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Following last month's launch of the compact Soundcraft Si2, sister to the acclaimed Soundcraft Si3 last month, Soundcraft has announced a new software revision to include 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 really 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 inside the single box analogue-replacement solution. 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. Existing Soundcraft Si2 and Si3 owners can upgrade software via the Soundcraft website 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 which has a MADI interface to its inputs. The card is expected to ship by the end of April. 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, saving valuable set-up time at a gig. The software GUI is an exact replica of the desk, so can be used also as a learning or tutorial aid. A free download of Virtual Si is available.
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