A surprising one for us to see here at Scan but a welcome move none the less. Allen & Heath have been a firm favorite of this particular writer since he first got his hands on a Xone62 many years ago. Great build quality matched with attention to detail and great customer service make this Cornwall based mixer maker a easy choice for pro installs where a true work horse is required.
So this weeks announcement in the form of the Allen & Heath ICE-16 which is a 16 channel hybrid (USB/Firewire) audio interface comes as something of a surprise entry into what is already a fairly crowded market. What can these guys offer and just why are we so excited?
The offical line on the Allen & Heath ICE-16:
The Allen & Heath ICE-16 makes multitrack recording easy. Forget all that fiddling around at the back of clunky HD recorders or messing about with soundcard drivers. ICE-16 lets you capture a high quality 16 track recording straight to a USB key or hard drive.
The Allen & Heath ICE-16 is also a powerful 16×16 audio interface capable of studio quality recording over high-speed USB or FireWire. Whether it’s a live band, a studio session, a conference, a function or a theatre rehearsal, the Allen & Heath ICE-16 is the ideal choice for recording multichannel audio with or without your computer.
- 16 analogue Inputs, 16 analogue Outputs
- Front USB socket for easy capture to USB storage devices
- Hybrid FireWire (IEE1394) / USB 2.0 16×16 audio interface
- Industry standard wav file format
- Up to 6 hours of 16 channel audio on a 32GB USB stick
- Signal Present and Peak LED metering on each channel
- Mono headphone bus for Input or Output monitoring
- Daisy chain multiple units over FireWire
- Familiar transport buttons and intuitive controls
It’s essentially a front end to allow 16 channel multitrack recording and playback with full audio interface functionality and the option to bypass the computer completely and record straight to a USB connected hard drive or solid state media. Not only that but multiple units can be chained up to allow more I/O options should they be required meaning that from a live point of view it comes close to our current live favorite the RME UCX but at a sizable cost saving. That’s not to say it’ll be quite as fully featured as the rather epic RME behemoth but we can quite clearly see a lot of uses where bands will be able to make use of a high track count audio interface and recording frontend device such as this without all the extra features, whistles and bells of the higher cost device.
So all that coupled with the good name of Allen & Heath, their well regarded reliability we’re looking forward to getting our hands on one in the near future… The biggest shock however is the price. From a company that has never cut corners or been known for making cheap units we see the SRP is 785 inc vat.
We await this one with much interest!