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Author Topic: Is the X32 gonna become "acceptable" at the lounge level?  (Read 33857 times)

Doug Fowler

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Re: Is the X32 gonna become "acceptable" at the lounge level?
« Reply #50 on: July 23, 2013, 05:15:17 pm »

Hi Bob,

My experience is the opposite of yours. I think the X32 sounds as good, if not better, than the APB Pro House in the several situations where I've directly substituted one for the other, with no change in the rest of the PA.

You may have whatever opinion you wish, but people reading it should know that you are strongly biased in a direction, regardless of how that bias was created. I was a Soundcraft guy for 30+ years, love the product and/despite its imperfections, and love the Soundcraft people. There is no finer individual in the audio business than Tom Der, and Andy Brown is incredible, too. But there was no way I could afford a Vi-anything, and the X32 came along with the right features, the right support, and the right sound at the right time.

From what I've read about the Expression, I wish it had come out earlier, but it also sounds like it's not the equal of the X32 feature-wise. I'm glad it uses the same parts as higher-end consoles and am happy you have found a digital console you can advocate.

But the X32 *does not* have "low quality sound" by any measurement or unbiased listening. Something was set wrong if it sounds terrible.

Time will tell how well it holds up, as it will for all these low cost digital boards. But, really, do you expect any of the digital consoles at whatever price to be cutting edge for 10 years? I expect them ALL to follow the computer model rather than the analog console model, and would rather be replacing $3k objects every 5 years than $100k objects.

FWIW.
Dan

Thanks Dan. 

Yes these low priced consoles are becoming commodities.   

Regarding "acceptability", a brief tale:

The first time I saw an M7, the first thing I said was "this is the end of PM4Ks and racks full of 990s, dbx comps and gates, and Klark EQs for touring openers" (paraphrasing of course).   

Aside from the obvious benefits, the old setup consumed at least an entire row in the truck.  M7 changed that as well.  Plus, the truck got 500 pounds or more lighter.

It's entirely possible X32 will now fill that role for some period of time.   The economics drives it: the openers get what they get for the most part, unless they're willing to pay (if they even have an option). 

Acceptability in the trenches? It's almost a no-brainer.  Something else will be along in due course, however.

For regional providers, I can see many shops replacing LS9s with X32.  There are plenty of gigs not needing to meet a rider these are perfect for.  The stage box / AES50 combination is very appealing as well.

This is an interesting time in the digi-desk market.
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Bob Leonard

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Re: Is the X32 gonna become "acceptable" at the lounge level?
« Reply #51 on: July 23, 2013, 06:19:43 pm »


Dan,

My intent is not to trash the X32. It's one of Uli's few products that appears to have been designed well, and built well. My opinions are based on over two (2) years of critical looking, listening, and using. Am I biased? Not really because I'm well aware of the fact there are many better desks than an Expression feature wise, just not sound wise at this level.
 
I'm not sure I could agree with your assessment of the APB vs. X32 sound quality under any circumstance. However, if that is the result of your listening test then so be it.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2013, 10:18:25 pm by Bob Leonard »
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Doug Fowler

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Re: Is the X32 gonna become "acceptable" at the lounge level?
« Reply #52 on: July 23, 2013, 06:57:33 pm »


Dan,

My intent is not to trash the X32. It's one of Uli's few products that appears to have been designed well, and built well. My opinions are based on over two (2) years of critical looking, listening, and using. Am I biased? Not really because I'm well aware of the fact there are many better desks than an Expression feature wise, just not sound wise at this level.
 
I'm not sure I could agree with your assessment of the APB vs. X32 sound quality under any circumstance. However, if that is the result of your listening test then so be it.

Bob - you quoted the wrong post. 
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Bob Leonard

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Re: Is the X32 gonna become "acceptable" at the lounge level?
« Reply #53 on: July 23, 2013, 10:18:35 pm »

Fixed it.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Is the X32 gonna become "acceptable" at the lounge level?
« Reply #54 on: July 23, 2013, 10:23:54 pm »

Dan,

My intent is not to trash the X32. It's one of Uli's few products that appears to have been designed well, and built well. My opinions are based on over two (2) years of critical looking, listening, and using. Am I biased? Not really because I'm well aware of the fact there are many better desks than an Expression feature wise, just not sound wise at this level.
 
I'm not sure I could agree with your assessment of the APB vs. X32 sound quality under any circumstance. However, if that is the result of your listening test then so be it.

Bob, either in the PSW or SFN Basement I posted a pic of "FOH du jour" that featured an X32 among the AVID Venue and DiGiCo SD10.  All consoles fed the PA directly (drive was physically repatched) and as much as I wanted to find something sonically wrong with the X32, I couldn't.

And hey, I'm in Beantown.  You check your PMs?
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Bob Leonard

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Re: Is the X32 gonna become "acceptable" at the lounge level?
« Reply #55 on: July 24, 2013, 12:50:58 am »

I saw that picture. PM sent.
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: Is the X32 gonna become "acceptable" at the lounge level?
« Reply #56 on: July 24, 2013, 10:07:57 am »

The claims of huge sonic differences between value and premium mixers has been overstated for a while (I remember when they really were different). Modern solid state electronics generally deliver low distortion, low noise, and ruler flat frequency response, relatively inexpensively.

There are still differences but more in features (like service) and ergonomic design (EQ voicing, control laws, ease of use, etc).

Note: speakers and microphones are harder to perfect and still sound different

===========

I have no idea about acceptability, but they appear to be on a good path without major obstacles. Of course no one expects the competition to just ignore them, so time will tell.

JR
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Dan Mortensen

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Re: Is the X32 gonna become "acceptable" at the lounge level?
« Reply #57 on: July 24, 2013, 12:55:04 pm »

The claims of huge sonic differences between value and premium mixers has been overstated for a while (I remember when they really were different). Modern solid state electronics generally deliver low distortion, low noise, and ruler flat frequency and phase response, relatively inexpensively.

There are still differences but more in features (like service) and ergonomic design (EQ voicing, control laws, ease of use, etc).

(emphasis added)

Hi JR,

This is what I was coming here to post this morning (adding phase to what you said), after thinking about why Bob's feelings about the sound of the mixers are radically different than my feelings, and wondering what we are listening to once we get past the things you listed.

FWIW, I listen and do my mixes, for the most part, with not very radical EQ activity. IMO, there is a case to be made that the X32 EQ is not up to the standard set by the best, particularly if you use the default settings.

When I had a listening party for my crew to familiarize them with the consoles for the first time before a big festival we do, none of us could hear big changes in channel EQ when using the PEQ setting, which is standard bell-curve Parametric EQ with smooth skirts integrating back into flat.

However, we could clearly hear it in VEQ setting, which is Vintage EQ and has skirts that behave in most unlady-like way, going up and down as the curve integrates back into flat.

Behringer designed it to be more like "traditional British EQ", and although it looks weird, it sounds better to our ears, so all our consoles are set with VEQ on channels, and PEQ on outputs.

Separately, I don't feel that the narrowest of the PEQ settings is quite narrow enough, and doesn't allow for the kind of surgical frequency removal that I'm accustomed to on other devices.

When using the console as a standalone system controller, that is a limitation. However, I'm hopeful that this and other current limitations are addressed in the next 2.0 firmware update, which is long promised.

As with any real world object, and especially one that is so cheap for as many features as it has, there are other limitations and shortcomings with the X32, but as an overall value, and to specifically answer the OP's question, it is extraordinary in its features and usability when you become familiar with it. Familiarity took me a while, but other users tell me they just jumped right in with little difficulty.

Thanks,
Dan
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Tim Padrick

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Re: Is the X32 gonna become "acceptable" at the lounge level?
« Reply #58 on: August 05, 2013, 02:37:24 am »

IMHO, gates w/o sidechain EQ are nearly useless (as are some that have it).

If a comp has it available, I'll certainly use it.  If the comp is pre-EQ, ya gotta compensate for mic proximity effect.  And as most singers get louder and thinner as they go up the scale, that needs to be compensated for as well.  So two bands of sidechain EQ are what I really want.
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RYAN LOUDMUSIC JENKINS

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Re: Is the X32 gonna become "acceptable" at the lounge level?
« Reply #59 on: August 05, 2013, 11:13:17 am »

Bob, either in the PSW or SFN Basement I posted a pic of "FOH du jour" that featured an X32 among the AVID Venue and DiGiCo SD10.  All consoles fed the PA directly (drive was physically repatched) and as much as I wanted to find something sonically wrong with the X32, I couldn't.

And hey, I'm in Beantown.  You check your PMs?

We just used an X32 in monitor world on a very large festival with all national acts.  It sounded excellent.  It could have been any console available and we wouldn't have been able to tell.  I think that if someone is hearing a difference in the latest consoles that it is either stuff like eq algorithms or fx that they are hearing and not the basic console/preamps, etc. or they need to get their heads examined.
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Re: Is the X32 gonna become "acceptable" at the lounge level?
« Reply #59 on: August 05, 2013, 11:13:17 am »


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