Soundcraft's Si Performer sees the light . . .

Soundcraft makes a slight departure . . . Now you can control the lighting too.

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23 August 2012

UK - This is certainly a product launch that will make people look twice: the new Soundcraft Si Performer range of mixers boasts integrated DMX functionality - thereby adding to the already impressive and powerful audio feature-set the existence of lighting control options . . .

Building on the successful Si Compact range, to which it bears a likeness, this is a feature-packed audio console, boasting almost twice as much DSP power and increased functionality, with an input capacity of 80 inputs to mix on all models. The built-in I/O does not disappoint - the Si Performer 2 has 24 mic and eight line inputs, and the Si Performer 3 has 32 mic and eight line inputs, plus the four FX return channels. Plus there are two option card slots for I/O expansion via any of the Soundcraft stageboxes and option cards from the ViSi Connect range, giving the possibility of patching up to 80 inputs to mix, or from CobraNet, AVIOM or AES inputs via the appropriate cards. The console also sees the addition of eight VCA Groups and eight mute groups.

However, it's the unique integration of a DMX512 port, offering core lighting control, which will make this one of the most-talked about products at this year's PLASA Show. The first release of software provides four scene masters (A-D) with associated slave channels on the ALT fader layers; individual colour intensities or parameters are set on the slave faders with an overall master level fader, which itself may be assigned to any of the main fader layers for simultaneous access to audio and lighting levels. To automate the process, DMX settings may be stored alongside audio settings in the snapshot system, so both may be recalled automatically by a single button press or via an external MIDI command. With selective isolation, snapshots with just audio or lighting parameter changes may be recalled.

As product manager Richard Ayres explained to LSi at the Si Performer's launch event at London's Soho Theatre last week, this should not be seen as a combined audio and lighting console, but rather a powerful and sophisticated audio console "with a lighting control plug-in". Initially at least, its appeal will be for small venues with varied audio requirements but fairly minimal lighting needs - perhaps multiple acts requiring some front- and side-lights on a small stage. It may allow some venue owners to dispense with a small lighting controller, perhaps freeing up a seat in the process. "We don't expect ETC to be worried," said Ayres.

Responses to the idea so far, Soundcraft president Andy Trott told us, have been extraordinary. For the future, expect the concept to be developed: greater lighting control power may open up this bold new concept to larger venues with bigger requirements . . .

The Si Performer will be controllable from the Soundcraft ViSi Remote iPad app along with the Soundcraft Vi Series, Vi1 and Si Compact consoles.

See it at PLASA - Soundcraft / Harman - Stand: 1-E21

(Lee Baldock)

 

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sees product launch make range DMX functionality powerful audio lighting control Si Compact console power inputs mix I/O mic line channels option Soundcraft cards slave fader layers process settings recalled Si Performer small venues requirements perhaps expect Ayres concept PLASA

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