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Allen & Heath ZED R 16, OH YEAH!
Old 25th January 2013
  #1
Gear Addict
 
Bristol Posse's Avatar
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Allen & Heath ZED R 16, OH YEAH!

Just treated myself to an Allen & Heath Zed R 16 and am really impressed
Disclaimer:
I am aware of all of the arguments ITB vs. OTB and don’t really care, I’m thinking about workflow and convenience in my situation.

Well I already have an RME FF800, Dangerous D-box, Drum bus comp, mix bus comp, 2 channels of mono EQ and compression, so why the heck do I need a Zed R 16

1) New audio things are fun, shiny and make me happy
2) I am becoming increasing weary of DAWs for mixing but do not want to buy a standalone recorder since there are some distinct advantages with the computer for initial editing purposes
3) I wanted to be able to continue to use my RME and D-Box and while adding more flexibility

The Zed satisfies all counts
I was really getting tired of a DAW with a screen full of plugins and opening and closing more (and I am a very light VST user), constantly mapping and MIDI learning parameters on an MCU to try and give more tactile control, and just having everything seem to take forever to get a mix together

I have 8 channels of summing and nice converters that I wanted to be able to use in conjunction with whatever I decided to bring in to my little studio and still be able to send the final mix to DAW and monitor from the DAW. And with ADAT and 2 bus send and receive to FW in the Zed I’m able to do just that, I was hoping the Mackie or Midas option would be able to do something similar but apparently not

So my new set up is:
8 tracks of drums into ADAT > RME FF > D-Box > Chameleon Labs 7802 Stereo Comp > Analog Stereo in Zed R 16 > ZED L-R Bus

16 Tracks of everything else > FW > Zed Channels 1-16 pre insert> inserts as necessary > Zed L-R Bus

Zed L-R bus > Inserts to mix bus compressor CL 7720> FW channels 17-18 > DAW and monitor the DAW from the Zed 17-18 return

All I can say is Wow. Everything is so much quicker and easier.
Once my initial edits, time alignments etc are done, the computer is just a playback device. I can grab faders, turn EQ parameters, ad a HPF, Patch in a comp or other EQ, send to an aux to be processed with other siliar sounds etc and just make things happen without tons of mousing, and opening GUIs and so on. and all of the ins, outs and inserts are on the face of the board so no scrambling around the back to patch inserts in etc, and saves space on my desk too
Plus I can still use an odd VST filter or LA2A or 1176 if I need to by adding to the channel in the DAW, pre desk but holy cow, this is how mixing should be.

I’ve just set up the routing for the first song I’m trying this set up on and I don’t even have the computer screen turned on and things are just coming together so much easier

Yes OK, there are a few things missing like Solo and Invert Polarity and 24 channels is not much these days, but this is how making music should feel!
(and I haven't even used for a recording session yet)
Old 25th January 2013
  #2
Deleted 99dc753
Guest
Try buying 16 more outs for example the behringer ada 8000 and do a mix complete on the ZED with the outboard... thats what made my workflow easier and you may come to the conclusion that you do not need anymore the D BOX for summing.

the ZED desks are the most underrated low end stuff you can get in my opinion. I like the sound of my ZED 14 and its all I need to use my outboard gear.

overall I was surprised about its build quality as well as about its tech specs when I measured it..... also the EQs are very usable ..... the things which the board misses you can solve in the daw... but try to use external converters 24 ch outs.... you will be surprised...
Old 25th January 2013 | Show parent
  #3
Gear Addict
 
Bristol Posse's Avatar
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.HOLMES ➡️
Try buying 16 more outs for example the behringer ada 8000 and do a mix complete on the ZED with the outboard... thats what made my workflow easier and you may come to the conclusion that you do not need anymore the D BOX for summing.

the ZED desks are the most underrated low end stuff you can get in my opinion. I like the sound of my ZED 14 and its all I need to use my outboard gear.

overall I was surprised about its build quality as well as about its tech specs when I measured it..... also the EQs are very usable ..... the things which the board misses you can solve in the daw... but try to use external converters 24 ch outs.... you will be surprised...
I am mixing 24 analog channels right now without having to buy any more channels
the D/A conversion on the desk is pre insert and so all of the inserts, EQs on the board, faders and so on are analog. The drums are summed on the D-Box, treated with analog stereo comp and sent as analog inputs to a stereo in on the Zed

I am summing the analog signal on the desk but monitoring the final 2 track return off the DAW just to make sure that there are no post conversion surprises when I print the final mix but I can easily monitor straight off the L-R bus if I so desire at the press of a button without changing any of the cable set ups, or send to some external recorder or whatever

I really think this kind of thing is the missing link for a small DAW based studio.

I also was just talking to one of the schools where I do some Live sound work and was just thinking that I could easily bring this board to a show, run live sound and record multitrack a the same time to a lap top for later mixing and distribution should the school so desire.

Lots of options here
Old 26th January 2013
  #4
Deleted 99dc753
Guest
At least the conversion in the ZED 14 is noisy and lacks depth and dimension...that was why I thought you may use external conversion..... but if you are happy with the internal stuff.
Old 26th January 2013
  #5
Gear Head
 
MrMojoRison's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Love my Zed R16

I think the R16 is a great mixer. I produced my bands album on it, start to finish. Never had any issues. Worked seamlessly with Po Tools 9. I learned on an Alesis Multimix 12. Sold me on multi tracking. Now I'm doing mixes for other peoples bands with it just because they liked the way our stuff sounds. If your interested in hearing music made from an R16 then I can send you the link to my bands music.
Old 26th January 2013 | Show parent
  #6
Deleted 99dc753
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrMojoRison ➡️
I think the R16 is a great mixer. I produced my bands album on it, start to finish. Never had any issues. Worked seamlessly with Po Tools 9. I learned on an Alesis Multimix 12. Sold me on multi tracking. Now I'm doing mixes for other peoples bands with it just because they liked the way our stuff sounds. If your interested in hearing music made from an R16 then I can send you the link to my bands music.
It seems you are satisfied with it?
The tracking was also on the R16 mic-preamps?

Share the link...
Old 26th January 2013 | Show parent
  #7
Gear Addict
 
Bristol Posse's Avatar
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted 99dc753 ➡️
At least the conversion in the ZED 14 is noisy and lacks depth and dimension...that was why I thought you may use external conversion..... but if you are happy with the internal stuff.
Maybe I'll try one mix where I bring the summed 2 track back through the Zed and then try the same mix back through the main outs to the RME converters and then via ADAT back to the DAW and see if there is a lot of difference
Old 26th January 2013 | Show parent
  #8
Deleted 99dc753
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bristol Posse ➡️
Maybe I'll try one mix where I bring the summed 2 track back through the Zed and then try the same mix back through the main outs to the RME converters and then via ADAT back to the DAW and see if there is a lot of difference
I think it is worth to try it the traditional way.
Thats why I called for more outs in conversion!!!

RME DA OUTS->ZED R16 line ins -> RME AD (REC TWO BUS)
Old 26th January 2013 | Show parent
  #9
Gear Addict
 
Bristol Posse's Avatar
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.HOLMES ➡️
I think it is worth to try it the traditional way.
Thats why I called for more outs in conversion!!!

RME DA OUTS->ZED R16 line ins -> RME AD (REC TWO BUS)
Nah I'm going to use the 18 channels of AD/DA built in to the ZED plus the 8 Channels of AD/DA on the RME

Unless the AD/DA on the zed is a problem, that was the whole point of hte purchase.

I don't wan't to buy a desk with AD/DA built in and then spend another $700 on 16 channels more of Behringer AD/DA and cabling to feed the analog inputs of the mixer with built in AD/DA
Old 26th January 2013
  #10
Deleted 99dc753
Guest
two ada 8000 is not 700$ in my book....300 + 150 for wires...
the ada 8000 is underrated and i have my doubts about the conversion in the a+h....

but its up to you- in a 2k desk how many k go to the ad da section???
Old 26th January 2013 | Show parent
  #11
Gear Addict
 
Bristol Posse's Avatar
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted 99dc753 ➡️
.....i have my doubts about the conversion in the a+h....
Having been using it for four days so far I'm not finding that the conversion is a problem so far

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted 99dc753 ➡️
but its up to you- in a 2k desk how many k go to the ad da section???
Probably the same or more than go into a $150-200 Behringer box?
Old 26th January 2013
  #12
Deleted 99dc753
Guest
but remember the b box is in parts an rme rip off...
anyway I cant find any data sheets on the A+H website also about the measurements what the analog side should be.
its the same with all other desks on their website no data available.
Old 26th January 2013
  #13
Lives for gear
 
TurboJets's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Bristol, how do you like the pre's so far?
Old 26th January 2013
  #14
Gear Addict
 
Bristol Posse's Avatar
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by TurboJets ➡️
Bristol, how do you like the pre's so far?
I'll be giving them a first real workout this weekend. I decided to use the board for a live event at my kid's school tonight so will be running anything from 1 - 8 simultaneous Mic ins and channel filters, EQ and faders. Then on Sunday I'll be recording some guitars and vox in the studio

That should give me some idea how the pres are and I'll report back

Sent from my PC36100
Old 26th January 2013
  #15
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
it's a great desk! brings back the fun in this digital world...
Old 26th January 2013
  #16
Lives for gear
 
montanasan's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Had mine about a month now and love it. Great workflow and things sound pretty good too .
Old 28th January 2013
  #17
Gear Addict
 
Bristol Posse's Avatar
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
OK a quick update as I used this desk in both a live show and to studio record some guitars and vocals over the weekend

This desk is not a color piece, it's pretty transparent
The pre's worked very nicely, lots of gain and very, very little noise. It did seem like there was a lot of gain in the last few MM of travel in the gain pots but that didn't really present itself as a problem, as for the most part I wasn't having to to push the pres.
Used with a variety of dynamic and condenser mic both wired and wireless and stereo ins from a CD player and Digital keyboard, what we put in was pretty much what we got out without a lot of coloration or added noise

The fixed filters were nice for live work and did help to keep rumble out of the signal. Didnt use them in studio recording as I wanted a clean recording

EQ is very useful, again not colorful but the shelving is right where it needed to be and the parametric bands are easy enough to dial in. didn't add noise etc

Mutes all worked nicely, no pops or anything like that when bringing mics in and out

FW interface was flawless into a lap top running reaper for capturing the multitracks of the live event and into a desktop also running reaper in the studio.
No problems with drivers, drop outs etc and the sound quality is fine

Noise floor of the desk itself was very low and unobtrusive and everything worked as advertised

Routing a headphone mix for me as well as a mix to a monitor speaker on stage, in addition to the main outs was intuitive and worked without a hitch

I need to get used to the 60m faders vs the 100mm ones I had been using and my fader rides were a little "enthusiastic" on the first couple of numbers at the live show but overall, I'm a happy camper so far
Old 21st February 2013 | Show parent
  #18
Gear Head
 
MrMojoRison's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.HOLMES ➡️
It seems you are satisfied with it?
The tracking was also on the R16 mic-preamps?

Share the link...
band is called Reverb Adrenaline album is We'll Sleep When We're Dead.

You can stream us on facebook. Spotify. reverbnation. Buy it on itunes, cdbaby, amazon, google play. .. probably other places too.

Yes, we did everything on it.
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