Best Way to Use a SC 600?

Founded in 1973, Soundcraft first made its mark with the launch of the Series 1, the first mixing console in a flightcase.

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Best Way to Use a SC 600?

Postby Anthropic » Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:07 am

Hi everyone,

As I mentioned in another topic, I'm in the process of restoring an early-ish Soundcraft Series 600 console (24 channels, no patchbay). I've done a thorough cleaning and have almost finished a total re-cap of the electrolytics (with increased capacitance also).

What I'm trying to wrap my head around, is how best to use the console to record my 24 mixer channels simultaneously onto 16 tracks of my Tascam MS-16 (1 inch, 16-track analog tape deck).

I see there are 8 obvious busses, but the user manual is slightly unclear as to what the "Tape Outputs" are, and how they function.

The manual says the "Tape Outputs" 9-16 are "paralleled" with the "Group Outputs". I assume this means that they output the same signals as the "Group Outputs". What practical purpose does that design have (other than sending a test tone to all 16 tracks of a recorder simultaneously, or only recording 8 tracks of unique sounds at a time)?

Let's assume I use 4 of the (6 available) AUX sends for headphone mixes. Assume also, that I sum 12 mixer channels of drum mics down to 8 sub-mixes (using the "Group Outs") and send them, from there, to my first 8 tracks of tape. Is there any way I can now take the remaining 12 mixer channels of instrument mics on my board and send them out to the remaining 8 tracks of my tape machine (at the same time)? I'm guessing I can use AUX Sends 5 and 6, for two additional "sub-mixes", but that still leaves me with 6 tracks of tape that I can't record to.

I also realize that each mixer channel has an "output", but isn't there something "funky" or non-ideal about using those outputs to go to tape? I may be mistaken, but I thought there was some aspect of their configuration that clearly distinguished them from modern "Direct Outs" on mixer channels. Maybe some inability to control the level properly, sound degradation, or something like that? Please correct me if I'm mistaken!

Any hints/tips? Thanks!

Dan
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Re: Best Way to Use a SC 600?

Postby elgordorecordings » Thu May 01, 2014 11:05 am

Those outputs you mention on the input channels are direct-outs for each channel. So you can hook up your tape machine on the direct-outs of input channels 1~16 and record them individually.
You can send the returns of the tape machine to your 16 tape returns (on the subgroups), then you can monitor them and make pre-mixes. You’ll have 8 mic/line inputs left where you can place some effects.
You could make a hybrid approach as well when you decide to use the subgroups for recordings already pre-mixed input signals and use 8 input channels, with their direct-outs for individual sources.

cheers,

Peter
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