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Author Topic: Is the X32 gonna become "acceptable" at the lounge level?  (Read 33852 times)

Randall Hyde

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Re: Is the X32 gonna become "acceptable" at the lounge level?
« Reply #60 on: August 05, 2013, 04:39:16 pm »

There are a number of features I use whenever I have access to them (usually only in the studio) that a lot of lower priced digital mixers don't have, such as:

  • 4 band fully parametric EQ
  • Side-chain input on compressors and gates/expanders (with high and low pass filters)
  • Compressors on buses (admittedly, most digital mixers do actually have this)
  • Ability to route input channels to AUX buses, pre-processing (or at least post HPF, pre-dynamics, pre-EQ)
  • Ability to route channel direct outputs, pre-processing (or at least post HPF, pre-dynamics, pre-EQ)
  • Ability to set an insert point pre or post EQ

The only digital mixer out there that has all of these features under $5k is the X32.

Well, SAC does this too. And with decent preamps it sounds really good and you can put together a system for under $5K (go as low as you want based on the components you choose). However, SAC has its own issues... (e.g., learning curve, poor control surface support, needs a better manual, etc.)
Cheers,
Randy Hyde
« Last Edit: August 05, 2013, 04:46:59 pm by Randall Hyde »
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Jason Lucas

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Re: Is the X32 gonna become "acceptable" at the lounge level?
« Reply #61 on: August 05, 2013, 05:27:48 pm »

Well, SAC does this too. And with decent preamps it sounds really good and you can put together a system for under $5K (go as low as you want based on the components you choose). However, SAC has its own issues... (e.g., learning curve, poor control surface support, needs a better manual, etc.)
Cheers,
Randy Hyde

I have a number of reasons why I wouldn't use SAC for anything but a personal rig.
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Tommy Peel

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Re: Is the X32 gonna become "acceptable" at the lounge level?
« Reply #62 on: August 05, 2013, 05:44:49 pm »

Slightly related to this, I was reading the reviews for the newly released Mainstage 3; one reviewer said he was running an entire band 16 channel mixer in Mainstage using OSCTouch to mix with an iPad. Not sure I'd trust it that much but it's an interesting idea he apparently wasn't having any trouble with it.
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Randall Hyde

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Re: Is the X32 gonna become "acceptable" at the lounge level?
« Reply #63 on: August 05, 2013, 06:24:00 pm »

I have a number of reasons why I wouldn't use SAC for anything but a personal rig.

And I could probably agree with every one of them :)
Seriously, though, SAC works great for the "owner/operator sound company"
God help you if you have to hire (and train) sound engineers or deal with guest/band engineers.

One of SAC's biggest advantages, its modular design, is also one of its biggest weaknesses. While you can easily build a SAC system in stages (16 channels today, 32 tomorrow, 64 next month...) it also opens up a whole new world of things that can go wrong (such as TOS-Link cables coming unplugged). You almost have to have a computer administrator background to use SAC. Granted, some of the newer digital boards require a bit of computer expertise, but SAC is way beyond all of that.

I've been using SAC for over two years; I'd probably pick it over an X32 (no name recognition is better than bad name recognition) but given the variety of "under $10,000" consoles today, I'd be hard pressed to purchase SAC today unless I was going all out and needed it to be as cheap as possible (e.g., 64-72 input channels, 32-64 output channels. With decent preamps [Focusrite] and spares, this is easily way under $10,000).

I currently have a 24-channel "B" rig based on SAC and a 32-channel "A" rig based on SAC. Next year (once the bugs get worked out) I'm probably going to replace my "B" SAC rig with a QU-16 (which has 22 channels when you count the 3 stereo channels; perfect for my B rig as I have a dual CD player and an iPod cable always attached) and I'll coalesce the two SAC rigs into a single 56-channel rig.

Someday, I'd love to replace the A SAC rig with something along the lines of a GLD-112 or even an iLive desk. The only hiccough is the fact that I need to buy two control surfaces for FOH and monitors (SAC is *real* cheap in this regard, as a sub-$500 PC works great for the remote).

As I said, I'm not willing to recommend SAC to anyone other than the small owner/operator soundco these days where "bang for the buck" is the top concern. The sub-$10,000 consoles are far more limiting than SAC, but they're dead easy to set up and use (even considering the learning curve on these new consoles) and probably more robust than SAC. Also, you get a decent control surface with most of them (Presounus being the exception).
Cheers,
Randy Hyde


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Alec Spence

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Re: Is the X32 gonna become "acceptable" at the lounge level?
« Reply #64 on: August 05, 2013, 07:08:17 pm »

* Ability to route input channels to AUX buses, pre-processing (or at least post HPF, pre-dynamics, pre-EQ)
The only digital mixer out there that has all of these features under $5k is the X32.
The X32 won't do a pre-dynamics aux send.  Nor will any of the "budget" mixers, other than the GLD and (I think) the QU-16.  Boo!
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Jason Lucas

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Re: Is the X32 gonna become "acceptable" at the lounge level?
« Reply #65 on: August 05, 2013, 07:19:10 pm »

The X32 won't do a pre-dynamics aux send.  Nor will any of the "budget" mixers, other than the GLD and (I think) the QU-16.  Boo!

Yes, you're technically correct since I did use the word dynamics.

It does, however, have the ability to send a channel to an AUX pre-compressor and pre-EQ, which for me is just as good most of the time. Even Midas consoles can't do that, to my knowledge.
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Rob Spence

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Re: Is the X32 gonna become "acceptable" at the lounge level?
« Reply #66 on: August 05, 2013, 07:23:45 pm »

The X32 won't do a pre-dynamics aux send.  Nor will any of the "budget" mixers, other than the GLD and (I think) the QU-16.  Boo!

The beauty of digital desks is having lots of strip available (often many more than # of inputs) and soft patching important (for me, vocals mostly) to a second strip that I use for monitors. Not only do you have the ability to ignore the dynamics if you want but you have another EQ section for the monitor mix. I set the monitor strips to post fader.
On my LS9-32 (which is for sale) I use the 6-8 strips at the right end of the surface for dedicated monitor strips soft patched from the original inputs.


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Rob Spence

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Re: Is the X32 gonna become "acceptable" at the lounge level?
« Reply #67 on: August 05, 2013, 07:25:32 pm »

Yes, you're technically correct since I did use the word dynamics.

It does, however, have the ability to send a channel to an AUX pre-compressor and pre-EQ, which for me is just as good most of the time. Even Midas consoles can't do that, to my knowledge.

Most of the big boy desks don't offer pre-dynamic aux sends because they are most often used with dedicated monitor desks.


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Loren Aguey

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Re: Is the X32 gonna become "acceptable" at the lounge level?
« Reply #68 on: August 07, 2013, 12:46:30 pm »

Compared to using a real graphic EQ or a virtual one on higher end digital desks, it's actually not so great as you can only access 6 bands at a time on the surface using a rotary encoder to select which group of 6, or use all rotary encoders to make changes. It's actually very cumbersome.

?? You have access to 8 bands of graphic EQ and can assign them to faders just like an M7 or 5D. And you can assign a UDK to jump to that EQ. I don't see how that's any slower and to me it's quicker than some of the big boy desks. For example switching which 8 bands of EQ on a PM5D requires using a mouse or moving the cursor around with the arrow buttons, as opposed to quickly being able to scroll through which ever bands you want with a single encoder.

And the scribble strip programming on the fly in a festival style situation is actually terrible. With a computer connected to the board, EQ changes are much faster than with the surface because you can access the entire graphic with the mouse instantly instead of futzing with encoders and selecting groups of bands. And with the computer, scribble strip entry takes a couple of seconds per channel instead of a minute+. It may not seem like big deal if you never change your board setup. But if you're doing a bunch of bands and don't have time to pre-program everything, it's pretty big pain. For that reason, one local owner of an X32 has gone back to using board tape and Sharpie« to label channels. It shouldn't be that way. My feature request posted in another thread on SFN is ability to connect a keyboard and mouse. It would make things a lot easier than the menu navigation sans connected computer. It probably won't happen though. I realize the board is inexpensive and their will be compromises. One of those compromises in my experience is that you really need a $500+ computer or tablet connected to it in order to gain basic efficiency you would get with analog gear.

With respect Greg, I feel like the PITA factor here is being exaggerated. Regarding scribble strips, yes in a festival situation it could be a little slower, but again, if I'm comparing to something like labelling channels on a PM5D then I think it's still faster and you have more characters available. But yes, slower than perhaps a Venue series desk. However, it does NOT take a full minute + to label one scribble strip, especially since there's a healthy collection of pre written labels for most standard band inputs, that require only a quick scroll and a button push.
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Uwe Riemer

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Re: Is the X32 gonna become "acceptable" at the lounge level?
« Reply #69 on: August 07, 2013, 03:01:18 pm »

What do you guys think about the X32 as far as club land acceptability goes? Would it be worth it to step up to the Soundcraft Expression? They are not too far apart in price, unless you are going for the digi snake. THen the price difference is much greater.


A few short years ago we saw the GL2400 in this role. Nobody really liked it, but everybody would accept it and do the gig. Is the X32 gonna fill that spot?

Two small stories:

The local live club ( 450 cap ) just around the corner recently had a band from USA with
a very explicit rider stating amongst other things: NO MACKIE OR BEHRINGER GEAR

their BE took the X32 without hesitation, actually he was familiar with it already.

And some weeks ago the same club had a german band, small offspring of a national act, with their usual BE, a guy with reputation in germany.
After the concert this guy complained heavily, that this board does not allow two simultanious usable insert points per channel.


So yes, I think the X32 is perfectly acceptable for Lounge level

Uwe

 
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Re: Is the X32 gonna become "acceptable" at the lounge level?
┬ź Reply #69 on: August 07, 2013, 03:01:18 pm ┬╗


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