Allen & Heath were not always in the DJ game. Nowadays though, DJ mixers are a massive part of their brand. It took a chance encounter and leap of faith to get Allen & Heath to where they are today. The Xone:92 is the flagship mixer that came from all of this, and is still available today! The Xone:96 has since come along and dragged a plethora of 92 users with it, but the 92 still contends with the best of them. It became an industry-standard mixer for good reason, so it is worth us delving into what makes it such a universally adored DJ product. To order one for yourself, head over to our website here
Allen & Heath Xone:92 - Tried and Trusted
In the 90s, Allen & Heath were known purely for their live-sound and studio mixing desks. Meanwhile, one of their engineers named Andy Rigby-Jones (who was also a DJ) took it upon himself to create a prototype in the hopes of birthing a new range of DJ mixers. It went well. He created the 'ClubWiz' (the model that later became the Xone:464), a hybrid of a mixing disk and DJ mixer. He took this prototype to Frankfurt '99 and as luck had it, ran into Richie Hawtin, who was a big fan of their studio gear. Seeing that a DJ product was potentially in production, Richie took it on the road with him. This was during the rise of minimal techno, so Hawtin was a role model and trendsetter amongst his fellow DJ's. He came back with modifications that he wanted implementing, including MIDI capability. This was a strange request back then, but Hawtin was integrating a strange new bit of software into his live sets called Ableton Live. Thus the Xone:62 was born, and later the Xone:92.
There are two main features associated with this mixer that set it apart from the rest. These are the VCF filters
and four-band EQ
. The voltage-control filter is the only hint at onboard FX. There are no reverbs or delays, but you can hook up an external mixer to do that job. Jones focussed on the analogue circuitry, so didn't add digital FX that could degrade the purity of the signal. The VCF is spread across the frequency range, introducing a familiar sweeping timbre that is recognisable instantly amongst Xone
users. The four-band EQ allows DJ's to make more subtle adjustments when mixing. This is particularly useful to the house and techno DJ's who prefer longer blends, building a majority of their set around mixing and beatmatching rather than scratching and cutting.
The available inputs and outputs on the Xone:92 are very well thought out. There are two options when it comes to the master out, XLR and 1/4 inch TRS. The booth output is also 1/4 inch TRS. On the input side of things, all four channels have two stereo RCA options; line-level or phono. This allows CDJ users to use the line input, and turntable users to take advantage of the high-quality built-in phono pre-amp. Additional connections include record out (stereo RCA), AUX 1 and AUX 2 (1/4 inch TRS), Mic 1 and Mic 2 (XLR) and two return channels (1/4 inch TRS).
There is plenty of competition when it comes to DJ mixers. The Xone:92 prevails as a primary choice for many. The demographic was crafted following the boom of minimal techno in the 2000s and thanks to the help of Richie Hawtin, the Xone:92 became the tool of choice. Those who want a high-fidelity, analogue audio, no-nonsense mixer look no further. To get your Xone:92 and start your journey, head over to our website
where you can order one for your very own!