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Real World Gear: The Latest In Compact Digital Consoles & Mixers

Taking a closer look at many of the newest models and included features packed into a smaller footprint.

By Live Sound Staff January 14, 2019

Allen & Heath SQ-5,

With a 96 kHz XCVI FPGA engine, Allen & Heath’s SQ Series brings the high-resolution audio performance of the company’s acclaimed dLive digital mixing system to a compact and cost-effective platform that’s both easy to use and highly customizable.

SQ-5 delivers class-leading high-resolution audio with a latency of <0.7 ms, offering 16 onboard preamps and 17 faders in a rack-mountable form factor. SQ can be expanded up to 48 inputs via a wide range of remote expanders.

A new hybrid protocol called SLink allows SQ to work with its 96 kHz and 48 kHz expanders, adding flexibility in system design and compatibility with existing Allen & Heath peripherals.
The built-in SQ-Drive makes it easy to capture 96 kHz stereo and multitrack recordings direct to a USB drive. SQ can also be hooked up to a Mac or PC via USB to become a plug ‘n’ play, Core Audio or ASIO compliant 32 x 32 audio interface, complete with MIDI and DAW control capabilities.

TECHNOLOGY FOCUS: Allen & Heath’s DEEP processing plugin architecture allows boutique compressor and preamp emulations to be added to the SQ mixer and embedded directly within its inputs and mix channels without adding system latency or setup hassles. SQ also features an audio networking slot for optional Dante, Waves and other card formats, further expanding the scope for system integration, FOH/monitor splits and multitrack recording.

OF NOTE: SQ features a fully integrated and full-featured Automatic Mic Mixer (AMM), perfect for handling conferences, panel talks and TV shows; ME personal mixer system compatibility.

Faders: 17 faders, 6 layers
Mix Inputs: 56 (48 plus 8 stereo FX returns)
Aux/Group: 12 stereo mix (aux or group) + main
Matrix: 3 | FX: 8
DCA: 8 | Mains: LR
App: iOS and Android
Screen: 7-in capacitive touch screen
Local I/O: 16 XLR mic/line inputs, 2 stereo TRS inputs, 12 XLR out, 2 TRS out, stereo AES out
Stage Boxes: 48 kHz AR2412, AR84, AB168, ME; 96 kHz DX168.
Physical: 17.3 x 20.3 x 7.8 inches (H x W x D), 23.1 pounds
Additional Models: SQ-6


QSC TouchMix-30 Pro

Faders: Uses a touch screen with virtual faders, 1 control knob
Mix Inputs: 32
Aux/Group: 14 mono can be paired to 7 stereo
FX: 6
DCA: 8
Mains: LR
App: TouchMix-30 for IOS and Android
Screen: 10-inch multi-touch screen
Local I/O: 24 XLR mic/line inputs, 2 main
XLR outputs, 14 aux XLR outputs, 2 monitor
XLR outputs, 6 TRS stereo inputs, 2 TRS stereo outputs
Physical: 7.5 x 16.9 x 18.1 inches (H x W x D), 17.5 pounds
Additional Models: TouchMix-8, Touch-Mix-16


DiGiCo S31

Faders: 31
Mix Inputs: 48 Flexi (stereo or mono)
Aux/Group: 16 Flexi aux or sub group
Matrix: 10 x 8
FX: 8
Mains: LR
Screen: 3 multi-touch screens
Local I/O: 24 XLR inputs, 12 XLR outputs, AES I/O
Stage Boxes: D-Rack, D2-Rack, SD-Rack
Also: 4 assignable DiGiTuBes; integrated USB2 audio I/O interface for recording and playback of up to 48 channels; optional Waves integration
Expansion Slots: 2 DMI (for Dante, MicPre, AMM, ME, etc.)
Physical: 11.6 x 40.3 x 23.1 inches (H x W x D), 55.1 pounds
Additional Models: S21, SD11, SD11i

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