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Soundcraft Spirit M4


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I pulled out my old Soundcraft Spirit M4 out of my cuboard the other day and I am so glad I did. I decided to gig with it using my AER compact 60 mk 2 as a front end. DI out from the AER into one of the mic channels on the M4 and balanced left output XLR out to my new RCF ART 310 Mk III.

The Soundcraft really makes the AER shine, they work fantastic together.

I brought the Soundcraft Spirit M4 used for

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Yeah, that M-series is quite nice. They were quite pricey too. I came very close to buying one, when I was looking for a more compact mixer than my MixWiz 16;2. The bulk was a bit more than I was willing to deal with unfortunately. Very nice board though, enjoy.

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Hi bobby1Note
Yes , they are quite pricey but defianly worth the dollars. I am suprised that the M series have been discontinued, I love the build quality plus the sound. Compared to the mackie VLz the soundcraft wipes the floor. The mackies are good and punchy but a bit harsh sounding where as I am finding with the Soundcraft more depth and warmth.
dave

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Quote Originally Posted by Mr Blues View Post
Hi bobby1Note
Yes , they are quite pricey but defianly worth the dollars. I am suprised that the M series have been discontinued, I love the build quality plus the sound. Compared to the mackie VLz the soundcraft wipes the floor. The mackies are good and punchy but a bit harsh sounding where as I am finding with the Soundcraft more depth and warmth.
dave
I have a few small-format Soundcrafts (124FX and EFX-8). The EFX-8 has turned out to be a real work-horse for me over the last 4-5 years. Despite it's routing and processing limitations, it just sounds so darned good. That M-series you have, is much more complete in terms of function. Very nice.
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Hi bobbyNote

Yes your right , I did another A & B test with the Soundcraft M4 and the Mackie 802 VLZ 3 and although the mackie seemed to have more overall volume the Soundcraft was sweeter and smoother in sound quality and deeper. Where as the mackie sounded a bit harsh in comparison. I mainly do guitar and vocal solo gigs .

Is it true that the Soundcraft entry level mixers are good too i.e the emp series. I may invest in one of them as they are smaller and lighter for when i am travelling. I will still keep the M4 for local gigs and home recording.

Dave

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The EPM, EFX, and MFXi series Souncrafts all sound pretty much the same IMO. Basically, the EPM series is identical to the EFX series, but without the FX. All of these boards have 60mm faders, and one or two aux-sends, (depending on whether the board has built in FX). EQ is also identical as I recall, with a single swept mid on all of them. You don't get direct outs either(so they're not ideal for multi-track recording), and there's no hi-pass filter(HPF) on the mono/XLR channels of the EPM and EFX series. The MFXi series does have HPF's.

Any one of those boards should be fine for your travel gigs, and I'd rank them in this order 1. MFXi, 2 the EFX, 3 EPM-series. It really depends on what you're going to do. If you're playing solo, and there's no stage rumble, you won't need the HPF's of the MFXi boards, and the EFX would be fine. Of course, none of these boards have the digital output of your M4.

Will you need more than one monitor mix when traveling? The MFXi gives you two aux-send (monitor mixes) plus FX.

Sound-wise, you probably won't hear much difference compared to your M4, although Soundcraft does mention extra attention was paid to keep the M4's circuitry as quiet as possible. Size-wise, there's very little difference between the EPM, EFX, and MFXi series boards.

Now, for traveling light, I sometimes use a Soundcraft Notepad 124FX. It can sound pretty good too, but I find it "fiddly", meaning you have to fiddle with the knobs a lot more to get it sounding right; more-so than you would with the EPM, EFX , and MFXi series boards. The headphone circuit on mine, is very noisy too.

Although the Notepad series is compact, you also have to factor in that it has an external power-supply. I much prefer the built-in power-supplies of the EPM,EFX, and MFXi.

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Quote Originally Posted by Marko View Post
Is this what you guys are talking about?
Yes. Those M series boards have been around for quite a while. That was one of the first mixers I looked at when I became a member here, back in 2007. I was looking for a high-quality small format board at the time. I ended up going with the A&H MixWiz3 16;2, , and a short time later, I added the EFX-8. I also had a Soundcraft Compact 4.

The M-Series were quite expensive at the time, and you had no FX, plus the MixWiz had the dual swept-mids. The M4's a really nice board, it just looks and feels like a real high-quality unit.
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Quote Originally Posted by Marko View Post
Is this what you guys are talking about?
Yes. Those M series boards have been around for quite a while. That was one of the first mixers I looked at when I became a member here, back in 2007. I was looking for a high-quality small format board at the time. I ended up going with the A&H MixWiz3 16;2, , and a short time later, I added the EFX-8. I also had a Soundcraft Compact 4.

The M-Series were quite expensive at the time, and you had no FX, plus the MixWiz had the dual swept-mids. The M4's a really nice board, it just looks and feels like a real high-quality unit.
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Quote Originally Posted by Marko View Post
Well, it appears it's still for sale, at least at MF.

$600 for four mic channels, I can't see much of a market for it with what's available now.
Yeah, they never really caught on with the mass-market; it seemed more of a niche product for folks who were willing to spend the price of a quality board, despite having few mic inputs. They also made the M8, and M12 if I remember correctly. Still, it was a pretty flexible unit with it's direct outs, and four aux-sends, plus digital. I'd love to hear one.
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I had the M12 for a few years. Very nice sound. Preamps were good enough to record with. I replaced it with an Allen & Heath Mixwiz 16:2 which is a little more complete in terms of facilities for live sound. I would say the two were roughly equal in terms of sound quality.

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Thanks bobbyNote1 for your helpful information about the different types and ranges of soundcraft smaller compact mixers, and hawkere thanks for your sharing about the comparison with the Mixwiz, . Plus a lovely pic marko of my baby. lol

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Bobbynote1
In the UK its quite difficult to get hold of the Mpm or MFX series , there are plenty of EFX or EPM ranges.
I'm sticking with the M4 until I get some cash together , I think all i would need is a EPM 6 that would do me fine for travel and playing.

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Quote Originally Posted by Mr Blues View Post
Bobbynote1
In the UK its quite difficult to get hold of the Mpm or MFX series , there are plenty of EFX or EPM ranges.
I'm sticking with the M4 until I get some cash together , I think all i would need is a EPM 6 that would do me fine for travel and playing.
Here ya go,

http://www.thomann.de/gb/soundcraft_mfxi_12_bundle.htm
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