MixPad: A Failure

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This topic contains 77 replies, has 26 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Stix Stix 8 years, 10 months ago.

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  • #23181
    Profile photo of
    Anonymous

    Sorry for the inflammatory title for this post, but I just need to vent my frustration with MixPad in the hope that somehow someone will either tell me what I’m doing wrong or at least agree that it is an app that still needs a lot of work.

    The key problem with this app is that it stops working with no warning, no error message, and at any time during a given show. By not working I mean it doesn’t respond to fader adjustments, or fails to respond to channel or mix changes or EQ adjustments. For example, I’m near the stage, and someone asks for a monitor adjustment. I try making the adjustment, and nothing happens. The artist stares at me and says nothing is changing. I then either stop and then restart the app or run to the MacBook (which is wired to the MixRack) and use the Editor. I average about five app restarts per hour. This is simply unacceptable, especially given the fact that the app costs $100.

    Now I am prepared to get flamed from people who have no issues whatsoever with MixPad, as there probably are many out in the world. So, to give you an idea of what I’ve tried to do get MixPad to work properly, here is a fairly comprehensive list.

    I have:

    1) Researched the entire iLive forum for every topic relating to MixPad.
    2) Consulted the iLive Support web site and iLive documentation.
    3) Bought six different routers, including two D-Link DIR 815 routers. (The others being Airport Extreme, Airport Express, a Belkin, and a Cisco/Linksys.)
    4) Tried turning on/off multicast on the MixRack.
    5) Tried turning on/off multicast on the routers, if possible.
    6) Tried turning on/off multicast on MixPad.
    7) Followed the instructions of the A&H video showing how to configure the DIR 815.
    8) Tried turning on/off encryption, DHCP server, DHCP reservations, MAC addressing.
    9) Tried 5 GHz configuration only.
    10) Tried 5 GHz 802.11a only.
    11) Tried turning off 2.4 GHz on dual routers.
    12) Tried various combinations of 802.11 configurations.
    13) Tried turning off SSID broadcast.
    14) Tried using static IP addresses only for the MacBook and iPads, making sure they are all unique.
    15) Tried taking off the cover of the iPad, just in case it was interfering with the WiFi antenna.
    16) My MacBook running the Editor connected to the MixRack via CAT 5E and the iPad, of course, connected wirelessly via the router. The MixRack IP address is 192.168.1.1. The router address is 192.168.1.254. The MacBook 192.168.1.100. The iPad 192.168.1.101 (unless DHCP sets them to something different). Subnet mask for everything is 255.255.255.0. MixRack, MacBook, and iPad are the only components.

    None, none of these measures makes any difference. Sooner or later MixPad stops working with no notice. I have MixPad installed on two iPad 2s, and the behavior is the same, so it’s probably not an iPad problem.

    I think I done a reasonable amount of research and experimenting on this issue and have gone overboard in buying routers. I simply can’t imagine that I’ve overlooked something obvious.

    I love what the iLive MixRack can do. It sounds great and has a wealth of features that aren’t available in the PreSonus and Yamaha boards I work with, though the iPad apps for those boards give me no problems at all. For my iLive purchase I deliberately chose to do without a control surface, assuming that MixPad and the Editor would be sufficient. However, I am handicapped, not enabled by MixRack. My only hope is that it will, sooner or later, be updated in a way that works for me.

    Flame suit is on in case it’s an operator problem.

    #30714
    Profile photo of tk2k
    tk2k
    Participant

    I think it is interesting how this post appears directly below yours
    http://iliveforum.allen-heath.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=2056

    ACE control protocol is an error checking, call and response protocol. This means if multicasting is not enabled, it will ‘hang’ our ‘wait’ for a response from ALL connected devices (mixpad, editor, and the surface itself) infact in the training video they specifically address this, showing how the surface can ‘freeze’ for several seconds on a slow connection.

    It is possible the same sort of thing is happening in your case. The iPad sends control data to the mix rack, and the mix rack sends it back. You changing the fader value and it not ‘doing anything’ is a data communications failure in some capacity.

    Launch field test and take a look at your wifi signal strength when you are at your set distance from the mix rack, that could explain what is going on. It’s possible you are getting wifi interference from other devices in the area, and that once the mixpad app loses connection it has a hard time reestablishing it.

    It looks like you have done some very extensive testing, just a few questions

    a) have you tried it in a different physical venue? i.e. outside in a field or somewhere where you can be sure nothing else is interfering with it?
    b) have you tried resetting the ipad to factory default? My guess is if you are using two ipads, they are running the same config file, or syncing to the same computer. You could have corrupt network settings on the file?

    I really hope people do not respond aggressively. You are obviously having trouble. That being said, at this point it may be more appropriate/productive to contact A&H support directly.

    #30715
    Profile photo of tk2k
    tk2k
    Participant

    I think it is interesting how this post appears directly below yours
    http://iliveforum.allen-heath.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=2056

    ACE control protocol is an error checking, call and response protocol. This means if multicasting is not enabled, it will ‘hang’ our ‘wait’ for a response from ALL connected devices (mixpad, editor, and the surface itself) infact in the training video they specifically address this, showing how the surface can ‘freeze’ for several seconds on a slow connection.

    It is possible the same sort of thing is happening in your case. The iPad sends control data to the mix rack, and the mix rack sends it back. You changing the fader value and it not ‘doing anything’ is a data communications failure in some capacity.

    Launch field test and take a look at your wifi signal strength when you are at your set distance from the mix rack, that could explain what is going on. It’s possible you are getting wifi interference from other devices in the area, and that once the mixpad app loses connection it has a hard time reestablishing it.

    It looks like you have done some very extensive testing, just a few questions

    a) have you tried it in a different physical venue? i.e. outside in a field or somewhere where you can be sure nothing else is interfering with it?
    b) have you tried resetting the ipad to factory default? My guess is if you are using two ipads, they are running the same config file, or syncing to the same computer. You could have corrupt network settings on the file?

    I really hope people do not respond aggressively. You are obviously having trouble. That being said, at this point it may be more appropriate/productive to contact A&H support directly.

    #30716
    Profile photo of Albin
    Albin
    Participant

    Do you own an IPad1 or 2?

    #30721
    Profile photo of letmefix
    letmefix
    Participant

    Hi arsound;

    Where do you keep your wi-fi router?
    I confirmed long time ago that there was a sort of interference when my-fi router was on top of the IDR32 rackmount case. I simply put it at least 3 feet away and I’m getting near 100% healthy connectivity. 5 reboots per hour is a lot. I average maybe 1 or 2 reboot per show that lasts 3-4 hrs.

    IDR32
    Motion Computing LE1700
    idontPad1&3
    M-Dante
    M-Waves.

    p.s. I have an extra M-MADI card for sale. PM me if you are interested.

    #30722
    Profile photo of
    Anonymous

    Thanks for all the replies. I very much appreciate it. To answer some questions:

    1) As far as venue, this problem occurs everywhere, including home.
    2) I guess I can reset the iPad, possibly even reload the O/S. Worth a try.
    3) I usually don’t run two iPads simultaneously. I have one ready to go in case I run out of battery.
    4) I have iPad 2.
    5) Just this last weekend I put the router up on a stand about 8 feet high. No change.

    I think having the router up high with no change in MixPad’s behavior this past weekend really discouraged me the most and prompted me to post my plea for help.

    I’m on the road at the moment but will be home this weekend to try any other suggestions, including contacting A&H directly.

    Thanks again.

    #30723
    Profile photo of Lieven-Dewispelaere
    Lieven-Dewispelaere
    Participant

    HI, di you set auto lock to “never” in ipad settings?

    I had problems that every time the ipad went to sleep the wifi was also disabled and i constantly lost wifi connection.

    Lieven

    T112/IDR48/R72/IDR16/xDR16/2ACEcards/IPad1
    Save a tree, eat a beaver

    #30725
    Profile photo of rreuscher
    rreuscher
    Participant

    Hi Arsound,

    I have kind of the same experience you have. I tried all the routers in the A&H top 5 list, but still I’m not able get a reliable connection.
    Swtiching to 5GHz band helped a bit. We are using 3 Ipads on stage to control our in-ears. Fortunatly we don’t need to change much in the course of the venue, so its workable. The rest is done on the console.
    I would absolutely never do a venue relying on the Ipad.

    Unfortunatly I think its not A&H to blame here entirely. I think to blame is the WiFi connectivity of the Ipad to the router. What A&H maybe could do is to develop the app. in a way so it will reastablish the connection in smooth way so it does not interfere with operation.
    But than again I’v had time that WiFi gets lost completely and I was not able to reconnect without restarting Router / Ipad. The more people are at a venue, the more problems. Maybe we should ban Phone with WiFi at Venues…..

    Best regards,

    Rene Reuscher

    Nothing is completly true, and even that’s not true.

    #30727
    Profile photo of
    Anonymous

    Lieven,

    Thank you for your suggestion. Both my iPads are set to stay on and never sleep. (Autolock set to Never).

    Rene,

    The nature of my work requires me to wander the venue, including the stage area. On both the PreSonus and Yamaha boards I have used their respective iPad apps, hardly touching the console, and without issue during a show and have become accustomed to working that way. I bought the iLive system to work without a console and thought it reasonable that if Yamaha and PresSonus can produce an app that works, so can A&H. Granted, their apps aren’t as full-featured, but they work and cost nothing.

    If it turns out that MixPad cannot be used in the heat of battle, then my purchase has been a waste.

    #30728
    Profile photo of tk2k
    tk2k
    Participant

    Arsound,

    Please note, this is exactly the circumstance where you can get a refund from Apple, at least until the issues are resolved.

    #30729
    Profile photo of rreuscher
    rreuscher
    Participant

    Arsound,

    I’m not familiar with the Yamaha and Presonus apps, but when this is true, then you are right. Then the mixpad app in the end, is the one to blame ( or even the ACE protocol ). Wonder if A&H has something to say about this. Would be nice to get any comment from them….

    Best regards,

    Rene Reuscher

    Nothing is completly true, and even that’s not true.

    #30730
    Profile photo of bucks
    bucks
    Participant

    Hi Alan

    It might sound like an odd question, but could you tell me if when the failure manifests itself, if you press the home button, is the Wifi signal strength icon at the top of page missing ?

    It may then re-appear approx .5 sec later, but when you transition to the home page it may be absent.

    Cheers

    Andy
    A&H

    #30731
    Profile photo of rreuscher
    rreuscher
    Participant

    Hi Alan,

    Indeed I noticed that WiFi signal is sometimes missing. Thats why mentioned before that a think its more a WiFi problem then an App issue. Or is this an IPad issue ( i have a IPad 2) ?

    Best regards,

    Rene Reuscher

    Nothing is completly true, and even that’s not true.

    #30732
    Profile photo of
    Anonymous

    Andy,

    Thanks for the tip. I get home from our tour today and can actually test this at home. For all the routers I’ve tried I have the same test:

    1) Connect the router to the MixRack via Ethernet and power up both units.
    2) Connect the MacBook to the MixRack via Ethernet, power up and start the Editor.
    3) Power up one of the iPads, connect to the network, and start MixPad.
    4) Change the parameters of a few channels (EQ, mix sends, etc).
    5) Select channels randomly to see if changes take place on the screen.
    6) If everything works, I set the iPad down and recheck every five minutes or so.
    7) MixPad will stop responding within 20 minutes.

    I will go through these steps when I test at home. As soon as step 7 occurs I will check the Home screen like you suggest and let you know.

    This is one aspect of the problem I’ve failed to mention. Namely, MixPad stops working during home tests, with the router in the same room and with very little demand placed upon it. Most often I will check to see if the faders change position when I select a mix. If they do, I set the iPad down and come back to it periodically. Usually within 20 minutes the faders stop changing positions when I double-tap to change a mix. Restarting the app fixes the problem.

    My suspicion is that it is not an iPad/WiFi issue because I don’t have the same problem with SL Remote and StageMix. MixPad does a lot more than these apps, particularly with metering. I’ve often wondered if turning off metering would help, but I really need to see things like channel gain.

    MixPad seems to be a bigger and more complex app than others like it. For example, it is slower when it redraws the screen while scrolling the faders (two-finger scroll from left to right). So for these reasons I suspect the problem lies with MixPad itself. But I really can’t say for sure, especially given that others in the field don’t seem to have the issues I’m experiencing.

    So it really comes down to this: I want and need to run my shows almost exclusively with MixPad. (I usually get things started with the Editor but then switch to MixPad.) I walk the venue constantly and check in with the bands frequently to make sure their needs are taken care of. This is the way I have been working with the StudioLive and the LS9 for about a year now. The nature of my shows makes mobile mixing a necessity, not a luxury.

    While I am able to do a show with MixPad, the constant restarts, especially at critical times when speed is paramount, are annoying to say the least. Based upon my experiences with other audio companies’ iPad apps I purchased an iDR-32 and MixPad only so that I could be console-free. It’s about 90 per cent there. For the investment I would like 100 per cent.

    Thanks again, everyone, for your contributions.

    #30733
    Profile photo of Detonator
    Detonator
    Participant

    I’ve been running all my shows for the last 6 months or so from Mixpad, though I always have a surface inline. For me, 5 gig is a must, as I am using digital wireless mics (Line 6), and this alone will cause the iPad to not even start. The 2.4 band is getting very iffy, and I’ve heard the 5 gig band doesn’t have the range of 2.4…

    I would look at turning off ALL programs (except Mixpad) running in the background (double click, the programs show up on the bottom) as this has been a big issue for me in the past.

    I still have occasional disconnects, My next step will be to mount my router (DIR-815) on a stalk, away from mixrack, speaker magnets, etc. Good luck to you.

    Tim Tyler
    Detonator Sound
    Richmond, Va USA
    T112/48 R72/32 laptop iPad Dir-815 Dante

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