Soundcraft has announced a new software revision to include graphic equalisers on its Si series desks, and the availability of an offline editor, Virtual Si, and an optional MADI interface. It has also added Lexicon processors to its successful MPM and MFX boards.
SI SERIES UPGRADES
The Si software version 2.0 adds the capabilities to display composite EQ curves on the touch screen for any channel or output, but perhaps more importantly provides a BSS Audio 30-band graphic equalizer on every output (groups, auxes and matrices), which is controlled by the faders in the same way as on the larger Soundcraft Vi series platforms.
When switched to Graphic EQ mode, the Soundcraft FaderGlow system lights the first 15 faders on the desk in red to indicate EQ mode, and the OLED display above each channel shows both the ISO frequency of the filter and the gain or cut. Another feature is the pseudo centre-detent provided in the motorized fader at the 0db point. Simple scrolling allows the faders to control all 30 bands in three sections of the low, mid and higher frequencies.
This means the Si Series now has a full complement of gates, compressors, graphic EQs and Lexicon effects engines inside the single box analogue-replacement solution.
Completing the new software functionality is the ability to integrate with a Harman HiQnet system and send Venue Recall messages to equipment in the network.Article continues below
Channel direct outputs on the Si Series will shortly be provided through an optional MADI interface card, which fits into one of the option slots on the rear of the Si Series chassis. The card, based on the Studer D21m I/O system card and a version of which is also used on the Vi Series, provides up to 64 direct outputs from the channel down a MADI stream, which can be fed to a MADI-based audio multitrack recorder to record live shows, or even used as a stage splitter to feed the inputs to another console which has a MADI interface to its inputs. The card is expected to ship by the end of April.
The new Virtual Si software allows an engineer to completely setup a show, with channel labels, aux/group assignments, EQ settings and cues etc, offline on a PC or laptop, save the show to a USB memory stick and load it directly into the console, saving valuable set-up time at a gig. The software GUI is an exact replica of the desk, so can be used also as a learning or tutorial aid.
MPM AND MFX UPGRADES
Soundcraft has taken the already successful MPM and MFX Series of mixers, and given them both hardware and audio performance upgrades.
The new Soundcraft mixers, known as the MFXi and MPMi Series, build on the strength of the original range by using vertically mounted PCBs with the control pots being nutted to the front panel. This not only increases the rigidity of the mixer and gives a firm operating feel, but also aids servicing should it ever be required. As part of this review all aspects of new the layouts were reviewed taking into account customer feedback over the past 18 months and this has yielded several other improvements to the layout, graphics and operation when compared to the original consoles.
The MFXi has integral Lexicon effects. Using the same AudioDNA processor featured in many of the Digitech and Lexicon outboard products including the highly respected Lexicon MX400, the mixers boast 32 effects presets, a user settings store function, three parameter controls, and a tap tempo mode. These effects have been optmised for integration within the console to provide the lowest noise floor and so deliver the best sound.
Both the MFXi and MPMi provide two group busses, three aux sends, (two auxes and one FX send on the MFXi model) and two stereo input channels. The MPMi is available with 12 or 20 mic inputs giving a maximum mix input capacity of 18 or 26 inputs, while the MFXi is offered in three frame-sizes with 8, 12 or 20 mic inputs, these having a mix capacity of 16, 20 or 28 inputs.
Soundcraft has taken the hardware development opportunity to fine-tune the audio design and so further enhance the audio performance of the mixers, further improving key specifications including noise and distortion performance.
A feature that will be appreciated by many, is the provision of a slot on the chassis which accepts a standard Kensington laptop computer cable lock, meaning that your mixer can be secured in a venue, installation or retail display.
The 12-channel versions are now supplied with rack mount ears included, while these are available as an option for the 8 and 20 channel MFXi model.
All new models will be available in the UK in May 2009.
For more information please call Sound Technology on 01462 480000 or visit www.soundtech.co.uk