X32 COMPACT: How do I set up a Matrix for a delay column/tower or a remote zone mix?

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The X32 COMPACT console offers 6 separate “Matrix” outputs that allow an extra level of functionality when routing any of the 16 mix buses out of the console. These Matrix outputs are particularly useful when working with separate “zones” of speakers, such as a delayed group of speakers in an alternate location.

1. Press the SELECT button for a mix bus you wish to assign to a matrix output.

2. Page right to the SENDS page, where you can adjust the 6 encoders to send the selected mix bus to the 6 matrix outputs, at the desired levels. Alternatively use the controls in the BUS SENDS section.

3. When sending a group of mix outputs into a matrix send, you may wish to adjust where in the signal path the insert point for a mix output occurs, and also re-configure the order that the mix output’s EQ and compressor occurs. To adjust these setting, press the SELECT button for the desired mix output, and on the HOME screen that appears, use the 3rd and 4th encoder to adjust these settings.

4. Press the MATRIX button on the console, then press the SELECT button on the first output fader. The main screen will display settings for the matrix 1 output allowing you to do all your EQ and dynamics settings for this bus.

In general, time alignment is very important in larger venues, because when groups of speakers are placed at varying distances to the audience, the sound from them arrives at the listener’s ears at different times. By applying a digital delay to the speakers that are CLOSER to the listeners, it has the result of delaying the sound to align it, in time, with the sound from further speakers whose signal take longer to reach the listener.

By performing this “time-alignment”, the live sound mix from the different speakers are presented as a more clear and cohesive audio signal, without the comb- filtering or flanging sound you might otherwise experience. You can enable and adjust any physical output’s delay on the ’Routing/analog out’ page. Select the output that is fed from the matrix you wish to delay by turning the 1st encoder. Use the 6th encoder to set the delay, which is displayed in milliseconds, meters and feet (based on speed of sound in air at 20° C).

5. To attach an output to the matrix you have set up, press the ROUTING button, then page right to the ANALOG OUT page, then use the 1st and 4th encoders to assign the matrix output to your rear-panel analog output of choice. Adjust the amount of delay if necessary with the 6th encoder for each output individually.

6. In some situations, you may wish to create a matrix mix that is actually a mix of some output buses and the main LR output. To do so, simply press the SELECT button above the master fader, then press the HOME button, then page right to the SENDS page. On the SENDS page you can tap the signal from the main LR bus and send it to the 6 matrix outputs, the same way you have with any of the 16 mix outputs.

7. Like all other mix buses and main LRC, the matrices feature six-band parametric EQ, which is often useful in live venues where room resonances need to be tamed.

8. The matrix EQ can also be used for setting up a frequency crossover, for sending distinct frequency bands to separate loudspeaker systems which may even get individual dynamic processing.

Lets assume Matrix 1 is supposed to drive a woofer system, while Matrix 2 is driving the tops. Select Matrix 1 and press the EQ View button, then press the LAYER down button until ’Mode’ is displayed above the controls. Turn the 6th encoder clockwise until the Mode display shows either BU (Butterworth), BS (Bessel) or LR (Linkwitz-Riley) with 6, 12, 18 or 24 dB slopes, and choose the desired filter characteristic. Note that the adjacent 5th band has disappeared to allow for the crossover function. In the equalizer section, switch the EQ on, select the HIGH band and use the FREQ control to move the low-pass filter where you need it, e.g. 200 Hz.

Now select the Matrix 2 and adjust the mode of the first encoder in the same way until the desired characteristic is displayed. Then press the equalizer LOW button and use the FREQ control to adjust the first band to the same frequency you had chosen for band 6 in Matrix 1, i.e. 200 Hz. As a result, the frequencies above 200 Hz will be cut off from Matrix 1 and the frequencies below 200 Hz will be cut off from Matrix 2. By sending the same signals to both matrices, you have effectively split up the signal in two paths that may be put out on separate XLR outputs feeding separate speaker systems.

9. When using the matrices in a crossover mode feeding separate outputs, it may sometimes be necessary to invert the woofer signal for correct phase alignment. This can be done by selecting the matrix and using the phase button in the CONFIG/PREAMP section.

TIP* As of firmware 1.10, the matrices can also be fed from pre-fader sources, which may be useful when using a matrix as a recording feed. When you select a bus 1-16 or Main LRC that is to be sent to the Matrix, open the bus sends view and check if the signal tap is set correctly for your application.