Beringer S16 16 channel digital snake
Absolutely love it.
Absolutely love it.
Great way to expand the port on our system
Works as it's supposed to, there's a couple routing issues like the drum sub mixes and p16 that didn't stick when adding this on, but not a major deal.
I'm an old-old school analog guy (my other mixer is a Neve, seriously).
When I saw the original X32 flagship console I knew this was going to be huge. I bought the console because it was so cheap and looked cool, it turned out to really be a game changer for me. My current system is the X32 flagship console, an X32r, and two S16.
The S16 have some, seldom talked about features, you can hook two of these together without an X32 and have a functional digital snake.
The Behringer manuals have become torture, six or seven languages interspersed with each other and the pictures. My setup was not clear and obvious from the documentation but after experimenting for a while I figured it out.
The X32r is now the master with the two S16 feeding it. I'm only using it in a studio situation. The X32r is talking to a new Mac Pro Cylinder via USB2 and I'm running Logic X in the latest Mac OS. I have an iPad Air so that I can control the X32r remotely and an iPad Mini running Logic remote. Finally, I can sit in my drum booth and play drums, see all my levels, tweak preamps, run the transport, and most importantly feel free to play the parts on my instrument and know they're being captured well.
It does not matter which inputs feed the X32r, I hear zero latency and love all the mixing and monitoring options.
I do have six of the 16-channel headphone monitor mixers, they are fed by one of the S16 that was convenient for locating the distribution hub which phantom powers the headphone stations. This system is a dream come true for musicians smart enough to use it, I could not be more impressed and have zero regrets.
I can record 16 tracks of drums while playing along with a dozen tracks of recorded analog vocals/guitar/bass and another dozen virtual synths plus gobs of plug-in intensive effects like convolution reverbs, the first generation recording quality of the X32 system is phenomenal (converters in my mixing room are Apogee). Tracks recorded with the X32 are easy to mix and they sound huge through the Neve/Apogee/analog combination.
The sound quality of the S16 is excellent and identical to that of the onboard inputs on an X32 mixer. By having multiple S16 you effectively add additional inputs to your mixer and at the push of a button, recall a different setup to take advantage of inputs in blocks of eight throughout the installation. One of my S16 is in the drum room and the other is in the keyboard area. All this flexibility combined with the very cool and functional iPad apps makes this a Six-Star product.
My Sweetwater sales guy makes this stuff too easy lol.
Good luck and good music to everyone!
I love this product, used it this past weekend while the group I play with was out gigging, ran one thin Cat-6 cable a 100 feet hooked every thing up and sound checked 30 minutes quicker than we had ever sound checked at this place before. Man it is great.
I have an X32 Console. I bought the S16 with an X32 Rack so that I could use that setup when we don't have a sound guy and are mixing from the stage. See my review on the X32 for more info. The idea is to have a setup that is easier to carry, easier to setup and more flexible for practice, gigs and recording. This setup accomplishes all of that and I am extremely pleased with the results.
Although, I got this primarily to use when mixing on stage, it is very nice when you have a sound guy also. I only have to run one small network cable from the mixer to the stage.
I'm thinking about getting another one for recording and for when I need all 32 inputsj at the end of the snake.
Took me a minute to get it to sync, and I am still not sure what I did. Set up on my x32 rack was straight forward. That worried me in case I had to do it again. But I havent. I brought a guitar amp stand and place this on the stand and viola, no more crawling around nasty stages plugging in cables. Easy on the back! So far it has worked flawlessly, not a single pop or noise. If I have one complaint it is the preamps have to assigned in groups of 8, this causes some frustration when we have a singing drummer. Overall, you will not be disappointed!
We upgraded from old analog equipment in our church to an x32 compact with the s16 digital snake. The installation (long before my time) of the old analog snake had been routed pretty poorly, and our sound quality prior to this was not great. But, with the Digital snake, sound is crisp and clean (no more EMI or ground loop issues - meaning less DI boxes needed on stage!) and the setup was pretty quick and easy. Great product at a great price point!
As a fully remote controlled 16 mic pre at the end of a CAT-5 snake the S16 is a standout. Not only does it duplicate the built in mic pre-amps in the original X32 it also offers local headphone monitoring, support for eight analog outputs for stage monitors and also sixteen digital feeds for Behringer's talent monitor mix system.
But it goes a lot further as it can be used stand alone too! When I ran out of mic preamps for a field recording gig, my Motu Traveler has only four mic inputs, I bridged the A16 into it with a Toslink optical cable, ADAT out to ADAT in. That gave me eight more mic inputs for a total of twelve feeding a laptop running Adobe Audition 2 as the multi-track recording app.
The only caveat is the maximum sample rate is 48k. That said the recording sounded great and the client was pleased.
Where else can you buy 16 channels of excellent sounding mic pre-amps with full remote control capability, local monitoring plus CAT-5 connectivity for under a grand?
Wow, the mic pre's sound amazing and the Klark Teknik Super Mac is flawless. There is zero sense of delay and the build quality is fantastic!
Top performance for less than half the cost and more features too.
This thing is a huge time and energy saver. It works perfectly. If you have a X32 console and you use it regularly like I do you will be thrilled you bought one, or two.
This is a technically complex product, so I have some concerns about reliability. I have seen units where the phantom power fails, and there are certainly other things that can go wrong with gear like this. If you register promptly after purchase, Behringer extends a full 3-year warranty, so everybody should make sure to register quickly.
I have used my S16s only 3 times so far. Once I got the routing set up correctly and saved that as a template, it all works very well. I have done some tracking to Waves LiveTracks and the preamps are very clean. On other products it has been necessary to do some noise removal, which reduces the overall quality of the recording. These preamps are clean enough that none of that has been necessary.
The design is very well thought out. For people looking for 32 channels on stage, I would definitely recommend using two S16s versus the 32-channel snake box from Behringer. The S16s have lots of extra capability that can come in handy on stage. You can set phantom power, and set the preamp trim levels all on stage and do a mic check into headphones. This may not be your normal workflow, but it can be very handy when you are trying to resolve a problem with a single channel. In addition, having two separate units does give you at least the option to drop back to 16 channels if one of the S16s were to fail.
I have found the AES50 connection to be very reliable, and automatic. Just plug it in and it connects quickly every time. Do invest in the neutrix connectors at minimum, and it isn't a bad idea to buy Behringer's extra heavy duty cable.. Definitely put these S16s in a solid rack. While they seem to be pretty sturdy, give them every possible protection. Your whole show depends on them.
Good product. Works well for our church. Best thing about it was the service that the folks at Sweetwater provided. Really went out of their way to make it work! Thanks guys!
We are so glad we purchased this snake box; we were planning just to use it to keep our wireless mic receivers closer to the actors backstage, but it gave us the ability to use our heavy snake to mic the pit band and send everything through the S16 up to the control booth without any hassle!
Hey, does what it is supposed to do. Fairly easy to setup. I just wish the price would come down
I got 2 of the s16 to get all my stage inputs over the digital snake. It's great because your pre-amps and A/Ds are on stage so no analog xlr to get your signals lower/noisy from stage to FOH. they can't be picky at times if you get interference or some how the clock sync gets off. otherwise they are great.
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