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TECHNOLOGY REVIEW


1 platform. We also wanted to add more network capabilities so by building in the 64-channel Dante interface as standard, we now off er the customer two additional option card slots, therefore they can choose more easily what confi guration they want to use, maybe a stagebox, an external hard disc recorder or the new Soundcraft Realtime Rack plug-in engine, among other options.


Where does it fi t within the Vi range and who are the primary end users? T e Vi3000 is the next phase in extending the Vi family to users that have not been able to use a Vi before. T e Vi3000 sits above the ‘all-in-one-box’ Vi1, based on fi rst shipments in the past two months, we are seeing it go into mid-sized tours, 3,000-person-sized clubs, performing arts centres, houses of worship, and mid-sized theatres.


(L-R) Soundcraft marketing director Keith Watson, Simon Allen, Vi series product manager Andy Brown


Jory MacKay talks to Vi Series senior product manager Andy Brown about the inspiration behind the Vi3000.


Tell me a bit about the design process of the Vi3000 – how long ago did the development process start and what, if anything, spurred the decision? T e inspiration for the Vi3000 came from customer feedback, market pricing and already having two successful platforms in the form of the Vi4 and the Studer Vista 1, which allowed us to fast-track the development of the Vi3000. T e overall programme took less than 12 months from concept to shipping.


Were there any specifi c demands from users that you tried to address during the design? Yes, many Vi users particularly value the patented Vistonics II user interface and along with FaderGlow, this provides the fastest and easiest console interface on the market, so we improved it! We’ve added ‘3D’ icons and made colour changes that make the four touchscreens even easier to use providing 24-channel views at all times. Customers often want to connect a stagebox, others want to have local I/O on the console, so we’ve made both possible and built in the new SpiderCore DSP and I/O engine based on the Studer Vista


of Realtime Rack and the ability of saving plug-in settings with showfi les, the Vi3000 also off ers HiQnet control and VM2


wireless


microphone monitoring. VM2 shows the engineer important information such as RF and battery levels, which is really clear on the Vistonics displays.


USER POWER


T e Vistonics concept is to have maximum visibility of everything that is going on in your mix(es) and to have direct access to all functions, which is why many consider the Vi series to have the closest resemblance to the traditional analogue console layout and it allows even untrained users the ability to get up and running in a matter of minutes. Vistonics is simple and eff ective, which


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is so important in the live sound world. It can be too easy with some other consoles on the market, to get lost in menus and for the set-up to take too long. If you’re a hire company that wants to off er a digital console that any engineer will be able to use, or a company that does many diff erent shows in diff erent venues (often with little set- up time) then the Vi series are a good choice. As well as the simplicity


of Vistonics, Soundcraft also off ers all the other services associated with pro digital consoles such as off -line showfi le editing. An iPad app called ViSi is also available for remote control of the consoles from anywhere in the venue. T is can be ideal for setting monitor levels on the stage, or listening


T e digital live console market is quite a competitive one. What are some of the unique features that set the Vi3000 apart from the competition? T e Vi3000 features four Vistonics screens providing more channel visibility than any other digital console on the market; 3D graphics on all Vistonics touchscreens; FaderGlow providing coloured illuminations on fader strips identifying fader assignments; connection to the Soundcraft Realtime Rack of integrated plug-ins (collaboration with Universal Audio); the new SpiderCore processing from Studer; all-in-one local I/O and processing, which reduces footprint and weight and can plug straight into an existing installation multi- core; 96 mono/48 stereo inputs; 24 mono/stereo output busses; 48 in/16 out/ 4 AES local I/O; 1 MADI (64 channel); and 1 or 2 64-channel stageboxes.


T e Vi3000 is the fi rst Soundcraft desk to incorporate a Dante interface – how did that decision come about? We’ve had a Dante interface on our Si and Vi ranges for a while, but this is the fi rst time it’s been built in as standard, part of the reason is we are transport agnostic, so if the customer wants it, we’ll try to supply it. It also makes both fl exible option slots available for the customer to choose what he or she wants to use them for, rather than having to use one for Dante.


How has the response been since the launch? ‘Overwhelming’ we’ve had the factory on double shifts to meet the fi rst few weeks’ demand and more orders are confi rming its popularity.


to the mix from diff erent vantage points.


CONCLUSION


T e Vi3000 has done more than fi ll a gap in the already successful line of professional products from Soundcraft. It sets a new level of integration via endless I/O options and control features. Combine this with the refi ned looks and graphics and this is an extremely versatile console with a lot to off er straight out of one box. I think there are many customers who have been waiting for this product and possibly don’t even realise it yet. T e Vistonics method of working is simple yet professional, and deserves more attention than it has so far, which the Vi3000 will help promote. T e fact that a hire company can stock


a single product for a vast number of applications, which can be operated by almost any engineer, shows that this


Simon Allen


is a full-time sound engineer and record producer. After a stint as senior engineer at City Studios in Cyprus where he headed up the new music studio, he can now mostly be found at Woodbury Studios in Hertfordshire.


INFORMATION


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www.soundcraft.com June 2014 37


is a safe investment for which buyers can be sure to receive long-term support from a well-respected brand. 


The Reviewer


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