Allen & Heath ZED-420 4-Bus Mixer - 16 Mono / 2 Stereo with USB
The ZED 4-Bus series takes inspiration from different product lines
within the A&H range, combining them with fresh new ideas to give
stunning results in a neat and easy to use package.
The padless DuoPreTM mic/line pre-amplifier is the new design
first implemented on the ZED-14 and delivers a high-headroom,
low-noise signal. The 4 band, 2 sweep EQ, along with the low
noise summing amps, is borrowed from the acclaimed GL2400,
while the bus architecture is a simplified, but equally comprehensive,
version of that employed in the successful GL series.
The USB audio interface, with its uniquely flexible capability,
allows different signals to be sent to USB, from LR or from selected
aux buses. The USB return signal can be routed straight to the
LR mix or to a stereo channel. The connectors are placed on
the top surface for easy plugging & patching, and the
construction, with individual circuit boards firmly nutted to the top
panel, is as rock solid as Allen & Heath’s top of the
range ML Series mixers.
The ZED 4-bus series is available with either 16 mono inputs plus 2
dual stereo channels (ZED-420), 24+2 (ZED-428) or 32+2 (ZED-436).
Also included with ZED 4-Bus is the excellent SONAR LE digital
audio workstation software for Windows, with audio and MIDI
multi-track recording and mixing capability, effects plug-ins and
editing features, enabling the ZED 4-Bus mixer to become a live
recording or home recording mixer.
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 two dual stereo channels, each with a main stereo input on
jack sockets and with additional inputs on phono sockets. the USB
return can be selected to one of the additional inputs so that it feeds
either the main LR bus or the stereo channel.
Based on the proven pre-amps from the hugely successful PA series, the
ZED series has new DuoPreTM 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-420 features a responsive 4-band EQ taken from the acclaimed GL2400 mixer.
The design utilises MusiQ - optimised slope (or Q factor) for equalising individual instruments.
6 aux sends are provided, of which 1&2 are prefade for foldback
monitoring, and 3 & 4 are switched pre or post-fade for effects
sends. and 5&6 are post-fade. Auxes 1&2 can be sent to the USB
bus for recording pre-fade signals independently to the main mix. Auxes
5&6 can also be sent to the USB bus for use as effects sends.
USB audio flexibility
Getting audio to and from a computer easily is now a common requirement
for live sound and music production. The way we 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! Quality audio to and from your
PC or Mac. Three switches provide different send/return
configurations for recording, playback and utilising external FX.
The ZED-420 has been designed using individual vertically mounted
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.
SONAR LE - provided Free!
We have teamed up with Cakewalk to bundle SONAR LE with
this ZED mixer. The two team up together in many ways - for example
straightforward recording of a stereo mix, recording tracks individually
to build up a song, or for inserting a SONAR LE effects plug-in.