The WING has 16 stereo effects slots available in an effects rack. These can be inserted up to two effects per channel or bus. This is in addition to the EQ, Gate, and Compressor Plugins that are available on each channel. The buses do not have a Gate, but have the compressor, EQ, and two insert points. Remember that the the plugins and effects can be re-arranged in whatever order you want, with the one exception being that the 2nd insert slot can not be moved. This makes it possible to use multiple compressors or EQs on a single channel or move your compressor before or after the EQ. You could have a corrective EQ like the standard WING digital channel EQ followed by a compressor and then a color EQ.
There are two banks of effects; Premium and Standard. The first 8 effects slots can be assigned from either the Premium Bank or the Standard Bank. Effects slots 9-16 can only be assigned from the Standard Bank.
The effects can be insert effects or send/return effects.
This article is an overview of the available effects as of Firmware 1.09 and how to select and assign them. Behringer is adding effects with firmware updates so check back frequently for our coverage of updates and new features including plugin effects. We will then take an in depth look at the different effects in following articles. We have already covered Channel Plugins and you can read about those here:
Now on to the Effects Banks:
Premium Effects Bank:
The Premium Effects Bank is where you will find Reverbs, Delays, and Chorus Effects.
Standard Effects Bank:
The Standard Effects Bank is where you will find a broad selection of effects. There are Graphic EQs, a MultiBand Compressor, De-esser, Enhancer/Exiters, Tape Saturation, Amp Simulators, the same vintage modeled EQs from the channels (as well as an API 560 graphic EQ not available in the channel EQ) as well as a Vocal Doubler, Pitch Correction, and an acoustic guitar processor from TC Electronic called BodyRez. The Midas Sub Monster was added with firmware 1.09 (not shown below).
Assigning the effects
Select the channel or bus that you want to assign the effect to. There are two possible effects insert point. By default, one is above the pan on the processing strip and one is below. Remember that the 1st insert point can be re-ordered in any order you desire with the compressor and EQ on buses, and compressor, EQ, and gate on channels, so it is easy to move a compressor before or after an EQ for example to quickly see the difference the order makes, or in the case of a bus effect, you can place an EQ after a reverb processor to tailor the effect. You can also quickly turn off or on one or more effects using the tab right next to the insert points. To re-arrange the order, select the edit tab at the bottom of the row of on/off buttons.
To assign an effect, select the insert point (shown highlighted below). Press the FX Processor menu to take you to the effects banks.
Here you can see the effects banks. The eight on the left (bank 1-8) can be either Premium or Standard, while the eight on the right (bank 9-16) can only hold Standard effects. Select the rack you want to assign an effect to.
Below we can see now that Channel 1 has FX1 assigned to its 1st insert point. On the right we can see that there is still no effect assigned so we select that drop down menu to go to the effect bank to assign an effect.
Below we can see the API 560 graphic EQ assigned and we can see that the insert is active in the top left.
Here is the Channel 1 home screen showing the effect (PIA), the effect rack that is routed (FX1) and the on/off for the insert. In the center you can see a graphic of the effect.
Below you can see the effect order Edit selector is highlighted and the Insert Point has been moved to the first plugin position. Just grab and drag the box with three lines next to the effect you want to re-order.
Below you can see an example of a loaded Channel Strip showing a PSE in the gate slot, a WING EQ in the EQ slot, a WING Compressor in the Compressor slot, and the PIA (API EQ) in the Insert 1 position. The center section gives you a visual overview of the effects.
Here you can see the on/off selectors for the above effects.
Here is the Main Bus showing the inserts available with a WING compressor, Insert Slot 1 with a graphic EQ, an SSL EQ, and the Tape Deck Plugin on Insert Slot 2.
Below is the setup for a Reverb setup as a Bus Effect with the EQ after the effect.
Takeaway and Comparison to other Mixer’ Effects Racks
The WING has some flexible processing and there are a lot of creative possibilities. Behringer has continued to add to the list of plugins and I imagine they are going to continue in the future. When you compare the mixer to other mixers like the X32 or Yamaha line you can see how flexible it really is, on these other mixers, if you want to use an analog modeled EQ or Compressor, you may only have 2-3 models to choose from and only 8 virtual racks where you can insert them. Then you need to decide between using the plugins for channels or buses based on the limited effects and what your priorities are. The WING give multiple analog models for Gates, Compressors, and EQ’s on every channel, Compressors and EQ’s on every bus, and the ability to insert up to two inserts on each channel or bus from the effects rack.
On the X32, if you want to have two inserts on your Main L/R, it is possible by routing through the matrix where you can add a second effect, but you are still limited to total effects, and two stereo effects would take up two racks of your total 8. If you are using graphic EQs along with reverb and delays you will probably be out of effects slots at this point and not have any left over to insert on key channels. It is also limited in choices of effects.
On the Yamaha CL/QL series you have more effects racks to work with and more effects choices than the X32, (also the effects sound really nice) and have two insert slots on each channel and bus giving you the ability to easily insert an EQ and Compressor on a channel or bus, but since they don’t have the availability of modeled plugins on every channel and bus, you are far more limited in comparison to the WING. If you want to use an LA2A and a modeled EQ on each channel of a vocal group, you will quickly run out of effects slots and have to make decisions based on priorities.
On any of these consoles you can use a Waves Soundgrid System to greatly increase plugin options. And while the Waves systems is flexible, gives almost infinite options, and sounds excellent, it is expensive and more complicate to setup. A basic Waves system would cost easily more than an X32 without all of the plugins you may want to use. In the case of the Yamaha, it would be an expensive addition but give a lot of flexibility. These may be good options for installed systems looking to add flexibility, but for a portable setup as well as simplicities sake, the WING has a major advantage. You can also add a Waves System to a WING to further increase its flexibility.
In upcoming articles we will go in depth on the individual effects. Which effects are you most interested in?