Audio Review: Soundcraft FX16ii
Mar 1, 2009 12:00 PM, By John McJunkin
A small-format mixer with the capacity to do multitrack recording.
As is customarily the case with Soundcraft products, this mixer's construction is very solid. I would submit that this is a major reason why contractors and integrators choose such consoles — sheer roadworthiness and solidity. The fact that it's rackmountable is yet another big plus for contractors and integrators. The rear I/O panel can swivel to face the back in a vertical rackmount application, and it's not terribly difficult to make that happen. The controls feel pretty solid, with just the slightest bit of wobble in the knobs.
The onboard Lexicon effects are great, but don't expect the sound of a Lexicon Pro 960L. Short of saddling the buyer with the expense of a menu-driven user interface and displays, Soundcraft opted for a simple control panel that is quite clever. There are four knobs. One is a 16-position rotary switch that determines which program is engaged. The other three are soft knobs with different functionality for different programs. For example, the Adjust1 knob, as it's known, determines pre-delay for all the reverbs; Adjust2 determines decay time for all the reverbs; and Adjust3 determines either liveliness, diffusion, or “boing” for the various reverbs. Similarly, these knobs adjust delay times, feedback, and decay for delay programs, and so on. Some delays use ducking to push the repeats down under the dry signal, and the tape-delay emulation has a smear control to achieve a reasonably convincing emulation of the signal degradation that tape delays exhibit in feedback. Another nicety is a tap tempo button, making it easy to nail the right delay time. One last crafty convention of this interface is that each adjust knob has an LED that indicates a null point, at which the program is recalled from storage — quite efficient.
The Soundcraft FX16ii is solidly built and flexible in its signal routing. The mic pres sound great, and the EQ cutoff frequencies are very functional. The onboard effects are very good as well, and they add quite a bit of usefulness to the mixer. Considering the value of an external Lexicon processor and the quality of the pure mixing functionality of this device, I would submit that it's a great overall value for the money and worthy of consideration.
John McJunkin is the principal of Avalon Podcasting in Chandler, Ariz. He has consulted in the development of studios and installations, and he provides high-quality podcast-production services.
- Company: Soundcraft
- Product: FX16ii
- Pros: Well built; flexible signal routing; great effects.
- Cons: No polarity switch on each channel.
- Applications: Live music, conferences, schools, houses of worship.
- Price: $1,079
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