QSC TouchMix 8 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: QSC TouchMix 8 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 QSC TouchMix 8 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.

QSC TouchMix-8

I Got My Hands on the QSC TouchMix-8: Still Impressed

I got my hands on the QSC TouchMix-8 when it first came out, and man, it's still a game-changer. This little beast replaces racks of EQs, compressors, and gates. The best part? Everything's super easy to access. You don't need a cheat sheet for menus because there's no annoying digging through sub-menus. Plus, the noise level? Ridiculously low, perfect for on-location gigs or filming.

Power and Portability

If you're thinking of going mobile with this mixer, keep in mind the AC adaptor is proprietary, supplying several different voltages. While you won't need a gas generator, rigging an outboard battery means getting a 12-volt, 17-amp AGM battery and a mini sine wave inverter. Trust me, this board's powerful enough to lay down all your tracks on an optional SSD drive for processing through your favorite DAW.

Touch Screen: A Mixed Bag

Now, let's talk touch screen. The sensitivity can be a bit frustrating at times, and the graphics could use a higher resolution, especially for the RTA. An LED screen update would be nice, particularly for outdoor gigs.

Reliability Issues

One thing to note – there have been a few issues with the aux sends and the board freezing up. I've also noticed some lag when moving the virtual faders on the built-in touch screen, which can be pretty annoying. But remember, no mixer is perfect.

Sound Quality and Effects

The sound quality? Spot on. The effects are top-notch, easily rivaling other portable digital consoles in this range. The mic pres are good, and the compressor lets you dial in precisely. It’s a bit bright, but the dynamics are stellar.

Overall Verdict

Despite its few quirks, the QSC TouchMix-8 is a fantastic, powerful mixer in a compact package. It's got big power and a small footprint, making it a solid choice for those needing a robust feature set in a portable design. Just be prepared to deal with that touch screen and keep an eye on those aux sends.

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: QSC TouchMix 8 or Roland VR 1HD AV

QSC TouchMix-8: A Powerhouse in a Pocket-Sized Package
The QSC TouchMix-8 is like a Swiss army knife of sound mixers. It’s as if it swallowed a whole rack of EQs, compressors, and gates and still found room for dessert. The best part? No need for any menu cheat sheets here. You won't find yourself lost in the labyrinth of sub-menus. On the noise level front, this mixer is quieter than a mouse tiptoeing on cotton. Ideal for on-location gigs or filming.

Power and Portability

Thinking about going nomadic with your recording sessions? Just remember the AC adaptor is proprietary and not your run-of-the-mill power source. If you're considering an outboard battery set up, you'll need to invest in a 12-volt, 17-amp AGM battery along with a mini sine wave inverter. This small but mighty mixer definitely justifies some extra effort though – it's capable of laying down all your tracks on an optional SSD drive for you to tweak later in your favorite DAW.

Touch Screen: Not Quite Love at First Swipe

Now onto the touch screen – it's got some mood swings when it comes to sensitivity, and while we're not pixel-peeping here, higher resolution graphics would be nice (especially for the RTA). An LED screen update would be a welcome change if you’re planning an outdoor gig under merciless sunlight.

Reliability Question Marks?

Has this mixer been completely flawless? Not quite – there have been reports of the aux sends acting up and occasional board freeze-ups that can catch you off guard. Also noted were instances of lag when moving the virtual faders on the built-in touch screen – a minor irritant but worth flagging.

Sound Quality and Effects

Now let's talk about the sound quality. It's like a home-cooked meal for your ears – warm, satisfying and leaves you wanting more. The effects are top-tier, giving other portable digital consoles a run for their money. The mic pres are solid, and the compressor allows for precise control. It’s got a bit of brightness to it, but the dynamics are nothing short of stellar. Roland VR-1HD AV: More Than Just a Pretty Face
Now let's switch gears to the Roland Video Switcher with audio capabilities. This mixer is like that small, unassuming package under the Christmas tree that packs an unexpected punch.

Set-Up and Input Flexibility

Once you get past its initial setup learning curve (and trust me, there is one), this switcher can be quite impressive. It accommodates inputs from various devices with ease – be it DSLR, camcorder or laptop. But remember to bring along an external drive for storing still images and wave files as it lacks internal storage.

File Compatibility and Storage Tips

I found smaller BMP files worked better when dealing with storage issues on larger drives (like 128GB). Wave files may feel like stepping back into a time machine in today's digital age but it gets the job done.

Streaming Capabilities and Support

Here’s something to note: no USB A to B 3.0 cable is included in this package so make sure you have one handy if streaming is on your agenda. There might be some trial and error involved before you get comfortable using this mixer in critical projects, so take your time with it.

Reliability in Various Settings

This mixer has proved to be reliable in various settings, from church services to educational environments. There have been a few instances of the mixer crashing post-software update during live streams, so keep an eye on that.

Customer Support and Overall Satisfaction

When I ran into some connectivity issues with my iMac, the product support was quick to help me out. And after breaking in this switcher, I found it to be quite enjoyable, despite its quirks. And The Winner Is…
The QSC TouchMix-8. Why? Because it's a power-packed mixer that offers a tremendous amount of features for its size. It's perfect for the modern urban professional who needs big power in a small package for on-the-go gigs or recording sessions. Despite its few quirks, such as touch screen sensitivity and occasional reliability issues, it still comes out on top due to its incredible sound quality and effects. The Roland VR-1HD AV is a commendable runner-up for those requiring a compact video and audio mixing solution. Its quirks are manageable with some workaround and patience. But when compared side by side, the QSC TouchMix-8 stands a notch above due to its superior sound quality and portability.