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Allen & Heath has added three new models to the new range of small format, USB-equipped mixers for live performance, recording, and production. Following the launch of the ZED-14, Allen & Heath has announced the ZED-420 (16 mono + 2 dual stereo channels), ZED-428 (24 mono + 2 stereo) and ZED-436 (32 channel + 2 stereo) mixers.

Similar to the smaller ZED-14, the 4 bus series features the same high performance DuoPreâ„¢ padless preamp, which is a quality microphone circuit and an optimised line input circuit, rather than one pre-amp handling both mic and line signals. It uses a two stage design with carefully controlled amounts of gain in each stage, offering high headroom and a low noise, clean signal path.

The ZED 4 bus series has a responsive 4-band, 2-swept mids EQ with in/out switch, 6 aux sends (2 pre, 2 post, 2 pre/post), 4 sub groups, direct outputs on each mono channel, separate L, R & M main buses, 100mm long throw faders, 2 matrix outputs, and a talkback facility to auxes or LRM.

The connectors are placed on the top surface for easy plug-in and patching, and the construction, with individual circuit boards nutted to the top panel, is identical to Allen & Heath's professional touring mixers.

"The 4 band, 2 sweep EQ, along with the low noise summing amps, is borrowed from the acclaimed GL2400, while the bus architecture is a simplified, but equally comprehensive, version of that employed in the successful GL series," comments R&D manager, Mike Griffin. "The ZED 4 bus mixers provide lots of features you'd find on larger professional desks in a compact format and with the added utility that USB brings."

ZED mixers feature a USB send and return for PC or Mac recording, playback and effects; a unique dual stereo input capability; and advanced monitoring facilities. ZED's USB output can be configured to allow different signals to be sent to USB, from the LR master, the matrix or the aux busses, with the USB return signal available as a stereo return.

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. 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.

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