This week Soundcraft announced the launch of its Vi Version 4.8 software—a substantial new update for Soundcraft Vi2, 4 and 6 consoles. Version 4.8 software contains a number of significant new features, with stage monitor applications in particular set to benefit most from the update. Vi1 users also benefit from some of the new features, using the same update file, downloadable free of charge from the Soundcraft website. Some of the new features may require the purchase of additional DSP cards for Vi2, 4 and 6 consoles.
The most significant of the new features is the upgrade of the bussing system on Vi2, 4 and 6 to allow all 32 of the console’s mix busses to work in stereo mode when required — without stealing any other busses — to allow use as in-ear mixes. In addition, a new source selection switch has been implemented that allows each individual aux or group bus send from channels to be sourced from four different points in the signal path—post-fade, post-EQ & Dynamics, pre-Dynamics but post-EQ, and pre-EQ & Dynamics (existing software only allows the first two of these points to be selected). Other features include stereo mode for Matrix busses (including up to eight stereo Matrices on the Vi1), post-fade insert points for automixer insertion on Vi2, 4 and 6, and coloured channel label backgrounds. A new enhanced Aux VCA system allows monitor engineers to selectively use VCA mixing within a monitor mix.
In order to benefit from the new audio features, Vi2, 4 and 6 consoles must have at least three DSP cards fitted to the Local Rack. Consoles with only two DSP cards fitted will require the purchase of a third DSP card in order to benefit from the new audio features and in this case will need to choose using an ‘Expansion Mode’ switch between 96 inputs and the old bussing system, or 64 inputs with the new bussing system. In order to have both 96 inputs and the new audio features, a fourth DSP card will need to be purchased.
Vi1 consoles will not receive the ‘All Busses can be mono or stereo’ feature, pre-fade Aux send options or post-fade insert point features, due to DSP restrictions.
A new Contribution Pan function allows each of the Matrix contribution signals, selectable from a multitude of sources including channel direct outs, bus and master outs and direct I/O patches, to be positioned within the Matrix bus’ stereo field.
Also for Vi1 consoles, V4.8 software allows increased flexibility of the Local I/O configuration, so for example one of the line out modules may be exchanged for a third Mic/line input module, giving a total of 48 mic ins and 16 line outs on the back of the console.
For all Vi consoles, it is now possible to select a bus mix as the external key input source for the Gate/Ducker on input channels. This allows more flexibility particularly when using the ducker to control ambient mics for a recording or in-ear monitor mix.