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Soundcraft Vienna II for recording???? Consoles
Old 1st April 2008
Lives for gear

Soundcraft Vienna II for recording????

I have a line on one...but it is a FOH console...would this be a good console for my project studio? What would it compare to...used for far as Soundcrafts such as the 6000, etc.

Seems pretty loaded, but would I have any use for the VCA groups etc?

Many thanks!
Old 1st April 2008
Lives for gear

sorry for the btt but I need to decide on this asap.

Old 2nd April 2008
One with big hooves
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
I believe I've mixed on a Vienna once... it's one of their higher end live desks, WAY beyond the "Series 600-800" desks but not equal to the Europa... sort of in-between. Should be big & solid... heavy & overbuilt! I don't know the 6000 too well if at all, I'd guess that in terms of sonics & build quality it's going to be closest to something like the DC desks... maybe even in terms of age.

Regardless... yeah... it's a FOH desk so the routing would be a little funky... but it should have direct outs and the line-ins will have a HUGE range on them... full pad, polarity... EQ... transformers on the mic amps? Dunno about that... VCA groups are good. Mute groups are good... I like 'em but I'm kind of old-school like that and rely on "tape & Sharpie" automation for somethings even if the desk I'm HAS automation! You can assign whatever channels to want to a VCA group... say 12 channels of drums & 10 FX returns... 7 tracks of guitars etc. each to their own VCA and turn 'em all up & down... sort of like a buss fader... but not because the audio isn't passing...

It might also have an onboard computer that will follow MTC and/or SMPTE... keep in synch with the lighting & other cues...

I'd assume that with a good, well-thought out patchbay it'd work really well for mixing... just use the line-inputs and some outboard pres for tracking... or being willing to patch & repatch.

If it was cheap enough... and not driven into the ground it might be perfect for your needs. At least it'll be huge, modular & monolithic... easy to fix!!! Does it have a spare PSU, case & doghouse?
Old 2nd April 2008
Lives for gear

Dear Jay,

MANY thanks for your reply!
Yes, it is BIG at around 7 feet long. It came out of a broadcasting situation so it seems to be clean compared to a touring unit. No case or doghouse, no spare PSU. It dates from around 1998.

It has 8 mute groups and 8 VCA's with the optional "grandmaster" VCA strip. I have never used VCA's before and I dont really know what the advantage is over using regular old groups.....could you please explain???

The eq looks mighty powerful...4 band, all swept (semi-para) with switchable shelf/bell on lo and hi, and switchable Q on the hi and lo al 20Hz to 20 Khz.... swept hi-pass 20 Hz to 400 Hz.......there are 8 aux sends, and 8 stereo return channels.

Any additional feedback urgently needed.
Old 26th August 2018
Gear Addict

Just as "well" ...

as the console have vca circuits on channels

it is possible you do not like as it sound

and about there is some thread here around
from members

that have done some comparison
with no good feedback about

if you need full clean audio quality
stay away from vca ,

(a.k.a : cheap automation..)

reason why the moving fader still is the best one
(for the analog audio)

ps :
when vca automation for audio signal control
arrived on pro audio "planet"
was well received
because much less expensive than moving fader type
(because no motorized mechanical parts required ,
only "ic" and software)
suitable for :
post production ,
broadcasting with live music performance transmission ,
and some live concert ,
without big budget .
Old 27th August 2018
Lives for gear

very capable desk, one of the better offerings from soundcraft - vca's are not that bad and if you don't like/use them, you can bypass them. on such a desk, you might only use them to group some channels (say drums) to bring them down for a loud song so not much degarading of the signals will occur (while using vca automation indeed would be less desirable than using motorfaders - but i assume you'll use automation inside your daw anyway).

it's too long ago since i got to work on a vienna so i cannot remember whether the pres (or the vca's) were a bit noisy (compared to cleaner designs altogether) but these desks stayed in use in some theatres around here for quite a few years (before getting replaced with lesser quality digital desks which again got replaced with much better digital desks but at far higher costs).
not the best pick if you're mostly in classical music recording/mixing, good choice for anything else (deepending on price though)
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