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Behringer X32 Wi-Fi setups can seem straightforward – but there is a method to getting the most out of a remote control setup and avoiding dreaded Wi-Fi dropouts.

21/1/2023 – Articles

BEHRINGER X32 WI-FI SETUP

Control your console wirelessly with tablets and computers.

Josh Hamill
Sound Engineer for JSD

Key Points

  • Setup a static IP address network for your router.
  • Reserve IP addresses for every device connected to your network.
  • Make sure you have a wired backup for when Wi-Fi fails.

Through my time as working as a sound engineer, I’ve found myself in situations where the FoH position was not optimal, or just plain non-existent. I remember the dashes I would make from side of stage to FoH and back, listening out front and running back to make small changes – over and over.

I was then introduced to the world of wireless digital mixing consoles controlled over Wi-Fi networks using tablets or computers. Using a networking capable console, now the position of the console didn’t matter as I could simply roam around with a tablet in hand, making changes on the go. With all the advantages of the freedom of wireless mixing, there is one major downside, and that is the fact that it is wireless mixing.

It seems Wi-Fi’s nature is to be inconsistent and unstable. Dropouts can and will happen, and it leaves you frustrated and in the deep end when you don’t have a backup. Dropouts aren’t always due to the nature of Wi-Fi, and we can take some steps to ensure that our Wi-Fi network and routers are correctly setup and optimised to prevent dropouts. Here is how you can prepare your Behringer X32 or Midas M32 consoles for use over a wireless network.

The Components -

Firstly, we need to collect the pieces of the puzzle. To connect your X32 to a wireless network you need:

  • An X32 or M32 console,
  • A wireless router,
  • A shielded Cat5, Cat5e or Cat6 ethernet cable,
  • A tablet or computer,
  • Relevant control software (X/M32 edit or Mixing Station).

Console choice is fairly easy, that comes down to what you have. This article isn’t about purchasing a digital mixing console – there are many options, and the best option really depends on your budget. For pure wireless control, I would recommend an X32Rack over the M32Rack as it has more features, and the main benefit Midas has over Behringer is construction (which is a non-issue with a wirelessly controlled console).

Now comes the router choice, which can be more difficult if you, like me, did not have any networking skills or knowledge prior to wanting to connect my console to a secure wireless network. From what I have researched and found out for myself, there are two main options that I can recommend:

  • TP-Link AX1500 – cheap home Wi-Fi style router. Has a strong connection when in range, range is average, network can become cluttered when people fill the room. Main benefit is cost, and the fact that 9 times out of 10 it is enough. The TP-Link is also easy to setup and configure.
  • Ubiquiti EdgeRouter X with UniFi AC LR Access Point. This combination of router and access point provides very strong and secure connection over long distances. This option is pricier, and is more difficult to setup and configure.

I purchased the TP-Link AX1500 to accompany my X32Rack, as for the majority of larger events that I partake in, I have a dedicated FoH setup, and thus I have no need for the extended range capabilities of the Ubiquiti setup.

Next you will need a shielded ethernet cable to connect your X32/M32 to a LAN output of your router. I recommend shielded simply due to extra interference security. Realistically you can use any old ethernet cable and it will do the job, but minimising risk of dropout is important.

Lastly you will need a tablet and/or computer that has the X32 or M32 edit software installed onto the system (or Mixing Station if you prefer). Mixing Station is a third party software that is highly customisable. I suggest learning how to use it for tablets, however I have had no issues using the X32/M32 edit software and have gotten used to using it. I believe the computer software for the X32/M32 edit is just fine, but the tablet version can be clunky at times and that is why I suggest using Mixing Station for tablets.

Configuring the network –

The most important part of this whole process is correctly configuring your router, and luckily it is not too difficult, especially with the TP-Link router. This article will focus mainly on TP-Link router configuration, but all of the information can be translated fairly easily to other brands.

The main thing that you need to configure to prevent dropouts is a static IP address. Routers by default use a dynamic IP, where the router will distribute a different IP address to every connected device. This IP address can refresh, and this can potentially cause problems during shows. A static IP address is one that is set manually and does not change. Once a static IP address is set and connected, nothing else needs to occur and the router can focus on maintaining the connection.

To setup a static IP address, you must first connect your router to a Wi-Fi modem, or a modem-router (if you are confused about the difference, a modem is what connects you to your ISP (internet service provider), and a router is what distributes Wi-Fi connection to your devices). To do this, take a LAN output from your modem and connect it into the WAN connector of your router.

Ensure that your router connects to the Wi-Fi, and go about and connect a device to this routers network using the login details found on the router. From here you can then login to your routers configuration software. TP-Link has a simple downloadable app that lets you do a basic router setup – I recommend following this basic setup first before moving on to the more advanced setup.

Once the basic setup has been completed, you can login to your routers configuration software using the routers IP address. The IP address my router had was 192.168.0.1, but 192.168.1.1 is also common.

To find your network information, follow the following steps based off of your system.

Windows PC –

  • Enter the ‘control panel’ through searching for it in the task bar.
  • Select ‘network and sharing centre’.
  • Locate your connect (highlighted in blue) and click on it.
  • Click ‘details’.
  • Now all of your network details are listed. Take a photo of this or write this information down for the next step.

MAC OS –

  • Click on the Apple icon (top left of screen) and click on ‘system preferences’.
  • Select ‘network’.
  • Select your network connection and then click ‘advanced’.
  • Select the ‘IP’ tab to find all necessary information.

Apple iPhone/iPad –

  • Enter device ‘settings’.
  • Select ‘Wi-Fi’
  • Select the ‘(i)’ next to your network connection.
  • Here you can view all necessary network information.

Once you have found and recorded your networking information, it is time to configure your router. Follow the steps listed below to create a static IP address network:

  • Login to your router by typing 192.168.0.1 into a search engine.
  • Login to your router by using the account information you setup during the basic setup stage.
  • Navigate to the ‘advanced section’.
  • Select ‘internet’.
  • Change ‘internet connection type’ to ‘static IP’.
  • Enter in the following details: IP address – 192.168.0.100, Subnet Mask – 255.255.255.0, Default Gateway – 192.168.0.1, DNS – 8.8.8.8 (googles public DNS).

Now that you have setup your router to operate using a static IP address connection, it is time to reserve IP addresses for your X32 and your control device:

  • In your routers settings, navigate to ‘Network’ – ‘DHCP Server’.
  • Enable the DHCP server and ensure all information is correct.
  • Set your DHCP pool range. This range can be between 192.168.0.0 and 192.168.0.255. A good range is 192.168.0.100 – 192.168.0.200.
  • Find ‘Address reservation’. Click on the ‘add’ button. TP-Link can automatically locate devices that are connected to the router. Once you have automatically selected a device, you need to select an IP address from within the DHCP pool (between 192.168.0.100 and 192.168.0.200 for example). Ensure you reserve an IP address for the device that you will be controlling your X32 with – be it a tablet or computer.
  • If you want to reserve an IP address of a device that is not connected currently to the router, you will need to find the devices MAC address. The MAC address can be found in the same location as IP address settings for your device.

Next, you want to set a static IP address for your X32:

  • Select ‘settings’.
  • Find ‘network’.
  • Press the far most left dial to deselect DHCP.
  • Enter in an IP address from within the DHCP pool – for example: 192.168.0.120
  • Enter the Subnet Mask – 255.255.255.0 and the Default Gateway – 192.168.0.1
  • Locate the MAC address of your X32, and manually reserve this IP address in your routers settings by entering the MAC address and the selected IP address.

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Making It All Work -

Connecting everything together now is fairly simple. On the back of your X32/M32 you will find an ‘ethernet’ port, connect one end of your shielded ethernet cable to this end, and connect the other into LAN port 1 on your router. Turn on the console, router, and your control device.

Ensure your control device is connected to the network, and load an instance of X32/M32 edit. You will be prompted to connect to your console, type in the IP address you chose for your console (from previous examples I used 192.168.0.125). Once you enter this IP address, your control device should immediately link up to the console. During this connection stage (at least whilst using an iPad) you will also see the IP address of your control device, ensure that this IP address is the one that you entered into your static IP reservations for that device.

If you have followed the above steps correctly, and configured your router as suggested above, you should have connection and remote control over your X32/M32 console.

How To Get Out Of Trouble –

A remote control setup over Wi-Fi can be extremely useful for small events and situations where FoH is not optimal. But with every positive, there are negatives. The main drawback of a pure Wi-Fi setup is what happens when the Wi-Fi stops working…? You can’t control anything without Wi-Fi; and even with the best of setups, there will be situations where the Wi-Fi will fail or dropout.

You can safeguard against this fairly easily, however. To prevent a disaster when your Wi-Fi fails, make sure you have a wired backup. This means having an additional ethernet cable that runs from another LAN port on your router that you can use to plug your device into. There are many adapters you can get to make this happen. There are USB 3.0-to-ethernet adapters, as well as thunderbolt-to-ethernet. Make sure you have this ready and waiting for the times that you need a wired option.

This is mainly important for setups that do not have a physical control interface like a standard X32 or M32 console. Make sure to have a wired control option for consoles like the M32 Rack, X32 Rack (even though it does have physical controls, they are slow to navigate), MR/XR18 – any console that is purely wirelessly controlled and does not have a physical interface, be sure to have this wired option available.

Wireless mixing is very enjoyable when you aren’t allocated a FoH position for an event – It can really go the extra mile to allow you to produce a better mix as you can stand in the audience, rather than judge from side of stage. Having your router, console, and control device configured correctly will help to ensure that your setup works great 9 times out of 10. And in the instance your Wi-Fi does fail you, you have prepared correctly and have a wired option ready to save the gig. If this article has helped you, please share and show your support on our social media pages.

Let us know your thoughts through contacting us on any of our social media pages, or contact us directly. Your input is appreciated.

About The Author

Josh Hamill is the writer for the JSD blog and newsletter. He is a practicing sound engineer, system technician and FoH and Monitor operator. Josh has worked or studied in the industry for the entirety of his adult life and has collected a plethora of knowledge and experience to share with you.
Josh Hamill
Sound Engineer for JSD