Behringer: x32 Compact -OR- x32 Producer?

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by Mike_HART_Theater, Apr 18, 2019.

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Behringer: x32 Compact -OR- x32 Producer?

Poll closed Apr 25, 2019.
  1. x32 Compact

    100.0%
  2. x32 Producer

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Mike_HART_Theater

    Mike_HART_Theater Member

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    Occupation:
    Communications Engineer
    Location:
    Hillsboro, OR
    Opinion Request:

    We are getting ready to purchase a new board.
    I have narrowed it down to a Behringer, but now I am stuck on my last choice.

    Behringer: x32 Compact -OR- x32 Producer?


    Why? Please add any pros/cons, likes/dislikes, etc...
    Does the extra bells and whistles justify the extra cost on the x32 Compact?
     
  2. FMEng

    FMEng Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    I own both a Compact and a full size X32. The Compact has two, key things over the Producer: scribble strips and mute group buttons. If you need to run things on multiple layers, scribble strips are nearly essential. Writing 2-4 sources on tape for labeling faders just doesn't cut it.

    I have mixed a number of shows with 32 channels, and doing that with the Compact's limited number of faders makes the job harder. Planning what goes on what layer gets tricky, and you can trap yourself. I appreciate the smaller size and lighter weight of the Compact at times, but I now use the full size X32 when I need it. If you have the space, and don't have to schlep the console around a lot, buy the full size and you won't regret it.
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  3. Colin

    Colin Well-Known Member

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    Occupation:
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    I have both. The additional space and scribble strips on the Compact make it much more comfortable to use - easily worth the small price premium over Producer. I only have the Producer to leave in a rolling rack, and rack mounting or extreme space limitations are the only reasons I'd suggest anyone get it over the Compact.
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  4. Mike_HART_Theater

    Mike_HART_Theater Member

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    Occupation:
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    I'm not really worried about the layers at this stage, although it may become more important in the future... We are only doing audio mixing in a small (88-seat) theater.
    (and no wireless mics at this point... it's all shotguns for vocals and mic inputs for music and orchestra)
    I'm personally leaning toward the Compact due to the functionality, but are the scribbles and programmable buttons something we would ever really use in such a small theatre?

    I'm inclined to err on the side of future use and expandability. And no, we don't really have the space for a full-sized x32...
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  5. TimMc

    TimMc Well-Known Member

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    Yes, you really, really want scribble strips - trust me, I'm a doctor.... The other thing you want: a WiFi access point/switch (erroneously called a "router" most of the time) to which you can connect the mixer, perhaps a laptop computer or a tablet either iFruit or Droid flavor. The purpose of the external devices is both control and to expand the visual work space (a full page of meters is useful sometimes), or having another layer controlled by a device while keeping your preferred layer on the console. A wireless device is also useful when doing input/output line checks prior to rehearsal or performance.
     
  6. DrewE

    DrewE Active Member

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    If you plan on using the console itself, and not a tablet or laptop exclusively, you most definitely will want scribble strips unless you will absolutely never have more than eight inputs (and even then, they're mighty handy).

    If you don't plan on using the console itself, I'd think the X32 rack is the obvious choice.

    If you can manage the space at all, the full-sized X32 is well worth consideration in my opinion. More faders means less having to switch between banks on the run and easier/faster/better mixing. DCAs and mute groups and such can get around those limitations to some extent, but it makes a big difference none the less being able to access everything at once. I'd almost say it's worth becoming a small 87-seat theater if needed to get the full-sized version...almost, but I won't.
     
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  7. cekren

    cekren Active Member

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    The only advantage the Producer has is the rack-ears. That said, the M32R is a much better alternative *if* you need to rackmount the console. Otherwise, the Compact is better in just about every way as others have already mentioned.
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  8. TimmyP1955

    TimmyP1955 Active Member

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    Late to the party. If you'll be mixing on the surface, I'd get the full size, as the user defined controls can be very handy. If you'll be mixing remotely, just get the rack.
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  9. venuetech

    venuetech Well-Known Member

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    If you are using more than 8 channels you will need to use layers. And yes you will need scribbles to keep track of things. Especially if you are looking at future expansion.
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  10. Lextech

    Lextech Well-Known Member

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    In my mind scribble strips are a very needed item when mixing on layers.
     
  11. Jay Ashworth

    Jay Ashworth Well-Known Member

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    I'm curious: did you eliminate the A&H SQ series? Probably the SQ-5 for space reasons...
     
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  12. NickVon

    NickVon Well-Known Member

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    Ditto. Granted it more expensive but also a more premium features set and flexiblity.
    What drives me crazy about the X32 series in general is being locked 16(8 for small form factor) input faders at a time, and then the 8 bus masters.
    I love my SQ6 (you'd be looking at and SQ5) for a similar form factor. It's also expandable to 48 channels with outboard stage boxes. Everything is patched individually between local inputs/ and remote stage box/snakes.
    The x32 is patched in blocks of 8 (inputs) and 4 (outputs) which I find a frustrating to workaround sometimes. Not a problem if you aren't looking at digital snakes and looking to plug everything in locally.
    I've used my SQ6 primary for mixing musical theater in the last year. usually 16-18 mics and a small pit of 6 inputs.

    BUT if you're set on the x32 get the more features rich compact!
     
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  13. Jay Ashworth

    Jay Ashworth Well-Known Member

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    Just to be clear, the thing that most bugs Nick - the fact that the fader board is split and has two separate sets of layer selection buttons - I like, it's one of my favorite things about the X32, and while you can simulate it using the six layers of an SQ, it's a bit of a pain to set up.

    But the ability to route on a single-channel basis, as well as a number of the other things that the Allen & Heath board does, make it well worth considering, especially if it fits in your price point... Assuming that one of your selection criteria is not "our front of house engineer knows the X32 forwards and backwards", which is an important consideration. Rider friendliness is important too, but probably not pertinent to you.
     
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  14. NickVon

    NickVon Well-Known Member

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    I so wish I could customize that right section! On the similiarly sized SQ 5 it is also a 16 fader console. But I can place 12 inputs, on one layer 2 DCA's, track playback, Subwoofer send. The x32 (16 fader version, locks you to 8 inputs, and or 8 DCA/Mixs/matrix etc. (I have the same complaint about the "larger x32 form factor" . It's really like a 24 fader console.) . Schools purchase it and then want to run 20 mics and tracks and realize they won't ever be able to see all there of inputs at once on a single layer.

    But I can't deny the X32 sure does it a lucrative price point, for those in the market for well earned rep of a bulletproof and accessible digital console. It just lacks features for it's size, that I find make my workflow and sized shows I do frustrating at times :)

    but if you are locked on this route for sure get the more feature rich Compact.
     
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  15. TimMc

    TimMc Well-Known Member

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    It's not like those limitations are hidden or concealed by Music Group. You can't do those things on the much more expensive AVID SC48, either, but that doesn't stop the SC48 from being a rider-friendly, HoW friendly console.

    I don't need simultaneous physical access to 24 inputs at once so long as I have groups (for processing) and DCAs (for control), but folks have their own work flows or techniques so YMMV.

    The greatest limitation of the X/M32 is the assignment of *input processing allocation* in blocks of 8 inputs from a given source (local, S or DL 16/32). From early conversations with now-gone employees of Music Group, the limitation is hardware based and could not be changed with firmware updates. Unfortunate, and fixing that will be a feature of whatever replaces the X32. ;)

    There are reasons budget consoles are budget consoles.
     
  16. TimmyP1955

    TimmyP1955 Active Member

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    On the Compact (and the Producer?) a layer can be placed on he DCA/Bus faders.
     
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  17. KBToys82

    KBToys82 Active Member

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    I don't feel like making another thread about this, so I'll tag on to this.

    I'm looking at getting the 32 Producer so I can rack mount it to a portable rack. Reading up on the description, it says its 12U, but to plug cables in, you need 14U.

    Would the Gator G-TOUR-GRC12X12 work? It's only 12U up top, but since it has an open back behind the mixer, and no cables will be plugged into it when the case is on, I'm hoping I can use that. I've read bad reviews for the SKG Mighty GigRig and the only other Gator portable case that Sweetwater sells with 14U up top doesn't have enough bottom rack spaces for what I'm looking to do.

    Thanks!
     
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  18. venuetech

    venuetech Well-Known Member

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    Look at the Midas M32R for a rack mount with scribble strips
     
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  19. KBToys82

    KBToys82 Active Member

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    $$$. Not too concerned with scribble strips. May upgrade my current PreSonus RM mixer and AI mixer to Behringer, so this may be the start of said replacement.
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  20. TimMc

    TimMc Well-Known Member

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    Not to inappropriately belabor the point...

    Scribble strips are one of those things you *think* you can live without. Then you learn you REALLY want scribble strips unless you never change layers. In the case of the Midas/Behringer the utility is more than simply naming as you can pick the background color and other attributes, allowing for quick identification. And just think how much you'll save on white console label tape and Sharpies! :cool:
     
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