Soundcraft Multitrack Recorder: A Quick Look

While the market for analogue mixers isn’t exactly scarce, there are far more better digital options around today. As supply dips below demand, it’s no wonder you have to pay a pretty penny for analogue options today. 

However, the Soundcraft Multitrack Recorder (Signature 22) is some of the best value for money in mixers out there. The Signature 22 has several bits and pieces of technology which are respected in the industry today. 

Lots of Features in a Minimalist Design 

The best thing about the Soundcraft multitrack recorder for serious music makers is that it packs a lot of heat in a small package. There are 16 mic preamps, 14 mono channels with XLR and TRS inputs, and the rest with phono, USB-ins, and stereo inputs. 

You’d think all that power would be encased in something you’d need a car to lug around. Instead, you can comfortably carry this around while you tour. 

Soundcraft Signature 22MTK Analog 22-Channel Multi-Track Mixer with Lexicon Effects
  • Iconic Soundcraft Ghost mic preamps with ultra-low noise performance
  • Renowned Soundcraft sapphire British EQ with sweepable mid-bands per channel
  • Dual-engine Lexicon effects for studio grade reverbs, delays, Choruses and Modulations
  • Dbx Limiters (High-ratio Compressors) on input channels
  • Robust metal construction for tour-grade build quality and reliability

However, it’s not just a matter of slim design. The minimalist feature can also be seen in the arrangement of the controls. The mix controls are spaced out evenly and everything is fit onto a compact surface. The best part is that the knobs aren’t too thin. There’s no learning curve to using this comfortably. 

The one thing that will bug you is the size of the text. It’s too small in certain places. Though the printing is classy, it’s simply too small to comfortably see at arm’s length. 

Other than that, the layout is neat and logical. Nothing seems out of place or awkwardly positioned. 

GB-Series Routing Design

The Signature 22 Soundcraft multitrack recorder, like the other mixers in the series, employs the GB-series routing design. Every channel can be routed to the main stereo output (MST) as well as the other subgroups. 

There are mute switches for all channels and buses for quick operations. There is also a nice bright red LED which doubles as a clip light. Also included is a very useful interval mute function in the master section. It interrupts the front-of-house send for all channels, except for the last 2 (21 and 22). 

This isn’t a global mute function, however. All the AUX and group sends remain active when the button is engaged. So, it’s not the same as pressing the mutes on every channel simultaneously. 

A global mute function is sorely missed in the design. It can be of great help.  

The Soundcraft Multitrack Recorder has a Big Spec List

Other than the two big features, there is a lot to love about the Soundcraft Multitrack Recorder. Let’s go down the spec list one by one. 

Ghostmic Preamps 

The front end of the Signature series, the 22, uses low-noise ProMic preamps from the Ghost console. The Ghostmic preamps provide lots of headroom. This allows the inputs to be operated with high trim settings when needed. 

Mono channels 7-10 have high impedance switches for jack inputs. With the switches active, the inputs present an optimum input impedance. That way, instruments with pickups can be connected directly without any detrimental loading effects. The input range goes from -5 dB to +58 dB. There’s also a peak warning LED to avoid clipping. 

Sapphyre British EQ with Sweepable Mid-Bands 

The entire design of the Signature 22 is based on the Soundcraft Sapphyre consoles. The fixed high and low shelving bands, 2 frequency-adjustable mid-range bands on the firs 18 channels, etc. are all there. 

The Sapphyre EQ uses an asymmetrical bell curve to control the mid-range. However, when applying cut, it is a sharper or higher-Q curve. This gives it more precise attenuation of unwanted frequencies. It avoids too much collateral damage. This approach to EQ makes a lot of sense in a live context. 

Lexicon Effects 

The Signature 22 multitrack recorder features 2 independent Lexicon digital effects processors. They come with a set of standard presets for effects that you can find within the industry. However, they ca be adjusted as needed. 

There are also 2 internally routed AUX buses which feed the input signals to the effects section. They also have 2 dedicated return channels that offer a full routing to the output buses. 

Dbx Limiter 

The first 8 channels on the Signature 22 have a built-in dbx limiter. You can engage these with a single button. The limiting parameters are factory-set and apply a very high ratio of 7:1. There is a red LED inside the button which lights up to indicate limiter operation. The brighter it gets, the harder the limiter works. 

Tour Grade Build Quality 

The housing of the Soundcraft multitrack recorder is in a rigid steel case. It’s very well put together and slim, as previously mentioned. You’ll feel very minimal flexing here and there. Otherwise, the robustness of the design makes it so you can comfortably lug this around when you tour. 

You can push down hard on the leading edge of the fader knobs and barely feel and bending. You won’t feel the controls jam or stick either. This fader feel is consistent throughout the board, including the stereo controls and the master buses. 

This is where the value for money is right on the surface. You’ll know when you pick this up that you’ve spent money wisely on a tough machine.  

Pros 

  • The layout and design is very neat and attractive. It’s a compact desk with flexible routing options.
  • Includes a Multitrack, bi-directional USB interfacing
  • Excellent Preamps
  • Several Lexicon effects
  • DBX input limiters
  • Great value for money
  • Single button overarching controls
  • Helpful LEDs to mark overheating and performance

Cons 

  • There are no hardware inserts on the channels
  • Missing XLR outputs on the AUX and/or group sends
Soundcraft Signature 22MTK Analog 22-Channel Multi-Track Mixer with Lexicon Effects
  • Iconic Soundcraft Ghost mic preamps with ultra-low noise performance
  • Renowned Soundcraft sapphire British EQ with sweepable mid-bands per channel
  • Dual-engine Lexicon effects for studio grade reverbs, delays, Choruses and Modulations
  • Dbx Limiters (High-ratio Compressors) on input channels
  • Robust metal construction for tour-grade build quality and reliability

Customer Reviews for the Soundtrack Multitrack Recorder Signature 22

Most reviews for the machine are either 4 or 5-star reviews. The reviews mention the excellent quality and options built-in to the Signature 22. They also mention the great value for money and the audio controls therein.

The few gripes which customers have is that the mixer isn’t user-friendly, or a few manufacturing faults. This is a common theme with electronics which ship in large numbers. 

Final Verdict

The Soundcraft Multitrack Recorder seems to be an excellent purchase for value for money. However, it is a niche purchase in today’s world where everything is going digital. This one is surely for the purists and for those who like doing it old school.