I last updated about the use of the Behringer X32 digital sound board back in September. So today I am reporting on its use and quality over the last 1/2 year.
The Behringer X32 is sold as a 32 channel digital board. As you may know, at North Ridge, we switched from a 48 channel Allen & Heath ML4000 and that we have a mono pa system. The X32 is secretly a 38 channel board. This is due to the 6 additional “aux inputs” on the back of the board. These show up in the “AUX IN/USB/FX RETURNS” tab of the console. These aux inputs are a line level input and have a gain adjustment of +/- 12 dB. Because our system is mono, I am able to sum the Left and Right outputs of our CD player and computer into mono to take up one channel each. For some stereo systems, you may have to use an external sub console for combining your audio/visual needs into a single pair of Aux In’s of the board. Some Kramer Video switchers include audio switching internally, so this is another valid option.
The two most common questions that I get about this console are:
- How does the console sound?
- How is the quality of the console?
The sound of the console is very clean and clear. In comparison to our analog Allen & Heath ML4000, I much prefer the X32. The transients seem a lot more clear. I was able to notice the largest difference on the clarity of our choir during our traditional service. I could for the first time hear the pronunciation of the words they were singing.
Equalizers on the console are beautiful sounding. It takes very little adjustment of the gain to notice the adjustment you just made. The 800×480 TFT display gives you a graphical representation of the EQ, which for volunteers who haven’t spent the last 5 years perfecting their ears to discern frequencies, really enjoy. I have had a lot of techs come to me and mention that EQ’ing a channel is much easier to understand with the graphical representation of it.
The built in compressor and gate give you a good handle of the dynamics of each channel, in combination with sub groups you can keep a very consistant level out sound in your venue or house of worship.
As far as specs go, the delay of the console from the XLR input to the balanced outputs is 0.7ms. This is one of the lowest delays in the industry. At a sample rate of 48 kHz, it has a frequency range of 10 Hz to 22 kHz at 0 dB to -1 dB over the spectrum. Lastly it has a typical analog input to analog output dynamic range of 106dB.
Next question is about quality. I purchased two consoles, one for each of our main rooms at North Ridge Community Church. Both consoles have been consistant and flawless with no apparent problems at all, aside from the accidental routing issues from time to time which is a operator problem ;-).
The faders on the console are very solid feeling and the motion is very fluid. Rotary knobs do not have a lot of slop and are a good size for fingers. Changing pages on the console from channels 1-16 and 17-32, all of the faders flip very quickly and accurately.
Overall, I am extremely satisfied with the purchase of our two X32′s. Training has been aided with my YouTube videos which can be found at http://www.youtube.com/kd7qcu. Any sound tech that has mixed on an analog console can be brought up to speed on the X32 in about 30 mins to an hour.
Would I purchase it again? YES! In fact with the new X32 Producer is a rack mountable version! So, I would love to upgrade our mobile system to have this. Please let me know if you have any questions. Also if any of you are in the Phoenix, Arizona area and would like a hands on tour of the X32, drop me an email and we can set up a time.