Allen & Heath ZED R16

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+1
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Total votes: 38

DT
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Allen & Heath ZED R16

Post by DT » Sun Nov 13, 2011 7:27 pm

I think I'm going to buy an A&H Zed R16 really soon and I dediced to open this poll/thread.

I'm looking for a flexible mixing desk, soundcard and DAW controller and this bitch seems to offer all of them at good / excellent quality.

As I said, it SEEMS as I never ever used or heard one of them.

I would like who's using it to leave feedbacks and impressions.
Pro & Cons of this mixer? How do you find it? Which DAW do you use with it?
EQs / Pre? AD/DA conversion? 96khz/24 bit mode? and so on...

I read the whole SoundOnSound review but I need direct experiences expecially when it comes with recording a modular synth or a drum machine etc.

Thanks!
:tu:

Looking forward to some replies.

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bendedavis
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Post by bendedavis » Sun Nov 13, 2011 7:39 pm

love it. It's such a great deal. Everything on it sounds damn good. I use an external preamp with it but the built in ones are much better than you'll find on most interfaces.

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Post by dustytretch15 » Mon Nov 14, 2011 3:00 am

The allen and heath is good machine, but it will always be a budget mixing desk, therefore won't sound amazing and work amazingly.
For the price do you reckon you could stretch a bit more and go for the midas venice f16, which a truly quality desk, even if it is not designed for studio use.
I myself am saving up for one to replace my allen and heath zed8.

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Post by DT » Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:48 am

thanks!

@bendedavis: which preamp do you use with it?
did you notice big difference?

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Hainbach
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Post by Hainbach » Mon Nov 14, 2011 6:22 am

I was eying the ZED boards for live band use some time ago and finally decided against the "onethingdoesall" approach. Same with as with old all-in-one hifis - if one thing breaks you lug the rest around. Just an example: Firewire is very likely going to be phased out in the next few years, so any new computer you get then might leave you without an interface and just a desk.

I'd go for something like a Euphonix controller, a Fireface 400 USB and a pair of preamps/DI - DAV BG No.1 on a budget, BAE 1272 on bigger budget and above that a Lunchbox with A-Designs and Electrodyne.

That would at the lowest end set you back 2500EUR, but leave you with a more flexible and better working and sounding combination, which you can upgrade and sell piece by piece over time.

If you are looking for dedicated analog mixer for its sound, you would need to go to a Toft ATB at the lowest end to have positive impact on your sound compared to DAW.

DT
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Post by DT » Mon Nov 14, 2011 6:38 am

To be honest I already own a MOTU Ultralite which I guess is not that far from a Fireface.
In opposite to your opinion then, I was exactly looking for something "all in one" and compact! : )

I was asking for the audio and functional qualities of the ZED in fact, from direct users!

Thanks a lot for your reply tho!



OT: Where about in Berlin!?
I have a studio in Pankow and lived there one year.
I'll be back soon!

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Hainbach
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Post by Hainbach » Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:39 am

I'm in Neukölln - sounds like there needs to be a Berlin Wiggler meeting. :party:

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Post by Bath House » Mon Nov 14, 2011 12:25 pm

I narrowed it down to the ZED R16 and the Mackie 1640i before ultimately going with the Mackie. They're pretty comparable and are great choices, but a few things killed the Zed for me:

- No groups. Those are MIDI faders, which feels kind of pointless on an analog-style board when they could have been groups. I'm buying a big desk like this to mix OTB and incorporate my outboard. Groups are a must.

- The ZED is notoriously finnicky with certain firewire chipsets. It just didn't inspire confidence, especially considering that...

- A bunch of people end up having to do a self-repair job to fix the damn thing right out of the box. When I'm dropping $2K, that's simply an unacceptable thing on principle. http://www.gearslutz.com/board/so-much- ... er-48.html

DT
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Post by DT » Mon Nov 14, 2011 12:43 pm

Bath House wrote:I narrowed it down to the ZED R16 and the Mackie 1640i before ultimately going with the Mackie. They're pretty comparable and are great choices, but a few things killed the Zed for me:

- No groups. Those are MIDI faders, which feels kind of pointless on an analog-style board when they could have been groups. I'm buying a big desk like this to mix OTB and incorporate my outboard. Groups are a must.

- The ZED is notoriously finnicky with certain firewire chipsets. It just didn't inspire confidence, especially considering that...

- A bunch of people end up having to do a self-repair job to fix the damn thing right out of the box. When I'm dropping $2K, that's simply an unacceptable thing on principle. http://www.gearslutz.com/board/so-much- ... er-48.html
Hi Bath House.
MIDI faders are great to me as I would use them for controlling some automations in Logic. That would be fun!

As for the groups, how would you use them when you have 16 recording channels at one time?

I'm interested in your Mackie feedback at this point too to be honest.
Let me know!
How do you find it?

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Post by gosh » Mon Nov 14, 2011 6:20 pm

i have the mackie onyx 1640i and love it. Very flexible with routing and firewire (more so than the zed) and sounds good to my ears. I had the a&h zed14 before and have not noticed a different in sound between that and the mackie..of course the zed 14 might (and i'm sure is) a step up from the zed14 sound.

However, flexibility won for me and having the subs/better firewire integration has been a lifesaver so far.
Only problem is I'm planning to leave the country for a couple of years...f*ck!

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Post by DT » Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:29 pm

@gosh: thanks. how did you find subs to be useful in a 16-tracks recording interface?

@shaft9000. thanks for your reply! much apprecciate. shame that the switches gave problem but i'm assuming it's a problem just for some of them?!



:tu:


i think i'm getting one in the next couple of days so i'd like to know as many infos as possible!

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Post by DT » Wed Nov 16, 2011 8:29 am

GOT ONE!!!!
hope i won't regret!!
:tu:

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Post by Vcoadsr » Tue Nov 17, 2015 1:09 pm

Hi there, so 4 years on, are you pleased you went for the ZED-R16?

I'm looking to use it in two ways:
(1) multi-track my modular into the computer where I can then edit and then
(2) send the individual channels back out to the mixer for dub mixes.

i already have a Mackie Onyx 1220i and like it but I can't do the second part above. Of course the Mackie Onyx 1640i looks ideal, especially as I'm already familiar with the smaller one, BUT as far as I can determine the FireWire isn't necessarily supported on the newer Mac OS versions.

Anyway, any comments etc are most welcome.

Thanks in advance.

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Post by DiscoDevil » Tue Nov 17, 2015 1:19 pm

Love mine. Lack of subs in the analog world is a drag but you can create them in your DAW and then assign those midi faders to control the levels of the subs and route the output back in to a stereo channel on the board. Pretty insane flexibility.

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CF3
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Post by CF3 » Tue Nov 17, 2015 4:56 pm

DiscoDevil wrote:Love mine. Lack of subs in the analog world is a drag but you can create them in your DAW and then assign those midi faders to control the levels of the subs and route the output back in to a stereo channel on the board. Pretty insane flexibility.
I've had one for a long time now. Definitely great in combination with a DAW. The sound quality is decent and the EQ is surprisingly good (considering). The extra ADAT i/o is great. I would trade the MIDI section for busses in a second. Also wish I could record POST fader on the direct firewire outs (for dub-style mixdown duties). There's a mod to switch AUX-1&2 to post fader that I seriously need to do for more effects sends. All in all a very convenient solution, if you work a certain way. Ultimately I'm gonna switch back to something with an eight busses and a seperate interface (maybe MADI) when I move back east, but it's a pretty slick board.

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Post by the boy from mars » Sun Sep 15, 2019 5:13 pm

I know this thread is a little older, but I'm hoping some of you that actually use or have experience with the ZED R16 can help me out. THANKS in advance for anyone that takes a minute to point me in the right direction:

I've been using the ZED R16 for a little while now, and for the most part I'm very happy with how it sounds and the flexibility it offers.

I do have one issue that I can't seem to figure out, so I'm hoping you or other users can point me in the right direction. Some people mention being able to have "zero latency" with this desk and my thought was that I'd be able to get there with this desk as well. I'm not entirely sure if the latency issue I'm having is due to the standard buffer size adjustments, etc. OR if I'm not utilizing the ZED properly and monitoring as I should be when doing overdubs.

For example, I record a drum track, then go to record guitar or piano over it. I play the drums back from the DAW but hear latency on either my current incoming signal, or possibly both that and the existing track.

I BELIEVE for overdubs, I should be disabling the "DIG MASTER" button for my headphones so I can hear the track I'm recording from the mixer before it goes to the DAW and back. However, I need to hear the existing tracks from the DAW on my headphones to play over them.

Can any of you tell me your workflow for this? I'm sure there's a simple solution as this desk is made for home recording, but I cannot seem to get the hang of this part of it.

THANKS IN ADVANCE!

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Post by dubonaire » Sun Sep 15, 2019 6:01 pm

the boy from mars wrote:I know this thread is a little older, but I'm hoping some of you that actually use or have experience with the ZED R16 can help me out. THANKS in advance for anyone that takes a minute to point me in the right direction:

I've been using the ZED R16 for a little while now, and for the most part I'm very happy with how it sounds and the flexibility it offers.

I do have one issue that I can't seem to figure out, so I'm hoping you or other users can point me in the right direction. Some people mention being able to have "zero latency" with this desk and my thought was that I'd be able to get there with this desk as well. I'm not entirely sure if the latency issue I'm having is due to the standard buffer size adjustments, etc. OR if I'm not utilizing the ZED properly and monitoring as I should be when doing overdubs.

For example, I record a drum track, then go to record guitar or piano over it. I play the drums back from the DAW but hear latency on either my current incoming signal, or possibly both that and the existing track.

I BELIEVE for overdubs, I should be disabling the "DIG MASTER" button for my headphones so I can hear the track I'm recording from the mixer before it goes to the DAW and back. However, I need to hear the existing tracks from the DAW on my headphones to play over them.

Can any of you tell me your workflow for this? I'm sure there's a simple solution as this desk is made for home recording, but I cannot seem to get the hang of this part of it.

THANKS IN ADVANCE!
I don't have one, but you will never be able to acheive zero latency going into and out of your DAW. If you are using Windows the A&H Firewire Control Panel has a DPC latency checker tool. Even with Thunderbolt devices you get latency.

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Post by lordmasakrator » Mon Sep 16, 2019 7:53 am

I vote with a very bold +1.

+ Great preamps. People compared R16's preamps with some >$1000 preamps and found practically no sound quality differences. It's on par with studio-quality and boutique preamps. The only difference there might be is that studio and high-end preamps are stress, temperature and abuse tested, so you can depend on them to record thousands of sessions and just deliver. R16 is not military-grade, it's rather project-studo-grade, but it's excelent in this regard.
+ Every channel is on a separate PCB - very, very good.
+ Inline console in this price range. Well, splendid.
+ Great variety of routing options, transport controls.
+ Analog to digital conversion is said by others to be very good.
+ Knobs feel great.
+ Two parametric mid filters on all mono channels - nice.
+ All four aux buses modifiable to be pre or post fader.
+ Two monitor sections. You don't have to purchase a separate monitor controller for multiple pairs of monitors.

0 I dislike those plastic side panels and consider making wood ones for it.
0 I use thunderbolt to FireWire adapter. No issues.
0 I used it with Logic and Ableton. Transport controlls seem not to work with the latter. Otherwise it's seamless.

- A little noisy when you have all channels summed into the main LR with EQs engaded on most of the channels. Maybe it's normal, but I have no basis to compare it with any high-end recording console. I am OK with this.
- Short throw channel faders, too short for my taste.
- Fixed frequency low shelving band. Could have a switch to select different frequency, like on an Audient ASP4816.

Highly recommended.

Edit - I own and use an R16

Edit 2 - LOL I just necroposted
got carried away, because I like this console so much.

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Post by DiscoDevil » Mon Sep 16, 2019 3:57 pm

the boy from mars wrote:I know this thread is a little older, but I'm hoping some of you that actually use or have experience with the ZED R16 can help me out. THANKS in advance for anyone that takes a minute to point me in the right direction:

I've been using the ZED R16 for a little while now, and for the most part I'm very happy with how it sounds and the flexibility it offers.

I do have one issue that I can't seem to figure out, so I'm hoping you or other users can point me in the right direction. Some people mention being able to have "zero latency" with this desk and my thought was that I'd be able to get there with this desk as well. I'm not entirely sure if the latency issue I'm having is due to the standard buffer size adjustments, etc. OR if I'm not utilizing the ZED properly and monitoring as I should be when doing overdubs.

For example, I record a drum track, then go to record guitar or piano over it. I play the drums back from the DAW but hear latency on either my current incoming signal, or possibly both that and the existing track.

I BELIEVE for overdubs, I should be disabling the "DIG MASTER" button for my headphones so I can hear the track I'm recording from the mixer before it goes to the DAW and back. However, I need to hear the existing tracks from the DAW on my headphones to play over them.

Can any of you tell me your workflow for this? I'm sure there's a simple solution as this desk is made for home recording, but I cannot seem to get the hang of this part of it.

THANKS IN ADVANCE!
I just sold my R16 and bought a used GS-R24m to replace it. I am not sure what application you are recording in to but when set up properly, I was able to punch in to any channel and record in perfect time with the tracks that are playing back from the DAW. I no longer have one in front of me but make sure you're routing the audio properly and you may need to mess with Track Delay settings in your DAW although I never had to. Everything just worked once I had it set up right. I think the round trip latency was like 6ms or 7ms.

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