If you’re looking for an extremely versatile mixer and you have a limited budget then look no further than the Behringer Xenyx X2442USB Mixing Console. This mixer is ideal for use with your live band or even in your home studio. If you have a band with four or five members then this is the ideal mixing solution for you simply because of the excellent selection of input and routing options.
The Xenyx X2442USB is the upgrade to the Behringer Eurorack UB2442FX Pro mixer. The mixers are very similar in capability and channel availability and I suggest you read the Behringer Euorack UB2442FX Pro Review to get more of an idea of these mixer’s capabilities. The Xenyx X2442USB has two very important upgrades. First, it has built in compression! This is a major advantage for mixing live vocals as well as live drums. It saves you from having to hook up an outboard compression unit to the mixer. The downside is, it’s only available on channel’s 1-8. Still, that’s generally enough channels for your vocal mics and basic drum mics.
The second very important upgrade found on the Xenyx X2442USB is the USB capability of the mixer. You can now hook the X2442USB directly to your computer and have the main mix routed to the computer through the USB. You can also choose to route a two-channel mix from your computer to the X2442USB. This gives you some nice capabilities such as the ability to record your live show directly to a laptop or computer through the USB connection. It also gives you the option to patch in loops or sequences from a computer to the X2442USB and amplify them through the main P.A. system.
The downside of the USB connectivity is the fact that it’s only a 2-channel send/receive. Upside of course is it’s bi-directional capability. The mixer also ships with some free software to use with your computer and the mixer’s USB abilities. You’ll get Audacity, Podifier, Juice, Podnova and Golden Ear software to use with your mixer. You’ll also get more than 100 virtual instruments and 50 Effect plugins for the software.
The Xenyx X2442USB is called a 16-channel mixer and sure enough, it has 16 channels worth of inputs. But that being said, not all inputs are created equal. The Xenyx X2442USB has a total of 16 inputs on the channel input section. This doesn’t mean you have 16 independent mixable channels. The way the inputs are split up are as follows: Channels 1 through 8 contain 8 mono input channels complete with their own separate mic preamp and compression control. Each of these 8 channels is routed through it’s own EQ section, Auxiliary bus, Effects bus, Panning knob and then a master volume fader. On channels 9 through 16 you have four stereo input channels with channels being grouped in stereo sets. For example, channel 9/10 is grouped together with it’s own unbalanced 1/4″ Left and Right input. Inputs 9/10 are then routed together through an EQ section, Auxiliary bus, effects section, L/R Balance section and then through a stereo volume fader which controls both channels simultaneously. Any of these channels can be used as a mono channel or a stereo channel. Channel’s 9/10 and 11/12 each have their own mic pre-amp as well if you would like to use these channels for microphone inputs. These channels DO NOT have their own compression setting. Channels 13/14 and 15/16 are also grouped together in stereo configuration.
As you can see, the Xenyx X2442USB does not have 16 identical input channels. The mixer still has plenty of versatility and is just big enough to mix a 4 or 5 person group. Here’s an example of how you can hook up a 4 person group with a guitarist, keyboard player, bass player and drummer in which everyone sings. Channels 1-4 will contain everybody’s vocal microphones. Channel 4-7 will contain bass drum, snare drum, drumset left and drumset right microphones. Channel 8 and 9/10 will contain the left and right stereo guitar microphone inputs. Channel 11/12 will contain the bass guitar input. Channel 13/14 will be the stereo keyboard input. With this setup the singer and drum mics will all be connected to channels with built-in compression for better dynamic control. As you can see, the mixer has more than enough inputs when mixing this type of group. If you use an electronic drum set you will only need a stereo input for the drums which will then free up two more channels for you to hook up whatever you want.
Another strong feature found on the Xenyx X2442USB is the built in 24-bit dual engine FX processor. This gives you all the standard studio effects for use in either recording or your live mixing. You’ll get all the standard effects such as reverb, delay and chorus. You’ll also get some lesser known effects such as a pitch shifter and detuning. There are some nice combination effects such as Delay + Reverb and Chorus + Reverb. The effects are decent although you’ll want to use good plugins if you’re using the mixer for recording. The built-in effects work plenty well for most live situations.
The Behringer Xenyx X2442USB has a lot of input/output options as well as sub-mixing capabilities. There is a built-in Phantom power supply so you can use your good condenser mics as well. The mixer has too many mixing options to list in this post so here are links to download both the owner’s manual and the Xenyx series sales brochure. You can get a good idea about the mixers capabilities from these documents:
Download Behringer Xenyx X2442USB Mixer User Manual
Download Behringer Xenyx X2442USB Mixer Brochure
As with all Behringer equipment I remind you that it is a budget line. I have heard complaints of channels failing on Behringer mixers. I have had a channel fail on my Behringer mixer but was able to fix it by opening the mixer and soldering the input circuit board. If you can purchase this mixer with an extended warranty then I recommend that you do that. I have found that if the channels are going to fail they do fail within the first year. After that they seem to last forever.
The Behringer Xenyx X2442USB is a fine mixer with excellent mixing capabilities. When you look at how affordable the mixer is it’s really hard not to recommend buying this mixer. I feel like it’s an unbelievable bargain for a mixer with this much capability.
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