Can QU24 be set for no password? and other questions

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    Profile photo of guyburns

    The Qu24 in our local theatre seems to be unloved. The fellow in charge of the room wasn’t sure who owned it, and said that I would know more about how to operate it than he did (and I’m new to pro mixers). Other users seem to bring their own mixers in. There were two larger mixers present when I was there (I’d booked the theatre for a rehearsal) – and one of them was connected to the house speakers. Took me a while to find that out, and reconnect it to the Qu24.

    The Qu24 is probably permanently turned on and in Admin mode. At the start, I saved the machine settings as a Show, turned the mixer off to see how it starts up, and was denied access when it booted. So I Hard Reset, and entered a new password with a hand written notice to all future users.

    In this situation, an unloved Qu 24, it seems to me best NOT to have a password.

    Ques 1
    Can I set up a Qu24 so that it does not require a password?

    Ques 2
    Is it okay to delete a Show folder on USB? I saved several Shows while experimenting, but the mixer seems NOT allow me to delete Shows. The only way to do so appears to be via a computer. Yet the manual says:

    “Do not rename or edit the Show folder or its files.”

    Ques 3
    I tried to get a mic working from the stage, about 20m from the mixer. The mic worked when directly plugged into the mixer. Last year when I hired the theatre, a tech (now gone) set everything up, and I noted that the mic was plugged into an XLR socket under the stage in the pit. This time when I tried to plug in, I couldn’t. The socket was a male XLR. I was expecting female.

    Is having a male XLR socket in the orchestra pit some sort of industry standard, or is this simply a mistake? To fix, I assume I just buy a female-female XLR socket.

    Ques 4
    On one side of the stage, an Allen & Heath AB168 was set up with several cables connected to it coming from microphones. One of the cables was a Cat cable going to an in-house Ethernet socket on the wall, which I’m pretty certain goes back to the bio box. I think the Cat cable came from a socket on the unit called Snake. It was pretty dark.

    I thought I might feed the mic into the in-house Ethernet connector as an experiment, but I couldn’t find any XLR to Cat connectors for sale. Do such connectors exist, or should I just stick with the XLR route via the orchestra pit?

    Ques 5
    I ran a frequency sweep from 20Hz to 20kHz. There was a pronounced resonance at around 400 Hz, narrow bandwidth, and much louder than any other frequency. If I had a recording with such a resonance, say a narration, I’d be using Adobe Audition’s Notch filter to tone it down.

    Does the Qu24 have a notch filter or equivalent?

    Profile photo of MarkPAman

    Hi Guy

    Q1 & 2, I’m unsure about, so I’ll leave those to others.

    Q3/. If the XLR is a mic input, then it should be a F XLR, but it could well be intended for something else – like a send to a powered monitor for instance, or it may be part of a DMX lighting system.

    In general, don’t go plugging into things if you don’t know what they are – especially if you need an unusual adaptor to do it! It could be expensive….

    Q4/. The AB168 is your “XLR to Cat converter”, the other end of the CAT5 cable should be plugged into the dSnake socket of the desk. You then need to select the dSnake as the input source for the channel(s) on the desk.

    Q5/. All outputs on the Qu have both PEQ and 1/3 octave graphics available to sort this type of thing out.

    May I suggest that this is well worth reading?

    E2A – It could well be that inputs from the AB168 were already patched, and the system WQ was well set up before you did your hard reset! I hope you’ve not upset anybody too much by doing this!

    Profile photo of volounteer


    Dont know cant say, but with pcs I can usually bypass all the password crap by using a CR when it asks for one.
    Does not always work but at least none of my now 4 active ones (win98se winxp win8 win10) have any passwords to mess me up.

    Else just write the PW on the device with a permanent marker. My wife had a PC and wanted the PW so we wrote it on the case so she could remember it. Later she changed her mind and realised that PWs only keep us out of our own PCs and the hackers can get in anyway.

    Probably yes but I strongly advise about messing with it.
    Reformat the USB on the Qu and start over if you don’t want the contents.

    Clearly you tried the wrong cable. Mikes plug into Female XLRs. If that was a male XLR it was not for your mike.
    Do NOT get a converter and plug your mike into that connector.
    Suspect last year the mike plugged into a cable that went to a box on stage that connected via a snake to the mixer.

    Somebody at the theatre should know something about how things are wired up.
    Ask them.


    Profile photo of guyburns

    Thanks for the feedback.

    Upset Someone
    I’m sure I didn’t upset anyone, as the equipment I described was from outside, still there after the previous show had finished it’s run. They weren’t using the QU24, which is why they had commandeered the speaker cables.

    The Film Society who had the theatre booked when I was there, know less about the Qu24 than this newbie does, and couldn’t get sound. That’s when I discovered that the previous users hadn’t bothered to put things back in their original configuration. We’re the ones who should have been peeved!

    Ref Manual
    I checked out the link Mark provided, but I had already downloaded and spent several hours reading the reference manual, and making extensive notes. Although… I did skip over the Width part on page 32. Thanks to your suggestion, I’ve just checked out the specs. Width can be set down to 1/9 octave, so I’ll see if I can remove the resonance next time.

    Ask Them
    The on-site people know very little. I asked. This is a tiny town (5000 people) 300 km from the capital city. We’re got a wonderful 250-seat, tiered theatre but not much technical know how on-site. The techs, well, they are on contract from outside the theatre. The previous tech lived locally and was a knowledgeable one-man show. The new tech is actually a company who are 20 kilometres away. I can imagine what it would cost if I asked them to come in and get the microphone to work.

    Pit XLR
    I have fairly clear recollections, and notes made at the time, that the mic was plugged into an XLR socket in the pit, the left one. I had to open a door 2 feet x 2 feet under the front of the stage, crawl part-way in, and locate where the cable went. I didn’t concern myself with M or F. There were two sockets. I didn’t look into it any further, other than noting which channel it came in on — channel 16. The tech said the other was channel 15. There are, at present, half a dozen XLR cables behind the mixer, not plugged it. I’m pretty certain that two of them go to the pit. I suspect they put the wrong plug on the pit end.

    This mike problem is now more a learning experience and challenge, rather than an actual necessity. We actually did a mock presenter-check without a mike. No difficulty hearing her.

    Profile photo of Mike C
    Mike C

    – Yes they can be set operate with out any passwords.
    – The AB168 needs to be connected directly to the mixers D snake connection.

    The cold hard truth is that the system and mixer has had too many hands in it
    trying to fix problems and creating more at the same time.

    You need to bring in someone who knows really the mixer and sound systems, have them go through it and provide some training to the key people who will be operating the system.

    With so many unknowns trouble shooting this on an internet message board will be next to

    Where are you located?

    Profile photo of guyburns

    I think my questions have just about been answered (except for one), so thanks to everyone.

    Mike, you said the mixer can be set to “no password”. How? I can’t find info in the PDF, or on the net, how to turn off the password.

    Re Ques 2 about deleting Shows, I think I’ll make a backup USB stick, delete a Show and see what happens. The manual suggests the USB stick has to be formatted only by the mixer. It’s FAT32 formatted and my computer can read it, so I can see what’s special about the formatting or the Show folders themselves. What’s inside the folders is very special, of course.

    Just a few comments though to clarify my situation. I’m dealing with an unloved Qu24. The problem is not “too many hands”; I see it as not enough hands. No wants much to do with it except me and the film society.

    • The theatre is heavily booked throughout the year.
    • The last production bypassed the Qu24 completely and just borrowed the speaker cables.
    • The previous production to that also had their own equipment, only using the Qu24 for CD and one mic, much as I intend to do.
    • There is no on-site tech. There are no key people who operate the system. Productions come and go, their equipment comes and goes, their own key people come and go.

    Thanks again for the comments. One last thing: if anyone knows how to turn off the password, please respond.

    Profile photo of Mike C
    Mike C

    If there is a password in place you need to know the password to unlock the system and
    remove the password.

    If you have no idea what the password is you will need to do a full hard reset on the mixer resetting the mixer back to the day it was new out of the box and then all settings and password are gone.

    Profile photo of guyburns

    I performed a Hard Reset several times as part of my testing. I may have misunderstood the start screen because it appeared to ask for a password each time, so I typed one. Maybe I should have just pressed login without typing a password.

    But I think I tried that.

    Maybe someone with ready access to a Qu25 can try booting without a password.

    Profile photo of MarkPAman

    The manual for the AB168 is here.

    I think that if you get can this working, you’ll have all the inputs and outputs you need on stage. This will be better, more convenient, safer and (as it’s already there) cheaper than using an unknown socket with an adaptor, and hoping that somebody’s put the wrong type of plug on the end!

    Profile photo of Mike C
    Mike C

    I performed a Hard Reset several times as part of my testing. I may have misunderstood the start screen because it appeared to ask for a password each time, so I typed one. Maybe I should have just pressed login without typing a password.

    When you say hard reset are you doing the full hard reset where you hold the reset and set up buttons down while powering on the mixer?
    The hard reset takes the mixer back to new out of the box settings, no passwords, no scenes ect.

    The reset function in the scene menu is not a full mixer reset.

    Profile photo of guyburns

    Thanks for the feedback. I did a System Hard Reset several times on purpose, testing the complete process of turning on, changing settings, saving the Show to USB, turning off, and then making sure when subsequently turned on, that when I recalled a particular Show from USB, that the settings were what I thought they would be. That sort of thing.

    How to bugger it up
    I was purposely trying to find out what could go wrong. What would prevent an inexperienced user from being able to use the system as a simple volume control for a stereo signal? How could I bugger it up — and what did I have to do if I did bugger it up?

    The very first thing I did when I approached the mixer (it was already on, in Admin mode), was to save its settings to a Show on USB.

    The very first time I turned it OFF, things went wrong. I couldn’t get back in. It asked for a password. That’s when I System Hard Reset for the first time, and set the password.

    Maybe there is no password required after a System Hard Reset, but if that is the case, it wasn’t clear to me how to avoid the password.

    The very last thing I did at the mixer, was to recall the original Show settings from USB. Then I shutdown and left a large note on the front panel with the new password.

    Ques 6
    That brings me to another question which I’ve already posted on the Apple forums, but maybe someone here knows the answer.

    I have a 2GB USB stick (bought it in 2007 for $59, reduced from $129), that is formatted in FAT32 and is recognised by my 2004 iBook running OSX 10.4.11 (the laptop that was with me at the theatre).
    When I plug it into my 2013 iMac, the stick is not recognised. Several times, I have tried the iBook and the iMac with the same result.

    Any suggestions as to why a 2004 iBook can read the stick but my iMac can’t?

    The stick was formatted on an Allen & Heath Qu-24 audio mixer, and then used to store mixer settings. The manual says the stick can be used for archiving the settings on a computer…

    If you want to archive the folder to your computer, we recommend you copy the folder to a new named directory on your computer.

    …but says not to use the stick for any other purpose:

    Once formatted on the Qu mixer, use the USB device with the mixer only. Do not use it for other storage and applications.

    Profile photo of volounteer


    For many years I have found many usb memory sticks do not work in some PCs, but do on others although some not at all.
    Optical CDs and DVDws have the same sort of issues but for totally different reasons. And sometimes when it burns find on one PC then it won’t play on another PC not to mention CD player.

    The most recent case I got a new usb2 on closeout at an office supply store. PNY brand and my pc ignored it.
    PNY is one brand that has caused me the most problems):

    Googling I found some tips, none of which were correct, but some that gave me the clue as what to do.
    I finally found a way to somehow change a parameter in XP to optimise for x and not for y. When I clicked on that the memory started working fine in XP. Still wont read on the Qu32. Dont remember how I got there or what x and y were but I do think I recall that y was for speedier removal.

    Win8 and Win10 do even crazier things and hide them far deeper in the OpSys to make it still harder to fix problems that billyG and his boyz caused needlessly. One time usb stopped working completely because they decided to kill the controller to save power. Once I fixed that option it worked fine again.

    Now AH claims, they are formatting to FAT32 with 32 KB clusters, from how I read their ‘documentation’. But using usb sticks have been a BIG problem for us with AH gear. Much worse than the occasional PC hiccup like you had. Top quality fastest latest ones would not work at all. The only ones we got working is cheap usb2 from Staples, with no name except Staples.

    Maybe somebody could format a usb on the QU and then analyze it to see exactly what ELSE they did to that thing. I wonder if it is more than clearing the confusing (to them) files and setting up their directory system that they understand.

    Profile photo of guyburns

    This USB problem, seems a bit ridiculous to me. I’ve never had a USB stick, no matter size or make, that wasn’t readable by my PCs, Macs, the local print shop, my TV, my Blu-ray player… And AH can’t design a USB system that works reliably across all sticks? Woeful!

    Profile photo of volounteer


    I can understand why new memory sticks wont work on my old 98SE box because I do not have a driver for them.
    And just why do they all need a custom driver anyway ?????

    But some of the other things causing problems are totally unnecessary for sure.
    Some USBs add useless crap for encryption or automatic backup that adds NO value.
    Some use different formatting FAT FAT32 FAT32X NTFS and several others.
    WHY not all just use FAT32 and let us change if we want to.

    But AH being so fussy about which USBs it will use is ridiculous.
    But that happens if you let engineers write software. Not to mention documentation.

    I can understand if the old USBs dont work cause AH needs better performance for what it does with the Qu.
    But why the top of the line fast big usb3s I bought all failed is a mystery; and the old cheap usb2s were fine!

    OTOH the Qu is not a PC, nor a mac, not even a real linux box although I suspect it is based on some distro.
    And the Qu does seem to have several processors inside working independently. But that should not affect the usb usage.

    I do hope they learned their lesson and the next generation of mixers will use any usb no matter what just like pcs do now.
    I just hope they dont use some ultra small memory chip like cameras are doing now. Too hard to handle and too easy to lose.

    Profile photo of SteffenR

    as many times said,
    there are several bugs in many USB3 sticks, host controllers and chipsets
    not only Allan & Heath has to struggle with it

    at the time the QU where designed USB2 was the best possible solution

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