Amazing Board!! Sound and Workflow!
I've been in the Pro Audio business as an engineer and musician for over 15 years and have gone through many boards in my time and always got the sound I wanted with whatever work it took. I would always get compliments on our sound (I'm always mixing and playing in these bands ). When I finally made the switch to a digital board to get rid of my older analog board with inserts for the 18 space rack of compressors, effects, headphone amps, ect. I looked/listened to all the comparable boards very closely and decided on the Soundcraft as I liked the workflow and they've always made quality products for years, and I'm glad i did. It sounds amazing and I get told that at every show! I'm playing with the band while I'm mixing a bit after I do a soundcheck with my ipad out in the audience. We play Americana, Folk, Bluegrass;3 vocals, Harmonica, 2 - Collins acoustics guitars, Weber mandolin, and electric Fender bass (DIs -Fishmen Platium, Fireeye Red-eye,L.R.Baggs ParaDI, Radial J48, SansAmp BassDriver). We Also switched in instruments such as, banjo, melodica, slide guitar, papoose. Being able to double patch inputs while maintaining different settings is great for some instruments that I can just plugin and switch channels so the EQ, Compressor setting are properly set for that instrument even though it's on the same input, so great! I've had to do so much less EQing on instruments than in the past, as they just separate in the mix so nicely and the vocals are just crystal clear and warm (I run a mono mix to btw). I do use subgroups and even compressed subgroups, I will say I'm experienced in this area, so I can't say someone new to live sound would easily get the same results as I do because it took years to tune and use my ears properly. I will say though that this board give you many options to grow into and great options to have such as Maxtix mixes, just rececetly did a gig on a boat where they needed a line from me to feed their board speakers throughout the upper and lower deck, took a second and they had the same great mix as the people in front of us and I was able to go downstairs and EQ the Matrix mix to fit the smaller speakers the board had.
I also have the Multi-Digital card and that is useful in more ways than just recording and playback.
I could go on and on about this board and the features.
One negative is that in the sunlight is very hard to see whats lit up and whats not... the buttons and the faderglow, I use an ipad on my mic stand for mixing so most the time I can see from the iPad just fine but when at the board, it'd be a huge problem or at least make thing a lot more challenging.
All in all, it's an amazing board for many reasons, but what I love most is the sound and it seems that what most other people like too without even knowing it.