatre work, most people who have ever had to do musical work, know what its like to wear those little skin colored headset mic, and a set of in ears, all wired up to you. I know the annoyance of having to sit and work the mix out on these at the beginning of the night, and hope that no one gets louder, or softer as the night goes on. You could actually set an entire arsenal of these up back stage, and if at any point during a scene change, someone is unhappy with how their mix sounded, they could go back and actually tweak their levels before going back out on stage, pure genius.

The Behringer P16-1 16 Channel Rackmount Personal Monitor

The Behringer P16-1 16 Channel Rackmount Personal Monitor

Or what about houses of worship? Now I’m not talking little four piece youth bands, or a solo singer with an acoustic guitar, they already see how the P16 system could benefit them. Let’s talk about the giant groups, with 15, 20 musicians all up on stage, with a few dozen singers all up there, all at once. What about them? For years they have either had to just listen really hard, and do their best to fall into where they need to be, or just go by muscle memory, and hope it sounds good. Not anymore, you can set the entire P16 system up as a permanent installation, and now everyone can have their own private mix, all of them can hear just what they need to hear to do their job, and when you can hear yourself better, you can perform better.

As you can plainly see, the P16 Powerplay is just like its companion the X32, designed for anything and everything you could throw at it. It does a job that almost every musician needs done, at a price point that isn’t out of the range of possibilities for most working musicians, and the entire system is well within the combined budget of a band, theatre or house of worship. For all of these reasons, from its affordability, its simplicity, and the fact that it does a job many of us have needed done for ages, the P16 Powerplay system earns itself a definitive 10 out of 10.

The Behringer P16-M 16 Channel Personal Mixer Station

The Behringer P16-M 16 Channel Personal Mixer Station

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World Music Supply | New and Improved The Behringer X32

Hey guys Brian from World Music Supply here again to bring you the usual dose of gear and guitar reviews, sorry for the lack of an update yesterday, I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather as of late but luckily that’s all over and done with. To make up for the lateness I figured I would make it up to all of you, with a new addition of New and Improved, feature the Behringer X32 digital mixer. There have been a lot of new digital mixers hitting the market the past few months, from the Line 6 StageScape, or the Mackie DL1608. The key difference between the X32 and these two mixers however, is while the StageScape and DL1608 have taken mixing towards a more touch screen interface, decreasing the reliance on knobs and sliders, aiming on a more live friendly mixing situation; the X32 keeps the giant banks of sliders and knobs, but adds iPad interaction into the traditional mixing format.

The Behringer X32 32 Channel Motorized Fader Mixer Console

The Behringer X32 32 Channel Motorized Fader Mixer Console

While talking about mixers might not be everyone’s cup of tea, I know the pain of having to sit behind the board and try my hardest to get a good live mix for all parties involved. This job is never easy, from attempting to mix monitors from 40 feet away, judging what needs turned up and down from a singer whose yelling from across the room. This is why I liked the X32, it has everything you could need for any application, with 16 fully motorized sliders, dozens upon dozens of built in effects, Firewire/USB outputs and of course, iPad support via the remote app and the use of a standard wireless router, you can own a room with this, mixing the stage monitors from on stage, and the room monitors from your perfect little mixing booth, with all of the effects you could ever need.

The Behringer X32 32 Channel Motorized Fader Mixer Console

The Behringer X32 32 Channel Motorized Fader Mixer Console

Sitting down with the X32 to try my best to completely understand it in the short amount of time I had to review it, the first thing that needs to be mentioned, is that the new Midas designed preamps sound absolutely fantastic, with a very pristine, very clear sound to them. The motorized board was lightning fast, and was down right fascinating to watch when you control them via an iPad. The next really interesting feature was the scribble strip, which on most mixers is where ever there is enough room to lay down a piece of tape so you can write down what instrument is on which track. On the X32 however, there is a tiny LCD screen for each track, which shows an equally tiny picture of what instrument is on that track, with a little picture of a bass drum, a persons face for vocals, a guitar etc, as well as text to remind you what it is, and color coded lights all to help you keep everything straight. Add in the fact that each individual track features a limiter and gate, as well as a level meter so you can see which tracks are spiking at any one time, and you quickly have one of the most impressive mixing consoles to hit the market in years.

The Behringer X32 32 Channel Motorized Fader Mixer Console

The Behringer X32 32 Channel Motorized Fader Mixer Console

There are some features of the X32 that make me think it was designed as the jack of all trades when it comes to mixers, which is a refreshing change of pace. There are dozens of features that make it seem like an amazing live board, from the bright LED lights, the scribble strip and the use of an iPad so you can mix anywhere in the room, but there are also features that make me believe that this mixer was designed with recording in mind, like the USB and Firewire outputs, the dozens of effects, its ability to link up with the P-16 monitoring systems, and last but not least the 32 bit floating point DSP. All this together creates a mixer that is designed from the ground up to do everything, from huge rock concerts, church worship groups, tiny clubs, and even budget conscious recording studios. With the X32, it doesn’t matter what you need a mixer to do, it will get the job done, and that’s why the Behringer X32 gets a solid 10 out of 10.

World Music Supply | Line 6

Hey guys it’s Brian here with World Music Supply, and today I’m here to talk to you about some new stuff coming out from our good friends over at Line 6. For years Line 6 has developed cutting edge digital amplifiers, effects, recording equipment, and guitars, and now they are moving into the realm of sound systems, and professional quality mixers. These new additions to the Line 6 family are designed like all other Line 6 products, meaning they are designed to replace everything else on the market. Once you buy them, Line 6’s design philosophy seems to be, that you will never want to replace any of them. They are designed to be revolutionary, and amazingly simple and straightforward. Lets start with their new mixer, the StageScape M20d.

The Line 6 M20d

The Line 6 M20d

Marketed as a Smart Mixer, the M20d doesn’t disappoint. The first, and most noticeable thing about the mixer, is its lack of traditional mixer controls, no faders, no huge EQ array, just a touch screen, twelve little knobs, one big knob, and seven buttons. The secret is the power that the touch screen allots, from its simple drop-down menus, you can configure whole mixes by simply dragging and dropping icons of what’s on stage. You just plug in the mic, and the M20d knows what’s plugged in and adjusts accordingly. Plug in a guitar, you simply assign it a guitar icon, which comes complete with a corresponding EQ and your guitar tone is set. EQ-ing is even easier, is the guitar too bright? You simply go to the “tweak” button, and using the touch screen as an X Y controller, you move the on screen slider away from the “bright” corner of the pad, to the “dark” or “punchy” corner of the pad, in effect moving several EQ parameters at one time. 

The Line 6 M20d

The Line 6 M20d

 This high level of simplicity is part of Line 6’s new idea about who really uses mixers, as these mixers are designed more towards working bands, who have to run their own sound mixes, as opposed to having a full time sound engineer. However, the simplicity and amazing flexibility is also useful to sound engineers who have to run multiple acts in the same night, or who have to try and juggle mixing and live recording duties. No more having to have a band set up and then worry about if your going to have enough to properly mix and EQ everything, because the M20d has a neat feature where you can record 20 seconds of audio, loop it, and adjust the mix from there. Meaning you can adjust in real time, individually for each different instrument, monitor, and mic. Imagine, just play some of the chorus to a song and within a minute or two, all of the monitor mixes are set, all of the channels are EQ’d, and the sound engineer just saves the mix for next time you play that venue. Recording wise, you can just hook a portable hard drive, or even plug in your laptop and you can record all of the tracks in individual WAV files pre-effect, meaning you have great sounding, crystal clear audio ready to mix at the end of the night.

My favorite part about the M20d is that, like the Mackie from last week, the M20d is compatible with the iPad, and just like the Mackie, you can now walk into the crowd, up on stage, or walking through the room, mixing on the fly. A perfectly tuned mix, with the ease and sensibility even a novice could understand. This isn’t to say though that the M20d is designed with only the novice in mind, as pro engineers can dig in too, and control EQs in a multitude of ways, through the X Y axis control, to 32 band Graphic EQ, or even using the twelve knobs as you would to EQ on a traditional mixer. For the extreme simplicity, and at the same time, rich and in-depth control over your sound, the Line 6 M20d easily gets 10 out of 10.

New From Line 6

New From Line 6

Next up in this round up of new Line 6 products is the companion speaker system for the StageScape mixer, are the incredibly powerful, and amazingly versatile StageSource speakers. The speakers include the L3T main speaker, and L3M monitor speaker, which are both designed around being the most versatile speakers on the market, for use as everything from an acoustic guitar standalone amplifier, to a monitor, to a front of house reference speaker, to a full backline of speakers.  

Line 6 L3T and L3M

Line 6 L3T and L3M

One of the amazing new features is has what’s called the “speaker mode” setting, which digitally re-voices the speakers to better suit what its being required to do. This includes everything from becoming a keyboard amp, a flat reference PA, MP3 playback, to even just being a good old floor monitor. Actually, thanks to its built in accelerometer, it will actually know that if it’s set on its side, it needs to act like a floor monitor, and will immediately retune itself to act as a floor monitor. As well it has L6 connection, meaning when linked to the M20d mixer, it will know where in the room it is in relation to the M20d, and retune itself to suit better, even leveling out the volume of the room, and helping to cancel out feedback in high volume situations automatically. You can even run it in conjunction with any of the POD family of effect modelers and have it sound like everything from a 1400 watt 4×12, to a big, booming acoustic guitar.

The Line 6 L3S

The Line 6 L3S

The other speaker in this new line is the L3S which is the subwoofer of the family, which like the others has the ability to digitally re-voice itself to suit its intended situation. Meaning the L3S is capable of going from reference speaker, to a bright punchy PA, to its D.J settings which feature ultra, and extended bass. Using the L6 link, you are also able to chain the L3T or L3M to the L3S and they will automatically adjust themselves accordingly. This is where the StageSource really shows itself off. Yes, they are great P.A cabinets, and are very flexible and versatile in their own right, but they are also very easily expandable and stackable. Using standard microphone cables, it is possible to chain cabinet after cabinet together and form an intelligent sound system with ever increasing thresholds of power.

The New Line 6 Speakers

The New Line 6 Speakers

So you can wire up a few dozen L3T’s to some L3S’s and put some L3M’s on the floor, and hook it all to a M20d and within a few moments you have an amazing sounding system, no having to adjust acoustics or going speaker to speaker to adjust the sound of the room. You just plug them in, and within a few minutes, you can have great sound at your finger tips. For the easy expandability and extreme versatility every speaker in the StageSource line, easily gets a 10 out of 10.

So what can we take away from this? Well that’s simple; both of these new lines of products are great additions to the already amazing Line 6 family of products. With its ability to quickly interface with all current Line 6 products, and its ability to take mixing in a new and far simpler direction, the M20d out classes and out does anything on the market today, and the StageSource speakers are some of the most intuitive systems available anywhere. So why don’t you head on over to World Music Supply and stop just sounding okay, and start sounding great with these new Line 6 products today.

World Music Supply | New and Improved

Hi guys it’s Brian here with World Music Supply and today I’m here to talk to you about some new and improved pieces of gear coming soon to World Music Supply. For our very first installment of New and Improved I’m going to talk about two innovative mixers that are about to shake up the market.

The Mackie DL1608

The Mackie DL1608

First up to bat is the Mackie DL1608, which is by far one of the most unusual, and innovative mixers I’ve seen in years. First and foremost it should be noted that this isn’t your average mixer, because what it is, is an iPad dock, with the ability to function in tandem with the iPad as a powerful mixing surface. The Mackie handles the input and output sections, while the iPad functions as the controller of the DL1608, by allowing you control over your faders, each complete with a dedicated graphic EQ, Effects and dedicated compressor for each channel.  The DL1608 also has 6 aux sends alongside the standard left and right, each with a graphic EQ and dedicated compressor, meaning this machine can really do it all.

The Mackie DL1608

The Mackie DL1608

The most fascinating thing to me was that you have the ability to plug the mixer into a wireless router, so you can then unplug the iPad, and walk around the venue, using the iPad to wirelessly control the mix from within the crowd.  You can even walk onstage and tune each monitor to the corresponding musician’s personal taste, which is something that is light years ahead of almost every other mixer on the market. You can even run up to 10 iPads per DL1608, meaning that you can have a few friends sitting backstage running a continuous monitor mix, while you and a few more friends walk through the crowd tuning the main mix to perfection. The benefits of a system like this to smaller venues like bars and clubs is immediately appreciable, us musicians might never have to deal with muddy monitor mixes and frustrating sound engineers might finally find some relief from having to run around the venue to see if everything sounds okay.

The Mackie DL1608

The Mackie DL1608

The actual Mackie DL1608 console uses 16 boutique-quality Onyx Mic preamps, and the power and performance of 24 bit Cirrus Logic® AD/DA converters, allowing this mixer unparalleled sound quality. It also includes a PadLock™ feature so you can lock the iPad down for a more permanent installation, as well the DL1608 features a Kensington lock to help protect the iPad from theft, and finally it’s also capable of being mounted on an optional rack mount kit to help keep it in place.

iPad running the Mackie DL1608 control App

iPad running the Mackie DL1608 control App

Overall I think the addition of the iPad connectivity gives the Mackie an edge over almost every other mixer on the market today, and it’s certainly more powerful then any in it’s price range. The ability to mix a live venue while walking through the crowd is unheard of, and being able to mix monitor mixes on stage, this thing could be a real game changer for smaller venues, the days of having to struggle with poor mixes in bars and clubs might be over with the introduction of the Mackie DL1608. For everything it’s worth, the DL1608 is amazing, and its innovative ability to mix while walking through the crowd, on stage, or even both at the same time is really exciting to me. It is for these amazing features that the Mackie DL1608 gets a 10 out of 10 hands down.

The Behringer XENYX-UFX1604

The Behringer XENYX-UFX1604

Next up on the new product list is the Behringer Xenyx UFX1604, and for what the Mackie DL1608 does for live mixing, the Xenyx does for live recording. By now most of us have a mixer or some other interface hooked into our laptops, or our desktops. We probably own some type of recording software, and for the most part, you track one track at a time, like most “bedroom recording studios” do. Now while this is great and all, if you’re like me, you know the hassle of having to try and track a band in a studio like this. The problem comes from the fact that most of these “studios” are made in either a spare room, or a bed room, places you can’t typically fit 4-5 guys, a load of amps, and a drum kit.
 

The Behringer XENYX-UFX1604

The Behringer XENYX-UFX1604

The idea behind the Xenyx is to allow all of those cool recording functions, without having to bring along your laptop to either your practice space, or your shows. You simply plug a flash drive or a portable hard drive in the back of the console and it tracks all 16 tracks as individual recordings onto the drive. So you can worry about mixing them later on when you get home, all you have to do is plug the flash drive into your laptop, export the tracks into pro tools or cubase or what have you, and then you just edit and mix your band. Did someone mess up during a song? But other then that the mix is great? Well no problem, just plug the Xenyx into your computer, using either USB or Firewire, and you can just retrack the part that was messed up.

The Behringer XENYX-UFX1604

The Behringer XENYX-UFX1604

        Behringer has made reliable, great sounding, dirt cheap mixers for a long time now, but finally, a firewire/USB analog mixer/recorder with ultra low-noise, high headroom that can export all of your music discretely to a flash drive. The Xenyx also features “Planet Earth” connectivity, which means this mixer can be used world wide. For its amazing flexibility and versatility, walking the line between powerhouse mixer, and amazingly convenient recorder, the Xenyx also gets a 10 out of 10.

So here we have two awesomely powerful mixers, with two very different innovative designs, one is a mixer that you can pick up and carry around, effectively giving you the ability to mix a venue from any area within the venue, while the other allows you to record your whole band from anywhere with the simplicity and reliability of a thumb drive. Now with mixers like these, you finally have the opportunity to perform and enjoy your music the way it was meant to be enjoyed, without all of the hassle and headaches. Now thanks to us here at World Music Supply, you too have this opportunity, because both of these amazing mixers are available for pre-order now at Worldmusicsupply.com.