Recording - September 2015 - 18

Soundcraft Si Impact

is a prefade bus master, green is postfade, light blue (cyan) is a stereo FX
return, magenta is a stereo line input, dark
blue is a VCA Group master fader, and
red is used for graphic equalizer bands.
All these colors might seem silly at first,
just eye candy to make the console look
sexy. That impression lasts for maybe the
first day or two that you work with the Si
Impact... and then you find yourself
reaching for VCA groups or tweaking
prefade subgroup buses without even
thinking about it. You just knew to reach
for the blue or yellow faders! They're fantastic for darkened venues, but are useful
even in a well-lit recording studio.

an idea of what's feasible. Layer A has the
first 24 mono inputs; Layer B has eight more
mono inputs and four stereo FX returns; Layer
C has the master faders for all 14 Mix buses
(1-10 are prefade, 11-14 are postfade)
and the four stereo FX sends; and Layer D
has the four Matrix bus master faders and
the eight VCA Group faders... and even with
all of that, there are still 30 Control channels
that haven't been assigned yet!

Routing, routing, everywhere
Anyone who's used to an analog console will be able to get up and running on
the Si Impact pretty quickly... its default layout will make sense to folks with specific
expectations as to what a mixer should
offer. Once you get comfortable, however,
the tremendous flexibility of the Si Impact's
routing and busing structure will tempt you
to customize to your heart's content, saving
mixer snapshots, show configurations, cue
lists, and more for instant recall.
Inputs can be routed not only to the
Main L/R and Mono buses but also to 14
unique Mix buses, which can be routed to
any combination of external outputs.
There are also four FX buses to feed the
four Lexicon DSP engines from all the
inputs. Now, if that's not enough for you,
there are also four Matrix buses, which
take signals from all the Mix buses and
sum them together to be sent to their own
outputs! Is your head spinning yet?
What this means is that you can set up
whatever signal flow you want, from simple stereo summing all the way up to multiple monitor mixes, different output mix
levels for different parts of a large venue,
and just about anything else you can
think of. Soundcraft also makes a series
of onstage I/O racks called Stageboxes
that connect to the console via a single
MADI cable. If you add networked digital
audio to the mic/line inputs, the Si Impact
can work with up to 80 faders. Yow.
Just describing the default fader layout
(which can be fully customized) will give you

the first place! On a conventional analog
console, you have Aux Send knobs on each
channel strip, but that would be completely
unwieldy on a mixer like the Si Impact.
There has to be a quick way to set up send
levels for each input channel to each of the
14 Mix buses, and to set up levels for each
Mix bus going into the Matrix buses.
The Si Impact does this with a neat little
setup that Soundcraft calls tOTEM (the
One Touch Easy Mix). Under the ACS is a
line of tiny backlit buttons, one for each of
the 14 Mix buses, 4 Matrix buses, and 4
FX buses. Touch one, and instantly the
Control Channels become sends to that
bus, color coded in FaderGlow to show
whether they're prefade, postfade, or
Matrix. The Mono Mix output fader
becomes a master fader for that bus.
Essentially, the Si Impact's control surface
becomes a straightforward summing mixer
for each bus at the touch of a button, with
no fussing or routing selection needed.

18

RECORDING September 2015

Everybody on the bus
Now, all those bus faders I mentioned are
master bus levels-the level of the mixed signal coming out of each bus. We haven't
even touched on how signals get in there in

Effects-ACS, Lexicon, and otherwise
The Si Impact has a ton of built-in DSP
effects power. No more "there's a limited
pool of resources so you can't put whatever you want on every channel" here!
Each of the Inputs has an ACS-controlled
channel strip with preamp settings, a highpass filter, a full-featured Gate, a flexible
and smooth-sounding Compressor, a 4band fully parametric EQ with the top and
bottom bands optionally switchable to shelving, and an Output module with Pan, channel delay (useful for signal alignment in

large venues), and selectors for L/R and
Mono/Center output routing. The Main mix,
Mix buses, and Matrix buses each have an
ACS-controlled compressor and 4-band
parametric EQ, as well as a fader-controlled
28-band graphic EQ. That's pretty much got
you covered for whatever tone shaping and
dynamics control (either musical or practical) you may have to do.
The four identical Lexicon effects
processors have 29 built-in algorithms,
mostly reverbs and delays plus a small
selection of modulation and pitch-shifting
effects. As is to be expected from Lexicon
gear, they sound amazing. And last but
not least is a 28-band graphic equalizer
across the Mains, which uses the Control
Channels to set levels for each band.
Interfacing and option cards
The Si Impact comes preloaded with a
MADI/USB card that can offer 64 channels
of I/O, usually 32 channels of MADI I/O
plus 32 x 32 USB. The manual explains
how to set this up using tiny DIP switches on
the card itself; it took me less than three minutes to configure the Si Impact to be what
most of our readers would desire-a 32 x
32 USB interface on channels 1-32, with
the MADI inputs and outputs all relegated
to channels 33-64.
Once this was done, my computers recognized the Si Impact as a 32-channel
interface and outputs from my DAWs simply appeared on the console once the relevant channels were reassigned from mic
inputs to USB inputs. I love interfaces that
combine I/O with a full-featured mixer
that I can get my hands on, and the Si
Impact was a blast in this application,
making it easy to tweak inputs, set up multiple monitor mixes, and record multichannel audio without chewing up CPU load
during tracking. The Windows drivers are
simple to install, and the Mac recognizes
the console as a class-compliant interface
with no drivers needed.
Conclusions
There's so much stuff I haven't touched
on here-the comprehensive Solo functions, the eight Mute groups, remote control from an iPad-but you get the idea.
The Si Impact packs a lot of power, and I
enjoyed my time with it, whether I was
having fun learning to master its flexible
functions or simply appreciating its pristine and honest sound quality.
Whether you're in the market for a
portable, powerful live console or want
the best of hands-on control and flexible
USB interfacing, the Si Impact is a real
attention-getter. FaderGlow makes it
pretty on the outside, but it's a roaring
beast on the inside.
Price: $2799
More from: Soundcraft, www.soundcraft.com


http://www.soundcraft.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording - September 2015

Contents
Recording - September 2015 - Intro
Recording - September 2015 - Cover1
Recording - September 2015 - Cover2
Recording - September 2015 - 1
Recording - September 2015 - 2
Recording - September 2015 - 3
Recording - September 2015 - 4
Recording - September 2015 - 5
Recording - September 2015 - Contents
Recording - September 2015 - 7
Recording - September 2015 - 8
Recording - September 2015 - 9
Recording - September 2015 - 10
Recording - September 2015 - 11
Recording - September 2015 - 12
Recording - September 2015 - 13
Recording - September 2015 - 14
Recording - September 2015 - 15
Recording - September 2015 - 16
Recording - September 2015 - 17
Recording - September 2015 - 18
Recording - September 2015 - 19
Recording - September 2015 - 20
Recording - September 2015 - 21
Recording - September 2015 - 22
Recording - September 2015 - 23
Recording - September 2015 - 24
Recording - September 2015 - 25
Recording - September 2015 - 26
Recording - September 2015 - 27
Recording - September 2015 - 28
Recording - September 2015 - 29
Recording - September 2015 - 30
Recording - September 2015 - 31
Recording - September 2015 - 32
Recording - September 2015 - 33
Recording - September 2015 - 34
Recording - September 2015 - 35
Recording - September 2015 - 36
Recording - September 2015 - 37
Recording - September 2015 - 38
Recording - September 2015 - 39
Recording - September 2015 - 40
Recording - September 2015 - 41
Recording - September 2015 - 42
Recording - September 2015 - 43
Recording - September 2015 - 44
Recording - September 2015 - 45
Recording - September 2015 - 46
Recording - September 2015 - 47
Recording - September 2015 - 48
Recording - September 2015 - 49
Recording - September 2015 - 50
Recording - September 2015 - 51
Recording - September 2015 - 52
Recording - September 2015 - 53
Recording - September 2015 - 54
Recording - September 2015 - 55
Recording - September 2015 - 56
Recording - September 2015 - 57
Recording - September 2015 - 58
Recording - September 2015 - 59
Recording - September 2015 - 60
Recording - September 2015 - 61
Recording - September 2015 - 62
Recording - September 2015 - 63
Recording - September 2015 - 64
Recording - September 2015 - 65
Recording - September 2015 - 66
Recording - September 2015 - 67
Recording - September 2015 - 68
Recording - September 2015 - 69
Recording - September 2015 - 70
Recording - September 2015 - 71
Recording - September 2015 - 72
Recording - September 2015 - Cover3
Recording - September 2015 - Cover4
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