Allen & Heath Xone PX5: Analogue soul in the digital age
Allen & Heath Xone PX5 marks the latest in the brand's line of analogue performance mixers.
It has been a good few years since Allen & Heath have released a feature-laden four channel mixer. Once the news of the release of the PX5 was announced, much speculation followed that the model would be updating the much-loved Xone:92.
This has turned out not to be case, with the PX5 following in the footsteps of other Allen & Heath models such as the Xone:43C.
The PX5 should be judged entirely on its own merits however, as it demonstrates a clear desire to blend authentic analogue sound with the ease of digital connectivity. Allen & Heath claim that the model showcases ‘Analogue Soul’, with the model bringing life and passion to electronic performances. We think that this should be a given for any performance, so let’s take a look at how and if Allen & Heath have created a truly soulful analogue mixer.
Mixer effects can sometimes be over the top and ostentatious to the extent that they lose their value and, dare we say it, effect. We are pleased to announce that the PX5 possesses subtle and nuanced effects that really allow you to have full creative control over the effects at your fingertips.
This intricately subtle effects feature can be explained by the model’s built in FX technology, the Xone: Xcite FX suite. This bespoke feature showcases an array of performance dedicated delays, reverbs, modulators, flangers and distorters which can each be customised and played with through easy-to-use hands-on controls.
The controls offer just the right amount of sensitivity, allowing you to fine tune the FX by adding weight and grooves wherever you like.
The control parameters give commands over not only time period but also the alignment of the effect in relation to the playing track. Added to this, hybrid FX mode combines the internal and external send & return FX for more advanced FX processing.
A really great feature of the PX5 has to be the versatile Send/Return feature which allows for the connection of external FX hardware with both Send/Return and Master Insert mode connections (Line or Hi-Z). This equips Xone:PX5 for a number of enhanced setup scenarios.
As a result, each channel has its own dedicated send control for external FX processing and can also be routed to the internal Xone:FX engine.
You can also connect your laptop or computer to the high-calibre internal 20 channel 24bit 96kHz USB2 soundcard for easy integration into digital DJ workflows. The plug n’ play connection via X:LINK to Xone:K series controllers also allows you to enjoy the benefits of an expanded MIDI controller.
While we’re on the subject of MIDI controllers, the PX5 showcases an integrated MIDI clock engine which can send start/stop messages to external equipment.
The 5-pin MIDI Sync/Out connection integrates external software/hardware instruments such as drum machines and synthesizers which can be connected via ¼” jack input connections (both mono and stereo).
Xone:PX5 can also send/receive MIDI clock information through the USB connection.
The PX5 is undoubtedly a solid, reliable design that is aimed at the widest possible market. Its blend of analogue sound with digital technology offers a beguiling mix and will attract die-hard analogue enthusiasts and new-comers alike.
It will remain to be seen how successful the model will be and if it can dent rivals such as Pioneer.
Overall though, this soulful design is great fun to use and full of innovative features, making it worth your while for a closer look.