I now have a pair of Si-C-32's with MADI cards and the compact stage box, and overall I'm quite happy with all of them. My only issues/concerns are (hopefully) upgradeable thru software:I'd think the matrix outs are completely useless for 90% of live sound work, because I can't simply route the main mix out of the matrix. YES, I can patch the house mix to the main outputs as well as a second set of physical outputs, but I must do that in stereo and would have no independent level control at the console. In my mind, making bus 15/16 availablie in the maxtrix should be software-fixable.
I am a full time tech associate for the student ministry of a large church in the Houston area. We recently purchased a Soundcraft Si Compact for our student center. I have had a couple weeks to get familiar with this console and would like to share what I have found since it’s a pretty new console.I am going to start with the ProsIt is a very user friendly console. It is very easy to get around on and its layout just makes sense. There isn’t really any guessing.Having all of the controls for gain/HPF/gate/comp/EQ all on the control surface is really handy. It drives me crazy when I have to cycle through bands of EQ to do an adjustment. I also really love the touch screen. It’s a little small but it works really well. The fader glow is really nice as well. There’s no guessing as to which layer of the console you are on. Having input delay is a really nice feature for a console in this price range.Now on to some of the cons.The console just lacks a lot of features that are standard on most consoles.The patching of the console is very limited. It has 2 stereo channels with ¼” connectors on it. They default to be patched on Layer B. The console will not let you patch it to the main layer. You also cannot patch the FX returns to the main layer. You can only patch the FX returns to a stereo channel. So if you are using the 2 ¼” stereo channels, you can only use 2 of the 4 FX channels.There are no EQ, dynamic, or channel libraries. This is one thing that really bugs me about this console. What is the point of having a digital console if you cannot recall EQ settings? You can only do it in scenes.The FX engine has some issues. I have already mentioned the patching issue. One thing I do not like about the FX engine is the delay. There is no way to adjust note. You have to tap in the note that you want. I can’t think of a more elegant way to say this but the delay just sounds abrasive and not smooth.The EQ section is missing some features as well. The LF and HF sections are shelving only. This is another thing that just makes sense to have on a digital console. I use 4 fully parametric EQs all the time, especially on the main bus. I found it limiting for the LF and HF to be shelf only. The EQ graph on the display does not always update as you adjust the EQ (I assume this is just a bug that will be fixed with a firmware update) The HPF does not show up on the EQ graph. This is not a huge thing but it would be nice if it was there.I have not messed with the snapshot section a whole lot but one thing I have found is that there is no indication to which snapshot you are currently on when you boot up the console or if you move the cursor off the current scene.There are no analog output cards available for this console. You get 16 outs and that is all. So if you want to use all 14 mixes and the 4 matrices, you are out of luck. For us it is going to be used in our student center and will be run primarily by students. For our normal Sunday to Sunday routine it is going to work out well. It is simple and easy enough for just about anyone to use. If you are looking for a console that is very easy to use and does not take up a lot of space then this console is for you. If you are after a large feature set, then you are better off with something like the LS9My bottom line is that it seems Soundcraft set out to build a console that would be an LS9 killer but they designed it off of the failures of the LS9 and not on its success.
While I haven't looked into most of the things Andrew went over when exploring this console, it's lack of a 4-band fully parametric EQ removed it from the running in my search to move several compact corporate audio rigs digital.
I just bought one, thought I'd chime in. Its funny, it has been "bothering" me that they are just shelving, but I've still been ultimately getting the sounds I want. I wonder if I won't just 'get used to it'. It did occur to me that they could possibly use a software update to make them either fixed q bands or shelves, I don't know if thats something they want to do but its just a though. On the contrary regarding the FX, I really like them so far and I've found the 'studio delay' to be quite manageable and effective. I realize that one mans "awesome" is another mans "utter crap", though. Just did the 1.1 software update, and Soundcraft has some info on their Facebook page about V2 which is in beta: Selective Copy & Paste • Security lockout • Assignable fader layers • Snapshot control via MIDI in and MIDI out • Ability to send Left, Right and Mono separately to each matrix bus • Console can be word clock slave or master • Global Isolate of individual buses • Patching of stereo inputs to any channel The production release of V2 has been slated to provide the following:• Showing HPF setting on EQ screen • Delay displayed in meters feet and ms and filter width in Q and octaves • Support for forthcoming ViSi iPad on-line control • Support for CobraNet® and Aviom® • Minimum 25% speed improvement on all processes
Definitely "like" their facebook page if you can. Best source of news from soundcraft strangely! Another user here turned me on to it. For example they also just told every one to "look out" for an ipad control announcement soon.
Thanks so much Samuel. V2 solves a majority of the problems I have with this console. I might just end up keep mine.
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