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Allen & Heath launch CQ Series mixers

Three new compact 96kHz mixers announced

Allen & Heath CQ-18T compact digital audio mixer studio live sound personal monitor mix WiFi tablet phone control

Allen & Heath have announced the launch of the CQ Series, a new range of compact digital mixers that feature a new 96kHz processing engine and offer a range of features designed to ensure quick setup times and prioritise ease of use.

The series comprises three models: the CQ-12T and CQ-18T, which are desktop mixers that combine tactile controls with a 7-inch multi-touch screen — they can also be controlled via a pair of mobile apps — and the CQ-20B, which is housed within a stagebox-style enclosure designed to be controlled remotely via the CQ companion apps. All three are built around a new 96kHz engine that utilises Allen & Heath’s acclaimed FPGA technology and incorporates a range of time-saving tools and features that promise to speed up and simplify common tasks for users of all abilities.

Quick Setup & Intuitive Operation

A Gain Assistant function automatically configures preamp gains to the optimal level, monitoring and continually adjusting itself to tackle any unexpected signal peaks, whilst a one-button Feedback Assistant feature identifies and filters out problematic frequencies across all of the device’s outputs, as well as providing more in-depth control over its processing for particularly challenging acoustic environments.

Input channels can be switched between a Quick Input mode, which provides a set of source-specific parameters with a single knob to control channel processing, or a Complete Input mode, which offers full control of all channel parameters. There is also an Automatic Mix Mixer function which works across all input channels, aiming to instantly improve clarity and reduce background noise in speech-based applications.

The Ins & Outs

Allen & Heath CQ-12T compact digital audio mixer studio live sound personal monitor mix WiFi tablet phone controlThe CQ-12T is the smaller of the two desktop mixers.In terms of I/O, the CQ-18T features 16 microphone and line-level inputs, the first eight utilising XLR sockets whilst the remainder are equipped with XLR/TRS sockets. There is an additional stereo line-level input provided by a pair of quarter-inch TRS sockets.

The smaller CQ-12T includes 10 microphone and line-level inputs (five on XLR, five on XLR/TRS combos) along with a pair of quarter-inch TRS inputs, and CQ-20B offers 16 microphone and line-level inputs — two of which can be used as Hi-Z instrument inputs — and two additional stereo line-level inputs.

All three models feature six independent outputs on quarter-inch TRS sockets, which can be configured in either mono or stereo, along with a main XLR output.

Built-in FX & Recording

The CQ Series boasts a range of onboard effects that include high-quality reverbs, delays and modulation algorithms. Instrument-specific presets help to further reduce setup times, and an FX Assist tool shapes the sound of the effects by dynamically responding to the input signal. The CQ-18T and CQ-20B are equipped with four effects engines, whilst the CQ-12T features two.

All three also offer flexible recording and playback options including built-in multitrack recording and playback to/from an SD card, and the ability to function as a multi-channel USB audio interface. A stereo signal can be recorded to, or played back from a USB storage device, and built-in Bluetooth allows wireless playback of stereo material from a mobile device.

Allen & Heath CQ-20B on-stage digital mixer stagebox remote controlAll of the CQ-20B's features are packed into a stagebox-style chassis that can be controlled remotely via an app.

App Control

A pair of multi-platform apps allow remote control of all of the CQ Series mixers. A CQ-MixPad app enables remote operation of the mixer functions from anywhere in the venue, whilst a CQ4You app gives performers personal control of their own monitor mix. The CQ-18T and CQ-20B are equipped with built-in dual-band WiFi, providing connectivity with the remote apps without the need for any additional network gear.

"CQ takes our renowned processing and effects, adds exciting new assistive mixing tools, and packages it all up into our smallest, and most affordable, digital mixer series yet. Usually, at this price point, users are forced to choose between a mid-range analogue mixer, lacking in modern features, or an entry-level digital mixer, where corners have inevitably been cut. With CQ there are no compromises. It’s a fully featured 96kHz mixer with stunning audio quality and intelligent tools that, regardless of your experience, lets you mix smarter, sound better and work faster. Just add sound!” - Keith Johnson, Product Manager, Allen & Heath

SOS Review

We've already put the new CQ-18T to the test, with SOS Executive Editor Paul White saying: "...if you’re looking for something powerful yet approachable, compact and rugged yet affordable, the CQ series mixers have much to commend them." Click here to check out the review.

Pricing & Availability

The CQ Series mixers are available to order now, with pricing as follows:

  • CQ-12T: $899£699 including VAT / €799
  • CQ-18T: $1199£949 including VAT / €1099
  • CQ-20B: $999£799 including VAT / €949

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