Soundcraft FX16ii Mixing Desk review

Cost:  Used – £300 – £500

Key Features:26 inputs 

  • 16 mono microphone channels.
  • 4 stereo returns
  • 4-bus architecture, with sub-group routable to mix
  • Built-in 24 bit Lexicon digital effects processor
  • 32 FX settings
  • Tap Tempo
  • 3 FX parameter adjust rotaries
  • User FX settings store function
  • Direct outputs for multi-track recording individually switch-able for pre-post-fade operation
  • Inserts on all mono channels
  • Inserts on stereo mix output
  • Classic Soundcraft 3-band EQ with swept mid-band
  • Stereo 18dB/octave 100Hz high-pass filter
  • Dual global +48V phantom power split channels 1-8 and 9-16
  • Channel Mute control
  • 10-segment tri-coloured metering
  • Two sub-group outputs
  • Separate mono sum output
  • Integral universal power supply

This was the first truly professional mixer that I ever bought – previously I’d had baby Mackie desks, but the Soundcraft is a serious step up from that, in both build, and sound quality.

16 High quality pre-amps, line in, inserts, sub group sends, the works – this desk really does have a massive number of options open to the user.  It comes in a neat 10U package, so it fits in the top of a standard DJ rack or rolling desk rack.

Sound Quality:   One of the things which really hits you with this desk is the warmth of the sound which comes out of it.  Mics sound well balanced, and instruments blend easily together – there’s none of the top end roll-off that you get with cheaper desks.  The sweepable EQ makes equalising a doddle.

Package:   The perfect package for functions band!  10U footprint, fits in a standard DJ rack – and can be left wired into amps etc.   This is a big deal, as it takes a five minute period of wiring and plugging in away from your setup time.  When you’re doing this week in, week out, this stuff is important!

Conclusion:  This is a professional standard desk, accessible to the amateur market – and with the onset of digital, used prices are coming down!   If you don’t need all of the fancy functionality of a digital desk, this is a great piece of kit to learn on, and will serve you well.  It’s brilliantly well built, sounds great, and is easy for any incoming engineer to adapt to.

Also consider:  Allen and Heath MixWiz

Links:
Soundcraft Info Page
Sweetwater Reviews
Video Reviews

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