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X32: Setting up a USB Drive for the X32

Here is a quick walkthrough of how to format a USB drive for the X32 on a Mac computer. This is a necessary step to load scenes and presets onto the console that you have prepped on your computer before the gig. It also makes it possible to record a 2-track recording from the mixer to the USB drive or play back music from the USB drive to the mixer. Also, we will look at an example of a folder structure to organize the files.

***Update 11/1/2023*** – Some readers and I have been having issues with the 2 Track recording failing recently. This has been with flash drives that I know have worked in the past so I am not sure if there was a firmware update that caused it or something else. I was having similar issues with Yamaha consoles that are known to be picky about flash drives so I used a list from Yamaha to find a drive and it has been working for Yamaha CL/QL and X/M32s. I will link to the list from Yamaha of known compatible drives and an amazon link to the drive that I ultimately ended up using successfully on both platforms.

SanDisk 32GB Ultra Luxe USB 3

***End of update, back to the original article***

The main thing to remember is the USB stick needs to be formatted as FAT32. This is a Windows format, but Macs can format discs to FAT32 as well. It’s always a good idea to format the USB drive even if it comes already FAT32 because may drives ship with software from the Manufacturer and we don’t need that.

Working on Mac OS 10.12.6 Sierra, but the steps should be the same on different operating systems.

  1. Open Disk Utility. In my case that involves opening Launch Pad, then selecting the Other folder.

2. Select the USB drive you want to format from the drop-down menu on the left and hit Erase in the top panel.

3. Enter the new name for your drive.

4. After entering the drive’s new name, select MS-DOS(FAT) in the format drop-down.

5. Disk Utility will format our drive. Click on the “Done” box.

6. Now the drive is properly formatted. Don’t forget to eject the drive before removing it.

7. Set up Folders to keep everything organized. See below for an example.

In the above example I have setup folders for playback/house music. Playback files must be .WAV files and match the sample rate that the console is set to. It is always a good idea to have something ready to go that fits the gig. I have found an “Oldies Mix” and a “Latin Mix” cover many of the shows I do. I also usually include a folder of the music I use for System testing so it is ready to go without having to do any further setup.

Next, I have made folders for different files/presets I have made.

Here are the different file types:

.chn is a channel preset or save file

.efx is an effect preset or save file

.scn is an entire scene file.

When doing show prep with the X32 edit program, I build a show file and at that point may import the different channel presets or effects presets I have saved from previous gigs. It is all just to have a starting point, but it helps save time to not reinvent the wheel. I’m not talking about loading someone else’s presets here, these are one that I would have created and use in a similar situation. I will go over building your own presets in another article.

Let me know if there is anything else you think should be included.

12 thoughts on “X32: Setting up a USB Drive for the X32”

  1. Hi, my MacBook is saving files as 44.1 Khz but my X32 console is set to 48 Khz.
    How to I change the X32 console to match the audio files saved to my thumb drive?

    1. The USB ports on the X32 are USB 2. You can use online tools to estimate the file size, but a stereo 2-track .WAV file (which is what the mixer will record to a thumb drive) works out to 10.1 MB/min at 44.1k and 16.5 MB/min at 48k.

  2. This is such a clear and straightforward article that I wish I had read 3 years ago. I’ve always used the USB port for saving and loading scenes, but didn’t realise I could make and save my own channel and FX presets to take around with me too. Plus not having to use my phone (and channel real estate) to play in house music all the time. Thank you so much!

  3. It’s a shame the X32 only supports the fat32 file system. That limits the storage capacity to 32 GB and the file size to 4 GB. I bought a 128 GB stick and had to make a 32 GB partition, using the rest for a second partition.

    It would be nice with USB 3 and NTFS / exFat support.

    1. Hi Thomas,

      What is it that you are trying to do? The X32 USB recorder is limited to 2 tracks of 16 bit audio at 44.1/48k. 4GB is almost 6 hours of recording time per file.

      If you are needing to multi-track or need longer recording times then I would recommend either recording to a computer via the USB card on the back, or the Behringer X-Live card with its Dual SD/SDHC slots if you want a standalone solution.

      I don’t see any practical use for USB 3 speed.

    2. I had the same issue and also created a 8 GB partition on my 128GB usb stick but the desk still does not recognize the stick. Any advice ? I created a FAT partition with the disk utility on Mac OS…

  4. Hi, useful articles. Something to try. Our x32 recorded ok to the usb, now it’s starting to stop recording all on its own. Press record and it will start again. Sometimes goes for 25 minutes sometimes 5. Any ideas?

    1. Hi John,

      I was having issues recording to the USB 2 track myself with the same drives that I have used without problem for years. I don’t know if there was a change in the firmware or not but all of the sudden drives that I used to use to record long shows would fail after a few minutes. I was having a similar issue with the USB 2 Track on Yamaha consoles (which are known to be picky) so I tracked down a Yamaha approved drive and that has worked for both the Yamahas I have used and the X32 as well. Many of the drives from the Yamaha list are older and may be hard to track down so I will include the list but also the the specific drive that worked for me:

      Here is the Yamaha List:

      Here is the Amazon link for the specific flash drive I have been using:

      SanDisk 32GB Ultra Luxe USB 3

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