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X32 meltdown - any ideas?

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X32 meltdown - any ideas?

Postby molecular » Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:30 pm

Hi everyone,

so... my trusty X32 Producer seems to have gone haywire out of the blue. I wasn't using it at the time so can't rule out foul play but there are zero signs of physical damage.

Symptoms:

Passes no audio, but all outputs puts out a regular loud tick/pop sound, it's a little faster than a ticking clock.

The ticking is showing up on the meters for the 6 aux channels, but is sent to all outputs even when those faders are down, it's louder in LR than in the other 6 XLR outs.

It apparently happened half way through a gig just like that.

I have:

- checked clock sync source is internal
- checked routing
- initialised console at both sample rates
- updated firmware

I haven't:

- opened it up yet.

No results so far.

Anyone had this or anything similar happen? Or got any other ideas I could try?

There's no S16s involved, and card IO isn't/wasn't being used.

Many thanks!

Hector
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Re: X32 meltdown - any ideas?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:41 pm

If its affecting all outputs it must be something systemic, rather than a local channel individual fault, and my first thoughts are towards clocking, routing, or a major DSP problems. Clearly the control processor is still running, though, to allow menu access etc.

Odd that it failed during use -- rather than during power-up or configuration. That suggests a component failure rather than a set-up issue.

I doubt it will make any difference, but for completeness have you tried running it from an external clock?

I suspect you'll need to enlist the assistance of the Music Group Service Centre...
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Re: X32 meltdown - any ideas?

Postby AlecSp » Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:37 pm

How old is it?

Power Supply failure can happen, and would make the whole thing play silly buggers for a while before failing to power up at all.

Of course, all this is guesswork based on just a brief description and without having the desk in front of you, and the ability to open it up.

Still under warranty?
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Re: X32 meltdown - any ideas?

Postby ef37a » Wed Apr 24, 2019 8:32 am

I do not want to add to your pain Molecular but this could be a very important thread regarding Behringer.

Since the release of the X32 there has been a "softening" shall we say of the attitude of many with respect to Behringer. There is no doubt that they have recently produced some very good, "pro" quality products at remarkably low prices. Will the service backup prove AS professional and reasonably priced?

Way back when 5yr product insurances started I was asked if they were worth while? My response was. "A five year warrantY does not mean a damn sir if there is no one willing or able to fix it".

I wait to be amazed and impressed.

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Re: X32 meltdown - any ideas?

Postby molecular » Wed Apr 24, 2019 9:33 am

Thanks for input so far!

Looks like no easy element to reboot/rejig that I haven't tried... (presumably these desks can suffer kernel panics? or have RAM?) ...

I'll take a look inside and see if I can find anything. Desk is 4 years old and I thought had come with 3 year warranty, but maybe it is 5... It's always lived in a flightcase and not seen too hard a life so I'm definitely a bit surprised it would do this out of the blue in the middle of a gig, rather than switching on like this as you say Hugh.

Perhaps it got a pull on the power cord and rebooted this way, but from what I can gather it was doing a set-and-forget job for a small ceilidh band so wasn't being manned at the time, so who knows.

I reckon this has had a better life than most X32s so if most of them since release are still going strong, I'll withhold judgement for now. It would be a shame if this is a wider problem, though, it's been a great desk :/ Also... it doesn't appear to be any kind of physical connector problem (so far) so if it's some kind of major processor disaster, those are components that are likely shared with the Midas version, aren't they?

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Re: X32 meltdown - any ideas?

Postby AlecSp » Wed Apr 24, 2019 10:26 am

Have you done a factory reset? I wouldn't hold my breath, but it would be daft not to have tried that.

They're 3 year warranty, with limitations, so you'll need to seek a paid-for repair
https://www.musictribe.com/brand/behringer/store-finder?type=POS

In the end, components do fail. The Behringer digital mixers appear to have a reasonably good track record, especially considering how long they've been out there. But we do have to be realistic that they're all complex computers, and will ultimately have a rather shorter lifespan than most old analog desks.

My money's still on the power supply, but of course it could be anything.
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Re: X32 meltdown - any ideas?

Postby Wonks » Wed Apr 24, 2019 10:34 am

6 year legally imposed warranty in England (5 in Scotland) for faulty goods, where the product stopped working and it's provable that it's not down to you. For England this was originally imposed by the Sale of Goods Act 1979 and from 2015, the Consumer Rights Act 2015.
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Re: X32 meltdown - any ideas?

Postby ef37a » Wed Apr 24, 2019 10:44 am

AlecSp, I don't know why you think a "computer" in a mixer should be less reliable than CPUs in anything else?
In some 20 years of owning (mostly s/h crap!) computers I have never had a CPU die. Memory yes, hardrives yes but never a processor. CPUs are in every thing, from early VCRs then tellies, cars and of course phones. They are among THE most reliable of things in my experience. They do latch up of course and need a reset from time to time but total failure is extremely rare.

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Re: X32 meltdown - any ideas?

Postby molecular » Wed Apr 24, 2019 11:34 am

Well, it's spotless inside - definitely no vodka and coke in there, all connections seem in good order...

Have done a factory reset, and rebooted several times...

Further things noticed:

- Ticking sound begins immediately as power is present - doesn't wait for desk to boot, and continues unabated through reboot / initialisation etc.
- It's appearance on metering follows the physical aux ins. e.g. if I set the input to channel 1 to aux in 1, it will appear there. If I remap the auxes to the card inputs, it disappears.
- Completely disconnecting the aux circuit board inside the desk doesn't change anything, however.
- No phantom power is getting sent to the pres.
- the software all seems to be functioning perfectly.

It does feel like the power supply is a good shout...

Would it make sense that some issue with the audio/power/phantom rails might only register on meters where there is a physically unbalanced input present?

Anyway.... I've exhausted my own abilities short of finding another X32 to strip for a power supply so let's see if this 5 year business gets any shrift in Germany... :/
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Re: X32 meltdown - any ideas?

Postby molecular » Wed Apr 24, 2019 11:45 am

PS

- selecting a different sample rate freezes the visible signal on the meters at half way up, but it doesn't change the audio situation.

- I have a multi-meter and am willing to try and test the output from the power supply, but will need to stop for today and figure out exactly what I should be putting the multi-meter across later on!
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Re: X32 meltdown - any ideas?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Apr 24, 2019 11:57 am

molecular wrote:- Ticking sound begins immediately as power is present - doesn't wait for desk to boot, and continues unabated through reboot / initialisation etc.

Sounds like the switch-mode power supply isn't striking up properly. Hopefully its failure hasn't taken anything else out with it... If it's just the SMPS then it should be a quick and easy replacement fix.

Musictribe have three approved service centres in the UK. Behringer's own centre is in Kidderminster in the old KT/Midas factory, but there's also Real Electronics in Sheffield, and EMS in Southend.

https://www.musictribe.com/brand/behrin ... r?type=POS

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Re: X32 meltdown - any ideas?

Postby ef37a » Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:56 pm

Loss of phantom power could be a big clue?
It is probably derived from an overwind on the SMPS inductor/traff and its presence might be needed to gate, inhibit or enable all sorts of other things.

Whilst I commend the ownership of a DMM be very careful probing in there. I don't want to be rude but one slip of a tip could add many sovs to the bill!

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Re: X32 meltdown - any ideas?

Postby molecular » Thu Apr 25, 2019 11:21 am

Thanks all - and sound advice dave.

I'll try and phone one of these service centres and see what they are willing to do - they are all equally inconvenient for me but I think I have enough to go on to try and discuss it over the phone. It does look like if it is the power supply it's just a few pop-out cables and four screws.

I'm assuming the computer runs off a completely different output from the power supply than the audio and phantom... as mentioned, that and the software seem to be functioning perfectly.
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Re: X32 meltdown - any ideas?

Postby AlecSp » Thu Apr 25, 2019 12:49 pm

molecular wrote:I'll try and phone one of these service centres and see what they are willing to do - they are all equally inconvenient for me but I think I have enough to go on to try and discuss it over the phone. It does look like if it is the power supply it's just a few pop-out cables and four screws.
Not much help to us in the UK, but FullCompass sell a replacement X32 Producer power supply for $65.

ef37a wrote:AlecSp, I don't know why you think a "computer" in a mixer should be less reliable than CPUs in anything else?
In some 20 years of owning (mostly s/h crap!) computers I have never had a CPU die. Memory yes, hardrives yes but never a processor. CPUs are in every thing, from early VCRs then tellies, cars and of course phones. They are among THE most reliable of things in my experience. They do latch up of course and need a reset from time to time but total failure is extremely rare.
It's not just the CPU, it's the whole machine, though. Firstly, your home PC doesn't have to suffer the same kind of life that a touring mixer does. Motorised faders are a physical part that have more failure modes over an analog fader. Also, the logic circuitry in a digital mixer will be more fussy about power than an analog board. Analog circuitry tends to fail more gracefully than the kind of all or nothing digital situation what the OP has posted. Digital mixers today can be great and cheap, but won't match the lifespan of their analog predecessors.

Does all of this make me want to go back to analog boards? No way! But do I really expect an X32 in a church installation to last the same 20 years that its analog predecessor did?
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Re: X32 meltdown - any ideas?

Postby ef37a » Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:01 pm

Nuff said Alec, I thought you meant just the CPU.

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Re: X32 meltdown - any ideas?

Postby gogi » Fri Apr 26, 2019 10:56 pm

Wonks wrote:6 year legally imposed warranty in England (5 in Scotland) for faulty goods, where the product stopped working and it's provable that it's not down to you. For England this was originally imposed by the Sale of Goods Act 1979 and from 2015, the Consumer Rights Act 2015.


So whose responsibility is it to prove that the product stopped working and it's not the owners fault? The owner, or the manufacturer ? I'm just curious how this law is applied in the real world......
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Re: X32 meltdown - any ideas?

Postby VTypeV4 » Mon May 06, 2019 12:58 pm

I too am interested on how this pans out..

I've used many an X32 / M32 out on the road and they're a super bit of kit - especially given the price point.

I hope that Uli and his people come through for you on this one. :thumbup:
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Re: X32 meltdown - any ideas?

Postby molecular » Thu Jun 13, 2019 3:56 pm

For anyone waiting with baited breath on what became of the X32, or who comes across this thread with the same problem...

A couple of contact/advice attempts went cold but EMS in Southend were able to source a PSU and send it out to me for about £100 which was worth the punt given the cost/risks of trying to get the unit to a service centre from here (Hebrides).

So it arrived yesterday and it seems to have worked a treat. Haven't taken the desk out yet, but audio is back, phantom is back, noises are gone.

So thanks to EMS for being so responsive and Hugh for (another) correct diagnosis!

Mixed feelings for Behringer who's only help was to steer me to the service centres, but fair play to them for managing to design a budget desk which is actually reasonably repairable. Hoping it's got plenty more life ahead of it now!
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Re: X32 meltdown - any ideas?

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Jun 13, 2019 5:23 pm

That's good news for those of us with X32s. Hopefully I'll never need to get it repaired but should the need arise......

Glad you're sorted :thumbup:
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Re: X32 meltdown - any ideas?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Jun 13, 2019 5:52 pm

molecular wrote:EMS in Southend were able to source a PSU and send it out to me for about £100 which was worth the punt given the cost/risks of trying to get the unit to a service centre from here (Hebrides). So it arrived yesterday and it seems to have worked a treat. Haven't taken the desk out yet, but audio is back, phantom is back, noises are gone.

Fantastic -- very pleased you got it solved relatively easily.

So thanks to EMS for being so responsive and Hugh for (another) correct diagnosis!

:blush: T'was a fairly logical guess, but fortunate that the PSU failure hadn't taken anything else out with it.

Mixed feelings for Behringer who's only help was to steer me to the service centres,

To be fair to them, that is the only sensible course of action. When they say 'no user serviceable parts inside' they do generally mean it!

In a product as complicated and interconnected as the X32, any fault would typically require quite detailed analysis before the failed board (or boards) could be identified and swapped -- and with pretty much everything being very static-sensitive in a box like that, it would be easy to wreck the replacement parts if the tech was not well-trained and experienced.

Sure, swapping out a PSU module is one of the easier and safer tasks but, as I said earlier, the PSU failure could so easily have taken out the processors or ASICS all over the console, affecting the core audio routing and processing, or damaging the FX generators, or the digital I/O...

So I wouldn't be too down on them for wanting to go down the 'return to a service centre' route, regardless of the inevitable inconvenience and expense.

At the same time, it was good of EMS to be prepare to send out a PSU module on spec given that you were prepared to take the risk...

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