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First Look: Soundcraft Si Performer Console With DMX Lighting Control
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Next Step

The first release of the Si Performer software provides four scene masters, with associated slave channels on the ALT fader layers.

Individual color intensities or parameters are set on the slave faders with an overall master level fader, which itself may be assigned to any of the main fader layers for simultaneous access to audio and lighting levels.

To automate the process, DMX settings can be stored alongside audio settings in the snapshot system, so both may be recalled automatically by a single button press or via an external MIDI command.

With selective isolation, snapshots with just audio or lighting parameter changes may be recalled. Each channel also has a custom LCD screen which shows channel name, assignments, graphic EQ frequencies and DMX data, as well as signal metering.

“The next step is to set about doing additional coding; it will primarily always be an audio console. We won’t sacrifice any audio functionality to tip the balance in favor of lighting, but there are several areas that we’re excited about enhancing,” Ayres adds. “We want to improve support for intelligent lighting, and improve show management.

Soundcraft president Andy Trott discussing the Si Performer at the lauch at the SoHo Theater. (click to enlarge)

“A big thing you’ll see soon is DMX functionality appearing on the ViSi remote, which will mean it is then essentially two control surfaces. So you could have one person working the audio from the console, while another tweaks the lights from an iPad. How far this will go, who knows, but it’s been an amazing journey so far.”

Using It Live
At the launch at the Soho Theater, front of house engineer Pete Freeman was at the helm of an Si Performer, controlling both audio and lighting for live performances by West End and Broadway leading lady Kerry Ellis as well as top cover duo The Beatniks.

Pete Freeman working sound and lights on the Si Performer at the launch. (click to enlarge)

Freeman utilized 15 audio channels, four monitor mixes, and four FX engines, as well as four lighting master cues controlling eight LED par cans and six long-nose projection lamps and par cans, which were triggered on cue during speeches by Trott and Ayres between the acts.

“I love this desk,” Freeman says. “The VCAs, and the fact you can label the channel screen was enough to make me happy. But then when you add in the extra eight inputs on the 24 to make it a 32-channel console, and then add the four layers of completely flexible patching and increased stereo group configuration, it made me even more happy. And then add a completely new dimension with the lighting control – you have to be impressed.

“Not that I’ve ever aspired to be a ‘lampy,’ but this desk does prove that it isn’t rocket science!”

Paul Watson is the editor for Europe for ProSoundWeb and Live Sound International.

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