Just a few observations on this desk.
I just finished 6 weeks on the road around Europe and the UK using a Soundcraft compact package made up of a
SI expression 3 for monitors
SI performer for FOH and a couple of stage boxes,all tied together over cat5.
First off, the EQ is great.
The shelves top and bottom aren't really an issue,you can get very useable sounding inputs.
This goes for the PEQ and GEQs on the outputs also,very quick and intuitive and they're on every output all the time.
The touch screen works fine, and I often found myself not selecting the EQ view so I could use the pop up readout more, for finer adjustments.
The output patching is versatile enough to allow all sorts of doubling and quick patching in the real world.
The input patching is very simple also, and takes seconds to do on the fly.
I don't use a lot of dynamics, a few compressors is all and a couple of hates, but the "inquire"feature to highlight all inputs with gates or comps on is very useful.
There is plenty of metering on the board and you can if you like switch down to the layer with all the output masters on for a fuller view,not something I found myself doing often though.
Ok a few cons.
For monitors, I use wedges and IEMs
I use the headphone output to monitor the IEMs but there is no dedicated wedge output with a dedicated fader.
You can obviously connect a listen wedge to the monitor output,but the level is regulated by the headphone output knob.
This is something of a problem for me as I spend most of the night reaching across the console to adjust levels between mixes.
There is a workaround.
I send the monitor out via an output socket to an unused line input, which I route to the stereo buss (I set all my aux post fade and don't use the stereo buss at all),
I then connect the listen wedge amp to the LR output, putting a separate although post headphone out, on the master LR fader.
This works OK, but isn't ideal as the moment I decide to use that stereo buss for another mix I no longer have a wedge out.
I remember doing this same thing on the early yamaha m7s till they upgraded their software to provide a split in the monitor path and a routing option to to a fader independent of the headphone out.
Another slight con is that when mixing in a little reverb to an IEM mix, you get taken out of context when you hit the FX mix send, as it solos the mix,so you can't tell how much you are sending till you return to the IEM mix,of course once you get this about right, you can just adjust the returns to suit so it's no biggy.
Using the shared stage box means you have to trust your FOH man, as he's doing all the gains.
You have a trim on the monitor desk, but that's it.
Again, if you are touring this board with the same band,mics and engineers,this soon settles down and can actually save a lot of time.
We are using all 32 shared inputs on the stage box, plus another 8 analogue lines on a copper multi,through a passive splitter, and this 8way is taped to the cat5 to make a very lightweight and quick to deploy 40 in and 8 returns multi.
The performers scribble strips are very nice, and I'm jealous,but a dymo printer got my desk tagged clearly and a bit of PVC works fine in any case.
The ipad app is now, after being upgraded, very useable and very much more stable, it used to crash a lot last month especially when I plugged the charger in!
Now I can wander the stage dialling in input and output EQ and messing with delays and levels all from the performers spot.
Makes for much quicker sound checks.
I'd love to see FX basic editing on the ipad like rev time and tap tempo.
A library for EQs would also be an excellent addition, making EQ recalls for different wedges simple while retaining your input EQs,or indeed vice versa
All in all , the band,who are quite passionate about all things analogue, are very happy with onstage and FOH sound and the time saved every day being able to recall EQs and mixes.
I just bought an SI1 expression to use for my own projects and look forward to the promised offline editor so I can collate,edit and backup all my mixes.
PS,after a quick few gigs in Greece using their in house analogue desks I got very frustrated at all the actual walking from one end of a 40 input desk to the other!
A very nice desk.A great desk for the money.