Radial Engineering KL-8

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Radial Engineering KL-8

Post by Arpangel »

Been looking at this, always interested in these types of things.
It’s a rack mixer, with "four" stereo inputs and two USB, the price is around £850
I’m wondering what the performance is like in comparison to the likes of Tascam and Samson at around a third of the price.
I’m getting the vibe that this is a touring stage mixer for demanding road use, rather than a static studio expander that won’t have the same mechanical build quality, but sound quality? is it going to sell on that, at this price, with so few inputs.
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Re: Radial Engineering KL-8

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

Arpangel wrote: Wed Jul 06, 2022 8:26 am I’m wondering what the performance is like in comparison to the likes of Tascam and Samson at around a third of the price.

Is searching the website so difficult?

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/radial-kl-8

I’m getting the vibe that this is a touring stage mixer for demanding road use

It is exactly that. The USB interface is geared towards playing virtual instruments in s stage setting. While it is possible to record a stereo mix into a DAW through the KL8 it's not optimised for that role, and there are much better recording interfaces.

...is it going to sell on that, at this price, with so few inputs.

Apparently it is very popular and sells very well... it is the bigger brother to the original Key Largo which is also very popular with stage keyboard players.
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Re: Radial Engineering KL-8

Post by blinddrew »

It feels to me that Radial aim to target the professional user who wants a fit-and-forget solution that will provide high-quality sound in a very durable package, and who is prepared to pay a premium for that reliability and peace of mind.
But I may just be a sucker for advertising! :D
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Re: Radial Engineering KL-8

Post by Arpangel »

Hugh Robjohns wrote: Wed Jul 06, 2022 11:40 am
Arpangel wrote: Wed Jul 06, 2022 8:26 am I’m wondering what the performance is like in comparison to the likes of Tascam and Samson at around a third of the price.

Is searching the website so difficult?

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/radial-kl-8

I’m getting the vibe that this is a touring stage mixer for demanding road use

It is exactly that. The USB interface is geared towards playing virtual instruments in s stage setting. While it is possible to record a stereo mix into a DAW through the KL8 it's not optimised for that role, and there are much better recording interfaces.

...is it going to sell on that, at this price, with so few inputs.

Apparently it is very popular and sells very well... it is the bigger brother to the original Key Largo which is also very popular with stage keyboard players.

I did check the review Hugh, but wanted a few opinions here.
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Re: Radial Engineering KL-8

Post by MaestroMikeT »

Maybe I’m missing something, but what is the real convenience of such a device, in a two-live keyboards plus controller-interface-laptop setup for example, opposed to having all three stereo mixes in their own stereo di’s - wich even are the sound company’s gear? It doesn’t eliminate the need for a laptop - unlike some vst players from years ago, a remarkable ideia that went amiss - costs an arm and a leg, and gives you what you already should be having from the stage sound guy… He should be feeling lucky, as you’re doing his job of delivering a proper monitor mix! :) Seriously, what is the goal of devices like this?

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Re: Radial Engineering KL-8

Post by Dave Rowles »

You get a 4 stereo keyboard in, plus the option to have USB returns all go to a single pair of XLR to the PA. All in a very convenient rack unit, and something that's designed to be thrown around by roadies into the back of the van. If your live keyboard rig is big enough to warrant it, it's a great way of racking up and streamlining your setup. You can have the same effect from a mixer, but that also has loads of EQ knobs and stuff that you don't really need, plus Radial stuff does sound great!
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Re: Radial Engineering KL-8

Post by MaestroMikeT »

I guess if you run small venues with limited channel count mixers, you could be persuaded to get one of these. But, and I don’t mean any disrespect, I can’t really see why would it be my problem to have a single stereo pair instead of three or four different stereo pairs going to FOH (and to stage mixer)? It’s a piece of equipment wich I can’t really grasp its usefulness in the face of its cost.
I do know Radial stuff is top notch, and they do know how to make good sounding boxes, but in this case it’s an unnecessary link in the chain, so that can not be its selling point…

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Re: Radial Engineering KL-8

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

MaestroMikeT wrote: Thu Jul 07, 2022 12:14 am I can’t really see why would it be my problem to have a single stereo pair instead of three or four different stereo pairs going to FOH

Different courses for different courses. If you can't see a benefit for you, it's not a product for you. Simples.

However, some players prefer to send a stereo mix to FOH rather than hope the live sound engineer shares their own balance preferences.

And in smaller venues, hoping the FOH has eight spare channels and DI boxes just for keyboards may prove disappointing.

In essence, it's a rackmount road-rugged alternative for a compact desktop mixer, with a built-in high quality stereo DI box, a stereo USB interface, and top flight audio electronics.

The KL8 came from user requests for a slughtly tweaked rackmount version of the Key Largo, which also sells well.
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Re: Radial Engineering KL-8

Post by Bob Bickerton »

And just to add the Ashly LX308B (https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail ... line-mixer) is a high quality 8 channel stereo line mixer. I had one for awhile and it performed very well.

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Re: Radial Engineering KL-8

Post by resistorman »

MaestroMikeT wrote: Thu Jul 07, 2022 12:14 am I can’t really see why would it be my problem to have a single stereo pair instead of three or four different stereo pairs going to FOH (and to stage mixer)? It’s a piece of equipment wich I can’t really grasp its usefulness in the face of its cost.

So I take it you only play in the top 1% of venues in the world with top notch equipment, unlimited channels and the best audio engineers with plenty of rehearsal time? Good for you, though if that's the case I don't see why the cost of this device would mean anything to you. The rest of the players in the world aren't so lucky and would like to have some control over their sound.
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Re: Radial Engineering KL-8

Post by MaestroMikeT »

Of course not, I should be so lucky, though you really don’t need to go to that 1 % to require proper conditions on their part, as you already know. but if you’re willing to spend almost a thousand quid to cover what the venue is lacking, and has nothing to do with your sound or performance, be my guest, but I do wonder about that priority…

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Re: Radial Engineering KL-8

Post by Arpangel »

There is no way that I would play any venue, anywhere, and present with more than one stereo out, creatively, practically, it’s not something that pleases me, or the sound guys, believe me, I’ve heard them say it many times, multiple outputs, tons of mains plugs, are not favoured by any means.
I make sure I’ve got one mains plug, and a stereo out, and everyone’s happy.
This box is a solution, but an expensive one, the USB side looks like a selling point, but honestly, you could buy an interface to do that, plus a small mixer, at a fraction of the cost, and how much more hassle is that going to be, really.
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