Qsc Touchmix Keeps Starting in Firmware Upgrade Mode
The latest firmware for QSC’s pop TouchMix-viii and -16 mixers endows them with a huge corporeality of extra functionality.
QSC’s release on June 6th this twelvemonth of v3.0 of the TouchMix-8/16 firmware brought the TouchMix-xxx’s functionality to its smaller stablemates, together with the corresponding update of the TouchMix iOS/Android remote control app. Every bit a TouchMix user, I had been eagerly pending the inflow of this upgrade and, at the kickoff opportunity, I began the process of updating my TouchMix-8’s firmware, which turned out to be a simple, painless process that is well documented on the QSC web site. Updating in the future has now become even easier as, under the new v3.0 firmware, a TouchMix that is connected to a router with Internet access will check for an update and download information technology directly or to a USB drive connected to information technology.
The almost obvious change to arrive with v3.0 firmware is the introduction of the screens and graphics from the TouchMix-30, for both the TouchMix-8/16 itself and their iPad/Android remote command apps. The new screens are a big improvement in terms of manner over the originals, although some of the older operators among us whose visual vigil is deteriorating with age may find a visit to the optician to be an essential offshoot to these updates.
Although the TouchMix’s new screens work perfectly, I twice savage foul of a known pocket-size result around missing information on a setup screen. On one occasion, the Aux Pick-Off point selectors and the Master Fifty-R routing push button in the Aux Setup screen disappeared. Equally per the v3.0 release notes, touching the Prev then the Adjacent navigation buttons restored normality. On another occasion, the digital gain control disappeared from all input aqueduct overviews and only by resetting the individual channels and reloading their presets could I bring it back. On both occasions, the remote control app on my iPad faithfully reflected the loss on the TouchMix’s screen.
These take been the only occasions that I’ve experienced this outcome, and then I would back up QSC’south belief that this upshot is fairly rare. Two other known issues touch only the
TouchMix-16, the first of which is that DCA control of aux 9-10’s output level is inoperative. The other is that the first release of the updated v3.0 app for iOS and Android erroneously allows the Room Tuning sorcerer to be run on auxes vii-viii and 9-ten. Running this sorcerer on those auxes crashes the app every bit at that place is no graphic EQ on those outputs. An imminent maintenance release (due in August 2017) will set up these and other issues.
With the new graphics comes the TouchMix-thirty’s vertical row of on-screen mix select buttons that requite y’all instant access to the fader views of the Master and the Aux mixes (iv mono on the TouchMix-viii and six mono plus 2 stereo on the TouchMix-16), a view that is determined by the block selected in the fader navigation strip. You can get slightly confused here because if you’re looking at the Aux Master faders on the Main Mix screen and and so select an Aux view, yous’ll see a screen of bare panels until you select another fader depository financial institution. There’s a similar confusion if you’ve got the DCA fader view selected when y’all switch to an Aux view; you’ll encounter the DCA faders fifty-fifty although there’s no feed to the aux sends from the DCAs.
I of the major additions in v3.0 is the single-case Real Time Analyser (RTA) that can be activated on whatsoever input or output channel. Although it can only exist used on one device (mixer or iPad) at a fourth dimension, the RTA can be an invaluable aid when setting up EQ on inputs and outputs, checking for likely feedback frequencies or tuning a room. Speaking of feedback prevention and room tuning, TouchMix v3.0 has not only increased the number of anti-feedback filters on all outputs to viii, simply also now contains wizards to help you both in avoiding feedback and in tuning your PA system to the room that y’all’re working in.
The Room Tuning Sorcerer is some other major addition that runs on the main and mono aux outputs. Operating it is easy equally on-screen instructions walk you through each of its three precision levels (low, medium and high). All you need is a long XLR pb and a measurement or other flat-response microphone on a stand. Depending on the level selected, yous spend a couple or more minutes per output taking measurements in either 1, ii or 4 room positions as directed by the wizard, and the job is done. As with other auto room-tuning systems, the tuning is carried out by automatically adjusting the 32-band graphic EQ that is present on all the tunable outputs. One time the TouchMix has finished, yous can manually fine-tune the outcome should you need to. On the output EQ front, v3.0 likewise upgrades the parametric equalisers on every output from four-band to six-band, giving you a wider range of tonal options in the process.
The Anti-Feedback Sorcerer also runs on the main and mono aux outputs and has a similar, screen-driven simplicity of performance. Once you’ve got your system performance ready, activating the wizard automatically raises the level of the selected output’south main fader until a feedback threshold is detected and a filter is activated at the offending frequency. The wizard continues to run until all viii frequencies take been allocated or you press Get out. Usefully, you tin not only fine-melody the amount of cut of each filter ring, simply also vary the overall depth and Q of the filters on each individual output, allowing you to minimise any overall negative result of the active filters.
Another great new feature is the ‘Tablet Follows Mixer’ mode, which is activated from within the remote control app. In this way, touching any input or output aqueduct fader on your TouchMix’due south touchscreen opens up that fader’due south channel screen on your iPad or Android tablet, giving you one-push button access to all that channel’s facilities. This feature really does speed upward your workflow on the mixer and, for me personally, is probably the virtually important of all the new features in practical terms.
As TouchMix-eight/sixteen users will be aware, Scenes (snapshots of the entire mixer) and Presets (aqueduct settings snapshots) are key to speedy setup and operation of these mixers. In v3.0 the new Aqueduct Prophylactic and the upgraded Omit Levels functions add pregnant flexibility to the use of both. When the Channel Rubber function is engaged, that channel’southward setting volition not be changed when a scene is recalled, so that you tin can, for example, temporarily modify a vocal channel EQ to cope with a stand-in vocalizer for a nighttime and recall your band’s normal ‘per-vocal’ scenes without having to manually modify the singer’southward EQ on each call up. When your usual singer returns, you simply disengage Aqueduct Safe mode and his or her own EQ settings will be restored with the next scene recall.
The Omit Level function, which in v2.0 allowed you to go out a channel’south volume level unchanged when recalling a preset, has been upgraded to also omit group assignments, so that a preset tin be recalled whilst leaving not simply its level, but also its mute group, subgroup and DCA group assignments unchanged.
Ane of the criticisms commonly levelled at the TouchMix-viii/xvi is their utilize of analogue input gain controls that precluded having a recallable input gain. In v3.0, the range of the individual channels’ digital gain control has been expanded to ±15dB and then, with a flake of forethought, you can set up very usable recallable input gains if yous need them. Version three.0 also adds the facility to filibuster the signal in whatsoever or all input channels by upward to 100ms.
On the furnishings front, the v3.0 update adds a balance control to the effects returns to monitors and also gives you the ability to employ tap tempo to gear up effects filibuster times from either the mixer or a tablet. I found it marginally easier to set a tempo by tapping the screen on my iPad rather than (equally was required) by pressing the main control knob on my TouchMix-8.
A very useful addition to the smaller TouchMixes is the TouchMix-30’s Copy & Paste part, which allows you copy the entire settings for one channel or its aux mix, compressor or EQ setups and paste those to another channel — some other boost to an already speedy setup workflow. Past default, the TouchMix-eight/sixteen’due south user keys U2 and U3 are prepare to re-create and paste respectively, just you could use a pair of the boosted iv on-screen user keys that v3.0 brings to your tablet instead, and set up the onboard hardware keys to other operational functions.
Some other useful change affects the aux 7-8 and aux ix-10 unbalanced stereo TRS outputs on the TouchMix-16. The new firmware gives y’all the option of configuring these as mono, balanced line-level outputs, expanding their flexibility by, for example, allowing you to feed another 2 floor monitors.
To complete the list of new facilities, v3.0 adds a USB drive format utility so that you lot don’t take to have access to a computer when a drive needs formatting, and as well adds an MP3 file player so that you can play backing tracks or interval music, for example, from an attached USB drive.
Underneath their compact exteriors QSC’s TouchMix-8 and TouchMix-sixteen are, in reality, superbly equipped and extremely capable digital consoles. The v2.0 firmware, which I have been running since I purchased my own TouchMix-8, coped with everything that I threw at information technology without any issues. This get-go release of v3 has but made operating the TouchMix a more than streamlined and elegant performance. In addition to the direct admission buttons for the various mixes, I plant the new RTA and the Room Tuning Magician to be particularly useful in getting my PA up and running in the minimum amount of fourth dimension, and the new Tablet Follows Mixer style actually does speed up configuration of the TouchMix itself. The other new features and facilities are all very welcome additions to the TouchMix’s already all-encompassing flexibility
If yous own a TouchMix-8 or 16 (and despite the few modest bugs and issues that volition probably have been cleared up by the time that you read this review) this v3.0 firmware is an essential download. I’m loving it!