Soundcraft Signature 12 MTK (multitrack usb mixer)


#21

Get’s a little salesy, but here is the pertinent info form the horse’s mouth…

Hey guys,

This is Sean from the Soundcraft team (the guy in all the videos you are seeing). Just here to answer your questions about the Signature Series. I’ll try my best to summarise everything I’ve seen so far in terms of questions:

-Low-latency ASIO drivers are available… we’ve tested 24-in/22-out at 64 sample buffer depth. No drop-outs at all. 3.6ms of latency total (in->out). Of course adding plug-ins adds latency to this and this also depends on your computers performance.

-Phantom Power is global (people have pointed out where the switch is). We did this to keep cost down. The cool thing is it doesn’t really affect anything… your condensers get the 48V they need and your dynamic mics are unaffected, so it isn’t such a big deal. The only annoying this is unplugging mics… You’ll get a loud POP if you do it when the 48V is on.

-This is designed to be a replacement for a USB interface whilst giving you a full analogue mixer… and not just any mixer, a Soundcraft analogue mixer… only the best

-All the inputs ALWAYS send down the USB channel of the same number, i.e. Channel 1 on the console -> USB 1, Channel 2 -> USB2, and so on… The USB send point is post-gain and pre-limiter/HPF/EQ. Another send point would add considerable cost and would not jive with the goal we had with the Signature MTKs: to make it very affordable. On the 12MTK, USB 13/14 is the master bus pre-fader. And on the Signature 22MTK, USB 23/24 is the master bus pre-fader. This allows you to get analogue summing back in your DAW. You have +22dB of headroom on the Signature (hit that master bus HARD, it sounds great!) and the 0dbFS point for the USB send on the master bus is maximised to take advantage of this… analogue clipping = GOOD. digital clipping = BAD.

-US Street pricing is INDEED $399 for the Signature 12MTK and $799 for the Signature 22MTK. No typo. I’m glad you guys get how good that price is. We worked REALLY hard to hit it.

So I think that handles the majority of the questions. If you guys have any others, let me know.

And just wait til you hear this thing. Ghost mic pre’s sound awesome. Sapphyre EQ is the best EQ I’ve ever heard on a desk for this price. Lexicon FX and dbx limiters are great for live use but also work in the studio. And the analogue summing bus will give that warmth to your mixes and bring it back in your DAW.

And yes, shipping in March. Can’t wait til you guys hear it and get your hands on it.

All the best guys!
Sean

I forgot to say, it’s 24-bit/48kHz… the driver and the A/D converters support other sampling rates as well but we have yet to implement it… Should be implemented by the time it ships

On your other questions:

  • are you at liberty to reveal a screenshot of the software console?

The only software is a USB ASIO panel and this is just on PC versions. Mac users can just use standard CoreAudio. On the USB ASIO driver for PC, it is the same driver as our MADI-USB card. The way you route your USB channels would be through your DAW of choice. We will include a free copy of Ableton Live Lite (and also a free Lexicon MPX-L VST/AU/AAX plugin)

  • can you expand upon the capabilities of the channel limiters (e.g. brickwall limiting only, or configurable gain, attack/release, etc)?

Sure. It is all fixed time constants, ratio, and threshold. They are optimised by us for the best response and to work best with the gain staging of the desk. You just whack up the input gain from the mic pre/line input, engage the limiter and you’ll see the gain reduction LED start to light and get more intense the more increase the input gain. The ratio is nearly 7:1. The threshold is set 6dB lower than the clip point of the channel on the mixer to give you room to tweak the EQ and what not. The attack and release is close to an original dbx 160, as that’s what we were aiming for.

  • can you confirm whether the insertable VST is instantiated in the software console or within the DAW?

DAW.

-Subgroups have dedicated outputs. You can use the subgroups mono or stereo.

-We are not planning on having a meter bridge. We just didn’t think for this price there would be that many people wanting one as a meter bridge would probably cost the same as the console or more!

-The faders are not motorised so there is no kind of no point in putting any DAW automation on the Signature Series. The idea with the Signature Series was to be a full-on analogue mixer but with a multi-channel USB interface for the audio. And the real trick: it’s affordable! If we put stuff like motorised faders and automation it would increase the price dramatically.

-No tap tempo on the delay but one of the parameters you can adjust on the Delay algorithms is tempo. The FX engine has 2 parameters for each algorithm/engine. So the Signature 22 and 22MTK, which both have 2 FX engines, have a total of 4 parameter adjustments.

-USB2.0. Has our ASIO drivers from the MADI-USB card. Same converters as in the Vi1, and Si Performer/Expression. They hit a sweet-spot in terms of performance vs. price. Anything better costs significantly more and anything cheaper really sacrifices performance.

-I have dimensions on my work computer but I am still travelling post-NAMM show. I’ll be back in England tomorrow and can post the dimensions then.

-The 10, 12, 12MTK, and 16 all have 1 FX engine, but there are combined algorithms, i.e. Reverb+Delay, Chorus+Reverb, etc… So 1 FX engine might do the trick. But the 22 and 22MTK have two fully independent FX engines and busses with independent FX returns. This would certainly give you the flexibility mr jkn is looking for.

Thanks guys,
Sean


#22

So, iOS supported, or not…?


#23

As mentioned before, the lack of an iOS mention does not = incompatibility.

A giant piece of the puzzle (driverless Core Audio) is already there. Most of the iOS audio and midi devices that work with the Camera Connection Kit are not officially supported, but as they meet the Core Audio standard, they just work.

So, it will take someone (not Soundcraft, as iOS is not the intended market) to simply give it a shot. Once they are in stock, a Sweetwater rep may or may not be willing to test it out to make the sale. Some reps are more willing than others, though.


#24

If they don’t say it works with iOS, yes, it still might. And if they don’t say it works with iOS, it could be because it doesn’t. I’d rather base my guesses on information given, not on a lack of information.

You don’t think the manufacturer would know whether it works with iOS or not?


#25

To “know”, and to support functionality are two entirely different things.

Both my iOS audio and midi interfaces work with my iPad via CCK, and with a cheap USB hub, too. Neither are officially supported, and yet both devices have given me full functionality and exceptional performance.

If I have an issue with one or the other, though, the manufacturers will only offer very limited support because there is no official support for that functionality.

When functionality is officially supported, the support staff is trained on handling support calls for those features. This costs money, and if those features aren’t part of the target audience for a product, it often makes sound financial sense for a company to go silent on compatibility of such features.

In some instances, iOS support may mean absolutely no changes to the hardware product, and embedded software, but would merit raising the retail cost of the product to pay for the added cost of supporting those features. It is clear that Soundcraft had a target price they wanted to get these boards down to, and it is possible that additional support for a mobile operating system made that goal unattainable.


#26

Tell me if i’m wrong but as i understand all signals are send over USB PRE -fader-eq -HPf . - thus . Than what’s the point having Analog eQ’s etc…as signals are going without these to a computer.


#27

No individual inserts… no-brainer to pass on this one


#28

Wouldn’t a simple patch bay take care of the channel insert needs?


#29

The EQs are for mixing (summing), and setting up monitor mixes, not for tracking through. Also for general use as a mixer when not utilizing the USB capabilities.


#30

Hmm, I was really interested in this at first and did not mind the lack if inserts…but more and more not having inserts is huge if you ever really want to use it in a live situation. Given that channel inserts can behave as direct outs it is probably better to have one with channel inserts and have a multi channel DAW interface…but hell, that is more expensive, and having it all in one box is convenient…


#31

If this had midi i/o it definitley work as my all in one box. Right now my focusrite soundcard is aslo my midi i/o. Probably going swap for this anyway, but will have to get a seperate midi box. Still at the price it’s hard to complain, just would love to get down to 1 usb cable.


#32

I have a similar situation in that my Roland Duo Capture EX is my current iPad audio interface and it also serves as the MIDI interface for the iPad. So I’d probably keep the Roland even if I got this Soundcraft, even though I’m not sure right this moment what I would do with the extra audio I/O. I’d have to keep my powered USB hub too.

Admittedly I have not yet tried the iPad with multiple simultaneous audio interfaces, but I imagine it would be like my old Macbook in that the software would simply see the two or more audio interface boxes and allow the user to select which ones to use.


#33

I’m confused about this mixer.

How many external effects processors can I connect to 3 AUX inputs for the 12 MTK? If it’s 3, how do I route the effects back into the mixer? How does the send/return work…

I really only need one send/return, that is, I want to use a Pigtronix Keymaster. This will be connected to various guitar pedals to manipulate different channels of audio.

If this mixer doesn’t allow this, let me know.

*Keymaster provides the ideal re-amp solution for engineers who wish to run a line level signal out of their console, into effects and then into an amplifier or back into the console.


#34

You would have to use either the mono or stereo input channels for your fx returns.
There are no dedicated return inputs.


#35

Thanks for the quick reply.


#36

I’m very interested … but … release ?


#37

From the Gearslutz thread:

This is what my Sweetwater Rep says:

“It is expected to begin arriving on or around June 15th with significant numbers of these arriving arriving the first week of July.”

They say they will be out of the back order situation in early to mid July.

I reckon Sweetwater is high on the “receive” list.


#38

From the Gearslutz thread:

This is what my Sweetwater Rep says:

“It is expected to begin arriving on or around June 15th with significant numbers of these arriving arriving the first week of July.”

They say they will be out of the back order situation in early to mid July.

I reckon Sweetwater is high on the “receive” list.

[/quote]
Thanks Adam :+1:


#39

had my eye on this for a while to replace my saffire pro 40 wired to a 1402 vlz… combining the interface and mixer seems awesome

but im still skeptical on the latency and performance of it… USB used to be hated for audio I/O… seems thats been changing all over the place recently

the coolest thing about this for me is how it can do analog summing from the computer outputs directly within itself without cabling… thats good stuff


#40

yeh but if you dont outsource MIDI you cant use one of these bastards:
http://www.e-rm.de/multiclock