Here is the second part of the series…
Behringer’s X32Mix – Producer / Compact / Rack Series Mixers
I use the X32 desk often and I have grown to enjoy using it for a few key features.
Namely the screen is tiny, yet can give you so much information, and has encoders to allow quick access of menus. Along the top of the desks (except the rack!) there are dedicated controls for Gain, EQ, Dynamics and Bus Sends. This was something that I always loved on the first iLive I touched, it just makes it so quick to go through the channels and visually check that your EQ/Dynamics are active! I’m not really a fan of having the phone space on it, or the notes section on the Soundcraft Expression (coming up in a later blog post) – I find it very gimmicky, and in my opinion brings the professionalism of product down.
The Headphone Ports are pretty well hidden if you haven’t used one before, though it is nice that there is more than one. I have read a few posts that annoyed engineers have posted, all related to searching for the Headphone sockets (they are labelled on the top of the desk). They are hidden in the natural handles at the side of the units.
RTA – Love this feature, it allows you to see the Frequencies coming into each channel and adjust your EQ accordingly. Its nice that Yamaha have also just brought it out onto the StageMix, although their app uses the inbuilt iPad mic to give you a rough response.
This is one of the many dynamics – the compressor, as you can see it has a lot of controls that you can adjust, the standard Threshold, Ratio, Gain + Knee. As well as control over attack, release, hold time, mix ratio, and Side chain / key source controls.
I did have a few issues with dropout on this gig as the router wasn’t ideally placed, it was hidden at the back of the stage and wasn’t really high enough. This made the app pretty buggy/dragging! Thankfully this isn’t the only time I have used the app, so can say that it hasn’t happened again!
I like that you can access any of the channels easily by clicking on the appropriate fader group across the top of the screen, along with their meters – just like on Yamaha’s version. Although the EQ / Dynamics aren’t easy to access as the StageMix app, which is a big shame, as the Labelling / Colour + Picture Info-graph is over the top and unnecessary in my opinion. Especially having Pan (which is a setting that I set at the start of a Gig, and then leave) so big, and unable to be hidden / changed for EQ / Dynamics (Settings that I would change far more regularly).
On the app you can also select the fx or dynamics (as shown above), and change the parameters or the whole effect. This is a great improvement over most other apps that I have used, as too many times when I have has a desk side of stage, and the iPad out front and wanted to change the verb time to be longer/shorter (for example), but don’t have a way to do this except going back to the desk. There’s 8 of these, which can be inserted across any channels, buses or Matrix’s along with Left + Right Outs.
The naming is super quick, allowing you to select Icons, Colours and Names out of a list. This can really save time in a quick session setup.
As you can see here, I am using the X32 to run Monitors, this is the same venue, with a very similar setup to the previous posts LS9-32. Again I had 10 packs of In Ears, plus 2 wedge feeds across the front. As before I used the iPad to go out from behind the desk and set levels with each of the musicians after setting a rough mix. Again this helped with LOS issues and artist relations.
Please mark my words that it’s not my favourite desk, nor my preferred one, but I do love this desk, for the price you can’t really beat it. Its super flexible and has many high quality features. The app is more than just a fader changing app (which there are a few coming up) and can do far far more than any others that I have experienced to date. If i was in the market for a desk that packed a punch above its price, this would take my money no problem.
Till the next one, watch out for those Pineapples!