The new Zed R16 from Allen & Heath is stuffed with quality electronics, the 16 mic amps are "the best we make", the EQ's "have five op-amps each - just for the mids" according to product designer Mike Griffin, and that's just the analog side.
The ZED-R16's pre-amp, which has been specially designed for this application, has a symmetrical ultra linear circuit. The best epitaxial low noise transistors are used in the front end, and active feedback is employed in both phases before the differential amplifier. This results in super-low distortion, while maintaining low noise (-128.5dBu EIN), high CMRR, and a transparent and beautiful sounding pre-amp.
Complete with two swept, fully parametric mids, and high and low shelving EQ, the ZED-R16 has a sophisticated equalisation section without rival in this section of the market. It has much in common with our class-leading pro touring mixers. Forty years of analogue mixer design has given us an unparalleled knowledge of filtering.
Two pre and two post aux buses can be used as feeds for headphone amplifiers in the studio, FX sends anywhere, or wedge foldback live. The talkback function is either routed to the aux or studio outputs, so is ideal for any environment.
The digital audio connections are all present on the rear of the desk. Two FireWire connectors allow the ZED-R16 to be connected to a personal computer whilst the second socket daisy chains devices. Two switches change the sample rate and routing selection, while 4 connectors allow input and output to ADAT equipment.
In addition to the Firewire input and output, the ZED-R16 has 4 ADAT optical sockets. The I/O routing on the ZED-R16 is identical for the Firewire channels and the ADAT optical connection. With a combination of panel switches, the mixer is capable of an incredible 26 simultaneous inputs and outputs. Feed the ZED-R16 from ADAT lightpipe equipment, or record directly out from 16 channels to 2 ADAT machines, or to another soundcard.
MIDI software control
The MIDI section on the ZE ZED-R has been designed to control software transport, with extra mappable controllers ready to be user-assigned. With recording now truly in the digital age, ZED-R16 brings the home studio bang up to date.
In addition to the ZED-R16's dedicated MIDI controls, all of the channel faders can be switched to become MIDI controllers.
The ZED-R has two signal paths for monitoring: an output for main control room monitors and outputs for an alternative set of monitors for checking mixes. The control room mix can follow either of the two main analogue outputs or the digital main mix, allowing access to all main audio outputs.
The ZED-R16 has been designed using individual vertically mounted circuit boards with each rotary control fixed with a metal nut to the front panel - making a much more robust product that will resist damage and give years of reliable use. ZED-R16 also has professional 60mm faders for ultimate control over your levels.
Similar to the matrix function on A&H ML, GL and Wizard mixers, two separate live room mix feeds can be individually fed from aux buses or the LR main mix. Foldback to the musicians can be tailored to give the bassist a drum heavy mix and the vocalist (in a separate booth) more keys...