Behringer X32 Digital Audio Console

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At North Ridge Community Church we have two main rooms that we use for different things. We have our large room, the Worship Center, and then we have our smaller multi-purpose room, the Ridge Cafe. Both rooms introduce some issues as far as mixing goes.

The Ridge Cafe’s mix position is up on a elevated balcony which is intertwined with AC ductwork, AC units, Electrical conduit and condensation lines. You actually have to duck under these to get to where the board is. Whenever mixing here the best way is to mix via the headphones and then go downstairs and compare.

Worship Center has an elevated audio/video booth against the back wall. It is a clear line of sight to the stage and speaker cluster but is not in a accurate position of where the speakers are hung.

When deciding on what board to get we wanted to have an iPad app to be able to mix from. That way our audio techs could walk around within the congregation to get an accurate position to hear their mix.

Next priority was being able to save and recall scenes with flying faders. Being that our rooms see a lot of different ministries, the multi-use function of the room required each ministry to have their own board setup to facilitate their needs.

Consistency and ease of training was also a big requirement at the church with all of the volunteers. So having matching boards or at least same manufacture would help this a lot. We wanted to have a sound tech train in one room and be able to cover a position if needed in the other.

With those requirements the boards we were to select from included the Yamaha LS9, PreSonus StudioLive, and most resently the Behringer X32.

I ruled out the StudioLive as it does not have flying faders. Having the ability to recall scenes for our different ministries at the church. One thing I loved about the StudioLive is the ability to record the 24 individual tracks at the same time to a computer digital audio workstation, DAW.

The next board, the Yamaha LS9, at around $6-7k, had a higher price point. However, this board included flying faders and the ability to save and recall scenes. The board did not have the ability to record more than just the stereo bus.

I decided on pulling the trigger on the Behringer X32 for some of the following reasons:

– 32 mic in, 6 line in, 16 mix buses, 6 matrix mixes, LCR or LC+R setups, AES/EBU output, 16 assignable balanced outputs
– Flying faders
– Ability to save and recall scenes (up to 100 scenes per show currently firmware 1.08)
– Up to 10 iPads can connect to the board at one time with the xicontrol app (also a monitor mixing app for the iPhone is in the works at Behringer)
– AES50 digital snake will allow remote stage boxes (Behringer S16) to add additional patchable inputs to the X32.
– Record 32 separate tracks to a DAW over USB 2.0 or FireWire
– Compressor, gate, adjustable low cut, 4 band fully parametric eq, and channel delay on each channel
– Adjustable delay on the control room speakers and headphones

The list keeps going of how flexible this board is. Also the X32 interfaces with the Behringer P16 which is Behrimger’s version of the Aviom personal mixer. So on to of the 16 buses the X32 also gives you 16 assignable outputs specifically for the P16.

All of this comes in at the price point of $2899. I was able to purchase two X32’s for the price of one Yamaha LS9. The flexibility that will come with adding the Behringer S16 16 input/8 output stage boxes that transfer over the AES50 protocol, will be huge for my church.

With any company/product/console reliability is a large concern. Behringer has their 3 year warranty on the X32 so that makes me feel a lot better about the purchase and the fact that Midas was the majority of the design for the X32 almost alleviates the concern. But only time will tell.

I have a bunch of videos on the Behringer X32 on my YouTube channel which you can find at http://www.youtube.com/KD7QCU.

If you have any questions on the board please watch the videos or post below. After mixing with the board for the last 3-4 weeks I am blown away by how awesome this board is. Uli Behinger an his team has really found the right design for this!

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