There are eight XLR mic inputs, plus mono line inputs on all channels until 7/8 and 9/10 where you get left and right inputs. Inputs 1 and 2 have a switchable limiter and inputs 5 and 6 have a switchable Hi-Z mode for directly connecting guitars and basses. Channel 11/12 has phono line ins and there are three Aux jacks, a headphone jack, a footswitch jack for effects mute and even
a USB power out for charging your devices and what have
you. Soundcraft’s Ghost mic preamps are employed: these
are directly drawn from their top-of-the-line consoles and
are designed to give you high headroom, wide dynamic range, exceptional clarity and very low noise. Effects include Lexicon studio-grade reverb, chorus, modulation and other effects, and there are dbx limiters on the input channels too. The effects are separated into two chains, reverb and delay/mod. The channels have 15dB of boost/ cut at 60Hz and 12kHz, and 15dB of boost and cut on the sweepable midrange from 140Hz to 3kHz (except for 11/12 which has a three-band EQ with 60Hz, 1kHz and 12kHz). Each channel has two aux send levels and an effect send, pan pot, fader and mute. There’s also a 2-in/2-out USB interface which you can use for limited live recording, and accompanying the console are free downloads of the Lexicon MPX-L native plugin and Ableton Live 9 Lite. If you need to do multitrack recording, there’s a model called the Signature 12 MTK that can do that too, which would be my personal choice. Other models in the line are the Signature 10, Signature 16, Signature 22 and Signature 22 MTK.
While it’s great that there are pro-level effects built into this console, the real standouts are the Ghost mic preamps. They give you a very clear sound that you’re then free to treat and twist however you want with EQ and effects — be it a raging guitar amp, a delicate vocal or pounding drums — or to leave utterly pristine. There’s something very liberating about the simplicity and quality of this system, and the layout is very intuitive. The effects are useful but they don’t give you a huge range of control over the parameters; it’s pretty basic, but still quite powerful in broad strokes.
This is a great console for those who need an easy-to-learn desk for live sound and could use a few handy effects. There are other more advanced systems out there, and if you’re a home recordist, then the full multitrack MTK version makes a little more sense as an investment. But the Signature 12 is full of great features, and most importantly awesome-sounding mic preamps to get the job done in live applications.
For more details on the range of Soundcraft products, visit jands.com.au.