Allen & Heath Launches New Entry-Level ZED Range
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 PreTM 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,” explains 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 has been in the mixer business for nearly 40 years, so we understand what elements make a good mixer – great sound, rugged build quality and imaginative feature sets,” explains MD, Glenn Rogers. “The ZED-14 is a flexible, affordable mixer for the modern working musician to use on the road or in the studio.”