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Sound Reinforcement - Forums for Live Sound Professionals - Your Displayed Name Must Be Your Real Full Name To Post In The Live Sound Forums => LAB Lounge => Topic started by: Bob Leonard on November 02, 2015, 10:07:26 pm

Title: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Bob Leonard on November 02, 2015, 10:07:26 pm
Less than the cost of an Expression1
 
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/SiImpact?utm_source=marketing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=recc-20151102-liv (http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/SiImpact?utm_source=marketing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=recc-20151102-liv)
 
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Dave Pluke on November 02, 2015, 10:21:25 pm
Less than the cost of an Expression1

Yessir!  That was a "temporary rebate" good through October 31st, which just became permanent.

Makes it very tempting.

Dave
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Mike Pyle on November 03, 2015, 01:12:15 am
Not only Sweetwater. That is the new MAP.
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Justice C. Bigler on November 03, 2015, 01:28:00 pm
Looks like a great deal on a solid entry level digital console.

Isn't this the console that lock ups if the wifi connection with the iPad drops?
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Stephen Kirby on November 03, 2015, 01:36:00 pm
Isn't this the console that lock ups if the wifi connection with the iPad drops?
On my Expression it doesn't care what the iPad is doing.  You do have to keep the router up and have up before booting the console.  I have both on a UPS and no problems.

Unlike Bob, I didn't want to have the convenience of a rack mount frame and wanted the 24 input/fader desk.  So this price drop has me crying 2 months after I got my Expression 2.  Oh well, that's the way things go.
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Brian Bingham on November 03, 2015, 02:43:53 pm
I bought one and sold it a week later... There are better consoles out there for the money. A price drop this soon after coming out just proves no one is buying it and they had to lower the price.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Bob Leonard on November 03, 2015, 03:35:07 pm
How many "no ones" do you know? Also, could you provide a list of those consoles and perhaps a feature comparison please.
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Jerry Prince on November 03, 2015, 04:50:35 pm
I bought one and sold it a week later... There are better consoles out there for the money. A price drop this soon after coming out just proves no one is buying it and they had to lower the price.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I would also like to know a better console in that price range. Also I'm sure it was a marketing thing because the X32 dropped in price at the same time it was released. That would tell me that maybe someone else was worried about this release. I have multiple Si Expressions and Performers and have never had a BE complain about the sound quality. I have had many compliment the EQ sound quality compared to there X32s.
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Chuck Simon on November 03, 2015, 04:52:28 pm
The board looks great and appears like the obvious choice to me.  Can someone tell me why I should buy another Expression to replace my stolen one instead of the Impact?
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Dave Pluke on November 03, 2015, 05:41:48 pm
Can someone tell me why I should buy another Expression to replace my stolen one instead of the Impact?

I sure can't!

Don't know what Soundcraft's long range plan is, but the Impact appears to have leapfrogged the Expression line.

Dave
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Stephen Kirby on November 03, 2015, 05:45:33 pm
To me it's a no brainer.  The things you lose on the Impact like the individual gain knobs are much less important than stuff like the scribble strips.  There is a thread on the other sound forum where someone is complaining about limitations in channel count and routing flexibility.  I'm not sure if the operating software is any different from the 3 existing Expressions.  Well, it is somewhat different since they are different downloads.  But I don't know if there are any compromises or some people just don't know where to get at everything in the board.  Worth checking into things you would expect to do before making a switch.
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: brian maddox on November 03, 2015, 06:30:12 pm
Less than the cost of an Expression1
 
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/SiImpact?utm_source=marketing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=recc-20151102-liv (http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/SiImpact?utm_source=marketing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=recc-20151102-liv)

Dropped to EXACTLY the same price as an X32.  Weird.....
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Brian Bingham on November 03, 2015, 06:42:43 pm
X32 Bob... The exact console they're price chasing trying to make sales. It falls far short of an X32 feature wise tho. Buy it if you want but I owned one and wouldn't recommend it to anyone. Either would the 4 guest sound techs that got to use it.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Clayton Ganzer on November 03, 2015, 07:23:13 pm

X32 Bob... The exact console they're price chasing trying to make sales. It falls far short of an X32 feature wise tho. Buy it if you want but I owned one and wouldn't recommend it to anyone. Either would the 4 guest sound techs that got to use it.

I too would like to know what large set of features an x32 has over an Impact. Maybe I could be persuaded to get an x32.
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Chuck Simon on November 03, 2015, 08:45:12 pm
Guys, there is no shortage of threads about the X32.  The X32 fanboys seem to find an excuse to drop it into any thread, you know, just like this one!  If you don't already have all the info about that board you're not tryin'!
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: brian maddox on November 03, 2015, 08:51:43 pm
Guys, there is no shortage of threads about the X32.  The X32 fanboys seem to find an excuse to drop it into any thread, you know, just like this one!  If you don't already have all the info about that board you're not tryin'!

Agreed.  And FWIW i only dropped it in because i found it humorous that they chose to drop the price to EXACTLY what the X32 is going for.  I mean they could have gone a couple bucks either way and made it a little less obvious.  :)

As to which is better, i really have no dog in that hunt...
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: paul bell on November 03, 2015, 11:46:42 pm
In the smaller venue scene here in NYC, many clubs have the X32-to the point where if a band has an engineer, they expect it.

I've had & heard too many bad stories about Soundcraft over the years to trust it again. Not a Behringer fanboy but it's what's out there & looked for by people.
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Thomas Berry on November 04, 2015, 12:05:04 am
I have used both the X32 and the Expression 2.  Both have their pluses and minuses.  I like the x32 scribble strips, particularly the color coding, and I really don't care for the scene menu structure.  changing scenes on the iPad is pretty clunky, which can be an issue in theater applications.  I really like the sound of my expression, and love the routing flexibility.  No scribble strip is a bit of an issue, which I solve by putting bank one above the faders and bank 2 below.  I try to get everything I'm going to be adjusting on bank 1.  My 2cents worth.  Thinking about the Impact, but want to know more about the iPad app first.
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Scott Holtzman on November 04, 2015, 01:33:58 am
In the smaller venue scene here in NYC, many clubs have the X32-to the point where if a band has an engineer, they expect it.

I've had & heard too many bad stories about Soundcraft over the years to trust it again. Not a Behringer fanboy but it's what's out there & looked for by people.
Same thing here in Cleveland.  Smaller touring acts out of Chicago and Cincinnati same deal. 

I am a fan boy for the value prop and the ROI.  In the venues these things are used the mixer is not the weakest link sonic wise.

I can rent all I can buy and never have had a complaint   I can only comment the club scene. 


Dropped to EXACTLY the same price as an X32.  Weird.....

To me it's a no brainer.  The things you lose on the Impact like the individual gain knobs are much less important than stuff like the scribble strips.  There is a thread on the other sound forum where someone is complaining about limitations in channel count and routing flexibility.  I'm not sure if the operating software is any different from the 3 existing Expressions.  Well, it is somewhat different since they are different downloads.  But I don't know if there are any compromises or some people just don't know where to get at everything in the board.  Worth checking into things you would expect to do before making a switch.


Sent from my SM-T800 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Bob Leonard on November 04, 2015, 08:07:42 pm
In the smaller venue scene here in NYC, many clubs have the X32-to the point where if a band has an engineer, they expect it.

I've had & heard too many bad stories about Soundcraft over the years to trust it again. Not a Behringer fanboy but it's what's out there & looked for by people.

The first one up is always the best dressed. I mixed on an X32 two weeks ago for the first time and wasn't impressed at all. OK sound quality and ridiculous routing. At least I figured out why people like them more than the Soundcraft boards. Grainy sound, and plenty of lights.

As for Soundcraft failures I'll agree on a past failure rate that seemed high and past poor support for a short term. I imagine though that you could almost expect that to said when a company has been producing boards since 1975. I would have to believe the quality in the field to be quite high. My experience has always been good, even when repairs were needed, so YMMV.
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Jamin Lynch on November 04, 2015, 08:49:04 pm
The first one up is always the best dressed. I mixed on an X32 two weeks ago for the first time and wasn't impressed at all. OK sound quality and ridiculous routing. At least I figured out why people like them more than the Soundcraft boards. Grainy sound, and plenty of lights.

As for Soundcraft failures I'll agree on a past failure rate that seemed high and past poor support for a short term. I imagine though that you could almost expect that to said when a company has been producing boards since 1975. I would have to believe the quality in the field to be quite high. My experience has always been good, even when repairs were needed, so YMMV.

And Behringer has had such a good history with their reliability over the years  :o
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Robert Patch on November 04, 2015, 08:57:41 pm
And Behringer has had such a good history with their reliability over the years  :o

It's sort of like Behringer has finally come out with a good box wine.
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Jamin Lynch on November 04, 2015, 09:18:48 pm
It's sort of like Behringer has finally come out with a good box wine.

Good wine can't come from a box.  ;D
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Tim McCulloch on November 05, 2015, 03:08:01 am
It's sort of like Behringer has finally come out with a good box wine.

There is a Behringer winery.  Fairly cheap but drinkable wines, especially their white zin.  I use them for cooking.
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: brian maddox on November 05, 2015, 10:52:15 am
There is a Behringer winery.  Fairly cheap but drinkable wines, especially their white zin.  I use them for cooking.

It's actually Beringer.  But yeah.  Very ironic....
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Tim McCulloch on November 05, 2015, 11:45:50 am
It's actually Beringer.  But yeah.  Very ironic....

LOL.. Yeah, if i actually drank it maybe I'd remember....
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Justice C. Bigler on November 05, 2015, 11:58:42 am
There is a Behringer winery.  Fairly cheap but drinkable wines, especially their white zin.  I use them for cooking.
Does it come in a box instead of a bottle?
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Tim McCulloch on November 05, 2015, 01:32:53 pm
Does it come in a box instead of a bottle?

Wine in glass, consoles in boxes.
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Scott Bolt on November 06, 2015, 03:18:00 pm
The first one up is always the best dressed. I mixed on an X32 two weeks ago for the first time and wasn't impressed at all. OK sound quality and ridiculous routing. At least I figured out why people like them more than the Soundcraft boards. Grainy sound, and plenty of lights.

As for Soundcraft failures I'll agree on a past failure rate that seemed high and past poor support for a short term. I imagine though that you could almost expect that to said when a company has been producing boards since 1975. I would have to believe the quality in the field to be quite high. My experience has always been good, even when repairs were needed, so YMMV.
First, I think the Impact is a pretty darned good mixer for the money.  Soundcraft obviously believes that they need to be price competitive with the X32.

As I have stated before, the channel input meters are not up to snuff with the X32 (which has double the resolution on its channel strip LED's).

Second, I don't know of anyone that has classified the X32 sound as "grainy". 

There are ample reasons to compare these two boards.  They are identical in price (now), and there is great value to those searching these forums for comparisons to be made.

I think they are both contenders.

As for the "ridiculous routing", while I agree that the routing of a complex digital mixer can be daunting, the lack of flexibility in routing can drive some sales away as well.

I do much prefer the PEQ physical setup on the Soundcraft mixers to that on the X32.  I really think Behringer should have bit the bullet and put a few more knobs on the unit for that purpose myself.
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Scott Holtzman on November 06, 2015, 04:20:33 pm
I am not sure how you quantify "grainy" in a setting as primitve as most of these boards live.  Day in and day out they are working in shit clubs, reinforcing shit bands, run by shit engineers on shitty to average PA's.   



On the higher end Pride Fest in Cleveland ran an X32 on the main stage without any issue all the way up to the national act.   



I have never heard the Soundcraft digital so not sure how that comparison would be made by me.  I am speaking anecdotaly. 



Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Tom Burgess on November 06, 2015, 04:23:28 pm
The board looks great and appears like the obvious choice to me.  Can someone tell me why I should buy another Expression to replace my stolen one instead of the Impact?
The only reason I can think of is if you need more than 40 channels to mix, counting the 4 stereo effects as 8 of the 40.  The Impact will not produce more than 40 channels, period.  If you can live with that, it's a way cool console for the money.
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Steve M Smith on November 06, 2015, 04:51:31 pm
I do much prefer the PEQ physical setup on the Soundcraft mixers to that on the X32.  I really think Behringer should have bit the bullet and put a few more knobs on the unit for that purpose myself.

That's my opinion too.  I think the Soundcraft's EQ with everything available at once is far better than the Behringer's which needs a button press for each of the four bands.

But in the X32's defence, I do like the four auxiliary send controls which are active with a channel select, allowing you to adjust monitor mixes without activating sends on faders,


Steve.
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Bob Leonard on November 06, 2015, 06:22:07 pm
That's my opinion too.  I think the Soundcraft's EQ with everything available at once is far better than the Behringer's which needs a button press for each of the four bands.

But in the X32's defence, I do like the four auxiliary send controls which are active with a channel select, allowing you to adjust monitor mixes without activating sends on faders,


Steve.

Steve,
Adjusting a monitor mix on the Si is a one button push once you've created the mix. Push the mix button and control all the levels, EQ, etc. using the mix faders. Simple.
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Steve M Smith on November 07, 2015, 03:49:58 am
Steve,
Adjusting a monitor mix on the Si is a one button push once you've created the mix. Push the mix button and control all the levels, EQ, etc. using the mix faders. Simple.


I know.  I have done it.  I thought I should just include a plus point about the X32 for the sake of fairness after denigrating their EQ layout!


Having used both, I would choose the SI over an X32, but that's not to say that the X32 is bad. It is a lot of mixer for the money, as are the Soundcrafts and for that matter, the Allen and Heath Qu series.

It is quite amazing what can be achieved now in one box for relatively little money compared with what we would have to use and spend to get the same functionality not too many years ago.


Steve.
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Nils Erickson on November 07, 2015, 05:19:55 am
I have both Si Expression 1+3 consoles, an X32 compact, an M32 and M32r, and an XAir.  To me, I am happy with the sound quality on all of them. Honestly.  If you can't get a decent sounding mix happening on them, the problem lies elsewhere.  Operationally is where they really differ and shine in various applications. 
For instance, I have an SI Expression 1 in my band's IEM rig.  We mix our own ears from stage and it is super easy for the non-technical people in my band to press their mix button and make simple adjustments to their mixes- it really could not be easier and it is more simple than the x32 for sure.  I don't care that the iphone app isn't done, I don't want us pulling out phones on stage while we play anyway.  The console sounds really good, and is very easy to use. 
However, the ipad app is a long way from good; I would call it functional at best.  It is missing critical things: mute group control; effect editing; tap tempo; an easy way to get from fader one to fader 50; faders don't align with custom layouts you make on the desk.  Because of these problems, I would take the functionality of the Midas or Behringer when mixing side stage.  Any day.  To me, the window is gone for making this any good.  I have moved on.  If it is not ready now, the console will be gone before it is ready.
Another great benefit of the soundcraft is the processing- having graphic eq and parametric eq on every mix without giving up other effect engines is awesome. Also, the desk has tons of inputs with the stage box.  And the custom layers are cool (except where the ipad is concerned).  And faderglow is helpful.  Visibility in daylight sucks, but that is true on the others as well.  I won't likely get another soundcraft however, despite the many things I like about it.  This is because of the failure to get the app flushed out and the stream of broken promises and timelines.
But... the midas/behringer completely win if you are mixing sidestage with a tablet.  The application is so full featured and stable; I am actually finding it easier to mix on the tablet than the console which I never thought would happen.  I don't want to have to run back to the console at the end of a song to hit a mute group or tap a tempo.  And the Midas/Behringer win for making it easy to connect multiple consoles and stage boxes for a main/monitor console, in my opinion. Connectivity with the ipad is easier too- it doesn't care in what order you turn things on, for instance.
Anyway, I rarely chime in on these threads as every one of these desks has ardent supporters.  For good reason too, they are all pretty nice.  I am not completely happy with any of them, but they all do a good job for my work and all of them have been upgrades to what I have owned in the past.  Importantly, each of them has had good ROI and have been mostly reliable.  They have helped build my business and have been worthwhile tools.

Blah Blah Blah, as a good friend of mine would say about this.  And now that we have completely digressed from Bob's original comment, I'll bring it back:  "Wow, what a good deal, it costs less than it once did."  Woot!

Cheers,
Nils
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Bob Leonard on November 07, 2015, 12:57:19 pm
Nils,
I doubt it will change your opinion of the Soundcraft app, but the root cause for connectivity failures and the reduced effort to continue with and release enhancements has been due to issues with the WiFi protocol. Every day we hear about people, regardless of the board and manufacturer, who lose connectivity or suffer from lockups when mixing remotely.

Soundcraft has taken the stance that they will not release updates to the app until they have proven reliable connectivity can be achieved 100% of the time. It now appears that they have resolved the issues with the WiFi protocol and connectivity, and knowing this is no small achievement I applaud their efforts.

It also appears that the latest release of the of the console firmware is close at hand, and that the ViSi listen feature is forthcoming as well. The listen feature, for those not aware, will be cross platform (Android/iOS), and will allow large numbers of individual protected monitor adjustments to be made by individuals mixing or running the app.

The last firmware release brought some really nice features to all of the Si boards (see below) and that trend continues. And once again, Soundcraft has made the effort to insure those features will work. Code only matures with age if the company and developers behind that code are dedicated to that effort, and IMO Soundcraft is, by deferring their release, showing their dedication. Below is the latest Facebook entry from Soundcraft;

**************************************************************************************
"
Hi All,

Sean here. A lot of you have been asking for an update on ViSi Listen. As you guys (rightly) point-out, we were meant to release it a couple months ago. Here's where we stand:

The ViSi Listen app is complete (just going to change some graphics and improve the Ui a bit). but as we tested ViSi Listen with the Si consoles, especially multiple instances of ViSi Listen (5+), we found some weaknesses in our network/HiQnet connectivity.


In fact, some of you might be experiencing issues with ViSi remote thanks to these weaknesses as well, symptoms including 1) ViSi losing connection 2) ViSi not being able to find your Si console 3) Si console freezing due to network errors.

The good news is, we have gotten to the bottom of this and are fixing the console firmware now. This will drastically improve current ViSi connectivity and will allow us to resume the console firmware work needed for ViSi Listen.

I don't have exact dates you guys but we are confident that it should be smooth-sailing now and we just have to crack-on and get the work done. This will result in new firmware very soon for Si to improve ViSi connectivity then will follow with ViSi Listen, our cross-platform (Android/iOS) and cross-device monitoring app, and new console firmware to support ViSi Listen by being able to control the access of ViSi Listen clients."

And here is the upgrades from the last firmware release. Note the insert count increase and independent BUS panning;

##########################################################

            About Si Expression V1.7 build 7

##########################################################

New Features:

    Master Fader-Monitor Level Swap added to monitor window
    Pre-dynamics send point added to Per-Channel-Per-Bus pickoff selection
    Global FX Send Masters channel/bus type added
    Insert count increase from 4 to 22
    Alt+Mix (n) brings bus contribution levels onto Global Encoders
    Mute group override: unmute channels in a Mute Group
    "Solo Auto Cancel" mode added to solo preferences
    New contribution pan mode field under "Bus Sends" on output window with three options: 1) Independent Bus Panning 2) Bus Follows Channel Panning 3) Bus Inverts Channel Panning
    Channel strip pan encoder controls bus panning when in bus contribution mode
    "Touch & turn" control of Lexicon parameters
    "Auto Bus Master select" added to preferences

Bug Fixes:

   Lexicon FX parameters recalled from bootup
   Stereo input channel to stereo bus mix fix

***************************************************************************************

Good luck to all, and have a fun day,
BL
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: John L Nobile on November 07, 2015, 01:42:00 pm
The price of this generation of soundboards is very inexpensive considering the quality and features available with all the manufacturers. IMO, they're all very capable and choice becomes a matter of taste or previous experience.

Now what piques my interest is what the next generation will bring in features, sound and pricing. I can't wait but the time frame between newer digital equipment is very short. Seems like every 6 months brings out the latest, greatest phone that make the previous ones seem almost obsolete.
It's a great time to be in the sound business but where was all this stuff when I was a kid?
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Bob Leonard on November 07, 2015, 02:38:45 pm
Good point John. Keep in mind that the next generation of boards will be built upon todays foundation. Get it together now and you'll have a step up when the next change occurs. Presonus is a fine example. Their initial decision to not include motorized faders quickly resulted in their fall from grace. Combine that with their industry leading failure rate and poor support structure (IMO) will lead to fewer and fewer board sales as time passes. Their current catch up solution costs twice what a Soundcraft, A&H, or Behringer board now costs. Why? Because more sales lowers price. Again, the company with the best foundation, and I believe that to be Soundcraft, will eventually have the best offerings.
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: John L Nobile on November 07, 2015, 03:24:33 pm
Been a Soundcraft fan and user since day 1. Still miss my 8000. I've used the performer quite a few times and loved it. However, after putting most of my budget into speakers, I went with the M32. It wasn't available in time so I settled for the X32. I'm happy with it but in a year or 2, I'll trade up. Might be a Soundcraft then.

My thinking is that a cheap board through great speakers will sound better than a great board through cheap speakers.
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Ken Braziel on November 07, 2015, 04:36:33 pm
Thanks for the info about the update Bob, I spent all summer mixing side-stage with a Performer3 and did a couple of shows (small stage at festivals) with the Performer1 - never had any issues with drop-outs or lack of connectivity or freeze-ups. I always mix using bus 9-14 as Groups, so mixing FOH on the ipad works OK for me - just wish the app had faster response when going to the Meter Bridge and selecting a group of faders - as often as not I find myself running back to the mixer to make adjustments.
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Scott Bolt on November 07, 2015, 08:37:31 pm
I think that at this point in time, a fully functional app that operates on both iPad and Android and that doesn't have any connection issues is considered the base line, not a "long awaited improvement".

Soundcraft has been behind the curve with respect to the support apps since launch.  For those that don't use these apps, the Impact is an excellent choice.

Hopefully they catch up as Bob suggests they will.

The built in 32 x 32 USB recording interface along with the LCD scribble strips really brought the console up to snuff with the X32 IMO.  The support apps would be the next step, but all of this has been a long time coming.

One has to wonder if there is an X32 rev B nearing completion at this point in time.  Then again, perhaps not.  If it were me, I would wait until the next generation of SHARC processors were introduced to get at least a 2-4 fold increase in processing.

It is truly amazing the quality and features that can be had for the price today.  We really are living in a great time to be in live sound.

Not sure about the rest of you, but I don't miss my big folded horns, amp racks and huge and heavy mixer rig at all ... not to mention my analog snake ;)
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Steve M Smith on November 08, 2015, 03:39:05 am
Not sure about the rest of you, but I don't miss my big folded horns, amp racks and huge and heavy mixer rig at all ... not to mention my analog snake


It is certainly nice to have all options.  I was using an A & H ML3300 a few months ago with a stack of heavy point source cabs (not horns), outboard and amp racks.


I think analogue is more fun... until it's time to put it in the truck!




Steve.
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Bob Leonard on November 08, 2015, 09:23:11 am
I think that at this point in time, a fully functional app that operates on both iPad and Android and that doesn't have any connection issues is considered the base line, not a "long awaited improvement".


I agree, but I also disagree. Keep in mind that ViSi is an app designed to compliment and work with a very large number of dissimilar systems, the Vi line and the Si line. While all of these share the same lineage, features are not the same or even close in some cases. I don't think I've ever heard of anyone complaining about connectivity to a Vi series desk (or Studer for that matter), but sharing the lineage does not mean sharing all of the components or practices used to design or build the children.

In Soundcrafts case they are using components from their higher end boards throughout the Si series, however, the implementation (according to my mole at Soundcraft) for the WIFI and associated protocol is new to the Si series. This is compounded by the need to work flawlessly with option cards utilizing a dissimilar protocol, or in layman's terms, you need an interpreter between the network and every card that speaks a different language.

Add to that the fact the system must be kept secure from external users, and now the addition of ViSi listen with it's ability to allow secure monitor mixes and channel control for dozens of people remotely, and you have a more complex solution  than most.

If you've not seen the last revision of their app, look here;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-248Wv-hcz0 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-248Wv-hcz0)

I can wait, I have faith in Soundcraft.
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: richard_cooper on November 08, 2015, 11:14:35 am
I agree, but I also disagree. Keep in mind that ViSi is an app designed to compliment and work with a very large number of dissimilar systems, the Vi line and the Si line. While all of these share the same lineage, features are not the same or even close in some cases. I don't think I've ever heard of anyone complaining about connectivity to a Vi series desk (or Studer for that matter), but sharing the lineage does not mean sharing all of the components or practices used to design or build the children.

.......

I can wait, I have faith in Soundcraft.

Which is all well and good, others have had this stuff working for a while, the reasons shouldn't matter to an end user. It seems a tiny bit odd to need to have only one iPad app for all the different boards, when the off line editors are released on a one per board range basis (i.e VI1-6, 3000-7000, expression, performer, impact, etc. all seperate apps.). These apps are also a downside to me. The Impact OLE is nearly unusable for me as the legends on the desk buttons and controls are unreadable on a 22" 1080 screen without zooming in which is slow and extremely clunky. There is no option (at least on the SI desks) to use them as remote to the desks, so no option for hard wired remote control software. The X32 & TFs have this, plus Mac versions.

Whilst someone asked, a big area for me that the Impact lacks as compared to the X32s is a comprehensive MIDI or OSC implementation. The X32 has most bases covered, the Impact has none as far as I can see. The other SI's have nothing more than scene recall/send on recall. Not that I'd choose either for the sort of things I'd need this, but it is a difference.



Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Douglas R. Allen on November 08, 2015, 11:18:07 am
I agree, but I also disagree. Keep in mind that ViSi is an app designed to compliment and work with a very large number of dissimilar systems, the Vi line and the Si line. While all of these share the same lineage, features are not the same or even close in some cases. I don't think I've ever heard of anyone complaining about connectivity to a Vi series desk (or Studer for that matter), but sharing the lineage does not mean sharing all of the components or practices used to design or build the children.

In Soundcrafts case they are using components from their higher end boards throughout the Si series, however, the implementation (according to my mole at Soundcraft) for the WIFI and associated protocol is new to the Si series. This is compounded by the need to work flawlessly with option cards utilizing a dissimilar protocol, or in layman's terms, you need an interpreter between the network and every card that speaks a different language.

Add to that the fact the system must be kept secure from external users, and now the addition of ViSi listen with it's ability to allow secure monitor mixes and channel control for dozens of people remotely, and you have a more complex solution  than most.

If you've not seen the last revision of their app, look here;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-248Wv-hcz0 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-248Wv-hcz0)

I can wait, I have faith in Soundcraft.

I agree. Sound craft is coming out with some nice gear. Now to see a Ui system with a higher channel count....   https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=_EX_cO1wxJs

Douglas R. Allen
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Dave Pluke on November 08, 2015, 06:48:44 pm

I think analogue is more fun... until it's time to put it in the truck!

I agree with you, Steve!

Dave

Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Scott Bolt on November 08, 2015, 07:51:17 pm

It is certainly nice to have all options.  I was using an A & H ML3300 a few months ago with a stack of heavy point source cabs (not horns), outboard and amp racks.


I think analogue is more fun... until it's time to put it in the truck!




Steve.

... and God forbid you play a club where the act is up stairs  :o
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Steve M Smith on November 09, 2015, 01:35:37 am
... and God forbid you play a club where the act is up stairs  :o


There is a venue here where the load in is via cast iron stairs on the outside of the building. My friend's all analogue rig is used in there.  Luckily, he gets my son and a couple of his friends to do the heavy lifting.




Steve.
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Loren Aguey on November 12, 2015, 04:10:45 pm
I mixed on an X32 two weeks ago for the first time and wasn't impressed at all. OK sound quality and ridiculous routing. At least I figured out why people like them more than the Soundcraft boards. Grainy sound, and plenty of lights.

Ok, I'm not a fanboy of the X32 and as I've stated on other threads I've had lots of reliability issues with them, to the point where I would not buy one with my own or someone else's money.

Two issues I definitely do not have with it, is UI and sound quality. They're both great. What exactly is so ridiculous about the routing?? Grainy sound?? I'm at a loss as to what would make you use that word to describe it. It sounds good and has nice sounding FX. As does the Soundcraft.

Yes the one button sends on fader on the Soundcraft is nice and easy, but with the exception of user defined keys, most of the big boy desks have at least 2 button pushes to get to sends on fader. And if mixing monitors is quick is a priority, the ability of the X32 to select an input in sends on fader mode and have all your mix sends for that input on a fader, is way faster than switching layers for every mix. Ie. "who needs keys in their mix? Everyone?" Bring up up to 8 faders and there 'ya go. Perfect for quick line checks.

The Soundcraft is fine, I'm not the biggest fan of their cheaper digital desks but I also don't have any real beef with them. You've proven yourself an avid fan of Soundcraft and they deserve it. Behringer has also earned their reputation for lack of reliability, so I absolutely understand your preference towards the former in general. But let's be real, the X32 does not sound "grainy", and its routing that you have described as ridiculous, is every bit as flexible and fast as the Soundcraft. I would argue that soft patching outputs is considerably faster on the X32.
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Bob Leonard on November 12, 2015, 05:49:48 pm
Loren,
Beauty is in the eye's of the beholder, but in this case the beauty will be in the educated ears of the beholder. I am no more a "fan boy" of the Harman Soundcraft boards, up to and including the Vi and Studer line, than I am of any other well built, reliable, and good sounding board. Had you been around this site a few years back you may remember the discussions held concerning the onset of the digital era, an era when most of us were using analog boards of every quality and description. My own board at the time was an APB, however, I was working with many other boards from such manufacturers as Midas, Toft, Soundcraft, and yes, Mackie and Behringer and other low end boards of the day, if that's what I was given to use.

Moving to the digital world was, unlike today, not a trivial matter for most of us here, and entry level for a decent good sounding board meant spending $5-10K. I procrastinated and spent almost two (2) years researching digital boards of all types and descriptions, and yes, when the X32 was announced I arranged for a comparative listening test, in a controlled environment, and using the same SRX system and DBX 260/480/4800 processors to compare an LS9, X32, Si Compact, against the APB. Hands down the Soundcraft had the best sound of all those boards, and that really can't be debated.

What do I call grainy? A sound that has no life that appears to be on the brink of distortion ALL the time. Push the X32 hard and this is the sound you get whether you want to believe or admit it to yourself. You can hear it. Lifeless, no dimension, almost as good as an LS9. And let's not start that designed by Midas crap. They may have had some influence but you can bet a paycheck that design was well done before Midas even came to the MG.

I spent a night recently working an X32 in a very large theatre and what I found during my search is what I found then. I stand by my statements.

Routing? X32 routing is a multipage joke of convoluted steps as compared to any of the Soundcraft Vi or Si consoles, see for yourself.
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Jamin Lynch on November 12, 2015, 09:08:07 pm
Loren,
Beauty is in the eye's of the beholder, but in this case the beauty will be in the educated ears of the beholder. I am no more a "fan boy" of the Harman Soundcraft boards, up to and including the Vi and Studer line, than I am of any other well built, reliable, and good sounding board. Had you been around this site a few years back you may remember the discussions held concerning the onset of the digital era, an era when most of us were using analog boards of every quality and description. My own board at the time was an APB, however, I was working with many other boards from such manufacturers as Midas, Toft, Soundcraft, and yes, Mackie and Behringer and other low end boards of the day, if that's what I was given to use.

Moving to the digital world was, unlike today, not a trivial matter for most of us here, and entry level for a decent good sounding board meant spending $5-10K. I procrastinated and spent almost two (2) years researching digital boards of all types and descriptions, and yes, when the X32 was announced I arranged for a comparative listening test, in a controlled environment, and using the same SRX system and DBX 260/480/4800 processors to compare an LS9, X32, Si Compact, against the APB. Hands down the Soundcraft had the best sound of all those boards, and that really can't be debated.

What do I call grainy? A sound that has no life that appears to be on the brink of distortion ALL the time. Push the X32 hard and this is the sound you get whether you want to believe or admit it to yourself. You can hear it. Lifeless, no dimension, almost as good as an LS9. And let's not start that designed by Midas crap. They may have had some influence but you can bet a paycheck that design was well done before Midas even came to the MG.

I spent a night recently working an X32 in a very large theatre and what I found during my search is what I found then. I stand by my statements.

Routing? X32 routing is a multipage joke of convoluted steps as compared to any of the Soundcraft Vi or Si consoles, see for yourself.

Bravo
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Loren Aguey on November 12, 2015, 09:34:43 pm
Loren,
Beauty is in the eye's of the beholder, but in this case the beauty will be in the educated ears of the beholder. I am no more a "fan boy" of the Harman Soundcraft boards, up to and including the Vi and Studer line, than I am of any other well built, reliable, and good sounding board. Had you been around this site a few years back you may remember the discussions held concerning the onset of the digital era, an era when most of us were using analog boards of every quality and description. My own board at the time was an APB, however, I was working with many other boards from such manufacturers as Midas, Toft, Soundcraft, and yes, Mackie and Behringer and other low end boards of the day, if that's what I was given to use.

Moving to the digital world was, unlike today, not a trivial matter for most of us here, and entry level for a decent good sounding board meant spending $5-10K. I procrastinated and spent almost two (2) years researching digital boards of all types and descriptions, and yes, when the X32 was announced I arranged for a comparative listening test, in a controlled environment, and using the same SRX system and DBX 260/480/4800 processors to compare an LS9, X32, Si Compact, against the APB. Hands down the Soundcraft had the best sound of all those boards, and that really can't be debated.

What do I call grainy? A sound that has no life that appears to be on the brink of distortion ALL the time. Push the X32 hard and this is the sound you get whether you want to believe or admit it to yourself. You can hear it. Lifeless, no dimension, almost as good as an LS9. And let's not start that designed by Midas crap. They may have had some influence but you can bet a paycheck that design was well done before Midas even came to the MG.

I spent a night recently working an X32 in a very large theatre and what I found during my search is what I found then. I stand by my statements.

Routing? X32 routing is a multipage joke of convoluted steps as compared to any of the Soundcraft Vi or Si consoles, see for yourself.

Bob,

A couple things--You've been around the block a lot longer than I have, no denying that. That being said I have been on this forum close to 10 years now, I'm not a newb. Since they updated the forum software I can't say exactly how long but the point is I absolutely remember you consistently singing praises for your APB for its sound and functionality, and I remember you going through the decision process of going digital and being hesitant to do so because of the sound quality you believed you'd be losing.

2nd, I use both consoles on a fairly regular basis, in addition to larger format desks, and I'm well aware how the routing works on both. I'm not sure what posting screen shots proves. The fact that you have to post 3 of the Soundcraft and only one of the X32 says something to me, seeing as everything you need to do to make the soft patch is on one page on the X32. But it doesn't matter--you don't like the X32 and I'm certainly not gonna lose any sleep over it. I just get irked when people state an opinion as fact. Besides, I'm of the opinion that nothing beats the grid style routing of Avid desks or Yamaha via studio manager. There's nothing faster than that especially in a festival situation where I have to match a guest engineers show file inputs to our patch. As far as I'm concerned, that should be how every console handles patching. But I digress...

Perhaps your golden ears are more golden than mine but I don't hear anything resembling distortion out of the desk. And I don't think you're gonna find too many people who agree that the LS9 sounds better than the X32, but again, it doesn't matter. The last thing I'm interested in is having a wank convo about which console sounds better when the PA/Mics/input source quality is infinitely more important to me.

Enjoy your day, and enjoy whichever tools you choose to use to make you more effective at what we do, and I'll do the same.

Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Ken Braziel on November 12, 2015, 09:48:44 pm
Totally with you Bob, I've done one mix on an X32 Compact at a club, at the last minute the band asked for a board-feed into their portable recorder. Couldn't do it without re-setting the outputs for all the monitors (according to the house engineer) - that astonished me. I was glad the house guy knew the workflow so well, had him set up the monitor mixes for me & just mixed the show.

I absolutely love how quick & easy it is to set up routing and work-space on the Si series. I often mix side-stage with a compact stage-box by the drums, it's very quick to re-assign channels to inputs as needed.

I haven't done as extensive a comparison on the sound as you have, but when you reference the LS9 I shudder - I mix on those occasionally at a club, and it's astonishing to me that the preamp sound is considered pro-quality after working so much with the Si consoles! The extra headroom beyond the red-line on the Soundcraft boards feels very similar to mixing on their analog consoles, which I do several times a year for a local company that is still all analog.
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Loren Aguey on November 12, 2015, 09:53:17 pm
Totally with you Bob, I've done one mix on an X32 Compact at a club, at the last minute the band asked for a board-feed into their portable recorder. Couldn't do it without re-setting the outputs for all the monitors (according to the house engineer) - that astonished me. I was glad the house guy knew the workflow so well, had him set up the monitor mixes for me & just mixed the show.

The ironic thing about you being glad he knew the workflow so well, is that clearly he knows very little about the desk if he's under the impression you have to re set all the monitor outputs just to setup a record feed. That is ridiculous, and of course not true.
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Ray Aberle on November 12, 2015, 10:15:00 pm
(snip)... to mixing on their analog consoles, which I do several times a year for a local company that is still all analog.

I find it astonishing that there is still a decent sized company that hasn't purchased *ANY* digital boards yet. I mean, really- yes you CAN rock out the large format analog, but have they had absolutely no rider come across their desk that only has digital on it?

Off topic, I know, sorry.

On topic, I do know at least one local person (whom I respect highly) that prefers the LS9 sound over an X32, and he's got a couple of each. And an M7. And an SD9.

-Ray
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Bob Leonard on November 12, 2015, 10:34:15 pm
My perfect world would be a digital APB with the workflow of the Soundcraft Si. Of course, there are 100 better desks out there, but I'll limit the discussion to something under $10K.
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Ken Braziel on November 12, 2015, 10:43:31 pm
The ironic thing about you being glad he knew the workflow so well, is that clearly he knows very little about the desk if he's under the impression you have to re set all the monitor outputs just to setup a record feed. That is ridiculous, and of course not true.

Not knowing the board well myself, I just had to trust him when he said he'd been through this before.
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Ken Braziel on November 12, 2015, 11:01:29 pm
I find it astonishing that there is still a decent sized company that hasn't purchased *ANY* digital boards yet. I mean, really- yes you CAN rock out the large format analog, but have they had absolutely no rider come across their desk that only has digital on it?

-Ray

The guy I speak of is a one-man company that's been at it for 30 years, he has a good number of regular gigs a year (several small festivals, lots of winery gigs since in NorCal that's where the $ is at) that either don't know any better or prefer the analog (he has all passive Meyer mains & monitors, I refer to him as a "boutique" sound company). Once or twice a year he'll do a festival gig where someone requires a digital console they're not carrying, he rents them from other companies as needed. He subs out to my company several times a year now, which means Si boards and QSC K-series all around, so he's not against digital, just hasn't made the plunge (and probably never will)

So, he's small & successful, but probably not quite a "decent" size - no line-arrays in his collection either  ;)
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Ray Aberle on November 12, 2015, 11:47:10 pm
That's a pretty good position to be in- where you have a bunch of regular gigs and you are happy with that. And if there's not going to be enough use to pay for one (I had in mind a major company!), then doesn't make sense to pull the trigger on it.

Same deal with not having a line array- he's got some good boxes, sounds like, and that works. I wouldn't do a LA either if not for my clients and venues that require it. Happy to take their money, ya know?!? :)

-Ray
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Tim McCulloch on November 13, 2015, 12:55:14 am
Totally with you Bob, I've done one mix on an X32 Compact at a club, at the last minute the band asked for a board-feed into their portable recorder. Couldn't do it without re-setting the outputs for all the monitors (according to the house engineer) - that astonished me. I was glad the house guy knew the workflow so well, had him set up the monitor mixes for me & just mixed the show.

I absolutely love how quick & easy it is to set up routing and work-space on the Si series. I often mix side-stage with a compact stage-box by the drums, it's very quick to re-assign channels to inputs as needed.

I haven't done as extensive a comparison on the sound as you have, but when you reference the LS9 I shudder - I mix on those occasionally at a club, and it's astonishing to me that the preamp sound is considered pro-quality after working so much with the Si consoles! The extra headroom beyond the red-line on the Soundcraft boards feels very similar to mixing on their analog consoles, which I do several times a year for a local company that is still all analog.

If you have a red light ANY FUCKING PLACE on a digital mixer you need to TURN THAT SHIT DOWN.  Seriously, that's the equal of +22dBu on an analog desk.
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Ken Braziel on November 13, 2015, 01:53:26 am
If you have a red light ANY FUCKING PLACE on a digital mixer you need to TURN THAT SHIT DOWN.  Seriously, that's the equal of +22dBu on an analog desk.

While I agree with you when working with most digital desks, and generally try to follow that exact approach in most situations, I'm in the middle of mixing a play (in tech right now, thus the multitude of posts since we have so much dead-time working on scenery changes) at a Junior College, I can tell you from experience that the Si board handles "red-lining" far better than any other digital interface I've worked with. Students will sound-check at a low level, no matter how much you work with them on giving you full-voice it isn't going to get there until they're in the heat of the moment in a big number. On the old A&H board that would mean ye old GACK, but since they got the Expression board I've never heard any sucky sound from red-lining. Yes I work on backing down the gains when I see red, but I don't worry as much as I would on an LS9 or other digital boards.

Which fits the philosophy I've heard from Soundcraft all along: designed so you can mix it like a (Soundcraft) analog board. Which means you can have occasional forays into the red without having to grab that gain and mess with your gain-structure...

I've seen the same thing all summer, working with a variety of bands - the sudden LOUD moments that went through the roof on the meters have NOT had the audible nastiness of either digital or preamp overload - they just got loud.

Gotta say, I love having the same setup at home as I have at the college, I was able to set up my Cues ahead of time (123 of them right now) and am spending Tech time just making adjustments instead of creating Cues. Also love having the stagebox, currently using 52 channels between orchestra, Qlab and actors, all sounding nice & clear!
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Bob Leonard on November 13, 2015, 04:34:55 am
If you have a red light ANY FUCKING PLACE on a digital mixer you need to TURN THAT SHIT DOWN.  Seriously, that's the equal of +22dBu on an analog desk.

Absolutely and 100% correct as usual Tim and I agree.... with you both. Ken is correct in his statement concerning the extra (or so it seems) Hedley Lamar room. A big part of my initial bobel registered golden ear testing was pushing channels as hard as could be possible until the channel strip saturated and produced that awful crackly distorted sound so common and so often associated with digital overload. The Soundcraft boards, all that I tested, were almost impossible to saturate, for lack of a better word, and to this day I have yet to hear any channel I have driven into the "red" produce a nasty digital distorted sound.

That may well be because of the indicator is turning red well before it actually needs to, but regardless, it's good to have the perception of a more robust channel strip capable of taking somewhat of a beating without immediately giving up the ghost. (Did you get my pun?)

I'll get off this gain subject with a side note that my board is covered in red all the time. This is the unfortunate feature of having the effect indicators (compression, etc.), also on the channel strip, being red as well. Blue might have been a nicer color for those indicators, but humans react to red and so be it.
 
Final thought. I'll intentionally drive some channels into the "red" and check the touch screen reading, something I seldom will do, and see just what the actual input gain is reported to be at that point. Just the stupid old analog guy that I am. If I was color blind I wouldn't be able to do this at all and would probably be painting houses.
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: richard_cooper on November 13, 2015, 06:26:25 am
Bob,

A couple things--You've been around the block a lot longer than I have, no denying that. That being said I have been on this forum close to 10 years now, I'm not a newb. Since they updated the forum software I can't say exactly how long but the point is I absolutely remember you consistently singing praises for your APB for its sound and functionality, and I remember you going through the decision process of going digital and being hesitant to do so because of the sound quality you believed you'd be losing.

2nd, I use both consoles on a fairly regular basis, in addition to larger format desks, and I'm well aware how the routing works on both. I'm not sure what posting screen shots proves. The fact that you have to post 3 of the Soundcraft and only one of the X32 says something to me, seeing as everything you need to do to make the soft patch is on one page on the X32. But it doesn't matter--you don't like the X32 and I'm certainly not gonna lose any sleep over it. I just get irked when people state an opinion as fact. Besides, I'm of the opinion that nothing beats the grid style routing of Avid desks or Yamaha via studio manager. There's nothing faster than that especially in a festival situation where I have to match a guest engineers show file inputs to our patch. As far as I'm concerned, that should be how every console handles patching. But I digress...

Perhaps your golden ears are more golden than mine but I don't hear anything resembling distortion out of the desk. And I don't think you're gonna find too many people who agree that the LS9 sounds better than the X32, but again, it doesn't matter. The last thing I'm interested in is having a wank convo about which console sounds better when the PA/Mics/input source quality is infinitely more important to me.

Enjoy your day, and enjoy whichever tools you choose to use to make you more effective at what we do, and I'll do the same.

Couldn't agree more Loren.

The Grid method of patching is by far the best way of doing it IMHO, I don't know why more don't so it that way. Probably because it would be difficult on a small screen.

The X32 block of 8 input patching does reduce absolute flexibility, but for the uses these desks typically get calling it ridiculous is over doing it a bit.

As for sound quality, I've yet to be convinced there is a meaningful difference between different mixers in the same price ranges, certainly not once in the "real work". Pushing desks into clipping and concluding one is better than the other is, maybe, interesting in an academic sense but not a basis to conclude one sounds better than another. As Bob points out, where the red light comes on could be the difference. I know on the iLive (the desk I know best) the peak lights come on 5db before clipping. If another desk comes on at clipping, does that mean that the iLive has 5db more headroom?

Controlled testing is all very well but is still open to all sorts of unintentional biases, especially if you're intent on finding a difference. I once had my thoughts on this challenged by testing two bits of kit (one of which i was convinced sounded better) in an ABX test where I consistently got it correct almost exactly 50% of the time. I now worry less about it! In the venues I've run simply the best sounding band show was an LS9 FOH and Mons, go figure.

Both these desks are phenomenal value for money in a historical sense and perfectly useable. I don't think either is inherently superior, and the differences mostly comedown to personal preference.

Bob, as a long time reader of these forums, and only occasional poster, I must say you do often come over on here as possible shill for Soundcraft, occasionally DBX, and previously APB. You often post with a "marketing speak" slant, and post your opinions as fact. I get that you take a lot of time and pride in your choice of kit, but don't understand your need to push the kit you own so constantly.

Hands down the Soundcraft had the best sound of all those boards, and that really can't be debated.

It is debatable, and is being debated. No-one can hear what you heard in those tests, or see how they were conducted, so this is no more than your opinion and not a demonstrable fact.

I don't choose either when I have that luxury, so whatever, buy the tool that suits you the best.

Richard
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Scott Olewiler on November 13, 2015, 07:12:11 am


The X32 block of 8 input patching does reduce absolute flexibility,

No it really doesn't if you're just using the XLR inputs and not the USB card. In spite of having to initially assign in blocks of 8 you can actually assign any input to any channel. If you can find an open input to plug something in, you can route it to any channel you want.

Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: richard_cooper on November 13, 2015, 08:03:00 am
No it really doesn't if you're just using the XLR inputs and not the USB card. In spite of having to initially assign in blocks of 8 you can actually assign any input to any channel. If you can find an open input to plug something in, you can route it to any channel you want.

My bold. Unless I've missed something you couldn't, for instance, use local inputs 1-28 on channels 1-28 and then take four from an option card on channels 29-32, whilst using the aux channels for something over AES50, or aux ins. On the Soundcraft, and any other desk I can think, of you could do this. So whilst I agree that it's unlikely to be an issue most of the time, and certainly is not "ridiculous", it is something to be aware of.
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Bob Leonard on November 13, 2015, 10:44:38 am
Richard,
The luxury of having been around this industry for almost 50 years is having the opportunity to work with or own a huge number of products from a very large number of manufacturers. I'll admit I'm in favor of products that work well, and probably harder than needed on products that don't work well, or lack proper support for the end user. I have no room or patience in my life for the latter. I have made a point in life to ignore current trends, flavors of the month, and products that don't pass my muster. I will usually spend whatever it takes to get the job done right, and base those decisions on product quality, manufacturer reputation, and support capabilities.  As a point I still have a Mackie 1640 in my home studio. The board is in use daily, is used to route monitoring functions, and works just as well now as it did the day I bought it. Bring the 1640, APB, or any of the many, many other boards I've owned or used into a conversation and I'll have plenty to say, good and bad.
 
That being said it has dawned on me that you are correct in a sense, however, I resent being labeled a shill when enthusiastically supporting a product I know will work properly and get the job done. For your benefit and for those who may share your opinion I'll temper my replies in the future.

Perhaps if you look back at the majority of my posts you'll find they are in most cases directly related to the product being discussed, such as is the case here, a thread I started based on the Soundcraft price drop. My enthusiasm for a product line is just that, similar to most people who eventually find hardware that works as advertised, but unlike some people, based on fact, actual use or ownership, proper testing, and not fiction.

The grid system of routing, although effective, is a carry over from many days gone by. Many people have worked with the system and have become familiar enough with the system to work efficiently and effectively with this type interface, I agree.  But that won't change my opinion, and  I equate this type of system interface to a company who prefers the use of command line operating systems such as DOS to Windows or iOS. There are better and more intuitive methods that could be used to simplify the method(s) used to achieve the desired results.
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Scott Olewiler on November 13, 2015, 11:25:05 am
My bold. Unless I've missed something you couldn't, for instance, use local inputs 1-28 on channels 1-28 and then take four from an option card on channels 29-32, whilst using the aux channels for something over AES50, or aux ins. On the Soundcraft, and any other desk I can think, of you could do this. So whilst I agree that it's unlikely to be an issue most of the time, and certainly is not "ridiculous", it is something to be aware of.

Good point. Yes, I was thinking strictly in terms of using the local inputs. If you were using all the aux ins and  a 32 channel stage box for 1-28, for example, you would not be able to use any of the local inputs for the used channels.   But if you're that full, you really didn't bring the best desk for the gig.

Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Stephen Kirby on November 13, 2015, 12:58:05 pm
I'll get off this gain subject with a side note that my board is covered in red all the time. This is the unfortunate feature of having the effect indicators (compression, etc.), also on the channel strip, being red as well. Blue might have been a nicer color for those indicators, but humans react to red and so be it.
I actually like that.  That the indicators are going in different directions also catches my eye.  Reminds me of my DBX160s.  Easy to spot and I can decide if something is getting so much hotter that I need to tweak the input gain without selecting that channel and looking at the actual compressor settings by just noting how they cross each other.
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: richard_cooper on November 13, 2015, 02:21:37 pm
however, I resent being labeled a shill when enthusiastically supporting a product I know will work properly and get the job done. For your benefit and for those who may share your opinion I'll temper my replies in the future.

Sorry Bob, that was a bit of a low shot on my part, my apologies. I don't wish to reduce any enthusiasm for products or what we do, but wish there was bit less flag waving, and more detailed comparison.

But if you're that full, you really didn't bring the best desk for the gig.

Exactly, so worth pointing out to potential purchasers as it's a limitation compared to others.
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Loren Aguey on November 13, 2015, 03:03:09 pm
The grid system of routing, although effective, is a carry over from many days gone by. Many people have worked with the system and have become familiar enough with the system to work efficiently and effectively with this type interface, I agree.  But that won't change my opinion, and  I equate this type of system interface to a company who prefers the use of command line operating systems such as DOS to Windows or iOS. There are better and more intuitive methods that could be used to simplify the method(s) used to achieve the desired results.

Ok so...if there's a better/faster method than the grid where you can see and patch everything from one page, what is it? And which console uses it?
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Bob Leonard on November 13, 2015, 04:28:58 pm
I don't remember saying anything about any system where everything could be seen on a single page or screen. If I did, point that out please and I'll retract my statement which was;

"There are better and more intuitive methods that could be used to simplify the method(s) used to achieve the desired results."
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Loren Aguey on November 13, 2015, 04:36:02 pm
I don't remember saying anything about any system where everything could be seen on a single page or screen. If I did, point that out please and I'll retract my statement which was;

"There are better and more intuitive methods that could be used to simplify the method(s) used to achieve the desired results."

What I said about viewing everything on a single screen, was in reference to the most beneficial aspect of the grid system. Which, in my opinion, makes it the easiest, and fastest method of routing. It wasn't in reference to anything you said.

I understood your statement as saying there exists a general routing system that is "better and more intuitive" than the grid system that was being discussed. Were you not referring to a routing method? If not, I apologize. If you were, again, I'm curious to know which method you think is better than the grid system.
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Dustin Campbell on November 13, 2015, 08:58:29 pm
All this talk really makes me want to pull the trigger on the impact or expression - off topic - I thought the original price of $2799 was a good deal - so the price drop makes the decision more difficult - to scribble or not to scribble - impact vs expression - great thread by the way


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Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Ken Braziel on November 13, 2015, 10:01:13 pm
All this talk really makes me want to pull the trigger on the impact or expression - off topic - I thought the original price of $2799 was a good deal - so the price drop makes the decision more difficult - to scribble or not to scribble - impact vs expression - great thread by the way


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Using an Expression on a musical right now, I'm used to using tape so I don't miss the scribble-strips, even with 52 channels in use. I just put one strip of tape above the faders for layer A and one below for layer B, using the last five Mixes as stereo Groups (leads, kids, ensemble men, ensemble women, and orchestra).
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Scott Bolt on November 14, 2015, 12:12:31 pm
Using an Expression on a musical right now, I'm used to using tape so I don't miss the scribble-strips, even with 52 channels in use. I just put one strip of tape above the faders for layer A and one below for layer B, using the last five Mixes as stereo Groups (leads, kids, ensemble men, ensemble women, and orchestra).
I don't think that anyone believes that you can't get along with tape .... good lord knows all of us have done this.

The real issue is that most of us no longer want to "get along" with it.  At this price point in a mixer, LCD scribble strips are the new norm .... kind of like power windows ;)
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Tim McCulloch on November 14, 2015, 12:13:27 pm
I don't think that anyone believes that you can't get along with tape .... good lord knows all of us have done this.

The real issue is that most of us no longer want to "get along" with it.  At this price point in a mixer, LCD scribble strips are the new norm .... kind of like power windows ;)

You have windows?  I'm jealous.
Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Jay Barracato on November 14, 2015, 04:04:37 pm
You have windows?  I'm jealous.

which version?

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Title: Re: Sweetwater price drop
Post by: Ken Braziel on November 14, 2015, 06:13:18 pm
I don't think that anyone believes that you can't get along with tape .... good lord knows all of us have done this.

The real issue is that most of us no longer want to "get along" with it.  At this price point in a mixer, LCD scribble strips are the new norm .... kind of like power windows ;)

I hear that, and my company has a Performer 1 & 3 so I certainly appreciate them when I have them.

But... personally I'd take the Expression over the Impact, I'd rather have the gain knobs for all channels than scribble-strips. That and the reduced channel-count make me a bad fit for the Impact.