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The new QMix app from PreSonus creates an easy new way for performing musicians to control their on-stage monitor mixes wirelessly, from an Apple iPhone or iPod touch. For example, if the lead singer of a band wants to hear more of their own voice in their monitor, instead of asking the sound person to make the adjustment over the PA system, they can quickly dial it in themselves using the Apple gadget in their pocket.
A few ingredients are required to make the QMix system work. First of all, the console of the sound system must be either the PreSonus StudioLive 16.0.2, 16.4.2, or 24.4.2. A FireWire-equipped Mac or Windows computer must be connected to the StudioLive digital mixer and running PreSonus’s Universal Control software (version 1.5.3). Wi-Fi must be activated on the computer and the iPhones and iPod touches, and networked together (it’s beneficial to use an external wireless router as well). All of the Apple gadgets need to have the free QMix app downloaded and running. However, an Internet connection isn’t necessary operate the system.
With everything in place, the sound person can set up specific permissions from the connected computer running Universal Control (and Virtual StudioLive). They can determine which band members are allowed control specific aux sends. They can also determine if a band member is allowed to rename channels. All of this may sound complex and intimidating at first, but it’s really not very difficult to set up and run.
One concern is that adjusting the parameters of a stage monitor’s mix may be a little too technically challenging for non-technical musicians to do themselves. A drummer may be extremely talented at performing tightly syncopated rhythms, but not very adept at controlling the faders of a mix. That’s why PreSonus created the “Wheel of Me” feature in QMix. It’s a screen in the app that just has one simple control. It’s just a wheel in the center of the screen. When the musician pushes the wheel upwards, their monitor mix will add more of their sound to the mix. QMix will start decreasing the amount of the other parts of the mix from their monitor when they have maxed themselves out. The sound person can easily determine that a specific band member will only see the Wheel of Me screen on their device (so they can’t possibly screw anything up).
The QMix system allows for up to ten Apple devices to be networked into the mix. If you’re using the StudioLive 16.0.2, then you can have four separate monitor mixes. You can have six separate monitor mixes with the StudioLive 16.4.2, and ten separate monitor mixes with the 24.4.2. It’s also important to note that PreSonus’s free StudioLive Remote iPad app can also operate when QMix is used. Because the performers are capable of dialing in their own monitor mixes independently, the sound person is free to concentrate on how the overall mix sounds. The StudioLive Remote app enables them to walk around the performance area, and make any adjustments necessary to improve the overall “front of house” mix.
The new QMix app and the StudioLive series of digital mixers can seriously benefit certain kinds of live music performances. This is an excellent new solution for live wedding bands and other kinds of performances where the live sound operator and band are tightly knit. Clubs and sound installations can also take advantage of this efficient and comparatively affordable system. More and more musicians are walking around with Apple gadgets these days, and the QMix app is free and can be downloaded in seconds. Plus, you can easily mount these devices to microphone stands with products like the IK Multimedia iKlip MINI. QMix is yet another powerful tool with which a PreSonus StudioLive digital mixer empowers you.