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.
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:
- Digital? None of us had ever used a digital board.
- Brand new model? We didn’t want to be a guinea pig for Behringer’s new foray into sound board excellence.
- $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:
- 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.
- The only significant glitch we found turned out to be self-inflicted :) And Behringer has offerred frequent firmware updates (easily installed).
- $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.”