London’s QEII Conference Centre recently added seven Allen & Heath Qu-16 digital rackmount mixers to its inventory of AV equipment. An upgrade to existing analogue mixers, the Qu-16s are installed in self-contained portable AV racks, which can be used in any of the event spaces in the venue.
“We needed a higher channel count for the mixers installed on our mobile AV racks. We were looking around the analogue market as we couldn’t believe there would be a digital mixer to fit a 19” rack, and then I saw the Qu-16 at Infocomm, where it won a Best In Show award,” explains AV production manager, Derek Chalmers. “Qu-16 has everything we needed - 16 channels, built in processing, and recording facilities as we record all of our events. We’ve had them now for two months and they’ve been fantastic.”
The mixers were supplied by Hertfordshire-based Mercury AV. Director, Ian McDonald, commented:
"The QEII deals with exceptionally high profile events on a daily basis and often has several large conferences running simultaneously. The sound equipment needs to be very flexible but it is also important that it can be setup fast and operated by a large number of different technicians. QU-16 is therefore perfect for use by the QEII in their mobile PA racks."
The Centre contains a total of 29 function rooms, running a variety of events ranging from conferences and meetings to banquets and receptions. The mobile racks provide a simple, flexible solution for the Centre’s smaller function rooms. In addition to 7 full time in-house AV technicians, the Centre also has a bank of 50 freelancers.
“The Qu-16 is new to the market, so many of our staff had not come across the mixer before. However, after some brief training I am pleased to say all of our engineers were really happy to use the Qu-16, and had very positive feedback about the mixer’s ease of use and ‘analogue feel’,” says Chalmers.
"We have seen a lot of demand for QU-16. We placed a large stock order on the same day that the product release announcement was made, then placed further large orders when it became clear that demand was outstripping supply. The exciting thing about QU-16 is that it makes all of the benefits of a digital mixer available for live sound applications where a digital mixer would previously have been too large or too expensive," concludes Ian McDonald.