Allen & Heath Qu 16 Review

by Stephen Dean

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I recently got my hands on a Qu 16 to use for a festival event. These are well known digital consoles from Allen and Heath and they are extremely popular. After using one I can see why they are popular. They are very intuitive to use whether coming from an analogue background or you are already familiar with digital consoles.
The first thing you notice is that they are a well-built unit and they are laid out in a logical manner. All of the channel parameters such as HPF, preamp, EQ are easy to hand. It is just a matter of selecting the channel and making adjustments.
The screen is all a touch screen and therefore you can access a whole range of parameters from here as well. Here you can set up the console in the way that you require. You have access to all of the parameters for all of the desks function. There is a rotary encoder below the screen to adjust parameters or you can use the screen or iPad. Also below the screen there is a function key to select certain functions, copy and paste keys and a reset key. Down the right side of the screen is buttons to access processing, routing, FX, Scenes, Set up and a Home key. These keys work in conjunction with what input or output you have selected to work on.
You have 2 fader layers and a custom layer. The 1st layer is all of the input channels, the 2nd is the stereos, effects etc. and the custom layer is for you to set how you like.
All of the functions are easily accessible on this range of desks. One button press and you are adjusting monitor sends, another you are looking after FX. This desk may have some limitations, but what you can do with it at this price point is amazing.

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With the Qu 16 you have 4 user assignable softkeys, very useful for setting up favourite shortcuts.
The iPad app makes it even more versatile. First of it makes a bigger touch screen, great for those with bigger fingers and poor eyesight. The app proves very useful, if you cannot position the desk in your ideal mixing position.
In use I found this desk very easy to navigate. In fact for a first time user it would be a great starting point. The intuitive layout is a dream. From plugging in mics etc to getting a decent sound happening does not take very long. I was blown away on how easy it was to use and set up. For a lot of smaller bands or venues this would be an ideal desk, especially if you are moving from the analogue world. This desk will do a lot for its price point. It sounds great in use and you have a lot of power in a small footprint that you can cart around without a whole crew.
With the latest Chrome (1.82) software update you get a major update, with automatic mic mixing for those corporate gigs we get from time to time. Also extra aux outputs – as we all know we need extra from time to time.

Tech Summary
16 mono inputs
3 stereo inputs
4 stereo FX returns
16 Busses
12 Mix ouputs ( LR, Mono Mix 1 – 4, Stereo mix 1 – 3
4 FX engines
AES Out
iLive FX Library
800 x 480 Touch Screen
dSnake Remote Audio port

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One thought on “Allen & Heath Qu 16 Review

  1. Thanks for your article- I´m a fan for A&H desks.
    I have a Qu-24 and it works excellent with our heavy metal acts (live and recording, too.
    Still with your big job!

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