Allen & Heath has selected the forthcoming Sound Recording Technology (SRT) show - part of the London International Music Show (LIMS) - to unveil the new Xone:4D performance DJ controller.
Evolved from the revolutionary Xone:3D, the Xone:4D has an enhanced feature set, combining a fully-featured, high specification professional analogue DJ mixer with 105 MIDI controls, and a new high-end 96 kHz/24bit 20-channel USB 2.0 soundcard.
The mixer section is based on the award-winning Xone:92 and features 4 triple-input stereo channels (soundcard, phono and line), 3 band total kill EQ, 2 stereo effects sends, 2 analogue VCF filters with LFO, VCA crossfader and dual-rail channel faders, DJ mic and cue monitoring system.
For the assignable LFO, a new editable step-filter function has been developed, encouraging creative combinations of the tempo-detecting BPM counter and tap tempo. Each MIDI fader becomes a filter cut-off frequency, enabling users to “draw” their own tempo-locked LFO waveform.
There is also a new 16-bit tempo detecting circuit, which constantly monitors the BPM and outputs a MIDI clock to help synchronize MIDI-controlled music replay software with external source programme material.
The stereo FX sends can be used with external equipment such as effects units and samplers and now both FX sends can be routed to the USB audio system and sent to the PC. Following customer feedback, the FX2 hardware output can be switched to act as a Main Mix record output.
There are two dedicated MIDI control strips comprising 8 60mm faders, 16 centre-detented rotary controls, 10 rotary encoders with push switches, 32 switches (8 illuminated), and 2 improved high quality custom jog wheels with 4 navigation switches. The Xone:4D’s MIDI sections now have a ‘shift’ function giving two layers of MIDI controls, allowing 227 mappable MIDI messages from the 105 MIDI controls on the front panel, and a fader pickup algorithm allows seamless movement between the layers.
In addition, several mixer functions generate and respond to MIDI, and the BPM counter provides MIDI start/stop and clock. The Xone:4D provides full control of external MIDI devices including the most sophisticated DJ performance computer environments. Overlays are available to identify the control function for popular software applications.
A high performance 20-channel USB2.0 soundcard is built into the mixer, featuring 4 analogue stereo inputs and outputs, transmitting audio at up to 96kHz with 24 bit resolution. It uses USB to interface the mixer audio and MIDI to a PC where the sound may be manipulated in real time using any music software application. The soundcard also produces SPDIF, COAX and optical digital inputs and outputs. A low latency ASIO driver is provided for audio streaming between the 4D and PC. Each mixer channel has its own soundcard input routing switches allowing for complete flexibility on what gets sent to or from the PC.
The most noticeable visible change in the Xone:4D is the new style and colouring, developed in response to users’ requests for panels which are easier to read in low light. The white screening is in Ultra Violet sensitive paint, which glows when exposed to UV light.
“When we launched the Xone:3D in 2005, we were proud to offer the DJ community a pioneering and unique tool that integrates computer-based digital media into the traditional DJ workspace. The new Xone:4D is the culmination of over two years’ experience and feedback from DJ’s using the 3D, and includes technological developments that did not exist or were prohibitively expensive at the time of the original design,” comments Xone designer, Andy Rigby-Jones. “The Xone:4D will enable DJ’s to greatly extend the capability of their digital setup by, for example, running 4 simultaneous decks in Native Instruments’ Traktor, or by being able to achieve genuine multi-track recording of their sets in applications such as Ableton Live or ProTools.”