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Author Topic: choosing a digital board  (Read 14680 times)

Bob Leonard

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Re: choosing a digital board
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2013, 11:19:39 pm »

How is it possible to critique a board based solely on the fact the channel EQ high and low end are shelving? Is there a doubt the Soundcraft EQ is inadequate? Because if that's the case it's been inadequate since they started making boards.

OP,

The Soundcraft Expression series are well made quality boards designed for live sound. The chips used for the channels are the same as the chips used in the Vi Series boards. The sound is pristine, the learning curve is small, to the point where the uneducated often state the board is not full featured simply because it's features don't require multiple steps to use.

I suggest that you go to the soundcraft web site and watch some of the videos available, compare available digital boards in the format you require, then judge for yourself. One thing that's more than apparent is simply this. The board is manufactured and designed by Soundcraft and the Expression line is the direct descendent of the Performer and compact models, all well known for their design, features and reliability. Service, if ever needed, is available at multiple authorized facilities located in every state. The boards support up to 66 channels input, and can use all of the option cards and option available for the compact and Performer series boards, as well as many available for the top of the line Vi series and Studer boards. Stage boxes add to the channel count, unlike many other boards. There are more choices available now than ever before. There's no need to buy anything based simply on the price.
 
I own an expression, however, the expression or QU-16 would be my choice if I were buying now, in that order.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2013, 11:22:07 pm by Bob Leonard »
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Justice C. Bigler

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Re: choosing a digital board
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2013, 11:55:42 pm »

stick with analog... you can always coach them over the phone.

I've coached guys over the phone, through several layers and menu options, from memory, on the PM5D. If you know the console, it's not that hard.
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Kemper Watson

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Re: choosing a digital board
« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2013, 12:36:31 am »

I've coached guys over the phone, through several layers and menu options, from memory, on the PM5D. If you know the console, it's not that hard.

I was on the other end of that with an SC48..Coached me right through. Show went well
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Mike Sullivan

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Re: choosing a digital board
« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2013, 01:15:47 am »

IMHO, for the price, the Studiolive would make a great transitional board, and is really easy.  The Soundcraft Expression has a slightly longer learning curve (with layers and such to worry about) while the Studiolive is one layer for main faders, and digital controls for the aux buses and all other FAT channel effects.  Plus, the Studiolive has some nice basic presets (while not for everyone) which means a newbie can easily set up an act and get them to make noise with little problem.  YMMV
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Mark Gensman

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Re: choosing a digital board
« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2013, 01:33:01 am »

I had the opportunity to play with an SI 3 and it has both graphic and parametric EQ's.

My main concern is with the ability to record off the board. From what I can tell, the digital out card has USB and Firewire but only eight channels of ADAT. That limits it as far as I am concerned.

But it is a very intuitive board with some very nice features. One of which is the ability to work the board without needing the display, which disappears in direct sunlight. Everything is one button away.
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Brad Weber

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Re: choosing a digital board
« Reply #15 on: September 18, 2013, 07:25:50 am »

I have had my eyes on the Soundcraft Si Expression 3 because though we only use 19 channels on it right now, I want them to be able to handle larger shows in the future after I leave. (also ease of use/teaching for volunteers, having the FX/monitors 1 touch away) So the questions I had were:

the expression series only has a 4 band semi-parametric eq, do i need a fully parametric eq, and if i do, am I wanting more than 4 bands?

as far as expandibility We do live recordings through the direct outs into an Adat hd24, and then into Logic Pro. I have been checking out the dante card, but have only seen them in the UK. also I would love to get the MADI card for the stage box, so can you record and use the stage box with one card? do I want two card ports?

I know the questions I have asked can make the board price range from $3k to $30k. So this is my last one. The budget is 3-9K. I have two venues I would like upgrade. So should I just upgrade the one get the best one I can for the price. or get two lower priced, but still way better than what we have, boards for the same cost? I don't want the x32 at all, and am disinclined towards the ls9, but could have someone sell me on it.
Okay, so we know you currently need 19 channels of some type but would like more for the future, that you record to a HD24, that you seem to have some interest in a stage box, that you have some question on the channel EQ of the Expression and that you have a budget of $3k-$9k for either one or two consoles.
 
We don't know how many channels you may want for the future, whether you might want to go straight to Logic, why you are discussing a stage box, what other processing factors may apply or what the two venues are.
 
We also know nothing about the intended use, the skills of the usual operators, the outputs required, how scenes may be used, how functions such as subgroups/DCAs/mute groups may apply and so on.
 
You've out of hand eliminated the X32.  You would need someone to 'sell' you on the LS9 but then don't offer much on which to base any 'sale'.  And the StudioLive 24.4.2 is being replaced with an AI version while the SL 32.4.2AI is still in Pre-Order status, so that could affect how you feel about those.
 
So are you really looking for alternatives or more just looking for confirmation on the choice you already made?  If you really want people to offer comments and suggestions then it would likely help if you could provide more information about the use and situation.
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Chris Eddison

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Re: choosing a digital board
« Reply #16 on: September 18, 2013, 10:09:54 am »

Another name to throw in to the mix would be the Roland consoles. They're incredibly popular in the church sound world, over here anyway. SFL and SSE have been putting a good number in to church installs.

I should probably show my hand and say i'm a very happy M480 owner. Possibly slightly over your budget for 2 venues, but the smaller offerings are equally as good. A lot of people get put off by the slightly "my first mixing desk" looks, but under the hood they're a cracking piece of kit. Easy to use, sound lovely, iPad remote, now free to download drivers to multitrack record direct to PC via REAC,, built in USB recorder, good channel count, well implemented scene recall, easy to assign any input to anywhere and you can make inputs and outputs in to inserts really easily.

Needless to say, I really enjoy using my console. Well worth a look!
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Jared Koopman

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Re: choosing a digital board
« Reply #17 on: September 18, 2013, 11:22:20 am »

If that was my budget I would be looking at the GLD at the top end, and Soundcraft Expression 3. I am not fond of the Presonus stuff but they do work. It just wouldn't be MY first choice.
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Jason Lucas

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Re: choosing a digital board
« Reply #18 on: September 18, 2013, 11:49:54 am »

Another name to throw in to the mix would be the Roland consoles. They're incredibly popular in the church sound world, over here anyway. SFL and SSE have been putting a good number in to church installs.

I should probably show my hand and say i'm a very happy M480 owner. Possibly slightly over your budget for 2 venues, but the smaller offerings are equally as good. A lot of people get put off by the slightly "my first mixing desk" looks, but under the hood they're a cracking piece of kit. Easy to use, sound lovely, iPad remote, now free to download drivers to multitrack record direct to PC via REAC,, built in USB recorder, good channel count, well implemented scene recall, easy to assign any input to anywhere and you can make inputs and outputs in to inserts really easily.

Needless to say, I really enjoy using my console. Well worth a look!

My church is actually selling our Roland mixer to get an X32. The Roland has been working fine for the most part, and if we could afford the M48 personal mixing system we'd love it, but unfortunately the M48 system is too expensive. The P16 system is a small fraction of the cost, and has most of the functionality.
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Chuck Simon

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Re: choosing a digital board
« Reply #19 on: September 18, 2013, 01:44:44 pm »

I have both the Presonus and the Soundcraft Si.  If I had to choose one, I would take the Si.  The Presonus is the easiest for a beginner to learn on, has the best iPod app, and has been 100% reliable for me for over a year now, but the Soundcraft is more flexable and has more features - it's just a nicer board.  The EQ is all I need.  With the default settings you can get up and running in no time.  The X32 is more complex to set up, has a longer learning curve and after all, it is a Berhinger(if that matters)!

I use my Presonus for smaller gigs where I mix from the iPad and my Soundcraft for larger gigs with a more traditional, board-out-front setup.

I have to say, though, if recording is a big concern, the edge goes to the Presonus.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2013, 02:00:16 pm by Chuck Simon »
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Re: choosing a digital board
« Reply #19 on: September 18, 2013, 01:44:44 pm »


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