X32 Theatre Control
X32 Theatre Control helps you mix sound for theatre shows on a Behringer X32 or Midas M32 digital mixing console using control groups (DCAs).
Rock of Ages, Altona City Theatre, January 2018
It's an application to create and run control group cues for a show: automating tedious snapshot programming so you can focus on the mix. Additionally, it provides automatic channel level monitoring, seamless backup microphone switching, and QLab remote control from the console.
What is control group theatre mixing?
When using lots of wireless microphones in musicals, it's impossible to manually ride the faders for all of them, especially when they're split across multiple input layers.
Control group (or VCA / DCA) style operation allows you to bring the faders for each scene or musical number to you, and then put them back when no longer required. This ensures you are always mixing the correct microphones in logical groups for each scene or musical number.
Useful references and further reading:
How does X32 Theatre Control work?
X32 Theatre Control manages DCA assignments and mutes for a subset of channels on a console, typically wireless lavalier or headset microphones. Optionally, it can also recall channel delay & pan in position presets, channel EQs in profiles, and channel FX bus assignments.
X32TC takes over assignment and labelling of DCAs, but does not recall DCA fader levels, so you're always in control of the mix. It completely bypasses the console's inbuilt scene management so console scenes/snippets can be used for other elements as desired (e.g. effects parameter changes).
X32TC also monitors input meters of selected channels for dropouts and clipping, identifying potential problems with wireless microphones before they affect the show.
Why should I use it?
X32 Theatre Control allows rapid offline programming of a show: you can program cues using a laptop and mark up the script at the same time, instead of dragging out a console (or battling with a complicated offline editor!). X32TC then connects to your console, runs cues, monitors channels, accepts live edits... without having to load anything into the console's scene management.
The X32 is a powerful console however its inbuilt scene management has significant deficiencies for theatre shows, e.g. inability to recall DCA labels without DCA fader levels, inability to recall channel delay without input trim, and inability to recall channel pan without channel fader level.
X32TC allows you to focus on the show: the script, characters, and musical numbers are important, not esoteric console programming issues. Helpful features enhance the X32 console making it easier to manage lots of wireless microphones – assisting you through tech week when there are only a few rehearsals to get the mix right.
X32 Theatre Control is freeware and runs on both macOS and Windows.
Sample show files to explore:
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