Midas MR18 Vs. Roland VR 1HD AV: Reviewed & Compared

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: Midas MR18 vs. Roland VR 1HD AV.

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 Midas MR18 and Roland VR 1HD AV. 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.

Midas MR18

After thoroughly testing the Midas MR18 for a few months, I'm ready to spill all the details – the good, the bad, and the not-so-pretty. This mixer is a powerhouse in a compact package, perfect for both live sound and recording. Here's the full breakdown for anyone eyeing this mixer.

Sound Quality and Performance

Right off the bat, the sound quality is top-notch. The MR18 delivers a pristine audio experience with impressively low latency. Whether you're mixing live or laying down tracks in a studio, the clarity and warmth of the sound are remarkable. Plus, the variety of outputs offers immense flexibility, making it a versatile choice for various audio setups.

Build and Connectivity

The mixer is built tough with Neutrik connectors, ensuring robust and reliable connections. This is a big plus for anyone who's had to deal with flimsy ports in the past. The MR18's ease of configuration is another high point. It offers numerous signal routing options, catering to both planned and spontaneous audio needs. The price-to-quality ratio is exceptional, putting it ahead of competitors like the X-Air 18, especially with its superior Midas converters.

User Interface and Software

The software is intuitive and musician-friendly, not overly complicated like some gear designed with tech whizzes in mind. There's a wealth of online resources and user communities, which is a godsend for troubleshooting and getting creative with your setup. As an audio interface, it boasts 18 inputs and outputs, offering ample connectivity for most studio and live situations.

Challenges and Considerations

However, it's not all smooth sailing. While the MR18 is user-friendly, there's still a learning curve, especially if you're not used to digital mixers. It might take a bit of time to fully grasp all the features and make the most out of this mixer.

Also, while it works great as an audio interface, those who are looking for more integrated DAW control might find its capabilities a bit limited. It's more suited for live mixing and straightforward recording setups rather than complex studio productions.

Final Verdict

All in all, the Midas MR18 is a solid investment. It's especially great for live sound applications and straightforward recording needs. The sound quality is exceptional, and the flexibility in routing and connectivity is a major win. Just be ready to spend some time getting to know this mixer inside out. For its price point, you're getting a lot of bang for your buck. Just remember, while it excels in many areas, it might not be the perfect fit for those needing advanced studio integration.

Roland VR-1HD AV Streaming Mixer

I tested the Roland Video Switcher with audio capabilities for about a month, and here's my verdict: it's a compact powerhouse perfect for those tight on space but needing a robust video and audio solution.

Set-Up and Input Flexibility

Setting it up was a bit of a learning curve, but once I got the hang of it, the switcher's functionality was impressive. I connected a DSLR, a camcorder, and my laptop as input devices, alongside a 32GB storage device for still images and wave files. The lack of internal storage is a minor drawback, as all images and audio are stored on the external drive. Another minor hiccup is the need for images to be in Windows Bitmap File (.bmp) format, which requires a bit of extra work in conversion.

File Compatibility and Storage Tips

I encountered issues with a 128GB stick, but resizing BMP files to smaller than the maximum 1920 x 1200 pixels helped. Also, converting MP3 or MP4 files to wave format using Audacity or iTunes was necessary – a bit outdated, but manageable. It's a bit odd to still be using wave files in today's digital age, but overall, it didn't hamper the experience too much.

Streaming Capabilities and Support

A notable downside is that Roland doesn't include the USB A to B 3.0 cable needed for streaming, so be prepared to buy one separately. The setup is excellent for enhancing Zoom meetings or similar applications. However, don't expect to master it immediately – it requires some practice before using it for critical projects.

Reliability in Various Settings

The switcher has proven itself in different environments. From church services to educational settings, it's been reliable and easy to use. The build quality is solid, and the ease of streaming video and sound is commendable. However, there have been some issues post-software update, with the mixer crashing during live streams, which is something to watch out for.

Customer Support and Overall Satisfaction

When I faced connectivity issues with my iMac, product support was helpful in resolving them. Despite a few initial hurdles, I'm enjoying the switcher a lot. The ability to upload custom sound files and music adds a personal touch to the output.

Overall, this Roland Video Switcher is a great tool for anyone needing a compact, yet feature-rich, video and audio mixing solution. It's versatile, though it comes with a few quirks that require some workaround. But once you're past the learning curve, it opens up a world of creative possibilities.

Head 2 Head: Midas MR18 or Roland VR 1HD AV

Midas MR18: A Compact Powerhouse

After spending some quality time with the Midas MR18, I've got to say, this mixer is a real gem. You know that warm, fuzzy feeling you get when you hear high-quality audio? Yeah, this mixer delivers that in abundance. Its sound quality is as pristine and clear as a mountain stream, making it a delight for both live sound and recording gigs.

Build and Connectivity of Midas MR18

The Midas MR18 doesn't just talk the talk; it walks the walk, too. Built with sturdy Neutrik connectors, this baby doesn't shy away from rough handling. And let's not even get started on its ease of configuration – talk about child's play! The numerous signal routing options are like a buffet, catering to every audio whim you might have.

User Interface and Software: A Breeze

The software interface here is no rocket science; you don't need to be a tech whiz to navigate it. Plus, the wealth of online resources available makes troubleshooting as easy as pie – a sweet deal if you ask me. As an audio interface, the MR18 boasts 18 inputs and outputs – ample connectivity for most situations.

Considerations: Every Rose Has Its Thorn

However, let's not forget that every rose has its thorns. The learning curve with the MR18 can feel more like a steep hill if you're new to digital mixers. It might take some time and patience to fully harness all its features. For those dreaming of advanced studio integration or DAW control in their sleep – hold your horses! This mixer is more suited for live mixing and straightforward recording setups. It's not the perfect fit if you're looking to create the next Star Wars soundtrack.

Roland VR-1HD AV: A Jack-of-All-Trades

On the other side of the ring, we have the Roland VR-1HD AV Streaming Mixer – a compact beast that can handle both video and audio. This bad boy is perfect for those tight on space but still wanting a robust solution.

Set-Up and File Compatibility

Setting it up was a bit of a rollercoaster – thrilling yet challenging. Once I got over the initial humps, though, it was smooth sailing. The input flexibility is commendable, and even though it insists on wave formats (bit of a throwback, don't you think?), it wasn't too much of an issue.

Streaming Capabilities: Prepare to be Amazed

The streaming capabilities are quite impressive, although you'll need to bring your own USB A to B 3.0 cable for streaming (Roland, why?). It's perfect for enhancing your Zoom meetings or similar applications – just make sure you've practiced enough before going live.

Reliability: Some Bumps in the Road

Despite facing some turbulence post-software update (crashing during live streams – yikes!), this switcher has proven itself reliable in various settings. From church services to classrooms, it's been quite versatile. Product support was also there for me when I faced connectivity issues with my iMac – props to them!

Final Faceoff: And The Winner Is…

Drumroll, please… The clear winner here is the mighty Midas MR18. Why, you ask? Well, while Roland VR-1HD AV offers commendable features, the Midas MR18 steals the show with superior sound quality, robust build, and exceptional flexibility. It's not just a mixer; it's an audio powerhouse in a compact package. It's user-friendly (well, once you get past the learning curve) and offers plenty of resources for support. It's versatile enough to cater to both live and studio needs. Sure, it may not be perfect for those seeking advanced studio integration – but hey, no product is perfect. For its price point and what it brings to the table, I'd say the Midas MR18 gives more bang for your buck. So whether you're a live sound enthusiast or a straightforward recording artist – this mixer is sure to hit all your right notes.