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Title: Soundcraft Si Expression 3- initial thoughts
Post by: Mike Reigh on May 19, 2013, 11:19:18 am
    After two events, I think I finally have a solid grasp on this desk and the remote app that goes with it.  I used it for an indoor two band event, and an outdoor four band event that spanned all day.  I'll talk about the features I used the most; I ran into only one issue that is bothersome, but I'm not sure if the app caused it, or something in the software.

    The board sounds great, plenty of headroom on the outputs, fairly intuitive layout and easy to learn.  It seems that the default parameters for the gate and compressor are too aggressive in some settings.  I set up a basic show before I left with the console that used them on the first 16 channels.   The first show on the mixer only required 16, so I ended up with gates where they weren't needed; so if you've never heard an acoustic guitar with a gate on it, it sounds like shit.  Since it was still new to me, it took me a little to figure out what the problem was.

    The four effects processors work great, I set up my first mute group to mute them so I don't have to switch fader banks to turn them off/on.  I have a vocal plate, tap delay, drum plate on 1-3, and #4 I haven't needed yet. 

    The Faderglow feature is nice, but in direct sunlight, it didn't catch my eye right away and I almost mixed on an aux inadvertently.

    The mixer itself is a really nice piece of gear, I've never mixed on a high-end board, so I can't compare it to an M7 or greater.  The big negative about it, and I can't really say it's the mixer's fault, is the remote app.  Twice, I've had outputs turn themselves down for no reason.  Twice, it was pre-fade auxes, once it was the LR out.  I'm lumping this with the app, since the app is buggy and crashes occasionally.  I'm wondering if when the app crashes, it takes out the output of whatever bank you're on.  (pure speculation)

    There are only two things I would like to have added to the app to make it really awesome:  head amp gain and mute group functionality.  Lacking these two really makes the app suck, hard.  The multi-band all day festival set-up had me take FOH shelter at the side of the stage, 50' away from it.  Needless to say, I relied heavily on the app to mix FOH from the "dance floor"/congregation area.  If I needed more gain, I had to walk over to the console, and in between every song, I had to do the same to mute the FX.  My dogs were barking at the end of the day.  While I could have simply turned them off on the app, and I did several times, the stereo outs are at the end of channel 56.  If you're mixing on 1-24, it takes a while to scroll clean to the end to turn things on and off.  It wouldn't be so bad if I could scroll backwards from 1-8, to the stereo outs, but the app doesn't allow it.

    I'm hoping for an app update soon, and I haven't checked for mixer firmware upgrade yet.  It's still on the truck with a weekend off, but if there is something that will make it work better, I'll take the time and get it updated.  Thanks for reading, I hope my rambling made sense. 

Mike
Title: Re: Soundcraft Si Expression 3- initial thoughts
Post by: George Dougherty on May 19, 2013, 07:05:56 pm
Admittedly I haven't used it yet, but the one thing I really didn't get was the lack of a scribble strip. I really want to like this board because I'm a longtime fan of Soundcraft desks. However, I really don't see the point of layers without scribble strips.  It doesn't seem like a bunch of little cheap LCD screens should add that much in cost and the usability drops in my book without them.  I'd happily pay another few hundred for them and it would make the appeal of an X32 much lower in this price range. All kinds of other things that could have been skimped on and still left an excellent contender.
Title: Re: Soundcraft Si Expression 3- initial thoughts
Post by: Anthony Forchielli on August 14, 2013, 01:23:50 am
The Soundcraft Performer has channel screens as well as VCA's and a bunch of other features (for more money obviously).  But for the price I don't think there's a better digital console in this range for the money.  The expression get's you a great sounding digital console for a price the competitors can't touch in my opinion.  The console just sounds too good to ignore. 
Title: Re: Soundcraft Si Expression 3- initial thoughts
Post by: Nicolas Poisson on August 14, 2013, 07:11:11 am
I really don't see the point of layers without scribble strips.

Usually these LCD scribble strips are needed, to follow the layers. But I find this is less a problem on the SI-Compact/Expression due to the great number of faders. It is common that a full show fits in a single layer. Thus the old way of tape above faders works pretty well. Whether the fader is used as a input level to master bus or aux send, it is associated to the same input.
Title: Re: Soundcraft Si Expression 3- initial thoughts
Post by: Chuck Simon on August 14, 2013, 10:04:14 am
Usually these LCD scribble strips are needed, to follow the layers. But I find this is less a problem on the SI-Compact/Expression due to the great number of faders. It is common that a full show fits in a single layer. Thus the old way of tape above faders works pretty well. Whether the fader is used as a input level to master bus or aux send, it is associated to the same input.

Agreed!  Thanks to Mikes excellent tip about using a mute group for effects, I can mix most gigs on a single layer.  The only complaint I have, and it is a minor one, is the location of the headphone jack. 
Title: Re: Soundcraft Si Expression 3- initial thoughts
Post by: Eric Reese on September 16, 2013, 08:56:47 am
Question for the Expression users:
In looking into the Si expression console, it states that Mix 9-14 can be set up as stereo. Do you know how these patch when in stereo? Are 9-10, 11-12, 13-14 set up as pairs, or can each mix have two outputs? (I.e. is it three stereo pairs, or six?) I'm thinking about using this board, but I want a minimum of 4-6 pairs of auxs for stereo IEM's.

Thanks,
Eric
Title: Re: Soundcraft Si Expression 3- initial thoughts
Post by: Nicolas Poisson on September 17, 2013, 03:11:03 am
I do not know on the Expression but I guess this is the same as the Compact: any pair of odd/even bus can be linked as a stereo pair: 1+2, 3+4, and so on. So you can get up to 8 stereo analog outputs plus AES.
Title: Re: Soundcraft Si Expression 3- initial thoughts
Post by: Mike Reigh on September 19, 2013, 12:13:12 pm
Yes, pretty much the same as the Compact, all of the pairing/routing is done through the menu touch screen. 

After a few months, countless gigs and a firmware update, I don't think I'll ever need a high end mixer.  The issue with outputs randomly turning down was fixed and I rarely use the remote control feature.  It has done everything from theatre productions to monitor mix duty and did a stellar job on it all.  I'd really like to get a smaller version of it so I can throw it in my car for walk-in gigs. 
Title: Re: Soundcraft Si Expression 3- initial thoughts
Post by: Paul Thompson on November 19, 2013, 12:23:33 pm
Question for the Expression users:
In looking into the Si expression console, it states that Mix 9-14 can be set up as stereo. Do you know how these patch when in stereo? Are 9-10, 11-12, 13-14 set up as pairs, or can each mix have two outputs? (I.e. is it three stereo pairs, or six?) I'm thinking about using this board, but I want a minimum of 4-6 pairs of auxs for stereo IEM's.

Thanks,
Eric

It will become six stereo pairs.
Title: Posting Rules
Post by: Mac Kerr on November 19, 2013, 12:33:40 pm
It will become six stereo pairs.

Please go to your profile and change the "Name" field to your real first and last name as required by the posting rules displayed in the header at the top of the section, and in the Site Rules and Suggestions (http://forums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/board,36.0.html) in the Forum Announcements section, and on the registration page when you registered.

Mac
Title: Re: Soundcraft Si Expression 3- initial thoughts
Post by: Dave Monck on December 03, 2013, 08:52:12 am
Hello all.
Just a few observations on this desk.
I just finished 6 weeks on the road around Europe and the UK using a Soundcraft compact package made up of a
SI expression 3 for monitors
SI performer for FOH and a couple of stage boxes,all tied together over cat5.

First off, the EQ is great.
The shelves top and bottom aren't really an issue,you can get very useable sounding inputs.
This goes for the PEQ and GEQs on the outputs also,very quick and intuitive and they're on every output all the time.
The touch screen works fine, and I often found myself not selecting the EQ view so I could use the pop up readout more, for finer adjustments.
The output patching is versatile enough to allow all sorts of doubling and quick patching in the real world.
The input patching is very simple also, and takes seconds to do on the fly.
I don't use a lot of dynamics, a few compressors is all and a couple of hates, but the "inquire"feature to highlight all inputs with gates or comps on is very useful.
There is plenty of metering on the board and you can if you like switch down to the layer with all the output masters on for a fuller view,not something I found myself doing often though.

Ok a few cons.
For monitors, I use wedges and IEMs
I use the headphone output to monitor the IEMs but there is no dedicated wedge output with a dedicated fader.
You can obviously connect a listen wedge to the monitor output,but the level is regulated by the headphone output knob.
This is something of a problem for me as I spend most of the night reaching across the console to adjust levels between mixes.
There is a workaround.
I send the monitor out via an output socket to an unused line input, which I route to the stereo buss (I set all my aux post fade and don't use the stereo buss at all),
I then connect the listen wedge amp to the LR output, putting a separate although post headphone out, on the master LR fader.
This works OK, but isn't ideal as the moment I decide to use that stereo buss for another mix  I no longer have a wedge out.
I remember doing this same thing on the early yamaha m7s till they upgraded their software to provide a split in the monitor path and a routing option to to a fader independent of the headphone out.
Another slight con is that when mixing in a little reverb to an IEM mix, you get taken out of context when you hit the FX mix send, as it solos the mix,so you can't tell how much you are sending till you return to the IEM mix,of course once you get this about right, you can just adjust the returns to suit so it's no biggy.
Using the shared stage box means you have to trust your FOH man, as he's doing all the gains.
You have a trim on the monitor desk, but that's it.
Again, if you are touring this board with the same band,mics and engineers,this soon settles down and can actually save a lot of time.
We are using all 32 shared inputs on the stage box, plus another 8 analogue lines on a copper multi,through a passive splitter, and this 8way is taped to the cat5 to make a very lightweight and quick to deploy 40 in and 8 returns multi.
The performers scribble strips are very nice, and I'm jealous,but a dymo printer got my desk tagged clearly and a bit of PVC works fine in any case.
The ipad app is now, after being upgraded, very useable and very much more stable, it used to crash a lot last month especially when I plugged the charger in!
Now I can wander the stage dialling in input and output EQ and messing with delays and levels all from the performers spot.
Makes for much quicker sound checks.
I'd love to see FX basic editing on the ipad like rev time and tap tempo.
A library for EQs would also be an excellent addition, making EQ recalls for different wedges simple while retaining your input EQs,or indeed vice versa

All in all , the band,who are quite passionate about all things analogue, are very happy with onstage and FOH sound and the time saved every day being able to recall EQs and mixes.
I just bought an SI1 expression to use for my own projects and look forward to the promised offline editor so I can collate,edit and backup all my mixes.
PS,after a quick few gigs in Greece using their in house analogue desks I got very frustrated at all the actual walking from one end of a 40 input desk to the other!
A very nice desk.A great desk for the money.
Title: Re: Soundcraft Si Expression 3- initial thoughts
Post by: Andy Jones on December 03, 2013, 05:47:58 pm
Dave.
With reference to the gain structure when sharing 1 stage box between 2 desks. I thought that 'DOGS' was supposed to remove this issue. It needs to be turned on from the main screen setup.

When mixing fx. As you say the bus is solo'd when you select your fx so you lose you wet/dry balance. If you turn off the lit 'solo' button you get your wet/dry mix so you hear how much or how little fx you are adding.

I've only used my Si2 three times up to now and love it. There was nothing wrong with my analogue board other than the beast of a multicore but the difference between the 2 formats is amazing. Regular band members and even some audience members have commented!
Title: Re: Soundcraft Si Expression 3- initial thoughts
Post by: Dave Monck on December 12, 2013, 08:45:10 pm
Hi Andy.
DOGS doesn't give you control over gain when sharing between two consoles it kind of stabilises the gain.
All my shows have been with it turned on.
You can still trim on the slave console but you just need to know when FOH Has settled down.
Turning SOLO off when you are in an FX mix doesn't But how the hell does anyone know what any gods will is, if that will is expressed solely through venal and corrupt humans and their own petty desires and ambitions?
So leave the Gods out of it, this is all down to men. you a wet and dry mix , it just means you hear nothing.
Very happy with ipad upgrade,just lacking FX CONTROL.
Also an offline editor is getting kind of crucial.
Look forward to future upgrades.
Title: Re: Soundcraft Si Expression 3- initial thoughts
Post by: Samuel Rees on December 12, 2013, 09:14:06 pm
I did another 2-days of many monitor gigs on my Si this weekend. Rock-Christmas-theatre-and etc event. I used snapshots for every song which was cool, so I just hit "next" through all the monitor ins and outs. Never some that on my own desk before. Worked excellent. But, I'n still perpetually annoyed that I can't make my LR the cue fader... I had all of my inputs already in use so I couldn't do that workaround you mentioned.
Title: Re: Soundcraft Si Expression 3- initial thoughts
Post by: Dave Monck on December 13, 2013, 04:50:29 am
Hiya Sam,
Yes it's a pain isn't it?
Let's hope Harman get a software upgrade to include a monitor to LR fader routing option.
I mentioned it in depth to my FOH who has a very good working relation with Soundcraft so maybe they're listening ; )
I just bought the SI 1for my own use and it's already looking like a good call for some smaller gigs over Xmas and I'm hoping to get one 4 piece on stereo IEMs now I have 14 aux to play with.
As an extra we managed to get the new multi out card and recorded several shows of 32 chans straight into logic on a macbook with no fuss at all, so the old digi recorder is for the bin!
Title: Re: Soundcraft Si Expression 3- initial thoughts
Post by: Gus Housen on February 04, 2014, 11:37:48 am
Other than dicking around the shop to go over workflow I haven used this console personally yet but My Crew has used it several times and so far has been very happy with using it. One of my guys has house gig with a LS9-16.

So far they have used it about 10 times, and every time they use it they like it better every time. no one has whined about the scribble strips and the remote function is very usable The preamps are great and the work surface is very intuitive. It was very easy to go from analog to this console. The guy who has  house gig with the LS-9 likes the remote function very well and feels it compares well although the ls-9 has a few more features. So far the crew is pleased

I was looking for a sub 10K console with a realistic budget of sub 5K. That pretty much put me in for a behringer x-32 or a Presonus. I borrowed a presonus which immediately glitched out at a club gig ( luckilly , the guy was able to patch in and remix on the old house console before the show) That and the non motorized faders pretty much killed that purchase.

The behringer looks great, reveiws great and was a the only contender, but its a behringer and although the expression 3 is on the low end I could see convincing some  c national into using it. I couldnt see that on the behringer.

I had looked at a LS-9 but no real deals were out there and really I wanted a new console and really sound craft has typically had better sounding preamps.  My really only concern was the scribble stripps and would it feel like a soundcraft or mor like a spirit or folio. The screen was also of some concern


What really sealled the deal was the special December price. I was able to pick up the console for less than 3K. When I got it I was pleasantly surprised it has a substantial feel and the aux and house equalization looked very usable ( we still havent gotten rid of the monitor eq's and we use a driverack 480 for house processing) The screen isnt really used that much, I can being a pain in the summer  but for know everyone is very happy.


From a Numbers guy perspective this has been a excellent buy, the price and functionality are right. This console does a lot and seems to do it very well. I cant say since the new Midas has came out that I wouldn't have purchased it, just for the name, but I dont regret the purchase.
Title: Re: Soundcraft Si Expression 3- initial thoughts
Post by: Nate Armstrong on January 11, 2015, 09:29:39 am
how does one assign FX1, FX2 to a mute group
how does one assign mixbus 1,2,3 to a mute group

Probably the same way .. I only know how to assign a channel to a mute group.
I plan on having some time with the board later this week to investigate more.
Title: Re: Soundcraft Si Expression 3- initial thoughts
Post by: Steve M Smith on January 11, 2015, 09:42:40 am
Using the shared stage box means you have to trust your FOH man, as he's doing all the gains.
You have a trim on the monitor desk, but that's it.


I played a gig last October where the sound guys were using two Si Expression 3s. The monitor mixer was right next to the stage box.


They also commented on the gain sharing and my initial thought was that if it was that much of a problem, why not take an analogue split at the stage box and treat them separately as was/is done with analogue monitor mixers now.




Steve.
Title: Re: Soundcraft Si Expression 3- initial thoughts
Post by: Matthew Himes on January 16, 2015, 10:10:16 pm
I have a performer 3. How would one send the effects to the monitor mixes?
Title: Re: Soundcraft Si Expression 3- initial thoughts
Post by: Tim McCulloch on January 17, 2015, 10:53:13 pm
I have a performer 3. How would one send the effects to the monitor mixes?

The same way you send any other signal to a monitor mix.
Title: Re: Soundcraft Si Expression 3- initial thoughts
Post by: Nate Armstrong on January 19, 2015, 09:00:56 am
I found the answer to my question or at least a work around
I set Fader Assign to Mix1- Mix 3 and FX1 &  FX2
I then hide these channels on the 4th layer and assigned those faders to Mute Groups
Title: Re: Soundcraft Si Expression 3- initial thoughts
Post by: Tom Reid on April 21, 2015, 09:39:54 pm
I have a performer 3. How would one send the effects to the monitor mixes?

Select Monitor Mix, find stereo return 5,6,7or 8, and press the green button, add fader as needed.
Title: Re: Soundcraft Si Expression 3- initial thoughts
Post by: Tom Reid on April 27, 2015, 02:26:38 am
With V1.6 of the firmware update for the Performer/Expressions consoles, the mixers can receive clock data via the option cards and audio over Ethernet.  Note it's only supported by the Si Dante option card but there you have it.

Also, with the newer multi I/O card (Ethernet and USB on the same card) if using multiple consoles with a stage box, one must shut off the clock.  There's a dip switch clearly marked on the newer multi I/O card to turn off the clock.  For D.O.G.S. to work properly, the FOH console must have the master clock.
Title: Re: Soundcraft Si Expression 3- initial thoughts
Post by: Satesh Shankar on May 01, 2015, 02:55:11 pm

Im having a similar problem with my soundcraft expression 3. When I change from the main layer to any other, the master output turns down. Anyone knows what might be causing this?

Sat
Title: Real Names are required to participate here
Post by: Craig Leerman on May 01, 2015, 04:18:29 pm
Please go to your profile and change the "Name" field to your real first and last name as required by the posting rules displayed in the header at the top of the section, and in the Site Rules and Suggestions (http://forums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/board,36.0.html) in the Forum Announcements section, and on the registration page when you registered.

Thanks
Craig
Title: Re: Real Names are required to participate here
Post by: Satesh Shankar on May 01, 2015, 06:19:40 pm
Sorry about that. I changed it.
Title: Re: Soundcraft Si Expression 3- initial thoughts
Post by: Franco Piccolo on February 15, 2016, 05:16:32 am
hello
I have a soundcraft si compact 32 with the same problem
you have solved the problem for independent fader volume headphone?
sorry for my English



Hello all.
Just a few observations on this desk.
I just finished 6 weeks on the road around Europe and the UK using a Soundcraft compact package made up of a
SI expression 3 for monitors
SI performer for FOH and a couple of stage boxes,all tied together over cat5.

First off, the EQ is great.
The shelves top and bottom aren't really an issue,you can get very useable sounding inputs.
This goes for the PEQ and GEQs on the outputs also,very quick and intuitive and they're on every output all the time.
The touch screen works fine, and I often found myself not selecting the EQ view so I could use the pop up readout more, for finer adjustments.
The output patching is versatile enough to allow all sorts of doubling and quick patching in the real world.
The input patching is very simple also, and takes seconds to do on the fly.
I don't use a lot of dynamics, a few compressors is all and a couple of hates, but the "inquire"feature to highlight all inputs with gates or comps on is very useful.
There is plenty of metering on the board and you can if you like switch down to the layer with all the output masters on for a fuller view,not something I found myself doing often though.

Ok a few cons.
For monitors, I use wedges and IEMs
I use the headphone output to monitor the IEMs but there is no dedicated wedge output with a dedicated fader.
You can obviously connect a listen wedge to the monitor output,but the level is regulated by the headphone output knob.
This is something of a problem for me as I spend most of the night reaching across the console to adjust levels between mixes.
There is a workaround.
I send the monitor out via an output socket to an unused line input, which I route to the stereo buss (I set all my aux post fade and don't use the stereo buss at all),
I then connect the listen wedge amp to the LR output, putting a separate although post headphone out, on the master LR fader.
This works OK, but isn't ideal as the moment I decide to use that stereo buss for another mix  I no longer have a wedge out.
I remember doing this same thing on the early yamaha m7s till they upgraded their software to provide a split in the monitor path and a routing option to to a fader independent of the headphone out.
Another slight con is that when mixing in a little reverb to an IEM mix, you get taken out of context when you hit the FX mix send, as it solos the mix,so you can't tell how much you are sending till you return to the IEM mix,of course once you get this about right, you can just adjust the returns to suit so it's no biggy.
Using the shared stage box means you have to trust your FOH man, as he's doing all the gains.
You have a trim on the monitor desk, but that's it.
Again, if you are touring this board with the same band,mics and engineers,this soon settles down and can actually save a lot of time.
We are using all 32 shared inputs on the stage box, plus another 8 analogue lines on a copper multi,through a passive splitter, and this 8way is taped to the cat5 to make a very lightweight and quick to deploy 40 in and 8 returns multi.
The performers scribble strips are very nice, and I'm jealous,but a dymo printer got my desk tagged clearly and a bit of PVC works fine in any case.
The ipad app is now, after being upgraded, very useable and very much more stable, it used to crash a lot last month especially when I plugged the charger in!
Now I can wander the stage dialling in input and output EQ and messing with delays and levels all from the performers spot.
Makes for much quicker sound checks.
I'd love to see FX basic editing on the ipad like rev time and tap tempo.
A library for EQs would also be an excellent addition, making EQ recalls for different wedges simple while retaining your input EQs,or indeed vice versa

All in all , the band,who are quite passionate about all things analogue, are very happy with onstage and FOH sound and the time saved every day being able to recall EQs and mixes.
I just bought an SI1 expression to use for my own projects and look forward to the promised offline editor so I can collate,edit and backup all my mixes.
PS,after a quick few gigs in Greece using their in house analogue desks I got very frustrated at all the actual walking from one end of a 40 input desk to the other!
A very nice desk.A great desk for the money.
Title: Posting Rules
Post by: Mac Kerr on February 16, 2016, 01:41:24 pm
hello
I have a soundcraft si compact 32 with the same problem

Please go to your profile and change the "Name" field to your real first and last name as required by the posting rules displayed in the header at the top of the section, and in the Site Rules and Suggestions (http://forums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/board,36.0.html) in the Forum Announcements section, and on the registration page when you registered.

Mac
Title: Re: Soundcraft Si Expression 3- initial thoughts
Post by: Mal Brown on April 21, 2017, 11:32:36 am
Love the SI 3.  Sonically it smokes every other digital board I have heard in the range.  By far the warmest and most analog sounding.  And ... I hate the app.  Nice if they would get a decent UI/UX resource and have them look at Master Fader from Mackie...