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Compact Qu-16 digital mixer by Allen & Heath

At Prolight + Sound 2013 Allen & Heath unveiled Qu-16, a compact digital mixer with a professional feature set and an entry-level price tag, packaged in a 19” rack size. Inheriting technology from the GLD and iLive digital mixing systems, Qu-16 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 effects library.
Qu-16 features 16 mic/line inputs, three stereo inputs, four effects engines with dedicated stereo returns, 14 mixes (including LR, 10 aux mixes, plus two dedicated effects 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.
Allen and Heath Qu-16Five high speed dual core DSPs provide comprehensive channel and effects 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 high resolution (800x480) full colour touchscreen featuring the easy to drive ‘Touch Channel’ access to channel processing, the FX racks and all the setup 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 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 sixteen crystal clear 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 19” 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.”
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