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Prolight + Sound 2013: Allen & Heath launches Qu-16 compact digital audio mixer

The compact digital mixer market hots up as Allen & Heath launches the 19in Qu-16 at Prolight + Sound.

Allen & Heath is unveiling Qu-16, a brand new compact digital mixer, at Prolight + Sound. The 19in rack sized Qu-16 sports a professional feature set and an entry-level price tag. Inheriting technology from the the company’s GLD and iLive digital mixing systems, the new mixer features total recall of settings (including 17 motorised faders and digitally controlled preamps), an intuitive touchscreen, Qu-Drive integrated multi-track recorder, dSNAKE for remote I/O and personal monitoring, multi-channel USB streaming to Mac, Qu-Pad control app, and iLive’s renowned FX library to deliver class-leading audio quality.
Qu-16 features 16 mic/line inputs, three stereo inputs, four FX engines with dedicated stereo returns, 14 mixes (including LR, 10 aux mixes, plus two dedicated FX busses), 12 mix processing channels, patchable AES digital output with a further 2-channel ALT output, dedicated talkback mic pre input, and 2-track output.
Five high-speed dual-core DSPs provide comprehensive channel and FX processing, with ample room for future processing updates and functionality. Five latest generation 200MHz super-efficient ARM core processors run in parallel to efficiently deliver startling performance, one to drive each of the touchscreen and surface, the Qu Drive USB interface, USB streaming, Ethernet port, and the moving faders.
Qu-16 is equipped with a 800×480 full colour touchscreen featuring the easy to drive ‘Touch Channel’ access to channel processing, the FX racks and all the set-up and system management controls. In keeping with the iLive user interface, the SuperStrip provides control knobs for a selected channel’s key processing parameters, such as gain, HPF, parametric EQ, gate threshold, compressor threshold and pan.
Qu-Drive, the mixer’s integrated USB recorder, which works with an external USB drive, can record and playback multi-track and stereo audio .wav files. The USB interface can also be used to store scene and library data for archiving and later recall. If using the Qu-16 in the studio, there is also a USB audio streaming interface for record and playback to Mac DAW systems.
A&H’s proprietary dSNAKE low-latency audio connection enables the mixer to connect over a single 120m Cat5 digital snake to a remote audio rack, such as the AR84 or AR2412, and is compatible with the ME personal mixing system. Motorised faders provide total recall of mix levels, giving the user full benefit from the scene recall system and ensuring the fader is always in the right position even when swapping between the two layers, which allows instant access to all channels and masters or the graphic EQs. To customise the fader layout to suit certain applications, a third user-definable layer is also available.
A free iPad app connects to the mixer via a Wi-Fi router plugged into the Ethernet control port and gives instant wireless control of the mixer’s key parameters and settings, enabling the user to tweak the PA, adjust the monitors on stage, and even mix the show from the audience.
Qu-16 also contains 16 AnaLOGIQ total recall pad-less preamps, optimised for transparency and low harmonic distortion. In keeping with the excellent audio quality the Qu-16 is equipped with many of the iLive pro touring series’ FX emulations, used by many engineers in place of top-end plug-ins and external FX units, including classic reverbs, gated reverbs, delays and modulators.
Glenn Rogers, MD of A&H, said: “The Qu-16 represents the best technology we could pack into a 19in unit to deliver all the benefits of professional digital mixers and I am very proud of the looks, performance, ease of use and sonic quality from this great new product. The R&D team has done a fantastic job.”
Qu-16 will be shipping in May.