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Large-format digital live desk Vi6 by Soundcraft

Screen of the Soundcraft Vi6
Screen of the Soundcraft Vi6
Launched at prolight+sound show 2006 in Frankfurt, Germany, Soundcraft’s first large-format digital live desk, the Soundcraft Vi6 console is heralded as the first in a wide range of digital consoles to come from Soundcraft. The console is in fact already ahead of the pack, being third-generation thanks to a joint development with sister console company Studer.
The Soundcraft Vi6 console has been designed using the proven reliability of Studer’s Vista and On-Air 3000 series of consoles, and it uses a derivation of the Vistonics user interface (Vistonics II) to allow the engineer to operate the desk intuitively. Vistonics II uses the same type of touch-screen colour TFT monitor with integral rotary controls and switches mounted on the glass to provide a ‘where you look is where you control’ user interface.
This interface is so intuitive that engineers consulted on the features of the desk during its development felt very familiar with its operation in just a few minutes. The looks are stylish, the size is compact, the operation is simple – Soundcraft reckons that within 10 seconds the user will feel an overwhelming familiarity with the console.
The Soundcraft Vi6 console has an input-to-mix capacity of 64 channels, mapped out on two layers under the control of 32 motorised faders. These can be assigned to 32 outputs (plus a stereo and mono mix), which can be any combination of group and aux buses.
Up to 16 Matrix Outputs can be configured from the pool of 32 busses. Every channel strip has every function on view simultaneously, so no time is wasted searching through menus or moving backwards and forwards across the desk. Selection of channel function is as simple as touching the required element on-screen, then adjusting the controls and switches to make changes. Adjustment of EQ, aux levels, routing or dynamics all takes place in-line with the channel, and colour-coded sections are enhanced by the patented Soundcraft FaderGlow system.
Soundcraft FaderGlow uses a multi-colour 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 VistonicsM II screen, leaving very few additional controls on the channel surface. These include Solo and Mute functions of course.
The hardware system architecture of the desk is equally simple yet elegant. Inputs from microphones 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.
Harman’s proprietary network system, HiQnet, is an integral part of the Soundcraft Vi6TM console, which means that the desk becomes a central control point for a complete HPro system of wireless microphones, signal processors, amplifiers and loudspeakers.
Soundcraft Vi6 digital live mixing console
Soundcraft is taking the digital market very seriously, so seriously that the company has recently completed a $7million factory upgrade to ensure that the desks can be manufactured to the highest possible standards of reliability and performance. The new factory houses the most advanced surface-mount PCB line currently installed in Europe, with several stages of board testing including inline X-ray inspection.
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