New and considering a QU mixer

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  • #38898
    Profile photo of Tom
    Tom
    Participant

    Hi Everyone,

    I am Tom and live near Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

    Because my Onyx 1620 is getting a little bit too β€˜small’ for my synth studio I am considering a new mixer. Digital mixers have my special attention because of the advantage of total recall.
    I have browsed through a lot of information and the QU-16/QU-24 and Presonus Studiolive do have my special attention and I prefer the QU on the moment.
    Since I am a complete beginner when it comes to these type of devices I do have some questions regarding the QU mixer.

    As said I use a mixer in a home studio environment.
    I record my tracks on a Korg D3200 multi track recorder.
    Can route individual channels to individual outputs on the QU, so that I can use them as direct outputs to the recorder?

    Can the QU replace my D3200 as a multitrack recorder or are it’s multitrack capabilities limited in comparison?

    Is the QU overall a good choice for my situation or are there better options?

    I do use a Lexicon pro MX-200 effect processor. Is there someone who can compare thsi to the effect units in the QU mixer?

    I am working my way through the manual, but there is so much to study for a noob as I am, that I hope that this forum can make some things clearer and easier for me.

    Regards,

    Tom

    #38900
    Profile photo of John-B
    John-B
    Participant

    Hi Tom,

    I’m a live audio guy, not a musician, so, I’ll do my best to help! The QU mixer is NOT a recorder, but can record in 2 ways. Either directly to specific hard drives, through the “QU-Drive” USB port on the front panel. See which drives have been tested and approved on the pdf file at the bottom of this page: http://allen-heath.helpserve.com/Knowledgebase/Article/View/774/201/qu-drive–understanding-qu-drive-and-usb

    OR, directly to a MAC or PC based DAW (such as Protools etc. ) A & H just very recently came out with a new firmware update to support PC’s in addition to MAC’s also (V 1.4).

    I’ve used both direct recording to hard drive, (from “QU-Drive” USB port on front panel) (limited to 18 tracks on both QU-16 & QU 24 mixers) and also recording to a MacBook Pro running Protools (from the USB “B” port on the back panel)(in this way, will record up to 24 tracks). I’ve found both methods to be quite reliable, as I’ve recorded a couple different gigs with sessions running between 20-25 GB each.

    I don’t have any experience with the Lexicon processor you mention, so, I couldn’t comment on that. I have found the QU mixer efx to be quite good sounding though! You can find example of the QU mixer’s effects on this page:

    http://www.allen-heath.com/qu-fx-processing/

    Good luck, Tom, hope this helps!

    John

    #38901
    Profile photo of Dwight
    Dwight
    Participant

    Hi Tom I use the Qu-16 in my studio. I bought it for monitoring /and tracking and for live folk gigs. What I didn’t figure out till after the fact is that the with the Qu-16 when used with a Daw can’t access the eq or compression which I thought it could. So you can record individual tracks which works great but not eq or compression and such. Not a big deal recording a live show but in the studio I use eq especially all the time going into my DAW. In talking with Allen and Heath support it appears this will be added the ability to access the eq and compression with a future update. I wanted it specifically for tracking drums and with this feature would I feel be the ideal board for a small recording studio situation. I am not stuck as I have a high end channel strip that I use a lot but you also could run your your channels out a stereo buss or mono buss which will access the eq and such. If you do everything is a DAW i guess it is no big deal, but it was for me.

    I love this mixer and can’t wait to be able to use it with the added feature as it saves a lot of work.. at least for me in my studio. Live it is awesome! … it keeps getting better as well with each update

    I think the rev/ delay are comparable to your lexicon..(I have the 400) except the lexicon has a lot more control and presets. I find a lot of the other effects other than delay and reverb I wouldn’t use as much as I have better ones in my DAW and I think your lexicon would be better (my opinion)

    Dwight (near Calgary AB Canada)

    #38921
    Profile photo of Tom
    Tom
    Participant

    You guys are quick.

    Thanks for your answers.
    The links are also very helpful.
    Gives me some more information to study.

    I think the effects are indeed quite good, but it is hard to really make a comparison with ‘computersound’.
    The effects ar no dealbreaker for me. I am mostly interested in the routing possibilities because I think my D3200 will be the main equipment for recording.

    I still have the time to get deeper into this machine. Have to save some money and make some room in my home studio. πŸ˜‰

    Thanks again guys!

    regards,

    Tom

    #38923
    Profile photo of WaihekeSoundie
    WaihekeSoundie
    Participant

    Hey Tom,
    I love my QU16 as well and can highly recommend it.
    One thing though– I would make the point that whilst you can take a feed of 22 channels into you DAW over USB, the mixer does not have hardware channel direct outs or even insert sockets for each of those channels like say, my MIXWIZ and I suspect your ONYX does…
    So no it does not have direct outs in the sense I think you mean.

    What that means for you I think is that if you intend to use you D3200 to record, you would be limited to sending or submixing the channels you want to record to the 10 MIX outs of the QU16 unless ..
    a) your D3200 can take a USB and see the QU16 as a DAW can OR
    b) you can route through a DAW onwards to your D3200 though other hardware (and I suspect you don’t have that from your post)

    So ideal as a desk infront of a D3200..maybe not?
    Is a very, very cool mixer though..
    Hope this helps
    Andy

    #38924
    Profile photo of Tom
    Tom
    Participant

    Hi Andy,

    Thanks for your reaction.

    You are right about my intention to use the D3200 for recording, but I don’t think the D3200 can take the USB.
    Routing my channels to the mix outputs sounds perfect to me (the D3200 has 12 only inputs).

    I think the QU is a very cool mixer, even with the very restricted knowledge I have about these type of devices.
    There are a lot of possibilities and there is a lot to learn, but I like to find things out and that’s why I started with synthesizers in the first place. πŸ˜‰

    I don’t use DAW’s intensively.
    I have Tracktion running for MIDI sequencing on an old Windows XP computer.
    I used the computer quite often in the past for sequencing and editing synthesizers, but as I get older I don’t like ‘mousing’ my way around through my instruments on a computer screen.
    I like hands on control and I think the QU fits in my studio quite well in this perspective.

    Tom

    #38948
    Profile photo of WaihekeSoundie
    WaihekeSoundie
    Participant

    Hi there,
    You should note that mixes 6-10 are stereo but I guess you can pan hard L/R the channels into those stereo mixes to keep them separate for output to your D3200

    Best to use it with a DAW though πŸ™‚ You might end up going that way and the desk does has a degree of automation with a DAW.

    All best
    Andy

    #38996
    Profile photo of Tom
    Tom
    Participant

    Thanks for your input Andy.

    Good point to mention the way it works with the outputs.
    I think when it comes to multitrack recording there are maybe some better options, but also with other price tags.
    Multitrack recording is just one of the possibilities I want, so the possibility to route separate channels to separate outputs can be very handy in that perspective.

    In most mixers the direct outputs are pre channel processing and I like to use the full processing capabilities of the Mixer. I mostly record my songs track by track (it’s the way I ‘build’ my songs) so the mix outputs are not a problem and when performing/jamming live the mix outputs give me a lot of flexibility (at least, I think so…noob as I am considering digital mixing).

    The more I read about this mixer, the more I like it.
    I don’t think it is the most easy to use machine, but I do think it’s possibilities makes it worth the effort.
    Last but not least, my wife likes this mixer. πŸ˜‰

    Tom

    #39002
    Profile photo of MartinW
    MartinW
    Participant

    Hi Tom,

    You also mention Presonus Studiolive as an option.

    You’ll find a few of us on here have moved from presonus to QU.

    The studiolive is a great desk, but I suggest you trawl the presonus user forums for reliability issues.
    In the end I couldn’t trust mine in a live situation.

    I love my QU16, great sound and not too difficult to learn to use it.

    Cheers
    Martin

    #39027
    Profile photo of robbocurry
    robbocurry
    Participant

    +1 to what Tom said:)

    #39087
    Profile photo of DMAudio
    DMAudio
    Participant

    +2

    I went from Presonus to QU. Despite never having had problems with the StudioLive, there were always a few things that bugged me;

    1 – When plugged into a macbook, the clock is handled by the computer not the desk
    2 – The compressors don’t sound very transparent or nice
    3 – Lack of direct to drive recording
    4 – Motorized faders
    5 – So many reports of show stopping failures during shows made me always worry about it happening to me
    6 – Lack of ethernet stageboxes

    It’s still an amazing desk for the money, but the QU has done everything the SL does, but a little better, and A&H is more rider friendly than Presonus in my experience.

    #39129
    Profile photo of Tom
    Tom
    Participant

    Thanks for sharing your information and opinions.

    As said I still have time to the actual buy, but my focus now is on the QU.

    #45669
    Profile photo of SounDamage
    SounDamage
    Participant

    Had my QU-16 for 3 weeks now. Great so far. It replaced my SL 16.4.2,locked up in the middle of show twice, they are junk.

    #45670
    Profile photo of buzzfry
    buzzfry
    Participant

    hey tom I just got rid of my presonus SL 16.0.2 I used it with my IMAC for recording with there software I have the studio one 2 pro I have to say I have gotten great results with the software I sold the SL because I didn’t like the FX or not having the motorized faders. I wanted the beheringer x32 producer but Guitar center wont sell that line anymore they suggested the A&H QU-16 . I did some homework and now wed I will pick mine up .im going to use it as a DAW for my software with my mac and as a Mixer with my powered PA speakers . as far as I know the studio one 2 pro software will work with the mixer . if not then I will invest in to REASON or something else. Good luck

    #45676
    Profile photo of [XAP]Bob
    [XAP]Bob
    Participant

    Manual page 63, section 9.

    You can set the channels to go to USB post EQ/compression, so those features of the desk can be available – although only on a global basis – just take them out of line if you don’t want them on some channels…

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