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The chrome edition of the Allen & Heath Qu-16C Rackmountable Digital Mixer is a 16-channel digital mixer and USB audio interface designed for live and installed sound as well as studio use. The chrome edition adds high-contrast chrome rotary and fader knobs that improve visibility in dark conditions, as well as a number of software enhancements from the updated firmware (V1.8). It features 16 mic- or line-selectable inputs and 3 stereo line inputs. Its 16 anaLOGIQ microphone preamps have digitally recallable settings that can be saved and recalled for future sessions. The Qu-16 has a variety of output options, including 4 mono XLR mix outputs, 3 XLR stereo-pair mix outputs, an alternative TRS stereo-pair mix output, a TRS stereo-pair 2-track output, and a 2-channel AES digital output.
The Qu-16 has 16 busses as well as 4 stereo effects returns, and offers a variety of routing options and controls. It has a 5" 800x480 resolution touchscreen that displays your metering and RTA views, effects tracks, processing, routing, and saved scenes. The 16 tracks are controllable with the 16 100mm motorized faders. Built-in processing allows you to EQ, compress, gate, switch polarity, and apply delay to all 16 tracks. All of your settings can be saved as a scene and recalled later for quick setup.
Thanks to its internal convertors, the Qu-16 is also a USB audio interface and can record to any Core Audio-compatible software on your Mac. You can also record to and play back audio from an external USB hard drive. It is compatible with the Qu-Pad iPad app that allows you to control your mix with your iPad over a connected wireless network. The Qu-16 unit itself can be rackmounted or set up on a desk.
New Features In Firmware V1.8
Automatic Mic Mixer (AMM) for conference speech control, available for CH1-16
Group Mix mode to use the Groups to create additional stereo Mixes
High-Pass Filter (HPF) slope increased from 12 to 18 dB/octave
Spectrogram mode for the RTA
Reset default for Scene Global Filter now blocks Custom Layer and SoftKey settings
User password can be set at the mixer for the Qu-You personal monitor app
Qu-Pad app now follows the Admin password
More functions added to the Qu-Pad app:
Audio Setup – PAFL, Talkback, SigGen, AMM
AMM and MIDI fader added to Custom Strips
Direct Out source and level trims
Mix routing and source options
Ability to assign all On/Off and Pre/Post to a mix
Group/Mix mode select
Qu-16's sixteen AnaLOGIQ total recall preamps feature zero-crossing detection and an advanced padless 1 dB-step gain stage, closely allied to the DSP for optimal gain accuracy and audio transparency. The analog signal is captured by 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 to offer transparency, minimal distortion and a low noise floor, with a warm, musical sound
The 800 x 480, sixteen-million color Touchscreen and its dedicated data encoder form the heart of the Qu-16 interface, providing 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
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 Allen & Heath's iLive pro touring series. Qu-16 boasts 4 stereo iLive FX engines, featuring 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 favorite 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 multi-track 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 tunneled over the USB connection so you can easily map the faders to the tracks of your favorite DAW. Alternatively, a MIDI driver is available for use with the Ethernet port
The Qu-16 has an integrated multi-track USB recorder, providing 18 channels of 48 kHz/24-bit recording and playback straight to and from your USB hard drive. Capturing multi-track recordings of your shows has never been so easy. A selectable stereo pair can be recorded alongside the 16 mono channels, and multi-track 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
ARM Core Processing
The 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 and 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 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
Add the Qu-Pad iPad app to your Qu-16 setup and you're free to adjust the monitors on stage, roam around the venue whilst tweaking the PA, and then mix the show from the heart of the audience. Qu-Pad connects to the mixer over Wi-Fi and gives instant access to all live mixing parameters and settings. Qu-Pad requires the connection of a Wi-Fi router or access point to the Qu-16 Network port
ME Personal Mixing System
Qu-16 is fully compatible with the ME Personal Mixing System. Any number of ME-1 personal mixers can be chained from the dSNAKE port. Each performer can be given tailored control over their own mix, leaving the engineer free to focus on the audience experience
In the Box
Allen & Heath Qu-16C - Rackmountable Digital Mixer (Chrome Edition)
PAFL: PFL or Stereo in-Place AFL, 0 to -24 dB Trim, 85 ms Delay Talkback: Assignable to Any Mix, 12 dB/Octave HPF Signal Generator: Assignable to Any Mix, Sine/White/Pink/Bandpass Noise RTA: 31 Bands, 1/3 Octave 20 Hz to 20 kHz, Follows PAFL Source