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Soundcraft Signature 22 MTK Review - April 2016

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Re: Soundcraft Signature 22 MTK Review - April 2016

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 5:02 am
by mgshightech
I have one

I haven't tested the headphone or other auxilliary outputs.
otherwise, it performs as claimed. No obvious disaster problems for road use. The effects channels are not especially noisy, though they are just slightly hoaky (have heard worse). DSP algs need a lot of processing power to be really good, and I don't think this thing has that kind of hardware on board. BTW ... noise isn't something we expect from digital effects channels unless they are really trash, what we expect is Jitter .. which explains why I said they are slightly hoaky. If you are getting really wankly noise in the effects channels though, this might be caused by one of the parameter adjustment potentiometers not working properly. The parameter adjustment pots are really cool, but it dawned on me that if they had static in them, they could seriously screw up your effects channels. I wonder if they have low-pass filters attached to try and evade that potential problem. Having two effects channels is definitely an upgrade over some of our earlier gear. You can add each channel to each effect channel separately.

The digital signal is taken off just after the first gain stage. This is also where the digital return is injected. This means that you can record straight to your DAW with nothing but the first gain stage between your device and the ADCs. (no analog eq).
If your instrument or mic needs much gain, then this thing won't make studio class recordings. IMO .. it has something like 10 DB too much noise. If you pre-amp anything requiring a lot of gain before you get it to the board, you may in fact get away with studio class recordings as you will be able to avoid using the initial gain stage. (in other words, if you don't turn that gain stage up, then it doesn't add much noise) The initial gain stage is going to be your studio/non-studio definer.

Have not yet tried the ghost pre-amps ... don't have appropriate mics (maybe later). We have a fine mic, but it uses its own pre. So I'm looking hard at pre-amps for that reason .. but also other reasons. For example .. guitar pre-amps often are designed to get a certain sound, or to add high class digital effects. a single guitar pre-amp may cost 3x more than this board however, depending on what you're after.

This board works fabulously with Linux (Ubuntu Studio) .. no problem .. no drivers required ... just plug and play ... however, only a few Linux sequencers will handle it. I suspect that many sequencers just weren't designed with that many channels in mind. Actually, so far, I could only get Tracktion7 and Waveform9 to properly behave on Linux. ... No biggie ... they're cheap and both great pieces of software that are good at handling plugins that will do a lot of the heavy lifting. Yes, I have recorded and played back on Linux .. multi-channel. To reduce latency, you may wish to switch a lot of the channels off. The high channel count clearly creates latency issues. This should be easy to do, since you probably don't need to return 22 channels of digital data. .. Also, a good cpu will be required ... bare minimum ... 4 core 2.8 ghz IMO. Also, if your digital channels are preconfigured for a sample rate different than what you set the sequencer to use, then you'll get extra latency problems because something somewhere is doing a sample rate conversion, and that requires extra time juggling.

There is some rumor of Ardor also working on linux with this ... but only if you specially compile it. I wouldn't waste the time ... Just do Tracktion7 (currently free) to prove that it works, and then purchase Waveform9 (later version) if you want to. Remember that those two software versions can't work on the same data.

Each channel has a switch that allows you to pass either the dry signal, or a return from the DAW. That is a really cool feature, and gives you opportunity to use your DAW to add effects. However, Tracktion7 and Waveform9 don't cooperate with this real time, since they only add effects to pre-recorded data. Other effect software may work. Sorry, haven't tried it yet.

I'm wondering if the pre-stage noise problem could be solved by replacing bad op-amps with more expensive ones .. but don't have an answer on this. .. One of the primary definers of op-amps is definitely their noise floor. I'm surprised that soundcraft would sacrifice so much potential value simply by using noisy pre-stage gain. It's almost like .... they want to force studios to buy much more expensive gear. but yeesh ... it's like great op-amps are available for <$5 each so, it may be possible to convert this to studio gear for $100 .. but sorry, don't have the answer on this yet. .. and am leery of opening it up while still under warranty.

OK ... that's all folks

Re: Soundcraft Signature 22 MTK Review - April 2016

PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2019 12:15 am
by Wacka
Just stumbled upon this post.
I myself have owned the Signature 10 for about 6 months now and I'm struggling with the effects.They just dont sound very good.
it's either swimming in reverb or not enough and rather muddy, I just can't get them right and I am constantly tweeking, often on stage.Don't know what i'm doing wrong.