X32 / Core: Dream setup

Aug 20, 2011
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#1
How about this for a "Dream setup", using the X32 and the new Core's...

If the core's are allowed to be able to copy mixes or channel settings from other consoles in the system (over the network), and also given the ability to link the mutes with other consoles (like the FOH console), we could have an incredible system available.

X32 at FOH, a rack of multiple Core's: each core runs someone's personal monitor mix, controlled with an IPad). This gives each IEM total control, everything you can do for FOH - now available for each musician independently. The ability to copy mix settings from other mixers or the house console would be critical to increase initial setup speed, and mute control over other mixers in the system driven from the FOH console would also be a must, but the hardware design is there, it's just now a matter of programming at this point! The idea is a little like "SAC", but more hardware based, scaleable, and more open to other control systems (other than just mouse control, thru OSC control).

Now, add the future ability of the Core getting modified into a DSP, toss in a S16 modified to add 24 analog outs on phoenix connectors and possibly digital cards for other output options, and now we're talking about an interesting setup... All driven over AES50.

What do you think?
 
#2
Re: X32 / Core: Dream setup

I think it's overkill and unnecessary expensive to use a X32 core per IEM mix. I think it's more than sufficient to have 1 X32 at FOH and 1 X32 compact/rack/core at stage (plus 1...3 S16's). Connect a wifi router to the X32 at stage and give band members access to that wifi network. Then they can control their IEM mix from iPhones/iPads without intervening with the FOH mix. You can connect a second wifi router (separate network) to the FOH mixer for wireless FOH mixing from iPad.
 

Per Søvik

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#3
Re: X32 / Core: Dream setup

I don't think it is overkill at all, at least not if one goes for a intermediate solution where one Core might supply several mixes. The advantage of using a Core is you can have processing and eq tailored for monitors, something that can't be achieved with the X32 on its own unless you have enough channels to spare.
For a scalable system, first on my wishlist is for the X32 to have the ability to remote control one or more Cores or Racks as extra layers, preferrably with integration of scene saves and recalls and direct bus injection of signals from the AES50 to facilitate expanding beyond 32 channels.
 
Aug 20, 2011
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#4
Re: X32 / Core: Dream setup

I just think it's an interesting set of possibilities. I agree with Per, that an intermediate option of using a single core for monitor mixes is great, but if you can do that, it's not much of a stretch to make it work with multiple cores. Price would be less of a factor in that setup, but at around twice the cost of a Roland M-48, and far more than twice the amount of control and coolness, the extra cost of multiple cores is not that bad. How about the DSP idea?

Peter, So your idea has two separate routers, but still needs to get some console linking ability to recall scenes over multiple units or copy channels or settings across consoles then, right? I was just going with the concept of separate eq/comps/inserts/whatever (per channel input too) for the IEM mixes?

Per, can you please expand on the "direct bus injection of signals from the AES50 to facilitate expanding beyond 32 channels?"
 
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Per Søvik

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#5
Re: X32 / Core: Dream setup

Per, can you please expand on the "direct bus injection of signals from the AES50 to facilitate expanding beyond 32 channels?"
I'm thinking that one would use AES50 to connect buses on two or more units so they work as a single unit. Let's say you have 16 (or more) channels on the Core or Rack that you are treating as expansion channels to make a 48 channel set-up, then you want to be able to use bus sends and mains as if the extra channels were residing in the main console without having to use inputs to make the "injection" into the main console or vice versa if you are using the Core or Rack to expand on the available effects etc. etc. That bus traffic would of course sacrifice some available AES50 channels, but with 96 bidirectional channels available in total, you can build a fairly large system before you run out of AES50 capacity.
 
Aug 20, 2011
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#6
Re: X32 / Core: Dream setup

Interesting, so I guess the question would be, can the chipset in the mixer allow for an extra input stub for each buss from another source on the AES50 stream then, right?

I'm thinking that one would use AES50 to connect buses on two or more units so they work as a single unit. Let's say you have 16 (or more) channels on the Core or Rack that you are treating as expansion channels to make a 48 channel set-up, then you want to be able to use bus sends and mains as if the extra channels were residing in the main console without having to use inputs to make the "injection" into the main console or vice versa if you are using the Core or Rack to expand on the available effects etc. etc. That bus traffic would of course sacrifice some available AES50 channels, but with 96 bidirectional channels available in total, you can build a fairly large system before you run out of AES50 capacity.
 
#7
Re: X32 / Core: Dream setup

Declan, I don't see a reason why I would need separate channel processing per IEM/monitor mix. Processing per mixbus is sufficient. Copying the channel settings from one X32 to the other can arranged using a PC running 2 instances of Xcontrol connected to both networks.

Regarding DSP functionality: I asked Uli to provide a X32 core firmware dedicated to multi in / multi out speaker processing like on the matrixbusses (as follow up for the dcx2496). He didn't confirm...

I like the idea of remote controlling one X32 with another. My dream setup still is a X32 at FOH and a X32 compact/rack/core for monitorland (and as backup). This is also sufficient to support upto 64 channels (using submixes for eg drums).
 
Aug 20, 2011
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#8
Re: X32 / Core: Dream setup

Well, one reason that might work well, would be in the case of a rather "picky" musician. They then, would say be able to apply plugins, perhaps on different channels with different settings, or perhaps like a different high pass setting on the vocals or something to make the mix sound warmer in their ears...

Yes, the XiControl software can be used across multiple consoles now, but it's not very "band member friendly". Say the Drummer who has a mixer of his own, wants to easily copy the settings for the bass that his friend, Ian (awesome bass player) has. He could just select the options to copy; Eq, comp, gate, etc.. from Ian's mixer (whether Ian has a dedicated console of his own, or uses one that provides mixes as a separate monitor console could, to the rest of the band.)

I ask, as a general question to the group, why not have the option to do both; ability to dedicate an entire mixer to one IEM mix, and also to utilize one separate console to provide several IEM mixes. If your going to do the programming work to integrate one, you might as well integrate it for both ways?

The concept seems to be a big hit for all the guys that are into "SAC" (Software Audio Console), and since the hardware is developed already, why not develop the software slightly to take advantage of that concept?

I "re-asked" a version of your question in the "ask Uli anything" forum.

The response I received from the Senior VP of Marketing is here: http://soundforums.net/varsity/4299-uli-behringer-music-group-q-24.html#post55108
 
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Per Søvik

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#9
Re: X32 / Core: Dream setup

About separate processing: The way I compress backing singers and small to medium choirs on individual microphones, I can't run that compression into the monitors for several reasons, so if I can spare the channels, I run separate channels for monitors. A Rack or Core will allow me to do this comfortably with a larger channel count, so to me a Core or Rack is a no-brainer for this reason only.

Allow me to expand a little on the compression:
When using individual miking, one often finds oneself in a situation where the choir sounds not like a choir, but like a bunch of individual voices, and trying to make a balanced mix of a large group of singers with varying microphone techniques, varying tastes for how much the want to hear of their own voice in the monitors etc., rapidly gets beyond the scope of any individual soundperson in a live setting.
Lots of coaching and a lengthy soundcheck does of course help, but that is another story (see my rant in the basement).
To pull in the choir/backing group I use a soft knee compression going into a ratio of 1:10, with levels and tresholds set in such a way that I generally have 2.5-3 ratio for the normal stuff and only pushing into the full compression for crecendos.
To encourage the singers to do their own level matching, as well as reducing feedback issues and stage noise issues, I won't use any compression in the monitors, just some limiting to stop one overly loud singer from making the other singers on the same monitor uncomfortable/deaf/annoyed and also to keep a runaway feedback somewhat in check. Having available effects to put a nice room feeling in the monitors is always a plus when possible. Choirs hate the acoustics we like, they want to sing in stone cathedrals/caverns/tiled showers not perfect sound stages wher you could drop a truckload of pins without hearing it.
Having both a compressed and an uncompressed signal available for post fader, post dca effect sends means one also have an extra way of tailoring the effect to what one tries to achieve ( like David Bowie on China Girl or something around the same time, using compression to keep the vocal from getting overly loud while an uncompressed send to reverb/delay would make the voice sound bigger when he was singing loud)
Avoiding compression in the monitors of course applies to other musicians as well, one wants them all to control their own dynamics, only smoothing out what is coming through the mains for the audience.

It is encouraging that Behringer is thinking in terms of making some integration available, and judging solely from the response to my eq selection highlight post (ignoring the fact that it has probably been discussed and suggested before) ten or so likes from the right group of users on this forum seems to go a long way in getting a positive response from the team :)~:)~:smile:
I'm thinking that first priority for Behringer should be to (fully) integrate a single Core/Rack with the X32 providing remote control via extra layers ( one can select the layers by either pressing two layers simultanously 1-16 and 17-32 would give you 33-48, or holding down the remote button while pressing one of the layer buttons ), scene handling and signal integration.
There are obvious limitations to what can be done within the limitations of the hardware, and I don't know where those limitations are, but those limitations should only affect what can be done in terms of signal flow and signal integration. Controlling and harnessing the processing power that comes with a Core/Rack should "only" be a matter of firmware design.

From a marketing point of view it is a good idea to keep up with the likes of the GLD80, offering integrated solutions that tops the channel counts offered by A&H, Soundcraft & all in their offerings in the same market segment. I don't buy any Midas argument, not wanting to compete with your own brand that clearly belongs in a different market segment is not a viable excuse for not offering maximum punch in the budget segment, a segment where the competition is getting hotter all the time.
 
Aug 20, 2011
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#10
Re: X32 / Core: Dream setup

Hey Per,

I hear what your saying about getting the console to be able to control a rack/core, possibly using a different combination of buttons for access. It could also be done strictly on a laptop/ipad, I wonder who would prefer what method...

It would also be good to point out that if more than a single additional rack/core is used, any extra mixers would of course be able to also add many other monitor mixes. It would allow for relatively cheap monitor mix expansion, with independent eq/comp/gate/plugin/etc settings for the group of sends from each additional mixer.

I'm a bit leary of trying to ask them to try expanding the console in channel count, - if there was, that would great, but it seems like such a big ask.

Interesting read on your compression use, I do a lot of split channel too. I use it to mostly have each vocal compressed heavily and also have a channel that is not nearly so, allowing to mix the two - giving the sound of the comp, and also a more open sound that gets over the top of the comped channel and not get crushed by it. Ever try it? It's awesome...

I think that adding more mixers that could be linked together (to add more monitor mixes), would allow for a TON of 32 channel, stereo monitor mixes. It may also add some interesting possibilities of sub mixing some things...
 
Aug 20, 2011
188
0
0
#11
Re: X32 / Core: Dream setup

Hey Per,

I hear what your saying about getting the console to be able to control a rack/core, possibly using a different combination of buttons for access. It could also be done strictly on a laptop/ipad, I wonder who would prefer what method...

It would also be good to point out that if more than a single additional rack/core is used, any extra mixers would of course be able to also add many other monitor mixes. It would allow for relatively cheap monitor mix expansion, with independent eq/comp/gate/plugin/etc settings for the group of sends from each additional mixer.

I'm a bit leary of trying to ask them to try expanding the console in channel count, - if there was, that would great, but it seems like such a big ask.

Interesting read on your compression use, I do a lot of split channel too. I use it to mostly have each vocal compressed heavily and also have a channel that is not nearly so, allowing to mix the two - giving the sound of the comp, and also a more open sound that gets over the top of the comped channel and not get crushed by it. Ever try it? It's awesome...

I think that adding more mixers that could be linked together (to add more monitor mixes), would allow for a TON of 32 channel, stereo monitor mixes. It may also add some interesting possibilities of sub mixing some things...