The Behringer X32 is a well known digital mixer available in different formats. Today’s review looks at the Behringer X32 rack: a fader-less version of the popular board designed for convenient storage and portability, whether it’s a permanent installation or a part of a fly rig.
What Is the Behringer X32 Rack & What Does It Do?
The X32 is a 40-input digital mixer with 16 Midas-designed microphone preamps and a built-in virtual effects rack. It’s all housed in a rack-mountable chassis with zero faders. All of the parameters can be adjusted from the front panel and viewed on the 5″ screen. However, the real trick to this mixer is the mobile app that provides comprehensive remote control of the device. The X32 rack doesn’t require a host computer or anything like that; just download the app on your iPhone or iPad, and start mixing.
Is the X32 a Good Home Studio Mixer?
The X32 rack doubles as a USB audio interface, so it’s definitely up to the task. That said, it’s probably overkill for the average home studio. The solo musician doesn’t need 40 inputs or 16 mic preamps.
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More than anything, the X32 rack is best suited to live sound and stage productions, particularly because of its fader-less design and remote controllability. Still, the mixer is incredibly flexible, affordable, and has plenty of great features. If it seems like the ideal solution for your home studio setup, then you should certainly consider it.
Behringer X32 Rack Review: How Does It Stack Up?
Control Surface & Interface
The streamlined front panel offers control over all settings and parameters. You could hypothetically do an entire mix from it, even without faders and channels laid out in front of you. The screen is large and bright enough to take in any information you need at a glance, as well as to dial in EQ, compression, and any effect settings.
But with no faders and a rack-mountable chassis, the X32 shines when used with the app. That’s essentially the entire point of this model. You’re free to set up the board anywhere and mix from anywhere; you aren’t tied to the desk in order to work.
Ease of Use
Having hands-on experience with the full-sized X32 and the X32 producer, Behringer does a good job of making these mixers approachable. Most settings are easily found, and nothing feels like it’s out of reach or buried in too many menus. With the addition of the app, it makes the mixer even more user-friendly and accessible.
How Does the Behringer X32 Rack Digital Mixer Sound?
The preamps are clear and clean, there’s an obscene amount of dynamic range/headroom, and the built-in effects are perfectly serviceable. At this price, it’s hard to beat the X32 as a solid workhorse mixer for live sound, especially in houses of worship and theaters.
How Much Does It Cost?
The X32 rack currently retails for $1699.
How Does the X32 App Work?
The X32 Mix app is a free download for mobile devices from the Apple Store. Just make sure the mixer and iPad/iPhone are on the same network, and they’ll speak to each just fine. Once you’re in the Mix app, it’s all self-explanatory from there. It provides complete control over all of the mixer’s features and settings.
Final Thoughts on the Behringer X32
The X32 is a cost-effective and powerful mixer for live productions and studio recording. Its versatility is impressive, and having the ability to run an entire mix from a mobile device is a major selling point for many engineers. Behringer absolutely hit a homerun with these digital mixers, and it’s safe to say we’ll continue to see them employed for years to come.
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