Behringer x32 Rack matrix routing question

Chuck Galaviz

New member
Jan 5, 2021
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45
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Hello all

I'm pretty new to digital mixing. One of the members of my band purchased an x32 rack to use as a mixer to route sound from our instruments to individual band member in ear monitors. As I understand it I need to assign the main mix to a matrix that I then assign to one of the analog XLR outputs that I will then plug in to the in ear monitor receiver channel inputs on each transmitter. Two questions: first, I can't see in the manual how to actually assign the main mix to a matrix (I was able to configure things such that analog out 1 is matrix 1, analog out 2 is matrix 2...I left outputs 7 and 8 alone because they are the main outs). My problem is that I can't seem to find anywhere that explains how, on the x32 rack (I've seen multiple videos on how to do it on the non rack x32s) to assign it to a matrix...so the first question is how the heck do I do it?

Second question...is there a better way to do what I'm trying to do, putting the main mix into 5 separate in ear monitors by configuring things to go from 5 separate outputs straight to the IEMs? Eventually we are hoping to have individual headphone mixes controlled with apps...but for now just trying to get the main mix into each of the 5 IEMs. Thank you for any help!
 

Brian Bolly

Junior
Jan 11, 2011
402
20
18
Baltimore, MD
Hi Chuck, welcome to the digital pool. The beautiful thing is that you can build all of this offline (not connected to the mixer), directly on your computer with the offline editor software, and then either save to a USB stick or connect your computer to the mixer, and upload to the mixer on the next rehearsal. All routing, labeling, and general levels and panning of things all pre-set and ready to go. And you can start off by having 5 separate mixes - may as well start from where you need to be, right?

STEP 1: You will want to use Aux mixes for IEM mixes (labeled as Mix Bus in the software), not the main mix. By using a different Mix Bus for each musician, everyone gets their own independent mix. And to add to your other post, each person can download an app on their smart device, connect to the wireless access point you set up, and adjust their own mix themselves. No more yelling at one band member to "fix their sound"!

STEP 2: The Mix Busses should be set to Pre-Fade from each channel - this means you (or an engineer) can build a separate Main Mix for the PA and it won't disturb your monitor mixes.

STEP 3: Since you have plenty of Busses available (12 + FX), even if your IEM packs or transmitters are not currently set up for/capable of stereo, I recommend setting the Mix Busses up to be linked in pairs (1-2, 3-4, etc) so each musician has a stereo mix and it's a super easy switch when the time comes. (For a mono setup, you'd just use the odd numbered Bus to start). Listening in mono is no fun, and mixing in mono to achieve a clear, coherent mix is difficult at best.

STEP 4: As for physical outputs, you have 8 on XLR, plus the additonal 6 1/4" TRS aux outputs. As you mentioned, XLR 7-8 are pre-mapped for the L/R Main mix, so we can leave those alone. I believe XLR 1-6 are by default mapped to Mix Bus 1-6, so these can stay as well for 3 stereo mixes. You'll just need to re-map the Aux Out 1-4 connectors to be fed from Mix Bus 7-10. This can be done from the Routing tab in the Offline Editor, or from the mixer hardware itself. This may mean you'll need a couple of TRS to XLR-M adapters, depending on what your downstream IEM hardware is.

STEP 5: Link your Mix Busses. On each odd numbered Mix Bus, there's an option to Stereo Link. Do this. It will link to the adjacent even-numbered bus. (1 links to 2; 3 links to 4; etc.)

STEP 6: Run the Master Fader for each Mix Bus pair up to 0 dB.

STEP 7: Label your inputs and outputs. I recommend using ALL CAPS when labeling, as reading things at a glance on stage is just easier.

STEP 8: SAVE. THE. SCENE. This is now your baseline starting point. If you ever need to blow it away back to 0 without a complete console reset, this is your scene.

STEP 9: Adjust your input gains, select which FX units you want in your FX slots 1-4 (reverb, delay, chorus, whatever). FX Slots 5-8 are designed for inserts.

STEP 10: Rough in your aux sends for each channel. Who wants what where? If you have stereo capabilities, you can rough in panning as well. Tip: don't pan anything full hard L/hard R. Go easy, but create a nice stereo sound field for yourself (Note: Each mix can pan each input differently!)

STEP 11: SAVE. AS. A. DIFFERENT. SCENE. This is your baseline BAND mix. Once you've played a bit and roughed in things more, you can overwrite this. Or not - totally up to you.


Play. Have fun. Ask questions. These forums are full of folks that can help.

 

Chuck Galaviz

New member
Jan 5, 2021
13
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3
45
USA
Thank you so much, I can't wait to try all this! I do have more questions: I looked through the manual and I couldn't find the offline editing software you mention. I must've missed it. What is the name of the offline editing software? And when I connect my computer to the x32 how do I download the settings (I assume there is a setting in the offline editor)? Will the computer automatically connect to the x32 when I plug it in (I have windows 10), or do I have to open the editor and tell it I'm connected?

Also our in ear monitors are Shure PSM 300s. There are two channel inputs on it that I think are intended for left and right if not using mono. So I think the connection from the x32 rack to the IEM will be XLR-F (from the analog out) to 1/4 TRS (channel input on the PSM transmitter), and 1/4 TRS on both ends for the aux outs to the IEMs. One thing I'm learning fast about digital audio...I'm acquiring quite the collection of cables!
 

Brian Bolly

Junior
Jan 11, 2011
402
20
18
Baltimore, MD
Thank you so much, I can't wait to try all this! I do have more questions: I looked through the manual and I couldn't find the offline editing software you mention. I must've missed it. What is the name of the offline editing software? And when I connect my computer to the x32 how do I download the settings (I assume there is a setting in the offline editor)? Will the computer automatically connect to the x32 when I plug it in (I have windows 10), or do I have to open the editor and tell it I'm connected?

Also our in ear monitors are Shure PSM 300s. There are two channel inputs on it that I think are intended for left and right if not using mono. So I think the connection from the x32 rack to the IEM will be XLR-F (from the analog out) to 1/4 TRS (channel input on the PSM transmitter), and 1/4 TRS on both ends for the aux outs to the IEMs. One thing I'm learning fast about digital audio...I'm acquiring quite the collection of cables!
The offline software is the X32 EDIT, and can be found here: https://www.behringer.com/downloads.html

Select your Product -> Software, and then it's available for your OS of choice.

A note: All versions of the X32 use the same software, so even though your rack only has 16x8 XLR I/O plus Aux I/O, the software will show all 32 inputs + 6 aux inputs. The fun part about this is that you can double patch some inputs for creativity. For example, I would create stereo acoustic guitars from one input - in the software, select a physical input to be assigned to two channels (a virtual "double patching" or "Virtual Y-cable"), delay one channel a hair, pan each left and right. Voila - instant "stereo". You can do similar things with creating fun vocal FX channels and other creative things.

NOTE: If you purchased the mixer new, it should have the most recent version of Firmware on it (4.04.1). BUT - that firmware is new as of 11/27/20, so if you got it used or right around that time it may not. The current firmware is also available at the above link (Product -> Software -> Firmware)

***MAKE SURE YOU UPDATE THE FIRMWARE ON THE MIXER ITSELF FIRST!*** before loading any new scenes from your computer or USB stick.

Yes, unfortunately the Software and Firmware versions do not match. This is a grumble/complaint, we just live with it.

When you connect the computer to the mixer, in the "Setup" menu, there is a "Sync Direction" checkbox in the software to sync 'PC -> Mixer' or 'Mixer -> PC'. If your PC has all the settings you wrote, you want PC -> Mixer.

And yes, you are correct on the cabling/adapters required for the PSM300 rigs. A word to the wise: The PSM300 can handle a +22 dBu input level (max) and the X32 Rack puts out +21 dBu on the XLR but only +16 dBu on the 1/4" TRS, so there may be a gain mismatch on the PSM transmitters to get the levels where you want them to be.

Also, the PSM300 uses a 19kHz Pilot Tone. On every Mix Bus that is using the PSM wireless, I'd use the PEQ high band to do a very narrow EQ cut in the 16kHz-18kHz range to protect this pilot tone. I've had it happen with mixes with a lot of cymbals, click track, or other HF artifacts, but bleeding in to the range of the pilot tone can compromise your stereo image and cause the mix to "collapse" a bit. A simple EQ cut is all it takes.
 
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Chuck Galaviz

New member
Jan 5, 2021
13
1
3
45
USA
The offline software is the X32 EDIT, and can be found here: https://www.behringer.com/downloads.html

Select your Product -> Software, and then it's available for your OS of choice.

A note: All versions of the X32 use the same software, so even though your rack only has 16x8 XLR I/O plus Aux I/O, the software will show all 32 inputs + 6 aux inputs. The fun part about this is that you can double patch some inputs for creativity. For example, I would create stereo acoustic guitars from one input - in the software, select a physical input to be assigned to two channels (a virtual "double patching" or "Virtual Y-cable"), delay one channel a hair, pan each left and right. Voila - instant "stereo". You can do similar things with creating fun vocal FX channels and other creative things.

NOTE: If you purchased the mixer new, it should have the most recent version of Firmware on it (4.04.1). BUT - that firmware is new as of 11/27/20, so if you got it used or right around that time it may not. The current firmware is also available at the above link (Product -> Software -> Firmware)

***MAKE SURE YOU UPDATE THE FIRMWARE ON THE MIXER ITSELF FIRST!*** before loading any new scenes from your computer or USB stick.

Yes, unfortunately the Software and Firmware versions do not match. This is a grumble/complaint, we just live with it.

When you connect the computer to the mixer, in the "Setup" menu, there is a "Sync Direction" checkbox in the software to sync 'PC -> Mixer' or 'Mixer -> PC'. If your PC has all the settings you wrote, you want PC -> Mixer.

And yes, you are correct on the cabling/adapters required for the PSM300 rigs. A word to the wise: The PSM300 can handle a +22 dBu input level (max) and the X32 Rack puts out +21 dBu on the XLR but only +16 dBu on the 1/4" TRS, so there may be a gain mismatch on the PSM transmitters to get the levels where you want them to be.

Also, the PSM300 uses a 19kHz Pilot Tone. On every Mix Bus that is using the PSM wireless, I'd use the PEQ high band to do a very narrow EQ cut in the 16kHz-18kHz range to protect this pilot tone. I've had it happen with mixes with a lot of cymbals, click track, or other HF artifacts, but bleeding in to the range of the pilot tone can compromise your stereo image and cause the mix to "collapse" a bit. A simple EQ cut is all it takes.

Thank you so much for this! The focus this week is to get the IEMs working. We played our first gig last Friday and the floor wedges at the venue...well they weren't as good as I expect our IEMs are going to be. Some things were our fault (like the lead guitarist not noticing he kicked the mic positioned at his amp so it was not facing his amp for a couple of songs) and others were probably on the venue. The one question I have about the post is can I update the firmware using the x32 edit software or do I need to connect the x32rack to the internet to do it?

Thanks for the advice on the different signal levels for the x32 Rack XLR and TRS outputs and the PSM. I know I wouldn't have caught that. I think I might have figured it out; we record with a PreSonus Quantum into Studio One 5 Pro and I've started having all the guitarists use DI boxes because it seems like I can boost the signal more into the DAW when the input into the Quantum is an XLR instead of an instrument cable. I was having trouble getting their signals to 0 dB in the mix (take all this with a grain of salt though because I'm relatively new to digital recording too).

Dealing with how to route things so the venue sound guys will have the control they want while we have the IEM control we want is a problem I foresee in the future that has multiple possible solutions...but the first focus is to get the IEMs working and all the posts in this thread have been awesome for getting me on the right track!
 

Brian Bolly

Junior
Jan 11, 2011
402
20
18
Baltimore, MD
The one question I have about the post is can I update the firmware using the x32 edit software or do I need to connect the x32rack to the internet to do it?

Neither, actually. There's instructions bundled with the firmware, but you'll need a USB key that's formatted as a FAT32 drive. You'll load the firmware file onto the USB key and update the mixer via the key. The instructions will detail how to do it specifically.
 

Alex Suli

New member
Jan 19, 2021
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Hello All,

So happy to find a forum that is referring to this subject (x32 rack for in ears) 😊 😊

Like Chuck, I am a beginner in this area and also like Chuck we have also invested in the x32 rack and in ears.

The subjects spoken about here have already helped me a lot. Thank you to Brian for the clear explanations. I still have a few questions however, relating to this topic:

1. I downloaded the “x32 edit” in the latest update and I also installed the latest Firmware on the x32. The problem is that the “x32 edit” does not recognize the table. It seems impossible to synchronize to two together (I have a Mac). I have tried every which way but nothing seems to work. I therefore resorted to doing it directly on the x32. Would anyone have any ideas on this problems?

2. I wanted to start simple by using only 3 instruments (2 guitars and 1 bass). Guitar 1 – IN 1 / Bass – IN 2 / Guitar 2 – IN 3. The three instruments are sent to the in ears equally, if one member changes a volume it changes it for everyone. I would like to set it up so that each musician has his/her own personalized settings. I followed Brian’s advice and linked the mix bus (1 with 2, 3 with 4). I set the mix bus to pre-fader. If I understand correctly and everything is correctly set up, when I go into “IN 1”, I should be able to modify each IN independently correct? For the moment, only the instrument fixed to an IN can have its volume changed.

3. In the “Routing” session, I do not know how to distribute the “analogue output”. Is it: Output 1 in Mix Bus 1 and Output 2 in Mix Bus 3 etc??

4. In the “Send” part of the “Mix Bus”, I noticed that we can modify the fader in Matrix. What does this do?

I hope my questions and explanations are clear and would appreciate if anyone has any advice and/or answers to my questions.

Many thanks, Alex
 

Brian Bolly

Junior
Jan 11, 2011
402
20
18
Baltimore, MD
1. I downloaded the “x32 edit” in the latest update and I also installed the latest Firmware on the x32. The problem is that the “x32 edit” does not recognize the table. It seems impossible to synchronize to two together (I have a Mac). I have tried every which way but nothing seems to work. I therefore resorted to doing it directly on the x32. Would anyone have any ideas on this problems?
How are you connected - via an independent WiFi network you set up, or hardwired? If hardwired, are you also connected to a WiFi network at the same time?

If you are only connected to an independent WiFi network with only your machine and the mixer, try to restart all devices.

If you are hardwired, you can go into Network Preferences and Set Service Order to put the Ethernet port first. If that doesn't work, try turning off WiFi as well, at least until you get connected to the mixer.

If you're on a newer Mac that uses a dongle for the network port, I've found some dongles to be picky - even the stock Apple ones. Try another port on the machine to plug the dongle into, or try another dongle.

2. I wanted to start simple by using only 3 instruments (2 guitars and 1 bass). Guitar 1 – IN 1 / Bass – IN 2 / Guitar 2 – IN 3. The three instruments are sent to the in ears equally, if one member changes a volume it changes it for everyone. I would like to set it up so that each musician has his/her own personalized settings. I followed Brian’s advice and linked the mix bus (1 with 2, 3 with 4). I set the mix bus to pre-fader. If I understand correctly and everything is correctly set up, when I go into “IN 1”, I should be able to modify each IN independently correct? For the moment, only the instrument fixed to an IN can have its volume changed.
It sounds like your problem is likely that your channel sends to the mixes are set to Post-Fade, and your band member is changing the Main Mix faders instead of their own designated aux (Mix Bus). Verify the following in the X32 Edit software based on the graphic below:
1. Make sure you are on the Inputs 1-32 page
2. Select the first channel by clicking on the channel name header (you can also right click here to change the name/color)
3. Click over to the SENDS tab
4. Click the Globe icon. This will apply any changes to your send selects to ALL INPUT CHANNELS - this includes INPUT 1-32; Aux INPUT 1-6; USB IN L/R; FX RETURN 1-4.
5. Do this for all Mix Buses you are using for IEM sends. In the graphic below, the mixer is set for all 12 Buses to be used for IEMs.

X32 Edit Ch Sends Annotated.png


On the output side, make sure your Mix Buses are linked, and Mix Bus master faders are set to 0 dB. Verify the following based on the graphic below:
1. Make sure you are on the Bus/Mtx page
2. Select an Odd-Numbered Mix Bus by clicking on the Bus name header (you can also right click here to change the name/color)
3. Click over to the CHANNEL tab
4. Click the 'L' icon for Stereo Link. This will force a popup to verify you want to link to the adjacent Even-Numbered Bus
5. Verify the buses are linked by the Link Icon between the bus names in the Master Section. In the graphic below, the mixer is set for all 12 Buses to be used for IEMs.

X32 Edit Bus Sends Annotated.png


When you go to change the levels for YOUR mix, you need to make sure you select YOUR MIX first. This mode is commonly referred to as "Mix to Faders" or "Flip to Faders" based on what you see in the graphic below. Verify the following based on the graphic below. It is similar to the first graphic, and I'm now back on the Input 1-32 tab.

1. I have now selected the Bus 1 (and since they're linked, Bus 2) sends
2. If I had named the Bus, it would be shown here.
3. The Bus # is still shown here, so you can see the Name (2) and Bus # simultaneously.
4. I've selected an input - in this case, Channel 1
5. If I want to pan this input between Bus 1 and Bus 2 (Left and Right for that mix), move this little vertical slider to the left or right. You'll see highlighted triangles start to show as you pan. Values on panning range from -100 (odd Bus) to + 100 (even Bus)
6. For the Selected Input (Channel 1 here), you can adjust levels to all the Mix Buses at once.
7. For the Selected Input (Channel 1 here), you can adjust levels to all the FX Sends at once.
8a. If you DO NOT want a particular channel to send to a Bus, push the "Power" button shown here. In this view (Bus 1, Channel 1 both selected) these Power buttons indicated are linked. OR you can simply not send that channel to a mix. I only use the Power button in extreme cases where I don't want someone to inadvertently screw something up)
8b. If you push the Power button to the right of the #9 arrow, this will stop the selected channel (As indicated by #4 arrow - Ch 1) from sending to Mix Bus 3-4.
8c. If you push the Power button at the bottom of the Channel 2 fader, it will stop that channel from sending to the Selected Mix (As indicated by #1 arrow - Bus 1-2)
9. This button marked L-R Pan will force any panning of a channel sent to that Mix Bus follow the Main L-R Mix panning. I suggest NOT doing this if the mixer will also be used for a FOH mix application on the Main L-R mix, as the panning would be opposite of what you would hear as a musician on stage. (i.e. - Since Stage Left and House Left are exact opposites, this can mess with your sense of direction/space on stage)

NOTE: Each channel has a colored box highlighted around the fader. If you change the name/color of the mix (see step 2 in the previous graphic), The color highlighted around each fader will MATCH the color of the mix bus. This color will also be reflected in the little vertical color bars in the master section next to the Bus # selects (see step 1 in this graphic).

By default, the software puts all the Mix Buses as cyan. If you change it for each person/mix, this will be a good visual representation to make sure you're on the correct mix.


X32 Edit Mix Bus Selects Annotated.png


3. In the “Routing” session, I do not know how to distribute the “analogue output”. Is it: Output 1 in Mix Bus 1 and Output 2 in Mix Bus 3 etc??
The other thing to check is to make sure you are each listening to a dedicated, independent mix bus driven from an output. The X32 Edit software defaults to a full-sized X32 console, which means there's I/O shown in the software that doesn't physically exist on smaller versions. So you just need to make sure you've patched what you need correctly.

NOTE: You can patch a single source or Mix to MULTIPLE outputs. So as long as you have what you need correctly patched, the rest shouldn't matter.

In the graphic below:

1. Select the Routing menu from the Master Section
2. The window highlighted will pop up.
3. Select the Out 1-16 Tab. This relates to the PHYSICAL outputs on the console. Remember the note above about the software defaulting to the full sized X32 - you don't have 16 XLR outputs on the X32-Rack
4. I renamed the 12 Mix Buses for clarity. The names are shown here. The left side labels also indicate the PHYSICAL connectors for the outputs (1-16).
5. Although it "looks" like Mix Bus 7-14 are patched to XLR Out 7-14, they don't exist on the X32 Rack. As I don't have hardware in front of me (and you may not when setting up from the software either), I'm showing you what I see.
6. This also shows the Main L/R Mix patched to outputs 15-16. Again, non-existent connectors on the X-32 Rack. These should default up to Output 7/8 if connected to the X32 Rack.
7. I drew this line to indicate where the physical XLR Outputs on the X32-Rack stop for patching your Mix Buses.
8. If your Mix Buses 1-6 (Stereo Mix Buses 1-3) are patched to the physical XLR Out 1-6, click over to the Aux Out tab and skip to the next graphic.

X32 Edit XLR Out Patching Annotated.png

Now you can patch your Aux Outs.

1. We are now on the Aux Out tab.
2. I have patched Mix Bus 7-12 (Stereo Mixes 4-6) to the physical Aux Out connectors (1/4" TRS)
3. The labels here change based on your patching. The software defaulted them to the Inserts, but we need mix outs instead, so I showed that you can see the labels for the mixes here.

X32 Edit Aux Out Patching Annotated.png

4. In the “Send” part of the “Mix Bus”, I noticed that we can modify the fader in Matrix. What does this do?
This sends your Aux Bus Mix to a Matrix (sending one mix to another mix). This is likely not necessary for your application, unless you need to send your personal mix somewhere else with a dedicated volume control.
 
Last edited:

Alex Suli

New member
Jan 19, 2021
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France
Hi Brian, Thanks so much for the detailed explanations. It works!!! 😁 We each have our own mix in the in-ears and it's awesome. Your explanations have clarified a lot of things. Big thank you, take care