Allen & Heath enters personal mixing with ME System
Allen & Heath has entered the growing personal monitor market with the ME-1, the new fully-customisable cornerstone of the company’s ME Personal Mixing System. Fully compatible with the manufacturer’s iLive and GLD digital console ranges, the personal mixer is also accompanied by the ME-U hub, which facilitates operation with third-party digital consoles via Dante, Ethersound or MADI. Adding another measure of flexibility is an Aviom compatibility mode for use with Pro16 systems.
Capable of receiving 40 sources via Cat-5 (from which it also powered via PoE, though mains power is available) and with a built-in ambient mic and local stereo aux input onboard, the ME-1’s principle feature is perhaps its flexibility. A grouping function enables any combination of sources to be mixed and laid out on the surface from a simple two-button ‘Me and Everything else’ set-up to a full mix of 16 buttons, allowing the user to control the whole mix with just the 16 front-panel, backlit keys or fewer if desired. The keys also allow end-users to store and recall up to 16 presets, with the ability to later transfer them via USB into another set-up or archive.
Other features include soft rotary controls, separate mic and mix levels, an OLED display for custom channel naming (though channel names can be automatically loaded from an A&H console), and headphone and earpiece sockets. A mono output has also been incorporated for connection to powered monitors, while multiple ME-1 mixers can be daisy-chained via locking EtherCon connectors.
Meanwhile the ME-U is a 10 port PoE hub providing power and audio to connect multiple ME-1 mixers and includes a standard input card to interface with GLD, iLive ACE or Aviom A-Net (which can be replaced with a MADI, Dante or EtherSound to accept a digital feed of up to 40 sources from third-party systems).
‘After the launch of the GLD digital mixer we focused on expanding the family to satisfy a growing number of applications and markets. There was a demand for personal monitoring and our customers did not want to rely on third party products,’ explained Allen & Heath product specialist Nicola Beretta. ‘As we started the design process, we decided to tackle a drawback of existing systems: interconnection. Why would you go analogue in your monitor system when using a digital desk?’ Mr Beretta added that be believes support for Dante, EtherSound and MADI makes the ME system ‘the first universal personal mixing system’.
In other news, Allen & Heath has also announced an iPad app for remotely operating GLD consoles. Named GLD Remote, the app offers access to desk functions including mixers channel faders and mutes, DCA faders and mutes, image controls, aux sends and assignments as well as channel input and output processing, mic-pre control and full metering. Also included is a real time analyser (RTA), PFL control, the facility to name and colour channel strips, custom layers with drag and drop strip setup, and a mix view where monitor engineers can keep both master levels and contributions under control in a single screen.
Finally, v1.1 firmware for the GLD range has been launched, offering support for GLD Remote and the ME Personal Mixing System plus new Graphic EQ emulations and scene management improvements.