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|Highlighted at InfoComm 2009 in Orlando, Florida, the Si2 digital console was first announced by Soundcraft Studer at Integrated Systems Europe (ISE), 2009. The Soundcraft Si2 is a smaller partner to the Si3, launched only in September 2008, and is bound to appeal to those wanting a compact and highly-featured digital console at a competitive price. This package will be suited for installations where a smaller footprint is critical, such as theaters, houses of worship and smaller tour sound systems. After the digital mixer's appearance at prolight+sound show 2009, Frankfurt, Germany, Soundcraft Studer took the next step to a new software version at NAB show 2009, Las Vegas. The new software includes Graphic equalizers on the desk and the availability of an offline editor, Virtual Si, for the platform.|
Si software version 2.0 adds the capabilities to display composite EQ curves on the touch screen for any channel or output, but perhaps more importantly provides a BSS Audio 30-band graphic equalizer on every output (groups, auxes and matrices), which is controlled by the faders in the same way as on the larger Soundcraft Vi Series platforms.
When switched to Graphic EQ mode, the Soundcraft FaderGlow system lights the first 15 faders on the desk in red to indicate EQ mode, and the OLED display above each channel shows both the ISO frequency of the filter and the gain or cut. A nice feature is the pseudo centre-detent provided in the motorized fader at the 0db point. Simple scrolling allows the faders to control all 30 bands in three sections of the low, mid and higher frequencies. The Si Series now has a full complement of gates, compressors, graphic EQs and Lexicon effects engines.
Completing the new software functionality is the ability to integrate with a Harman HiQnet system and send Venue Recall messages to equipment in the network.
Channel direct outputs on the Si Series will shortly be provided through an optional MADI interface card, which fits into one of the option slots on the rear of the Si Series chassis. The card, based on the Studer D21m I/O system card and a version of which is also used on the Vi Series, provides up to 64 direct outputs from the channel down a MADI stream, which can be fed to a MADI-based audio multitrack recorder to record live shows, or even used as a stage splitter to feed the inputs to another console.
The new Virtual Si software allows an engineer to completely setup a show, with channel labels, aux/group assignments, EQ settings and cues etc, offline on a PC or laptop, save the show to a USB memory stick and load it directly into the console. The software GUI is an exact replica of the desk, so can be used also as a learning or tutorial aid.
The Si2 comes in a smaller footprint than its bigger brother, and has 48 mic inputs mapped on 24 faders, but this is where the differences end. The Si2, like the Si3, has four dedicated Stereo Line channels, four dedicated FX Returns from the four stereo Lexicon FX processors, 8 balanced insert sends and 8 balanced insert returns. Si2 is complete with 24 Group/Aux busses available at all times, 8 matrix busses and a full complement of monitor talkback and main bus outputs. One of the most unique and compelling features of the Si series is that every input and output has its own dedicated input (output) socket on the back of the console.
The Si2 uses a combination of rotary encoders and OLED screens on every channel so the engineer mixes at source, without recourse to a central screen; an interface welcomed by many engineers since the console’s launch last year. Four assignable on-board lexicon effect engines supplement 4 stereo inputs to provide a really powerful mix package in a width of 1.4m.
With all input and output connections and power supply on board, the Si2 can simply drop in where an existing analog console sits, utilizing existing copper cable snakes and splitter systems.
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