Behringer XR18 Vs. Soundcraft Signature 22MTK: Head To Head Comparison – READ BEFORE YOU BUY!!

Choosing the right mixer when there are so many on the market these days isn't easy.
Especially when many of them are built for one specific need but being marketed as an all-rounder 🙄
But not to worry, I've got ya!
I have taken a deep dive into two beasts in the audio-mixing game and gone head to head with them: Behringer XR18 vs. Soundcraft Signature 22MTK.

We're looking at things like:
  • Sound Quality: This is the heart of the matter, right? How each mixer holds up in delivering crisp, clear audio. Are we talking about a mixer that makes your tracks sound like they're live from the garage, or are we hitting studio-quality sound?
  • Ease of Use: Nobody wants to spend hours figuring out which button does what. I’ll break down the user interface of both Behringer XR18 and Soundcraft Signature 22MTK. Are they plug-and-play easy, or will you need a PhD in mixology to use them?
  • Features and Functions: Ie. What's under the hood? Let's find out what sets them apart.
  • Durability: No matter your reason for buying, you want something that's gonna last, not fall apart after a few light sessions.
  • Price Point: Yep, money talks. When it comes to prices, we need to see which mixer gives us more bang for our buck. Is the higher price of one justified by its features, or is the other a hidden gem at a bargain price?
  • Customer Reviews and Feedback: What's the word on the street? Sometimes real-world use tells a different story than what the sales page says.

Behringer XR18

This is another mixer I got hold of just to review. It has a semi-hefty price-tag but what I will say is this: the Behringer XR18 is a unit that delivers far more than its price suggests. After several months of continuous use, I've faced zero reliability issues, making it a standout in its category.

Unbeatable Feature Set for the Price

The XR18's feature set is its biggest selling point. There's a wealth of options here that you'd struggle to find in other mixers within this price range. The audio quality is top-notch, and the control options are extensive. It's particularly great for those who need comprehensive control in a live setting or a studio environment.

Minor Downsides

Despite its strengths, there are a few areas where the XR18 could improve. One noticeable absence is the ability to do time-alignment, a feature available in the higher-class X32. There's also the matter of the built-in Wi-Fi, which can be a bit unreliable in live situations. I always ensure a hard-wired connection during critical events to avoid any potential connectivity issues. Lastly, there's a bit of a learning curve when switching between the software interfaces on different platforms, like iPad and computer.

Robust Software and Solid Hardware

The software is robust, offering comprehensive control over the unit, albeit with some platform-specific quirks. Hardware-wise, the unit feels solid and well-built, suitable for regular gigging.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, if you need a feature-rich mixer and the XR18 ticks all your boxes, go for it. It's an excellent investment, especially considering its price point. Sure, it has a couple of minor drawbacks, but these are easily outweighed by its overall performance and reliability. Whether for live use, studio work, or even podcasting, the XR18 is a versatile choice that won't disappoint.

Soundcraft Signature 22MTK

Everything The Product Sales Page Doesn't Tell You About The Soundcraft Signature 22MKT

I tested the Soundcraft Signature 22MKT for a couple of weeks. I know, not that long, but it's been a revelation every day.

I work with a local piece band and they've been able to lay down live recordings in one take, capturing everything onto separate tracks in the DAW.

The ability to record up to 22 tracks simultaneously has been a game-changer in this respect.

Sound Quality and Support

Warm, Analog Sound

The sound quality is exactly what we were looking for. The mixer provides a broad, balanced frequency range, delivering that warm, analog sound.

Plus, the onboard effects buses allow for creative mixing. Not to mention, the support from Soundcraft has been exceptional, both before and after purchase.

Who Is The 22MKT For? Not Beginners

Difficult Setup and Poor Documentation

I always have to give the good, bad and the ugly… so here it is:

It's not all smooth sailing. Setting up the mixer with Windows was a nightmare, with no useful online resources.

The manual was no help either. It's a great board for those who know what they're doing and know their way around boards, but I can definitely see how for a beginner, it would be a steep and frustrating learning curve.

Early Impressions ✅

Impressive Functionality

In the early days of testing out the 22MTK, I was impressed with its routing capabilities, especially to outboard gear.

The onboard Lexicon effects are a bonus, and the ability to use DAW plugins during live play is a huge plus. However, the lack of an on/off switch and inserts is a bit puzzling.

Channel Issues and Sturdiness

Some Quality Concerns

Unfortunately, I soon ran into issues with channel one having low gain and a hum. This was unexpected, especially considering the mixer hadn't seen much use.

While the mixer is generally sturdy, these issues do raise some concerns about its long-term reliability.

Perfect for Specific Needs

Ideal for Unique Applications

This mixer was perfect for running a mic through guitar pedals. Its small footprint and built-in effects make it versatile for creating unique sounds. It's a solid choice for those needing a compact mixer with good functionality.

Soundcraft 12MTK: A Better Choice For Beginners

I know I have kind of shifted between the 12 and the 22 and thats because they are pretty much the same thing, you either need the extra channels (22MTK) or oyu don't (12MTK).

But the like its big bro, the Soundcraft 12MTK offers good sound quality and is fairly lightweight. The preamps are notable, as is the mid-range EQ. However, there are significant design flaws, like the problematic gain ratio and the lack of an on/off switch, which can be frustrating. It's a good mixer overall but be prepared for some quirks.

Head 2 Head: Behringer XR18 or Soundcraft Signature 22MTK

The Behringer XR18: More Than Meets the Eye

The Behringer XR18 is an audio mixer that punches well above its weight class. This digital mixing console combines a surprisingly robust feature set with reliable performance, making it a solid option for live sound mixing or studio recording. It's a shining example of budget-friendly sound equipment that doesn't skimp on capabilities. XR18: Loaded with Features

In this audio mixer comparison, the XR18's feature set is a standout. It's rare to find such comprehensive options in other compact digital mixers within this price range. The control options are extensive, making it a producer's choice for live shows and studio sessions alike.

But it doesn't stop there. The XR18 also serves as one of the more competent multi-track recording interfaces out there, offering top-notch audio quality that could make even the priciest analog vs digital mixing consoles blush.

A Few Bumps in the Road with Behringer

While there are only minor downsides to this mid-size mixer option, they're worth mentioning. Notably, the built-in Wi-Fi can be a bit temperamental in high-pressure, live situations – so always have that ethernet cable handy! Also, switching between software interfaces on various platforms may require some acclimation.

Soundcraft Signature 22MTK: A Creative Powerhouse

On the other side of this Behringer vs Soundcraft mixers showdown is the Soundcraft Signature 22MTK. This mixer offers outstanding creative capabilities and impressive functionality perfect for specific needs, like running a mic through guitar pedals.

Signature 22MTK: Analog Warmth, Digital Convenience

The Signature 22MTK shines in the recording capabilities comparison, allowing for simultaneous recording of up to 22 tracks. This portable audio mixer delivers warm, analog sound quality that's certain to please even the most discerning ears. It's also been noted for its exceptional support from Soundcraft both pre and post-purchase.

Soundcraft Signature 22MTK: Not for Beginners

However, it's not all roses with the Signature 22MTK. Its setup can be daunting for beginners in sound engineering equipment comparison, with poor documentation and limited online resources adding to the frustration.

Quality Concerns with Soundcraft

Moreover, durability issues have surfaced with this mixer. For example, early users have reported low gain and a humming noise on channel one – not exactly what you want from your stage performance mixers or studio recording mixers.

The Verdict: Behringer XR18 Takes the Cake

After weighing all factors in this XR18 vs Signature 22MTK face-off, the clear winner is the Behringer XR18. Its unbeatable feature set at its price point coupled with its reliability makes it an excellent investment for both live sound mixing and studio recording sessions. While the Soundcraft Signature 22MTK does offer unique features and impressive functionality, its steep learning curve and quality concerns make it a less attractive option compared to the XR18. The Behringer XR18 is an audio production gear selection that delivers value far beyond its price tag – making it our top choice in this battle of the mixers.