The Soundcraft Ui24R is a mixer and USB audio interface combo that works well for a home studio, live productions and rehearsal studios. This compact mixer has some great features such as its onboard multitrack capacity. It also has the ability to save and recall sets and shows. This makes it a great candidate for live tours since it loads your FOH and in-ear monitor mixes.
In this gear review, we will take a look at the history of Soundcraft and take a look at the Soundcraft Ui24R digital mixer. We will also take a look at some alternatives to this product.
Let’s have a look at everything you need to know about the Ui24R.
It is the culmination of many technologies finally being affordable to manufacture and accessible to the general public. Is this a product meant for professional use?
The only limitation of this board is its 22 inputs (20 XLR + 2 RCAs). But all in all, it’ll fit most professional endeavours as it has everything you need and more.
Soundcraft was founded in 1973. They have grown to become industry leaders due to their innovative designs. They offer a series of equipment that will satisfy top-tier sound engineers as well as up-and-coming learners into the field of sound engineering, which now includes musicians.
Soundcraft is also part of the Harman family, which also includes AKG, DBX, Crown, JBL, Lexicon, Studer as well Martin Professional lighting.
This is partly why Lexicon and DBX features have been introduced in the Ui24R. Soundcraft’s focus has always been on design and innovation. They are known to deliver very high-quality products.
In this section, we will take a look at the features of the Soundcraft Ui24R.
Let’s dive in!
It includes 8 mono mixes with an additional stereo out for monitors; a cross-platform (Mac, PC, Android, Linux…) web browser-based app. This enables up to 10 devices to be connected via a password-protected device so everybody can control their in-ear mixes in a wireless fashion.
The Ui24R’s 2 different dual-band WiFi networks, a 5ghz, and 2.4ghz come in handy, especially for soundcheck.
The Ui24R’s HDMI out and 2 USB ports to use with a mouse, keyboard and screen. Its two ethernet connections allow for Cascade mode (using 2 mixers together), an external internet router, a hardwired computer or tactile screen connected.
In a studio or live setting, the Ui24R is great since it allows everybody to be working on their mixes using their own devices. Any tablet, cellphone or computer that is WiFi enabled and has access to a browser can be used to control the user’s interface, which makes it the most compatible mixer on the market. No need for any apps.
The Ui24R is also compatible with PC, Mac and Linux for recording. This feature replaces the need for an Axiom set up or extra equipment if you’re using an x32, which, in the end, will make you spend thousands of dollars in order to achieve the same goal.
The frontal USB B port allows you to connect directly and record all 32 channels (22 from inputs + main out and aux outs) simultaneously without adding any delays to your monitoring.
The plugins used on the mix are not recorded. So you can revisit your recording for mixing and mastering before release. You can also mix as you go by using the onboard playback or listen to the main out mix.
The USB rec slot also allows you to connect an external powered drive or a large capacity USB stick with a minimum of 20mbps writing speed. This gives you the opportunity to record a high-quality multitrack, play it back, remix, do a soundcheck without any musicians present, etc.
The two options work in tandem, which effectively creates a backup on the USB stick. For recording purposes, the mixer only offers 48khz 24 bit or 48khz 16bit. It doesn’t offer 44.1, 88,2 or 96khz sample rates.
This can be a limitation you’ll need to keep in mind when purchasing the Ui24R. The Ui24R is also expandable when you can connect two mixers together via an ethernet cable (rj45) and use one of the mixers as a snake in “Cascade Mode”. This allows for a multiroom setup to facilitate different needs.
The Ui24R is available in most markets, including the USA, Canada, Europe, UK, Brasil, India, etc. It is widely available and very well priced in all the different markets.
Soundcraft Ui24R specs:
So, how much does the Soundcraft Ui24R cost?
You can also find a Soundcraft Ui24R for sale used on Reverb or Amazon.
In this section, we will take a look at what makes the Soundcraft Ui24R a great piece of kit.
The Ui24R has a great community on Facebook, called “Soundcraft Ui24R Users Main Group’’. It has over 12,000 users who help one another with a lot of answers to their questions and post modifications people have made to their setups.
It can be a good idea to join the group and see what the discussions there are about. A lot of the members have made tutorial videos and charts to explain some of the expansions they have made or how they are using the mixer on a daily basis.
The two multitrack options are the feature that really sets the Ui24R apart from its competitors. It essentially allows you to have a backup of your recording without needing anything else than a USB stick.
The Soundcraft Ui24R Latency or lack thereof will make your recordings easy with the input monitoring of the mixer.
The Ui24R mixer fits in a 4u rack. This makes it a great piece of universal equipment.
The very user friendly interface with cross platform compatibility (every screen looks 100% the same). The Soundcraft Ui24R Manual contains all the information and troubleshooting tips.
More Me allows you to have 1 volume for any member of the band, for which they select which faders are selected and 1 volume for the entire band.
This saves a lot of time in soundcheck for musicians who aren’t very confident mixing themselves.
Here we will take a look at some of the setbacks with the Soundcraft Ui24R.
Although avoidable, the forums are filled with posts due to power supply overload, causing either WiFi or screen display issues. In order to dodge these kinds of problems, it’s important to buy externally powered devices connected to the Ui24R.
Recommendations to deal with this problem are included in the manual. When using the device for long periods of time adjacent to other warm devices (power amps, power supplies, digital signal processors), we recommend leaving 1u above or below or install a fan to vent your roadcase.
For studio use, the mixer is locked to a sample rate of 48khz with Bit Depth of 24 or 16 bits.
If you’re in the market for a mixer/interface rack to play live and or record, you most likely want to have a look at a few of the other products on the market with similar specifications as the Ui24R.
The x32 series are staple products with loads of users. It’s been used everywhere from bars and tours internationally. It’s a reliable and well-known product. This makes it a great choice to make sound technicians at ease.
The Behringer x32 rack has 16 line inputs, a talkback mic, 8 outputs and 6 aux in/out. Also, It doesn’t have multitrack capacity unless you connect to a DAW via a computer or upgrade the X-Live expansion card to record to an SD card.
The p16m units are a solid expansion that gives you an affordable monitoring system (vs Aviom) used in studios and live venues all over the world.
The two things the x32 rack lacks from the Ui24R is its 4 extra inputs which can make or break your setup and the built in multitrack capacity (from factory).
That being said, you can always buy a snake to increase the I/O capacity up to 40 inputs and upgrade to that X-Live Card.
The x32 series mixers are very competitive, and because of their popularity, you know there are more expansions coming at very reasonable prices which makes it a great buy.
At its price point, it is a great buy if you’re looking to set it up in your basement for rehearsals. Or perhaps to do some demo recordings without the need for extra options, expandability or even, app reliability.
The xr18 has 16 xlr inputs, 8 xlr outputs, an ethernet connection and an Ultranet (personal monitoring) output. In comparison to its big brother the x32 rack, it lacks some of the expandability.
The quality of the build is good for the price but it does come with some limitations. The app differs from the x32 app and it is a completely different design from the x32 series.
That being said, the xr18 comes in at a great price and does exactly what it is meant to do.
This product has 16 xlr/trs inputs. The reviews are great, this product hasn’t had a huge commercial success like the x32 or even the Ui24R, but it does have a lot of great features. Just like the Ui24R, you can record a multitrack to USB stick (18 channels).
The QU-SB has an extensive preset banks from different microphone companies, Shure, Sennheizer, Audio Technica and sE Electronics. This can come in as a great advantage for anyone who is starting out with mixing.
The QU-SB also has the capacity to connect to a snake via the Allen and Heath, dSnake Protocol. This allows for expandability up to 38 inputs. Also, the interface is commonly described as very nice and user friendly.
Allen and Heath has also labelled the mixer as Future Proof because of its design and their commitment to keep expanding the line. This mixer, although not the most commercialized, is a great buy and comes with the known high quality of Allen and Heath Products.
It is important to note that the Ui12r and Ui16r need to be seen as completely different mixers/interfaces. This is in terms of design, quality and preamps. Although similar, they aren’t simply a smaller version of the Ui24R.
You now know all the ins and outs of the Ui24R. To summarize, the Soundcraft Ui24R is a very solid digital mixer thanks to the 20 Studer designed preamps. It also involves some great engineering and incredible simultaneous features of the mixer.
If what you need is the swiss knife of mixers, the Ui24R will more than satisfy your needs. It will excel in most settings and applications; whether it is for live, studio or rehearsal applications. All of that in one 4u unit.
What do you think about the Soundcraft Ui24R? Let us know you experiences in the comment section below. Also, don’t forget to share this guide across your socials and tag us @musicgateway
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