My Behringer X2442USB has a feature called Insert I/O. I understand what Behringer has to say about this feature but now how to use it.

From the manual,


  • Insert points enable the processing of a signal with dynamic processors or equalizers. They are sourced pre-fader, pre-EQ and pre-aux send. Detailed information on using insert points can be found in chapter 5.3.
  • Unlike the X2442USB, the X1622USB, X1832USB and X2222USB have their insert points located on the rear of the console.

The manual also says this about Main Insert,

  • These are the insert points for the main mix. In the signal path, they are post-main mix amp, but pre-main fader(s). Use them to insert, for example, a dynamics processor or graphic equalizer. Please also note the information on insert points in chapter 5.3.

But, why how do they work. I'd like to use an Alessi 3632 Vocal Compressor? Is this an ideal application of a Insert? What sends out to the compressor, what returns from from the compressor (ports on the X2442)?

2 Answers 2


A compressor would be an ideal use for an insert. An insert is both the input and the output.

They use a TRS (tip-ring-sleeve) connector. The tip, for instance, will be the send, and the ring would be the return. The mixer usually labels the insert so you know which is input and which is output.

You'd use a 'Y' cable. The bottom of the 'Y' is TRS. The tops of the 'Y' are both TS. Keep in mind that the insert is mono.

Here's a nice graphic from a Mackie pdf

Insert "Y" Cable Graphic

  • so insert cables are unbalanced mono?
    – Evan Carroll
    Jan 28, 2013 at 1:16
  • @EvanCarroll, yes
    – JoshP
    Jan 28, 2013 at 12:58

Insert Effects process all of the signal with the effect you assign. It will process 100% off your signal and you will have a compressed output.

(Input Signal) → (Apply Insert Effect) → (Processed Signal)

It is called insert effect because you literally insert the effect in the middle of your signal path.

So, yes, compressor is a nice insert effect application.

Since insert effects process all of the signal, be careful using Main Insert of your mixer when you are plugging more than one instrument. If you want compressor in your vocal channel but not in the guitar channel, you should use channel insert instead.

Naming also avoids confusion with another type of method called "Send Effect" which sends only a percentage of the signal to the effect processor and keep the remaining percentage clean. Then the clean signal and processed signal are mixed together.

(Input Signal) → - → (90% Clean Signal)  → - → (90% clean + 10% processed signal)
                 ↓                         ↑
              Send 10%                  Return 10%
                 ↓                         ↑
                 → → (Apply Send Effect) → →

As an example most use of Reverb applications are send effects.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.