Allen & Heath's launches new Xone: products at bpm 2011
|At bpm 2011 in Birmingham, UK, Allen & Heath unveils the Xone:DB2, the latest model in its Xone:DB digital mixer range. The DB2 is a fully digital, state-of-the-art DJ mixer, incorporating two powerful multi-FX engines, and retaining all the essential elements of the flagship Xone:DB4 but at a consderably lower price point.|
The DB2 has four input channels, each of which has a full input matrix that can select from four analogue, four USB, or two digital sources. The DB4 style ‘Trimodal EQ’ has been included, which can be configured as a standard asymmetric EQ (+6/-25dB), total Kill (+6dB/OFF with a 24dB/octave slope), or a High-Pass/Low-Pass filter system with adjustable resonance. Each channel has a single routing switch that sends to the main mix, or to either of the two FX sections, and this control also assigns the crossfader.
There is a single microphone channel, which can also be switched to stereo line, providing 2-band EQ, gain, cue, and mix level. Similar to the main input channels, this can also be routed to either of the FX units or direct to the main mix. Beneath the microphone channel is the headphone monitor system, and to the right of the main mixer is the master section, with main mix level, booth level, and the two FX sections.
Each FX engine has five basic studio quality FX types - based on the iLive pro-touring FX system and optimised for DJ use - comprising delays, reverbs, modulators, resonators and damage, plus each FX type has a patch library of different effect variations that can be assigned to the relevant control. There is also a filter on the output of each FX bank, and each has a dedicated expression control and a rotary pot to set the wet/dry level, whilst further effect tweaking can be performed using the encoders beneath the OLED screen.
The OLED display is clearly visible even in bright sunlight, and displays the FX selection and current BPM, as well as being an easy and intuitive interface for the menu set up functions. The mixer offers many user defined settings, such as meter mode, BPM range, USB audio routing scheme, display brightness, in addition to the extensive built-in FX library.
The built-in, multi-channel USB2 soundcard allows replay and recording from computer-based audio software for four stereo sends and four stereo returns. All controls (except Mic and Phones level) send MIDI data and the mixer can double up as a MIDI controller via the MIDI shift button, which allows the FX selection controls to send MIDI data without changing the mixer settings.
Like the DB4, the DB2 also has an X:LINK socket to allow easy integration of the new Xone:K2 software controller, wich is also introduced at bpm (for details see below).
The Xone:DB2 sports a lightweight aluminium chassis designed to make touring easy. Other features include crossfader and upfader curve controls, multi-point level metering, digital output, analogue balanced outputs for main mix and booth, and a record output with adjustable level.
Xone:K2, a MIDI controller and audio interface
Allen & Heath also introduces the Xone:K2, a MIDI controller and audio interface with a 4-channel internal soundcard, configurable MIDI surface with tri-colour LED illumination, USB bus power, and incorporating A&H’s proprietary X:LINK to connect with other Xone equipment.
The K2 is designed to work with all MIDI-enabled DAW applications and interface with popular DJ software packages, such as Ableton, Traktor Pro and Serato Scratch Live. It has 52 physical controls – including 12 analogue and six endless rotary encoders with push switch, four linear faders, and 30 back lit performances switches - providing up to 171 MIDI control commands across three layers. The K2’s MIDI interface can be configured by the user, so the unit can be left in ‘Open Architecture (Latching Layers off) Mode’ or set to ‘Latching Layers Mode’.
K2 has an internal 4-channel high quality soundcard, that can operate at 44.1 and 48kHz, and all channels run from the PC to the unit, configured to provide 2 stereo channels, one for headphones one for master out L and R, allowing headphone cueing without interrupting the master out. There is also a dedicated 3.5mm headphone jack, and a master out on RCA phono connectors.
It is possible to link two K2 units together to double the control area using Allen & Heath’s proprietary X:LINK protocol. X:LINK uses a standard RJ45 connector and distributes power and data, which means two units can be connected to a DAW using only one USB port.
Xone:K2 is constructed with a strong plastic base and steel front panel employing A&H’s nutted pot construction to be both lightweight and hard-wearing. The K2 comes with a stylish carry case that doubles as a stand for ease of use for travelling DJs.
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