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Digital Mixers - Some questions X32 and Similar

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Digital Mixers - Some questions X32 and Similar

Postby woodnut » Fri Jan 10, 2020 12:14 pm

Hello Folks,


I am looking at digital mixers, primarily to connect a load of synths and other inputs in my home studio but also for the occasional live work.

I currently have three on my shortlist

Behringer X32R

Soundcraft Ui24R

Presonus Studio Live III 24R



Firstly I have some questions on the X32R.

Obviously this only has XLR inputs so some protection from phantom power would be wise between synth line level outs and the XLR inputs.
However I also have an Audient ASP008 eight channel mic pre that I would like to incorporate into the setup. If I was to use its analogue line level outputs with a Dsub to 8 male XLRs into the XLR inputs on the X32, would the Audient's line level outputs likely need protection from any phantom power in the same way the synths would?

Secondly, I need more than 16 inputs and would need to use the TRS Aux return inputs to up the channel count. I cannot seem to fathom if these would offer all of the same processing as one of the main XLR inputs.
Can they function exactly like input channels 1-16 albeit without the mic preamp?

Lastly, for any X32 owners, obviously these have been out a while now. How do you find your units stack up against the newer competition these days from a sound performance point of view?


Many thanks!
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Re: Digital Mixers - Some questions X32 and Similar

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Jan 10, 2020 12:26 pm

Soundwise I have no complaints about the X32 (I have a Compact and a Rack) but I haven't done a side by side comparison. What you shouldn't do is push the levels too hard (but that applies to any digital desk).

The aux's don't have the same processing as full channels but can be assigned as an input source to any full channel. I have some stuff permanently patched through the auxes on mine.

Balanced outputs from the Audience should be safe from Phantom power but unbalanced outputs from the synths could be damaged by spook juice so maybe some kind of protection would be prudent. I'm not sure if it's possible to lock phantom off on specific channels, will have a look later.

I have not tried the Soundcraft or Presonus so can't comment but I have been very happy with my X32 rigs
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Re: Digital Mixers - Some questions X32 and Similar

Postby The Elf » Fri Jan 10, 2020 1:24 pm

The X32 was always a pain in not having jack inputs. Have you looked at the new Wing, which has combi sockets?

Either way you could use a digital stagebox or two. These have combi sockets and will expand the input count.

My solution was to go for the Behringer XR18. You could get two of them and cascade them to up the channel count. For the money they're phenomenal.
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Re: Digital Mixers - Some questions X32 and Similar

Postby woodnut » Fri Jan 10, 2020 2:44 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:The aux's don't have the same processing as full channels but can be assigned as an input source to any full channel. I have some stuff permanently patched through the auxes on mine.


Thanks a lot for the reply.
May I ask what sort of processing is not available on the aux inputs?

Thanks
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Re: Digital Mixers - Some questions X32 and Similar

Postby woodnut » Fri Jan 10, 2020 2:47 pm

The Elf wrote:The X32 was always a pain in not having jack inputs. Have you looked at the new Wing, which has combi sockets?

Either way you could use a digital stagebox or two. These have combi sockets and will expand the input count.

My solution was to go for the Behringer XR18. You could get two of them and cascade them to up the channel count. For the money they're phenomenal.

Thank you for your reply. The Wing looks great but sadly out of budget!

The XR18 looks a very interesting option. The cost of two would be close to one X32R.

Am I right in my understanding that the XR18 offers the same preamps, converters and digital FX as the X32 albeit with no screen and a smaller channel count?

thanks.
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Re: Digital Mixers - Some questions X32 and Similar

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Jan 10, 2020 3:08 pm

The lack of combo sockets is a negative, you might be able to get away with some special leads which would protect the synths from spook power but somebody like Hugh, Folderol or Dave (ef37a) will be better equipped to advise.

You can download X32-Edit and you can run through the full functionality of the X32 series in deep mode but, off the top of my head the aux channels lack gate, comp and insert and have slightly more limited eq. But, as I said you have 32 full channels available and any physical input can be routed to any channel so it's easy enough to assign the 6 aux inputs to channels 17-22 and have full features available.

I have an XR12 and it's a decent bit of kit, even the wifi works fine at home, it's occasionally a bit flakey in a bar when confronted with a few dozen smartphones cluttering up the airwaves :headbang: The XR18 will be my next mixer should I need to replace my trusty DL1608.
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Re: Digital Mixers - Some questions X32 and Similar

Postby woodnut » Fri Jan 10, 2020 3:13 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:But, as I said you have 32 full channels available and any physical input can be routed to any channel so it's easy enough to assign the 6 aux inputs to channels 17-22 and have full features available.

Ah OK I see now, so that 32 channels quoted is internal and routing the Aux ins would give me all of the processing options. I will have a look at the X32 offline edit program.

Thank you.
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Re: Digital Mixers - Some questions X32 and Similar

Postby The Elf » Fri Jan 10, 2020 3:14 pm

woodnut wrote:The XR18 looks a very interesting option. The cost of two would be close to one X32R.
They would actually cost a bit more, from what I can see, but with the XR18s you would need no stage boxes at all.
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Re: Digital Mixers - Some questions X32 and Similar

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Jan 10, 2020 3:20 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:The lack of combo sockets is a negative, you might be able to get away with some special leads which would protect the synths from spook power but somebody like Hugh, Folderol or Dave (ef37a) will be better equipped to advise.

A special lead would be awkward to build, to say the least. Probably better off using isolating transformers which will provide a balanced output from the keyboards as well.

H
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Re: Digital Mixers - Some questions X32 and Similar

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Jan 10, 2020 3:38 pm

Thanks Hugh, I did wonder. I couldn't quite work out if it was possible.
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Re: Digital Mixers - Some questions X32 and Similar

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Jan 10, 2020 3:51 pm

It's possible, but DC-blocking capacitors would be needed to prevent phantom volts reaching the keyboard and they'd need to be physically large to maintain a decent LF response, so difficult to integrate neatly into a cable.
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Re: Digital Mixers - Some questions X32 and Similar

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Jan 10, 2020 3:55 pm

Yeah, becoming clearer :blush:

I've posted on the X32 forum asking if it's possible to lock the spook juice switch in the software. Will update if I get a reply.
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Re: Digital Mixers - Some questions X32 and Similar

Postby woodnut » Sat Jan 11, 2020 10:02 am

Thanks folks
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Re: Digital Mixers - Some questions X32 and Similar

Postby Funkyflash5 » Sun Jan 12, 2020 1:55 am

If it would help, you can get an adat card for the x32 to get the digital out from the Audient straight into the board.
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Re: Digital Mixers - Some questions X32 and Similar

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun Jan 12, 2020 11:18 am

The ADAT card replaces the USB card which you need for recording to a computer. If you have a hardware recorder or an audio interface with ADAT I/O to record to the the ADAT makes sense.

woodcut? Will you be recording to a computer? Do you have a separate audio interface? And what will you be using the Audient for?
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Re: Digital Mixers - Some questions X32 and Similar

Postby woodnut » Sun Jan 12, 2020 6:14 pm

Thanks, yes I have been looking at the adat card which would allow the asp008 to come into play for an extra 8 channels. It does seem a shame to lose the usb connection however.

In my setup I record through the Audient asp008 into my rme fireface 400. The mixer would be to allow me to connect lots of synths and other sources for getting ideas together before recording them through my audient-rme. It would also be used live the odd time as and when needed.

I did wonder if whatever I end up getting might be able to become my recording interface also, but the more I research this it seems that I'm asking a bit much and would probably miss the rock solid rme at the heart of my setup.

It certainly is tricky as there are some great options
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