re: the Sony/MCI MXP 2916:
will try to answer your questions the best I can:
The MXP 2900 series of consoles is amongst the last MIC built boards-
the one I have originally shipped direct from the MCI Fla factory- which had been purchased by Sony.
Wonderful sounding and perfect for small footprint Pro Tools OTB summing-
It was originally conceived as a broadcast console to mix hi end broadcast audio to digital decks
such as Sony D2 and Digital Betacam-
I have not heard anything sweeter in that footprint (the 2916 is 33 inches wide) and I've worked on everything in NYC.
when you say it has VCA grouping, is that "channel linking" where you control all faders from their respective points together?
answer: yes exactly- It has the facility to do up to 4 separate VCA groups- depending on how many group faders your consoles is configured with- most of the MXP 2916's came fitted w/ 4 group faders- I left two in my set up and I swapped two of the group faders for two additional channel input modules. Can always put them back in.
As for the two stereo sub groups, are they assignable independent of the master stereo bus?
answer: yes- you have a flexible choice to send any channel to any or all of the two sub groups and/or stereo mix bus.
There are basically 3 buttons on each channel that allow you to select either or all of the stereo busses.
You say it has a multiple monitor function and a main mix out. How does this work?
answer: The console has facility to send to two different sets of monitors-
#1 a standard control room setup and #2 a separate "B" mix output-
there is also an output for what the manual refers to as "studio monitors (to differentiate from control room monitors) but it would be either the "A" mix or the "B" mix
I'm assuming the "16" in 2916 is a reference to the number of channels it has. I've seen this number change in my research. I'm really liking this Sony more and more, and especially at the price and footprint.
Could you send me a good photo of a channel strip and the master section? I've seen some pictures online but they're not that great.
answer will try to - busy for the next few days
And does this thing have mic pres in it or is it just a line mixer?
answer: yes- Sony/MCI originally offered the channel modules with or without mic pres-
My MXP 2916 is a 20 module frame -16 of which are input channels- the one I am using is set up as: 12 input channels w really sweet sounding mic pres, 2 stereo input channels without mic pres, two group modules, master module, monitor module, communication module, and dynamics module. The 2916 is a 20 module frame. The input channels for the MXP 2900 series were available with or without transformers- All the channels on the console I have do have the transformers-
that may be one of the reasons for the tone. The MXP 2900 series offered a choice between channel modules that had: two mono line inputs, or one mic and one line input, or stereo channel modules w 3 stereo line inputs.
I really like the mic pres on the MXP 2900- I ran a rough test on acoustic guitar finger picked- using the console mic pres vs. a Millennia HV3- using a basic AKG 414 - I thought the millennia had slightly nicer hi end definition/articulation-
but thought the Sony had very nice mids and harmonic warmth- just a personal opinion. in any case the Sony/MCI mic pres sounded great.
This board is a bit like discovering a cool little Mercedes sportscar that everyone seems to have overlooked -
Excellent MCI sound-w broadcast features that are very useful for composers doing splits or stem mixes. I have a feeling when the word gets out on these consoles- composers will be trying to get them- not sure how many Sony had built out of the MCI factory. reminder GET ONE W/ THE CONNECTORS.