In this week’s Product Focus, Commercial Integrator Europe catches up with Sean Karpowicz, product manager, Soundcraft Studer to find out what’s behind Soundcraft’s new Signature 22MTK and Signature 12MTK analogue mixing consoles

The Soundcraft Signature 22MTK and Signature 12MTK are all-in-one consoles designed to make it easy to both record and mix musical performances.

Featuring 22 and 12 input channels, respectively, with integrated multi-track USB interfaces, the consoles are particularly suited for recording live gigs and studio rehearsals, mixing a band, producing a demo, integrating pre-recorded playback with live performance or remixing previous multi-track recordings.

Talk us through the Signature 22MTK and Signature 12MTKs’ functions

Sean: Firstly, the Signature Series is much more than just the Signature 12MTK and Signature 22MTK. The Signature Series has four standard series models: Signature 10, 12, 16 and 22. These are touring-grade analogue consoles with some of the most legendary Soundcraft analogue circuits ever: the Ghost Mic Preamp, Sapphyre Asymmetic EQ and GB series audio routing. There are a ton of other cool things about the Signature Series as well: dbx limiters on inputs, Lexicon FX, 100mm faders and four-band EQ on 16, 22 and 22MTK.

The difference between the Signature and Signature MTKs lies in the USB interface: the standard series models have a two-in/two-out USB interface. The two-channels of USB in comes in on a full input channel with a fader, rather than just a return. This gives you full EQ, aux routing, subgroup routing and of course a proper fader. The USB-out on the standard series Signature models has a switch that allows you to choose between sending the Mix L-R or Aux 1-2 for a dedicated recording level.

The Signature MTKs have a multi-track USB interface. The Signature 12MTK has a 14-in/12-out USB interface and the Signature 22MTK has a 24-in/22-out USB interface. The way this works is as follows: all the inputs (mic pres and line/Hi-Z inputs) send from a computer down the USB channel of the same number (Channel one -> USB1, Channel two -> USB2, and so on) all the time.

This allows recording of all the inputs from the lovely-sounding Ghost preamps directly into your DAW. Additionally, the Mix L-R sends it’s signal down USB 13/14 on the Signature 12MTK and USB 23/24 on the Signature 22MTK. The USB out from your computer can be sent into the Signature MTKs as well. On each input channel there is a USB Return switch that then brings the USB from the computer into that mixing channel.

This topology allows for a lot of options in the studio and in live environments. In the studio: you can record using the Ghost Mic pres into your DAW. Then mix with all your plugins in you DAW, do your automation, etc, then send the channels back into the Signature MTK and use it’s analogue summing bus to get fantastic, warm analogue sound and bring it back into your DAW summed.

In live environments: you can multi-track a live band, you can mix playback/pre-recorded music/click tracks with the live performance, or you can even use VST plugins live! Plug up your mics into the Ghost mic pres, send your USB inputs into you DAW, add your plugins, then hit the USB return switches to bring it back into the Signature MTK.

What technologies do the consoles use?

Sean: The Signature Series are analogue mixing consoles with traditional analogue mixing console controls and features. The USB interfaces provide ultra-low latency operation via ASIO drivers on PC and CoreAudio compliant drivers on Mac.

In terms of the analogue bits on the Signature Series, never before have we packed so much of our heritage in to one console. You have three of the most sought after aspects of our analogue consoles through the years (Ghost mic pre, Sapphyre EQ, and GB series routing) all on one console and at amazing value. And with the addition of dbx limiters and Lexicon FX, you have a powerful analogue solution that can rival the signal processing of a digital console.

How easy are they to set up?

 
Sean: It’s as easy as plugging in the mains. Plugging in your mics/instruments and whacking up the faders. For the USB operation: simply connect a USB cable from the Signature Series console to your computer. Load your DAW (Signature Series comes with Ableton Live Lite as a free download). Configure your USB inputs and outputs in your computer, and you are all set.

What particular type of customers/applications can benefit from these products?

 

Sean: The standard series Signature Series consoles are fantastic for installations and portable PA applications in live sound. They have tour/install-grade construction and build quality with rackmounting options for Signature 10, 12, 12MTK and 16.

The Signature 12MTK and 22MTK are also great for live sound applications in both install and portable PA, but are also right at home for home/project studios and even live performance thanks to the flexibility of the multi-track USB interface. In the studio: get your songs tracked using the Signature Series MTK’s lovely-sounding Ghost mic preamps, then we you are ready to mix it down, bring your stems back through the Signature Series MTK for analogue summing back into your DAW.

And in live performance, the Signature Series MTKs can provide an analogue mixing console that can combine playback/pre-recorded tracks/loops from your DAW with live instruments and synths: this is especially great for electronic musicians who have analogue synths and outboard equipment and also employ a DAW/production software such as Ableton Live, Reason, Renoise or others.

How do installers get involved? Is there training/technical support available on the product?

 

We will have application guides, tutorials, and support available when the Signature Series consoles are available in March.

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