20/01/2010 Bookmark and Share

NAMM 2010: Allen & Heath ZED 10FX (Video)

Multi-purpose small-format mixer

Live and studio mixing desk veterans, Allen & Heath, have just announced the latest addition to their ZED series of mixers: the ZED 10FX. As its name suggests, this small-format mixer has 10 inputs, which are comprised of four mic channels (with a global phantom power switch), two line-level stereo channels, and a further stereo playback input.

Also implied by this mixer’s name is the built-in effects section, which features algorithms derived from Allen & Heath’s flagship iLive front-of-house consoles. The onboard effects include patches for reverb, delay, reverb plus delay, flanger, and chorus, and there’s a tap-tempo button for matching delays and time-based effects to the tempo of your song.

While two of the mic channels are of the usual mic- or line-input variety, the other two are high-impedance designs, which allow you to plug a pickup-equipped instrument directly into the channel, without the loss of tone normally incurred by driving a low-impedance input. There’s also a 26dB boost available on the instrument inputs, for use with low-output pickups.

The mono channels each feature a three-band EQ (with swept mid), while the stereo channels have a two-band EQ for high- and low-frequency shaping.

In addition to these analogue inputs, and in line with the concept of its ZED series stable mates, the ZED 10FX features a stereo send and return via USB, allowing you to send two channels of audio to and from your PC or Mac. Allen & Heath say that these can be used for recording (using either the individual channels’ Record Bus buttons to send audio to your computer, or by sending the main outs to record the complete mix), or for plug-in based effects, where the channels’ aux sends go to your computer for processing, and the USB input can be used as an effects return channel.

Given the traditional ‘one circuit board per channel’ construction, as well as its internal power supply, the ZED 10FX looks to be something of a bargain, priced at just £292 including VAT. And if you don’t need the onboard effects section, you can opt for the ZED 10, which dispenses with the effects but is identical to the 'FX' version in all other respects. That one will set you back just £233.



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