Submitted November 15, 2018 by Kyle M
"The Greatest Hits of Soundcraft"
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If you're looking at this mixer it's because you need something different, dynamic, and a little inspiring. It's done excellent at shows and recording sessions alike, it can easily be you're all in one solution for audio production. The routing can't be beat, 5 Aux channels, a VERY large interface for the price, and of course that sweet sweet analog sound!
This console will add a subtle but obvious warmth and fullness to audio passing through it without muddying it up at high volume. I've done an A/B for myself during the same session with my Focusrite 18i20/Octopre Dynamic and found that while the Focusrite is very clear, uncolored and studio like, the Soundcraft was warm and full, the edges softened just ever so slightly and it glues the mix together very well. It's done great at being the soundboard at a gig and for recording sessions on the go. The preamps have 90% of the gain I wish they did but the quality and quantity completely makes up for it!
The 24in/22out is amazing in this format, much easier to transport than a heavy, loaded 6U rack! The 5 auxes are great for personal mixes, perfect in fact as is for wedges and even better for IEMs. The 100mm Faders are definitely a welcome feature, smooth high resolution for easy adjustments. The headphone amp is perfecrtly decent for those wondering as well, it's been more than sufficient for my Shure 215's and Shure 940's. The Lexicon effects are powerful and have a lot of adjustment between the 2 knobs each. So powerful in fact I've barely used them as they become comical then annoying quickly for normal vocals at a gig. I'm sure they'll find their use one day for certain songs. The USB return is the real key player here. As if it weren't enough to have the interface alone, Soundcraft included a button on each channel AFTER GAIN and BEFORE EQ that will take in anything you send to it, doesn't have to be the corresponding channel, from your DAW which you can route any way you please. Therefore, the most extreme instance being you can record 22 tracks and a stereo master track (23/24) and send 22 completely different audio files back into the board that then pass through the channels as normal and out the master outputs. A more reasonable example would be you can use plugins in your DAW such as compressors, FX, and EQ and then send the audio out to the board possibly eliminating a rack of gear for some. The dbx limiters work, are set pretty high but are great indicators of being near clipping when lit solid.
Ease of Use
There is a learning curve to this board, even for someone experienced. The routing can get a bit overwhelming if you don't do things systematically which can lead to errors in the audio and possibly a panic lol READ THE MANUAL.
The chassis has been packed and unpacked repeatedly in it's box until I can get a hardcase this size. It's been inside, outside, level, unlevel, and even balanced. I do baby it a little but so far it hasn't taken a ding or a scratch, condensation from drinks have landed on it and it's still as beautiful as when I bought it (3 months but still). This is a purpose built board by qualified proffessionals. In all seriousness for not much more than the Behringer (which we had before) this is a serious upgarde in all respects.
Worth it's weight in gold for the do it all engineer. The appeal of digital is great but this is an even better compromise. This console is cheaper and packs more features and usablilty than the Focusrite combo mentioned above. If you're a playing musician and you do the sound, get this. If you're like me and you make money doing sound but live to jam and record, get this. Learn it, love it.
Their website had all the info I needed, even printed the PDF in color for others in case I can't make a gig.
The Wow Factor
I'm a Soundcraft fan boi now! The quality and value of this console are incredible. It's not hard to find a good mixer, but this is a gem. I love working on mixes previously recorded through it as much as recording fresh material through it. The raw files are just as impressive as the Focusrite, the character is lovable, the Master Mix recordings are just brilliant for videos later. Really, if you need a mixer that's more than a mixer, much more, there is no competition for this product. I'm enamored with it and I bet you will be too.
Live sound, recording, drummer, guitarist
Blues, Metal, Rock in general
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