The Allen & Heath ZED-18 has an incredibly advanced feature-set for a mixer at this level – it gives musicians, venues and hire companies access to 10 full mono channels and 4 stereo channels in a compact, rack mountable format. Configurable USB audio in/out makes it easy to capture stereo recordings.
Getting audio to and from a computer easily is now a common requirement for live sound and music production. The way this has been implemented on ZED is super-flexible and super-easy! No longer do you need to fiddle around the back of your PC to get to the sound card inputs, only to find that the levels are all wrong and noisy. Just plug in a USB lead to your ZED, select the USB routing on the mixer and the device on your computer and that's it! CD quality audio to and from your PC or Mac. Switches and connection through jack socket terminals provide different send/return configurations:
ZED-18 features a responsive 3-band, swept mid frequency EQ design which utilises MusiQ – with optimised slope (or Q factor) for equalising individual instruments.
Based on the proven pre-amps from the hugely successful PA series, ZED-18 has DuoPre pre-amps, which use a two stage design, with carefully controlled amounts of gain in each stage. When amplifying the signal from the XLR input, the gain range is huge - 69dB of range to be exact - and is very evenly distributed around the gain control, meaning better control of signal level.
Most of the gain comes from the first stage, so unwanted noise is kept to a minimum. Line level signals are simply plugged into the second stage of the pre-amp by using the line input jack socket, which has the great advantage of less noise when using the line input and also matching to a higher input impedance.