Allen & Heath’s New CQ Series Speeds Up the Mix for Musicians and Engineers
Allen & Heath has unveiled its new CQ series, a trio of compact digital mixers for musicians and bands, audio engineers, home producers, small venues, and AV installers, that places ease of use and speed of setup firmly at the heart of the user experience.
“CQ takes our renowned processing and effects, adds exciting new assistive mixing tools, and packages it all up into our smallest, and most affordable, digital mixer series yet,” says Keith Johnson, Product Manager at Allen & Heath. “Usually at this price point, users are forced to choose between a mid-range analogue mixer, lacking in modern features, or an entry-level digital mixer, where corners have inevitably been cut. With CQ there are no compromises. It’s a fully featured 96kHz mixer with stunning audio quality and intelligent tools that, regardless of your experience, lets you mix smarter, sound better and work faster. Just add sound!”
Built around an innovative new 96kHz processing engine, the series comprises the CQ-12T and CQ-18T desktop mixers featuring tactile controls and a 7” multi-touch screen, and the portable CQ-20B stage box mixer, all controllable via the companion CQ apps.
The processing engine, utilising Allen & Heath’s acclaimed FPGA technology, brings numerous time-saving tools to the CQ to speed up and simplify common tasks for users of all abilities. Gain Assistant automatically sets preamp gain to the optimal level and monitors and adjusts for any unexpected peaks in the signal. Feedback Assistant identifies and filters out problem frequencies across all outputs via simple one-button operation, with more in-depth control available for challenging acoustical environments.
Input channels can be switched between a Quick Input, giving users a source-specific set of controls with single knob control of channel processing, or a Complete Input for full control of all channel processing parameters. Additionally, an Automatic Mic Mixer (AMM) is present on all input channels, instantly improving clarity and reducing background noise in speech-based applications.
The CQ range also introduces a new suite of high-quality, user-friendly reverb, delay and modulation algorithms with instrument-specific presets for speedy setup, while the FX Assist tool shapes the FX by dynamically responding to the input signal for optimal clarity. The CQ-18T and CQ-20B offer 4 FX engines and the CQ-12T features 2 FX engines.
All three CQ mixers benefit from flexible recording and playback options including a multichannel USB audio interface, multitrack SD card playback and recording, simple stereo recording and playback via an external USB drive, plus convenient stereo Bluetooth playback.
The CQ series is supported by a pair of free multi-platform apps. The CQ-MixPad app enables remote control of the mixer from anywhere in the venue, while the CQ4You app empowers performers to take control of their personal monitor mix via their mobile devices. The CQ-18T and CQ-20B also benefit from integrated high-performance dual-band Wi-Fi for quick and easy connection of control apps without any additional network equipment.
The CQ-18T provides 16 mic/line inputs and 1 stereo input, the smaller CQ-12T includes 10 mic/line inputs and 1 stereo input, and the stage-friendly CQ-20B offers 16 mic/line inputs, two of which can be used as Hi-Z instrument inputs, and 2 stereo inputs. All three models feature 6 independent outputs which can be configured to run up to 3 stereo outputs.