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Behringer X32: S16, S32, SD8, and SD16 Setup

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Behringer X32: S16, S32, SD8, and SD16 Setup

Post by Dana »

In this article/guide, we will show you how to set up digital stage boxes (SD8, SD16, S16, and S32) with an X32. Digital stage boxes function just like analog snakes: they pass audio in two directions over a long cable (snake). The main difference is that Behringer’s digital stage boxes only require a single shielded Cat5-e networking cable to connect to your X32 mixer’s AES50 ports. Once connected, you just need to configure each device’s settings for your particular setup. Follow the sections below to learn a few ways to connect Behringer stage boxes.

What is AES50?

It’s like the internet but for audio.

Each X32 AES50 port supports 48 input and 48 output channels and can each connect to up to three stage boxes at a time. That’s a lot of channels, meaning you can configure a variety of setups. For example, a single S16 offers 16 inputs and 8 outputs. Use two S16’s and you’ll have 32 mic preamps and 16 analog outputs. Or, cascade an S16 with an S32 and you have 48 mic preamps and 24 analog outputs. Just remember that each X32 has a limited number of channel strips (32) and analog outputs.

AES50 input channelsWhen connecting to an X32’s AES50 port, the stage box’s built-in inputs will be assigned to their respective AES50 channels. So, the first stage box’s inputs will occupy AES50 1-8, 1-16, or 1-32, respective to its number of inputs. Cascading a second stage box to the first would occupy the next available AES50 channels. The signals are connected to the X32, but not yet routed to a channel. To configure each set of stage box inputs to an X32 channel, it must be assigned via the Routing menu’s Home page.

The X32 only has 32 channel strips, so any additional AES50 inputs will only have local/remote controllable preamp gain and phantom power via the Settings menu’s Preamps page.AES50 output channelsEach AES50 port’s output signals are selected from their Routing menu pages. That means you need to select which outputs are assigned to each group of eight AES50 channels. So when you want to send a mix bus to a stage box, first assign the mix bus to an X32 analog output and then assign that output to your AES50 channels.For S32’s, signals sent to its analog outputs are dependent on the S32’s order in the AES50 path.

If it’s first, the outputs are AES50 1-32. If it’s second, they’ll be 17-48. An S16’s outputs are configured from the digital encoder and the SD16 and SD8 outputs are assigned with the selector switch (1-8, 9-16, 17-24). AES50 outputs 33-40 and 41-48 are reserved for P16 Ultranet channels by default. 

Where are the Mains?

Remember that the default outputs for the Main mix are 15-16 on the X32 and 7-8 on all other models. Use the matching outputs when connecting the stage box to the mains.
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