WNAMM09: Soundcraft Vi Series Grows

US 96 Channel and 72 channel cxtensions in new V3.0 software      17/01/09

WNAMM09: Soundcraft Vi Series Grows
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Demonstrating the success of the Vi Series, Soundcraft is showcasing 96 and 72 channel upgrades to the Vi6 and Vi4, respectively at Winter Namm. According to Andy Trott, President Soundcraft and Studer, the new additions have made the Vi6 and Vi4 even more potent and versatile tools for front of house and monitor engineers in a vast array of tour and fixed install applications including large houses of worship. The input-to-mix expansion is part of the new V3.0 software release.
Trott told us, "Never before has so much power and versatility been accompanied by such an easily navigable, application-engineered user interface. From our continuous discussions with members of the engineering community, we're confident that the 96-channel and 72-channel variants will resonate strongly with the market." Here's all the details directly from Soundcraft...
Appreciated worldwide for its advanced Vistonicsâ„¢ II user interface, the Soundcraft Vi Series provides engineers with a very intuitive operation via a touchscreen color TFT monitor with integral rotary controls and switches mounted on the glass that provide engineers with a unique 'where you look is where you control' working philosophy.
The Vi Series is also known for its stunning sonic performance, boasting an impressive input-to-mix capacity of up to 96 channels channels, mapped out on 32 or 24 motorized faders for the Vi6 and Vi4 respectively. These can be assigned to 32 or 24 outputs (plus a stereo and mono mix) that can be any combination of group and aux buses. Up to 16 matrix outputs can be configured from the pool of buses.
The Soundcraft Vi6 is available in 64 or 96 input models (the Vi4 having 48 or 72 inputs), while existing consoles can be upgraded with the purchase of an additional DSP card. The 96 channels to mix (for the Vi6) can then comprise the 64 stagebox mic/line inputs, the 16 line inputs on the local rack, and the eight stereo Lexicon effects returns. The 'additional' 32 inputs will be assigned to Fader Bank C on the surface. Alternatively a second stagebox can be added to bring in mic/line inputs from the stage to all 96 input channels. Through desk patching, the inputs can also encompass the 64 MADI channels, or 16 AES/EBU inputs. Further options are available for expanding the I/O to use additional remote stageboxes, or other audio formats.
Another highly significant feature of the V3.0 upgrade is that the Vi4 will now be able to access all 35 output busses, with the addition of eight busses fixed in 'Aux' mode, and this feature does not require the additional DSP card.
Further enhancements in the new V3.0 software include sophisticated snapshot filtering, which will be particularly welcomed by theatre users. In addition to the existing ISOLATE function where a channel may be isolated from snapshot recall, high-granularity filtering can now be applied both globally and on each snapshot, right down to individual parameter level (for example, a PAN setting or an individual Aux send). A completely revised Cue List Management suite now allows Apply Changes, where parameter changes can be applied to multiple snapshots, and cues can trigger or be triggered by MIDI or GPIO events, including MIDI Timecode. Harman's HiQnetâ„¢ VENUE RECALL function is tightly integrated within this manager.
Other new features in V3.0 include finer adjustment of input and output delay trims, and enhanced metering on the master bay which includes Gain Reduction metering. It is also now possible to import and export channel labels from and to spreadsheet files using a USB key.
Needless to say, these powerful mix capacity and snapshot extensions are also available in the latest Virtual Vi software, so functionality can be tried and learned offline. The introduction of the Virtual Vi offline editor has proved extremely popular with engineers who are now able to set up their shows in advance, before simply downloading them to the console via a USB memory stick.
The software has had extensive beta trials, and on August 30th, Norwegian band Secret Garden finished off this year's tour with a special concert including a symphony orchestra using V3.0 software.
The last concert of the tour was a special outdoor show incorporating a 27-piece symphony orchestra in the band's hometown of Kristiansand, Norway. With the orchestra and nine musicians/singers on stage, Espen Andersen, Production Manager and Monitor Engineer, added a DSP card and a second stagebox to run the required 95 channels from one console.
Espen concluded, "Every thing worked perfectly, and it was a special night and a fantastic ending to a great tour."
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