OUR PART # QU-16
The Allen & Heath QU-16 compact digital mixer combines innovative design choices and extraordinary functionality to create a new benchmark in live sound digital mixing. Its robust feature set incorporates techonologies pioneered in Allen & Heath's popular GLD and iLive digital mixing systems. Fader automation, Touch Control, remote control via the QU-Pad iPad app, 4 stereo effects engines as well as integrated USB streaming and recording are just a few examples of the user-friendly features packed into the QU-16's compact, rackmountable chassis. Whether you're switching from analog or updating your digital desk, it's time to experience the new digital with Qu-16.
Qu-16's sixteen AnalogiQ total recall preamps feature zero crossing detection and an advanced padless 1dB step gain stage, closely allied to the DSP for optimal gain accuracy and audio transparency. The analog signal is captured by high class, low latency 24-bit analog to digital converters matched to high quality 24-bit digital to analog converters to deliver the required outputs. The AnalogiQ design has been refined over many months to offer superb transparency, minimal distortion and an ultra-low noise floor, with a warm, musical sound that is missing from some digital consoles.
The Mixing Experience
Having massive processing power and advanced functionality is great, but it counts for nothing if you can’t access the controls you need easily. It’s not about recreating an analog interface, it’s about creating an experience that’s fluid, comfortable and intuitive for novices, digital natives and old school road warriors alike, making all the benefits of digital mixing technology readily accessible to all.
The 800 x 480, sixteen million color Touchscreen and its dedicated data encoder form the heart of the Qu-16 interface, providing super-fast, easy access to all settings. The user-friendly interface has been designed with clarity in mind. Dedicated keys and screen tabs quickly guide you to meter and RTA views, FX racks, channel processing, USB audio control, scenes, setup menus and much more.
All your key processing tools are presented in a clean layout on the SuperStrip, with 1 function per physical control. The SuperStrip is complemented by an onscreen Touch Channel for intuitive access to full processing parameters without clutter or complex menu structures. Processing for Mono and Stereo inputs includes trim, polarity, HPF, gate, insert, 4 band PEQ, compressor and delay. The main LR and the Mono mixes have controls for Insert, 1/3 octave GEQ, compressor and delay. The Stereo mixes provide Insert, 4-band PEQ, compressor, delay and balance control.
Moving faders started as an expensive option in the studio desks of the 80s, and later became the norm as digital technology improved. Nevertheless some entry-level digital mixers lack this precious commodity which is a fundamental part of the Total Recall approach. Fader automation is essential for rapid mixing, especially when you’re dealing with multiple monitor mixes – just press a mix key and the faders immediately fly to the send levels for that mix. Qu-16 features 17 motorized ALPS faders, 16 arranged over 2 layers, allowing instant access to all channels and masters in a compact space, plus a dedicated master fader which dynamically follows the mix selection. A third, Custom layer is available for ad-hoc user strip layout, where any combination of Inputs, FX Sends, FX Returns and Mix masters can be assigned.
Qu-16’s dynamics and FX algorithms are derived from the FX used in our iLive pro touring series. Some of the world’s most respected audio engineers have chosen to use iLive’s FX on tour in preference to top-end plug-ins and external FX units. Qu-16 boasts 4 stereo iLive FX engines, featuring lovingly crafted emulations of legendary classic reverbs, gated reverbs, delays, modulators, flangers and more. The FX library has the ability to grow with future firmware releases. FX are returned to the mix on dedicated return channels, so you’re not tying up your mono and stereo input channels. Each Stereo FX Return has a dedicated 4 band PEQ.
True digital mixing is about being able to save and recall scenes (snapshots) at the press of a button. Qu-16 can store up to 100 full Scenes for recall at will. Channels and mixes can be made Safe from Scene recall. For example, if an instrument or mic gets swapped out after the soundcheck, the channel can be made safe to avoid settings being overridden by Scene recalls. Or if a broadcast feed or walk-in iPod is added last-minute before the show kicks off, that mix or channel can be made safe from any scene change. In addition, single parameter updates can be blocked using per scene Recall Filters or a Global Recall Filter. So if you tweak the graphic EQ to reflect the room response when the audience gets in, you can block this to prevent any overwriting at scene change. Custom settings for each EQ, compressor, channel or FX can be saved as Library presets. This lets you store your tried and tested EQ setting for your favourite vocal mic or reverb pattern and apply it to other channels or shows. Libraries, Scenes and the complete Show configuration can be saved to a USB key, so you can carry the show with you, ready to use on another Qu-16.
USB Audio Streaming
Qu-16’s built-in interface streams multitrack audio to your Mac channel 1 to 16, the Main LR mix and 3 selectable stereo pairs. The returns from the Mac can be assigned to the 16 Mono channels plus stereos. The interface is class-compliant on Mac OS X – which means it’s truly plug ‘n play, with no need to install a driver. It will be recognized straightaway by any DAW supporting Core Audio, including Logic, Cubase, Reaper, and Pro Tools. Standard MIDI control is tunnelled over the USB connection so you can easily map the faders to the tracks of your favourite DAW. Alternatively, a MIDI driver is available for use with the Ethernet port.
Forget soundcard drivers and software setup, Qu-16 has an integrated multitrack USB recorder, providing 18 channels of 48kHz 24-bit recording and playback straight to / from your USB hard drive. Capturing multitrack recordings of your shows has never been so easy. A selectable stereo pair can be recorded alongside the 16 Mono channels, and multitrack audio can be played back to the 16 Mono channels plus ST1. On top of this, Qu-Drive also provides stereo recording, patchable from any pair of Mix outputs, the Main LR (pre, post, or summed to mono) or even the PAFL bus, with 2- track stereo playback to ST3.
ARMed to the Hilt
Qu-16 is equipped with 5 cores of high efficiency ARM core processing, with dedicated ARM cores running the touchscreen display and surface, USB streaming, Qu-Drive multi-channel USB recording / playback, Ethernet and fader automation. Between them the ARM cores provide state-of-the-art processing, working in parallel to deliver extensive control, instant-on operation, and lightning-fast response. The mixer’s DSP farm exploits next generation dual core DSPs, giving 10 DSP cores, with 8 dedicated to the channel and mix processing alone. With so much DSP power under the hood the channel processing is only using a fraction of capacity, so Qu-16 is future-proofed, with ample room for updates and extra functionality. The Qu-16 DSP architecture employs varied bit depths, tailored to specific algorithms, with 48 bits on critical EQ functions and a 56-bit accumulator on the mix bus where it really counts, allowing every nuance of the audio to be captured in the final mix.
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