The new "go-to" live sound board for churches, small venues, and live bands. If you can't find the brand you are used to, the Soundcraft is the way to go. Direct outs, FX, 4 aux sends, 16 mic pres, it just has everything. This board has a ton of great features that a professional or an apprentice can utilize at anytime.
Size isn't always what matters
I bought this board to use with a single 8 track ADAT. For this purpose or any type 8 track recorder it can't be beat. It has everything you could ask for.
Extreme quiet headroom in the mic pre's , a very musical and effective true "British EQ" , 16 direct out and 16 line in's so you can feed the 8tracks with the direct outs on channels 1-8 and fold them back in for mixdown on channels 9-16. Very intuitive signal routing, incredible amount of aux's and outputs.
The 100 mm faders are articulate and responsive.
The 24 bit Lexicon built in effects are top quality and adjustable as well as storable.
The only shortcomings I can find are it might of had the headphone output jack located in the front or somewhere other than straight out of the top. Your hand can hit it when moving from right to left or vice versa . I cured that by using a 90 degree adapter though.
If Soundcraft made a 16 channel meter bridge so one could monitor each channel individually , that would have been nice also.
At this price point I don't think you could ask for more from any 16 channel console.
I bought this mixer primarily for live use with a project that relies heavily on a collection of MIDI-chained electronic instruments. The individual line outs for each channel are a fantastic feature for a mixer of this size and they make the task of a live electronic show a much less daunting one. The auxiliary options are plentiful and easy to use. While the quality of the digital effects doesn't nearly match the analog warmth I prefer, they're work very well to make low-key refinements in the mix.
Great sounding mixer!
Fantastic warm mic preamps. The EQ is very powerful and the effects are high quality. Great, intuitive layout, solid feel. Great flexibility. For example, Aux 2 can be pre- or post-fader for use as a second monitor mix or for effects send. 4 aux sends plus sweepable mids make this a very capable unit.
The knobs are a bit too crowded for my fingers in some areas, but I guess that's the tradeoff for a lot of functionality in a small footprint. It's a good tradeoff.
I have had many mixers and this is a good middle ground between the complexity of a digital mixer and the cheap sound of some other small mixers. I added an outboard EQ and it's ready to go.
Real world review
I've owned Mackie 1604, 1642, Peavey and Behringer boards. The Soundcraft FX16ii blows them away for either small scale multi-tracking or live sound. 100mm faders, numerous routing capabilities, and excellent preamps. I use to think Mackie had the best EQ's, but the EQ's on the FX16ii are great. Just a slight adjustment boost, reduction,or sweep of the mid's and you hear an immediate and detailed change in sound. The Lexicon reverbs are nice if you spend some time learning about adjustments to reverbs and are more than adequate for live sound. With the features this board has to offer along with 16 mic inputs it is a great deal if you're looking for a small format mixer with lots of bells and whistles. Unless you just want to look impressive with a bigger board and have money to waste on one, give this board some serious consideration. I'm glad I did!
Well worth the price
I have been using the Soundcraft FX 16ii for a few months now and the first impression has not changed for me. The preamps are quiet, the routing is very logical, and the subs and auxes allow for a decent variety of patching. there are many typical features in mixers of this price and class, but only a few of these mixers have direct outs on all channels. That fact alone brought it down to this or the A&H MixWiz 16. That one had the advantage of an optional usb multi channel out, but it added at least $300 more and that seemed silly when I already had an 18i20 and an OctoPre dynamic.
The difference was the A&H had 6 aux outs (!), but only two returns, and no sliding subs. The FX16ii has three outs, plus one internal for FX, but only two are pre fader (one fixed, one switchable). That will likely be fine for my needs in most cases. When I have outgrown that, I would probably be looking for a separate monitor mixer anyway. I can even haul out the original 1604 for that.
I might even rotate the pod.
The only downsides I can see are:
-No lights on mutes. That would really help when you are scrambling to find the reason for a dead channel.
-The back is tall, so we had to get 90 degree adapters for the lower run of patches since we use a slant top rack case. I know they have a rotating pod, but it only rotates to the back, rather than the old Mackie 1604 style two-way rotation, which would have been nice.
-two passive mids would have been nice, but the one they have works very well.
-One more aux out, switchable, but then I'd probably only want one more, then one more...
-Last, the direct outs default to post fader, making you activate the direct button for multi track recording. i would have preferred it the other way around.