I have constantly sung the praises of the Soundcraft Ui16 has one of the most important pieces of investment of my DJ Equipment. But with times changes so does the landscape of digital mixers. Soundcraft released the Ui24R a while back as a replacement to the Ui12 & Ui16, supercharging its capabilities. But is it enough wiz-bang to invest in? I think so.
From The Ground Up
Now while the Ui24R shares some pedigree from the Ui12 and Ui16 it needs to be clearly understood that the Ui24R really went back to the drawing board. Superficially there are similarities, the web interface feels right at home. But it’s the equivalent of having a quaint Dodge Charger versus a Dodge Charger Hellcat. There is a lot more under the hood to consider.
And under the hood requires another 2.5″ of depth plus adds 13 lbs to the total weigh-in. The power brick is now inside the chassis dropping the proprietary connector. The preamps are now Studer-designed which should satisfy those that complained the Ui12/Ui16 were noisy. But most importantly you get something special, a true DAW lives in this chassis.
Now I could go on all day about the changes that it went through, but there are two features that have been making me desire this upgrade for some time.
What is the Matrix? While Neo might not be saving the world from the machines, the Matrix in this instance is a great feature that allows you to bound your Aux channels with your master faders. Prior to this, the only master channel control you had on your aux channels was a global mute inheritance where if you muted on your master, the auxes would follow suit. Now with the Matrix option, every slider is under control from the master mix. As a mobile DJ that uses an IEM to broadcast out to my remote speakers, this is a very handy feature. Prior to this, any changes in levels had to be duplicated by jumping into the aux window to manage.
To enable Matrix you simply hold on the Aux channels you want to convert and select Matrix, adjust your main gain to the level you want, and that is it. Very very simple.
Now some people may scratch their heads on why a mobile DJ needs multitrack recording. For me, it was a decision about the level of offerings I have to my clients, specifically to the videographers of my clients. Now I can hand off individual files of every channel for them to work in post, creating the very best sound profile for their final product. It comes in handy for me as well with the ability to mix quality isolated audio in my videos I release.
Don’t Forget The Router
While the Ui24R’s router seems to be a bit beefier, it still is very underwhelming. I still highly recommend an external router for it and if you have a problem with configuration then check out this video.
Is It Worth It?
I dive into deeper detail on this on my video for this but let’s just say I am very satisfied with my purchase. While it is a steeper ask in price, it is a higher quality device overall with some very slick features to boot. Now if you are not needing multitrack recording or are having no issue managing your aux channels then frankly the Ui16 is still an incredible investment. But if you need a step up in capabilities, the Ui24R is a great next step in that endeavor.