SB (Stage Box) form factor for SQ-serie

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    Profile photo of Mike C
    Mike C

    @ Volunteer AKA Volounteer!!

    What type of church has live band performances?

    Are you kidding me, you must not really get out much!!!!!!!!!!!

    Let me ask waht are you calling a “band”…
    A full concert brass band or a contemporary christian band with drums, bass, couple guitars, couple keyboards, half a dozen singers, maybe percussion, ect.

    As for a stage box QU Pac style SQ, I’m interested.

    Actually a mini SQ with maybe 8 faders and 6 layers would be something
    I would look at as well.

    Profile photo of volounteer


    I do not go around from church to church to see what they are doing.
    I read articles that describe things going on.
    I run across videos some churches post like the one earlier today with the usb clicking.
    I have heard of a few churches using bands for music.
    Most of the ones I have heard play are terrible bad musically and questionable spiritually.

    I would suggest that you go with the standard definition for Band:
    Band, (from Middle French bande, “troop”), in music, an ensemble of musicians playing chiefly woodwind, brass, and percussion instruments, in contradistinction to an orchestra, which contains stringed instruments. Apart from this specific designation, the word band has wide vernacular application, from generalized usage (as in “dance band” and “jazz band”) to the very specific (as in “harmonica band,” “brass band,” and “string band”).

    But I would also allow for big band, boy band, cover band, Jam band, Jug band, Jazz band, marching band , military band, school band or similar.

    I have heard of a FEW churches using bands which are often closer to rock bands, although usually short of heavy metal types.
    There might be others out there, but they do not seem to be all that common in Christian Churches.

    So I asked, and still await an answer, as to what TYPE of church would use a band instead of the more common organ, or piano or keyboard; and an occasional instrument like trumpet or sax but those are usually soloed not part of a ‘band’.

    So what TYPE of church is still the question and you can specify the species of band they use.

    Profile photo of volounteer


    I would imagine that most churches of the few that actually use a band would use a garage band not a real band.

    Profile photo of Hugh

    Setting aside what has become more than a one year “covid time out”, todays contemporary church services offer a “Praise Band” in lieu of traditional choir and piano/organ accompaniment. The joyful noise participation varies greatly in form and quality ranging from the afore mentioned volunteer “garage band”, to well paid professional musicians working with heavy six figure audio/TV gear to thousands of seats in mega churches all over the country. This is where the growth in faith based worship has exploded over the past 25 years. Support for traditional services has become a big time problem for the major Faith based organizations so they have attempted to join the “7–11” praise band contemporary service movement. However the all time leader and all time standard for high quality music and spoken word in traditional service is now, and has been for many years, The Salt Lake Tabernacle constructed more than 150 years ago. 7,000 seats in an acoustically perfect structure housing the world’s largest organ and a spectacular choir that has world class gear for world wide radio and TV broadcast of music and the spoken word.
    In every case where strong participation and support is evident, high end audio gear is central to the worship agenda and with out question un compromised audio quality is a primary focus in their budget.

    Profile photo of Mfk0815

    hmm, and I thought that we are discussing here a technical devices and in the particular case the form factors of that devices. How silly can I be? This forum is primary for discussions of internas of some churches. What a misinterpretation of the nature of this forum by myself.

    Profile photo of volounteer

    Thanks for the explanation. Sounds like you are saying that it is very few, large, mega churches providing entertainment, not most churches.

    The few churches I was aware of looked small and the band looked like garage bands although some played well.

    Side issues get discussed when they come up as part of the main discussion.

    Profile photo of KeithJ A&H
    KeithJ A&H

    @mfk0815 is correct –
    Of course it’s natural for things to come up which do not relate directly to the original post, but as this has become the main thread to help us understand your requirements and suggestions for a possible future product, it would be great for it not to go off on a complete tangent!
    To that end, any further posts not relating to ‘SB (Stage Box) form factor for SQ-serie’ will be removed (I’ll dig out the tenuous-link-metering-device in advance).

    Thanks for your understanding.

    Profile photo of Alex_Petrov_59

    Hey Folks,
    Our loving Allen&Heath company wants to make for us very useful mixer in form of stage box with modern parameters… Let’s help it to do that.
    What about inputs in form of combi XLR/TRS? And a few or all inputs with Hi-Z Ohms? (Would you like to save some money for DI-Boxes?)

    Best wishes

    Profile photo of Hugh

    As previously stated, I have been on both sides of this proposal: a serious discussion pursuant to the need, or lac thereof, for tactile controls is needed for this thread to identify important priorities.

    1) limiting control to WIfi devices with the certain expectation of decreasing band widths is not a future proof solution.
    2) Direct cat 6 connectivity opens the door to a perfectly reasonable discussion pertaining to the needed attributes of a mini control device.
    3) a. Mike C’s mini SQ with 8 faders and 6 layers.
    b. maw92’s small non pre amp SQ with 8 faders & TRS I/Os & a Dante/Waves port
    c. MFK0815 built in DX hub with out sacrificing the Dante/ Waves port

    IMO the entire question turns on the need for a small affordable control device that addresses multiple applications while avoiding the development and production expense related to re-inventing existing DX96K stage boxes. I am a strong supporter of the dual option offered with the ancillary wifi controls we have available now: however a primary tactile control of my stage box inputs and outputs is a mandatory no brainer for me. Last week I ordered a DX32 and a pair of prime I/Os and a built in DX hub would be a very handy option to enable using my DX168 simultaneously with out sacrificing my Waves direct card. I am with maw92 in abandoning the XLR inputs and associated pre amps in the existing SQ5. Maintaining the SQ’s TRS I/O section including the AES & Talk back XLS along with the HP output is very important. However the central issue is where will the controlling FPGA platform reside: In a DX stage box or in a small mini control module? The answer is pretty obvious given the broad range of applications we have currently available and the economic necessity of avoiding redundant expense.

    Profile photo of SpecTech

    I want to chime in here.

    First of all, the fact that A&H (Keith) replies to and keeps in touch with stuff like this in the forum is amazing! Kudos!

    I can only speak for my self and my use. So here is my scenario witch would be solved bu a “smaller than SQ5”-SQ.
    I am an inhouse engineer at a multi-purpos venue where we have dLive and I also travel with a band on a regular basis where I use my own sq5 package.
    I considered going the CDM32 route, but ended up going the sq route.
    The reasons why I ended up going the sq route is:

    1. portability. I was hoping to be able to take the sq5 as carry on luggage for fly gigs. But it’s a couple of cm to big inn some directions when using the soft bag, and I don’t dare to risk having to send it as checked in luggage in the soft bag if they don’t let me carry it onboard.
    2. 16 faders instead of 12 and an aditional master/listen fader. You could argue adding an IP8, but they don’t support midi faders.
    3. Didn’t need more inputs and outputs, although I’d love to be able to bypass the internal FX on the 4 FX sends and use them as sends out to external FX units. I have enough inputs to acomodate the returns, so I only need to be able to bypass the internal FX in the send path.
    4. Pricepoint. Though, it was mostly the number of faders.

    Now, why would I even consider a rackmountable faderless SQ?
    Well, it’s primarily about portability for me.
    First let me describe the solution I’d love. lets call it an SQ-Brick Depending on how much space is needed for the internals and cooling I see 2 options. But make it as small as possible. Both based on the backside of an sq5.

    Option 1:
    – An 8 analogue combi XLR inputs with 7&8 doubling as AES inputs, and the stereo 1 Jack input.
    – An 8 analogue outputs with 7&8 doubling as AES outputs
    – Slink,Network(with POE+),both USB for cable and for memory stick/drive and I/O port for expansion card.
    The Hedphone output for PFL bus.

    Option 2:
    – An 12 analogue combi XLR inputs with 11&12 doubling as AES inputs, and the stereo 1 Jack input.
    – An 12 analogue outputs with 11&12 doubling as AES outputs
    – Slink,Network(with POE+),both USB for cable and for memory stick/drive and I/O port for expansion card.
    The Hedphone output for PFL bus.

    Then also make it possible to use the IP8 on the SQ, so you could go “headless” but still have some faders.

    A package like this would give me several different possibilities:
    Scenario 1:
    Travel superlight with this in my backpack as carry-on, place it on stage and run an ipad or laptop via the network port at FOH. I will not have any PFL possibilities at FOH with this solution, except if I do something like a dante card in the expansion port.
    Scenario 2:
    same as scenario 1, but with a IP8 to add some physical faders.
    Scenario 3:
    same as the above, but add a DX168 for more I/O(will probably still go as carry-on…
    Scenario 4:
    Same as scenario 3, but moving the SQ-brick to FOH to have PFL and I/O at FOH.
    Scenario 5:
    same as scenario 4, but adding another dx168. I can probably throw everything in a Pelicase and be under the 23kg limit on flights, or have the SQ-brick and the IP8 as carry-on and definently be under the limit with the 2x dx168’s as checked in luggage.
    Scenario 6:
    All the cool things like a monitor mix, broadcast mix, Intercom routing, even a small PA/conference room processor(with automix), that a unit like this could be used for.

    Sorry for the long post. But I think you could charge probably 70% of what an SQ-5 costs and many people would consider it, especially if you opened up for using an IP8 with the SQ range.

    This is just my two cents, but you asked for examples of uses Keith 🙂

    Profile photo of DB

    I agree the discussion about churches isn’t really that relevant since numerous applications for an SQ rack version are already stated.

    I’m not so sure a control module is what most people are looking for. In my opinion that would be a whole nother product that doesn’t have to wear an SQ badge. I think the existing SQ5 i/o with the extension card slot is a perfect base for an SQ rack version. Also, developing a M32C style control module would not leave much room for physical controls that are requested by multiple people. And a control module with physical controls in combination with a stagebox is not really that compact anymore.

    In addition to the discussion about physical controls VS Wifi control: Wifi users would not miss any features on a version with physical controls where physical control users do miss physical controls on a version that is Wifi only. So adding at least some physical controls like on the QU-Pac is a must for me. A ‘QU-Pac front style’ mixer with SQ internals would be perfect for my needs. But I get that others would want some more changes regarding I/O, control, form factor, etc. etc.

    Profile photo of Hugh

    The SQ5 is a wonderful high Quality entry level product that offers world class 24/96K FPGA processing and FX in a portable package: as a stand alone product it has few, if any, peers. IMO it would be a mistake to make many, if any, changes to the existing SQ5 form.
    The issues raised in this thread pertain to applications that we are pursuing that are not particularly well suited to the SQ5.

    1) Extensive deployment of DX stage boxes are replacing the need of SQ’s in & Out XLRs;
    a) Seeking better world class analog pre amps, converters and out puts that are found in the DX168 & DX32 Primes.
    b) Multiple DX stage boxes, patched to a DX hub, that are placed in the immediate vicinity of the performance and it’s distribution is a no brainer.
    2) When all performance inputs and distribution outputs are generated through stage boxes we no longer will need SQ5 XLR Ins & Outs, But we will need;
    a) A control module that houses the FPGA processing “brain” and FX effects and the existing controls and displays.
    b) An 8 fader 6 layer module for managing up to 40 channels or a 16 fader unit with 6 layers for up to 80 channels. (match the module to your work)
    c) The back side should be a duplicate of an SQ5 with out performance XLR ins & Outs: The AES and Talk back XLRs are needed with the TRS ins & outs.
    d) The I/O dante/Waves port and existing ancillary I-Pad Wifi is a must have and an improved HP circuit would be much appreciated.

    It is clear to me we are entering a new chapter of digital FOH audio management. Yesterdays analog protocols that required tactile controls for every input produced consoles that would not fit in the bed of a pick up truck. The trend today is to develop stems that are digitally controlled and then grouped for further processing if needed. Over the past 15 years DAW processing has introduced these new protocols and today they are the FOH pro std.
    To this end smaller form faders and layers are very important. My new dream control module could be called DXCM 8 or DXCM 16, either one would be targeting the sonic upscale market that is apparently A&H’s calling card these days. To their credit A&H has opened up the sonic upscale world to all of us with cutting edge offerings that were previously not affordable. D-Live will continue to be the A&H flag ship, however small scale world class options will see increasing market demand that A&H is in a unique position to address with it’s outstanding DX stage boxes. The missing link is an appropriate control module.

    Profile photo of MarkPAman

    So, having had a re-read of this thread, it seems to me that there are really 2 very different products being requested.

    One, is a fully featured control surface with very little local I/O that can be connected to whatever combination of the existing stage boxes the user wants. Essentially an SQ with most of the back panel removed.

    The second, is for a box or 19″ rack device with a reasonable amount of I/O, but few, if any, controls built in. So this one is an SQ with the front panel remove. For me at least, this one should be able to function as a “dumb” stage box with preamps being controlled by another SQ (+ the Avantis & DLive)

    Both would contain the XCVI processing core.

    I can see both of these being useful additions to the SQ range, but they are actually two very different beasts.

    Personally for what I do at the moment, I’d probably not find much use for the first, but would almost certainly buy the second.

    Profile photo of Hugh

    Today marks six months of discussion within this thread pursuant to some of our desired future A&H product options. One year ago I ordered from my local dealer an SQ5 & DX168 stage box that was delivered two weeks before this thread originated. In the interim I added The compressor package, a Waves card and a DX32 loaded with 8 Prime ins & outs and now a DX hub to enable using both stage boxes. I want to be very clear: the SQ5 will suffice as a control module for my subject stage boxes: However, my ideal DX controller would not duplicate any of the In & Out functions of my stage boxes that are better suited for capture and distribution, on stage, at the point of origination. With that said consider the following;

    1) Pre & OP amps are analog devices and we know the conversion of their voltage impulses to digital bits and then ultimately back to voltage is best
    achieved at the point of origination and distribution.
    2) All processing and distribution manipulation is best achieved with a central control device with cat 6 connectivity.
    3) Portability and flexibility are real advantages in todays market.
    4) IMO modifying existing DX stage boxes to include a multitude of processing that is currently available in the SQ5 creating an expensive redundant one
    trick pony like the CDN32 or QUsb with wifi only control, will not fly given it’s probable price point.

    I do not know the precise perceivable sonic improvement the prime pres will deliver: however I had enough faith in A&H’s design and quality control to make the considerable investment. Driving the decision was the amazing difference I discovered between the D-Live I/Os in my DX168 and the stock SQ5’s I/Os and that is actually what pushed the Prime pres purchase. I will get back to you with an evaluation after I have a chance to put them to work with my KV2 ES FOH stacks and EX10 wedges.
    The remarkable improvement in quality and price point of digital processing has not been matched in the analog processes of front end capture until now. The new “Prime money channel pres” are apparently the missing link for a bevy of vastly improved tube mics that are now available. When quality really counts the high end of the market will pay for it: it always has and always will.
    D-Live offerings are clearly large format home runs, however they are not smart small format solutions. I am trying to encourage a world class small format A&H product line that features new control modules for the DX stage box offerings exactly as they exist.

    Profile photo of DB

    I agree that DX range compatibility is a huge pro, however it shouldn’t be the premise if you ask me. One of the reasons that QU-rack versions are so populair is because they are great stand alone units too, without the need of a stagebox. So omitting the SQ I/O would be a mistake in my opinion. (or I have misinterpreted your idea because of my poor English).

    Going back to the discussion about physical controls. I agree that the whole SQ5 front is not a must since most channel functions are available via app. But at least some control of levels / mute groups / master level would be very handy in a lot of cases. Maybe a front style like the IP6 with a few buttons and knobs would be an idea? Or going the X32 route with 2 knobs to control the level of all channels.

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