Quantcast

Allen & Heath’s Xone:43C: Quality Analog Mixer With Excellent Digital Features

Back in April, Allen & Heath announced the Xone:43 and Xone:43C mixers. The former is an analog-only mixer built for a range of skill levels, while the latter expands upon this framework with USB functionality, X:LINK capabilities, the ability to handle the Serato DJ Club Kit, and a DVS option for using vinyl.

Centered around the Voltage Control Filter (VCF) system, both serve as upgrades to the Xone:42 and don’t stray away from what club and bedroom DJs have loved about the brand for years. The gear is modern yet created for the DJ who grew up using analog equipment. These days, that can be hard to find, and the quality and capabilities of the Xone:43C make it noteworthy.

Xone43C-with-laptop_web

The Xone:43C, as gear that’s ideal more for the professional performer or advanced DJ, is strictly a 4+1 channel DJ mixer with a soundcard. Software wise, you can upgrade to Serato DJ; the system is ready to support, via DVS, the Serato DJ Club Kit (or if you have the Serato DJ license already you will just need the Serato DJ Expansion Pack). Allen & Heath collaborated with Serato when developing this system, so what results is a strong piece of gear that, through simple and intuitive usage, creates a fluid mixing experience. In terms of sound, what you hear has that classic analog quality with the clarity for modern listeners.

The features here are relatively straightforward. Allen & Heath built the Xone:43C with its legendary Xone filter, a 3-band EQ, and X:FX, a function allowing each channel to have its own set of dedicated controls that, over the send/return, operate with external FX units. DJs, in response, have access to dry and wet controls with each channel.

IMG_0396_web

If it’s creativity you’re after (and why wouldn’t you be?), X:FX gives the Xone:43C an additional layer over its predecessors. The feature can be routed to the Xone filter to give your mix additional dimensions of FX and filtering. Too, compared to past functionality, the X:FX simplifies things when it comes to working with and adding external FX to your mix.

The Xone filter itself has rightly built up a reputation with time, and with the Xone:43C, it doesn’t let you down. You’ll have access to HPF, BPF, LPS, resonance control, and frequency sweep here, and have the option of routing the X:FX to the filter.

Along with these qualities, the Xone:43C comes with a 16-channel USB soundcard, which assists with integrating the mixer into the digital DJ workflow. These days, even if analog is your go-to sound and functionality, there are times when you still have to go digital, and this feature proves to be an asset in that regard. For one, it allows for plug-and-play connectivity, and second, it goes through X:LINK to give your Xone:K Series controller greater MIDI control. Third, this feature allows you replay and record from any of the DJ software programs mentioned above.

IMG_0393_web

X:LINK on its own is one of the more digital DJ-oriented features. After you’ve connected your gear, the combination provides hands-on control over your software, including control cues, loops, and FX for all four decks.

As far as other functions are concerned, the crossfader is a standout. With the Xone:43C, you get three switchable curve settings for blending and changing styles. Too, this unit offers the option of an upgrade to a custom Innofader, which is said to expand your performance.

Most of the other aspects here are fairly standard and what DJs, at this point, ought to expect. Allen & Heath added balanced XLR and main outputs, independent booth and record inputs, and 3.5mm and ¼” headphone inputs. As well, flexible mic and auxiliary inputs can be used with XLR and phono connectors. The mic input, too, can be used as an additional stereo music source. For getting as accurate of a mix as possible, the unit offers a dedicated local monitor output and a separate record output.

Xone43C-on-black_web

The DVS functionality has been emphasized as a selling point, but what do you get? This feature, when used in conjunction with Serato NoiseMap™, allows you to control vinyl or CDs – a must if you’ve going for that close-to-authentic analog feel and sound – and provides hands-on control for Serato DJ software. No matter how you go about it, the DVS allows for plug-and-play usage and keeps your setup simple.

Be aware, however, that the Serato DJ Club Kit needed to build upon this feature doesn’t come with the mixer. Should you decide to use it (and what DJ wouldn’t at least want to try it?), you’ll need to purchase it through the Serato DJ app or through the Serato online store.

Overall, if you’re looking to retain that analog sound and functionality you desire and find lacking from so much modern gear, the Xone:43C is really the way to go. Not only does it provide this, but the mixer goes a step beyond with features that integrate easily with the current digital landscape.

By | 2016-12-02T14:42:04+00:00 June 23, 2015|Reviews|0 Comments