Monday, May 28, 2018


UPDATE: January 2024
As you may have read, I no longer have an X-32 in my workflow, my Logic Pro DAW has migrated to a 20-core Apple MacStudio with 128GB of DRAM and inbuilt 4TB Apple SSD. I've had the newer system running for about eight months and the journey is documented here on High on Technology

If you're stuck in the past then some of the original article may still apply. My old quad core Mac Pro cylinder is still intact and on the latest Mac OS (as of today) and everything (well almost everything :) is working. External midi is still problematic but multitrack audio performance has been excellent with both the X-32 universe and the Apogee Symphony II Thunderbolt converter system.

My X-32 has been upgraded and has a "LIVE" card in the option slot; it likes it. Both of my X-32 digital mixers have now been upgraded with LIVE hardware cards and the latest firmware. USB communications with my Mac Pro seem improved and overall the system is very stable (reliable).

Here begin'ith the original article



I have a Mac Pro (cylinder) computer running Logic Pro X. Until recently I was still running the OS on the Mac that came with it almost three years ago. Logic Pro my DAW of choice has added several choice new plugins and additional capabilities that I wanted to use but could not on the older Mac OS. Clearly it was time for an upgrade and with no outside projects currently in the works I decided to push some buttons and see where it lead. It broke my DAW.

So first I upgraded the Mac OS to the latest 10.13 High Sierra and then I upgraded Logic Pro X to the latest 10.4.X. After a restart everything appeared fine in testing. Logic was showing off its pretty new color scheme, much easier on the eyes. Mac OS looked the same from the outside.

When I fired up Logic it worked. I started it in a new session to do some testing before taking a chance opening some of my previous sessions with the upgraded software. I tried some electric piano samples which were playing and sounding good at first but after I tried recording some midi with them and playing that back, after about 45 seconds the system developed a loud static like sound. Quitting Logic and restarting made the problem go away but after the system played any piece of audio 45 or more seconds in length, hello static sound.

Nothing helped. I adjusted buffers. I tweaked settings in Logic. I read all sorts of things on the internet and tried many of them, nothing worked or changed the symptom.

I recently bought an Apogee Symphony MKII to use for stereo mastering, this box is known to be compatible with the latest Mac OS so I tried it out on the Mac, it worked brilliantly, all eight tracks of it. I'd love to have 32 channels of Symphony I.O. but I'm not prepared to shell out $10,000 to own it right now. I'm actually quite happy with the sound of the X32. Playing files through the Symphony that were originally recorded on the X32 sound magnificent which leads me to believe the A to D conversion of the X32 is good.

So after testing the Symphony system on my Mac OS computer I now focused on why was the X32 not working for me as an audio interface. It's worked great for six years, what in the Mac OS upgrade broke my X32? I was determined to find out and see if I could fix the problem since I have my whole work flow adapted to the X32 universe.

I began looking at X32 solutions and came up with something about firmware for the USB card. This is really the interface point for the Mac computer and the X32 so it looked like a good place to focus on. Additionally my X32 is old enough to still have a usb card that had Firewire on it. Apple has deprecated Firewire from the OS so I had no idea if the older card was problematic. I could not find any firmware update for my X32 interface card and worse, I don't own a PC to run it from.

Then I found information about the X-Live a new USB card from Behringer that also has SD card slots on it for directly recording to SD cards (no computer required). The instructions for the card say to download the latest firmware and load it via the USB slot on the front of the X32. My solution was coming into focus.

I ordered an X-Live card for $199 from Amazon so it would be in my hands in two days. I downloaded the firmware update for the X-Live card and the latest V3.08 X32 firmware from Behringer.

The card arrived right on time. I had trouble with an inexpensive Chinese no name USB stick not working right on the X32 so I switched to a high quality San Disk USB stick. I backed up all my console presets before upgrading the console firmware. The upgrade worked perfect and after it was complete I verified on the console setup page that it was running the 3.08 upgrade. I was delighted to see that my X32 presets for mixing and recording drums were all still intact after the firmware upgrade.

Next I cleaned off the X32 firmware upgrade and installed the X-Live firmware update onto the USB stick, I restarted the X32 and the USB card firmware upgrade proceeded perfectly, it took almost five minutes to complete. At the end it says "restart your x32". I turned it off then on again and it all looked good. I opened a file in Logic and nothing from the X32, no sound, no level on the meters......what now?

I went into the setup on the X32 and there is a new set of controls to work with the SD recording cards in the back. You can pick whether sound is going or coming from the SD card in 8, 16, or 32 track combinations.

After looking carefully at the controls I found the one that selected USB as the source instead of SD card. Setting this to USB finally restored audio function of Logic through the X32.

It was finally time to test some audio and I'm happy to report all seems to be working great. I leave my X32 in the 32-in/32-out setup mode and it works and sounds fantastic. No more static sound.

I have not explored recording with the SD card slots and likewise I have not dug around much in the new features the X32 firmware upgrade brought. I use the X32 mainly as an audio interface to feed my analog Soundcraft mixer and pile of outboard effects processors.

I had avoided upgrading my X32 console firmware because I did not need any new features and I did not want to break the system. As it turns out the upgrade to 3.08 on the X32 was painless. The new X-Live USB card solved my computer connection problem too.

My flagship X32 which I purchased six years ago continues to deliver great performance and value in my recording situation and that's what matters most to me.

Good music to all!