Preface: I know very little about live sound. I know even less about mixing equipment. While I’m audio enthusiast, my most recent significant audio purchase was a set of Klipsch speakers for a home theater… in 1999 😲

So when it came time to cobble together some equipment MBI Winds, I did a lot of asking around. There were plenty of people in the area with experience using the Behringer X32. So we got an X32 Rack which would fit in our small audio cart nicely.

When I try to figure out how to do something on the X32, my first stop is YouTube. It’s probably by someone who does sound for their church, so their application might not be the same as yours. They’re also likely using the full X32 console mixer – the OG big boy.

I don’t have the luxury or ease-of-use that comes with the full console that has all the buttons. Instead, it can be even more confusing because I have three options to configure the mixer:

  1. The screen on the front of the X32 Rack (same as the big console, which makes YouTube Videos still helpful)
  2. The X32-Edit cross-platform application (Windows, Mac, Linux)
  3. The X32 Mix iOS App on iPad
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When we were putting together MBI Winds last year, I started asking around about equipment early in the summer. A nearby high school had a plastic sound cart that they hated. They said they were going to throw it away, so it was free for the taking 😲

I picked up the roto-molded SKB Gig Rig and we quickly put it into service. It was worse for wear. Missing the end cover doors, wheels that needed TLC, many latches broken. For the first season we used it as-is and just put a ratchet strap around the whole thing to hold it together since the latches were broken πŸ˜‚

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The Long Ranger is dead ☠️ Long live the long ranger! As soon as it went away, another brand stepped in to take its place: The Anchor Audio MegaVox. There’s always a love-hate relationship between ensemble directors and these devices. People forget to charge them. Then in an effort to delegate charging responsibility, they get left in cars and then stolen (true story). They get abused! One of the most vulnerable, and critical components is the speaker cone – it’s what makes the MegaVox MEGA.

The cone is molded with three small tabs of plastic. While the cone is recessed behind the front face of the MegaVox, the fabric case is not enough to prevent damage. Anything that sneaks in an hits the code will surely break it off. On any given equipment trailer, there are many opportunities for things to jostle around and break a cone.

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I did my first tracking block with Phantom Regiment. Well, the first time we called it “tracking.” I had done it at Irondale in high school, but I didn’t have the vocabulary at the time.

That was like 30 years ago, but it is still a very effective tool to increase confidence with simultaneous music & visual responsibilities.

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…also marching band, WGI, etc. Well we did it again this year at Minnesota Brass. This season’s problem to solve: harmonicas. The 2023 Minnesota Brass production “Speakeasy” used Billy Joel’s Piano Man as the ballad. I thought it would fun to play a little ditty on harmonica, so I worked with our arranger to put it in.

Playing Harmonica

I had never played harmonica, so I did some research. I wanted to make sure it was achievable, and that whatever I ordered would be suitable. I started with this youtube video and some harmonica note charts:

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