As I used to be a sound engineer working for Nova Sound in Northwich (anyone remember them?), I have been watching with interest the advances in sound equipment for live gigs. In the 80's my sound desk was a Soundcraft 400B monitor desk. We also had a Soundcraft 800B and 500 for front of house. They were great desks and very tough for life on the road. For stageboxes we hand built our own panels with neutrik and harting connecters and 100m multicore to front of house.
As things have moved into the digital age its interesting to see what can now be achieved with networked stage boxes / mixers. Although these are out of reach price wise for most smaller bands, cheaper "all in one" digital mixer / stage box are starting to appear. As a Soundcraft fan - the new Soundcraft ui12 and Soundcraft ui16 look amazing, especially for the price. Its a shame they haven't yet produced a 24 channel version. The Soundcraft ui16 with 12 mic channels is just a bit too small for bands that want to be fully miked up.
So a wish list for Soundcraft if possible with the ui series.
1. Produce a Soundcraft ui24 version.
2. Maybe include insert points on a few of the channels for outboard gear.
3. Add recording to hard disk for all channels, not just the stereo out.
I think the next 12 months are going to be very interesting as more devices are released.