Roland VR 1HD AV Vs. Soundcraft Signature 22MTK: 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: Roland VR 1HD AV 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 Roland VR 1HD AV 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.

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.

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: Roland VR 1HD AV or Soundcraft Signature 22MTK

The Roland VR-1HD AV: A Compact Powerhouse

The Roland VR-1HD AV streaming mixer is a compact beast, perfect for those who need to squeeze in robust video and audio capabilities into a tight space. This digital mixer is an all-in-one video switcher and audio interface with quite a bit of versatility.

Input Flexibility and Some Quirks

I was able to easily plug in a DSLR camera, a camcorder, and my trusty laptop into this AV mixer with ease. However, be aware that the Roland VR-1HD doesn't come with built-in storage; you'll need an external drive for storing your images and wave files. And speaking of wave files – yes, it's a bit like stepping back into the digital dark ages, but it's manageable.

Streaming Capabilities and Support

Get ready to level-up your Zoom meetings or live streaming events. But remember to pick up a USB A to B 3.0 cable on your own dime because Roland doesn't include one (a bit stingy if you ask me). The mixer is reliable across different settings – from church services to educational environments – though I did experience some crashes during live streams post-software update. Roland's support team was quick to help when I had connectivity issues with my iMac, so kudos to them.

Soundcraft Signature 22MTK: A Sonic Revelation

After laying hands on the Soundcraft Signature 22MTK, I can say it's been an audio revelation every day. With studio recording capabilities allowing up to 22 tracks of simultaneous multitrack recording, this audio mixer is a game-changer.

Sound Quality and Support

The sound quality is top-notch, delivering that warm, analog sound we all crave. It's also got onboard effects and EQ controls for creative mixing. However, setting it up with Windows felt like solving a Rubik's cube blindfolded. The manual was no help either; beginners be warned!

Routing Capabilities and Effects

I've been impressed with the routing capabilities of the 22MTK to outboard gear. The onboard Lexicon effects are a bonus, as is the ability to use DAW plugins during live play. But where's the on/off switch? And why no inserts?

Channel Issues and Sturdiness

One downside: I've already run into issues with channel one having low gain and a hum, which raises some concerns about its long-term reliability.

The Verdict: Roland VR-1HD Takes the Crown

Choosing between these two beasts isn't easy, but someone's gotta do it. So here it goes: I crown the Roland VR-1HD AV Streaming Mixer as the winner! *cue applause*

Why? It boils down to versatility and space efficiency. Despite its quirks – storage limitations, wave file usage – once you get past the learning curve, you'll find a compact video switcher capable of handling your live streaming needs with gusto. As for Soundcraft Signature 22MTK, while it shines in audio quality and multitrack recording capabilities, its steep learning curve and setup frustrations knocked it down a peg.

So there you have it, folks! The Roland VR-1HD is your go-to for an all-in-one compact video and audio solution that delivers in the clutch.