Helpful ReplySoundcraft Signature MTK

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jb101
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2016/05/18 07:24:21 (permalink)

Soundcraft Signature MTK

Experience so far.

Pre amps and EQ sound great.

Build quality exeptional for price.

To answer some of the questions I've been asked on other threads, I have tried these tests.

Sample rate 44.1
Bit depth 24
ASIO buffer size 128 samples
Total round trip latency 9.8 msec

I played a previously recorded instrumental - 30 odd tracks, audio and SITs. Many effects and processors. I looped it and left it playing for half hour. No drop outs or glitches.

I recorded 12 tracks simultaneously- demo songs from 2 synths, demo song from DTExplorer, guitar and 3 mics. Sounded diabolical, but recorded fine, no drop outs.

It's great being able to record a song into Sonar, then run the tracks back through the MTK's channels, EQs etc, and record the MTK's Master back into Sonar. Analog summing, and using the great sounding EQs. I like the results a lot.

So far my impressions are all positive - I can't believe what you get for the money. A great desk, nice preamps, great sounding EQ, Dbx limiters, comprehensive routing.. I haven't had chance to play with the built in Lexicon FX yet.

And a 14 in, 12 out interface, that so far seems to be solid.

My initial concern about not having any inserts was groundless. It is so easy to route stuff so that it records both the clean and processed tracks.

Loving it.
 
edited to correct interfering iPad "correction"
post edited by jb101 - 2016/05/18 10:33:02

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Sir William
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Re: Soundcraft Signature MTK 2016/05/18 10:04:19 (permalink)
Sounds like a good buy. Can you use it as a control surface in Sonar? For example, can the desk faders control the channel faders in Sonar?

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musicroom
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Re: Soundcraft Signature MTK 2016/05/18 10:04:28 (permalink)
Thanks for the review JB! I've been interested in one of these for a while. I was set to buy one last year when soundcraft had some manufacturing delays. Still, it might be something I pick up...

 
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jb101
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Re: Soundcraft Signature MTK 2016/05/18 10:14:19 (permalink)
Sir William
Sounds like a good buy. Can you use it as a control surface in Sonar? For example, can the desk faders control the channel faders in Sonar?



No

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Sir William
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Re: Soundcraft Signature MTK 2016/05/18 10:19:47 (permalink)
Thanks JB - for the review and reply. It's still worth the money though I reckon.

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FLZapped
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Re: Soundcraft Signature MTK 2016/05/19 10:39:03 (permalink)
The MTKs won't work as a control surface, they are analog consoles with a built-in multi-channel USB converter. Very inexpensive way to get multi-channel record and playback, though. Especially for those who want to record their band live.
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Sir William
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Re: Soundcraft Signature MTK 2016/05/19 10:45:39 (permalink)
Thanks FLZapped. I was expecting a lot from such a nicely priced desk. I will still buy one soon though I'm sure. I can see this desk and playlists in a live performance with various tracks playing back through it on their own channels :)

Sonar - Platinum (always up to date)
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Rack FX - TC Helicon Voiceworks Plus, TC Electronics M300
MIDI - M AUDIO Keystation PRO 88, Focusrite Scarlett 8i6, Roland UM-ONE Mk 2, Yamaha MU100R
 
Microphones - sE X1, AT 2035, Neumann TLM102
Monitors - Yamaha NS7, ATH-M50 'Phones
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soens
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Re: Soundcraft Signature MTK 2016/05/20 14:40:56 (permalink)
I am now torn between this and the UFX1204 which sends 16 channels @96/24. Too soon for someone to do a comparison review I guess.
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jb101
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Re: Soundcraft Signature MTK 2016/05/20 18:26:39 (permalink)
The MTK does 96/24, I just don't.

I did look at the Behringer, but several things swayed me to the MTK.

Firstly, it was Soundcraft, not Behringer. I have used Soundcraft desks for years, both live and recording. They are great quality, hard wearing and sound good. I know it will last.

Also, the MTK has so any great things from the Harmon group of companies. The ghost pres are from a much more expensive desk, and sound great. Limiters on two channels by dbx. Fx by Lexicon. The asymmetric EQ, etc. It's such a great "stable".

My only concern was the drivers, and they seem good. The only drop out I have had was caused by my wifi card, which would happen with any interface running at 128 samples.

The Behringer seemed to have "more stuff", but I guess I went for quality over quantity. I think I made the right choice.

It might be worth finding somewhere where you can physically check out the two. You may have to wait as the dealers I spoke to said they didn't have enough Soundcrafts to use one as a demo. You could still check out the normal Signature 12, as they're nearly identical apart from the 14/12.
post edited by jb101 - 2016/05/20 21:40:05

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jb101
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Re: Soundcraft Signature MTK 2016/05/20 21:15:20 (permalink)
Is the UFX1204 the one that can record straight to a usb stick? I do think that is a cool feature.

There are several things that I would like to add/change on the MTK that you can do on the Behringer. I guess it all comes down to price. If the MTK did everything I wanted, it would cost 5 times as much.

I would like to be able to choose whether the signal goes to usb before or after the EQ. Or have inserts, etc. Each one can be worked around, though, and you still have a nice desk

The Behringer can do some amazing stuff, though.

edited to correct darn phone spelling correction..
post edited by jb101 - 2016/05/20 21:37:27

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soens
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Re: Soundcraft Signature MTK 2016/05/21 03:00:10 (permalink)
Like I said, I'm torn. Not sure if I need an onboard recorder but it would be nice if I ever take it mobile, tho it's only 48/24.

Thats good news about the spirit being 96/24. All I could find on it was 48/24. Soundcraft could do better on specs disclosure, as they all could.
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soens
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Re: Soundcraft Signature MTK 2016/05/21 03:03:58 (permalink)
(double post )
post edited by soens - 2016/05/27 03:12:52
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jb101
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Re: Soundcraft Signature MTK 2016/05/21 03:20:46 (permalink)
Let me check the 96 thing. You have me doubting it now. 😊

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soens
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Re: Soundcraft Signature MTK 2016/05/21 05:28:21 (permalink)
According to the Spirit manual only the 2 way USB does 96 (44 thru 192) @16 & 24bit. The multitrack USB only does 44 & 48 @16 & 24bit.
 
My bad on their specs disclosure. It's more detailed than some.
 
I always dnld the manuals and pour over them before buying. Unfortunately I don't have a local source to check any of them out. Good thing for mail order 30 day returns.
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soens
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Re: Soundcraft Signature MTK 2016/05/25 08:54:55 (permalink)
The Spirit is probably built better but I decided to try the UFX1204. It sounds great and really like the built in 16 ch interface which goes up to 96/24 though the stereo returns only go up to 48/24. It has most of all the features I want & is small enough to go mobile if I want to. I'm hoping it will replace the MOTU audio express which I find confusing at times.
 
 
Besides, the Spirit isn't available yet that I've seen. It's probably still going to the year & 1/2 waiting listers.
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soens
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Re: Soundcraft Signature MTK 2016/05/27 02:58:47 (permalink)
jb101
Sir William
Sounds like a good buy. Can you use it as a control surface in Sonar? For example, can the desk faders control the channel faders in Sonar?

No



Neither does the Xenyx UFX1204. However, I learned that since it has a built in 16 track recorder, the transport keys can be set up to control a DAW's transport thru MIDI, which is something I guess.
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canieves
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Re: Soundcraft Signature MTK 2016/06/29 00:45:14 (permalink)
How is the sound quality when playing Sonar tracks?  Can you send each instrument sound from Sonar separately for each mixer channel?  Can I use each channel with Sonar insert and a microphone connected at the same time?
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jb101
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Re: Soundcraft Signature MTK 2016/06/29 06:59:19 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby heidrich.lindsay 2017/09/04 06:56:30
canieves
How is the sound quality when playing Sonar tracks?  Can you send each instrument sound from Sonar separately for each mixer channel?  Can I use each channel with Sonar insert and a microphone connected at the same time?




Sound quality is great, really impressed - could do with a little more gain on the pre-amps, though.  The asymmetric EQ sounds lovely, as does everything else - Limiters, etc. It sounds truly nice when it is "pushed", too.
 
Yes, "you can send each instrument sound from Sonar separately for each mixer channel."
 
The return into the desk comes after the input and gain, and then travels down the channel, so does not affect the input stage.
 
It is really flexible.  The inputs and "returns" just show up as inputs and outputs in Sonar.  So you can have any channel's output sent to any track in Sonar, and any track in Sonar sent to any channel on the desk.
 
If I understand your last question correctly, then the answer is yes.  For example, if you had a microphone  plugged in to channel 1, you could set the input on any track to channel 1 (the signal would pass through the pre-amp, gain and dbx limiter, if it's on).  You could then either set that tracks output to channel 1, and the signal would return into the mixer and run through the EQ, Aux etc.   Alternatively you could set the output somewhere else, and set another track's output to channel !.  I am not sure when or why I would do this.
 
The possibilities are endless. When I first came across the mixer, I was worried that the set up would have too many limitations - no inserts, no direct outs, etc., but I was wrong.  The routing is fantastic, and almost every day I discover another possible set up.
 
When initially starting a piece, I tend to set the Master Out (in Sonar) to Channels 11/12, and the individual outs on the desk to any track in Sonar - I tend to route those tracks to the Master (via any busses in Sonar).  Here it works as just a great 12/14 input Audio Interface with nice pre-amps, and under 5 msecs of roundtrip latency.  It is as stable as a rock.
 
Later I can route a track in sonar back into the desk if I want to take advantage of the EQ, etc.
 
When mixing I can mix the track in Sonar, route the tracks back into the desk (or use busses if there are more tracks than channels) and use it just for analogue summing, and send the master out on the MTK back into Sonar to record the stereo "Master".
 
I can also choose to mix the piece live on the desk (the group tracks are great for this), and send that back into Sonar.
 
You can also route tracks back into the MTK to take advantage of the Lexicon FX.  I have not had the chance to explore these yet, though.
 
Sorry for the long, rambling essay of a reply.  I could write for days about the possibilities with the Aux channels, the grouping channels (very use, and all the normal advantages of using an analogue mixer.
 
Hope some of that helps.  feel free to ask anything else.  I highly recommend the MTK for the money.
 
 

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canieves
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Re: Soundcraft Signature MTK 2016/06/29 19:58:03 (permalink)
Thanks for the information.  One more question; Is the Soundcraft MTK sound board quality means that it can replace a Roland sound module for playing midi files from Sonar with the same instruments sound quality?
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soens
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Re: Soundcraft Signature MTK 2016/07/01 19:55:38 (permalink)
jb101
The return into the desk comes after the input and gain, and then travels down the channel, so does not affect the input stage.
 

 
Does that mean it can be mixed with the signal from the mixer's channel input or is the input muted?
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heidrich.lindsay
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Re: Soundcraft Signature MTK 2017/09/03 06:38:04 (permalink)
Semi Zombie thread.
I just received a Soundcraft Signature 12 from Sweetwater and am enjoying it so far. But one thing i don't understand is that i'm able to adjust panning in my monitors but the headphone mix is all mono with the panning controls having no bearing on the routes. Any thoughts on how to correct?
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Cactus Music
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Re: Soundcraft Signature MTK 2017/09/05 01:03:13 (permalink)
Are you using SOLO, Solo is Mono, The main output without SOLO enraged should be stereo. 
Study the owners manual for detail of how routing works. 

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heidrich.lindsay
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Re: Soundcraft Signature MTK 2017/09/07 17:19:49 (permalink)
Thanks I've been working with it for about a week and have a beginning understanding of the routing and that's making things a lot easier. Managed to figure out the headphone mix as well.
 
I have noticed the input signal into the DAW is very low and wondering if that's something I can adjust. I know it's ok in a digital environment but seems strange. I'm tracking bedroom level guitar through a cloudlifter into the Sig12 and I have to crank both the pre and the fader to get any kind of readable signal.
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Cactus Music
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Re: Soundcraft Signature MTK 2017/09/07 18:25:33 (permalink)
Cloudlifter makes DI boxes is that what your using? You possibly have a impedance miss match. 
If it is a cloudlifter mike then I guess it's a wimpy output. 
Generally my benchmark is a Shure SM 58 is almost always requiring the gain to be set at around 1 o clock on just about every mixer I've ever owned. 

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heidrich.lindsay
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Re: Soundcraft Signature MTK 2017/09/07 19:14:42 (permalink)
I'm using a SM57 into a Cloudlifter CL1 into the SIG12.
I'll have to do some experimenting with looping the source and trying with and without CL, other mics etc. Will update!
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Cactus Music
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Re: Soundcraft Signature MTK 2017/09/08 14:26:21 (permalink)
Why do you have the cloudlifter in the signal chain? 
Your running a pre amp into a pre amp,,,That should actually make it way to loud, but there's no benefit in having it there. It is a device used when you only have a line level input. One of the Soundcrafts better attributes is it's pre amps are considered very good quality for the price point. 
So a SM 57 plugged in directly will give you what your after. Your gain will most likely be set at around 1 o clock. Sing real loud into the mike and turn the gain up until the peak light comes on then back it off a bit. 

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heidrich.lindsay
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Re: Soundcraft Signature MTK 2017/09/08 16:42:02 (permalink)
I put the Cloudlifter in because I'm doing low volume recording and I can get a good signal without cranking pres too high. I'm hearing a strong signal in the mixer just the wav form in the DAW is very very minimal.
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texasaurus rex
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Re: Soundcraft Signature MTK 2017/09/12 04:06:45 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby heidrich.lindsay 2017/09/12 18:51:06
I just started using my MTK12 a few weeks ago with SONAR. Both impress me, easy to use together as a home project studio. My mic recorded waveforms were small,too,compared to the stereo .wav file I added to use as a drum/backing track, which showed up the same original size in 3 different DAW's track windows. That was with a strong,peak signal going in, no reason to have small wave forms in the recorded mic/inst channels. Did the same in Studio One 3.5. I will be able to get back to recording this week and see what the heck that was all about. 
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heidrich.lindsay
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Re: Soundcraft Signature MTK 2017/09/12 18:55:37 (permalink)
Yes I've also got existing wav forms from the projects that I recorded using a Line 6 interface.
I'm wondering if it's a routing issue:
Mic > track 2 > Master
I wonder if it should route:
Mic > Track 2 > Track 3 > Master.
Then maybe you can adjust the gain on the Track 3 input.
Still need to experiment i guess and RTFM
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Re: Soundcraft Signature MTK 2017/09/13 14:37:09 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby texasaurus rex 2017/09/23 04:32:36
What does the track meter show? 
Generally Sonars meters will show approximately what your interfaces meters are showing. 
It's possible they have purposely padded down the USB output so as not to go over during live recordings where the live sound might be on the edge of clipping. 
 
If the mixers peak light is active , but Sonars track meter is way down then that's proof. No big deal, it's digital so you can apply normalizing to bring it up to par. 
 
What you need to keep in mind is this is a Live Mixer first and an Audio interface second. It's optimized for live not recording. The recording feature is an add on to help sell the board to bands wishing a rough live recording of gigs. It is why I might be purchasing one. I'm not going to even dream it will replace a proper interface,, even though that would sort of be nice. 

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