Behringer has been putting out premium quality gear for quite a while, and on their catalog, you’ll find some of the nicest instruments, pedals, and various recording equipment.
Today we’re having a look at their X32 Compact and X32 Producer mixing consoles – we’ve tested them and checked out what they had to offer in terms of versatility and performance.
In all fairness, the amount of similarities between the X32 Compact and X32 Producer mixing consoles is staggering. In fact, some people even go as far as to say that these consoles are almost identical in terms of features they come supplied with and their usability. However, we’ve managed to find a couple of differences, so without any further ado, let’s get straight to it.
X32 Compact Console features
The X32 producer features forty input channels, sixteen Midas mic preamps which are fully programmable, seventeen automated and motorized 100mm faders, eight XLR outputs and six additional line-in outputs, two phone connectors, 40-bit DSP features with a dynamic range, dedicated channel-strip sections, ULTRANET connectivity, and various other features.
Furthermore, this model also packs an integrated audio interface expansion port, which makes a recording with it all the easier.
This being said, it’s quite obvious that the X32 ‘compact’ mixing console actually packs a vast array of settings, and people don’t love it so much for its portability alone.
X32 Producer Console features
The features of the X32 producer console are somewhat similar to those the X32 Compact comes supplied with.
It also packs forty input channels, sixteen Midas designed mic preamps, a dedicated channel-strip section, ULTRANET connectivity, eight XLR outputs and six additional line-in outputs, and such. However, there are plenty of differences between these two consoles where the ‘Producer’ has the upper hand.
It also packs a bigger 7-inch TFT, whereas the Compact features a 5-inch TFT, Ethernet connectivity, rack-mount brackets, and a substantially bigger display.
Before we get to the point of discussing the difference in price between the X32 Compact and X32 Producer, we should mention that both of these consoles are widely considered as ‘cheap’, even though they both cost well above $1000.
Strictly speaking, the X32 Producer is slightly more expensive than the X32 Compact, so under normal circumstances, this would have been taken into consideration. However, since the difference between these two is a mere $100 (street price, not officially), it wouldn’t be fair to say that one is ‘cheaper’ than the other substantially.
The ‘portability’ of the X32 Compact
The Behringer X32 Compact has most of the features that the original X32 console comes supplied with. However, the board is a bit smaller, so all of the functions, sliders, buttons, and knobs are basically cramped onto a slightly smaller platform.
The X32 Compact’s dimensions are 24.6 inches by 20 inches by 8.5 inches, which means that it takes up the least bit of space on the DJ booth, as well as in your van or tour bus. It also weighs only 34 pounds, which isn’t lightweight per se, but it’s certainly much lighter than the vast majority of mixing consoles.
This means that this model is perfectly suited for traveling musicians and gigging DJs, sound engineers, and sound technicians. By being able to transport it more easily while economizing your workspace, this console provides the much-needed benefits for any live acts.
The ‘versatility’ of the X32 Producer
Basically, the main difference between the X32 Producer and X32 Compact can be seen in their intended uses.
While the X32 Compact is best used by sound engineers, sound technicians, and DJs who often need to bring their own equipment to their gigs, the X32 producer is better for ‘stationary’ work.
Simply due to the fact that the X32 producer has a bigger board, the sliders, buttons, and knobs are more efficiently placed, which leads us to the conclusion that the sound techs and engineers will have a better overview. This console is generally better for all manners of studio work, including mixing demos, rehearsals, and, of course, records.
Differences between the Compact, Producer, and the original X32
All of the X32 versions have 40 channels, but the Compact and Producer versions have a substantially lower number of mic inputs, main outputs, and faders in comparison to the original one.
The original X32 has 32 mic inputs, 16 main outputs, and 25 faders, whereas these two have only 16 mic inputs, 8 main outputs, and 17 faders. Of course, the ‘original’ X32 also costs roughly twice as much as the Producer or the Compact.
People often opt for the original X32 for heavier recording chores, especially if they’re recording and mixing tracks with numerous instrument layers, such as orchestras for example.
On another hand, ‘traditional’ bands who use only a handful of guitars and a drum set that doesn’t sport a billion cymbals could easily be tracked with either the X32 Compact or X32 Producer with the same efficiency.
Pros & Cons
Pros and Cons
Let’s be perfectly honest, pitting X32 Compact and X32 Producer against each other isn’t that much of a contest since they come outfitted with an almost identical set of features.
One is slightly smaller and lighter, the other is a bit more robust and provides a better overview of the knobs, buttons, and sliders, so basically, the answer to ‘which one is better’ largely depends on what you aim to do with them. From an objective standpoint, they’re equally valuable.