From its oﬃces in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, Final Focus Productions oﬀers AV services for non-proﬁt, corporate and government clients using a small-footprint Allen & Heath Qu-16 digital mixer purchased from Washington Music Center in Wheaton, Maryland. Proprietor Steve Kownacki upgraded to the Qu-16 from an Allen & Heath MixWizard analog mixer. “We absolutely loved the MixWizard,” he says. “But our clients kept asking us to do more and we needed to move to a digital platform. Now, the Qu-16 allow us to simultaneously mix for live audio, multitrack recording and webcast streaming and manage multiple inputs all in a mixer that ﬁts on a tabletop.”
A typical event may feature musical entertainment, a speech or keynote address and a panel discussion and include wired and wireless microphones, musical instrument DI boxes and audio from video recordings, streaming sources and websites like YouTube. The Qu-16’s copy and paste features make it easy to set up all of these sources. Kownacki copies gain and level settings and eﬀects like compressors and gates from one channel to another and adds reverb and chorus when needed.
The Qu-16’s layers help Kownacki organize these sources and its automatic microphone mixer (AMM) helps him manage panel discussions. He records most events to a USB thumb drive using the mixer’s Qu-Drive multi-track recording feature. “It’s great to be able to go back and synchronize the multitrack recording in my video editing software and mix each microphone individually,” he says.
“Nearly all of my clients are repeat customers,” Kownacki commented. “And they love watching how the technology works with the Qu-16’s moving faders. Ultimately, however, we want the attendees at an event— and viewers of our video recordings—to have a great experience and you can’t have that without great sound. The music, the discussions all invoke a mood in the room and, if it’s clear and easy to listen to, people will enjoy themselves. The Qu-16 makes it possible for us to do that.”