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Behringer X32 Effects Tutorial Tube Stage Overdrive

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December 11, 2018 2 comments
Behringer X32 Effects Tutorial Tube Stage Overdrive

Welcome to my Behringer X32 FX Series tutorials. Today we are going to be looking at the Tube Stage Overdrive.

Behringer Tube Stage Overdrive

The Behringer Tube Stage Overdrive is an effect built into the Behringer X32 & Midas M32 Effects Rack and is an emulation of a tube microphone preamp. This is useful if you are wanting to give a ‘warmer’ or ‘grittier’ sound to a specific channel.

The Tube Stage Overdrive is offered in a Dual Mono and a Stereo configuration.

Behringer X32 Effects Tutorial Tube Stage Overdrive

  • A delay of 0.67ms will occur when this effect is inserted.
  • A +3 dB gain will occur when this effect is inserted.
  • A slight tonality change will occur when this effect is inserted as seen below:

Behringer X32 Effects Tutorial Tube Stage Overdrive - Tonality Change when Inserted

As you can see in the Smaart measurement, there is a wide-bandwidth +3.0 dB boost with a slight -1.0 dB dip at 200 Hz.

Behringerer Tube Stage Overdrive Controls

Behringer X32 Effects Tutorial Tube Stage Overdrive - Layer 1 Controls

Layer 1 Controls

  • Drive – Drive controls the amount of Even and Odd Harmonics are added into the signal. Control allows for adjustment from 0% to 100% in increments of 2%
  • Even Har – The Even Har controls the amount of even order harmonics in the signal. Control allows for adjustment from 0% to 100% in increments of 2%.
  • Odd Har – The Odd Har controls the amount of odd order harmonics in the signal. Control allows for adjustment from 0% to 100% in increments of 2%.
  • Gain – Allows us to add or reduce gain post effect. Contol allows for adjustment from -12 dB to +12 dB in 0.5 dB increments.
  • Lo Cut – Lo Cut controls the High Pass Filter of the effect. With the Low Cut, the slope is -3 dB/Octave. Control allows for adjustment from 20 Hz – 200 Hz.
  • Hi Cut – Hi Cut controls the Low Pass Filter of the effect. With the High Cut, the slope is -7 dB/Octave. Control allows for adjustment from 4 kHz – 20 kHz.
  • FX Home – Pressing this button takes you back to the ‘home’ tab of the effects.

Behringer X32 Effects Tutorial Tube Stage Overdrive - Layer 2 Controls

Layer 2 Controls

  • Lo Gain – Gives a boost or cut in the form of a low shelf EQ. Control allows for adjustment from -12 dB to +12 dB in increments of 0.5 dB
  • Lo Freq – Allows us to choose the frequency being adjusted by the ‘Lo Gain’ knob. Control allows for adjustment from 50 Hz to 400 Hz.
  • Hi Gain – Gives a boost or cut in the form of a high shelf EQ. Control allows for adjustment from -12 dB to +12 dB in increments of 0.5 dB
  • Hi Freq – Allows us to choose the frequency being adjusted by the ‘Hi Gain’ knob. Control allows for adjustment from 1 kHz to 10 kHz.

Tube Stage Overdrive – Drive

Drive controls the amount of Harmonic content is added to the signal. This emulates driving a tube preamp with a louder signal which generates even and odd order harmonics.

Behringer X32 Effects Tutorial Tube Stage Overdrive - Harmonics

Drive also adds gain to the signal as we can see below in the Smaart measurement:

Behringer X32 Effects Tutorial Tube Stage Overdrive - Drive

  • 0% = +0 dB Gain
  • 25% = +3 dB Gain (adds +8 dB of Harmonics more than 0% at the 1st Octave)
  • 50% = +6 dB Gain (adds +15 dB of Harmonics more than 0% at the 1st Octave)
  • 75% = +9 dB Gain (adds +23 dB of Harmonics more than 0% at the 1st Octave)
  • 100% = +12 dB Gain (adds +30 dB of Harmonics more than 0% at the 1st Octave)

Even Harmonics & Odd Harmonics

Even and Odd Harmonics are created when a tube is driven at higher levels which causes the tube to adds a bit of distortion. This distortion is MUCH different than a digital distortion because instead of clipping a signal, this brings in Intermodulation Distortion (IMD) which can be musical sounding when not overbearing.

Even Harmonic Control

The even harmonic control starts at 0% which places the first even harmonic at -69 dB less than the fundamental frequency. At 100% that first even harmonic raises by +15 dB.

Odd Harmonic Control

The odd harmonic control starts at 0% which places the first odd harmonic at -95 dB less than the fundamental frequency. At 100% that first even harmonic raises by +20 dB.

Lo Cut – Low Cut

The Low Cut controls a High Pass Filter with a -3dB/Octave slope. Frequency adjustment spans from 20 Hz – 200 Hz.

Behringer X32 Effects Tutorial Tube Stage Overdrive - Lo Cut

Hi Cut – High Cut

The High Cut controls a High Pass Filter with a -7dB/Octave slope. Frequency adjustment spans from 4 kHz – 20 kHz.

Behringer X32 Effects Tutorial Tube Stage Overdrive - Hi Cut

Lo Gain – Low Gain

The Low Gain controls an equalization boost or cut via a low shelf starting at the ‘Lo Freq’. Control allows for +12 dB to -12 dB. Notice that at 200 Hz there is a slight -1 dB cut. This is part of the tonality of this effect which has this slight 200 Hz cut no matter the settings of the effect.

Behringer X32 Effects Tutorial Tube Stage Overdrive - Low Gain

Lo Freq – Low Frequency

The low-frequency (Lo Freq) adjustment sets the frequency that the ‘Lo Gain’ will effect with the low shelf EQ. Control allows setting this between 50 Hz – 400 Hz.

Behringer X32 Effects Tutorial Tube Stage Overdrive - Low Freq

Hi Gain – High Gain

The High Gain controls an equalization boost or cut via a high shelf starting at the ‘Hi Freq’. Control allows for +12 dB to -12 dB.

Behringer X32 Effects Tutorial Tube Stage Overdrive - Hi Gain

Hi Freq – High Frequency

The high-frequency (Hi Freq) adjustment sets the frequency that the ‘Hi Gain’ will effect with the high shelf EQ. Control allows setting this between 1 kHz – 10 kHz.

Behringer X32 Effects Tutorial Tube Stage Overdrive - High Freq

What would I use the Tube Stage Overdrive on?

Harmonics are huge in music and will really add a lot of mood/feeling/warmth into a mix when added correctly. Due to the +3.0 dB gain, the roll-off in the high end and slightly on the low end, I wouldn’t insert this on the LR Buss unless I was going for a very specific sound of a darker sounding mix.

When using this effect, I would start with these settings as a good baseline:

  • Drive – 10%
  • Even Har – 20%
  • Odd Har – 10%
  • Gain – -5.0 dB
  • Lo Cut – 20 Hz
  • Hi Cut – 20 kHz
  • Lo Gain – 0 dB
  • Lo Freq – 200 Hz
  • Hi Gain – +3 dB
  • Hi Freq – 10 kHz

Once you have these settings, you can tweak and fine-tune as needed. Do remember, when you add ‘Drive’ you are also adding gain, so you will need to reduce the ‘Gain’ more and more to keep the input and output levels consistent.

Tube Stage Overdrive for Vocals

Behringer X32 Effects Tutorial Tube Stage Overdrive - Vocal Settings

Some great vocal settings would be something like this:

  • Drive – 25%
  • Even Har – 20%
  • Odd Har – 10%
  • Gain – -3.0 dB
  • Lo Cut – 115 Hz
  • Hi Cut – 16.4 kHz
  • Lo Gain – 3 dB
  • Lo Freq – 206 Hz
  • Hi Gain – +2 dB
  • Hi Freq – 2 kHz

Want to see more Effects Tutorials?

To view more of my Behringer X32 Effects Tutorials, click here: dBB Audio FX Series.

2 Comments
  1. Ross Anderson says:

    Another “good job” Drew. Thanks.

  2. Jason Maxfield says:

    This is something I have wanted to mess with on the console, but didn’t want to until I knew more about it. Thanks for the quick tutorial. I’ll have to give this a shot this week with a couple of bands coming in that this kind of effect would work well on their vocals.

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GET THE X32 ROUTING WORKSHEET FOR FREE!

I FOUND THAT OVER THE YEARS, HAVING MY ROUTING WRITTEN DOWN NOT ONLY MADE MY JOB EASIER BUT IT MADE ME FASTER AT MY JOB!

AS A THANK YOU FOR COMING TODAY, I WANT TO GIVE IT TO YOU!

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