Allen and Heath have announced the availability of their new DSP entry, the AHM-64 Matrix processor. The naming convention is somewhat misleading, because the unit itself supports only 12 inputs and 12 outputs on Phoenix-style connectors. However, it does support 64x64 matrix processing, with 64 configurable processing outputs – up to 64 mono / stereo zones. The additional I/O is supported by adding outboard units, using either the RJ-45 S-Link port (128x128) or by adding an audio networking card such as Dante or Waves (64x64). The unit can be controlled remotely over Ethernet using a number of different control options, including phone and PC apps.
The S-link port is used for connection to remote I/O expanders with plug ‘n play operation. Supports the GX, DX, AB and AR ranges of expanders plus the DX Hub. It can also be used for connection to an Allen & Heath SQ, Avantis or dLive live mixing console, or linking to another AHM-64 unit.
Sound management tools are listed as:
o 8x Automatic Mic Mixers
o AEC (Acoustic Echo Cancellation - with optional module}
o ANC (Ambient Noise Compensation)
o Priority ducking
o 8-band PEQ, dynamics and delay on every input and zone
o Speaker processing with x-over filter, delay, limiter and PEQ
A 28-band GEQ OR an additional 8-band PEQ also available on all outputs, along with an integrated RTA display, and up to 8 channels can be processed with an automatic mixing function, The unit also supports ambient noise compensation on each output as well as an additional DSP control section for outputs driving speakers.
The unit has stereo or dual mono local playback capability. There is also an 8x8 general purpose interface (GPIO) for control integration. Core processing is done at 96 kHz and the unit has very low latency.
The unit itself sell for about $3000, and the various I/O units used with it are not cheap, so the versatility of the AHM-64 comes at significant cost. For multi-zone processing, the AHM-64 offers tremendous functionality, a relative ease of configuration and control, and quality that is top-notch.
The A&H web site has additional information, including instructional videos, on this versatile unit.
Addendum: In January 2022 A&H announced the new AHM-32 and AHM-16 audio matrix processors, making this technology available for smaller venues and at lower cost. See an article at ProSoundWeb.