Allen & Heath has just unveiled a new addition to its ME line-up of “personal mixing systems” – the ME-500. It’s designed as a personal monitoring solution for “touring bands, orchestral performances and houses of worship”, and seeks to extend the already comprehensive range of solutions A&H offers to live engineers and performers.
The mixer’s surface is greatly simplified – it has no faders at all, and only two knobs – but it’s able to handle 16 audio channels with mono or stereo sources. Control is accomplished with a display, 16 backlit buttons (for each channel), mute & solo buttons, a master level knob with EQ and limiter, and a single rotary encoder for navigation.
The ME-500 also integrates with the company’s range of digital mixers, as well as digital consoles from other manufacturers (through the ME-U hub). You can connect as many ME-500 and ME-1 mixers in a system as you want, either daisy-chained or in star topology (possible with a standard PoE switch).
Obviously, this isn’t a standalone mixer you’d buy for handling a 16-channel set up. It’s a monitoring mixer that receives sound from the main mixing console (digitally connected) and lets its owner individually adjust the different channel volumes according to their taste and needs. This way, each band member can craft their own individual mix – very convenient for an orchestra set up where you really, really want to turn off the tuba guy, for example!
Connections-wise, there’s very little going on with the ME-500. There’s a pair of headphone outputs, a mono out, Link In/Out ports, and an USB port for computers. The USB port can be also used for storing up to 8 user presets with pre-defined mixing settings.
Price and availability
As there’s no price available yet, we can’t say exactly how attractive this proposition will be. But the compatibility (over the ME-U hub) with other platforms seems promising.