Production

Picking a tablet to control the Behringer/Midas X AIR wireless mixer/recorder

How I chose a tablet to control the Behringer/MIDAS X AIR XR12 wireless audio mixer/recorder with automix.

X-Air_with_tablet_recortado

I have covered the Behringer/Midas X AIR wireless mixers/recorders with built-in automix capabilities superficially in two prior articles (links ahead). Even as I was preparing to acquire an X AIR XR12 to review it and use it in my own productions, I had been researching to choose a tablet to use to control it remotely. As I explained previously, Behringer offers free control software for Android and iOS tablets, as well as MacOS and Windows computers. Even though I own a MacBook Air, I don’t want to tie up an expensive computer or tablet (or risk possible loss or damage to an expensive device during a field recording session or live remote broadcast). Behringer recommends using a tablet with a display larger than 5 inches diagonal. As a starting point to determine the desired size, I initially downloaded the free X AIR app from the Google Play Store to my Nexus 6 Android phone, just to see how legible the settings would be. The Nexus 6’s screen measures 5.96 inches diagonal. Everything looked way too small for comfort, so I decided to find a tablet much larger than 6 inches, with at least 720p resolution, IPS, good build quality, dual-band WiFi… and at a bargain price. I ended up picking out a refurbished Android with an 8-inch display, all of those desired specs for under US$65. Ahead are the details.

Links to prior articles where I have covered the Behringer/Midas X AIR XR12 wireless audio mixer/recorder

Comparing wireless audio mixers specs Behringer/Midas & Mackie

The tablet I picked to fulfill my requirements

KindleFire8HD

The tablet that I chose is the revered Kindle Fire HD 8 from Amazon. Although this model currently sells for US$150 (rounded number), I was able to purchase a refurbished one from Amazon Warehouse Deals for less than US$65 including state sales tax. Here are its relevant specs for this application:

  • 8-inch 720p+ HD IPS display with over a million pixels (189 ppi / 1280×800)
  • 311 grams (11 ounces)
  • dual-band WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
  • Stated battery life of up to 8 hours

As you may have read in the first article where I covered it (Comparing wireless audio mixer’s specs: Behringer/Midas & Mackie), the Behringer/Midas X AIR XR12 mixer is unfortunately limited to the overcrowded 4.2 GHz WiFi band. However, I wanted to get a dual-band tablet for the following reasons:

  1. for other potential uses
  2. in case I decide to connect the Behringer/Midas X AIR XR12 mixer via Ethernet to a 5 GHz router (to compensate for Behringer’s only apparent blunder in this otherwise wonderful device)
  3. so I won’t have to replace the tablet if in the future, Behringer offers an improved version of the X AIR XR12 with inboard dual-band 802.11ac.

How to get apps from the Google Play Store onto a Kindle Fire?

You may be wondering: “Allan, how can you install the X AIR app from the Google PlayStore when all Kindle Fire tablets are limited to the Amazon appstore?”

Use the under US$50 Kindle Fire as a 48 kHz audio recorder

Here is the answer: As I covered in much more detail in the recent article Use the under US$50 Kindle Fire as a 48 kHz audio recorder (illustrated above), it is quite easy to liberate an enslaved Kindle Fire to give access to the full Google PlayStore, without rooting and without removing its original Kindle Fire capabilities. It took me less than 15 minutes to complete the entire liberation procedure. The next thing I did was to download the free X AIR app and confirm that it could run properly, which it did.

Table stand/easel

portaretrato_Kindle_Fire_8-HD

I also got this easel to make the table stand upright for under US$9.

Stand by for upcoming ebooks and articles, where I will review the Behringer/Midas X AIR XR12 automatic mixer (including audio recordings to demonstrate the quality of its preamps and its automix capabilities), as well as explain how to create a mix-minus in order to receive live telephone calls, Skype calls, WhatsApp calls, etc. and how to broadcast live from the output of the mixer.

Upcoming articles, reviews, radio shows, books and seminars/webinars

Stand by for upcoming articles, reviews, and books. Sign up to my free mailing list by clicking here.

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Listen to his CapicúaFM show at CapicúaFM.com in iTunes or Stitcher.

FTC disclosure

No manufacturer is specifically paying Allan Tépper or TecnoTur LLC to write this article or the mentioned books. Some of the other manufacturers listed above have contracted Tépper and/or TecnoTur LLC to carry out consulting and/or translations/localizations/transcreations. Many of the manufacturers listed above have sent Allan Tépper review units. So far, none of the manufacturers listed above is/are sponsors of the TecnoTur programs, although they are welcome to do so, and some are, may be (or may have been) sponsors of ProVideo Coalition magazine. Some links to third parties listed in this article and/or on this web page may indirectly benefit TecnoTur LLC via affiliate programs.

Copyright and use of this article

The articles contained in the TecnoTur channel in ProVideo Coalition magazine are copyright Allan Tépper/TecnoTur LLC, except where otherwise attributed. Unauthorized use is prohibited without prior approval, except for short quotes which link back to this page, which are encouraged!


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Born in Connecticut, United States, Allan Tépper is an award-winning broadcaster & podcaster, bilingual consultant, multi-title author, tech journalist, translator, and language activist who has been working with professional video since the eighties. Since 1994,…

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James Bales
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Another suggestion for a tablet to use with the X-Air series mixers is the Dell Venue. I downloaded it to see how it worked and it’s the full blown Windows version – worked awesome! Another plus for the X18 would be that the Venue can actually connect as a USB host for digital recording.

James Bales
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I’d also suggest the Dell Venue tablet. It’s windows 10 and is 7″. I downloaded the app and since it’s the full blown Windows version it can also act as a USB host with the more expensive X-Air mixers (X18 and up).