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Signal Bandwith/ digital mixer vs ZED 22FXanalogue Recorders, Players & Tape Machines
Old 8th May 2015
Gear Maniac

Signal Bandwith/ digital mixer vs ZED 22FXanalogue

In a 1997 Sound on Sound article by Hugh Robjohns entitled; "Anatomy of a Mixer", he states; "A top-quality analogue mixer has vastly greater SIGNAL BANDWIDTH, and significantly lower input noise floors than any digital desk fitted with mere 16-bit A-Ds and D-As." (...I haven't yet found more updated info)

I don't have a "top-quality analogue mixer" what I have is an Allen & Heath ZED 22FX. (I'm running a 24 bit Radar 24 through it -which has Nyquest converters sporting large digital formats).

What I'de like to find out is whether or not there's any advantage, -greater signal bandwidth & lower input noise floor with this little A&H analogue mixer to the current comparatively priced digital mixers or other computer based mixing these days ?

If this Allen & Heath ZED 22FX analogue mixer does NOT have a superior signal bandwidth (to modern digital desks or other computer based mixing) -what kind of quality of an analogue mixer do I need these days to achieve this advantage ?

I do hope I don't have to go to an API or Neve console -or that sort of a price range. The folks at Izcorp who make the Radar 24 recorders do indicate a preference for analogue mixing with these recorders.

I just have to suspect things may have changed somewhat since 1997.

Thanks, Thrip
Old 9th May 2015
Gear Nut

Originally Posted by Thrip View Post
I just have to suspect things may have changed somewhat since 1997.

Even cheap modern interfaces blow 1997 digital consoles out of the water! 24 bits means a better noise floor and there are all sorts of other nitty gritty technical improvements to converters as far as clock jitter and such. The mic preamps on an old premium console are going to be better of course, but bad converters cancel a lot of that out.

A modern DAW gives you pristine signals processing. It doesn't add noise or other issues and can process every last iota present in the signal that was received from the converter. Some people are a fan of analog gear because harmonic distortion can be pleasing to the ear, but it's all a matter of opinion at that point.

Fantastic mixes are made entirely digitally, with a hybrid approach, or entirely in the analog domain. As long as your gear is modern or well maintained vintage analog (or old digital for the particular color), use whichever kit works best with your workflow!
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