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Mixing solution for a large band in the rehearsal room

Contributor - Level 2
Hello everyone.
I'm Italian and I apologize in advance for any translation errors, in which case I hope you understand me anyway.
I'm part of a band of 10 musicians and we are setting up a completely new rehearsal room.
We are looking for a mixing solution that fits our needs.

We need at least 32 mic inputs, 10 monitor outputs (for personal listening) and 2 main L + R outputs, at least a couple of internal effects (reverb + delay), a graphic eq to be inserted on the 2 main LR outputs .
We would like to control the whole system via ethernet, with a touch screen monitor and a mini pc.
The idea is to buy a x32 rack and a s32 and connect them together through the AES50 (Is a gigabit switch required?)
Maybe, if possible, bring this solution for our future live performances and use it to record, both on stage and in the rehearsal room.
Is this solution possible? Or are there better ones?

Thanks, see you soon.
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13 REPLIES 13

Re: Mixing solution for a large band in the rehearsal room

Contributor - Level 2
No you can't use a switch onan AES50 connection. It has to go directly between the S32 and the X32. And you need to be careful with the ethernet cable used. It must be at least Cat5, screened with proper Ethercon connectors and continuity between the earthing of the shells of the Ethercon plugs.

Re: Mixing solution for a large band in the rehearsal room

Contributor - Level 3
Fabio Barinotti;158095 wrote:
Hello everyone.
I'm Italian and I apologize in advance for any translation errors, in which case I hope you understand me anyway.
I'm part of a band of 10 musicians and we are setting up a completely new rehearsal room.
We are looking for a mixing solution that fits our needs.

We need at least 32 mic inputs, 10 monitor outputs (for personal listening) and 2 main L + R outputs, at least a couple of internal effects (reverb + delay), a graphic eq to be inserted on the 2 main LR outputs .
We would like to control the whole system via ethernet, with a touch screen monitor and a mini pc.
The idea is to buy a x32 rack and a s32 and connect them together through the AES50 (Is a gigabit switch required?)
Maybe, if possible, bring this solution for our future live performances and use it to record, both on stage and in the rehearsal room.
Is this solution possible? Or are there better ones?

Thanks, see you soon.


Why the S32? The X32rack has 16 XLR mic inputs and the S32 has 32 XLR inputs. giving you 48 mic inputs, but you can only mix 32 channels with full control and 6 Aux inputs with limited control so the S16 would work for you. The internal effects returns don't count against that number.

The control of the X32Rack would be from your computer running X32edit, to the Ethernet connection on the X32 Rack. The S32 or the S16 would be connected directly from the rack using the AES50 ports to the S16 or S32 with the proper cable that Richard mentioned. The connection from the computer to the X32 rack will be normal Cat cable and you can use a network switch/WAP there if needed.

Re: Mixing solution for a large band in the rehearsal room

Volunteer Moderator
Hi Fabio,

Welcome to the forum. Depending on what you mean by "at least 32 mic inputs", the X32 Rack could be a solution for your new rehearsal space. The X32 itself can mix up to 32 channels of full processing (gate, compressor, EQ) strips along with 6 Aux (limited processing). The Rack has 16 XLR mic inputs plus 6 Aux (6.3mm TRS) jacks on the back. All that would be needed would be an additional stagebox, such as the S16 or SD16 to complete the full 32 mic inputs.

The 10 outputs would not be an issue, since the Rack has 8 XLR and six 6.3mm TRS output, plus an additional 8 XLR outputs in the stagebox.

Mixing control can be done with either ethernet or wifi using the X32-Edit (PC, Mac, linux or Raspberry Pi) or using tablets (X32-Mix for iPad or Mixing Station for android).

Recording can be done using the included X-USB card with 32in/32out via USB to a DAW, stereo recording using the front USB port. An optional card (X-Live) is also now available that provides 32in/32out via USB and/or built-in dual SD card slots.
Paul Vannatto, Volunteer Forum Administrator and Moderator

Re: Mixing solution for a large band in the rehearsal room

Contributor - Level 3
Yes, that'll work (although it'll be 10x mono monitor mixes, not stereo.) If you're wanting to keep 2 buses available for FX, then at most you could do 4x stereo + 6x mono monitor mixes. That might seem obvious, but some people (especially those with studio background who are used to doing most things with interfaces and a DAW as opposed to a console with DSP) are used to just pressing a button and turning mono buses into stereo buses, and not expecting it to halve the system's bus count.

I'd be wary of relying on the Rack's TRS outs. They have 5dB less headroom compared to the XLR outs (16dBu v 21dBu,) so a hot mix that sounds fine on XLR outs could distort if you output it on TRS.

Although a geq is insertable across LR, chances are you'll get better sound using the LR bus's dedicated 6-band peq. Each monitor also has it's own dedicated 6-band peq (and compressor) too; you can have eq (and comp) on all your inputs and outputs without need a geq at all.

If you only need 32 preamps, you could get away with an S\SD16 instead of an S32. The S\SD16 + Rack will provide you with 32 preamps and 16 XLR outs. The only caveat is that half of them are on the back and the other half on the front. If you did go with the S32 instead (apart from getting 32x16 all on the one side) you'd get 48x24, however at most only 38 of those preamps could be used, as the mixer can only mix 32 channels (with full processing) + 8x aux channels (limited processing,) and only 6 of those 8 can have their input signals sourced from preamps.

Another option is to get 2x X32Racks. One Rack acts as a 16x8 stagebox + DSP, the other just acts as a 16x8 stagebox. That gives you your 32x16 (all on the same side,) and gives you a backup DSP if one dies. If you needed more IO, you could add an SD8 (8x8.) An X32Rack + X32Rack + SD8 at SL, SR, and behind the drums all connected by Ethernet makes for a very easy stage setup.

As Richard said, a switch is not required, in fact it can't be used with AES50. It needs to be a direct connection.

The Rack will come with an X-USB card, which allows for 32x32: enough for a multitrack recording off your 32 preamps. Alternatively if 32x32 is not enough (eg if you wanted to record off all your preamps + your aux ins + your FOH mix, you could use a DN9630, which would allow for 48x48.

Re: Mixing solution for a large band in the rehearsal room

Contributor - Level 2
thank you all for your answers.
I come from the analog world and I'm approaching digital now. So it may be that I do not use the correct terms to explain what I mean.

Kevin said:
The X32rack has 16 XLR mic inputs and the S32 has 32 XLR inputs. We give you 48 mic inputs, but you can only mix 32 channels with full control and 6 Aux inputs with limited control so the S16 would work for you.
If I had more than 32 different musical instruments to connect to the inputs, then there would be no solution?

Paul said:
Depending on what you mean by "at least 32 mic inputs".
I mean the minimum required is 32 xlr inputs for 32 different musical instruments (including microphones, acoustic and electric guitars, keyboards, drums, etc.), but I would like to have the possibility to expand the inputs to 40 or 48, maybe in the next future.

So the right solution to what I'm looking for is what Craig said?
If you needed more IO, you could add an SD8 (8x8.) An X32Rack + X32Rack + SD8 at SL, SR, and behind the drums all connected by Ethernet makes for a very easy stage setup.

Re: Mixing solution for a large band in the rehearsal room

Contributor - Level 3
Fabio Barinotti;158106 wrote:
thank you all for your answers.
I come from the analog world and I'm approaching digital now. So it may be that I do not use the correct terms to explain what I mean.

Kevin said:
The X32rack has 16 XLR mic inputs and the S32 has 32 XLR inputs. We give you 48 mic inputs, but you can only mix 32 channels with full control and 6 Aux inputs with limited control so the S16 would work for you.
If I had more than 32 different musical instruments to connect to the inputs, then there would be no solution?

Paul said:
Depending on what you mean by "at least 32 mic inputs".
I mean the minimum required is 32 xlr inputs for 32 different musical instruments (including microphones, acoustic and electric guitars, keyboards, drums, etc.), but I would like to have the possibility to expand the inputs to 40 or 48, maybe in the next future.

So the right solution to what I'm looking for is what Craig said?
If you needed more IO, you could add an SD8 (8x8.) An X32Rack + X32Rack + SD8 at SL, SR, and behind the drums all connected by Ethernet makes for a very easy stage setup.


As we have said you are limited to mixing 32 with full processing (see what Paul said) plus 6 aux inputs (which can be assigned to get their inputs from the XLR connectors on the stage box) but have limited processing. So you can mix 38 inputs at a time.

You can use multiple mixers and sub mix from one to the other. To get beyond 32 inputs you usually would want a bigger mixer. Personally I can’t imagine trying to handle a show with that many inputs using something like an X32Rack. I regularly use 2 Mixers at once, the Midas version of the full sized X32 the M32 when doing musical theater. And I use some inputs on mixer 1 to take some of the Mix bus sends from mixer 2. But I am also using a computer program called Palladium (from https://www.chsounddesign.com/ ) to control all of the cues for the show. Palladium can control 3 mixers at once and they don’t have to be the same mixer models.

Re: Mixing solution for a large band in the rehearsal room

Volunteer Moderator
Hi Fabio,

To be honest, I'm not exactly understanding why you need more than 32 XLR inputs at any given time. If you only have 10 musicians, how many of those musicians (other than the drummer) would use more than one instrument input (plus vocal) at any one time? Typically a drum setup consists of 5-7 mics plus vocal = 8. If you have 9 remaining musicians, that would be (typically) an additional 18 (9 instruments plus 9 vocals) inputs - total of 26. The keyboard player may have an additional keyboard (maybe stereo as well), potentially increasing the total to 29. Why do you have to anticipate more than 32?

What Craig has suggested with the dual X32 Rack does add additional processing power, but at a cost of increasing complexity (particularly with routing).

If you are anticipating more than 32 inputs, but not at the same time, scenes or routing snippets can be used to switch inputs in banks of 8 in and out to those 32+8 channel strips in the X32. For example if you are running a festival with 3 separate stages with 3 different bands, you could have a scene with the stage 1 band, then change the scene (with different inputs) for the stage 2 band, and the same with the stage 3 band.
Paul Vannatto, Volunteer Forum Administrator and Moderator

Re: Mixing solution for a large band in the rehearsal room

Contributor - Level 2
If I had more than 32 different musical instruments to connect to the inputs, then there would be no solution?


As Paul and Kevin said you can only mix a total of 40 channels + FX in the X32 at any one time. 32 channels with full Gate/Dynamics/EQ and 8 Aux channels which only have a 4 band EQ but no Dynamics. However you can have more than 40 mics/instruments plugged in to the mixer and stage rack inputs but you have to choose by input routing which ones to mix.

Re: Mixing solution for a large band in the rehearsal room

Contributor - Level 2
Paul Vannatto;158110 wrote:
Hi Fabio,

To be honest, I'm not exactly understanding why you need more than 32 XLR inputs at any given time. If you only have 10 musicians, how many of those musicians (other than the drummer) would use more than one instrument input (plus vocal) at any one time? Typically a drum setup consists of 5-7 mics plus vocal = 8. If you have 9 remaining musicians, that would be (typically) an additional 18 (9 instruments plus 9 vocals) inputs - total of 26. The keyboard player may have an additional keyboard (maybe stereo as well), potentially increasing the total to 29. Why do you have to anticipate more than 32?


Hi Paul,
this is our channel list:
Drums 10 channels (kick, snare, hihat, tom1, tom2, floor tom, overhead L + R, Rototom L +R)
Bass 1 channel
First guitarist 5 channels (electric guitar L + R, acoustic guitar, lap steel and nashville tuning guitars)
Second guitarist 3 channels (electric guitar L + R, acoustic guitar)
Premixed keyboards 2 channels L + R
Sequences 1 channel
Click 1 channel
Saxophonist 3 channels ( mic baritone on sax and mic tenor on mic stand) and 1 guitar
3 male vocals -> 3 channels
3 female vocals -> 3 channels

Total of 32 channels. Maybe we will have to add a channel to the saxophonist for an additional guitar...
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