Q's re: Qu-24 scene recall responsiveness, etc.

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Tony Tony 6 years, 3 months ago.

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  • #54549
    Profile photo of Tony

    Hi all.

    Short version of my question (novel-length addendum below):

    I’m about to buy either a Qu-24 or a Soundcraft Si Impact. I’ve watched a lot of YouTube footage and read both systems’ user guides. I’m leaning towards the Qu. To help me decide, I’d love some real (latest-firmware) users’ feedback on a few issues I’m still unclear on, where I’ve been having specific problems with my current rig:

    -When recalling a scene from memory during a performance, does the Qu mute its mix outs and/or digital recording channel outputs? If so, for how long?
    -How much latency is there between hitting the “Load” button and it taking effect on the mix?
    -How long does the control surface take to update itself and let you resume mixing after the change is applied?
    -As opposed to Scenes, does applying a ‘fat channel’ preset (one with a big EQ change, in particular) to an input in mid-performance glitch that channel audibly?

    During rehearsals (and afterwards, when working on mix scenes), I need to be able to conveniently/rapidly switch between recording/mixing/monitoring 8-12 tracks of live vocals, and playing them back.

    My regular gigs are vocal acts. My ‘live’ routing would typically be analog mic inputs on ch’s 1-12, with a couple of outboard FX channels fed by a couple of stereo Aux mixes and returned to inputs, along with using the internal FX active. The ‘playback’ routing would be those (pre-fader, dry recorded) mic channels set to USB, with the internal and external FX still running live (meaning 2-4 channels of external FX would still be Analog).

    -If I’m using a USB-connected DAW to do the recording/playback, is it going to be particularly awkward to switch between the two sets of digital input routings described above? Can I do it with a scene, or is it in practice easy to access/poke the required buttons on the the touchscreen?
    -Am I missing any ‘gotchas’ about the USB-DAW routing that will keep me from doing this in-place? I’m typically looking to use the playback as something of a virtual soundcheck, so I need the playback channels to be mapped to the same channels as my live inputs.

    Long(er)-winded explanation of why I’d like to know…

    I’ve spent the last few months in a failed attempt to get to know & like my Presonus CS18ai controls surface / RM16ai mixer combo.
    The touch-sensitive faders on the CS18ai make it very appealing as a DAW control surface, but for me at least, it has proven to be less than ideal for live use. It is causing headaches in several of the areas I was asking about above.

    I am about to trade it for either a Qu-24/AB168, or a Soundcraft SI Impact and one of their smaller stage boxes.

    Both systems look like they’d address my main concerns with my Presonus re: the control surface’s workflow. Both seem to also have pretty well-thought out features for Scene Recall, with appropriate parameter-based an filtering and channel-based “Safe-ing”.

    Q-Drive and the A&H IPad software look like a tie-breaker in favor of the Qu24.

    However, I do make heavy use of scenes, both with my regular acts’ musical gigs, and a few times a year in amateur theatrical productions. I’d like to recall scenes in mid-performance if possible, and if not, in very tight spaces (time-wise) between songs/stage cues.

    I really want to make sure my new board provides a satisfying experience in this area.

    My old StudioLive SL16.4.2 board had near-instant scene recall, but muted audio for a couple of hundred milliseconds while doing so. My new RM/CS “Ai” based setup doesn’t mute the audio (very helpful!), but takes a while (seems like something between 500msec and 1 second) to apply the change, and (no kidding) up to 4 or 5 seconds after that to actually update the control surface. During that window, you can’t mix. That ‘blackout periond’ is pretty annoying/embarrassing if you pull up the next song’s scene (perhaps with a heavy reverb on the lead vocalist)… and that vocalist is trying to banter with the audience. Also totally unworkable in the middle of a musical theater performance.

    I’d really like to make a good decision this time around; any input on the above would be much appreciated, along with any random observations that might distinguish the Qu vs the SoundCraft.



    Profile photo of airickess

    The only reason I don’t use my Qu16 for theater is that it doesn’t do timed fades. The faders fly at the same rate when recalling scenes. There are certain instances in the theatrical musicals that I mix where I would need a fade longer than the instantaneous fader movement of the Qu. It’s also limited to 100 scenes, if I remember correctly. That’s not enough for me. A current musical I’m mixing has 148 scenes.
    I’ve used scenes extensively for a band I mix on occasion. I use the scenes exclusively for FX changing and muting/unmuting. I don’t change FX during songs, but instead set up soft keys for the different effects I want within the songs and change in between songs. I’ve never noticed a lag in audio when changing scenes in between songs. I also set up a soft key with an FX mute in each scene just so the vocalist can banter without the FX if needed. The FX muting/unmuting works instantly, which is perfect for certain echo effects needed for certain phrases in the pop music played by this particular band.
    I don’t see why you can’t set up a scene to switch routing on channels. I don’t know if I would do this in the middle of a set since I’ve never attempted it. Since the Qu24 has more soft keys it would be easy to set up a number of FX to each song and mute/unmute what you need and when you need it. Tap Tempos are also able to be saved with scenes.
    My AB168 has worked flawlessly. Patching is easy and any input of the AB168 can be patched to any input on the Qu. Same with the outputs. I also like its portability. I can walk into a gig with the Qu16 in its custom carry case over my shoulder and have the AB168 in one hand with a reel of CAT5 in the other hand. It sure beats the analog days.
    If you are considering a Qu24 you might want to consider the 2412 instead. Yes, it’s a rackmount unit but it has the I/O to match the Qu24.
    I have no experience with the Soundcraft.

    Profile photo of

    I have no experience with the Soundcraft.

    however I do know…
    The guys I contract love using the QU mixers and they use the Soundcraft and other mixers.

    Profile photo of [XAP]Bob

    For ‘limited scene’ issues in a theatre I usually take each half separately…

    Profile photo of Tony

    Thanks to everyone for the input. I believe I will deciding in favor of the Qu.

    For the record, I’m not worried about changing routing in mid-gig… except by accident, during a scene recall. The issue was how easy it would be to do it on purpose, during rehearsals, etc.

    My current rig’s interface makes it awkward to flip between anything but all-digital and all-analog without a ton of button pushing… and on top of that, there is no way to safe (globally, or otherwise) your input/output routing from unintended changes during scene recalls. So with my gear, if you audition a scene offline via Firewire playback, and save it that way, you’re in for a surprise come showtime. Worst of both worlds.

    I just re-read the Qu24 manual’s section on scene recalls, and if anything, it appears to be even better than I’d thought. You seem to be able to sprecify custom scene recall filtering for individual scenes, not just globally, which I believe means that you can build a scene intended to set up a complicated mix of Analog/USB input routing, and recall it with a single push… no futzing around with the global filter settings. Pretty excellent.

    Profile photo of Tony

    I think I’ll be buying a 168 and an 84, it will let me split my racks up better, and cut down the odds of needing a drum snake in some situations. I do want to rack the AB168; I wish there was a ‘natively’ rackable version with that IO count. Has anyone ever bought/used the rackmount adpter for the 168? I’m wondering how you get at the side-mounted jacks when it is racked… a short Ethercon feedthrough?

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