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Allen & Heath has launched a new range of small format, USB-equipped mixers for live performance, recording, and production.

The first mixer to appear in the range is the ZED-14 stereo mixer, which provides 13 independent sources to the mix; 10 independent outputs; 2 pre-fade and 2 post-fade aux sends; a USB send and return for PC or Mac recording, playback and effects; a unique dual stereo input capability; and advanced monitoring facilities.

The ZED-14 has 6 mono channels with a responsive 3-band, swept mid-channel EQ, and 4 stereo channels with a 2-band EQ, in 100mm faders. In addition to the twin TRS jack inputs, flexible dual input options include Stereo RTN on RCA, 2TRK on RCA, and USB interface are provided to enable the engineer to control and route any source.

The ZED-14 features a high performance preamp designed by R&D manager, Mike Griffin. The Duo Pre™ is a padless preamp, which uses a two stage design with carefully controlled amounts of gain in each stage, offering lots of headroom.

"The DuoPre is a quality microphone circuit and an optimised line input circuit, rather than one pre-amp handling both mic and line signals. It has a massive 69dB of gain range, which means the XLR input will handle just about anything you throw at it, and it's low noise and controllable," explained Griffin. "Plugging into the line jack disconnects the first gain stage automatically, which means an attenuator circuit isn't needed and the line signal is less manipulated, resulting in a cleaner signal path."

Comprehensive foldback is provided by 2 pre-fade sends, and foldback mixes can be checked in the headphones and local monitors by using the monitor section controls which include as its sources, the channel PFLs, the 2TRK and USB returns, plus the main LR mix.

Cakewalk's SONAR LE music production software is bundled with ZED-Mixers, enabling the user to perform many different tasks, for live performance, live recording, studio recording, or studio mixing. SONAR LE software is a Digital Audio Workstation that runs on Windows Vista, and XP, and includes 2 instruments, 6 MIDI effects and 14 audio effects, with support for up to 64 tracks and 24 track effects, and 8 physical input/outputs at up to 24bit/192kHz.

The combination of ZED and SONAR LE allows the user to conduct a straightforward recording of a stereo mix, record tracks individually to build up a song, or insert an FX plug-in from SONAR LE. ZED's USB output can be configured as a recording send from either pair of auxes or the pre-fade LR master.

Allen & Heath also is debuting an addition to the leading Xone DJ range, with the launch of the Xone:42 high performance 4-channel DJ mixer with USB audio interface.

"Designed to seamlessly interface with current leading edge DJ technology, the Xone:42 has an ergonomic, intuitive layout, making it one of the easiest to use hi-tech mix tools around," commented Xone Designer, Andy Rigby-Jones.

The Xone:42's feature set is built around 4 dual-input stereo channels; channels 1 and 4 are phono/line, while channels 2 and 3 are line/line. All four channels have a powerful +6dB to total kill 3-band EQ, a 9-segment 3-colour bar meter, gain control, and 60mm VCA faders with illuminated X/Y crossfader selection. Xone's legendary Voltage Control Filter is included on each channel via illuminated assignment switches, with selectable filter type, resonance, and frequency controls.

The mixer sports a new and original feature—the "X-FX" system—enabling an external effects processor to be easily interfaced. A single knob controls the proportion of the channel signal sent to the effects unit, from 0 to 100%, and the affected signal is returned to the main mix, or can be routed through the filter.

The Xone:42 incorporates a USB audio interface for easy connection to a computer and integration of digital media. It can be used to play back music files from a laptop and to record mixes from the Xone:42, or, when used with appropriate software, as a digital DJ effects unit that can be patched into the X-FX system. The USB input combines with an XLR microphone input to provide an additional channel with two band EQ and rotary level control.

The mixer also features a 45mm VCA crossfader with curve control, and a powerful monitoring section with split cue control, mix to cue, two headphone outputs (1/4" and 3.5mm), dedicated booth output, and balanced main mix outputs on XLR.

SRP for the ZED-14 is £299 +VAT, and it is available immediately. A series of 4 bus ZED mixers will be unveiled shortly. SRP for Xone:42 is £599 (ex VAT) and the mixer will be available from autumn 2007.

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