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Author Topic: Soundcraft Si Compact  (Read 28953 times)

Andrew (A.J.) McGlynn

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Soundcraft Si Compact
« on: August 21, 2011, 04:17:02 pm »

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 itís a pretty new console.

I am going to start with the Pros
It is a very user friendly console. It is very easy to get around on and its layout just makes sense. There isnít 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. Itís a little small but it works really well. The fader glow is really nice as well. Thereís 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 ľĒ 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 ľĒ 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 canít 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 LS9


My 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.
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Luke Landis

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Re: Soundcraft Si Compact
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2011, 09:13:45 am »

Thanks for the review. I'm hoping others might chime in with some thoughts on this mixer...
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Ronnie.Reels

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Re: Soundcraft Si Compact
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2011, 01:43:20 pm »

The hi and lo EQ section is shelving.  You just don't have Q control.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2013, 11:15:03 pm by Ronnie.Reels »
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Ryan McLeod

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Re: Soundcraft Si Compact
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2011, 11:03:25 pm »

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.

For those really small gigs where the punters get a little too close,
I'd really like to have a lockout option on the desk - password protection should be easy.

The headphone connection under fader #1 is a little annoying.

I agree with the channel libraries, but I've created a starting set of presets to recall on any jug and I think I'm fine without it. My Analog desks made me recall from memory or I had to use my ears.

I'm big on TCE and generally don't get along with Lexicon, but these effects seem like a reasonable compromise. I'm ok with them.

At first I hated the stereo returns on the second layer, but now I seem perfectly ok with them.

For what the desk is and it's price tag, I think that 16 outputs is perfectly acceptable.

It took me 20 minutes to become comfortable, I'm good doing FOH or mons on them, they sound great and have caused me no issues - I know I was early to adopt and I'm ok with being early, and I'm confident that these will do me well for a long time.

Also... From a design point-of-view, it "feels" like what an LS9 would be if it was born in 2010. Once there is a software upgrade I think I'll be ecstatic - and the clients Love the faderglow  ;D
« Last Edit: September 16, 2011, 11:17:43 pm by Ryan McLeod »
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Ronnie.Reels

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Re: Soundcraft Si Compact
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2011, 02:34:18 pm »

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.

For those really small gigs where the punters get a little too close,
I'd really like to have a lockout option on the desk - password protection should be easy.

The headphone connection under fader #1 is a little annoying.

I agree with the channel libraries, but I've created a starting set of presets to recall on any jug and I think I'm fine without it. My Analog desks made me recall from memory or I had to use my ears.

I'm big on TCE and generally don't get along with Lexicon, but these effects seem like a reasonable compromise. I'm ok with them.

At first I hated the stereo returns on the second layer, but now I seem perfectly ok with them.

For what the desk is and it's price tag, I think that 16 outputs is perfectly acceptable.

It took me 20 minutes to become comfortable, I'm good doing FOH or mons on them, they sound great and have caused me no issues - I know I was early to adopt and I'm ok with being early, and I'm confident that these will do me well for a long time.

Also... From a design point-of-view, it "feels" like what an LS9 would be if it was born in 2010. Once there is a software upgrade I think I'll be ecstatic - and the clients Love the faderglow  ;D

ALT + MTX will allow you to send LR or Mono to any matrix.  I do wish for monitor use one could be able to assign Mon volume knob to a fader for cue volume. 
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Tim Padrick

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Re: Soundcraft Si Compact
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2011, 05:42:42 pm »

The hi and lo EQ section is swept shelving.  You just don't have Q control....but who cares on highs and lows anyways.

When the console gives me a choice, I seldom use shelving on the lows.  The slope is too shallow, and I get too much change where I don't want any change.
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Brett Gilbert

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Re: Soundcraft Si Compact
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2011, 03:33:08 pm »

Here's another gripe... the encoders above the faders are VERY limited, they should have more options listed on the touch screen.  I use Tascam DM-4800 at work and the rotary encoders can not only flip with the faders but they can control virtually anything, from aux levels to the ACS functions, etc. 

Soundcraft really needs to add more features to these. I do not like having to switch to the aux/mtx/efx fader mode to adjust levels. I would like to see the encoders be able to go into bus mode to lets say channel 1 is selected and each encoder is map to bus 1,2,3.. etc. Then the next layer of the encoder is mtx 1,2... fx1,2... etc.

BTW, maybe I'm overlooking the obvious but they say the bus can either be an aux or bus, when I think of using a bus I typically want to group like channels and mix them down, but I cannot find where to assign a bus back to L/R?  Is it some alt-key sequence or destination patch?
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Brett Gilbert

Ronnie.Reels

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Re: Soundcraft Si Compact
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2011, 04:05:01 pm »

Here's another gripe... the encoders above the faders are VERY limited, they should have more options listed on the touch screen.  I use Tascam DM-4800 at work and the rotary encoders can not only flip with the faders but they can control virtually anything, from aux levels to the ACS functions, etc. 

Soundcraft really needs to add more features to these. I do not like having to switch to the aux/mtx/efx fader mode to adjust levels. I would like to see the encoders be able to go into bus mode to lets say channel 1 is selected and each encoder is map to bus 1,2,3.. etc. Then the next layer of the encoder is mtx 1,2... fx1,2... etc.

BTW, maybe I'm overlooking the obvious but they say the bus can either be an aux or bus, when I think of using a bus I typically want to group like channels and mix them down, but I cannot find where to assign a bus back to L/R?  Is it some alt-key sequence or destination patch?


After you enter bus mode and you arrive at that layer just "select" that bus  and then just select LR or mono to assign. 
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Brett Gilbert

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Re: Soundcraft Si Compact
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2011, 12:54:53 pm »


After you enter bus mode and you arrive at that layer just "select" that bus  and then just select LR or mono to assign.

Well I feel silly, you would think they would have put that in the manual somewhere, I read through it several times and couldn't find it anywhere but I guess when they say the ACS functions virtually identical to when it's an input channel is correct.
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Brett Gilbert

Ronnie.Reels

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Re: Soundcraft Si Compact
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2011, 06:37:47 pm »

Well I feel silly, you would think they would have put that in the manual somewhere, I read through it several times and couldn't find it anywhere but I guess when they say the ACS functions virtually identical to when it's an input channel is correct.

I assign my aux fed sub bus to mono and walla you have a main gas for subs right next to LR on main layer
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Soundcraft Si Compact
¬ę Reply #9 on: October 02, 2011, 06:37:47 pm ¬Ľ


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