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Author Topic: Soundcraft Stagebox and MADI questions  (Read 2884 times)

Dave Garoutte

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Re: Soundcraft Stagebox and MADI questions
« Reply #20 on: February 14, 2018, 03:20:50 pm »

It's been well over a year since the last firmware update for the performer.
The last update was for the Impact, increasing mix channels to 80 and reducing the value of my Performers.
The last ViSi update was to cover the Vi consoles.
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Bob Leonard

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Re: Soundcraft Stagebox and MADI questions
« Reply #21 on: February 14, 2018, 07:06:17 pm »

I don't see where the value of a Performer is effected simply by upping the channel count on the Impact. Fact be told, and contrary to Tim's past experiences and continued bitterness, Soundcraft products have been as solid as any. I understand where Tim's coming from, but if past product failure were the total sum of the experience there would be no movement forward for any of us. Soundcraft shit the bed a long time ago, and I like Tim lived through that era.

Soundcraft has never been a company that would rush product to market, which can be good and bad. Updates? I haven't needed one since the last Performer update, and have had zero problems. Remote functionality? It is what it is, no extra fluff and enough to get by on the basics. To me, and many, many other people wireless control is a secondary feature, nice to have, but just another nice feature IF needed. Me? I wouldn't work without a board I could put my hands on. It's sort of like the bathroom. I have no issues with flushing with a handle, pulling paper towels off a roll, or turning the knobs for hot and cold water. Some people though can't figure out why the hot handle is red, and the cold is blue.
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Mac Kerr

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Re: Soundcraft Stagebox and MADI questions
« Reply #22 on: February 14, 2018, 07:41:46 pm »

Some people though can't figure out why the hot handle is red, and the cold is blue.

This has always bothered me. A blue flame is hotter than a red flame. Go figure.

On the other hand, if you buy a console based on what you hope it will be after some updates you should probably by something that meets your needs now.

Mac
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Jon Dees

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Re: Soundcraft Stagebox and MADI questions
« Reply #23 on: February 14, 2018, 07:55:04 pm »

I don't think Jon is being particularly harsh, although there is a hint of bitterness...

Soundcraft has an institutional way of doing things that is not particularly customer responsive in the near term and it's been that way for 35 years under different owners, so it's not just a Harman artifact...

Soundcraft eventually does take customer needs and concerns into account, usually when new models roll out you'll see the feature you wanted 4 years ago (or they finally fixed what wasn't working).  Soundcraft is also very opaque when it comes to dealing with MI customers (and even professional users, which is why we're a Soundcraft-free company based on lack of support 20+ years ago) and to expect them to respond is to exercise ones frustration tolerance.

That all said, consider that Soundcraft probably has under 100 people on direct payroll... maybe substantially fewer.  Supporting existing products, designing and testing new items, and trying to stay a bit ahead of the competition keeps them very busy.

The last paragraph is the exact problem. I have just finished a painful journey thru getting a new lighting desk for a church that needs to control 50-ish fixtures with room for movers in the future. The best desk for their purposes would be something like the Strand 250ML but 'everyone knows' that the 250ML was designed by a random contract outfit somewhere probably in India or China and getting them to develop a mature product based on actual focus grouped feature sets is a complete joke.

I fear with the latest round of consolidation at Harman this is where Soundcraft and the other companies that pros rely on for support and incremental feature improvements will be outsourced to tiny development shops in far away places that have never met an end user. The Si line's lack of awareness of HiQnet automation or anything else for automation to me is exhibit A in the absurdity of modern product development. Another sign of the problem with Harman as a whole is that they just canned the entire Martin M-PC development team at their HQ in Denmark.

There are also crazy bugs in the Si line that make the whole thing seem like somebody just tacked on bits and pieces with zero continuity from update to update. When you select a stagebox input you get a linear value from 1-32 in the selection dialog, but if you look at the stagebox, the values are A-01 thru A-16 and C-01 thru C-16. The display dialog after selection is aware of this, but not the selection dialog. A crazy thing but just an example of how there is no time to fix problems.

[actual rant]
What is behind all of this stupidity? ROI - these industry players are investor-owned and the investment firms that own all publicly-traded companies these days are under a quest to look under every rock for a 'superfluous' person they can lay off. Outsourcing product development and completely divorcing support from development is the classic example of this phenomenon. And all for a smidgen extra gain on the quarterly statement, professional customer needs are not relevant to this discussion.

The terrifying part of this problem is that the great counter-example to Harman's painful quest for ROI at the expense of customers is the Behringer X32. Look at the automation and user feedback incorporated in v. 2.0 and v. 3.0 software. That is a symptom of an owner-run company deciding that there is a right way to do things and ignoring the nickel-and-diming of the development and support teams that the MBA's find important.

[/rant]
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Soundcraft Stagebox and MADI questions
« Reply #24 on: February 14, 2018, 09:33:35 pm »

I don't see where the value of a Performer is effected simply by upping the channel count on the Impact. Fact be told, and contrary to Tim's past experiences and continued bitterness, Soundcraft products have been as solid as any. I understand where Tim's coming from, but if past product failure were the total sum of the experience there would be no movement forward for any of us. Soundcraft shit the bed a long time ago, and I like Tim lived through that era.

Soundcraft has never been a company that would rush product to market, which can be good and bad. Updates? I haven't needed one since the last Performer update, and have had zero problems. Remote functionality? It is what it is, no extra fluff and enough to get by on the basics. To me, and many, many other people wireless control is a secondary feature, nice to have, but just another nice feature IF needed. Me? I wouldn't work without a board I could put my hands on. It's sort of like the bathroom. I have no issues with flushing with a handle, pulling paper towels off a roll, or turning the knobs for hot and cold water. Some people though can't figure out why the hot handle is red, and the cold is blue.

It's not that we expected Soundcraft products to be 100% failure-free, what we expected was technical support to get those products fully functional again.  I have a long memory, Bob, and these days Soundcraft is a different company, for better or worse I can't say without a horse in the race.  I'd be willing to audition Vi series desks if there were a rider demand for them and see how things go.  The BEs that travel with Vi mixers really like them but are outnumbered by the DigiCo fan boys.

I've mixed on Si series and over all I didn't care for the ergonomic experience (my complaint with B as well) but there is only so much that can be done with the limited front panel space.  Nothing wrong with the way it sounded, no complaints about the Lexicon-esque FX.
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Al Burgess

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Re: Soundcraft Stagebox and MADI questions
« Reply #25 on: February 15, 2018, 09:54:51 am »

I don't think Jon is being particularly harsh, although there is a hint of bitterness...

Soundcraft has an institutional way of doing things that is not particularly customer responsive in the near term and it's been that way for 35 years under different owners, so it's not just a Harman artifact...

Soundcraft eventually does take customer needs and concerns into account, usually when new models roll out you'll see the feature you wanted 4 years ago (or they finally fixed what wasn't working).  Soundcraft is also very opaque when it comes to dealing with MI customers (and even professional users, which is why we're a Soundcraft-free company based on lack of support 20+ years ago) and to expect them to respond is to exercise ones frustration tolerance.

That all said, consider that Soundcraft probably has under 100 people on direct payroll... maybe substantially fewer.  Supporting existing products, designing and testing new items, and trying to stay a bit ahead of the competition keeps them very busy.

We've always found them really responsive, maybe it was a different story being uk based..... Having said that, now that they're no longer based in this country I do wonder what support will be like in the future.
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Alan Burgess

Dave Garoutte

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Re: Soundcraft Stagebox and MADI questions
« Reply #26 on: February 15, 2018, 12:12:59 pm »

I've put in numerous feature requests to no avail; channel presets, DMX addressing. . .
They market this as a useful desk to run your lights, but with multi channel fixtures, it isn't.
I'm jealous that other companies update their products on a regular basis.
The Ui24 remote app is really nice, so it seems logical that they would port it to the Si, Vi line.  :(
Bob, I love my Performers too.  But this is America and we all deserve more! ::)
« Last Edit: February 16, 2018, 05:33:28 pm by Dave Garoutte »
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Nothing can be made idiot-proof; only idiot resistant.

Events.  Stage, PA, Lighting and Backline rentals.
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