Allen & Heath Zed R16

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DT
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Post by DT » Wed Mar 07, 2012 5:37 am

DT wrote:what about the built-in converters?

BUMP :hihi:

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plord
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Post by plord » Thu Mar 08, 2012 2:01 pm

DT wrote:
DT wrote:what about the built-in converters?
BUMP :hihi:
I'm not sure what you are asking? My ears aren't golden enough to tell you how the bits that come down the FW pipe compare the bits off of, say, a pair of Lavrys. It's 2012; the converters in this desk are more than competent and I haven't heard any artifacts so far. so...?

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Post by DT » Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:49 pm

i meant...compered to hardware which does ONLY conversion...let's say...apogee rosetta?

i was wondering about the quality of the ones into the zed...

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Post by moogah » Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:51 pm

DT wrote:i meant...compered to hardware which does ONLY conversion...let's say...apogee rosetta?

i was wondering about the quality of the ones into the zed...
The buzz over as gearslutz was very positive regarding the converters... but I think we all know that a dedicated converting unit with the letters 'apogee' on the front will be at least some amount better :razz:

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Post by stk » Sat Mar 10, 2012 1:16 am

The generally accepted thing with Firewire audio is to go for a card with a Texas Instruments chipset.

(That said my RME has worked fine with any FW port I've plugged it into).

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Post by a scanner darkly » Tue Mar 20, 2012 7:05 pm

Thinking about picking one up - how does it handle modular level signals? Would I need to put it through a DI box? Would be great if I could mix different modular outs using just the R16.

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Post by plord » Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:08 pm

a fuzzy beacon wrote:Thinking about picking one up - how does it handle modular level signals? Would I need to put it through a DI box? Would be great if I could mix different modular outs using just the R16.
Well, probably you'll need an attenuator (or limiter) more than a DI box. This is one place where the 60mm throw of the main faders might be a disadvantage. But I pulled the outs of the Wiard to the board directly, full output of the Borg II with resonance cranked, and the inputs handled it fine (gain at minimum, EQ bypassed, didn't clip it).

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Post by a scanner darkly » Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:23 pm

plord wrote:Well, probably you'll need an attenuator (or limiter) more than a DI box. This is one place where the 60mm throw of the main faders might be a disadvantage.
Thank you for reply! :tu: That's exactly what I'm afraid of, not having enough headroom which will make using the 60mm faders more difficult. I wasn't sure if R16 alone would reduce gain enough without having to use other attenuators, and I would rather not spend HPs on attenuator modules (not to mention the freedom of using R16 to mix different out points from the modular!).

Reading through some of the DI threads on Production Techniques still not clear on whether a DI box would serve exactly as a clean attenuator with the added benefit of eliminating ground loops. Sounds like what I need to do is just try modular level signals once I get the R16 and then borrow a DI box and compare.

Curious how are you finding R16 now after a few days?

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Post by bendedavis » Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:39 pm

a fuzzy beacon wrote:Thinking about picking one up - how does it handle modular level signals? Would I need to put it through a DI box? Would be great if I could mix different modular outs using just the R16.
It handles modular levels very well. The gain knob on each channel allows for an attenuation of 14db and up to 40db of boost on the line input.

a scanner darkly

Post by a scanner darkly » Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:24 pm

Thanks Ben! Looking forward to using that beast (PM'd :))

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Re: Allen & Heath Zed R16

Post by VOLTA » Tue Apr 21, 2015 11:06 am

plord wrote:Holy shit :eek: :party: :sb: :nana:

This thing is absolutely amazing. It's been a long, long time since I used a computer in the studio for ANYTHING...

Actually thereby hangs a tale. Sit down children and let Uncle Paul tell you a story. Way back in the dim dark ages of the early 90s or so, when the fastest internet connections were 64Kbps ISDN, most people were on dialup unless they were at a university, and we had to hand-assemble our porn from uuencoded image streams on Usenet (video? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA), before Firewire or even USB were common, the options for home studio recording were extremely grim. HDRs were in their infancy. People still made regular use of Amigas and Ataris to sequence tracks and record straight to DAT or cassette (for the purposes of this discussion, we assume that if you had access to multi-track tape of better quality than a Tascam Porta-Studio, you were a pro, not a home recording enthusiast). Even for pure sequencing, the Windows music software market was dismal; things were only slightly better on the Mac (and by Mac I mean, "firebook" era powerbooks, pre-Intel chip architectures...was this really only um, I guess it's like 18 years ago by now so kthxbye omgwtfbbq I don't want to talk about that part anymore).

Then, lo and behold, I came upon Opcode Studio Vision Pro, and their fine line of MIDI interfaces. And all was good and right with the world for a few years. The UI was CLEAN. Shit just WORKED. For me, anyway, this was like climbing Everest. The computer was no longer a thing that sat there failing and keeping me from getting any music made. It was awesome. The only thing keeping me from getting any music made was ME :deadbanana: BUT THEN, children, Gibson and Henry-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named bought Opcode, and just like a dozen other acquisitions over the years, they proceeded to KILL the brand and all of its products in less than a year. No more hardware interfaces. No more killer software. THOSE FUCKING RATS. I do not now nor will ever own a Gibson product, because they are such abysmal suckweasels. So as soon as I upgraded to my next computer, so much for software support, goodbye awesome Studio Vision Pro. I moved the computer back to the office and out of the studio and didn't look back.

Until now. It may be the honeymoon period, but so far I love this desk. First off it's a killer analog mixer; I had forgotten how much I prefer A&H EQs to what you get on other midrange mixers. It has dedicated transport controls and sends MMC through firewire and an external MIDI port; I have it controlling the DAW and will see how it gets along with the MPC later this afternoon. For cost reasons I chose to go with Reaper as my DAW. It is like the Gentoo of DAWs, I feel like I'm bootstrapping it from assembler at times, but thankfully the A&H team released a tidy little doc with Reaper-specific instructions. If I hit a button near the faders, it becomes a DAW controller, the 16 channel faders send midi CC to control volume for the first 16 channels ITB, like you'd expect. Turn that off, hit another button, and it's a 16 channel FW audio interface, the post-EQ analog signals hit the DAW channels. You can of course defeat the EQ section if you want to push raw signal to the DAW. Switch modes again, and the 16 recorded tracks in Reaper go back through the FW interface for full analog summing and mixdown (I have a separate pair of channels to record the Main L/R feed from the desk to the DAW for just this purpose). THAT set of DAW track signals can come back either pre-insert or post-EQ to the desk, depending on whether you want to EQ in or out of the box. Flipping the overall mode of the desk between ITB and OTB is literally a button press. I went into Reaper and hit maybe 6 mouse clicks per channel to configure all this and save as a template; everything worked on the first try. GUYS THAT NEVER HAPPENS TO ME.

I won't claim it's perfect. There are no groups, for example; this doesn't bother me as I don't tend to work with Groups and if necessary I can submix on the modular. You also can't send the stereo channels to FW, only the 16 mono and main L/R; I solved this by using the 4 stereo channels as OTB Aux returns and wiring every last goddamned signal through a patchbay, so I can patch the FX returns to real channels if necessary. Alongside the transport controls there are dedicated MIDI faders, buttons, and pots, but only 4/8/12 of them respectively so not enough to handle, say, pan on every channel. Given that Reaper has MAXINT configurable parameters, I'm not sure what to do with these buttons and knobs quite yet.

But in general: :sb: :sb: :sb: :sb: :sb: :sb: :sb: :sb:

Maybe you guys have been enjoying this sort of functionality for years via some collection of interfaces, but for me this kind of integrated single-device/multiple-modes workflow is a revelation. This stuff used to be a lot harder to set up and get working, and it was clumsy to operate in the best case. I guess it's the same with any technology; if you don't like it, check again in 10 years :)
Hi, are u still using the zed r16? I would like to know more about using it with a patchbay like you described. I have the zed r16 and about to hook up a patchbay. Any thoughts you like to share around this? Thanks.

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Re: Allen & Heath Zed R16

Post by plord » Tue Apr 21, 2015 11:48 am

VOLTA wrote: Hi, are u still using the zed r16? I would like to know more about using it with a patchbay like you described. I have the zed r16 and about to hook up a patchbay. Any thoughts you like to share around this? Thanks.
Totally still using it every day.

In my patchbays, I have every individual channel input run through the patchbay, normalled to an instrument. I have the aux sends and returns connected also, with the sends going to 4 default FX units and the returns going to the four stereo channels. For stereo 1 and 2, which have their own aux sends, that gives me that dub feedback loop automatically. Plus, having the aux sends and returns normalled to the ins and outs of those FX units means that I also get access to the ins and outs of the FX units, right?

So if I want to put an effect inline, I tap the instrument out jack, breaking the connection to, say, channel 1. I plug it into the input for FX unit #1, breaking the connection from aux send 1. I take the output from FX unit 1 and either run the mono side back to the channel 1 input, or leave it alone and now Stereo channel 1 is my instrument that used to be connected to mono channel 1, except with the FX inline. If you construct your normalling carefully, you should be able to connect almost anything to anything and bring it back to whatever channel you want.

Side note: my patchbays all have individual modules that can be flipped for normal/half-normal/straight-through. If you are like me, then EVERY TIME you go to wire things up, you will end up with one of the modules in your hand trying every possible combination of ins and outs and interrupts until you are SURE YOU HAVE IT RIGHT.

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Re: Allen & Heath Zed R16

Post by VOLTA » Sat Apr 25, 2015 10:52 am

plord wrote:
VOLTA wrote: Hi, are u still using the zed r16? I would like to know more about using it with a patchbay like you described. I have the zed r16 and about to hook up a patchbay. Any thoughts you like to share around this? Thanks.
Totally still using it every day.

In my patchbays, I have every individual channel input run through the patchbay, normalled to an instrument. I have the aux sends and returns connected also, with the sends going to 4 default FX units and the returns going to the four stereo channels. For stereo 1 and 2, which have their own aux sends, that gives me that dub feedback loop automatically. Plus, having the aux sends and returns normalled to the ins and outs of those FX units means that I also get access to the ins and outs of the FX units, right?

So if I want to put an effect inline, I tap the instrument out jack, breaking the connection to, say, channel 1. I plug it into the input for FX unit #1, breaking the connection from aux send 1. I take the output from FX unit 1 and either run the mono side back to the channel 1 input, or leave it alone and now Stereo channel 1 is my instrument that used to be connected to mono channel 1, except with the FX inline. If you construct your normalling carefully, you should be able to connect almost anything to anything and bring it back to whatever channel you want.

Side note: my patchbays all have individual modules that can be flipped for normal/half-normal/straight-through. If you are like me, then EVERY TIME you go to wire things up, you will end up with one of the modules in your hand trying every possible combination of ins and outs and interrupts until you are SURE YOU HAVE IT RIGHT.
Sounds like a nice setup. I will try something similar with my behringer ultrapatch. Im also considering connecting the insert points on the r16 to the (another) patchbay as well. This will give me access to the direct outs on the r16, right :hmm:

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plord
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Re: Allen & Heath Zed R16

Post by plord » Fri May 01, 2015 11:25 am

VOLTA wrote:Sounds like a nice setup. I will try something similar with my behringer ultrapatch. Im also considering connecting the insert points on the r16 to the (another) patchbay as well. This will give me access to the direct outs on the r16, right :hmm:
I thiiiiink so. If you have 16 stereo spots on the 2nd patchbay, why not just normal the backside and use 16 insert cables? other than cable costs, but if you are on this board you must be used to the sudden realization that you need another bunch of cables :)

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Post by M-Circus » Sat Dec 12, 2015 8:21 am

Re-surrecting this old thread again, since I just picked up one of these a couple of days ago. I've always been mixing in the box, so this is my first foray into the land of consoles.

Anyway, in addition to getting great reviews for sound quality, one of the main appeals to me of the Zed, was the option of recording the individual outs over firewire.

My setup is a bunch of synths (some controlled by sequencers) and a drum machine or two going in through the Zed. What I THOUGHT I would be able to do, was record what I hear on the main L+R mix, except broken down on individual channels.

Discovered this morning that the individual outs are however sent pre-fader, meaning any live mixing done on the board ain't recorded (fader movements or mutes). Bummed me out a bit, as this was the way I intended to work.

Is what I'm aiming for even possible? I could obviously use the gain knobs instead of the faders and mute buttons, but hardly ideal.

Edit: I guess the obvious workaround is midi-mapping the Zed's faders to the Ableton ones, but if possible, I'd like to avoid midi.

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Post by CF3 » Sat Dec 12, 2015 3:03 pm

M-Circus wrote:Re-surrecting this old thread again, since I just picked up one of these a couple of days ago. I've always been mixing in the box, so this is my first foray into the land of consoles.

Anyway, in addition to getting great reviews for sound quality, one of the main appeals to me of the Zed, was the option of recording the individual outs over firewire.

My setup is a bunch of synths (some controlled by sequencers) and a drum machine or two going in through the Zed. What I THOUGHT I would be able to do, was record what I hear on the main L+R mix, except broken down on individual channels.

Discovered this morning that the individual outs are however sent pre-fader, meaning any live mixing done on the board ain't recorded (fader movements or mutes). Bummed me out a bit, as this was the way I intended to work.

Is what I'm aiming for even possible? I could obviously use the gain knobs instead of the faders and mute buttons, but hardly ideal.

Edit: I guess the obvious workaround is midi-mapping the Zed's faders to the Ableton ones, but if possible, I'd like to avoid midi.
Yeah, this is one of my beefs with the ZED R16 that you can't choose POST FADER to record the individual channels. Obviously you can set up a mix coming from back from your DAW on individual channels and record the 2 Track on the Master Buss (17/18). But doing a live "dub mix" the with ALL the channels separately recorded post fader? NO. It's not uncommon to have the direct outs be pre-fader, but it would have been nice to include a switch to change it.

Slightly off-topic... There IS a mod to change the Pre-Fader AUX 1&2 to Post-Fader, to get more effect sends. Haven't done it yet myself only cause it's a bunch of work to get all those knobs and nuts off the front panel (and I'm lazy). The soldering is pretty minimal.
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Post by M-Circus » Sat Dec 12, 2015 3:28 pm

Bummer. Dub mixing was my intention...

Thought I had it somehow sorted here for a few minutes, after I had mapped all the channel faders to the ableton ones. But any fx sends are obviously done pre-fader too, meaning you can't simply mute the channel in ableton to avoid stuff getting sent to the aux sends.

Meh... :confused:

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Post by CF3 » Sat Dec 12, 2015 5:33 pm

My work around is to record everything dry into Ableton, line it up and arrange into a basic song, then send all the individual tracks back to the ZED and do the final live mix there (while recording the master buss on separate track). Not ideal, but it works. Obviously this way I might have to do a few takes to get it right.

I may also do the same thing but for single tracks and print the effects. Or for a drum mix thru the modular, etc. The good part is you essentially have 18 busses (with inserts) on mixdown, so you've got plenty on channels to work with (not to mention the extra ADAT channels). :party:

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Post by M-Circus » Sat Dec 12, 2015 6:03 pm

Thanks for your thoughts mate. I guess I'll just have to consider if this works for me or not.

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Post by cbot » Thu Oct 03, 2019 2:34 am

Thread resurrection :sb:
CF3 wrote:My work around is to record everything dry into Ableton, line it up and arrange into a basic song, then send all the individual tracks back to the ZED and do the final live mix there (while recording the master buss on separate track)
That is the correct way, because "analog summing". Any other way with this board and you might just as well mix ITB.

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