Allen & Heath announces the new GLD series digital console

Allen & Heath has really outdone themselves this time announcing a product that is a serious contenter for the mid-range price point and the medium format digital console market.  Their small format digital console teaser is now public with announcement of the GLD series.  They created a happy medium between their high-end iLive series and their  reliable, budget-friendly, workhorse GL series consoles.

The console is very similar to the iLive in look and feel but obviously scaled down to come in under the more budget conscious bar.  The GLD-80 is currently the only control surface in the GLD line.  It should be interesting to see if A&H will expand this range with another control surface or two.  The GLD-80 has 20 faders and 4 layers so you can lay your show out however you’d like and connects over a CAT5 cable using the new DSnake protocol to an audio rack.  There are currently two racks in the GLD line: the GLD-AR2412 which features 24 in’s and 12 outs and the GLD-AR84 which features 8 in’s and 4 outs.  The GLD-AR2412 features a CAT5 port labeled “Monitor” which is compatible with Aviom.  Similarly to their iLive line, they offer the ability to scale the system capabilities to what the user or venue requires.  Those two models can be linked together and, when connected to the GLD-80 control surface, it is capable of processing a maximum of 48 inputs and 24 outputs.  Each of those inputs features gain, polarity control, HPF, gate, 4-band parametric EQ, compressor and individual channel delay. It also has 8 stereo FX racks, 16 DCAs, 30 mix busses and 20 mix outputs which are all configurable and accessible from the GLD’s 8.4 inch touch screen.

I was extremely excited to see that the GLD system includes a card slot in the console for expandability similar to the iLive system and cross-compatibility with the iLive system if you put an ACE card in that slot.  However, I’d certainly be more inclined to put a Dante card in there and have a killer multitrack rig or the Waves plug-in’s card and rock some of those.  Either way, that slot option is an extremely powerful option that pushes the GLD farther then the rest because it leaves the door open for future functionality and updates without having to buy a new system.

A feature that is new to Allen & Heath’s digital systems is the ability to record and playback audio files with a USB flash drive.  Hopefully, this functionality will appear on the iLive in a future firmware update.

I must say, I’m really excited about the release of the GLD.  On paper and in pictures, it looks awesome.  Out of the digital console manufacturers, Allen & Heath has planned their development and marketing strategies extremely well.  They developed an extremely innovative family of systems that create a world of flexibility both now and for people who many need to expand down the road as their needs and requirements change.  I will certainly be excited to get my hands on the GLD and work with it in a live concert situation for a real world test.  I will certainly write a demo as soon as I have the opportunity to do so.

For more info, check out A&H’s promo video.

Check out my Hands-on Review of the new ALLEN & HEATH GLD digital console:http://bit.ly/LhKSrL

 

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