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Behringer X32

Behringer X32

4.75 4.75 out of 5, based on 2 Reviews

Hands down my favorite all around console out there in its price point, would take it over many nicer ones even.


2nd January 2013

Behringer X32 by sunland records

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.75
Behringer X32

So this is it, I thought, when unboxing my first Behringer product, the console that everyone's talking about (but didn't find it's way to the Gearslutz forum reviews yet, so here I come with my first review :-)). I was quite impressed with the box that weighs some pounds more than I expected (the box alone!). Plus there was a nice life-size poster of the illuminated X32 in it which I thought would be doing very well in my 1-year-olds child's room. j/k ;-)

Build quality

Anyway, enough with the kid's stuff, let's get down to the nitty-gritty. :-) The first thing I noticed about the console were the externals, of course. I found the build quality to be exceptionally well, regardless of its price. It could compete with a Tascam digital mixer without any problems, actually I thought that the X32's buttons had the same feel as the DM-4800 (although it has been a while since I last played around with that one).

Knobs and faders

Some people complained about the faders feeling a little cheap. I don't think that way! They are very smooth-running, but then again that's what I would expect from motorized faders. Having plastic faders doesn't need to be a disadvantage as well (read: static discharge anyone? ;-)). The knobs are some of the best I've ever seen, though some may complain that they are very smooth-running as well. For those of you: you can still resort to the knobs underneath the display for precise and fine adjustment.

Display

Speaking of it, the next thing that's catching your eye is its 7 inch display. While I do think it's great in terms of maximum brightness and contrast, I do also think that it's lacking a little when it comes to the viewing angle which means that you have look down on the console (=stand up) when you want to see everything on the display nice and clear. Plus the resolution is rather high for a 7 inch screen which is a good thing as you can pack lots of pixels/information on it, but rather bad if your eyes are beginning to show signs of decay. ;-)

Rest of hardware

So to the rest of the hardware: the metal casing seems to be very sturdy and able to take a beating or two, the plastic end cheeks are solid as a rock and all the switches and connectors on the back side are of high quality as well. One thing to note when wanting to use the console in the studio: there is a fan inside it which albeit being silent is audible and can get annoying, I guess.

Handling

Now to its handling: the configuration can, once you know where every setting is located in the menu, be done quickly and intuitively, although some with only modest knowledge of digital mixers might find the manual lacking some details. It did take me some time to figure out how sends were to be configured (pre-/post-EQ/fader or mix bus) as there's a menu for pre-setting it globally, a setting on the channel and a setting on the mix bus. After thinking about it it does seem logical, but as I said, the lesser experienced will have to dive deep into every menu before they are really able to comprehend the console as a whole (but I guess that's the same with every digital desk).

Presets

Once you know how to configure stuff, the first thing you should do in my opinion is save channel presets as there are none pre-configured like on Presonus consoles. You can also save those on an USB stick (and in theory share it on forums like X32 User Net • Index page which is dedicated to that but still lacking content). Once you're done with that it's very easy to set up a show, but once again Presonus have the lead in this as their software allows preset dragging on virtual channels in software.

PC software

With the X32 the XControl software is basically the console layout coded with no adjustment to a PCs possibilities (except keyboard input). Plus it's not even adjustable in size, it seems to be "optimized" for resolutions of 1024x768. If your computer is running anything above that, there's the problem of tiny text and GUI elements again, but you can of course just lower your display's resolution... And there's hope for a better software in the future, if not from Behringer itself, then maybe from some other software company, as the OSC protocol the console is communicating with is available freely for everyone.

Sound

So what else is there to say... For those of you that are asking "how does it sound?": I can't really compare it to much except my studio equipment, but with this in mind I can say that the console doesn't sound bad, especially considering the vast number of inputs and outputs available. I wouldn't have a problem tracking drums (or actually anything else) with it for some serious recording. Actually I did record a choir in a church and it sounded amazing, so I guess there's nothing left to be desired sound-wise.

Other features

Which leaves me with finishing my review and coming back to where I started: as much as I hate buzz words, this console truly did change the "game", market, whatever. If you compare it to, let's say, a Yamaha LS9, there's not much you get more than with a Behringer X32. Especially not considering the nearly triple-fold price tag! The X32 even has some features that the more expensive boards don't have like 32-channel multitrack recording via USB and Firewire or AES50 support for running up to 48 tracks via a single Ethernet cable!

Conclusion

So as you probably could imagine by now, I can't speak highly enough of this device. If you're thinking of getting one and you would have to decide between say a Presonus, a Phonic or even a more expensive board, get the X32, you won't regret it.

Regards, JK

26th March 2014

Behringer X32 by jorby

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.75
Behringer X32

I have been able to work on most every digital board that has been coming with the surge of them lately. Each time, every one has had its pains. The recorder/multi-track was too complicated and required too many components, the sound wasn't right, there were too many steps to make adjustments, sometimes things would just crash.

I have been constantly blown away since I began working on these consoles a little over a year ago. Immediately, the body and character of the pre-amps were clearly rich with the Midas sound. Whether in the studio or on the stage, the board has produced great recordings and live sound with flawless performance. Learning the ins and outs has been fairly easy and I imagine most any one who is some what adept with sound could learn it fairly quickly.

Effects: Great on-board effects, my only gripe is that I can't get more slots so that I can use more of them! All of the reverbs and delays are spot on and sound as though they are the ones you have been hearing for years. Even the modulation and enhancement effects are great, especially when being run as only a monitor or FOH board.

Control Features: Most things are very smooth and laid out in simple format in front of you, it just takes time to become familiar with where everything is located. Making on-the-fly adjustments is quick and simple, and the little sends on fader button is great. You can really work the board intuitively WITH the band, if the music calls for it. The grouping is very stupid, which is one of my main disappointments really. You can only assign odd pairs, rather than freely assigning faders to one another, and changes are global across the channels. Really not that big of a "main problem" if you ask me.

Sound: Dreamy. In the studio, on the stage. I just can't say enough, I absolutley love the pre-amps,eq, compressors, gates, everything.

Recorder/ AD/DA - Just wow again. The options of recording, routing, and all the things you can do are pretty stellar. The little thumb drive recorder is very convenient and makes a great addition to their 32x32 usb/firewire option. I have never had a crash and using with a Mac, compliance has never been an issue. This has not always been the case on other, more esteemed boards.

This is a video compiled with audio done on the X32. It was multi-tracked live, played back on the x32 via usb i/o, then mixed down on the X32's built in 2-Track recorder. Really an experiment of the infinite capabilities of this thing, routing and options are infinite. - WINDMILL-SPAFFORD-THE SAIL INN 3-21-14 - YouTube

You really can't go wrong with these, especially with the 5 year warranties that are out there. Well done Behringer, watch out everyone else. Can't wait to get my hands on an M32...

 
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