Iconic LA venue Whisky a Go Go has recently added its first digital mixing consoles, placing the Behringer X32 into both the front of house and monitor positions.
“Our last console was purchased about 30 years ago, and obviously it was analogue, so it was time,” noted Leonard Contreras, Production Manager and front of house engineer for the club. “The X32 is a great-sounding console. I love the MIDAS-designed preamps, and the FX algorithms are awesome – clean quiet, just amazing. I love it, and everyone else who works at the Whisky is pretty stoked about it, too.”
Contreras, who has been mixing at the Whisky for about 17 years between stints on the road, had been curious about the X32. “The engineering community has been buzzing about the X32, especially the ‘powered by MIDAS preamps,’ but I hadn’t heard it. Then Jerry Lopez, a buddy of mine who also mixes around town, purchased one. He was raving about it so I asked if I could borrow it. I brought it in for a couple nights at front of house and it sounded great. Then we swapped it to monitors and it was amazing.”
The Behringer X32’s on-board processing power expanded Whisky a Go Go’s EQ and effects capabilities, while eliminating racks of external compressors, gates and effects.
“There was some concern with making the change, obviously. We did a training, basically showing the layout, the features, and navigation,” said Contreras. “But one of the attractions for me was that it’s a really easy console to learn. The layout, the routing… it’s just very well thought out. Plus the engineers at the Whisky are pretty savvy. They understand signal flow and gain structure so it was a pretty easy change. Additionally Behringer has excellent tech support and are always there for you.”
The system’s free iPad app, X32-Mix, has proven very useful at both FOH and monitor positions. “The house mix position at the Whisky is upstairs, which has always been a problem, especially for visiting engineers,” said Contreras. “Now we can go downstairs during the first song and make adjustments on the floor. And the monitor engineer can dial in wedges directly on stage, which is much faster and more accurate. The bands love it.”