The XB-14 from Allen & Heath is an audio mixer with a built-in USB computer interface (Mac and Windows compatible) that's been specifically designed with many problem solving tools for broadcasting. It can be set up for one person operation, or for a crew of multiple people which makes it ideal for satellite, terrestrial, and Internet radio broadcasting. The XB-14 can also be useful in larger studios with multiple rooms, or for podcasting. Featuring dedicated Telco inputs for incoming telephone callers, flexible USB computer connectivity, and a host of other broadcasting friendly capabilities, the XB-14 is a standout professional mixer.
Two multi-pin connectors on the back of the XB-14 enable it to be set-up for a number of remote control functions. The mixer senses when the faders are being moved, and these movements can trigger other equipment in the studio. The faders on the stereo channels can send start and cue commands to compatible external CD players. The fader start sensors on the microphone channels can be set to mute the control room speaker outputs to avoid feedback, as well as trigger "on air" lights, etc. A third rear multi-pin output can be used to feed the main outputs to external metering equipment.
The Telco inputs can accept a feed from a telephone interface module that provides a clean feed output (CLF). A dedicated Telco output can be fed back to the external telephone interface which provides the mix minus the caller's voice, which helps prevent feedback. The USB connectivity can be used to record the program audio on your computer's recording software, or to playback files from your computer to feed the radio broadcast. It's safe to say that a lot of things have changed over the past few years in radio broadcasting. The XB-14 is well-equipped for present day and future challenges in broadcasting.
- The Best Sound Quality Possible
- Many of the components used in the XB-14 are exactly the same as in the larger Allen & Heath products and the construction methods are also very similar, utilizing individual vertically mounted channel circuit boards with each rotary control fixed with a metal nut to the front panel
- Designed for Broadcasters
- The XB-14 has a wealth of features specifically designed for broadcasters, things like telephone communication modules for telephone callers, mic fader start sensing for external connection and internal automatic muting of the speaker outputs, stereo channel start/cue outputs for CD deck transport control, separate headphones mix & outputs for guests, an audition bus, and much more
- Ultra Clean Mic/Line Preamps
- The XB-14 preamps use a two stage design, with carefully controlled amounts of gain in each stage. When amplifying the signal from the XLR input, the gain range is huge (69 dB) and is evenly distributed around the gain control, giving you better control of the level. Most of the gain comes from the first stage, so unwanted noise is kept to a minimum. There is no "pad" switch, or pad circuit. Line-level signals are simply plugged into the second stage of the preamp by using the dedicated line input. This has the great advantage of lower noise when using the line input. It's common to attenuate line-level signals, then amplify them back up again which can give more noise or hiss.
- EQ Geared for Broadcasting
- The XB-14 is equipped with a 3-band equalizer circuit on each mono input and a 2-band EQ on the Telco & stereo channels. The frequency and response of each has been carefully chosen to give the maximum performance when using the EQ on a variety of sources.
- AUX Bus
- The XB-14 has a single aux bus that can be used for external processing, effects, recording or auditioning
- Mix Bus
- A separate stereo mix bus is provided for recording an independent mix to the main program mix, or creating a clean feed source with selected channels
- Remote Control
- The mono mic/line channels have "fader start logic switching," enabling them to control external equipment or automatically mute the speaker outputs to prevent acoustic feedback. The stereo channels have start & cue logic outputs available to hook up to external equipment like CD players. There are also options to mute the mono inputs remotely using an external "cough" switch.
- The USB capabilities of the XB-14 are very flexible and easy to use. Plug the provided USB cable into your XB-14, select the USB routing on the mixer and the device on your computer and you're up and running. It provides quality audio to and from your Windows or Mac computer.