Allen & Heath ZED-12FX USB Compact Stereo Mixer
Allen & Heath ZED-12FX USB Compact Stereo Mixer overview from GAK
The ZED-12FX from Allen & Heath is the perfect mixer for artists, bands and groups with the need to travel light. Although highly compact and portable, the ZED-12FX is a powerful USB mixer that houses 4 auxiliary channels, swept parametric EQ and configurable USB audio in/out.
The ZED-12FX is a flexible USB Audio Interface solution for capturing professional quality audio straight on to your PC or Mac. Eradicating the lengthy process of wiring through the back of your PC, the ZED-12FX can simply be connected via USB, select 'USB Routing' on the mixer and you're done. Three different switches allow you to toggle between different send/return configurations for recording, playback and using external FX. Furthermore, purchase of the ZED-12FX comes complete with Sonar LE recording software absolutely free.
The ZED has a selection of 16 time-delay effects perfect for small acts/bands that don't wish to carry around large effects units as part of their gear but still require good quality FX at gigs and during recording sessions. Each effect is controlled using a three button array with 9 display LEDs. Delay time is easily tapped in and reverb and other effects can be smoothly dialled-in, simply hold down the 'TAP' button on the mixer and use the adjacent up/down button to adjust the parameters of the selected effect. In addition to this the ZED also features a superb EQ section, the same musical 3-band EQ found on the popular GL2400 Mixer that uses Allen & Heath's patented 'MusiQ' system with an optimised slope for equalising individual instruments/inputs.
The ZED-12FX is fitted with DuoPre pre-amps, modelled on the proven pre-amps of Allen & Heath's phenomenal PA series. The DuoPre pre-amps use a two-stage design that controls the amount of gain in each stage, for example when amplifying the signal from an XLR input, a large gain range of 69dB is evenly distributed across the gain control, allowing you to make precise adjustments to the signal level. The majority of the gain is harvested from the first stage which keeps unwanted noise down to a minimum. When dealing with line level signals, the line input jack socket connects directly to the second stage of the pre-amp, generating less noise and also matching to a higher input impedance.
The ZED has a superb array of inputs, in addition to its six mono channels there are also three dual stereo channels, all with a main stereo input on jack sockets. The ZED houses 6 mic/line channels, enough to cater for a small band, duo or solo performer. The ZEDcan also accommodate additional stereo inputs via phono sockets or via USB audio input.
There is a number of Auxiliary sends found on the ZED-12FX, 4 in total, 2 of which are pre-fade (for foldback monitoring) and the remaining 3 and 4 for post-fade effects sends. Furthermore, a stereo signal can be routed from auxes via USB to your computer creating 2 recording feeds independent of the main LR mix.
Out of the box, the ZED-12FX looks and feels extremely robust, designed for life on the road as well as the studio. It has a solid metal construction with super smooth action faders and knobs on every section. It features vertically mounted circuit boards with every rotary control fixed down with a nut to the front panel which makes it exceptionally solid. In addition, the ZED's professional grade 100mm faders provide that extra length for the ultimate level control.