Allen & Heath QU32 Chrome Edition Digital Mixer
The QU-32 from Allen and Heath presents a new mixing console with cutting edge technology that looks to the future to ensure it's place as a great consolein studio and live environments for years to come. Boasting 32 mic/line combo inputs with flying faders, built-in effects and EQ easily available on a back lit touch screen and a generous 16 busses, you will be able to control and create your mix in any way you see fit.
As a digital mixer it utilises all the benefits, including total recall of settings in a complex mix, 18 channels of multitrack recording directly to USB and seamless integration as an audio mixer and controller with the main DAW recording programs like Logic,Cubase Protools and others. However, the QU-32 also retains the immediacy and transparency of the analogue mixer. There's no endless searching through overly complicated menus, just push a button or a parameter on the touch screen and you have control of exactly what you need.
The QU-32 looks to the future with its innovative expansion possibilities. At the rear, the Mixer has a dSnake port, allowing connection to AudioRacks with up to 120m of cable. So you can have your inputs and monitor mix connections onstage, whilst the mixer is perfectly placed at the back of the venue in the mixing position. The QU series also supports the use of the QU-Pad Free iPad app, allowing to wirelessly affect the mix or monitor outputs from anywhere in the venue. Just plug your mixer into a local wireless router network, download the app and connect over wifi to get instant access to all live mixing parameters and settings. The QU series also supports the Allen and Heath ME personal mixing system for performers to control their personal mixes onstage, leaving the engineer to focus on the overall sound front of house.
The QU series is the perfect blend of Digital technology with Analogue ideals of workflow and simplicity. Equally happy in the studio and as a live mixer, the QU-32 utilises a new fanless design to make it ultra portable for gigs and ultra quiet when recording. This innovative line of mixers offer the complete mixing package for any musician wanting a versatile and well designed unit.
Upgrades for the chrome edition
Anyone who owns a QU24 knows what a great piece of kit Allen & Heath have made. With the upgraded Chrome edition they have listened to people's feedback, revisited the key features and improved on the design with a few new options. The rotary controls and fader caps are high contrast metallic finish (easier to see on stage), You get automatic mic mixing which adjusts your level to give you a more consistent sound level (great for recording meetings and debates etc) and has a few great updates to the app and software for better control over your mix
Here's what Allen & Heath say about the QU-24c
Allen & Heath has launched new Chrome Editions of its Qu series compact digital mixers to mark the launch of Qu v1.8 Chrome firmware in mid-October, which adds major new features including Automatic Mic Mixing, a Spectrogram and additional monitor mixes.
Chrome Edition Qu-16, Qu-24 and Qu-32 mixers all feature the same high contrast metallic finish rotary controls and fader caps as the premium GLD Chrome series, providing optimal visibility in low lighting scenarios and enhanced tactile control.
Our AnalogiQ total recall preamps feature zero crossing detection and an advanced padless 1dB step gain stage, closely allied to the DSP for optimal gain accuracy and audio transparency. The analogue signal is captured by high class, low latency 24bit analogue to digital converters matched to high quality 24bit digital to analogue converters to deliver the required outputs. The AnalogiQ design has been refined to offer superb transparency, minimal distortion and an ultra-low noise floor, with a warm, musical sound that is missing from some digital consoles.
THE MIXING EXPERIENCE
Having massive processing power and advanced functionality is great, but it counts for nothing if you can’t access the controls you need in a heartbeat. Once you start using a Qu you’ll sense the years of research into ergonomics and the hands-on mixing experience that our team has drawn upon to deliver a wonderfully natural layout and workflow. It’s not about recreating an analogue interface, it’s about creating an experience that’s fluid, comfortable and intuitive for novices, digital natives and old school road warriors alike, making all the benefits of digital mixing technology readily accessible to all.
Qu-32s 7 inch, 800 x 480, sixteen million colour Touchscreen and its dedicated data encoder form the heart of the Qu interface, providing super-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.
Moving faders started as an expensive option in the studio desks of the 80s, and later became the norm with the advent of digital technology. Nevertheless some entry-level digital mixers lack this precious commodity which is a fundamental part of the Total Recall approach. 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, Qu-24 and Qu-32 feature 16, 24 and 32 motorized ALPS faders respectively, 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, Mix masters and MIDI strips can be assigned.
Qu’s dynamics and FX algorithms are derived from the FX used in our iLive pro touring series. Some of the world’s most respected audio engineers have chosen to use iLive’s FX on tour in preference to top-end plug-ins and external FX units. All Qu models boast 4 stereo iLive FX engines, featuring lovingly 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 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 a 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 or channel can be saved as Library presets. This lets you store your tried and tested setting for your favourite 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 mixer.
USB AUDIO STREAMING
Qu’s built-in interface streams multitrack audio to your Mac or PC via a flexible patching system: all Input channels and the Main LR can be recorded at the same time, or you may choose to record something different such as FX returns or a pair of mixes.
The returns from the computer can be assigned to the Input channels. The interface is class-compliant on Mac OS X – and drivers are available for Windows systems. Either way, it will be recognized straightaway by any DAW supporting ASQU-DRIVE
Forget soundcard drivers and software setup, Qu has an integrated multitrack USB recorder, providing 18 channels of 48kHz, 24bit recording and playback straight to / from your USB hard drive. Capturing multitrack recordings of your shows has never been so easy. Mixes and FX returns can be recorded alongside channels, and multitrack audio can be played back to the mixer for virtual sound-checks.
An independent set of controls is provided for quick stereo recording of the main LR or other mix outputs, and a 2-track USB return can be routed to ST3 for playback of stereo WAV files such as walk-in music.IO or Core Audio, including Logic, Cubase, Reaper, and Pro Tools.
ARMED TO THE HILT
Qu mixers are 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 / 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 lightning-fast response.
The mixer’s DSP farm exploits next generation dual core DSPs. With plenty of DSP power under the hood the channel processing is only using a fraction of capacity, so Qu is future-proofed, with ample room for updates and extra functionality.
The 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.
THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME
Made from 18 gauge, cold-rolled Zintec steel, Qu’s distinctive frame is designed for strength and rigidity. We’ve done unspeakable things to that chassis in the lab and it’s taken everything we’ve thrown at it – even being stomped on by our resident ex-tank commander.
Silence is a precious commodity in the live or studio environment, which is why nobody wants those moments of stillness ruined by the whirring of fans coming from the mix position. Qu’s sleek profile generates optimal airflow through the mixer, eliminating the need for any fans.
The shape has some unexpected benefits too. When we started taking Qu out to gigs we soon found the space beneath it incredibly useful for keeping our USB drive, talkback mic, cue sheet and other clutter tucked out of the way. We’ve even had engineers hanging the mixer from a handy scaffold bar and mixing vertically.
Add the Qu-Pad iPad app to your Qu 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.
ME PERSONAL MIXING SYSTEM
Qu mixers are fully compatible with our ME Personal Mixing System. Any number of ME-1 personal mixers can be chained from the dSNAKE port (or from an AR2412 / AB168 AudioRack if you’ve got one connected to the dSNAKE port). Each performer can be given tailored control over their own mix, leaving the engineer free to focus on the audience experience.
Qu mixers are self-contained, so if you’ve already got the analogue cables you’re good to go. If you’re thinking of trading in the copper multicore for a Cat5 digital snake, Qu’s dSNAKE port has you future-proofed, allowing connection to a combination of AR2412, AR84 or portable AB168 AudioRacks.
dSNAKE is our proprietary networking solution, boasting a transport latency of only 105us over cable runs of up to 120m / 390’. So if you’re mixing FoH you can place your I/O on the stage and run a single Cat5 cable back to the Qu mixer in the mix position.
Qu-32 packs 10 SoftKeys for more user-assignable functions such as Mute Groups, Tap Tempo, Scene navigation or PAFL Clear.
Qu-32’s Matrix has 2 further stereo outputs equipped with full processing to the console’s extensive I/O. It is a ‘mixer within a mixer,’ fed from any combination of Group 1-4, Mix 1-10, and main LR. It can be used to provide a broadcast feed, a recording mix, or duplicate the main outputs for delay stacks and fill / zone speakers where independent GEQ and delay is applied.
- 32 Mic / Line Inputs (TRS + XLR)
- 33 Motor Faders
- 3 Stereo Inputs (TRS)
- 24 Mix Outputs (XLR)
- 4 Stereo Groups
- 2 Stereo Matrix Outs
- 4 DCA Groups
- 4 Mute Groups
- 4 FX Engines
- 4 FX Sends / Returns
- 10 Soft Keys
- 32×32 USB Audio Interface
- DAW MIDI Control
- AES Digital Out
- Recallable AnaLOGIQTM Preamps
- Qu-Drive direct Multitrack Recording / Playback on USB drives
- 7” Touchscreen
- iLive FX Library
- dSNAKETM Remote Audio Port
- Compatible with ME Personal Mixing System
- Qu-Pad iPad App
- Trim, polarity, HPF, gate, insert, 4-band PEQ, compressor and delay on all Inputs
- Insert, 4-band PEQ, 1/3 octave GEQ, compressor and delay on all Mix outputs
- Built-in Signal Generator
- RTA with Peak Band indication
The new Automatic Microphone Mixer (AMM) coming in v1.8 firmware helps the engineer to manage the levels of multiple mic inputs, ensuring that each speaker’s contribution is heard, but with priority settings to establish an order of precedence. AMM is vital in applications such as conferences, meetings and panel discussions where a number of microphones are open at the same time, reducing background noise and minimising the risk of feedback.
A new Spectrogram tool provides a fast, visual means of hunting down and dealing with problem frequencies, helping to eliminate feedback and tame difficult room acoustics.
Qu v1.8 Chrome firmware also unlocks more monitor mixes by allowing Stereo Groups to be switched to Mix mode. This takes the maximum number of discrete monitor sends to 9 on Qu-24 (4 mono, 5 stereo) and 11 on Qu-32 and Qu-Pac (4 mono, 7 stereo), making them well suited to compact touring as dedicated monitor consoles.
The Qu-Pad app receives further enhancements with the inclusion of new controls, views and functions, such as remote control over AMM settings. Qu-Pad is one of a series of control apps which also includes Qu-You for personal monitoring.
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