Soundcraft have been on the scene since the mid 1970’s, producing everything from small mixers to big multi channel live and studio sound desks. Recently adding to their Notepad series, Soundcraft introduced the 5, 8 and 12 FX mixers with the 8FX dropping into our offices. Designed to be compact and portable, Soundcraft have also included a host of features making it a serious range of mixers. Let’s see what these little beauties can do.
A great combination of modern and traditional looks, the Notepad-8FX feels sturdy and sleek but also looks hip. Furthermore, this little desk is intuitive and well laid out, making it easy to find things at a glance. Up to eight channels can be run with a range of input types available – XLR, ¼” and rca. EQ, preamps, phantom power, high pass filters and three-band EQ are joined by line level input capability, on board Lexicon effects, USB connectivity and headphone, aux and master outs. All in the size of a small pizza box, this little Soundcraft really aims at the compact sound solution market. Small solo/duo/trio gigs, personal sub mixing (keyboard players), podcasting, public MC work and small venue sound control immediately come to mind with a heap of other possibilities depending on your size and spec requirements.
I love the colour scheme and layout, the tap tempo button, an actual fader for the Master level, and the overall size of the unit. The angled design (and slightly raised back feet) make the 8FX easy to get to. I know that’s a small thing, but it does make a difference when reaching across to quickly boost a level or tweak an EQ on the fly at a gig. The Lexicon effects are a real bonus and have enough tweakability to add a little extra sheen to your sound rather than having everything bone dry (unless you need it that way).
Yes, there are some limitations with the combined channels, inputs, EQ and preamps, but these sacrifices are standard fare for mixers of this size (and indeed, the Notepad-8FX packs much more flexibility into this unit than many other brands). If you need more inputs and options then jump up to the next unit in the Notepad range. DJs, musos, podcasters, and venues could all benefit from the Notepad-8FX, and at its size and price it’s not out of reach to have on hand as a backup or in the car for use as another option. Good sounds, good layout, easy to use and from a reputable brand – what else do you need?
Hits and Misses
Some limitations due to size/inputs, etc.