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The Allen & Heath ZED-R16 combines an analogue recording mixer with a FireWire soundcard, MIDI controls and ‘home-studio’ routing so you can build tracks in the studio, record live gigs, mix-down and remix.
"Allen & Heath used to be well known for its recording mixers and the last one we designed was the GS3000 - a traditional analogue mixer - nearly ten years ago," explains designer, Mike Griffin. "The way the recording musician works now is quite different, so with the ZED-R16 I was looking to offer a product which addressed the world of digital recording. ZED-R16 offers an interface to that world but also offers great analogue functionality – where you can mix in digital or analogue."
The ZED-R16 can be employed as a standard analogue mixer while recording multi-track via FireWire or ADAT, a traditional inline mixer recording with send and return per channel via FireWire, or as a MIDI controller via switchable channel faders. It features 16 mono inputs, 2 stereo inputs, a high quality dual mic pre-amp, 4-band fully-parametric EQ, 4 auxes, a stereo bus, 2 stereo returns, and 18+18 FireWire I/O and 8+8 ADAT I/O.
For studio work, there are control room speaker outputs, two separate artist monitor feeds, two analogue recording outputs in addition to the digital interface, and a dedicated internal condenser talkback mic. Each channel has its own independent soundcard channel, so instruments can be recorded simultaneously (pre or post EQ) into the sequencer separately. To minimise clock jitter and provide synchronicity between the ZED-R16 and other devices, the mixer is equipped with the professional JetPLL™ digital audio chipset.
ZED-R16 is equipped with a host of MIDI control options. As well as the 4 dedicated MIDI faders, 12 rotary controllers, 12 switches, and 5 dedicated transport switches, all channel faders can also be switched to become MIDI faders. As with all models in the ZED range, the ZED-R16 is also bundled with Cakewalk’s SONAR LE music production software. In addition to multi-track recording, the ZED-R16 allows mixing down in analogue, then recording back into the computer in digital.
For live use, the ZED-R16’s 4 aux buses become foldback feeds and FX sends, and the main XLR outputs feed the PA system, and the record feed signal can easily be assigned pre and post EQ using the buttons next to the faders.