New York (March 27, 2006)–While recent years may have seen Soundcraft focus its energies on moderately priced live sound mixing consoles, the company will introduce its first large-format, digital live desk, the Soundcraft Vi6, at Musikmesse this week, taking square aim at the high-end touring and installation niches currently ruled by Yamaha and DiGiCo.
The Soundcraft Vi6Presented by the company as a “third-generation” digital desk due to its joint development with sister console company Studer, the Vi6 is said to be the first in a range of digital consoles to come from Soundcraft over the next two years. As might be expected, Harman’s proprietary network system, HiQnet is an integral part of the console, allowing it to be a central control point for a HPro system of wireless microphones, signal processors, amplifiers and loudspeakers.
The Soundcraft Vi6 console has been based on Studer’s Vista and On-Air 3000 series of consoles, and it uses a derivation of the Vistonics user interface (Vistonics II), which uses the same type of touch-screen color TFT monitor with integral rotary controls and switches mounted on the glass to provide a ‘where you look is where you control’ user interface.
Despite a relatively small footprint, the console has an input-to-mix capacity of 64 channels, mapped out on two layers under the control of 32 motorized faders which can be assigned to 32 outputs (plus a stereo and mono mix). Up to 16 Matrix Outputs can be configured from the pool of 32 busses.
Adjustment of EQ, aux levels, routing or dynamics all takes place in-line with the channel, and color-coded sections are enhanced by the patented Soundcraft FaderGlow system, which uses a multi-color LED with a unique diffuser alongside the fader track to indicate which function is currently active on the fader. For example, when used to control aux or monitor sends, the faders will illuminate orange, in line with the corresponding function on the screen.
The input channel has four-band fully parametric EQ, gain and routing facilities, aux send level controls, and integral dynamics on the Vistonics II screen, leaving very few additional controls on the channel surface. These include solo and mute functions.
Inputs from mics and instruments route to a stage box which has all the connectivity for I/O, and then connect down a Cat5 cable over a MADI link to the local DSP rack which sits with the console surface. A second Cat5 cable link provides for redundancy in case a cable is damaged. Alternatively, the second cable can feed a Soundcraft Vi6 desk being used for monitor duties.