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Author Topic: Si Impact vs. X32 for volunteer operators  (Read 3186 times)

Tim Barber

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Si Impact vs. X32 for volunteer operators
« on: June 01, 2017, 12:37:55 pm »

My church is inching towards funding a new digital mixer to replace their ancient Mackie 8-bus. I have pretty much narrowed my recommendations down to Impact vs X32 in the price range that is likely to be authorized. I've done a lot of online reading, and downloaded and studied the manuals and offline editors for both boards. I definitely want a physical board as opposed to going wireless.

I've not heard an Impact live, but have heard Expressions and X32s in several different venues mixing everything from acoustic guitar to film festivals to metal. Both sound good...to my ears the X32 seems to have a characteristic slightly crispy sound whereas the Soundcraft is smoother. Either would be a massive upgrade for us.

Right now I'm leaning Soundcraft; my impression is that the X32 has more bells and whistles, but the Impact is still probably more capable than we need and the workflow seems much more straightforward...although the offline editor is buggy so it's a little hard to be sure. Ease of use (and ease of explanation) is a big consideration because most of my volunteers are of the "I'm here, which one is the power switch?" variety. Also, the system is used by an elementary school during the week so it needs to be fairly bombproof.

Does anyone have experience/anecdotes re: training unskilled volunteers on either board?
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Si Impact vs. X32 for volunteer operators
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2017, 01:09:21 pm »

My church is inching towards funding a new digital mixer to replace their ancient Mackie 8-bus. I have pretty much narrowed my recommendations down to Impact vs X32 in the price range that is likely to be authorized. I've done a lot of online reading, and downloaded and studied the manuals and offline editors for both boards. I definitely want a physical board as opposed to going wireless.

I've not heard an Impact live, but have heard Expressions and X32s in several different venues mixing everything from acoustic guitar to film festivals to metal. Both sound good...to my ears the X32 seems to have a characteristic slightly crispy sound whereas the Soundcraft is smoother. Either would be a massive upgrade for us.

Right now I'm leaning Soundcraft; my impression is that the X32 has more bells and whistles, but the Impact is still probably more capable than we need and the workflow seems much more straightforward...although the offline editor is buggy so it's a little hard to be sure. Ease of use (and ease of explanation) is a big consideration because most of my volunteers are of the "I'm here, which one is the power switch?" variety. Also, the system is used by an elementary school during the week so it needs to be fairly bombproof.

Does anyone have experience/anecdotes re: training unskilled volunteers on either board?

You can't underestimate the pervasiveness of the x32.  Everyone has worked on one.  My vote is x32. 
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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman
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Samuel Sjöbergsson

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Re: Si Impact vs. X32 for volunteer operators
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2017, 03:57:58 pm »

Except those that haven't worked on a digital desk before or even mixed at all where I think the impact or possibly the yamaha tf series are a easier choice but I do believe you will be happy no matter which choice your making
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Frank DeWitt

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Re: Si Impact vs. X32 for volunteer operators
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2017, 07:39:37 pm »

We use a AMP software / component based mixer.  It is probably about as complex as you can get.  It is used by our K-12 School, Church, and volunteers for special events.  I have found that people are used to screens, and working  with digital based hardware so it is easy to get people up to speed. 

Yes, the fine points of routing and picking signals pre or post every step of the chain will be lost on them, but how to turn it on, get the volume up, and build a mix is easy to teach on any modern digital mixer.
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David Pedd

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Re: Si Impact vs. X32 for volunteer operators
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2017, 08:17:10 pm »

IMO Soundcraft is not user friendly, but I have net seen the model you mention.  I find (and sell more of)  Allen & Heath and the end users seem to pick up on the operations pretty quickly.

Have you checked out their Qu series?
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Will Rigby

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Re: Si Impact vs. X32 for volunteer operators
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2017, 12:23:21 am »

IMO Soundcraft is not user friendly, but I have net seen the model you mention.  I find (and sell more of)  Allen & Heath and the end users seem to pick up on the operations pretty quickly.

Have you checked out their Qu series?

I would also highly recommend looking at a Qu-32 in this price range. I find the A&H interface to be more intuitive, especially for those coming from analog consoles.
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Mike Caldwell

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Re: Si Impact vs. X32 for volunteer operators
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2017, 07:00:12 am »

I would also highly recommend looking at a Qu-32 in this price range. I find the A&H interface to be more intuitive, especially for those coming from analog consoles.

And the iPad App is really good and easy to use. Actually I think is easier to use the iPad than the physical board it self.

Tim Weaver

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Re: Si Impact vs. X32 for volunteer operators
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2017, 07:14:27 pm »

The soundcraft is a little easier for noobs, but the X32 has hours and hours and hours of free online training on youtube.

I much prefer the X32. Its easy enough for unskilled users to operate, but it will not hinder an advanced user either. There are a lot more tools for the x32, Plus the app support is great. And the P16's are pretty decent if you are ever considering a band monitor system.
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Tim Weaver

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Re: Si Impact vs. X32 for volunteer operators
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2017, 07:16:33 pm »

Fwiw, I replaced a mackie SR40-8 in a Church with an X32 and they are loving it. They had zero experience with digital. 2 years later and they wouldn't give it up for anything.
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Sammy Barr

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Re: Si Impact vs. X32 for volunteer operators
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2017, 07:34:14 pm »

The impact is very easy to learn. It is now expandable to 64 channels I think, with a stage box. It sounds really good and has a 31 band graphic on all outputs plus 4 dedicated effects. The iPad app is not as good as the X32-Mix but is very workable. Either board will be a great improvement.
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