Soundcraft Si Expression 3
It’s the largest of the three consoles in the series, but with a size of only 6.7 x 36.5 x 20.5 inches (h x w x d), it still falls into the “compact” category for sure.
The Si Expression 3 offers 66 inputs to 32 mix channels as well as 4 layers and a color touch screen. Twenty aux buses, 14 mix buses, and 8 matrix provide lots of routing options, and the 4 multi FX units present a variety of processing.
The 32 onboard mic/line inputs and 16 outputs allow connections at the console and additional inputs and outputs can be interfaced by using the ViSi Connect stage boxes that allow remote placement of ins and outs.
A really handy feature is the Direct Out Gain Stabilizer, which prevents manual change of a mic gain affecting direct output levels when two consoles share a stage box, or when recording the channel direct outputs.
Soundcraft Si Expression FaderGlow
Another aspect of this console that makes a mix engineer’s job a bit less stressful is FaderGlow. It illuminates the fader slots according to function, making it easy to tell what function is currently assigned to each fader.
And, an Si BLU link option card provides a convenient interface with the dbx PCM personal monitoring system.
Looks can indeed be deceiving. While measuring a miniscule 9 x 19 x 22.7 inches, the SD11 has tons of features often seen only in a larger frame size. It offers a large 15-inch, full-color TFT LCD touch-sensitive screen, 12 full-length motorized faders, along with 32 processing channels and as well as 8 full Flexi channels and 12 Flexi buses. There’s also the ability to simultaneously record up to 56 channels direct to multi-track software or DAW.
DiGiCo SD11 Waves SoundGrid capability
With 16 mic/line XLR inputs and 8 XLR outputs onboard, the SD11 could be used as a stand-alone console or can connect to any of the DiGiCo remote stage racks for additional inputs. The Optocore option allows the connectivity with the DiGiCo racks in a redundant loop for extra reliability.
I also really like the ability to integrate plug-ins by using the optional DiGiCo SoundGrid module linked to an external PC server. This provides the user with instant access to 16 low-latency Waves stereo Multi Racks, each with the ability to have up to 8 plug-ins per rack.
Making its debut just a few months ago, the SL3 is an extremely compact rig comprised of three units: an HDX-powered processing engine running AAX plug-ins and VENUE software, a compact control surface, and a scalable remote stage rack.
Avid S3L networking, AAX, and 2-track record/playback
In addition to all the input and output connections on the stage box, both the processing engine and control surface provide a variety of analog and digital ins/outs giving the user lots of interface options. The control surface measures 2.8 x 28 x 14.3 inches but still manages to offer up a lot of control options, including 16 motorized faders in 6 bankable layers and 32 touch-sensitive rotary encoders.
The S3L allows up to 64 input channels, 24 aux buses, LCR main outputs, 8 mono matrixes and 8 VCAs. Again, recording and playback stand out, with up to 64 channels of audio over an AVB network without the need for a Pro Tools interface, and 2-track recording and playback over USB also supported.