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BEHRINGER XENYX X1204USB
- Premium ultra-low noise, high headroom analog mixer
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|Item Dimensions||10.63 x 12.91 x 3.82 in||10.63 x 12.91 x 3.82 in||14.57 x 12.99 x 3.54 in||9.84 x 9.76 x 1.97 in||11.4 x 14.1 x 3.6 in||7.68 x 9.76 x 1.97 in|
|Item Weight||5.75 lbs||8.38 lbs||9.3 lbs||3.31 lbs||7.1 lbs||3.75 lbs|
BEHRINGER XENYX X1204USB/1204USB
Premium 12-Input 2/2-Bus Mixer with XENYX Mic Preamps Compressors, British EQs and USB/Audio Interface
- Premium ultra-low noise, high headroom analog mixer
- 4 state-of-the-art XENYX, phantom-powered Mic Preamps comparable to stand-alone boutique preamps
- 4 studio-grade compressors with super-easy "one-knob" functionality and control LED for professional vocal and instrumental sound
- Neo-classic "British" 3-band EQs for warm and musical sound
- Built-in stereo USB/Audio Interface to connect directly to your computer. Free audio recording, editing and podcasting software plus 150 instrument/effect plug-ins and ultra-low latency driver downloadable at www.behringer.com
- 2 aux sends per channel: 1 pre fader for monitoring applications, 1 post fader for external FX devices
- Clip LEDs and mute/alt 3-4 function on all channels
- 2 subgroups with separate outputs for added routing flexibility
- 2 multi-functional stereo aux returns with flexible routing
- Balanced main mix outputs with gold-plated XLR connectors plus separate control room, headphones and stereo tape outputs
- Control room/phones outputs with multi-input source matrix
- Long-wearing 60-mm logarithmic-taper faders and sealed rotary controls
- "Planet Earth" switching power supply for maximum flexibility (100 - 240 V~), noise-free audio, superior transient response plus low power consumption for energy saving
- Rack mount brackets included for ultimate flexibility
- High-quality components and exceptionally rugged construction ensure long life
- Conceived and designed by BEHRINGER Germany
Perfect for a small live-performance mixer, as well as home-based recording setup, the X1204USB/1204USB provides four mono channels with premium XENYX mic preamps, neo-classic 3-band British-style EQ and two stereo input channels. Far from being a "bare-bones" mixer, all mono channels feature our "one-knob" studio-grade compressor and two Aux Sends (one each pre- and post-fader). Two stereo Aux Returns are included for use with external FX modules. The built-in USB audio interface provides bi-directional transfer of signals between the mixer and computer.
XENYX USB Series mixers are designed to handle your live gigs, and they provide the state-of-the-art tools you need to make stunning, professional-quality recordings. Along with their built-in USB/audio interfaces, XENYX USB mixers come with all the recording and editing software you'll need to turn your computer system into a complete, high-performance home recording studio.
Sonically Superior Mic Preamps
All XENYX mixers have one thing in common - great-sounding, high headroom XENYX mic preamps. These state-of-the-art mic pres represent a major step in the evolution of audio technology - and they can easily hold their own, even when compared to the most expensive stand-alone mic preamps. XENYX preamps offer a staggering 130 dB of dynamic range, with a bandwidth that extends from below 10 Hz to well above 200 kHz. Armed with these outstanding mic preamps, XENYX mixers provide such transparent, crystal-clear performance you just might think someone upgraded your mics while you weren't looking.
Sublimely Musical British EQ
The British consoles of the 1960s and ‘70s changed the sound of rock and roll-without them the British Invasion might not have happened. Those legendary mixing desks soon became the envy of engineers and producers all over the world. The channel EQ on our XENYX mixers is based on that very same circuitry, allowing you to imbue signals with incredible warmth and detailed musical character. Even when applied generously, these equalizers exhibit sweet forgiveness and superb audio quality.
Ask professional sound engineers what their favorite piece of external processing gear is and the majority response will be virtually unanimous - dynamic compression. What is compression? We're glad you asked. Compression essentially limits the dynamic range of a signal, lowering the level of loud sounds and turning up softer sounds, to achieve sonic balance. But applying compression is a delicate art that many novice, and even intermediate, sound techs have great difficulty mastering. Our "one-knob" compression is available on all mono channels and is easy to operate, even for entry-level users. With this one knob, you can easily dial in the perfect amount of compression for instruments and vocals, creating powerful mixes with punch and clarity. This is indeed a rare feature for products in this class - but standard on all XENYX USB mixers.
All XENYX USB Series mixers (except the 1204USB) feature our new 24-bit dual engine FX processor, with 16 editable, studio-grade presets including reverb, chorus, flanger, delay, pitch shifter and multi-effects. Complete with a highly accurate input meter, these effects can be altered to your personal taste via the Parameter control. Time-based functions can be entered manually by pressing the Tap button in tempo with the music.
There was a time when the recording process called for lots and lots of expensive gear, which meant the average musician had to buy time at a recording studio - and that time was pricey indeed. But modern technology has put personal recording well within the reach of virtually anyone with access to a computer. How do you get all that music flying around your brain into your computer? That's where XENYX USB mixers come in. Thanks to the built-in, bi-directional stereo USB audio interface, you can connect any of these mixers directly to your PC or Mac computer via a single USB cable. Now any signal source you connect to the mixer can be recorded directly to your hard drive. Which brings us to software...
Free Would Be Nice!
Because you'll want to take full advantage of the XENYX USB Series mixers' recording and podcasting potential, we've thrown in a massive software package that includes Audacity (the most popular open source audio editor), Podifier, Juice, Podnova and Golden Ear (a great selection of podcasting software). You're ready to go live on your PC or Mac computer right out of the box! You also get more than 100 virtual instruments and 50 FX plug-ins, turning your computer into a complete home-based or mobile recording studio from input to output.
No matter what your audio mixing needs are, BEHRINGER USB Series mixers provide the performance and features that can take your talent to the next level, at a price that is sure to amaze you. Try one on today - we have one available in your size!
Top customer reviews
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Regardless, the reason for my review is actually a warning
WARNING: DO NOT INSTALL THE BEHRINGER DRIVERS FOR WINDOWS 7
Reason: While troubleshooting a hissing sound in my audio (turned out to be a capture card... still isolating the issue, but not related to drivers) I decided to install the "official" Behringer drivers per the recommendation of a random person on Google. TERRIBLE idea. Immediately, I noticed a huge reduction in the number of recording and playback modes over USB, but after some time I realized my system had become wildly unstable. I disabled my onboard sound in the BIOS thinking there was some type of conflict with my onboard sound, but then found out the issue was related to the drivers I had installed (mind you, the "default" Windows 7 drivers worked PERFECTLY FINE). After numerous blue screens and audio cutting in and out, I began using the inputs/outputs to my sound card bypassing USB all together. Seemed a little silly as a huge selling point was the USB interface. Even though I uninstalled the drivers and uninstalled everything I could find related to the drivers, I could not get the drivers completely off of my PC. I did get to a point where the device wouldn't install at all, but it still recognised it as "BEHRINGER blah blah". This told me that somehow Windows in its infinite wisdom was still identifying the device differently than it used to (the default Windows driver that's assigned labels the device as "2- USB Audio CODEC").
Finally, I searched my entire hard drive, and registry, for "behringer" "busb2902" and "busbwdm" (with the sound board uninstalled and unplugged). I deleted literally every reference I could (warning: this is very wreckless, but I was prepared to reformat my PC anyway because I intend to sometime soon). I then rebooted into safe mode and did it again to verify I did not miss anything. Once I booted back up, finally success! I am back on the default "2- USB Audio CODEC" drivers and am not experiencing any of the problems I was as a result of the erroneous drivers.
Now, you may be thinking that others have not had the same problems with the drivers. This may be true, but I stick by my advice to stick to the default drivers for 2 key points:
1) The default drivers work absolutely fine, so there is no need to install the ones from Behringer, so why take the risk?
2) The default drivers offer numerous more configuration options and recording modes than the ones supplied by Behringer, oddly enough.
Regarding the unit itself, I do like it but there are some things to keep in mind.
Comments on the USB interface:
The USB input is strange, and it's not easy to control. The only thing you can do is bus it into your headphone monitoring, and you can bus it back out to the master, but that's it. No volume controls, no EQ, and you can't use fx/aux on it either. If you're using ALT 3-4 as a submix, you also have no option of sending it to that submix. It's quite frustrating and difficult to use. With regard to USB out, with Behringer's drivers you just have an option for 44.1K or 48K output and it's based on the main bus. Again, no volume option what so ever. This can be a real pain if you need to actually use the main mix out to something, and simultaneously use the USB output as well - this basically makes it impossible to mix it so that they are both at optimal volume. You'll inevidibly be stuck with mixing one correctly, then the other one you will have to deal with it being too loud or too quiet - and on that note, it does seem to go in a little hot. You can control the recording volume within windows, but this isn't optimal and riding levels isn't going to be an option. Would it have been so hard to make a button to pipe the USB into channel 7/8 so that we could have some control over it? Finally, this is a prosumer device... why can't it support 96khz on the USB bus? would that be asking too much?
Comments on the board itself:
The preamps in this board are better than expected. As with most preamps, they do tend to get some pretty gnarly noise in the last 10-20db of boost, but you shouldn't be pushing them that far. Even for my naturally quiet shotgun mic, the preamps offer me plenty of headroom that I don't need to boost that high on gain to attain unity gain. I will warn though, the preamps in this board seem to color the audio add a lot of warmth to the audio (typical of tube-style preamps). I like it a lot, but if it isn't what you were expecting be warned (again, this is typical of tube style preamps, so you wont notice a think if that is what you typically use).
The built in compressors worked exactly like i thought they would - decent, and wonderful for live events, but best to leave them off for recordings as you can do more controlled and precise compression in post processing. Still, this feature is absolutely outstanding and works well! The EQ is decent and what I would expect from a board of this price. Sure I would have preferred a mid-sweep or more EQ positions, but I don't know that I would have been willing to pay the price for those features.
The AUX channel is wonderful, but I was disappointed to find that it is attached to the master mix. For example, if something is turned down on the master mix or muted on the master mix, having it turned up in the aux channel will not send any audio through (even with the pre selector enabled, which I was sure would rectify the problem). For this reason, I couldn't use the AUX channel the way I was hoping and has kinda been a real bummer because I am now needing a solution for said problem. I do find it a bit odd that it's mono out stereo in, but I guess that makes sense when used in the context of external sound processing.
The FX channel is also wonderful, and the on board sound effects are all quite good. What I would expect to find on any sound board I've used in my day really, from many reverb settings to a pitch shifter your basic FX are all there. I thought they did above and beyond on this for such a cheap board, I found myself impressed (but the FX I really don't have a need for unfortunately). I believe the FX channel does not behave like the AUX channel and sends regardless of which mix it's in (pre-fader, one might say). I haven't confirmed this yet, but am in process of exploring this as an alternative to using AUX as I don't need the digital FX anyway, as nice as they are.
Panning is well... panning. However, I am glad that it exists on this basic sound board. The phones mix has an amazing amount of power, and I typically keep it below 25%. I was glad, because this is a shortcoming of some boards. Nothing more annoying than mixing for a band/concert and not being able to hear your monitoring headphones over the mains. Doubt that will ever be an issue with this board, it's got quite a bit of volume. Granted I wont be needing the board for this type of use, but if you did decide to use it in that fashion, I'm sure it would perform admirably. I am annoyed by the double sliders for the main mix and alt 3-4 as I always am, but I guess I see why it's separated that way (couldn't we have a panner knob for the main and alt 3-4 rather than individual sliders?). I have seen this in so many sound boards I've used that I can't really fault them for it though. Surely there is a practical reason for this in the world somewhere - but I have never ran into it in my experience.
One of the major selling points to this board was the ability to mute and use pre-fader listen to set my levels correctly. This might be the cheapest board out that has those features. Finally, I would have liked an option for 1/4" output on the mains. Granted it's typical to use XLR for mains on boards, I would have really liked that
For the price, this board is outstanding! The features are really quite good, and while I do have my gripes with the board, so far all of them have been minor. The USB interface is an obvious selling point, and while I was hoping for a lot more out of it, it does do the job. The amount of features on this board is truly amazing from single knob compressors, to EQ's for each channel, and AUX/FX sends with a decent on board FX processor... I am very satisfied at this price point. Had I paid over $300 for this board though, I would have expected more and not been satisfied. This does truly make me wonder why people pay so much for USB preamps etc when you can have this entire board with way more than a simple preamp for marginally more money.
When I thought I may need to return this, I was trying to find other units with the same level of functionality at a price that was in the ballpark, and that was a challenge. Using his tips, this is working extremely well for us.
With mixers your either buy nice or buy twice, and this one is a great first purchase for buying twice.
Replacement board made no difference for the Level Meters, but I've been using the board a good bit for a few months now, and I really like it. I would give it 5 stars if the meters worked, but they're useless.
I go out of the board into a Zoom H4N, so I use the meters on that to monitor. It's less convenient and pointless, but it works fine. I'm very happy with my audio, and the pre-amps are so far everything I need (read some people saying they needed better pre-amps.) If I used the USB cable and recorded with Garage Band or whatever, I guess I could monitor my levels from there. I haven't done that, I'm fine with using my H4N.
I just ordered a replacement board, I'm sure this review will go way up once I get the new one. On the first board, the level meter was almost completely unresponsive, I'll detail it here in case it helps someone:
- XLR mic into channel 1, turned up to 0 (phantom on, not muted, EQ's at 12 o'clock)
- Main mix turned up to 0
- Talking into the mic loudly would vaguely register at -20
- Cranking the gain up to 3 o'clock or full blast will finally let the meters show me that it's going up to 0 or higher, but then it is horribly distorted.
Tested mostly using a Sennheiser MKH416 two inches from my mouth, multiple XLR's tried. Spent a couple hours making sure I didn't have a stupid button mix up or whatever. But monitoring the audio, it sounded good even though it said it was -20, it just wasn't registering on the meter. This video made me confident it should be working the way I expected: https://youtu.be/PDQ697QjOMU?t=21m58s
Went to Behringer.com and worked with their support which was very brief but they were nice enough. Their first response was just "it sounds like your gain is turned all the way up" which isn't helpful, but when I explained in more detail he agreed that it sounded like a problem with an internal connection. That's as specific as it got, but I also found a 5 year old thread of a guy experiencing the exact same problem and everything was fixed for him when he got a new unit.
Other than that, it feels really well made, looks great, I couldn't be happier with the presentation. Wish I could record separate tracks on my computer, but whatever. Getting one quality stereo output will be good enough for now, and for the price it's great.
I'll update when the new board comes.