In the world of musical recording, everyone is curious what is the best digital console to add to their recording studio.
Should you go for the Midas M32 or the Behringer X32? Well, that ultimately depends on your needs.
To save you time and effort, we wrote this article to help you choose between the two digital consoles.
Let’s get right to it!
Midas M32 Overview
A versatile and highly-capable digital mixer, the Midas M32 is one of the lead digital consoles in the industry.
The Midas M32 can transition from studio recording to aiding you in live performances, regardless of the size of the venue.
Some of what you’ll be getting when you choose the Midas M32 are:
- 40 input channels
- 32 Midas Preamps
- 112 dB dynamic range
- 25 time-aligned mix buses
- 50 signal processors over 8 stereo DSP engines
As some users put it, the Midas M32 digital mixer is every sound engineer’s dream come true! And it is, especially if the features fit your needs.
Created by Midas, you would have heard or are familiar with their preamps. With 32 of those packed into your digital mixer, there is nothing you can’t do.
With a wide dynamic range, you are given the freedom to create any type of mix in any genre you’d like. Who doesn’t like that freedom?
- Wide dynamic range
- Proven durability
- Lightweight and has an ergonomic design
- Compatible with WiFi and iOS devices
- Takes away the need for large equipment
- Low power mic
- It can be pricey for some
- A limited number of distant connections
Behringer X32 Overview
With quality reverb algorithms, this digital mixer can rival even the most expensive mixers.
Powered by a fast and intuitive work surface, this mixer boasts the following features:
- 32 Midas-designed mic preamps
- 40-input channel and 16 XLR outputs
- 25-bus digital mixing console
- Individual and dynamic LCD scribble strips
- 48-bit floating-point DSP features
- Has an automated control surface
Did you know that the Behringer X32 is a synergy work of three musical companies?
There is no wonder that the build quality of the X32 is amazing, considering its sci-fi look. Designed and engineered in Germany, this digital console is an all-in-one package.
It has a 32 x 32 channel USB 2.0 audio interface with a DAW remote for an easier and more seamless experience.
Add the ULTRANET connectivity for Behringer’s P-16 Personal Monitoring System, and you have a highly-responsive digital mixer!
- Highly versatile and can be used for live and studio sessions
- The dynamic range features near-zero latency
- Convenient handling of complex productions
- Compatible with Apple devices
- It can be set up with a remote control
- Affordable price
- Some GUI options are not immediate
- Not touchscreen
- The copy and paste function can be improved
Midas M32 vs. Behringer X32: Performance Review
You notice some similarities when you look at Midas M32 and the Behringer X32. But, the few differences can help you sort out which one fits your needs.
Let’s dive deeper into Midas M32 vs. Behringer x32!
Build and Design
The Behringer X32 sports a solid feel when it comes to the build. The buttons and encoders have a nice feel, and the faders travel well.
One thing that you can be sure of with the X32: it is NOT plastic, nor does it have plastic sounds emanating from clicks.
- Weighing 45.4 pounds, it’s understandable why this digital mixer weighs more than other consoles on the market.
- While being on the bulkier and heavier side of digital mixers, the Behringer X32 promises durability and long-term use.
The three companies outdid themselves with a rack-mountable board that will help you anywhere when it comes to design.
That’s not something you’d find easily with your average console. But, let us tell you why the Midas M32 is the winner for this round.
Winner: Midas M32
For starters, the Midas M32 is made of carbon fiber construction coupled with aluminum and steel.
From the get-go, the Midas M32 has been equipped with multiple alloys, making it capable of providing a high ratio of performance to weight.
- The Midas M32 is 75.8 pounds, slightly heavier than the Behringer X32.
- Although the Behringer X32 has a mountable board, the sharper angle of the M32 console can also function as its working surface.
This design of the M32 makes it easier for the user to access bus controls, equalizer, and other audio equipment.
This console will surely give you a premium look, as the M32 has successfully combined high-tech equipment and modern construction principles.
To put the cherry on top, Midas went all out with the M32 as the sub-frame parts are also made up of lightweight carbon fiber and high-quality aluminum.
Ease of Use
Things can get tricky for digital mixers regarding some live performances and outdoor venues.
A good console must have lots of stability to reduce bumps and errors, and that’s what all sound engineers prefer to improve the live sound.
The Midas M32 has a highly reliable live sound, and the installation process is quick, too.
While this cuts down the learning curve for some operators, some features of the M32 require adept technical knowledge.
Unfortunately, the M32’s multiple functions can be overpowering for some not looking for a super versatile console.
In terms of ease of use, we will go with the X32.
Winner: Behringer X32
The GUI of the X32 is pretty intuitive, and it also has a dedicated view button that will take you straight to the screen that you want to see, plus the optimized control illumination.
What sets this console apart from the others is it is beginner-friendly.
The X32 will not overwhelm someone trying to learn the ropes of onboard processing from the two consoles.
Comparably lighter than the M32, the X32 is a much more portable option. Its Midas-inspired firmware makes anyone familiar with its use too.
The workflow is improved with a 2.0 firmware, and with a built-in user interface, the X32 is ultimately more flexible than its counterpart. It has visual groups for immediate recognition.
When it comes to performing to a live audience, the X32 boasts of a 7-inch Thin-Film Transistor (TFT) display, which can help musicians see in broad daylight.
The only downside we can think of is the general layout of the X32. We find that the layout of the X32 contradicts some of the sound engineering principles we’ve come to love.
With the LCD Scribble Strips, there is no doubt X32 is better at the automated control surface.
If you are looking for something that has a better learning curve, the X32 is the one!
We have a clear winner in this battle of Midas M32 vs. Behringer X32. But, let us tell you all about the sound quality of our runner-up.
With an X32, users will be able to create beautiful music with only minimal mouse wiggling. Believe us when we say that the sound quality of X32 is hi-fi.
- The X32 has eight digitally controlled amplifier (DCA) groups inside. This audio equipment will make digital mixing look easy.
- It also boasts of multiple functions, such as an Auto Mix feature, and the eight DCA groups allow for the effective management of audio signals. Isn’t that amazing?
Come to think of it, X32 has a slightly inferior performance than its counterpart, with the M32 leading only a couple of steps ahead.
The X32 uses the same firmware as the M32, so the preamps are not originally made.
Unlike the innovative design and plug-ins of the M32, the X32 comes up short when it comes to sound quality.
Winner: Midas M32
With the cutting-edge technology and multiple plug-ins of the M32, the quality will be crystal clear in live stage performance and inside a recording studio.
It seems that Midas has perfected the “formula” for creating digital consoles!
One convenient feature of the M32 is the variety of plug-ins and the presence of sound customization.
- With onboard processing, motorized faders, routing, and a single fader, this carbon-fiber-made console can control different sections all at once.
- Can you imagine a live performance where one audio console can control the backup vocalists, percussion mix, and horn section?
It sounds crazy, but that’s the M32.
There is no doubt that the Midas desk has more pro tools designed for a live performance. The M32 has a latency introduced by FX, making it more suitable for outdoor venues.
If you want a quality such as those of a professional recording studio, whether inside or outside, go for the M32!
The deeper functions of the two consoles would be held back if they are not easily connected with other necessary audio equipment, right?
When it comes to the X32, we absolutely love its flexibility!
For example, the aux bus sends can be accessed through a channel-by-channel basis or using some motorized faders. This one has 25 mixed buses and 25 motorized faders.
The X32 digital mixer boasts acoustic integration, which helps in connectivity and better control of the speakers.
It also comes with swappable expansion cards which can connect to other multi-channel through ADAT, USB, MADI, and Dante.
With its stack of I/O connections, the only thing missing about the X32 is the digital ins. Other than that, it’s SUPER compatible and easy to work with equipment!
Although it might seem that both the M32 and the X32 have similar inputs and outputs, the former still comes out on top.
Winner: Midas M32
The M32 is a 32-in and 32-out USB 2.0 audio interface. That’s a lot of connections that you can use while you are creating and mixing.
One thing about the M32 is that you can plug a flash drive into the USB port, and you can start recording!
Yup, just like that!
This console can mix and record on the go and sports motorized faders and converters.
The DAW control of the M32 can be controlled via HUI protocols or Mackie Control. This can be the downside to all sound engineers as it can be extra work.
Don’t worry, as it can also be connected directly to a DAW with the appropriate software.
What’s beautiful about the Midas M32 is that you can record anywhere and develop the quality you get from a studio.
The only downside is that it can be time-consuming to find the right software. So, consider this too when you are deciding!
You might think that a more expensive piece of equipment means it’s better.
It can be true in some cases, but that depends on how much power you need.
With all its power and cutting-edge technology, the price of the Midas M32 is not really that surprising.
Different brands from the same Music Tribe family have already replicated the innovative design setting Midas apart from its competitors.
If you are looking for some bang for your buck and have more to spare when purchasing, we’d definitely recommend the M32.
However, the clear winner when it comes to price is X32.
Winner: Behringer X32
Aside from its affordable price, the Behringer X32 will not break the bank. All the while, it also provides quality and value for money.
The lower overall price makes it accessible to startup musicians and engineers. For its price, the product quality is profound!
You can save up to almost $1,800 if you decide to have an X32 than an M32. For those who do not need the power that M32 provides, that’s already a great deal!
The M32 undoubtedly has deeper functions, such as the recording-studio quality of even the backup vocalists and the ability to wow a live audience.
However, if you don’t need that, you’d find that the X32 can do just fine!
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you still have some questions? We’re here to answer and clarify your doubts.
This section will answer the most common questions about the Midas M32 and the Behringer X32.
What Is the Difference Between Midas M32 and M32 Live?
According to Music Tribe, the music group owner of both Midas and Behringer, the M32 Live is a variation of the M32.
Like the M32, the M32 Live excels in performing live sound and studio recording.
The only difference from the M32 is that the M32 Live can record on SD cards and the normal flash drive to the USB port.
The M32 Live improved the connectivity aspect of the M32 while preserving its top-notch aspects, such as having a digitally controlled amplifier and its famed motorized faders.
When Should You Consider an Audio Mixer Like the M32 or X32?
If you are having a hard time with your current console and want to upgrade to a console with many more features, it’s officially time to get an improved audio mixer!
Get the Behringer X32 when you are beginning and want something easy to work with. The X32 is a classic analog gear equipped with digital networking and individual buses.
You’ll be set with the Behringer X32 as your console!
- Different brands have different fortes, and the strength of the X32 lies in its accessibility to beginners.
- Aside from the beginner-friendly user interface, the X32 can influence your FOH mix while the individual buses remain unchanged. How crazy is that, right?
The visual groups and the channel strip feature make it easy to navigate when performing. Top that up with the frequency shelving, and you’ll have a full package analog console.
If you are a seasoned engineer or an experienced person in the industry, we recommend trying out the M32.
It has features such as sound customization and a powerful single fader which can even focus the music of the horn section during a live performance.
What Is the Difference Between Midas M32 and Behringer X32?
Music Tribe has envisioned creating a more accessible version of the Midas M32, which is why the Behringer X32 has been released with Midas-designed Preamps.
The difference here is that the preamps of the M32 are noticeably better at higher gain levels.
The X32’s analog board is also easier to understand for beginners, especially with its optimized control illumination, channel strip, frequency shelving, and dozens of IO jacks.
Some will also find it convenient for the classic analog gear of the Behringer X32 to enable groups for similar inputs, which is super helpful for outdoor venues.
The digital networking feature of the Behringer X32 trumps the integration properties of the M32.
Of course, this analog board has its strength and perks, but the M32 is a digital mixing console with professional mixing tools and an innovative operating system.
The carbon-fiber-made console released by the Music Group is every sound engineer’s dream come true and has a superior sound quality for mixing and performance.
Alternatives to Consider
If you find that the M32 or the X32 are not what you are looking for, there are plenty of other mixers out there which can suit your needs.
Let’s check them out in this section!
1. Yamaha TF5
If you are looking for a simple console with a better learning curve, then the Yamaha TF5 might be what you are looking for.
It has 20 AUX buses, which are composed of 8x mono, and 6x stereo. Not to mention that it also has a USB 2.0 interface and a GainFinder-Function.
This function is a smart feature as the console automatically points out any possible optimal gain from a source, similar to how a digital guitar tuner works.
There’s no need to worry about becoming overwhelmed by the Yamaha TF5, as this console is intuitive and adapts to the user’s needs!
You will surely get your ideal sound with the equalizer and the 1-knob compression. If you want to mix and record to be child’s play, the TF5 will help you achieve that!
2. A&H SQ-6
Do you want a powerful console that also wins in the aesthetic department? The Allen & Heath Company’s SQ-6 produces unrivaled power and audio fidelity.
Compared to the products of Music Tribe, such as the M32, the SQ-6 has lesser Preamps, but it more than makes up for that with its dedicated returns and range of remote expanders.
What sets it apart from other consoles is it can also be used for corporate audio and houses of worship.
Geared toward improving their users’ mixing experience, Allen & Heath equipped the SQ-6 with a high-resolution 6″ capacitive touchscreen.
To put the cherry on top, you can also drag and drop mixes and channels into any strip, which is perfect for any musician working with a lot of projects simultaneously.
3. Presonus Studio Live 32
If you are looking for a console that excels in connectivity and is compatible with a lot of signals, this is the one you are looking for.
The Studio Live 32 is another powerful live mixing console. Let us tell you why.
With the ability to take center stage in a recording studio, the Studio Live 32 has innovative time-based processors and an impressive DAW integration.
The Studio Live 32 is the equivalent of a one-person show in the world of mixers!
If you have had a bad experience with slow feedback and responsiveness from other consoles, you will find that the Studio Live 32 sets the bar higher.
4. Soundcraft Ui24R
If you are a vocalist and want to practice but there are no musicians present, the Ui24R has a USB recording slot that can record and play music.
The Ui24R is a powerhouse in its recording prowess; however, it’s not the best mixer when you are going live.
It does not have the usual dynamic range of other consoles, but it does its part when you are recording and mixing music.
5. A&H QU-32
It is no wonder that the digital mixers produced by Allen and Heath can rival the industry’s favorites.
If you want something that has some sci-fi qualities to it while also remaining true to its classic roots, the QU-32 is the perfect combination for that.
In terms of the display, the A&H QU-32 boasts a single rotary encoder that can tweak and edit as you go.
Tips for Choosing the Right Mixer
Choosing the right mixer is TOUGH and takes a lot of thought and consideration.
In this section, we will give you some advice on how you can best choose among the mixers in the market now.
Focus On Your Needs
One common misconception in the industry is that the more expensive the equipment, the better.
But come to think of it, it wouldn’t be much use if it did not fit your needs, right? That’s why you need to focus on your INTENTION in buying the right mixer for you.
Here are some of the questions you can answer:
- Are you recording from home, or are you setting up a professional recording studio?
- Is it important for you to use the “original thing,” or it’s alright to use “inspired” products?
- Are you using the mixer for indoor, outdoor, live, or all three?
From this, you can carefully select which mixer is best for you, given your purposes.
Money Is Part of the Decision
There is a HUGE difference between the X32 and the M32 when it comes to the price point. The difference can even go as far as double the price in some sellers!
That’s a lot of money, and being in the musical industry, we already know that we have to allocate some of our allowance for emergency repairs and purchases.
- If you have the buck to spare, then feel free to go with the Midas M32.
- However, if it disrupts your budget, it’s not a bad idea to get the X32.
Don’t feel like you’re settling for something less, especially if you don’t need a powerful console like M32.
Final Verdict: Midas or Behringer?
Well, the answer depends on your needs.
Although the M32 and the Behringer X32 are said to be interchangeable when it comes to their uses, it all depends on how much power you need.
The Midas M32 is undoubtedly the best equipment for your home studio, and it is a worthwhile investment when you are planning to use it for multiple projects.
- It is powerful enough to handle indoor, outdoor, and live performance assistance, so it is not the cheapest option out there.
- With this, it also has a steep learning curve and is not suited for beginners.
On the other hand, the Behringer X32 is a lightweight version of the M32 while having “watered down” versions of the specs of the M32. This is how it is designed and with this intent.
If you are starting in the musical industry, the best option is to go for the X32, as it will allow you to explore without overwhelming you with its specs and features.
But, if you are an experienced engineer who wants to delve deep into what M32 has to offer, then, by all means, do so.
As long as you meet your goal, that is the right mixer for you!
We hope you learned a thing or two from this article, and we also hope that it sheds light on the difference between the Behringer X32 and the Midas M32.
Both the M32 and the Behringer X32 are excellent consoles, albeit with some differences in functionality and use.
It all depends on your need and how the console meets them.
Remember, this is not about which is more famous, but which one fits your own definition of the right mixer.