Mixers/Consoles QSC TouchMix16 to X32

4tcmo

New Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2021
Location
Thailand
Our school theatre has a beautiful QSC system. 4x FOH + 2x Monitors +Sub, QSC Amps and a TouchMix16.

When it comes to Musical Theatre productions with 14 radio mics, orchestra mics and off stage wired mics we end up running 2 extra analogue desks like stage boxes for the orchestra and off-stage mics and sending 1 channel from each to channels 15 and 16 on our snake up to the TouchMix. Add to that the inability to programme scene changes with the QSC and it's a nightmare cueing every mic entry live and not having control over individual instruments in the orchestra.

So - I can get a X32 for $US2570 here in Thailand plus the stage box for a further $1150.

Is that a sensible option or should I be looking for a QSC equivalent to the X32 (or something else)? I am assuming that will be significantly more expensive.

It is also important to note that we do NOT have a sound technician at school (I am the Director of Performing Arts) - we have capable students who do the sound so they would be learning the X32 from scratch. The current students learned the TouchMix and mixed/cued the last show live. Subsequently I'd be the one installing it and learning with the students.
 

TimMc

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Premium Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2017
Greetings and welcome to the Control Booth forums. You've got a bit of a project ahead of you.

The X32 ecosystem represents a lot of value for the money spent but much of it comes with a fairly steep learning curve. The highly flexible and configurable nature gives plenty of opportunity to make mistakes that will be difficult to find. I do not suggest installing it 2 weeks before performance no matter how clever your students may be. I've been mixing on an X32 for several years and I'm still learning new ways to make old mistakes!

The alternative mixers either cost more for similar features or have fewer features for similar money.

If you have any pre purchase questions regarding the X32, interfacing it, or general operation of it, ask away.
 

almorton

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2014
Location
Caterham, Surrey, UK
I'd echo Tim's comments about not installing just before a performance. We've changed mixers fairly recently and although the principals are broadly the same from one to the next, the way they're implemented is going to take time to become familiar. The X32 gives you a lot of bang for your buck, but give yourselves time to get properly comfortable with it.

Welcome to the Booth.
 

macsound

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Joined
Jun 15, 2018
Location
San Francisco, CA
Since you have limited time, might be easier to teach the students how to mark the script to mix by hand on an analog console and not depend on the programming of a digital console. Then if/when you get a new FOH console that has faders, the students know the basis of how the console works and can learn the features, but know how to use it for its basics from day 1.
So put the touchmix in the pit, feed backstage and FOH analog consoles into it so you have some overall EQ and compression control, but all of the wireless are mixed line by line on an analog console.

While I've done 100s of musicals, some with automation, I still had a script with mic numbers in unique colors with warnings the page before on something big about to happen.

Also, who would spec a touchmix for a theatre? It's designed like for an unmanned band... 🤷‍♂️
 

Jay Ashworth

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Joined
Feb 7, 2014
Location
St Pete FL USA
One of the two houses that I have spent most of my time in in the last 7 years bought an X32 to replace a 24 Channel Mackie that had a bad interaction with a bottle of Coke.

I had about a week and a half to get used to it before the first show I had to put it on, but I had downloaded the manual and read it a month before that when I heard the word, an idea I would suggest to you if you're thinking about doing it.

I should note that the price point on the X32 full size console has just dropped to $2,000 US in the country, and I'm not sure if that would affect how much you would have to spend.

I quite like the X32, though there are people who still don't. My experience is that most of those people are bitching about the Behringer name plate, and the theater that bought one still has it 5 years later and hasn't had to touch it.

Behringer's built over a million of those boards at this point I think, and they haven't gone out of business from it. So I guess their warranty experience has been pretty good. The thing voted most likely to break is the motor faders, and if you are competent, you can replace those yourself.

And of course, it has a full complement to of faders, so it isn't necessary to use all the scene programming stuff initially, if learning that would be too hard - I still haven't learned how to use it properly.
 

josh88

Remarkably Tired.
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Fight Leukemia
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Jan 26, 2010
Location
Ypsilanti, Michigan
Our school theatre has a beautiful QSC system. 4x FOH + 2x Monitors +Sub, QSC Amps and a TouchMix16.

When it comes to Musical Theatre productions with 14 radio mics, orchestra mics and off stage wired mics we end up running 2 extra analogue desks like stage boxes for the orchestra and off-stage mics and sending 1 channel from each to channels 15 and 16 on our snake up to the TouchMix. Add to that the inability to programme scene changes with the QSC and it's a nightmare cueing every mic entry live and not having control over individual instruments in the orchestra.

So - I can get a X32 for $US2570 here in Thailand plus the stage box for a further $1150.

Is that a sensible option or should I be looking for a QSC equivalent to the X32 (or something else)? I am assuming that will be significantly more expensive.

It is also important to note that we do NOT have a sound technician at school (I am the Director of Performing Arts) - we have capable students who do the sound so they would be learning the X32 from scratch. The current students learned the TouchMix and mixed/cued the last show live. Subsequently I'd be the one installing it and learning with the students.
I haven't read any of the other posts, but ABSOLUTELY do that. The touchmixes are absolute garbage for live shows. I've used them extensively and they're only good for breakout/panel sessions and set it and forget it applications. The X32 is easy enough to learn that I've never had students have a hard time picking it up and it will give you a lot more easy versatility than the touchmix. It might have had a learning curve when it came out about a decade ago, but its so ubiquitous at this point that there are tutorials and walkthroughs all over the internet and a ton of user support to help learn the ins and outs. Add to that the mixing station app (https://dev-core.org/mixing-station/) that improves and expands upon the actual x32 app, you've got a ton of power and versatility. Touchmixes have a LOT of power built in, but when you add the cueing issues and the lack of physical faders, they're a nightmare to mix anything fast paced on.

On the flip side I will say Behringer seems to be having a rough go of things lately so support has been worse than normal and people seem to be having supply issues, so verify you can actually GET an x32 before settling on that. There are some other options (though I don't know thailand or whats available) but I'm adamantly against touchmixes for anything serious, the limitations are too much.
 
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MNicolai

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Premium Member
Fight Leukemia
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Mar 30, 2008
Location
Sarasota, FL
I would've given different advice pre-COVID, but Midas/Behringer's manufacturing and tech support has collapsed over the last year. I would probably try to look at a Yamaha TF or an Allen & Heath console instead if you can -- though as others have said, not sure what's available at what price points in your region.
 
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BCAP

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2017
Location
Ohio
Our school theatre has a beautiful QSC system. 4x FOH + 2x Monitors +Sub, QSC Amps and a TouchMix16.

When it comes to Musical Theatre productions with 14 radio mics, orchestra mics and off stage wired mics we end up running 2 extra analogue desks like stage boxes for the orchestra and off-stage mics and sending 1 channel from each to channels 15 and 16 on our snake up to the TouchMix. Add to that the inability to programme scene changes with the QSC and it's a nightmare cueing every mic entry live and not having control over individual instruments in the orchestra.

So - I can get a X32 for $US2570 here in Thailand plus the stage box for a further $1150.

Is that a sensible option or should I be looking for a QSC equivalent to the X32 (or something else)? I am assuming that will be significantly more expensive.

It is also important to note that we do NOT have a sound technician at school (I am the Director of Performing Arts) - we have capable students who do the sound so they would be learning the X32 from scratch. The current students learned the TouchMix and mixed/cued the last show live. Subsequently I'd be the one installing it and learning with the students.

I use both a TouchMix-16 and a Midas M32 (Behringer X32) for theatre.

My opinion - the TouchMix is useful for shows that do not have a lot of microphone channel muting. And where you don't expect to be doing a lot of fader manipulation by hand. So I tend to use the TouchMix for shows with very small casts - like 4 mics or something, and sometimes I use it for radio shows with stationary microphones, comedy shows, conferences and meetings and the like. Oh, additionally I use the TouchMix-16 on larger shows as a submixer. I've used it in the orchestra pit for smaller bands where I can still mix the main feed with wifi and an iPad but otherwise the conductor has control over some aux mixes right next to them.

The M32 / X32 has physical mute buttons and physical faders which seems obvious but I find the hardware tactile buttons and faders to be indispensable to me for mixing musicals, and shows with more than 6 wireless mics. I find that even when using an iPad as a controller for the TouchMix, I still can't seem to get the same level of tactile realtime control of the mutes and faders.

Aside from the fact you already brought up that the scene recall on the TouchMix is slow and it is quite a bit faster on the M32 / X32.

This is not to be taken as a criticism of the TouchMix, but I had a recent event where with the TouchMix, one microphone began to feed back very loudly all of a sudden. It turned out I accidentally bumped the channel gain knob with my finger, the knob moved 1/4 turn and I didn't notice I had bumped it. The floor monitor started to squeal. However what was most important was the (my) confusion that resulted during the feedback - "what button did I press to cause this?" and "how do I stop this immediately?". In such a case, hardware buttons and faders might have helped me shut down the feedback more quickly. Since I was using the TouchMix it took a second or two on the TouchMix to get to the AUX screen and mute. I could be wrong, but it seems like at least the channel gain knobs on the M32 / X32 are in a position where they can't be so easily bumped.

To my estimation, your idea of an X32 makes total sense to me. With respect to musical theatre, you would be likely dealing with the same problems if you went to the QSC TouchMix-30. However, the TouchMix is a really great little board for the money and it is a fine mixer for live bands and smaller shows.

Best of luck to you.
 
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