Soundcraft SI Performer 2 review
Our verdict and review summary
Our checkboxes are all satisfied here, with plenty of i/o, a helpful digital interface, and use cases for both studio and live situations. Though the lighting control might make it a better option for live sound. For an experienced sound tech it's also fairly intuitive and easy to use.
When choosing a sound control console (commonly called a “sound mixer board”), let’s first agree that there are four basic features that are important to take into consideration. We'll cover these features first, then get into some of the specifics of the Si Performer 2 mixing console.
If you have questions, feel free to hit us up in the comments section below, and I'll help out as much as possible.
Quantity and type of inputs needed
This includes microphones, external audio devices such as an MP3 player or HDMI computer inputs, XLR ¼” combi jacks, and future expansion capabilities.
Digital interface capability
Remote mixing with a computer or tablet, ability to save presets, digital effects capability, etc.
Studio or live mixing
Each venue requires a different sound; the Studio typically warrants an intimate sound very dependent on fine details whereas a live mix requires the discernment of sound for hundreds if not thousands of pairs of ears, not just your own.
Ease of use
Can a seasoned pro use the mixer without a difficult learning curve? Is it hard to work with? Learning curves for advanced boards like the Si Performer are always going to be a bit steep, but they shouldn't be outside the reach of someone who is comfortable working with pro audio gear.
Soundcraft Series and how it measures up
Soundcraft has been a popular choice of professional sound managers over the last 40 years. The Si series, first introduced in 2015, is one of their most innovative compact consoles which meets and exceeds the above criteria. There are many levels of this series, from the Impact to the Expression 3.
Let’s review the requirements mentioned earlier, and compare the Si 2’s basic ability to meet or exceed them.
This section has live pricing for the Si Performer 2, as well as the 1st, and 3rd versions.
Prices updated on Wed, June 07th, 2023.
- The Soundcraft Si 2 series is incredibly flexible when marrying to inputs and outputs.
- 24 locking XLR (external line return) mic-line inputs each including phantom power.
- 8 ¼” Audio Input Cables (to plug in such devices as headphones, guitars, additional console outputs, etc.).
- HIQ Ethernet Port for digital control.
- The capability to expand via the 32/32 connect expansion slot.
- Channel delay for time alignment, displayed as time or distance.
- Pan Control – Allowing distribution of sound across the stereo or surround spectrum. For example, more sound in right channel and less sound in central channel.
- LR switch for assigning separate channels to the master. For example, independent drum inputs might want to be sent to a master drum switch.
- Variable time delay per channel or bus.
- The main board has the ability to expand its capabilities by connecting to a second Impact Board or a remote Soundcraft Stage Box, enabling the control of remote stage inputs from the main board.
- Expansion also available via remote expansion cards (such as the ABS/EBU and the Optical MADI cards) to allow the building of your own Stage Box.
- The Si 2 (as well as 3) has built in digital capabilities.
- Through Soundcraft’s HIQNet (Harmon Network interface) the Si series can communicate via ethernet to remote computer locations for control (backstage, etc).
- Through Soundcraft’s VISIConnect, the app can be downloaded from Apple or a PC allowing wireless connection to the main board for sound balancing throughout a room. This also allows special effects to be downloaded and controlled, as well as the saving of programs on an iPad or PC.
Studio or live environment
- With 4-band equalizers on every channel and bus, gaining an intimate OR live sound is quick and easy.
- PAN Control described earlier allows the live auditorium distribution of sound to be controlled through assigning of groups, or the centralization of sounds (instruments, effects, etc.) for recording studio purposes.
- Digital control allows the introduction of sounds and effects for in-studio work (reverb, external sounds such as birds chirping or sampled instrumental enhancements) or live auditorium sounds (ex: thunder or earthquake for theatrical productions).
Ease of use
- All controls are an arms reach away (quick response capabilities)
- Faders have motorized capability (allowing for programmable preset)
- Faders have illuminated fader track colors to provide such things as
- At-a-Glance color coded status info on what the fader is controlling (aux send, graphic EQ, etc)
- At-a-glance multi-color LED coded status give you a clear look at levels as well as providing a “scribble strip” for quick annotations.
Review wrap up
In reviewing the above Si Series 2, it's easy to see why this versatile yet affordable mixing console can be used in many applications, while satisfying the main tenets required above.
The easy and intuitive console with capability to interface remotely and/or digitally opens the door to a world of better sound distribution.
It's a good fit for churches, live bands with 500-1000 audience size, and mid-level recording studios.
If you have questions, leave them in the comments section and we'll help out.
Written by Bobby Kittleberger on Mixers & Roundups
Comment Policy: You're down to leave a comment? That's awesome. Keep in mind that comments are moderated and rel="nofollow" is in use. Please avoid any spammy keywords or a domain as your name, otherwise your comment will be deleted. Let's stay on topic, keep questions relevant and have a meaningful conversation. All the best.