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Posted on May 8, 2013 in Featured Slider, Tools | 6 comments

Why You Should Consider the Behringer x32 for Your Next Mixer

I was never a sound guy. Give me a guitar and a mic and leave the feedback wrestling and monitor mania to someone else! But I’ve gradually come around to the notion that–for blue collar worship leaders–a certain amount of audio know-how is a must.  Most of us can’t afford to pay a pro and, even if you are blessed with a great volunteer sound tech, what are the odds they’ll be available for your every mid-week practice or even your every Sunday?  AND when something starts going up in smoke, how much time will they have to invest in helping you find the best tools for your worship environment? Speaking of going up in smoke…our old board did! So that brings me around to the true topic of discussion in this post: the Behringer x32.

X32-xlarge

The Behringer x32

When our old board was clearly dying, I had no idea what direction to take. Another worship pastor in the state connected me with a guy who turned out to be a regular sound genie for us! Marc (the aforementioned sound genie) recommended we wait for this new digital board coming out that had potential to completely reshape the mixer market.

Man, that felt really risky for at least 3 reasons:

  1. Digital? None of us had ever used a digital board.
  2. Brand new model? We didn’t want to be a guinea pig for Behringer’s new foray into sound board excellence.
  3. $3,000? The price tag was bigger than we had hoped to find.

But, wow, I don’t know that I’ve ever been more glad to have taken such a risk before:

  1. Yes, digital was a bit of a learning curve.  And it would’ve been much harder without help (sound genies make everything easier so I’ll plan to write a post on that subject soon…)!  But here about 8 months in, using the board feels almost intuitive.
  2. The only significant glitch we found turned out to be self-inflicted :) And Behringer has offerred frequent firmware updates (easily installed).
  3. $3,000 is a tough pill to swallow for a church our size in these economic times. But, as it turns out, you won’t find a quality analog 32 channel board for too much less. And consider all the bonuses you’re getting.  For instance, you’d spend a fortune (not to mention the room you’d have to find in your rack) just buying 32 channels’ worth of quality effects like the x32’s compression, gate, delay, reverb and EQ.

Here are some of my favorite features on our Behringer x32:

  • iPad App: I can now run sound for our mid-week rehearsals from the stage with my iPad. Yes, that’s right, my iPad can control almost everything on the board remotely.  We waste way less time on Sunday AM monitor levels now.
  • Saved Settings: Every week we have a different set of vocalists and different musicians on the stage.  But that doesn’t mean starting from scratch every week anymore because, once we got things set for each person the first time, we just saved the setting under their name and now pull it up at will!
  • Recording: I haven’t played much with recording individual channels onto tracks in GarageBand just yet but have been recording some to a USB thumb-drive.  That’s proven useful in several ways.  I can even record things and play them back on the spot, all from my iPad on stage.

Oh, and no, they’re not paying me to say all this… Who would I be kidding? It’s a brand new blog!

Do you have any questions for me about the Behringer x32? Do you have other sound boards you would recommend?

Disclosure: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

6 Comments

  1. I was looking for reviews on this board and noticed you’ve been using it. I’d love to hear more about your experience if you get a chance. Have you played more with recording and do you feel like quality holds up still?

    • Hey, yeah we still really like it and everything has held up great for over a year now. I know that’s one of the concerns with any new product and especially with products bearing the Behringer name. It really seems like Behringer is moving and shaking and entering a new era. Though I still run into gear snobs from time-to-time who won’t touch anything “Behringer” with a 10-foot pole no matter what :)

      I wish I could tell you more on the recording front. I wrote this post 7 months ago (did I really start this blog thing so long ago???) and I’m still a slacker! I know of a guy who’s had success recording in live settings with his x32 but, when I tried, the individual channel levels were ridiculously low. There’s got to be an easy solution I missed but I haven’t done the research.

      Speaking of research, that was one of my early frustrations: there’s just so little out there about them since they’re so new. Hard to find answers in tech forums, etc. But it’s probably getting better by now, haven’t searched in a long while.

      Anyhow, it’s been fun to use once we figured it out. And I’ve yet to hear of anything that matches quality and quantity for the price.

  2. I would like to ask what are the steps needed to be taken if I wanna record stuff from the X32 to my macbook?

    • You’ll need a usb or firewire connection. And you’ll need some kind of software that can record multiple tracks. There may be some input settings to adjust in system preferences as well as in whatever software you use to record. Otherwise, you might refer to the x32 manual: http://www.behringer.com/assets/X32_M_EN.pdf

  3. Hey thanks for your time, my church is getting the x32 this week, can I connect straight to GarageBand on a Mac and record live then go back and mix what I want on GarageBand?

    • That’s the idea! In theory it would record a certain number of channels from the board (you can configure a few different ways) to tracks in Garage Band and then you’d be able to edit each individual track the same way you’d normally do in Garage Band.

      I’m no longer serving at that church and don’t have an x32 here :( but the time or two I attempted this, I had trouble getting the input levels (into my computer) high enough to record workable tracks. I never did much investigating though and have not heard of that trouble from other users. If you do have some kind of trouble like that, I recommend x32 customer support. They were good to us the time or two we used them. Good luck & enjoy!

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