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Behringer XAir XR18 Series – XAir XR18 Introduction Video

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by Drew Brashler in All Posts, Behringer XAir
February 4, 2017 10 comments

The Behringer XAir series of consoles are small format mixers in a few different models. All of them have Midas-designed preamps and integrated Wi-Fi network modules which support 802.11b, 802.11g, and ethernet. They call this support a ‘tri-mode Wi-Fi router’.

Before we get too far… I am going to answer one question that a lot of you have. Can I use the XAir as a stage box for the X32? The answer is NO you can not use the XR12, XR16, X18, or the XR18 as a stage box for the X32/M32 console. The XAir and the X32/M32 consoles are different systems and can not be connected together aside from using physical lines out of the outputs going to the inputs of the console. One way that you could use the XAir with the X32 is as a side mixer for your A/V inputs, then bringing a stereo out of the main outputs and plug that into the AUX inputs of the X32. But, there is no way to use it as a digital stage box.

Behringer XAir XR18 Introduction Video

Here is a link to the YouTube video if you haven’t checked it out already!

The Behringer XAir Lineup:

Behringer XAir XR12

Behringer XAir XR12

  • 12 total inputs
    • 4 XLR/TRS Combo Inputs with Programmable Preamps
    • 8 1/4 inch Balanced or Unbalanced Inputs with Programmable Preamps (2 are Hi-Z capable for direct connection of Guitar & Bass)
  • 4 total outputs
    • 1 Pair of L&R outputs (XLR)
    • 2 Aux Sends (Balanced 1/4 inch)
  • 4 Stereo Internal Effects Racks
  • Ultranet Output for use with P16 Monitors or Ultranet Speakers (Turbosound iQ Series)
  • Stereo USB Recorder for recording to USB Flash Drives (USB Type A Port)
  • Stereo USB Playback from USB Drive (USB Type A Port)
  • Midi In/Out
  • ‘Tri Mode Wi-Fi Router’ (Ethernet, Wi-Fi Client access, Wi-Fi Access Point)
  • Stereo Headphone Output (40Ω)

Behringer XAir XR16

Behringer XAir XR16

  • 16 total inputs
    • 8 XLR/TRS Combo Inputs with Programmable Preamps
    • 8 1/4 inch Balanced or Unbalanced Inputs with Programmable Preamps (2 are Hi-Z capable for direct connection of Guitar & Bass)
  • 6 total outputs
    • 1 Pair of L&R outputs (XLR)
    • 4 Aux Sends (XLR)
  • 4 Stereo Internal Effects Racks
  • Ultranet Output for use with P16 Monitors or Ultranet Speakers (Turbosound iQ Series)
  • Stereo USB Recorder for recording to USB Flash Drives (USB Type A Port)
  • Stereo USB Playback from USB Drive (USB Type A Port)
  • Midi In/Out
  • ‘Tri Mode Wi-Fi Router’ (Ethernet, Wi-Fi Client access, Wi-Fi Access Point)
  • Stereo Headphone Output (40Ω)

Behringer XAir X18

Behringer XAir X18

  • 18 total inputs
    • 16 XLR/TRS Combo Inputs with Programmable Preamps (2 are Hi-Z capable for direct connection of Guitar & Bass)
    • 2 RCA Inputs with Programmable Preamps
  • 8 total outputs
    • 1 Pair of L&R outputs (XLR)
    • 1 Pair of RCA Outputs (Selectable LR Out or Control Room/Phones)
    • 6 Aux Sends (Balanced 1/4 Inch)
  • 4 Stereo Internal Effects Racks
  • Ultranet Output for use with P16 Monitors or Ultranet Speakers (Turbosound iQ Series)
  • 18 Channel Multitrack Input/Output USB Audio Interface (USB Type B Port) (18 In/18 Out)
  • Midi In/Out
  • ‘Tri Mode Wi-Fi Router’ (Ethernet, Wi-Fi Client access, Wi-Fi Access Point)
  • Stereo Headphone Output (40Ω)

Behringer XAir XR18

Behringer XAir XR18

  • 18 total inputs
    • 16 XLR/TRS Combo Inputs with Programmable Preamps (2 are Hi-Z capable for direct connection of Guitar & Bass)
    • 2 1/4 inch Balanced or Unbalanced Inputs with Programmable Preamps
  • 8 total outputs
    • 1 Pair of L&R outputs (XLR)
    • 8 Aux Sends (XLR)
  • 4 Stereo Internal Effects Racks
  • Ultranet Output for use with P16 Monitors or Ultranet Speakers (Turbosound iQ Series)
  • 18 Channel Multitrack Input/Output USB Audio Interface (USB Type B Port) (18 In/18 Out)
  • Midi In/Out
  • ‘Tri Mode Wi-Fi Router’ (Ethernet, Wi-Fi Client access, Wi-Fi Access Point)
  • Stereo Headphone Output (40Ω)

Tri-Mode Wi-Fi Router

The Behringer XAir series consoles come with what Music Group calls a ‘Tri-Mode Wi-Fi Router’. This boils down to two things, an Ethernet port and a Wi-Fi Transceiver that is built into the console.

Behringer XAir XR18

Let’s start out at looking deeper into the Wi-Fi Transceiver. Behringer is using the Microchip MRF24WG0MB which is an agency certified IEEE 802.11 Wi-Fi radio transceiver module. It has a single built-in antenna plus an additional antenna jack which is brought up to the top of the unit where a Wi-Fi antenna is placed through an SMA-RP connector. The transceiver has a total output of 18dBm (802.11 g) and 19dBm (802.11 b) and works with Wi-Fi channels 1-11 (2412MHz – 2462MHz). It also supports WEP, WPA-PSK, WPA2-PSK Security.

This transceiver allows the XAir console to connect to an existing Wi-Fi network or create its own Wi-Fi network by sliding the switch to Access Point.

Behringer XAir XR18

There is also a 10/100 Ethernet connection on the XAir console. This uses a Microchip 8720A ethernet transceiver chip. Not only does this support 10Mbit and 100Mbit ethernet, but it also has Auto-MDIX Support. Auto-MDIX Support means that you can take a direct ethernet cable from your computer to the console and forgo the network router completely!

XLR, TRS, Balanced & Unbalanced

Behringer XAir XR18

Let’s now move onto the connections of the XAir series. The main difference between the models (XR12, XR16, X18, XR18) is the type and number of inputs and outputs.

Inputs:

  • XR12: 4 – XLR/TRS, 8 – TRS
  • XR16: 8 – XLR/TRS, 8 – TRS
  • X18: 16 – XLR/TRS, 2 RCA
  • XR18: 16 – XLR/TRS, 2 – TRS

Outputs:

  • XR12: 2 – XLR, 2 – TRS
  • XR16: 6 – XLR
  • X18: 2 – XLR, 6 – TRS, 2 – RCA
  • XR18: 8 – XLR

XLR/TRS Combo Jacks

One awesome part of the XAir series is the XLR/TRS combination jacks! Not only do they not have a thumb lock release that can get caught, but they can accept an XLR connection or a 1/4 inch connection.

Behringer XAir XR18

Hi-Z Inputs

On top of that, each mixer has two inputs that are designated as a Hi-Z input. Hi-Z stands for a high impedance source such as a guitar or bass guitar. Typically when one would connect a guitar or bass guitar, they would need to get a ‘direct box’ which would convert the high impedance guitar pickup to a low impedance for input to the mixer. These two Hi-Z channels on the mixer allow us to forget the direct box and plug right into the mixer!

Here are the specs for the inputs of the XR18 console:

  • XLR Unbalanced: 5 kΩ, Max input +23 dBu
  • XLR Balanced: 10 kΩ, Max input +23 dBu
  • Hi-Z 1/4 Inch TS Unbalanced: 1 MΩ, Max input +16 dBu
  • Hi-Z 1/4 Inch TRS Balanced: 2 MΩ, Max input +16 dBu
  • 1/4 Inch TS Unbalanced: 5 kΩ, Max input +16 dBu
  • 1/4 Inch TRS Balanced: 10 kΩ, Max input +16 dBu

Here are the specs for the outputs of the XAir consoles:

  • XLR Balanced & Unbalanced: 50 Ω, +4 dBu nominal, +16 dBu Max
  • 1/4 Inch TRS Balanced & TS Unbalanced: 50 Ω, +4 dBu nominal, +16 dBu Max
  • Stereo Headphone Output: 40 Ω, +35 dBm

Control of the XAir Console

Controlling of the XAir consoles is made possible through the ethernet/Wi-Fi connection and uses the XAir-Edit application (Mac, PC, Linux, Rasberry-Pi), the X Air app for the iPad, and lastly third-party applications.

Behringer XAir Edit

Behringer XAir Edit

Behringer XAir Edit

 

The only downside of having the remote connection to control the console is there is a limit of 4 connections. So, if you are planning on having a few people connect to this for adjusting their monitor mixes, keep that limit of 4 in mind!

4 Internal Effects Racks

Behringer X-Air Effects Presets Library DownloadOne thing I am excited about is that there are 4 internal effects racks with the same effects as the X32. So all of my X32 Effects Tutorials will work perfectly with the XAir mixers!

Over the next few weeks…

Over the next few weeks, I am going to me making more blog posts and videos on the Behringer XR18 mixer showing how to use it with audio going through the mixer! Subscribe to the blog or to my YouTube channel to make sure you are seeing the posts as they come!

10 Comments
  1. Paul Cartledge says:

    Hi Drew, How can I save custom layers on the iPad app V1.5
    When I reopen the app the layer I made has gone !
    Thanks Drew

    1. dbbaudio says:

      I will make sure to cover that in the upcoming videos on the iPad app! But, if you just updated, chances are you will need to remake that custom layer which you can do in the Setup>Layers. Thanks for the comment!

  2. Ree says:

    Hello,

    I am rely wondering about how will the xr18 work as a stand alone sound-card? interested in a 18/6 sound card, and being able to have it as a “backup mixer” had been great. is it possible to route all analog inputs directly to USB, and also have the output from the sound card going strait to the analog outputs? will those setting be kept over a power on/off?

    What kind off latency can someone expect? (know this has a lot to do with computer, butt can’t find anyone on internet saying anything about this are a low, ore high latency sound card)

    hope this is one off the things u can test, and say a little about.

    1. dbbaudio says:

      The XR18 would be a great sound card with low latency. The latency of the a/d conversion is 0.8 ms but depending on the buffer that you use inside of your computer program will make that larger. Say you use a 128 buffer, that is 128 samples at 48kHz would be 2.6 ms of added delay. Or if you used a buffer of 256, that is 256 samples at 48kHz and would be an additional delay of 5.3 ms. In comparison to non-professional sound cards, the XR18 would be significantly better. In comparison to other professional sound cards, the XR18 would be very much the same quality.

      The unit will not pass any audio if turned off. Settings are recallable and the unit returns to the last state it was in when power cycled.

      Thanks so much for the comment!

  3. John York says:

    Great intro to a very powerful and affordable line of mixers!
    In one of your future videos, could you address using an XAir as a preamp? I have been using my XR12 as a super-deluxe direct box for when I play bass or acoustic guitar. I can send a fully produced signal to FOH if needed.
    My next experiment will be using it to mix magnetic and piezo pickups from the same guitar, each compressed and eq’d appropriately for the source.
    Several XAir users I have been in touch with have reported using their mixer-as-a-DI as well. I’d like to hear your take on this, as I always learn so much from your videos and blog.
    Thanks!

  4. Joe Rogers says:

    Great tutorial . We are thinking as using the XR 18 as a control mixer for our clubhouse A/V control room. Can video also be routed thru the mixer?
    I also had a question about
    Routing thru the MIDI connections. Can stage lighting be routed thru the MIDI and be controlled from an iPad?

    1. dbbaudio says:

      Hi Joe!

      Thanks for reaching out with your question. The XR18 is not able to pass video, only audio. You would be wanting to find a video mixer or video switcher if you are planning on video switching.

      The XR18 does have MIDI in and out, however I will not be doing any tutorials on this functionality. I am not aware of any controlling that you can do from an iPad through the XR18 to send MIDI commands.

      Thanks so much!

  5. Bo Martin says:

    Drew,
    I bought your XR18 preset and it was incredible the 1st time I used them. I have a Audix D6 I’m using for the kick. It’s a little boomier than I like. I’m struggling to get it like I want it. Should I just switch to a B52 or Do you have any suggestions as to how to handle a D6 on the kick?
    Thanks!!

  6. Ben says:

    Hi Drew, I’m trying to decide between the XR 18 and MR 18 and I was pretty much sold on the MR 18 until I read they got rid of the two hi-z inputs on channels 1 & 2. Does this mean DI Box is necessary for acoustic guitar or bass?

  7. Mike Mannino says:

    I have the xr18. There’s seems to be no step by step instructional videos from the time you open it to setup?? There’s a significant difference in formats between my Samsung tablet and my I pad.. I’m getting frustrated and struggle with getting a good monitor mix on stage and have problems navigating and understanding some of the settings.. ugh… I switched to this system cause I wanted to simplify things but it appears to be complicated and I’m getting to much feedback even when the gain settings are reduced…. Help! I’m a Rookie sound guy!! Lol

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GET THE X32 ROUTING WORKSHEET FOR FREE!

I FOUND THAT OVER THE YEARS, HAVING MY ROUTING WRITTEN DOWN NOT ONLY MADE MY JOB EASIER BUT IT MADE ME FASTER AT MY JOB!

AS A THANK YOU FOR COMING TODAY, I WANT TO GIVE IT TO YOU!

Subscribe Me