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SoundCraft SI Compact Digital Mixer - Review

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♪♫♪♫.........[Music playing] Hi, I'm Tom Der, I'm in charge of digital console sales for SoundCraft and StudioLive sound here in America and we're here in front of a Compact SI console. In this case it's a 24-input variant. We make 2 other variants, a 16 and a 32. It's sort of, selling points and things that people love about it is, are, is its simplicity basically. So when you walk up to the console, there's not a whole lut of, uh...uh, you know, clutter on the surface. It's a very simple surface. You have a single fader that deals with obviously with the input, a "Select" switch, an "On/Off" switch, and a single encoder. This encoder, which is above each of the 22 faders on the case of the 24 input console, can be one of three things: Mic pre-amp gain, uh, high-pass filter, or pan. So 3 of the most common used things appear here and are easily accessed. All your other functions on the console come through a sort of virtual or, a channel strip up here at the center of the console, uhm, uh, frame.

To access this channel strip you hit "Select" on the channel, that now maps out the parameters onto the, uhm, onto the encoders here. So, uh, I won't go into each detail but essentially you have a mic pre amp and high pass filter, a gate, a compressor, a 4-band EQ, with sweepable mid, uh high and lows and parametric mids, a sonic gear mix bus, and 500 milliseconds of delay. If you want to do time alignment or acoustic time alignment for phase things that might not be 180 degrees out-of-phase. So, you know, in short, its beauty is its simplicity.

You have a single encoder here for mic preamp control. You hit "Select" here and then you have basically your entire channel strip coming up there. One thing we don't have on the channel strip are the Aux Sends. So any time you need to access Aux Sends, we do in a pretty standard fader flip or uhm, "sends on fader" mode. And, our case, what you do is you basically hit one of these buses and you have basically 14 of these Aux Sends. And, I hit, say, Bus 1 here and you'll see that the faders now have jumped to a different position and have illuminated yellow. And that's one of the unique uh, that's one of the unique things about this, uh, console. And one of the things that most SoundCraft and studio use and a lot of the digital range is the illumination of the fader, uh slot. And the fact that we've illuminated the fader slot by color, it helps warn the user that you, you've switched modes. So it's no longer an input fader. It's a contribution to an output fader. So "Dark," it's an input. You see "Yellow," it's a contribution to an output and the, it's either pre-fader if it's yellow, and I think I might have some post-faders down here, which will glow green when it's set. So it gives you immediate, uh uh, warning and identification of what the fader's doing. So you don't get confused between whether it's an input fader or a contribution to an auxilliary send. We also have 4, uh, stereo lexicon effects units built in to the console.

You're gonna access those by hitting the "Lexicon" switch here. and again, uhm, that's one of the unique things about, uh, the SoundCraft consoles is that we do have a high-quality processor built in that, from a named manufacturer again one of the Harmon companies of which we are one. Which makes it convenient. Uhm, to have, again, like I said before, if you hit "Lexican." You see it bring up. THen you have 4 Effects engines. And if I click in on one of these engines, I can now choose between 29 different parameters. and then, or, or uh, basically "devices" and then in.... I have 4 parameters that map out on those devices onto the touchscreen selections here with hard encoders down below them uhm, I may have one or two or three pages of those, depending on what's going on uh, with that effect. If I pick the delay device, I'll get a tap tempo switch that maps out automatically right down here. So you've got 4 tap tempos switches very easy to set, uh, time-based, uh, effects, or delays using your Tap Tempo switches here.

As you heard me say earlier, you have 14 Auxiliary Sends from the console. Again, that will cover a lot of monitor, uh usage will also give you, uhm you know, actually, covers quite a bit because you've gotta remember you also have 4 Effects sends so you don't even have to eat into your, uh, buses to get to your effects. You've already got that covered. So, uhm, one of the things we've put on the, uh output of the, each, or on the each output is a VSS graphic EQ. And there's one way that you can get to the graphic EQ. is by, uhm, hitting uh, let's say right now we go to bus, and I can select a bus and now hit "Graphic EQ" down here and you'll see that these now jump to the uh, one band, one set of bands in the graphic EQ. Uhm, we put a silkscreen highlight here, indicating the low bands, And then if I hit "High Bands" then this, the lower silkscreen comes into place. One thing you can't tell by, by looking at the video is that when you go through the, the "null" position right about here We actually have energized a motor to create a center detail you you, you know, you can just feel it when you go through uh, "zero" so your gain or cut you can sort of feel when you're in that position, which is sort of cute and has some advantages in terms of ease-of-use. Uhm, so you've got one of these on every output, and so we've got 21 outputs

You've got 14, uh, buses, so they're gonna be pre-fader or post-fader AUX sends. You also have 4 matrixes, which I get to again by going to a fader flip mode right here, by going to MTX. And when I hit "MTX" these now become my contributions to this matrix. This becomes my master output fader, these are my 14 pre or post AUX sends that are feeding that, uh that fader. And if I need to get to my, uh, left/right center contributions to matrix, I use my ALT switch and hit "ALT Matrix" and then I get left, right and center showing up here for that matrix. 21 total buses, 14 AUX sends, uh 4 matrixes, Left, center and right, uh outputs. We've introduced several new things, to the console. That have been asked for, and, serving you know, CCI's market, one of the most interesting things I think is the Security function. Which is, uh, this is one of the only, it IS the only console in the SoundCraft Studio digital range that now has the Security functions. So, it's sort of a, sort of a big deal. So to get the Security functions, we'll go to the touchscreen right here. And touch "Security" which we, which is an added switch here and secure, under the security window, you have a capability to add a user or create a user, and then, uh, you can assign the user a particular profile. Which I do by hitting "Profile" and we can set up these different types of profiles where we can limit the user's access to either, uh, the input processing the bus structure, the effects sends, layering, uh many things. It allows some filtering of what, uh, the volunteers or certain volunteers can reach on the consoles. So, another thing we've done on the version 2 software is to put a fader, uhm, layering, uh system on this. So I hit "Fader Setup" here This allows me to map out any, uh, input to any fader. So before, I was limited to sequential inputs, 1 through 22 on the first layer, 23, 24 and returns on the second layer. Now with this new system, I can create on any of my layers a custom layout. So, right here we're sort of watching it split between A and B and in the olds days if I went to the "B" layer, this was my effects returns

But, some people said "Well, I really need an Effect return up on the main layer so I can ride it with a vocal or something." So now I can take this and put it on both layers actually. So if I want Effect #4 on both layers, I'm gonna come up here and select, uh, the fader then I'm gonna come up here to the touch screen and say I'm gonna assign Stereo Input #4 to that fader. And now you can see it glows blue indicating it's a stereo effect return So I have it both here, which I'm going to put it up at the very top of the scale, and then I'm going to switch to Layer B and you'll see, when I go to Layer B It's up here at the top of the scale here. So I can customize my layout to have inportant things on each layer if I need 'em to and duplicate them up to two times if I want to on each layer.

The...other significant improvement on version 2 Software, is a "Copy/Paste" uhm, uh, solution. We did have a very basic "Copy/Paste" solution on the first variant of the console, but it basically copied all the channel and pasted all the channel. So now we have a selective "Copy/Paste" Where I select a channel, and then I have on the touchscreen blocks here that I can enable, or disable to allow the copy, you know, what's being put on the clipboard. Once I've done that I hold the "Paste" command and hit "Select" and that pastes the , uh selected channel to where I'm going. I can pause and make multiple pastes by, just, let's see, uh uh, holding "Paste" and hitting "Select" and paste it from the clipboard to multiple channels at one time. Uh, that's it. You can find more about us at www.SoundCCraft.com or obviously with your CCI representative. ♪♫♪♫..........[Music playing]

Video Details

Duration: 9 minutes and 23 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: CCI Solutions
Director: CCI Solutions
Views: 243
Posted by: ccisolutions on Jul 14, 2012

SoundCraft SI Compact Digital Mixers are known for their simplicity. One of the unique things about this console is the illumination of the fader slot. It helps warn the user that you have switched modes. It gives you immediate warning and identification to what the fader is doing so you don't get confused as to whether it's an input fader or a contribution to an auxiliary send. Learn more about this mixer as reviewed by Tom Der, National Sales Manager for Soundcraft Digital Console Sales, USA.

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