Being the sole member of my band The Bleeding Obvious I have to do quite a lot on stage when I perform “full electric” shows, so I use pedals to activate various things. My upcoming shows are becoming increasingly complex so I acquired a better sound desk, and set about attempting to get my existing pedalboard to talk to it.
As piano is my main instrument my performances hinge around the ability to control several things hands-free. While I do have a laptop and tablet on-stage, I need to toggle effects in a hurry, sometimes mid-sentence. On the 2018 tour my stage rig centred around an analogue desk (a Behringer X2222USB Xenyx desk) which I augmented with an FX2000 rack effects unit, controlled via MIDI from a FCB1010 foot controller. This meant I could switch programs on the FX2000 from reverb, to delay, to echo and also stack effects.
There were a few issues with this setup: it was heavy, unwieldy, everything had to be in a hard flight case as it was all cabled up. Occasionally a helpful stage-hand would disconnect all my cables for me at the end of a show. Sometimes someone would zero out my settings, leaving me to work out what was going on. Venue engineers would want mic output separate to the instruments. At one point the effects unit did something weird and packed up halfway into the second song. I was constantly amazed when I got to the end of a show and nothing had gone wrong (however minor). I really needed to be able to save settings, hence a requirement for a digital desk.
I’ve just embarked on the tech for the new show – it won’t tour until 2020 (in support of album 3) but I need to get my head around it all, and as a friend was selling their digital desk plus would let me be 100% satisfied it’d do what I wanted, I took a plunge.
The Desk: Behringer X32 Compact
The Behringer X32 Compact is a digital sound desk, one of several variants which stretch from huge production desks down to a rack version principally designed for use with a PC. It’s got tons of features – configurable buses, USB interface, ethernet (which I can connect to a wireless adapter and control from a tablet on-stage). It’s a pretty impressive piece of kit, save for a few little things involving XLR clips getting stuck (solution: remove the clips, job done) and for the secondhand price it’s great.
There are four effect inserts (FX1..FX4) which I have set up on four of the sixteen buses (BUS12..BUS16), as it comes out-of-the-box. Being able to use my pedalboard to knock those in and out would be key.
The MIDI implementation is sketchy at best – although the X32 firmware is up to v3.something now, MIDI implementation beyond v1 is barely documented. I knew I’d have to do a lot of fiddling around to see what worked or not.
The Pedalboard: Behringer FCB1010
My FCB1010 footboard is a configurable MIDI controller. Out-of-the-box it sends Program Change (PC) messages, but it can be configured to send Control Change (CC) and even note on/off messages. However, it doesn’t work in a “toggle” mode – ie. use a button to send one CC to switch on, then another CC to switch off.
Cue the FCB/UNO replacement ROM. It requires a little bit of surgery on your FCB1010 but it does come with some super additions including something called Stompbox Mode which does exactly what I’m after. A while back I bought one of these ROMs and fitted it (I can’t remember why originally) so I’d got the Stompbox functionality. Trouble is with the FCB1010 you need to do a dazzling amount of intricate footwork to program it from the board itself – we’re talking Fred Astaire levels of footwork here.
Last night I was trying to solve this problem. I discovered various editing programs but those for Mac users had a very pointed “no FCB/UNO support” notice at the top. Eventually I went back to the FCB/UNO site who in the FAQ mentioned they sold an editing program for €20 called “FCB Control Center” – I should in hindsight have looked there first, really. Unfortunately the demo warned me it needed updating for macOS High Sierra and crashed on first run (possibly to do with the MIDI interface I was using) but has been solid since and also allowed me to back up my configuration.
Requirements: Bus Mutes, Levels, Toggles
So back to the show. I’m going to need the pedalboard to do the following:
- Toggle the four effects buses (BUS12..BUS16) on/off and reflect the state on the pedalboard.
- Have a “kill all effects” switch in case of issues.
- Alter the reverb level on BUS12 (microphone bus).
- For an extra bonus, be able to adjust mic level.
X32 MIDI Implementation
As I mentioned before the X32’s v2 MIDI implementation is a bit badly documented. Behringer’s own wiki entry is really quite poor and gives no clues to channels, let alone busses.
Version 1 of the documentation states there are three MIDI channels in use for CC messages, alongside PC messages to change scenes, and I can only mute/unmute effects. I’ve immediately got a problem here: the original documentation for the FCB1010, it says it can only control one global MIDI channel. No trouble though – the FCB/UNO update allows me to send CC on multiple MIDI channels, and the Stompbox mode will reflect the state in the onboard LEDs.
You do need to enable the X32 to receive the correct MIDI messages which you can do in the Setup-Config menu – switch on MIDI IN/OUT and in my case I didn’t need to receive PC events, but I did want fader and mute events.
More creative web-searching ensued which led to this Musictribe answer stating the X32 v2 MIDI implementation is similar (if not the same) as the XR18 – and helpfully giving a lot more information in this answer (which I’ve duplicated below). This adds in bus control and DCA (grouping) control, so I can mute in/out the effects busses as required.
So in all my findings of the X32 MIDI implementation of the CC MIDI events for v2 of the firmware onwards:
- MIDI channel 1 is fader information, 0..127
- MIDI channel 2 is mute/unmute. 0-63 is off (unmute), 64-127 is on (mute). This can be a gotcha with inverting it so be aware.
- MIDI channel 3 is pan (0 full left, 127 full right)
Each control maps as the following:
- 0 Ch 1 … 31 Ch 32
- 32 Aux 1 … 39 Aux 8
- 40 Fx 1 L, 41 Fx 1 R
- 42 Fx 2 L, 43 Fx 2 R
- 44 Fx 3 L, 45 Fx 3 R
- 46 Fx 4 L, 47 Fx 4 R
- 48 Bus 1 … 63 Bus 16
- 64 Matrix 1 … 69 Matrix 6
- 70 LR
- 71 M/C
- 72 DCA 1 … 79 DCA 8
- 80 Mute Group 1 … 85 Mute Group 6
For example, to mute bus 16, I’d send CC 63 with a value of 127 on MIDI channel 2.
Using the FCB/UNO software to program each pedal, I was able to set my bottom row of pedals in Stompbox mode to mute/unmute busses 12-16 for effects, configure a pedal which would mute all four busses for an instant-off on effects, plus pedals to change the volume pedal to alter the DCAs for microphone and Mac, as well as my own monitor.
It’ll be interesting to see how well the top row works in practice, but for the moment the bottom row is what I’m principally bothered about. I take it on a full gig for the first time on 21st June so if I remember, I’ll write up an ‘aftermath’ of how it worked.
How do you reset the EQ on a x32? ›
- Select the channel, navigate to the 'Home' screen, and click the 'EQ' tab.
- You'll see a bunch of settings in place. Click the 'Reset' button, then click 'OK' (see screenshot below). The EQ will be instantly reset.
The MIDI ports on the X32 only carry control data for interacting with your DAW. They will not transmit MIDI data from a keyboard or other MIDI controller to your DAW to write musical MIDI notes.Is the X32 being discontinued? ›
I have received a 12/05/2021 email response from B&H Photo Video and Pro Audio Sales Department that the Behringer X32 mixing console has been discontinued and is nolonger available.Can you control Behringer X32 remotely? ›
You can control your X32 with its faders and knobs or remotely using the X32 Edit app. The app is compatible with iPad, PC, and Mac and can be done via a wired or wireless connection. “Q” versions are also available for iOS and Android devices and are ideal for a performer to control their personal monitor mix.How many channels can the X32 handle? ›
Dual AES50 ports on the X32 PRODUCER allow up to 96 input channels to be connected and routed in the same system. In addition to the S16, a wide range of remote I/O options are available for the X32 PRODUCER, such as the S32, SD16 and SD8 digital stage boxes – all of which feature the same high-end Midas Mic Preamps.What does EQ mode do? ›
EQ is an abbreviation of equalizer (or equalization) and is generally defined as “the process of adjusting the relative levels of the different frequency bands of an audio signal.” An EQ that aims to replicate audio accurately requires you to adjust the different frequencies so that they all come out at the same level ...How do you adjust EQ settings? ›
Normally, you'll find whichever EQ point is closest to the frequency you want to boost or reduce, and then simply move it to the exact spot you'd like for the desired effect. Turning the boost or gain knob up or down determines how much you are boosting (or reducing) your chosen frequency in decibels.What does DCA mean on a Behringer X32? ›
DCA is an abbreviation for Digitally Controlled Amplifier.How do I set the MIDI channel on my Behringer Model D? ›
MIDI POWER-ON COMMANDS SETTING THE MIDI CHANNEL Hold A#3 and press any of the lowest 16 lowest keys while turning on the power to set the MIDI Channel. The MIDI IN and MIDI OUT Channel are always the same.What has happened to Behringer? ›
Though originally a German manufacturer, it now manufactures its products in China. Behringer is owned by Music Tribe, a holding company chaired by Uli Behringer.
How many Behringer X32 have been sold? ›
In 2012 we launched the X32, which has become the most successful digital mixing console in history. Until today it's still worldwide the best selling digital mixer. With nearly 700,000 units sold it has single-handedly changed the way musicians and artists mix, record and listen.How old is the Behringer X32? ›
The console features 25 100mm motorised faders, a user assignable control panel, Ethernet connectivity and an iPad and iPhone control application. Behringer announces that its X32 live/recording digital console will be arriving in stores on or before July 27, 2012.What is the difference between DAW and MIDI? ›
DAWs are controlled with a user interface. Most DAWs allow MIDI controls to tune parameters during live editing. In the music industry, DAWs are typically used to acquire and save multiple tracks of audio recordings, and to mix, equalize, and add audio effects.Do you need a DAW for a MIDI controller? ›
DAWs and software
The vast majority of MIDI controllers work with every digital audio workstation (DAW). So, you don't have to worry about whether they're compatible with Ableton Live, Logic Pro, Pro Tools, etc.
Sequencer or virtual instrument software
Connect the MIDI controller via USB: either directly to the computer or a powered USB hub. Configure the DAW with the MIDI controller. Select the correct MIDI controller mode. Select the correct DAW settings.
With its many new effects processor pages, the X32-Mix app allows every user to control the X32 with the utmost ease and flexibility.Does the X32 have built in WIFI? ›
RexBeckett Hello Emmanual, the X32 does not contain a wireless network adapter. You will need to use an Ethernet cable to connect the X32 to a network switch, router or wireless network adapter.What is dynamic mixing? ›
The dynamic mixing process uses a mixer, powered by an electric servomotor, that is agitated and rotates within the mixing head to mix two or more material components. The size of the mixing chamber must be optimized in line with the dispensing rate.What is tracking mixing? ›
Mixing a track involves balancing the volume levels of the tracks (either manually or via automation), boosting and cutting frequencies (also known as EQing), panning tracks left and right to create the stereo field and adding effects.What is SSL mixing? ›
Solid State Logic (SSL) is a British company based in Begbroke, Oxfordshire, England that designs and markets audio mixing consoles, signal processors, and other audio technologies for the post-production, video production, broadcast, sound reinforcement and music recording industries.
Can you send a bus to a bus on X32? ›
The buses on the X32 function similar to the way an Aux on an analog mixer does. Each of the buses will output to their corresponding XLR output (bus 1 goes to output1, bus 2 goes to output 2, and so on) by default although this can be changed in the routing menu.Can EQ improve sound quality? ›
Want to get better sound out of your headphones and speakers? An equalizer lets you boost bass, tweak treble, and more to tune your audio to taste.Does EQ make sound better? ›
EQ can help you improve the sound of your headphones with little effort. You can make the sound clearer in the spots you want by reducing or boosting some audio frequencies. Since EQ is adjustable, you can always alter the settings to get the best sound for what you're listening to.Does EQ affect sound quality? ›
An EQ will adjust the balance in your audio signal that will allow you to boost or cut certain frequencies, essentially volume control for bass (lows), mids or treble (highs). Let's start with the different types of filters as these have the most drastic effect on any sound.How do I connect my Behringer X32 to my computer? ›
- Connect the X32 to your computer via USB. Windows users will first need to install the latest driver available from Behringer. ...
- Launch your DAW and select the X32 as the audio input/output device.
- Create tracks in your DAW and assign each input to the correct input channel.
Re: Behringer X32 Rack as an audio interface
Yes, you can use it as a interface.