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Allen & Heath ICE-16 - 16 ch Multitrack Recorder + USB/Firewire Interface Announced - Page 3 - Gearspace.com
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Allen & Heath ICE-16 - 16 ch Multitrack Recorder + USB/Firewire Interface Announced
Old 13th November 2012 | Show parent
  #61
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlienHealth ➑️
Hi Cheu & Guys,
You are right in saying that the ICE-16 is not part of our digital live range of products - to record from those you can choose your digital interface protocol and stream 64 channels straight to a computer.
The ICE-16 is aimed at musicians and sound engineers who have small-ish analogue consoles who want to record individual channels for mixing later.
We still sell a large number of small to medium analogue consoles so the ICE is a very valid product to partner them as you say.
The argument for balanced I/O is interesting - when I laid out the design and circuitry I chose the most common connectors for the inputs (jacks). The unbalanced input buffers offer uncompromised performance for short connection to the source, but I can see that 25 pin D-subs with balanced I/O might be more attractive to pro end-users. The question is - would balanced I/O it be justified if the cost of the unit was 10% to 15% more?

Once again, thanks for your comments. It's really helpful to get you thoughts and preferences.
Cheers,
Mike.
Hi Mike
Thanks for the info, I didnΒ΄t find a hint, if it is possibly to record through firewire to a DAW and simultaniously have a backup to usb-stick/hd...

That interests me, thanks for reply

Juusoshi ee
Old 26th November 2012 | Show parent
  #62
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🎧 10 years
ICE-16

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlienHealth ➑️
The question is - would balanced I/O it be justified if the cost of the unit was 10% to 15% more?
Mike, it would be totally justified and very welcome (at least for me). The unit retails for 1K. At even $1250 (25% higher), what other 16 channel firewire or usb capable interfaces are there on the market in that price range?

Lynx Aurora 16 W/firewire card - Admittedly not their "best converter" but still at $3200 after 6 years on the market.

Apogee Symphony - $3700 minimum and their USB only works with Mac, if indeed the USB option works yet.

Focusrite Rednet 2 - $3150 with Audinate Driver (Ethernet, which like FW and USB requires no additional PCIe interface). This thing has been promised but not released for what seems like two years. Really Focusrite? Why even show it at AES 2011 if you didn't intend to release it until 2013?

Antelope Orion - $3000, which is a great price per channel if you need 32 channels. I need 16 and would gladly pay half that price for half the channels.

All other FW or USB interfaces give 12 channels at best and none but the RME "output jacks all over the place" UFX doubles as a recorder.

So yes, balanced I/O would be great in my opinion. Some of us (probably more than these boards would have one believe) still use analog mixers for mixdown, and of course, there are still plenty of live sound guys who want to record shows.

Last edited by RedBrickCity; 26th November 2012 at 12:07 PM.. Reason: It needed editing
Old 26th November 2012 | Show parent
  #63
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melgueil ➑️
I do not understand the hand ringing over this. There are other products today that have all or nearly all of the features requested. Trouble is - you have to pay for them.

If balanced connections and the like are so critical in order to meet your pro requirements - then go buy pro gear, and pay the appropriate price tag.
Cdlt
I'll be happy to explain the interest (or "hand wringing", as you put it), at least from my perspective.

The ICE-16 is very close to what I've been waiting for - a reasonably priced 16 channel I/O without the need for a separate PCI/PCIe card or clocking one unit from another. I don't even care that it's also a recorder. I'm guessing I'm not alone in that as other people asked about the possibility of balanced I/O. As a result, the A&H rep wondered out loud if balanced I/O might be of interest to a wider market though it would come at a "10 - 15%" higher cost per unit. A 15% increase would place it at $1150, which is at least $1850 less than any other single box solution I'm aware of.

$1850 is a sizable chunk of money for me to spend moving up to the existing options, especially when their dynamic range is equal to or only negligibly better than the ICE-16 and I'm mixing through a console with a lower end-to-end dynamic range than it or anything above it.

I understand where you're coming from, but I don't think those of us on a budget asking about the possibility of balanced I/O is "hand wringing". For me, I'd just don't want to pay 3K or more for 16 channels of I/O. If Echo Digital Audio can make a good quality 12 channel firewire interface and retail it for $600, is it ridiculous to ask why someone can't make a good quality 16 channel standalone unit for under $1500?
Old 4th January 2013 | Show parent
  #64
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Ive only just seen info on this forthcoming box.. The thing i dont get is it seems aimed at such a limited market.. like its really only suited for the guy who runs a live PA and wants to record the bands he mixes through direct outs ?? There might be a few of them out there so im not saying thats not a fair audience, but with a few small tweaks it could have crossed over a lot and opened up to wider customers. I am someone who should be interested in this but it doesnt seem to be adaptable or forward thinking enough..

IMO, it could still be analog based but a better idea would have been to focus on it as an input device and forget the RCA outs altogether, forget the firewire port also.. Use 16 x TRS ins and 4 x TRS outs.. Keep the standalone USB recording (obviously) and the USB connectivity to a computer/tablet as a 16 in/4 out balanced line interface.. More importantly if you had some software which provided realtime display of the 16 inputs the metering limitations could be overcome, also a software mixer to allow basic monitor mixes through the headphone out and that would allow the more dedicated location recordists to be able to work with it.. If it did this with an android or iOS app it could be used with a cheap tablet on location for all metering and monitoring, how easy would that be!!!.. 16 tracks isn't enough for many people but the fact you could sync two of them is ok.

For the most part id also say just a stereo balanced out and headphones would be enough, but 4 balanced outs would solve another shortfall ive noticed.. Lots of bands which use backing tracks want more than just stereo out.. currently people in that situation are forced to run ipods and use mono backing one channel and drummers click the other, one mono track is a major compromise.. Or they lug around laptops with audio interfaces just to achieve more than a stereo out which is cumbersome and people would rather streamline things.. There is nothing solid state on the market which is reasonably priced, has 4 balanced outs and is a simple proposition to carry and setup.. 4 TRS outs would also be just enough for feeding a few different headphone mixes for someone rehearsal type recordings.. RCA can do that also i guess but unbalanced and 16 of them ?? If there is anyone left who doesnt mix ITB they are going to want balanced outs i would think..
Old 23rd January 2013 | Show parent
  #65
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dynamo's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
balanced i/o do not make a product "professional". Specs do and the nominal i/o level: +4dBu or -10dBu, which has nothing to do with balanced or unbalanced.

Connectors: as a matter of fact rca or 1/4 inch are cheaper than XLR's so you probably save some money on snakes and such. Anyway that is really not a deal breaker, at least to me.

I like the ICE. What I REALLY would love is the ability of the box to record on USB and simultaneously stream on the FW port in order to provide a backup of the recording on DAW...along with the metering feature.... As I understand it's instead either one way or the other. Correct? Now, that feature would make a major difference to me.

Not sure if this has been point out already. Could not go through all the pages.
Old 25th January 2013
  #66
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Holy damn, sall about the balanced I/o. Anybody want to help make a 16x16 differential amp box and sell it for $300 bux? Hahah
Old 28th January 2013 | Show parent
  #67
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15 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Muser ➑️
It would be nice if you could record individual track/channel choices at any time to add to a recording.

does the USB stick always record ALL channels or just the seleted ?
is the USB stick able to play back it's recorded content via the outs ?
This was my question too and one i didn't see answered. Does this unit function like a multitrack where you can track to 1-4, then listen back and track to 5-6, etc? Or is it just a multi-channel recorder that records however many active channels at once and then you are done? From what i've read this is how the JoeCo BlackBox works (but please set me right).

I'm looking for the skinnier HD24.
Old 3rd February 2013 | Show parent
  #68
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🎧 5 years
Ice ice baby

you can overdub only with the help of a computer aka when you use it as an interface, not in stand-alone mode and not straight with the USB stored files, it seems.

The manual is actually done quite well. it's up on the Alien Health product website, under documents, a pdf:
ICE-16 | ALLEN & HEATH // WORLD CLASS MIXING

- in stand-alone mode you got 16 tracks at 44/48 or 8 tracks at 88/96 (automatically records only track 1-8 when you crank sample rate up)
- as interface 16 i/o tracks up to 96/24bit possible
- you can play back the recordings (stand-alone)
- you can play back stereo files from usb storage (stand-alone) as walk-in music, in the order they are on the storage. So first Anthrax, then Bach, just like you would play it anyway

Seems many people here want this to be something it's clearly not.
Sure, better metering, input trim/pad... but at least I can push one button and check the in- or output signal of one or many tracks, in mono - and if it sounds good in mono, it will sound even better in stereo. all good.

balanced D-Sub: as an option it would be a good idea, but: in a dimly lit club, when you twist a pin or have a loose D-Sub solder point: good luck with that. They are not the sturdiest connectors, strain relief and all. They can also be hard to solder, especially when there is no time. I prefer standard, single connectors in a war zone aka small venue.

Also I'd prefer un-balanced and cheap in 1HU over balanced and expensive in 2HU myself. You need like 2-8 feet cables from the mixer or the pre amps going into this, so what? That's the length of a medium big mixer, unbalanced inside. Whoever uses this as a studio interface most likely will do so in a "home" or "project" type studio with short cables.

A slim HD24 would be great, but wouldn't it probably cost and weigh a bit more? I hope companies are working on stuff like that. Not like those portastudios, but just a solid and good recorder, overdub ready.

If it does work and sound good, this ICE thing is really a good idea. Why trash thousands of beautiful, working analog mixers, when you can use this and a snake and capture live tracks straight from the desk?
Old 18th March 2013
  #69
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🎧 10 years
Saw this in a print ad the other day, it looks pretty cool for what it is.
The ability to grab 16 channels with very little effort is awesome.
The inevitable "wishlist" starts growing though.

There still is demand for an HD standalone (why didn't Alesis just come out with a V2 of the HD24)
I guess I could go look for a manual, but can you record to USB/FW drive as well as the flashdrive?

Reading through all this, people keep mentioning monitoring and balanced output. For about the same money, you could get into a FerroFish16. But then you'd still be stuck with a computer & MADI interface.
Old 27th March 2013 | Show parent
  #70
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Deltones's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by analogtodd ➑️
There still is demand for an HD standalone (why didn't Alesis just come out with a V2 of the HD24)
I guess I could go look for a manual, but can you record to USB/FW drive as well as the flashdrive?
I downloaded the manual since I'm interested in this device as well. You can record on a USB drive and not only of a flashdrive. You can't record on a FW drive though.

Also, if you have a drive plugged into the usb port, the FW interface to your DAW will not be operational. In other words, you record to your DAW, or you record to your USB drive. Not both.
Old 28th March 2013 | Show parent
  #71
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
MIKE... ARE YOU THINKING OF ADDING THE D-SUB???

This unit is EXACTLY what I have been looking for, for an audio-art installation where I need to play back 16 tracks to 16 speakers.

And for some future projects where complex surround-sound (beyond 7.1) is being considered, this unit (even linked to a 2nd unit) would be perfect!

Sadly, however, the RCA outputs create a problem. With our powered speakers, I was hoping for 16 balanced outputs. But with these RCA outputs, I would need 16 DIs (which adds more than the 15% Mike was talking about, plus more complexity to installation).

Also, regardless of reasoning, RCA just gives the impression on non-pro gear.

I, for one, would gladly pay the extra.

What d'ya say, Mike???
Old 8th April 2013 | Show parent
  #72
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Great news... A&H have informed me a new version is coming with D-Sub connector providing balanced i/o.
Old 13th April 2013 | Show parent
  #73
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by spiral ➑️
Does this unit function like a multitrack where you can track to 1-4, then listen back and track to 5-6, etc?
This would be such a good reason for investing in one of these. Would be great to see this addressed in some sort of firmware update in the future.

As a follow up - if anyone from Allen and Heath is listening - could you kindly look into this. It'd make this bit of kit perfect for (I suspect) a lot of us.

Last edited by markmorgan10; 15th April 2013 at 02:16 PM.. Reason: Follow up request.
Old 29th April 2013 | Show parent
  #74
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlienHealth ➑️
Hi Guys,

The analogue inputs and outputs are unbalanced for the following reasons:
The main intention for the product is to provide a convenient solution for local recording from multiple analogue sources - predominantly direct outputs, insert points or analogue feeds from a pre-amplifer. These tend to be either unbalanced or ground compensated circuits in the majority. With short to medium cable connections, ie - with the ICE-16 close to the source, then interference will be negligible and balanced connection is not really an advantage. Of course you can connect a true balanced source to the ICE-16 input.


Kind regards,
Mike.
Although this answer addresses my chief concern about the ICE 16, I still believe it is a bad marketing decision to NOT make the INPUTS balanced because it sends a message to the audio community that this is NOT suitable for PRO use. For this reason, I believe many people will choose an alternate solution.

Having said that, I am one of the few that will base my decision on logic rather than hype. And since I agree with what you are saying about balanced not being necessary in THIS type of situation, I may just go ahead and pick one up for the 50 band festival we are hosting this summer.

I have been searching for a simple solution to recording live festivals that spares me the trouble of having to bring my Pro Tools rig or a more costly product such as the JoeCO Blackbox.
Old 3rd May 2013 | Show parent
  #75
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werchhahn's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Mine just came in today. I'm recording 3 bands (myself included) weekend after this. I'll report back my impressions. Test recording with vocals and acoustic are promising for what it is. When I run sound for bands, I plan on asking for $50 extra to push record (with their thumb drive). Already have four other bands willing to pay. Easy money.
Old 5th May 2013 | Show parent
  #76
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1 Review written
🎧 10 years
If the comment about a balanced version 'coming' is true, then I'm very excited at the prospect. I would love to get a hands on review from someone with good converters to compare it to (midrange Apogee, Motu, RME, etc).

This unit would be perfect for the mobile 16 track setup I'm trying to put together, if only it were balanced TRS/XLR/DB25 I/O. To be able to track 16 channels over firewire in a single rackspace at this price is unprecedented and insanely cool. Just add two SCA racks, a headphone amp and a power conditioner and you have an awesome 16 channel recording rig.

I think a version with good metering and balanced connectors would be a complete game changer- rather than just appealing to live sound guys, they could appeal to a whole host of midrange project studios who live track small bands or who want to mix out of the box. The built in recorder is just icing on the cake and a nice redundancy for the occasional live recording.

A&H, if you release a balanced, well metered, 'professional' version for less than $1500, I will be first in line. Especially if it sounds in the same league as nicer Motu or Steinberg interfaces. You'd have a real winner there.
Old 8th May 2013
  #77
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
I'd be all over one of these with completely balanced I/O with or without DB25 connector. Metering would be nice for me, but *not* necessarily a game breaker.

Last edited by mercurydime; 16th June 2013 at 04:08 PM.. Reason: *not*
Old 15th May 2013
  #78
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🎧 5 years
This is so sick! I'm definitely gonna get me one of these and a good mixer. Awesome product!
Old 29th May 2013
  #79
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werchhahn's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
It works perfectly. I have it seperated from my furman by 1U and picked up no hum or inteference from any of my power sources. I do use 14 Gauge, 15 Amp SJT cables on all of my rackmount electronics though, not the cheapo SVT cables that most manufacturers supply, so shielding is not an issue.
Old 14th June 2013
  #80
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🎧 5 years
I don't mind the unbalanced connections because I intend to use the unit for exactly what Mike said. I also don't have any problems with the metering, etc. I think the product is great, and like some others on here I also hope they will continue HD recorders for those of us that lean towards the more purist side. The idea of being able to arm tracks would be pretty nice though. Still I'm definitely going to purchase this unit.
Old 14th June 2013
  #81
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
We just purchased this for a multichannel installation in Taiwan, where a spa needs surround-sound (7.0) in one room, which is open to other rooms and so the music playing in surround must be in synch with the stereo music elsewhere. Altogether we'll be running 9 channels of music from a USB drive. This is a perfect unit for this.

And in this case, the unbalanced outs are OK because it's a short run to the amps.

But for a future sound-art installation where 16 channels will feed 16 powered speakers, we'll need balanced outs for sure, and so we're holding out to see if A&E hold true to their word, that a D-Connector version with balanced outs is on the way.
Old 20th June 2013
  #82
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Ok guys,

I just received my ICE 16 yesterday. A few things that no one has yet talked about that I would like to clear up.

1) It only records from the FRONT of the device in stand alone mode. Other wise you can connect to your computer via USB OR firewire in the back.

This is a little annoying since I bought a glyph drive and was hoping to hook them up from the back together. But instead I have to run the wire to the front. Not as "tidy" as I would like but it is what it is.

2) Although it connects easily to a mac, the drives are formatted for windows so if you have a glyph drive formatted for mac, you will have to transfer ALL your data on that drive and wipe it clean. PC formatted drives work without the need to reformat.

3) This is a major gripe of mine. By default the ICE 16 records in 16-bit onto USB stick since MOST USB sticks aren't fast enough to write 16 tracks at 24 bit rates!
Allen and Heath graciously provides a list of approved USB sticks but then reminds you that they are approved for 16 bit recording and that MOST usb sticks won't record at 24 bit.

Well, I want to know which USB sticks CAN record at 24 bit. And I prefer to know without having to go through trial and error. I mean, What kind of write speed does the USB stick have to have in order for it to record at 24 bit? Allen and Heath has not stated this to my knowledge.

Let me give you a REAL life scenario of WHY i need this. On August 1-4, 2013, I will be recording 60 bands at a festival. I will be tapping into the sound engineer's console's direct outs straight into the the ICE 16. (BTW,I don't think the extra metering is necessary as some of you have griped about since the metering on the console will already be enough and as long as the sound engineer is not clipping, neither with the ICE 16 since the direct outs on the console are PRE fader.)

But I want to buy an 8 Gb USB stick for each separate band so I can sell them their 16 track session ON THE SPOT! That way they can mix it at their own leisure or pay me to mix it later on. I need 60 x 8gb USB sticks that are fast enough to write at the 24-bit depth. But I don't want to pay a ton of money on something that is more speed than I need. So I need to know the minimum write speed in order for the ICE 16 to record at 24 bit.

These settings are automatically determined by the ICE 16 after it does a "drive check" and then you are stuck with whatever bit depth the ICE 16 determines your drive is capable of handling.

If I was recording everything onto one big drive, I would just buy another glyph drive and format it just for the ICE 16 and then import the files into my mac afterwards for mixing. But in THIS scenario, I need the best bang for the buck USB stick that can record at 24 bit.

If anyone can help, please chime in.
Old 21st June 2013 | Show parent
  #83
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
As I understood it, ICE will record to sticks at 16 bit, and fast-enough drives at 24 bit (if desired). If you're right, that you can also record 24 bit to some sticks, I guess you should ask a knowledgeable person (or search) which brand and model is an extra fast stick, and test in advance.

You could also call A&H and ask someone. Surely they know, but won't publish it publicly.

Have you thought of just selling 16 bit sticks instead?
Old 21st June 2013 | Show parent
  #84
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by mlien ➑️
As I understood it, ICE will record to sticks at 16 bit, and fast-enough drives at 24 bit (if desired). If you're right, that you can also record 24 bit to some sticks, I guess you should ask a knowledgeable person (or search) which brand and model is an extra fast stick, and test in advance.

You could also call A&H and ask someone. Surely they know, but won't publish it publicly.

Have you thought of just selling 16 bit sticks instead?
Yeah, I wrote Allen and Heath yesterday and they responded with "Almost every USB Hard Drive would record at 24 bits but so far all the USB Sticks that have been tested, would record on 16 bits.

I'd recommend using hard drives if you really wish to record on 24 bits."

So I wrote them back explaining that I am recording 60 bands at a festival...etc. I asked what is the minimum write speed required to record at 24 bit...waiting for a response now. Some of the newer sticks record up to 160Mb/s.

I considered selling the bands a 16 bit version. But I really want people to have a good product especially when it comes to mixing later on, that extra bit depth makes a huge difference when you start using plugins in your DAW.
Old 27th June 2013
  #85
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Hi
Some advice please, would this unit be able to hande Waveslive multiracks fine?
Or will latency be an issue?
Old 6th September 2013
  #86
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Ok guys. I thought I had a chance to record and mix at a festival this summer using the ICE 16. Regardless of the fact that the I/O is unbalanced, I think the tracks came out great. Here is a link to the video: Bernie Worrell Orchestra - "Woo Together" - MazFest 2013 in Roscoe, NY - YouTube

Don't forget to watch in 1080p HD.
Old 22nd September 2013
  #87
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
In case it's gone unnoticed:

ICE-16D | ALLEN & HEATH // WORLD CLASS MIXING
Old 22nd September 2013
  #88
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
In case it's gone unnoticed:

ICE-16D | ALLEN & HEATH // WORLD CLASS MIXING
Old 22nd September 2013 | Show parent
  #89
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cheu78's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by hywyn ➑️
Thanks A&H!
I believe that this will be great, not only for recording live shows.. but many small studios that need an high channel count for a very reasonable price.



Cheu
Old 22nd September 2013 | Show parent
  #90
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheu78 ➑️
Thanks A&H!
I believe that this will be great, not only for recording live shows.. but many small studios that need an high channel count for a very reasonable price.



Cheu
I'm still in the game for the unbalanced version, - a perfect suit for my vintage Trident! But great to find a company who listen

Steve
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