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Title: Thoughts on the Mixer shoot-out and the VUE presentation...
Post by: Geri O'Neil on August 27, 2012, 10:05:31 pm
Okay, we're just waiting out things now, so I'll relay some thoughts and opinions about the event we held last week. I hope it's okay to start another thread on it as these threads get pretty bogged down after a few pages and some more discussion can be had here about what I mention (or not)...I'm not presenting anything as Gospel or The Way It Should Be. Just sharing the experience and what I learned from it.

As it's been discussed, we set up 3 small digital mixers to evaluate and play with. We set up a Yamaha LS9, a Presonus SL24, and a Behringer X32. When James asked me to participate, I thought why not, because at the time, I wasn't interested in any of the 3 involved. I was familiar with the LS9, wouldn't mind one being around the shop. I had decided that I just could not get next to the Presonus. I didn't like the layout, the lack of motorized faders (and I'm sorry, but once you go motor faders, you can't go back), and I felt like it was a little mushy-sounding. The iPad app was easier to drive it with, but there was no head amp control on the app (because the head amps are analog) And heavens to Betsy, we all know what Behringer was about, right? What on Earth would a digi mixer from them be like? Would it work? Sound like anything? Toss in the garbage if it breaks because of lack of service facilities? And to boot, I had been playing with a brand new Yamaha CL5, so I didn't feel any interest in these three consoles.

James sent an X32 to me to get familiar with a couple of days before the shoot-out. So I had time to play with the workflow and lay-out. I was able to figure out the layout and began to get familiar with getting around on the X. And I came to 2 conclusions, one good and one, well...It has a good layout, no doubt. The panel layout of the selected channel is cool, I REALLY like the "View" button in each section that takes you to the screen for the function you're working in. I like the buttons for changing fader functions. The screen is where you can get tangled up if you're not careful. On the right side of the screen, there are 8 buttons for various functions and views. They are all pretty self-explanatory. And once you select a function, there are tabs in the screen view that can be toggled through by using the arrows buttons at the bottom right underneath the screen(side to side) and once in the tabs, there are layers of yet more functions controlled by the 6 rotary encoders located along the bottom edge of the screen. And there are up and down arrow buttons to scroll through the layers (I'm hoping that I have the "functions" and the "layers" terminology straight. It would make a LOT more sense to see a manual or even better, look at the mixer). The point of ALL of this is that while I do think it's a good lay-out, there is a LOT of functions and layers and I did get tangled up a time or two assigning EQs to mixes, getting around various functions, and other simple things. As with anything, once you get used to the lay-out. it's easy to get around on the console. The "well..." moment came when I was attempting to adjust the comp settings on the vocal channel and the layers at the bottom of the screen were showing me mute groups. Huh?? But John came to rescue, pointing out that I had activated the mute group button. I was seeing the comp window in the screen, but with the mute group functions activated, I was seeing the mute group layer instead of the layer with the attack, ratio, threshold, and release functions. I could fuss about maybe certain functions being locked out while in another function, but it'd make more sense to be aware that this sort of thing could happen and not to press buttons you didn't need to. Okay, that was the biggie moment for me. I'm gonna try and condense things from here.

Sound quality - what everyone seems to be wanting to know. As I said early on, none of them suck. At all. If the sound quality of any of them wrecks your day, then start looking for something else that might be causing a problem such as a PA in poor shape or not tuned properly. Seriously, all of these mixers have a very decent very usable sound. I'm not suggesting that Robert Scovil or Cub Cubby or Dave Morgan should be happy with the sound of one of these things, but for the Kombat Audio people like me, any of them offers good results for what we do. Okay, my feelings. Yes, I liked the Behringer better than the other two, by the slimmest of margins. The Presonus seemed stuffy, not breathing, soft around the edges (well, you asked.. ;D). JUst not very punchy. The LS9 actually fared a LOT better than I thought it would. I was hard-pressed to really hear a difference between it and the Behringer. The Behringer sound seemed to breathe, just a..a..nice quality to it. And in accordance and in agreement with JR's thoughts, we are really splitting hairs here. My true feelings are in the sentence or two of this paragraph. Sorry if it's disappointing. But there's just no earth-shattering revelations to be had here. Move along...

Feature set: This is where the X32 just....kicks...BUTT. Motorized faders alone would do it for me. I've been bitten by the SL24's lack of motorized faders more than I should probably be telling. It's doesn't make the SL24 bad, but it's a feature that I wanna have, waaa, waaa, waaa... ;D. Then there's the really good screen (but kinda hard to see in daylight, honestly) that is way more informative than the SL24's little window. Digital recallable head amps on the X32. Lots of fader options that motorized faders lend themselves to. Nice little label windows for names of inputs and outputs. 16 mix buses. 32 real channels. Another 6 aux channels on TRS connectors. Yet another 6 aux output channels on TRS connectors. And if I'm remembering correctly, there's a mix of RCA connectors and a USB connector that I'm not sure if it's tied to the outputs or the inputs. And honest-to-goodness real MALE XLR connectors on the outputs. Really nice FX choices. Channel comps that, under our circumstances, seemed quite decent and usable.

I haven't mentioned the LS9 much here, because it has a similar set of features, but not all. We all should be familiar with the feature set and the workflow of this one and to boot, it's an older design for a lot more money. There's a LOT to be said for Yamaha's reliability record, which is long established at this point. And in our experience, Yamaha's support is second to none. I'm told that Presonus does very well with their service, too, but I've not had the occasion to need that. Frankly, I was surprised at how well, the LS9 held its own during the course of our evaluations, it being the established standard of the smaller mixers. It's still a LOT more money than the other two. And it's overdue for an upgrade or revamp or a replacement model altogether.

Workflow: LS9, nearly everyone should know. It was next to nothing for me to learn, once I quit poking the screen like I was on an M7CL. Very similar. I just never cared for the Presonus way of doing things, and this was long before I was the X32. The X32 is a fair amount to get one's head around, but that's because there's a lot there. On these mixers, you can either make the surface larger to accommodate more faders, knobs, and buttons, or you can make more layers. I think Behringer struck a good balance of of available controls vs layers of control. And I think I poked the X32's screen just once... ;D. Had to try...

Software control: Yay, Studio Manager. Yay, UC (Presonus). Didn't get to play with the X32's control software, because, arrgghh, there's not a Mac version. I did observe John with Behringer running it under Parallels on a Mac w/ 4gigs of Ram. It was running quite decently, too.

iPad apps: Yay, Stagemix. Kinda Yay with UC and the iPad app. I like it, but I wish you just hang a router on the SL and have iPad control instead of the whole computer connected via Firewire and a router to connect the iPad. Kinda clumsy. and no input gain control, for the obvious reasons. Didn't play with the Behringer iPad app, I understand that it's pretty barebones at the moment with more functionality to come. Ehh, I'll wait...

Reliability: Ahh, how do we determine that? We know that the LS9, save for some ginchy faders, is a very reliable, solid console. I can't speak to the Presonus' reliability record. I hate to say "I heard" and be disparaging to the Presonus. That can be discussed among those interested and/or with actual experience.
There's no real way to determine how the X32 will hold up over the long run at this time. Behringer's reputation for reliability hasn't been stellar in the past.
And there's been a few reports of fader issues and noises on a channel or two. I believe Uli himself has addressed those issues here and their plans to remedy them. And Joe and John told me of the support plans going into play with service centers being established with more on the way. All things considered, I'd go ahead and buy one knowing these circumstances.

Geez. this got entirely too long. And I regret that I have no experience with the stage boxes, which we had intended to use during the shoot-out and following concert. But we were trying to beat the impending rain, so we narrowed down the set-up to one FOH desk running monitors for simplicity's sake. Even then, we were going to break out a stagebox, but the analog snake was sitting right there and the radar wasn't looking good, so we opted to make it simple. Which I think turned into a very nice little concert with a great local jazz artist. Also, the plan was to use each mixer, but I didn't see the point since I would be going for my mix on each, doing whatever it took to get that mix, and not really offering any more info to the participants. I was familiar with the LS9 and the Presonus, so of course, we went with the new kid on the block for concert. And it did not disappoint.

Summary: This ain't yer father's Behringer (wait, I said that somewhere else, dang...). Seriously. Forget the name on the mixer if it bothers you. It's worthy of serious consideration. Put it this way - I'm suggesting that the boss hold off on the Si Compacts for the moment while I show him around the X32. we can get two of them for the price of the Si.

That's my story and I'm stickin' to it. I hope some find it useful. I'll try to elaborate or answer any questions I can.  Thanx again to James and Doug for the considerable outlay of time, money, and efforts, and Nat for helping out and making my day really easy. And again to Doug for the above and beyond the call efforts with the mixer evaluation and using the VUE speakers for the listening part of the evaluation. MUCH more on the VUE coming soon. They're great. Go check 'em out. I think there's a performance and value part to those speakers that's gonna rock the free world.

And thanx for reading...

Geri O

(Doug, Mac, et al, if this is too much, strike it and I'll try and shorten it. I've saved this in a document that I'll keep on hand)
(EDIT - Woo, thought I screwed up the whole thing with the X32's number of window buttons edit. really glad I had this saved in Word. Up (sorry)
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Mixer shoot-out and the VUE presentation...
Post by: James A. Griffin on August 27, 2012, 10:31:09 pm
Thanks for the very thoughtful accounting of the day, Geri O.    That's why I wanted you in the chair.   You're the best!
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Mixer shoot-out and the VUE presentation...
Post by: Tim McCulloch on August 27, 2012, 11:01:39 pm
Geri, thanks for an honest review.

My dislike for the StudioLive is rooted in the same things you point out, plus I don't care for the responsiveness (or lack thereof) in the channel strip EQ.  I felt it was overpriced in the same way I think the LS/9 is overpriced.  An 01v96II or VCM is a more flexible desk than either, and to me it's a better value even after you factor in expansion cards or additional i/o.

So now I'll have to give an X32 a listen and fool around with the UI.  "
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Mixer shoot-out and the VUE presentation...
Post by: Loren Aguey on August 27, 2012, 11:10:35 pm
Thanks Geri for the review and thanks to the rest of the guys who made this happen. I don't think its too long I think its the detailed summary many have been hoping for.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Mixer shoot-out and the VUE presentation...
Post by: Mike Pyle on August 28, 2012, 04:12:01 am
My advice to anyone looking go listen for yourself. Check the mic pres and compare. You'll be glad you did!

Free advice from an anonymous drive-by?
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Mixer shoot-out and the VUE presentation...
Post by: Tim McCulloch on August 28, 2012, 08:25:49 am
My advice to anyone looking go listen for yourself. Check the mic pres and compare. You'll be glad you did!

My advice:

You're a troll that can't follow the simple instruction to use your real first and last names;  second, it is not possible to "check the mic pres."  They cannot be separated from the rest of the mixer's signal path, so you hear the whole thing or nothing.

Again, trolling.  Bah, be gone with you.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Mixer shoot-out and the VUE presentation...
Post by: paul bell on August 28, 2012, 09:09:23 am
Thanks Geri for the detailed and honest evaluation. And thanks to all who've made this possible.

I'm gonna beg to differ on the PreSonus Studio Live service. The unit I sold a client was bad and after a week of them communicating with PreSonus for fixes and updates (none of which helped), PreSonus completely stopped responding. Multiple emails and phone messages went un-answered.

Back to the X32. I'm looking forward to hearing more about it in real show use. It's my understanding that they can be paired via networking for a monitor console and FOH console. Can a separate screen be connected to mirror what's on the console screen?

Sounddude5909. Welcome to The Live Audio Board. This is an adult forum and a great place to hang out. Fix your name and you'll be all good.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Mixer shoot-out and the VUE presentation...
Post by: Geri O'Neil on August 28, 2012, 09:58:32 am
Thanks Geri for the detailed and honest evaluation. And thanks to all who've made this possible.

I'm gonna beg to differ on the PreSonus Studio Live service. The unit I sold a client was bad and after a week of them communicating with PreSonus for fixes and updates (none of which helped), PreSonus completely stopped responding. Multiple emails and phone messages went un-answered.

I'm sorry to hear that. Was that issue ever resolved?

Quote
Back to the X32. I'm looking forward to hearing more about it in real show use. It's my understanding that they can be paired via networking for a monitor console and FOH console. Can a separate screen be connected to mirror what's on the console screen?

Yes, they can be paired and share the stage box (meaning head amp gains and all that entails). I don't think there is a "gain compensation" feature, but hopefully Joe or John can elaborate on that matter. We fully intended to set up both X32s to a single stagebox with the intend of the monitor console being the controlling end, as in my humble opinion, would do the least damage in case of an unexpected head amp gain change (affecting FOH only as opposed to affecting several mixes. I've never understood why, in gain-sharing situations, the FOH console was chosen to be the controlling end). But, again, blame it on the weather...

Quote
Sounddude5909. Welcome to The Live Audio Board. This is an adult forum and a great place to hang out. Fix your name and you'll be all good.

That, and realize who your participating fellows are and the extent of the talent and knowledge that has been here a long time before you showed up. Oh, and also, read and understand the the material you are commenting on.

Thanx, Paul,
Geri O
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Mixer shoot-out and the VUE presentation...
Post by: Per Sovik on August 28, 2012, 10:04:38 am
Back to the X32. I'm looking forward to hearing more about it in real show use. It's my understanding that they can be paired via networking for a monitor console and FOH console. Can a separate screen be connected to mirror what's on the console screen?

No screen, but you can use the XControl remote to achieve more or less the same.

The X32 is perfect for pairing, if you use one for monitors at stageside, it effectively doubles as stage box if you want, and for the price, I doubt if you'll find another 32 channel digital stagebox In other words you get a reasonably priced stagebox with a monitormixer thrown in for free  ;D

Geri, there is no gain compensation, only trim on the secondary console.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Mixer shoot-out and the VUE presentation...
Post by: paul bell on August 28, 2012, 10:12:01 am
I'm sorry to hear that. Was that issue ever resolved?

Yes. The client was refunded his money by PreSonus and after falling in love with my APB house rack console, he bought it from me.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Mixer shoot-out and the VUE presentation...
Post by: paul bell on August 28, 2012, 10:16:33 am
The X32 is perfect for pairing, if you use one for monitors at stageside, it effectively doubles as stage box if you want, and for the price, I doubt if you'll find another 32 channel digital stagebox In other words you get a reasonably priced stagebox with a monitormixer thrown in for free  ;D

If I understand what you're saying, you can directly connect mic inputs to a console on stage via the XLR inputs then link to a FOH console with an Ethernet cable?

If so, this is very VERY cool.

What about returns?

Input gain control would be a question, as Geri stated.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Mixer shoot-out and the VUE presentation...
Post by: ChristianBoche on August 28, 2012, 01:02:29 pm
If I understand what you're saying, you can directly connect mic inputs to a console on stage via the XLR inputs then link to a FOH console with an Ethernet cable?

If so, this is very VERY cool.

What about returns?

Input gain control would be a question, as Geri stated.

Like Per said, you just need one Cat5 cable from the monitor desk to the FoH desk..that's all. No S-16 needed.
The FoH console can adress outputs on the Monitor X32 desk. Of course you have to offer mixbusses for that. Say you run monitors on mixbus 1-14, you could use mixbus 15-16 for your mains (coming from the Foh X32).

Christian
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Mixer shoot-out and the VUE presentation...
Post by: Mac Kerr on August 28, 2012, 01:23:39 pm
My advice to anyone

Please go to your profile and change the "Name" field to your real first and last name as required by the posting rules displayed in the header at the top of the section, and in the Site Rules and Suggestions (http://forums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/board,36.0.html) in the Forum Announcements section, and on the registration page when you registered.

Mac
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Mixer shoot-out and the VUE presentation...
Post by: frank kayser on August 28, 2012, 01:45:49 pm
Well, "none of them suck" turns out to be a decent endorsement.  Of course, my heart is broken that you did not love the Presonus - of course, it's the only digital mixer I've ever worked on, so my bias is showing.  In its defense, I found it very easy to transition from analog to the Presonus due to its non-layered UI.  So much for my $0.02

I am happy to hear that the Behringer exceeded most expectations - it is great to have another workable digital mixer (very workable, it appears) in the lower price range.

Lots of work setting up the test.  Thanks for your detailed observations. 

frank

Title: Re: Thoughts on the Mixer shoot-out and the VUE presentation...
Post by: Dan Mortensen on August 28, 2012, 02:01:33 pm
Thanks, Geri et al, for helping us understand what is going on with this new generation of mixers. I wish I could have been there with you.

Good point about who should be controlling input gain; why isn't that commonly understood?

And good luck with the storm, hope it alleviates the drought.

Best wishes,
Dan
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Mixer shoot-out and the VUE presentation...
Post by: John Roberts {JR} on August 28, 2012, 02:41:09 pm

And good luck with the storm, hope it alleviates the drought.

Best wishes,
Dan

Thanks, I wish we could just send all the rain north and west where they actually need it. We don't.

JR
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Mixer shoot-out and the VUE presentation...
Post by: Michael Gorecki on August 28, 2012, 03:18:19 pm
I ran a LS9 for a while at an install that we did about 2 years ago and it's a nice console I ended up buying the SL24 about a year ago and love it. It has problems of its own as does everything but the thing I like is it doesn't have the ability to get lost. Everything you need to do is on top of the mixer and can be easily accessed as opposed to layers in the other two consoles mentioned. I had messed around with the X32 for an hour or so the other day at a local music store and found it fairly easy to navigate through but again with all the choices and the ability to actually get lost on the console. IMO that's the reason the SL24 has done so well they keep it simple.
My $0.02
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Mixer shoot-out and the VUE presentation...
Post by: Sean Barry on November 16, 2012, 09:43:08 am
I am in the market for a digital desk in this price range but I do not feel comfortable jumping in on a new product that has not gained a rep for roadability, reliability, support, etc. I am thinking I will hold out a few months and see how the x32 works out. Thanks for the work you guys put in. :D
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Mixer shoot-out and the VUE presentation...
Post by: Nick Simon on December 10, 2012, 02:15:49 pm
dadgum it, I had a big long post and typed the letters in wrong and lost it... :-[

anyway here's the shorter version:

I'm a noob...  our Church is getting a new building which includes a new audio, lighting, and video equipment to the tune of about $150k.   My first response when I found out we were getting the Behringer X32 was not a happy one... after reading a lot of articles about it, I'm feeling better about it, and kind of anxious to get on it... The only other digital equipment I have worked on / observed, was on an LS9, which would have been my first choice.  The install should be complete in about 8 weeks,so I should be able to answer questions, or better still, bug the crap out of you guys for answers.  We are also getting the P-16 and the S-16.  We will run 10 ear monitors and powered wedges. The FOH will be dB tech DVA T12 x 4 hung arrays and DVA S30N  x 2 subs per side.  A lot more horsepower than I'm used to.   
I hope you guys welcome me here..

Nick Simon
Real Life Church
Columbus, MS
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Mixer shoot-out and the VUE presentation...
Post by: James A. Griffin on December 10, 2012, 02:19:30 pm
dadgum it, I had a big long post and typed the letters in wrong and lost it... :-[
  We are also getting the P-16 and the S-16.  We will run 10 ear monitors and powered wedges. The FOH will be dB tech DVA T12 x 4 hung arrays and DVA S30N  x 2 subs per side.  A lot more horsepower than I'm used to.   
I hope you guys welcome me here..

Nick Simon
Real Life Church
Columbus, MS

Nick,

How big is your room?   That sounds like a great system for you.

PS:  The shootout was in Jackson in August.   If we'd have known of your interest, we'd have been glad to have you.

There are a number of us in Jackson with a lot of experience on the X32 and the db Technologies rig.  Feel free to shoot any questions our way.

Title: Re: Thoughts on the Mixer shoot-out and the VUE presentation...
Post by: Nick Simon on December 10, 2012, 02:48:49 pm
Nick,

How big is your room?   That sounds like a great system for you.

PS:  The shootout was in Jackson in August.   If we'd have known of your interest, we'd have been glad to have you.

There are a number of us in Jackson with a lot of experience on the X32 and the db Technologies rig.  Feel free to shoot any questions our way.

did it again... I need to get the hang of this forum  :-\

Thanks James...  not sure about the actual size of the room, but just guessing, 60+ x 200+?  Theater sized?  It's about 3 times what we have now. I thought this rig was WAAY too much for the room, but what do I know?  I'm just a knob turner..lol Had I known about it, I would have loved to be a part of that.  Ihave a couple buddie that have sound companies up in NE MS (Columbus / Tupelo) and I was active in the club / band scene for more years than I can remember..lol

I'd like the opportunity to pick some of you guys brains on some of the more sophisticated equipment.. We currently are using a Peavey 24FX thru QSC KW122 and KW181 per side, so the new system will be quite an upgrade to what we're used to.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Mixer shoot-out and the VUE presentation...
Post by: Nick Simon on December 10, 2012, 02:51:56 pm
and By the way, I found this forum by doing research on the X32   ;D
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Mixer shoot-out and the VUE presentation...
Post by: John Roberts {JR} on December 10, 2012, 03:35:20 pm
http://soundforums.net/junior-varsity/4393-x32-discussion.html (http://soundforums.net/junior-varsity/4393-x32-discussion.html)

Surprised a search didn't turn up this thread with >3k replies.
 
while there is always a quantity vs quality difference...  8)

JR
and By the way, I found this forum by doing research on the X32   ;D
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Mixer shoot-out and the VUE presentation...
Post by: Nick Simon on December 14, 2012, 09:45:27 am
http://soundforums.net/junior-varsity/4393-x32-discussion.html (http://soundforums.net/junior-varsity/4393-x32-discussion.html)

Surprised a search didn't turn up this thread with >3k replies.
 
while there is always a quantity vs quality difference...  8)

JR

Boy was I wrong...  I stand corrected on our new system.. I thought it was a little much for our new building.. The corrected version is (1) 4 dB T12 centered array and (2) dB s30N Subs -  total...  exactly half of what I originally thought...  no S16's, copper snake, and no p16s, but 10 IEMs
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Mixer shoot-out and the VUE presentation...
Post by: Dexter Walton on May 03, 2013, 05:37:02 pm
Okay, we're just waiting out things now, so I'll relay some thoughts and opinions about the event we held last week. I hope it's okay to start another thread on it as these threads get pretty bogged down after a few pages and some more discussion can be had here about what I mention (or not)...I'm not presenting anything as Gospel or The Way It Should Be. Just sharing the experience and what I learned from it.

As it's been discussed, we set up 3 small digital mixers to evaluate and play with. We set up a Yamaha LS9, a Presonus SL24, and a Behringer X32. When James asked me to participate, I thought why not, because at the time, I wasn't interested in any of the 3 involved. I was familiar with the LS9, wouldn't mind one being around the shop. I had decided that I just could not get next to the Presonus. I didn't like the layout, the lack of motorized faders (and I'm sorry, but once you go motor faders, you can't go back), and I felt like it was a little mushy-sounding. The iPad app was easier to drive it with, but there was no head amp control on the app (because the head amps are analog) And heavens to Betsy, we all know what Behringer was about, right? What on Earth would a digi mixer from them be like? Would it work? Sound like anything? Toss in the garbage if it breaks because of lack of service facilities? And to boot, I had been playing with a brand new Yamaha CL5, so I didn't feel any interest in these three consoles.

James sent an X32 to me to get familiar with a couple of days before the shoot-out. So I had time to play with the workflow and lay-out. I was able to figure out the layout and began to get familiar with getting around on the X. And I came to 2 conclusions, one good and one, well...It has a good layout, no doubt. The panel layout of the selected channel is cool, I REALLY like the "View" button in each section that takes you to the screen for the function you're working in. I like the buttons for changing fader functions. The screen is where you can get tangled up if you're not careful. On the right side of the screen, there are 8 buttons for various functions and views. They are all pretty self-explanatory. And once you select a function, there are tabs in the screen view that can be toggled through by using the arrows buttons at the bottom right underneath the screen(side to side) and once in the tabs, there are layers of yet more functions controlled by the 6 rotary encoders located along the bottom edge of the screen. And there are up and down arrow buttons to scroll through the layers (I'm hoping that I have the "functions" and the "layers" terminology straight. It would make a LOT more sense to see a manual or even better, look at the mixer). The point of ALL of this is that while I do think it's a good lay-out, there is a LOT of functions and layers and I did get tangled up a time or two assigning EQs to mixes, getting around various functions, and other simple things. As with anything, once you get used to the lay-out. it's easy to get around on the console. The "well..." moment came when I was attempting to adjust the comp settings on the vocal channel and the layers at the bottom of the screen were showing me mute groups. Huh?? But John came to rescue, pointing out that I had activated the mute group button. I was seeing the comp window in the screen, but with the mute group functions activated, I was seeing the mute group layer instead of the layer with the attack, ratio, threshold, and release functions. I could fuss about maybe certain functions being locked out while in another function, but it'd make more sense to be aware that this sort of thing could happen and not to press buttons you didn't need to. Okay, that was the biggie moment for me. I'm gonna try and condense things from here.

Sound quality - what everyone seems to be wanting to know. As I said early on, none of them suck. At all. If the sound quality of any of them wrecks your day, then start looking for something else that might be causing a problem such as a PA in poor shape or not tuned properly. Seriously, all of these mixers have a very decent very usable sound. I'm not suggesting that Robert Scovil or Cub Cubby or Dave Morgan should be happy with the sound of one of these things, but for the Kombat Audio people like me, any of them offers good results for what we do. Okay, my feelings. Yes, I liked the Behringer better than the other two, by the slimmest of margins. The Presonus seemed stuffy, not breathing, soft around the edges (well, you asked.. ;D). JUst not very punchy. The LS9 actually fared a LOT better than I thought it would. I was hard-pressed to really hear a difference between it and the Behringer. The Behringer sound seemed to breathe, just a..a..nice quality to it. And in accordance and in agreement with JR's thoughts, we are really splitting hairs here. My true feelings are in the sentence or two of this paragraph. Sorry if it's disappointing. But there's just no earth-shattering revelations to be had here. Move along...

Feature set: This is where the X32 just....kicks...BUTT. Motorized faders alone would do it for me. I've been bitten by the SL24's lack of motorized faders more than I should probably be telling. It's doesn't make the SL24 bad, but it's a feature that I wanna have, waaa, waaa, waaa... ;D. Then there's the really good screen (but kinda hard to see in daylight, honestly) that is way more informative than the SL24's little window. Digital recallable head amps on the X32. Lots of fader options that motorized faders lend themselves to. Nice little label windows for names of inputs and outputs. 16 mix buses. 32 real channels. Another 6 aux channels on TRS connectors. Yet another 6 aux output channels on TRS connectors. And if I'm remembering correctly, there's a mix of RCA connectors and a USB connector that I'm not sure if it's tied to the outputs or the inputs. And honest-to-goodness real MALE XLR connectors on the outputs. Really nice FX choices. Channel comps that, under our circumstances, seemed quite decent and usable.

I haven't mentioned the LS9 much here, because it has a similar set of features, but not all. We all should be familiar with the feature set and the workflow of this one and to boot, it's an older design for a lot more money. There's a LOT to be said for Yamaha's reliability record, which is long established at this point. And in our experience, Yamaha's support is second to none. I'm told that Presonus does very well with their service, too, but I've not had the occasion to need that. Frankly, I was surprised at how well, the LS9 held its own during the course of our evaluations, it being the established standard of the smaller mixers. It's still a LOT more money than the other two. And it's overdue for an upgrade or revamp or a replacement model altogether.

Workflow: LS9, nearly everyone should know. It was next to nothing for me to learn, once I quit poking the screen like I was on an M7CL. Very similar. I just never cared for the Presonus way of doing things, and this was long before I was the X32. The X32 is a fair amount to get one's head around, but that's because there's a lot there. On these mixers, you can either make the surface larger to accommodate more faders, knobs, and buttons, or you can make more layers. I think Behringer struck a good balance of of available controls vs layers of control. And I think I poked the X32's screen just once... ;D. Had to try...

Software control: Yay, Studio Manager. Yay, UC (Presonus). Didn't get to play with the X32's control software, because, arrgghh, there's not a Mac version. I did observe John with Behringer running it under Parallels on a Mac w/ 4gigs of Ram. It was running quite decently, too.

iPad apps: Yay, Stagemix. Kinda Yay with UC and the iPad app. I like it, but I wish you just hang a router on the SL and have iPad control instead of the whole computer connected via Firewire and a router to connect the iPad. Kinda clumsy. and no input gain control, for the obvious reasons. Didn't play with the Behringer iPad app, I understand that it's pretty barebones at the moment with more functionality to come. Ehh, I'll wait...

Reliability: Ahh, how do we determine that? We know that the LS9, save for some ginchy faders, is a very reliable, solid console. I can't speak to the Presonus' reliability record. I hate to say "I heard" and be disparaging to the Presonus. That can be discussed among those interested and/or with actual experience.
There's no real way to determine how the X32 will hold up over the long run at this time. Behringer's reputation for reliability hasn't been stellar in the past.
And there's been a few reports of fader issues and noises on a channel or two. I believe Uli himself has addressed those issues here and their plans to remedy them. And Joe and John told me of the support plans going into play with service centers being established with more on the way. All things considered, I'd go ahead and buy one knowing these circumstances.

Geez. this got entirely too long. And I regret that I have no experience with the stage boxes, which we had intended to use during the shoot-out and following concert. But we were trying to beat the impending rain, so we narrowed down the set-up to one FOH desk running monitors for simplicity's sake. Even then, we were going to break out a stagebox, but the analog snake was sitting right there and the radar wasn't looking good, so we opted to make it simple. Which I think turned into a very nice little concert with a great local jazz artist. Also, the plan was to use each mixer, but I didn't see the point since I would be going for my mix on each, doing whatever it took to get that mix, and not really offering any more info to the participants. I was familiar with the LS9 and the Presonus, so of course, we went with the new kid on the block for concert. And it did not disappoint.

Summary: This ain't yer father's Behringer (wait, I said that somewhere else, dang...). Seriously. Forget the name on the mixer if it bothers you. It's worthy of serious consideration. Put it this way - I'm suggesting that the boss hold off on the Si Compacts for the moment while I show him around the X32. we can get two of them for the price of the Si.

That's my story and I'm stickin' to it. I hope some find it useful. I'll try to elaborate or answer any questions I can.  Thanx again to James and Doug for the considerable outlay of time, money, and efforts, and Nat for helping out and making my day really easy. And again to Doug for the above and beyond the call efforts with the mixer evaluation and using the VUE speakers for the listening part of the evaluation. MUCH more on the VUE coming soon. They're great. Go check 'em out. I think there's a performance and value part to those speakers that's gonna rock the free world.

And thanx for reading...

Geri O

(Doug, Mac, et al, if this is too much, strike it and I'll try and shorten it. I've saved this in a document that I'll keep on hand)
(EDIT - Woo, thought I screwed up the whole thing with the X32's number of window buttons edit. really glad I had this saved in Word. Up (sorry)

I'm sure glad I found this forum and topic.  We're building a new church in Picayune, MS and I've been looking at either the Behringer X32 or the Soundcraft SI Expression 3.  I've never seen either board so I was hoping to find a comparison.  Even though Soundcraft has the name I was really impressed with the online videos of the X32.

If anyone else has an opinion I'd really like to hear from you.

Also, does anyone know of any future demos of either of these units?  I'm looking to buy within the nest 2-3 months.  BTW, I've ran sound for the last 15 years and have a Bachelors degree in Electronics Engineering Tech, but I'm very new to the digital sound boards.

Thanks,
Dex
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Mixer shoot-out and the VUE presentation...
Post by: Nick Simon on May 15, 2013, 03:14:09 pm
Dex, I know it's about a 4 hour drive, but I'd be happy to give you a demo on ours in Columbus.

just give me a shout..  or PM for more info..


www.reallifems.com
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Mixer shoot-out and the VUE presentation...
Post by: John Sabine on June 17, 2013, 12:16:27 am
Dex,
 I am in Columba and have both a Presonus 24.4.2 and an x32 is you'd like to compare.
6017362839
John Sabine
S&S Audio and Security.




Quote from: Dexter Walton l ink=topic=139676.msg1327243#msg1327243 date=1367617022
I'm sure glad I found this forum and topic.  We're building a new church in Picayune, MS and I've been looking at either the Behringer X32 or the Soundcraft SI Expression 3.  I've never seen either board so I was hoping to find a comparison.  Even though Soundcraft has the name I was really impressed with the online videos of the X32.

If anyone else has an opinion I'd really like to hear from you.

Also, does anyone know of any future demos of either of these units?  I'm looking to buy within the nest 2-3 months.  BTW, I've ran sound for the last 15 years and have a Bachelors degree in Electronics Engineering Tech, but I'm very new to the digital sound boards.

Thanks,
Dex
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Mixer shoot-out and the VUE presentation...
Post by: Sammy Barr on June 17, 2013, 09:00:05 am
I have a soundcraft Expression 3 in Petal. I like the board and would be glad to give you a demo.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Mixer shoot-out and the VUE presentation...
Post by: Tim Milko on August 21, 2013, 11:51:55 am
I'm sorry to hear that. Was that issue ever resolved?

Yes, they can be paired and share the stage box (meaning head amp gains and all that entails). I don't think there is a "gain compensation" feature, but hopefully Joe or John can elaborate on that matter. We fully intended to set up both X32s to a single stagebox with the intend of the monitor console being the controlling end, as in my humble opinion, would do the least damage in case of an unexpected head amp gain change (affecting FOH only as opposed to affecting several mixes. I've never understood why, in gain-sharing situations, the FOH console was chosen to be the controlling end). But, again, blame it on the weather...

That, and realize who your participating fellows are and the extent of the talent and knowledge that has been here a long time before you showed up. Oh, and also, read and understand the the material you are commenting on.

Thanx, Paul,
Geri O


So Geri and anyone else who have used both LS9 and X32. If you had to choose between buying an X32 new or a LS9-32 used, which would you choose?  The LS9 is going to be about $2000 more, but pretend that isn't an issue.  Which one do you purchase? 

I currently run two Presonus StudioLive 16.4.2s, at first I was happy with them (my first ever digital boards) but as time goes on I am getting less happy with them.  I have used LS9 multiple times and I like it.

It's true that the Presonus are more "one touch" than the LS9 (out of the box at least).  However, if you use your "user defined keys" on the LS9, it becomes much more one touch (comparable to the Presonus). 
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Mixer shoot-out and the VUE presentation...
Post by: Tim Padrick on August 22, 2013, 04:56:50 am
I've spent a lot of time on the LS9.  Unless more time on the X32 revealed yet-unknown dissatisfiers, I believe I'd go X32.
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Mixer shoot-out and the VUE presentation...
Post by: Caleb Dueck on August 22, 2013, 11:05:10 am

So Geri and anyone else who have used both LS9 and X32. If you had to choose between buying an X32 new or a LS9-32 used, which would you choose?  The LS9 is going to be about $2000 more, but pretend that isn't an issue.  Which one do you purchase? 

I currently run two Presonus StudioLive 16.4.2s, at first I was happy with them (my first ever digital boards) but as time goes on I am getting less happy with them.  I have used LS9 multiple times and I like it.

It's true that the Presonus are more "one touch" than the LS9 (out of the box at least).  However, if you use your "user defined keys" on the LS9, it becomes much more one touch (comparable to the Presonus).

Apples to apples - X32 with 32ch of digital snake vs LS9-32 with 32ch of digital snake?  I'm assuming the price wouldn't even be close.  I'd take the X32, although neither option thrills me.  Make sure you have at least a computer running online editor, naming and routing and such from that little screen is awful.   
Title: Re: Thoughts on the Mixer shoot-out and the VUE presentation...
Post by: James A. Griffin on August 22, 2013, 10:11:36 pm

So Geri and anyone else who have used both LS9 and X32. If you had to choose between buying an X32 new or a LS9-32 used, which would you choose?  The LS9 is going to be about $2000 more, but pretend that isn't an issue.  Which one do you purchase? 

I currently run two Presonus StudioLive 16.4.2s, at first I was happy with them (my first ever digital boards) but as time goes on I am getting less happy with them.  I have used LS9 multiple times and I like it.

It's true that the Presonus are more "one touch" than the LS9 (out of the box at least).  However, if you use your "user defined keys" on the LS9, it becomes much more one touch (comparable to the Presonus).

A lot of folks have ditched their LS9's for the X32.    Nat Duncan, who was at the shootout and had owned an LS9 for 6 or so years now uses the X32 as his main mixer.    The LS9 stays in the shop most of the time.