Allen & Heath to announce new digital console January 2012

Yesterday, I received an exciting promotional email from Allen & Heath “leaking” pictures of a new digital console that will be officially announced in January 2012.  You can check out a link to the announcement on the news section of their website by clicking here.

It’s advertised as a “professional digital mixing console system at a distinctly analogue price.”  They also mention that their most accessible digital console will be unveiled in January 2012.  Obviously, it will probably be announced at NAMM which is towards the end of January every year.

It’s a pretty huge deal to me considering what I do and the goals I need to make sure are accomplished on a week-to-week basis.  National Community Church runs Allen & Heath consoles almost exclusively across all of our locations including their current iLive digital series in our Barracks Row location with another iLive system with Dante being installed in our Ebenezers Coffeehouse location early in 2012.

I’d like to give my opinions based on the few teaser pictures that Allen and Heath has released already and try to predict some features that will be available on the new digital system.

Here are a few pictures from the Allen & Heath website.

Picture #1 shows that not only does it feature a touch screen similar to it’s bigger brother, the iLive, but it also has a feature that the iLive does not have as of yet.  It seems like it will feature flash recording to a USB drive as well as playback.  The tab on the top of the navigation screen says “USB Audio” and in the box being displayed below, it says “Playback”, a file name and size as well as controls that seem to allow you to navigate playing the selected file.  Below, there is a finger touching a record button on the screen with an indicator showing how much space you have available on the USB that is plugged in.  Also, the navigation menus to the right of the screen indicate that the operating system will probably be similar to that of the iLive.

The LED channel strips are also similar to the iLive so it seems like Allen & Heath will be keeping a pretty similar vibe across their lines of consoles.

In the second teaser photo, you can see that the button arraignment is similar to the number on the iLive but we’ll have to wait and see exactly what they are but I’d venture to guess that they are Mute, Select, Mix, and PAFL buttons.  It looks like it will look similar to the iLive.  However, I assume they’ll continue the trend that it set when they released the T-series and R-series of flattening the original oddly-shaped i-series modular iLive.  It will feature LED meters on each channel for monitoring levels but obviously not as long as the iLive’s.  To the left of this photo, you see two PK lights which I assume are to indicate peaking on different layers.  That also would mean it features layers which could mean that this console will be capable of a higher channel count then other smaller digital consoles.

Teaser photo #3 confirms a very similar vibe to that of the iLive in orientation of controls and functions.

Teaser photo #4 is another very interesting picture.  It’s a picture of a small section of the control surface and the stage rack.  Purple is certainly an interesting choice of color since the only purple mixer I’ve ever seen to date is a Midas.  The featured stage rack has 12 outputs on it which I’d say is a pretty decent number for a small format console.  There are also 3 Ethercon networking ports on the right side of the stage box.  The top one looks like it says “Expander” and in the picture, it looks like there is a separate rack stacked on top of the main rack so I’d assume you can use multiple stage racks with the same surface.  Second ethernet port down says “Monitor” which makes me wonder if these small stage boxes will support a digital split to a monitor console.  I’ll be interested to see if that is a feature or not.  Finally, the last ethernet port says “dSnake” which I assume is the connection protocol for the new digital system.  I also assume it will not be compatible or interchangeable with any of the iLive systems at this point since the iLive control surface protocols are currently only Ethersound, ACE and MADI.  Photo #5 shows a more close up shot of the stage rack but unfortunately does not show how many channel inputs the stage rack has.  I’m hoping it’s 32 channels.  That would be awesome!

Teaser photo #6 is a picture of the EQ menu on the screen.  Even though it’s cut off, I’m assuming that it will be a FOUR BAND fully parametric EQ with the option to select cut, shelf, or parametric filters on the low end and high end.  You can see five different filters on the screenshot they showed.  Purple looks like a high pass filter, then you see green, light blue, blue and a red filter on the graph.  On the display below the graph you can see that it indicates where you’ve swept the filter and the Q-size.

Bottom line is that I’m really excited about this console.  I’ll certainly keep my eyes and ears open for updates and blog about them as they come out.  If anyone else gets more information, please pass it on to me at jdcastellente@gmail.com.

 

UPDATE:  Allen & Heath has now released more information on this console.  You can check out my post on the release here:  http://jasoncastellente.com/2012/01/mix-with-your-ears-not-your-eyes/

One Response to “Allen & Heath to announce new digital console January 2012”

  1. Josh Schultz December 23, 2011 at 2:19 am #

    I’ve written a little about it as well on the A&H forum. (post by Yeshua is mine)
    http://iliveforum.allen-heath.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=1862&whichpage=1
    There is also a reasonable amount of speculation about what some of the stuff is through some of the posts….

    Thats one spot on the web that will be worth checking up on…maybe A&H will let out a few more pics….

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