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Allen & Heath Launches CQ Compact Digital Mixer Series

Allen & Heath's new CQ Series of compact digital mixers is aimed at musicians, engineers, home studios, small venues and AV installers.

Allen & Heath's new CQ Series of digital mixing consoles.
Allen & Heath’s new CQ Series digital mixing consoles.

New York, NY (August 29, 2023)—In recent years, Allen & Heath has made a big splash with its smaller live mixing desks, most noticeably the dLive C1500, so now the company is not just doubling but tripling down on the format with the introduction of its new CQ Series of compact digital mixers. The CQ-12T and CQ-18T desktop mixers and CQ-20B stage box mixer bring the size and some notable features to a price point more attainable for their intended audience of musicians and bands, audio engineers, home producers, small venues and AV installers.

All three feature a new 96 kHz processing engine, and both the CQ-12T and CQ-18T feature tactile controls and a 7” multi-touch screen; meanwhile CQ-20B stage box mixer is controllable—as are the other two mixers—via the companion CQ apps: CQ-MixPad app for remote mixing, and CQ4You, for mixing one’s IEMs.

Allen & Heath CQ-18T.
Allen & Heath CQ-18T.

The processing engine, utilizing Allen & Heath’s FPGA technology, provides numerous tools to aid users who may not have a lot of engineering background. Gain Assistant automatically sets preamp gain and then monitors and adjusts for unexpected peaks in the signal. Feedback Assistant identifies and filters out problem frequencies across all outputs with single-button operation, although more in-depth control is available for challenging acoustical environments.

Input channels can be switched between a Quick Input, giving users a source-specific set of controls with single knob control of channel processing, or a Complete Input for full control of all channel processing parameters. Additionally, an Automatic Mic Mixer (AMM) is present on all input channels, helping with clarity and reducing background noise in speech-based applications.

Allen & Heath CQ-12T.
Allen & Heath CQ-12T.

There’s also new reverb, delay and modulation algorithms with instrument-specific presets, and an FX Assist tool shapes the effects by dynamically responding to the input signal. The CQ-18T and CQ-20B offer four effect engines and the CQ-12T features two. All three units offer recording and playback, including a multichannel USB audio interface, multitrack SD card playback and recording, stereo recording and playback via an external USB drive, and playback via Bluetooth.

Allen & Heath CQ-20B.
Allen & Heath CQ-20B.

The CQ-18T provides 16 mic/line inputs and a stereo input, the smaller CQ-12T includes 10 mic/line inputs and a stereo input, and the CQ-20B offers 16 mic/line inputs, two of which can be used as Hi-Z instrument inputs, and two stereo inputs. All three models feature six independent outputs which can be configured to run up to three stereo outputs.

Available today, the CQ-20B stage box mixer runs $999, while the CQ-12T costs $899 and the CQ18-T is pegged at $1,199.