Sep 01, 2001

Exhibitions & Events

Soundcraft at PLASA 2001

--The widest range of audio mixing desks at the PLASA exhibition can be found on the Soundcraft stand, where the company underlines its diversity with a display ranging from the top-of-the-range touring consoles such as the Series FIVE to the compact portables such as the Spirit Notepads.

For the professional fixed and touring applications, Soundcraft is showing a broad choice of mixers; Series FIVE, the VCA-equipped Series FOUR, the compact Series TWO, the 324 Live Digital console, and the SM20 Monitor Console.

Series FOUR

Soundcraft's Series FOUR front-of-house console offers maximum control in a compact package that is appropriate to the current touring economy. As costs increase, there is a growing market for smaller, highly-featured desks which bring the operational benefits of VCAs and automation within budget.

Series FOUR is a fully modular, VCA-equipped console which follows the acclaimed layout of the Series FIVE but in an altogether smaller footprint. It is available in 24, 32, 40 and 48 frame sizes, with each size having an additional complement of 4 stereo inputs. The stereo mic/line inputs have full EQ as standard - more can be added in place of mono inputs. Series FOUR has 8 VCAs and 8 Mute Groups, offering exceptional control in a desk of this size. EQ has two fully parametric mid bands with sweep shelving/bell highs and lows. There are 10 Auxes, 4 of which are mono/stereo switchable and have direct access to the built-in 16 x 8 Matrix.

Series TWO

Soundcraft's Series TWO is a compact live sound console is aimed at small touring sound companies, theatres, churches and other fixed installations. Taking full advantage of Soundcraft's advanced manufacturing techniques, the desk combines a high level of features and performance in a very cost-effective package.

Available in 24, 32 and 40 mono channel frame sizes with two fully featured stereo line inputs on each model, the Series TWO is built into a new frame offering classic three-tier raked styling for excellent visibility of control settings. An integral meterbridge provides input and output metering on LED bargraphs.

The console's wide-range input stage offers switchable 48V Phantom Power and Phase Reverse. Variable-frequency High Pass Filter with separate In/Out switches is available on each channel, as is Soundcraft's classic four-band EQ with two sweepable mids and EQ In/Out switch. A generous eight mono Auxes provide Pre/Post Fader switching in pairs and Pre/Post EQ switches, while eight Group busses are routable in pairs plus Left, Right and Mono.

Spirit 324 Live

Based on the proven technology of the award-winning Spirit Digital 328, 324 Live boasts many of the standard features of its sibling. However, to reflect the requirements of live sound mixing for Bands, Theatres or Places of Worship, 324 Live incorporates a number of adaptations and new features designed to assist the Live Sound Engineer in getting the perfect mix with the minimum of fuss.

The key to 324 Live's simple operation is the 'E-Strip' - the row of encoders and backlit switches which runs through the centre of the console. Pressing SEL(ect) on any input channel immediately turns the E-Strip into a conventional 'horizontal' channel strip, giving instant access to all EQ, Aux and Pan parameters via the row of 16 encoders that run left to right across the console. Input status may be viewed instantly from the control surface as each encoder is circled by a ring of LEDs which can be assigned to indicate levels. The user is never more than a single button-press away from a clear view of a whole channel; essential in Live Sound operation where speed of access is paramount.

16 analogue mic/line inputs are provided on XLR and 1/4" jack. Two external Mic/Line Interface boxes may be connected via the two 8-channel TDIF ports on the rear panel to provide 32 simultaneous inputs.

Every input has access to identical facilities, which include 3 band fully parametric EQ, 4 external effects sends, and access to two internal Lexicon effects units with editable and storable parameters. Two floating stereo dynamics units (including compressors, limiters, gates and duckers) are assignable to any input or output.

4 Group busses are provided for main routing within the console, along with the Left, Right and Mono busses, which appear as balanced XLR outputs. In addition, these 7 busses may be configured to feed to 4 Matrix outputs at user-defined levels. This is particularly useful when setting up distributed speaker systems around a room. Two further analogue outputs are offered on balanced XLRs. Called 'Floating Outputs', these may be configured to derive their source from the Mono bus, FX1 send (a copy of the data on the first Internal FX unit), FX2 send, or any of the 4 groups.

Soundcraft is exhibiting the new Spirit M Series of compact consoles, distinguished by a combination of superb sound, build quality and comprehensive features.

The Spirit M4, M8 and M12 offer 4, 8 and 12 mono inputs respectively, and all feature four stereo inputs, four stereo returns, 100mm faders, and an S/PDIF stereo digital output. All channels have peak and signal LEDs, complemented by a high-resolution stereo output meter. Desk layouts will be instantly familiar to any experienced engineer, yet the exceptional sound quality of the M-Series is assured by a collection of innovative features, unknown on a compact desk. Also on display: Powerstations 600 and 1200, Powerpad, F1, SX and Notepad mixers.

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