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Roland M-200i Digital Mixer Review (Part 2) - Closed Captioned

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♪♫♪♫.................[Music Playing] Okay, so now let's go ahead and take the iPad. Slip it right in there, and you can see that they have a little shelf that the iPad stays on so it makes a console display. But it's nice and large, typical of an iPad. So in this particular case I have an EQ up and I can go ahead and adjust that. There are lots of different directions I can go. I can go back up to the channel strip if I want to. Just press that and move back and forth.

How I connect the iPad...There are 3 different ways. One is, there is a cable here, which I can hard wire it right in using the docking connector and there's a port on the back. What that does is give me a data connection but also charges my iPad. Now a lot of boards don't have that. When they use an iPad and you have to worry about battery life. Here, 24/7 you can have this plugged in. Your iPad will work. It'll communicate solid as can be. I love that idea. There are times when you just want a wire and you want it charged and you don't want to have to mess with it. In this particular case I'm going to use the video output so I can show you on the big screen what the iPad is capable of doing. So I'm not going to use that. We'll use the wireless connection. And the Wi-Fi connection can be done a oouple of different ways. We can do just a little NetGear. Roland makes one. You can buy one elsewhere too, a wireless USB adaptor.

There's a USB port on the back of the mixer. You plug this in and you create your own hotspot, probably a 60-foot radius or so. Or you can go ahead and plug it into a full router, wireless router. The beautiful thing about the Roland M-200i Mixer is that it's got the port built in it to handle Wi-Fi. You don't need to put a laptop or another computer onto this mixer. So that'll save you hundreds of dollars right there. You can communicate with, just a simple router, or a simple USB, to the WI-Fi, to the wireless device. You don't need a laptop. So I want to make that real clear. Because a lot of mixers require you to have a laptop and then you can activate your wireless network. Not the case here.

So on the back also are inputs and outputs and we'll show you that later, but the primary thing is that you can plug a computer into this. There's a USB input here. You can do recording, 2-channel recording. You can have complete control. They have software that mimcs all the features, the inputs, the outputs, if you move a fader there it moves here, all the EQ all that type of thing as you come to expect from most mixing consoles now. Where you've got a PC or a laptop type of an interface.

So let's take a look at the wireless. Like I said, I've got the video output connected to the iPad so we'll go ahead and take a look at the big screen here. So the first thing is the channel strip. And I'm going to go ahead and move...ope, every time I touch that...I'm going to go ahead and move this so that I've got my inputs and I can select 1-8...9-16...17-24...just on the strip right up there... And then of course my masters....are on the side. So let's start out with 1 through 8. ...just selecting that. So what you can see is that I can control the fader up and down and I don't like iPad controls to be perfectly frank. I find them to be awkward, delayed. A lot of touch screens have a lot of delay. The first time I grab this I go aheand and take and move that up and down and it's extremely fast and extremely responsive. It's unbelievable. The other thing I like is, notice that you have, as soon as you touch it, you have a level that pops up there.

So I'm looking at the control and I'm seeing the level, and I'm seeing the graphic analog representation. So they've got us covered on both sides of that. Very easy to control the volume. So if I'm using the iPad, away from the mixer, I'm trying to make, say create a mix on stage and I can go ahead and do my Auxes up there, it's very easy to do with this. If I'm sitting out in the house and I want to go ahead and make an EQ adjustment, I simply press the EQ right there. So now I've popped up and I've got a channel strip and you can see here, it says I'm on Channel 1, here's my level control that I talked about...I still have access to that critical feature, that hasn't gone away... and then I can select from EQ, Compressor, Gate or my Sends right there, or do a full channel edit. So let's take a look at the EQ. I've got multi-band parametrics here. So I can adjust where, this is the frequency, and how much, cut or boost, see how responsive that is? Extremely responsive.

You see the Gain over there is adjusting at the same time. See the frequency is adjusting at the same time. Now if I want to do it the old-fashioned way I can just go ahead and grab the frequency control and I can move that up and down. Again, just with my finger I can adjust the Q. That's the width. See how that pops up with a numerical value as well as an analog visual right here. I can also change whether that's a shelf... or I can change the width there... So it's fantastic. You can go ahead and I can take the High Pass Filter... I can turn a High Pass Filter on here... So it's extremely responsive.

Now the other thing is, when we get in, all I did was press a button I've got the Compressor so I can adjust where that Compressor works. That's called the "Knee" of the Compressor right there, and it tells me, ok, I'm going to have a 1 to 1 relationship between input and output up to this point and then I'm going to start compressing at a ratio, and the ratio is right there. 2.5 to 1. Okay, so threshold is minus 23, ratio is 2.5. I can go ahead and change that ratio by simply grabbing with my finger this control, and you can see visually that a 16:1 compression ratio is like a hard-stop limit. I will go up here and I will flatten out and no more level output will occur. I can have almost an unlimited level input until I hit distortion on the board. That doesn't sound very musical but it's a hard limit.

So typically what you'd want is say a 2:1 or 1.5:1 a nice kind of gentle limit and you can also adjust the Knee. So you can see over there we've got soft 4, and I can go ahead and adjust that...Soft 5...I can change that Knee, in other words, how much of a curve, how much of a transition do I have here? So they've made that available to you as well. On the Gate, of course you can have a Noise Gate where low levels the channel will not pass any audio. So you can see that down here, this level, when the level of input is in this area or this region, I get nothing and then it turns on. So you've got Compressor. You've got Gate. If we go back to the EQ you've got that. Very cool thing is the Sends. Here you've got all 8 Aux Sends. So again, if I'm up on the platform, I'm on Channel 1, I can simply go ahead and adjust the level here, and turn it on or off. I can go post-fader. pre-fader, pre-EQ, and you can see how quickly I can move because the way they've programmed it is, I took post-fader, I select one, it goes off. Or, if I say oh the pre-fader's fine, I just select that button again and it takes that window off. I don't have to look for an "X" or some weird way to get out of the window. It's very very quick.

Again, I can adjust my Auxes here, and say okay I'm great, now on Channel 2, see how quick that was? I can go ahead and select Channel 2, I can make the same adjustments there. So the iPad functionality is extremely cool. It is rapid. It is quick. It's easy to understand. It's not convoluted or weird or anything. You're going to love the iPad interface and again, you can take that anywhere in the room. You can take it up on the platform. Do any of that kind of stuff. So, as long as you have an appropriate wireless network. So I'm not going to go through all the iPad functionality. You can find out more information on our Website, find more details, get more technical details. I just kind of want to give you a flavor and overview of what this does. So let's go ahead and take a look at the back of the board and we'll wrap this up.

The back panel of the n200-i features the 16 balanced mic inputs. So you've got 1 through 16 on XLRs here. Of course it's a 24-input mixer so you have line level inputs on 17 through 24. The first 6 are 1/4 inch and then the last 2 are phono. The 1/4 inch are a balanced, so you've got ground, cold and hot. So that means really you have 22 balanced inputs. A lot of mixers get away with saying you've got 24 inputs and then give you a bunch of unbalanced inputs and all that. They don't do that here. So, you can easily plug in wireless microphones into these balanced inputs and not worry about running an unbalanced signal out of your wireless and you're not using up an XLR input so that's fabulous. Then you have your outputs and you've got a total of the 6 balanced outputs here on XLRs plus you have 4 more so it makes a total of 10 for Auxes and then you have the 2 mains left and right.

The things that I want to point out that are different from a lot of other consoles is that you have a LAN connection here. And so that's an ethernet or LAN network. You can connect that to your computer or to an actual network. And then you have a wireless LAN adapter. Remember the card I was talking about. You go ahead and plug this USB stick right in there and you create your own Hotspot. So they've provided for that. The USB for the computer input... And then of course a memory card USB stick that you can stick in there.

Another thing that you don't find on a lot of mixers is a RS-232 input and that allows you to connect it to a control system such a Questron, AMX or Extron so if you want to go ahead and have a much simpler control system you can go ahead and use a touch panel or a formal audio/video board room type of a control system and control it through the serial port here. Of course one of the most important things is the React network. This is a tactical Cat-5 cable with a connector there that you just plug right in and this connects to the S1608, which is what I was talking about before which is your stage box, or other devices, such as the M48 mixer. There's a whole family of products available and you connect to them through the React Connector, and that's a digital audio connector. It's bi-directional. So you get audio in and audio out that way and of course you have digital audio through the AS-EDU connection.

So we'll finish up our review on the M-200i. From a recording standpoint, you can take a USB stick, put it in the back.. You can play back from the USB stick. You can record 2-channel audio. Again, you don't need a computer to do that. So it makes it very, very easy just to go ahead and do a simple 2-channel recording. Get that off your production people. Do recording of the service, whatever you need to do, a sermon, very, very easy. Don't need to have outboard gear to do that.

So it's all self-contained, and I guess that's really the story of the M-200i. It stand on its own as a great digital mixer. You've got the moving faders. You've got the center Sends On Fader. Everything that you would expect of a very high-end digital mixing console, all the adjust-ability and programmability, of your EQ, Gates, Compressors, Effects, everything is there. But at an incredible price point and with the iPad for remote control, a very responsive program that they've done. I like it. It moves quickly. It responds quickly. And so it's self-contained. It's a beautiful mixer on its own. But it allows you to grow. So you can plug in, using that React control, and add a 1608 to get 16 more inputs into this board. In fact you can have up to 60 inputs coming in and then patch them down to the 32 channels you have available.

So it's an incredible system that can grow. The M48 on stage personal monitor mixer. So you can start out with this mixer just as it is, add the iPad, add the 1608, add the M48s and grow as your church grows. That's the story, incredible value, entry level, plus you've got growth opportunities. So, the M200-i digital mixer from Roland. Fabulous choice. Take a look. Put it on your short list. I know you're not going to be disappointed. ♪♫♪♫..................[Music playing]

Video Details

Duration: 13 minutes and 34 seconds
Year: 2012
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: CCI Solutions
Director: CCI Solutions
Views: 442
Posted by: ccisolutions on Nov 12, 2012

In Part 2 of this detailed review of the Roland M-200i Digital Mixer, Ron Simonson, President of CCI Solutions continues with a demonstration of how the mixer works with an iPad. He also shows you how the mixer can act as a personal hotspot with built-in capabilities that save you hundreds of dollars. This mixer makes it possible to communicate wirelessly with all of your devices without using a computer. Of course, you can also connect a computer for even more robust editing and recording capabilities, making this affordable unit ultra-flexible.

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