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In this episode of Sound Design Live I talk with Behringer X32 expert Drew Brashler. We answer loads of questions about the X32 and discuss his work with Christ’s Church of the Valley. I ask:
- What are the biggest mistakes you see people making who are new to working with the X32?
- What are the main differences between X32 and M32?
- How do you set up the X32 for rock-solid wireless control?
- How do you use the X32 as a speaker processor?
- How do you perform a complete console backup to a USB drive?
- Is the Combinator a useful effect? Why is the attack knob backwards?
- What’s the difference between scenes, cues, and snippets?
- What are some pros and cons of using Waves Multirack Native vs Soundgrid with the X-WSG IO card?
- I once heard that in older versions of the x32 the outputs were not phase aligned. Does that have any merit?
- Are there any issues with latency with the normal channel strip compressor?
- Can I use the Midas DL32 with the X32 as a budget M32?
- Can I go pre-fader post-EQ-dynamics through MADI directly into another X32?
- All music in this episode by Shutterwax.
- Drew’s tips for setting up a killer wireless network for mixing:
- Use a dedicated network.
- Go wired with a manual IP address.
- Password protect your audio network.
- Make sure you have line of sight with your router’s antenna.
- Add an antenna from wa5vjb.
- Behringer X32 Wifi Setup & Networking Guide
- Scenes save and recall everything. There is a momentary break in audio throughput.
- Snippets save specific things like a channel mute or fader move.
- Cues can load both of those.
- Linksys WRT54G and DDWRT firmware
- Drew Brashler’s Youtube page
- Midas DL32
- X32 Snippets, Scenes, and Cues
- Smaart audio analyzer
- Who you surround yourself with is who you will end up being.
- Don’t be afraid to ask a question, but always be careful who you ask that question to.
- Please password protect your audio network. Please, please, please.
- The Apple Airport Express doesn’t like to be disconnected from the internet. You will have issues with routing.
- If you want to give yourself a full picture of what the room is sounding like, you need to walk.
Jimmy Fleming says
You mentioned the 2000 kids coming in and suddenly you couldn’t connect to your router 3 feet away. This is why you should hide your SSID as the guy ask you. Here’s the reason… if your SSID is visible, every single wireless device that sees it will automatically ping it to see if it’s an open network or not. So, in your case, you had hundreds, maybe thousands of mobile phones hitting your router. If you hide the SSID, you will not have these issues.
Nathan Lively says
Ken Thies says
It’s not just about hiding the SSID though – which is indeed a very good idea precisely because of Jimmy’s point. It also involves available data bandwidth within a single radio bandwidth.
I’ll try to make my point as briefly as possible. When digital data has to share its medium’s bandwidth with data from a lot of other devices, it can get corrupted and have to be sent again. As demand for bandwidth increases while the medium remains the same, so will the likelyhood of re-transmissions increase, and ultimately some delay will be introduced in getting information from point A to point B. The average cellphone user simply complains that the “network is slow” and carries on, but such delays are very bad for real-time applications such as staying connected to your FOH console during a show.
It’s sort of like having a single network in your home, and the whole family is streaming videos, gaming, etc, while you’re trying to get work done moving tens or hundreds of GB between networked devices in your home studio. We all know how data-intensive pro-level audio and video mixing/editing and backups can be. *You* don’t need the internet at the moment, but your family does, and you’re all still on the same LAN. Every time you start a large project data duplication, the kids complain that the TV streaming service is stopping to rebuffer too much, your spouse can’t get a web page to load, and you’re waiting a *long* time for that backup to finish so that you can continue mixing/editing. Put in a router to create two separate LANs – one for home entertainment, and one for home studio, and suddenly you’ve got a whole separate LAN bandwidth available for the studio alone, never touching the wire carrying the family’s traffic (well, until *you* need to get to the internet anyway). 😉
I believe that if you’re trying to run your FOH system on the same medium (i.e. the 2.4GHz band) as everyone else in the venue, you’re running into the limited resources issue. Go to a different band (i.e. 5GHz), and you’ll effectively switch to a (currently) far less populated medium.
My experience to date has been that as long as I’m using the standard 2.4GHz band, I *will* have collisions with other people’s traffic – EVEN if they’re not accessing or trying to access my private LAN – and I finish up with connectivitiy issues.
I typically ethernet cable-connect my console to a 5GHz wifi router (private protected LAN of course, *not* up-linked to the internet), then connect via 5GHz from my tablet, and the collision issues almost (almost) go away. As more and more devices and people embrace 5GHz, that won’t be so effective anymore, but for *now* it works for me. 😉 Of course, the drawback is that 5GHz is a little more than double the frequency of 2.4GHz, so line-of-sight becomes even more important, and effective range can therefore decrease a little.
We just weigh the pros and cons for each situation, make informed decisions, and the show goes on. 🙂
Nathan Lively says
Thanks Ken! I just got two Bullet M5 access points.
Aaron Duerksen says
I’m not sure where I found it anymore, but I read something to the effect of hidden SSID’s actually creating *more* traffic, all else being equal.
The idea is they’re only hidden to the end-user, but still visible to every device in the area. They still send out a “beacon” periodically, which announces its presence to everything in range; they just omit the name from that beacon so that the *user* can’t see it. Then to connect, a device has to ask if a particular station has the desired name by sending a beacon back to it that does include the name. These beacons are slow, intended to be universally compatible, until a proper negotiation can be accomplished, which also means that they tie up the channel for a long time.
So potentially lots of time-hog polling on a “hidden” network (which is not really hidden), compared to a visible one.
And if you have a hidden network set up on your device and you take it to a dense public area, like maybe an airport, it’s going to poll every “hidden” network to see if it’s the one that you’ve set up. At that point, a malicious hotspot can answer “yes” regardless of the name, and move on to the security step (if any).
Nathan Lively says
Thanks Aaron. I guess there should be some way to test if this compromises the speed of your network, but I’m not sure how.
Aaron Duerksen says
DON’T USE NON-ORIGINAL ANTENNAS WITH WIFI!!!
Yes, they work, and they do improve the range, but they can also be illegal. The actual regulation has to do with the maximum transmitted strength at a set distance away *in any direction*. So, if you change the antenna, especially if the new one is directional, you may now be over the legal limit in the center beam. If you can’t (or won’t) turn the transmitter down, you’re now illegal. If that’s the only way to make it work, run a wire instead.
Purely-receiving antennas don’t have the problem; they can be as directional as you want, and you can reap those benefits, because they don’t transmit. WiFi, however, always does both, and it’s the transmitting part that can get you in legal trouble.
Extension *cables* are okay, as long as you still have the original antennas at the end of them.