Allen and Heath Zed 24 USB Mixer
The Zed 24 from Allen and Heath has a feature-set that is incredibly advanced for a mixer at this level. With 23 independent sources to the mix, 10 independent outputs, 4 aux sends, a USB send and return for PC or Mac recording, playback and effects and a unique dual stereo input capability; the Zed 24 offers all that and some very advanced monitoring facilities.
The ZED 24 is so packed full of great features that you’d think it would cost much, much more! It can be used for many different tasks, whether in live performance, utilizing plug-in effects via USB, live recording via USB and Cakewalk, studio recording or mixing down to produce your own 2-track recordings.
Allen and Heath Zed 24 Features
- Something for everyone, from entry-level to pro
- 16 mic/line mono channels and 4 stereo line channels
- Main stereo input on jack sockets
- Utilizes DuoPre pre-amps with a two stage design
- A responsive 3-band, swept mid frequency EQ design with MusiQ
- 4 aux sends (1 and 2 prefade; 3 and 4 post-fade)
- USB with send/return configurations for recording, playback and external FX
- Sturdy design; Individual vertically mounted channel circuit boards
- Each rotary control fixed with a metal nut to the front panel
- Includes SONAR LE Software
The ZED 24 has a fantastic pedigree which comes from nearly 40 years of making mixing desks for the professional sound community. The audio circuitry is based on years of continual development and refinement and the performance of all the elements within the mixer is has been perfected to ensure the very best sound quality possible.
Chief designer, Mike Griffin, has been at the forefront of audio innovation for many years and has developed the designs for Allen and Heath’s spectacularly successful MixWizard and GL series professional live mixers. Mike is always striving to produce the best possible sound for their mixers, and for ZED has produced the DuoPre, a mic preamplifier which sounds incredibly pure.
One of the great things about the ZED series is the number and variety of things you can plug in. In addition to the sixteen mono channels there are four stereo channels, each with a main stereo input on jack sockets, and with the ability to take additional stereo inputs from phono sockets or from the USB audio input, flexibility gives you control. In all, ZED 24 boasts 129 different controls on its front panel - way more than any of the competition! 16 mic/line channels are provided on ZED 24 - plenty for mics or DI boxes for larger bands or demanding applications requiring more inputs than the ZED-14. 4 stereo line inputs, 3 with dual inputs. All inputs have independent gain control.
Based on the proven pre-amps from the hugely successful PA series, the ZED series has DuoPre pre-amps, which use a two stage design, with carefully controlled amounts of gain in each stage. When amplifying the signal from the XLR input, the gain range is huge - 69dB of range to be exact - and is very evenly distributed around the gain control, meaning better control of signal level. Most of the gain comes from the first stage, so unwanted noise is kept to a minimum. Line level signals are simply plugged into the second stage of the pre-amp by using the line input jack socket, which has the great advantage of less noise when using the line input.
ZED 24 features a responsive 3-band, swept mid frequency design with MusiQ - optimized slope (or Q factor) for equalizing individual instruments. HF and LF also boast Xtra Boost giving you extra control.
4 aux sends are provided, of which 1 and 2 are prefade for foldback monitoring, and 3 and 4 post-fade for effects sends. A stereo signal can be sent from the auxes via USB to computer to create 2 separate record feeds independent of the main LR mix (1and2) and or used as FX sends (3and4).
USB audio flexibility
Getting audio to and from a computer easily is now a common requirement for live sound and music production. Allen and Heath have implemented this on ZED is super-flexible and super-easy! No longer do you need to fiddle around the back of your PC to get to the soundcard inputs, only to find that the levels are all wrong and noisy. Just plug in a USB lead to your ZED, select the USB routing on the mixer and the device on your computer and that's it! Three switches provide different send/return configurations for recording, playback and utilizing external FX. Add quality audio to and from your PC or Mac.
At this level, most mixers are built using a single, flat PCB with all the pots and switches attached at right angles. ZED 24 utilizes individual vertically mounted channel circuit boards with each rotary control fixed with a metal nut to the front panel - making a much more robust product that will resist damage and give years of reliable use. ZED also has professional 100mm faders for ultimate control over your levels.
Free! SONAR LE!
Allen and Heath have teamed up with Cakewalk to bundle SONAR LE with this ZED mixer. The two team up together in many ways - for example straight forward recording of a stereo mix, recording tracks individually to build up a song, or for inserting a SONAR LE effects plug-in.
- Insert points
- High pass filter
- Stereo imaging control on every channel
- channel mute switches
- stereo return
- 2-track return
- Advanced monitoring facilities
- 1/4 inch and 3.5 mm headphones outputs
- stereo record out
- alternative stereo out
- mono sum of LR output
- main LR
- 12-bar LR meters
- master controls for aux 1 and 2