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Allen & Heath ICE-16 16-channel Multitrack Recorder/Interface Reviews

4.5 stars based on 7 customer reviews
  • from Virginia April 20, 2016Music Background:
    Professional Musician and recording company owner.

    Least exciting equipment

    The A&H ICE 16 is not exciting. It does its job. Now that is exciting.
    I have been recording for many decades, the last 10 years or so to various computers. Recently, I encountered "dirty power" for the first time. I have a Furman power conditioner, but the sync between my interface and the computer was lost several times during two different sessions in the same venue. After much on-line consultation, I came to the conclusion that computer recording is not the way to go for a one-time live recording. I began to search for an alternative.
    The Allen & Heath ICE 16 fit my needs perfectly. It has very few frills - don't need them - and it does its job without fail - it will not loose sync with the interface. All connections between them are analog. Yea! Hurray!
    One of the better non-exciting purchases I have made.

  • from Long Island, NY January 16, 2016

    Multi-track Recording Ease

    Very pleased with purchase. Have put it through two different recording scenarios: recording straight to thumb drive and recording through the unit to DAW (Cubase). Both setups have worked flawlessly. I run from A&H MixWizard direct outs. I used one of the verified thumb drives from the website: LEXAR USB-3.0 JUMPDRIVE S73 32GB, followed the directions for formatting and all worked fine. Recommend a pair of HOSA 8-channel Snake (1/4" TS Male-1/4" TS Male)...I purchased the 6.6' lengths. Aric Brenner was great in responding to questions. Note: listening to DAW playback through ICE headphone jack does not provide true stereo image (i.e. you can't hear any channel panning you may have set up in your DAW ). Instead you will need to connect a pair of RCA cables to two output jacks (the stereo pair specified in your DAW VST outputs) and then connect to whatever monitor set up you have (amp/speakers, etc.)

  • from Indianapolis, IN August 12, 2013

    Thumb drive complications

    As Jason from NY said, A&H only supports 16-bit recording on a thumb drive. 24-bit works fine on a USB hard drive I had that was 5 years old. But I really wanted to do 44.1 x 24-bit recording to a thumb drive to make this "no moving parts" all the way. I bought a Kingston Data Traveler Ultimate thumb drive, which is on A&H's approved products list (for running 16-bits). This thumb drive is way faster (sustainable write speed) than any of my old USB hard drives, so I was puzzled why the hard drive can run 24-bit and the flash drive could only do 16. But true enough, with the default formatting, trying to run the Kingston results in occasional dropouts.

    Long story short, I got it to work using this procedure:
    1) Format the Kingston drive in the ICE16 -- see the manual. It will come up as "LO" (i.e. 16 bit). That will create a couple of empty folders and an INI file.

    2) Take the Kingston to your PC and copy the folder structure and INI file temporarily to your hard disk.

    3) From the PC, format the Kingston as FAT32, but specify the allocation unit size as 64KB (don't use the default which is 32KB).

    4) Then copy the folder structure back only the Kingston.

    5) Still on the PC, go into the file named recorder.ini and change the samplewidth=16 line to read samplewidth=24. Then eject the Kingston from your PC.

    Plug it into the ICE and it will come up as "HI" (i.e. 24 bits.) With this format, I have never had a single dropout. It works great for me. A&H does not support that, so you are on your own, but this is how I plan to run always.

    On a related note, be aware that if you want to run 88.2 or 96, it will only record on 8 channels (regardless of whether you use a hard disk or thumb drive,) but you can do 16 channels at 48K x 24 bits.

    The unit is fabulous. Much less heartburn than trying to get a *#$%^&%^& DAW to record reliably in the field.

  • from Maryland USA January 23, 2014Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, pro musician, educator

    A couple of little things...

    In general I'm in love with this unit, nevertheless, there are issues.

    My first beef is that the unit's manual claims it comes with adhesive feet that can be put on for non-rack uise. In actuality, the unit has permanently-installed, riveted-on feet that make it impossible to install in a single rack space. This was a major thing for me, since I was working with a pretty tight rack to begin with. In order to install the ICE-16 I had to remove another piece of gear that I really wanted to leave in the rack.
    Additionally, on my first live gig (a very important one) I mysteriously lost about 3 minutes of a recording. The ICE-16 seems to have simply dropped the audio from the tracks. It just cuts from one point to another. The hard drive, (a Seagate Free Agent Go-Flex) was brand new, tested fine, and ran at the HI 24-bit setting. After the gig, it suddenly reads as LO 16-bit instead. So I'll give the ICE-16 the benefit of the doubt and say it's bad brand new drive, but a backup recorder of some sort might be a good idea from now on.

  • from Brooklyn, NY August 27, 2013Music Background:
    Playing 30+ years

    Allen & Heath Ice-16

    Fantastic piece of equipment for the price. Was recording in minutes.Only downsides: Only 8 channels available when recording at 96k, power switch on rear, no pause/ff/rew functions, you must go to the next or previous recording. That said, I could not live without it, it allows me to record separate channels from my mixer without turning the computer on!

  • from NY, NY July 15, 2013Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Live Sound Engineer, Pro Musician

    Good Bang for the buck.

    I bought the Allen and Heath ICE16 about a month ago. I think it is a great little unit. A few things that I didn't know about the unit before purchasing it that are worth noting. 1) You can only record at 16 bit when using a USB stick so I recommend using an external hard drive instead in order to get the full 24 bit depth. 2) You can only record in stand alone mode from the front of the unit however, you CAN connect to a computer via firewire or USB from the back. 3) You must use a PC formatted hard drive. It will not recognize MAC formatted drives. 4) The outer face plate is made of rubber so DO NOT tighten the rack screws too tight or you WILL break off the rubber bumper attached to the metal face plate as I accidentally did when tightening one of the screws. But aside from all that this unit sounds stellar!!! I bought it as a companion piece for my Allen and Heath Mix Wizard and made some great recordings of some bands already. It certainly lightened up my setup. I no longer need to lug my laptop and interface. No more worries about my DAW crashing during the performance. The best part is being able to bring it by itself to gigs where there is a soundboard already setup and I can connect straight in from the back. You can link up to 4 of these units together to record 64 tracks simultaneously if necessary. No need to buy the higher end stand alone units. The ICE 16 is solid and sounds great. Easy money for a sound engineer that records live acts who wish to promote their music to get gigs at other venues. Two thumbs up.

  • from Newark, Delaware October 3, 2013Music Background:
    Recording and Live Sound Engineer and Pro Musician

    Allen & Heath Fails to deliver

    I recently purchased 2 Allen & Heath Ice-16 units with expectations of being able to capture up to 32 channels simultaneously. I hooked up the first unit...perfect. I was able to use it as advertised... a stand-alone recording device with my analogue console and I was able to use it as a converter recording direct to Pro Tools. The problem came when trying to synchronize the second unit. After attempts on both Mac and PC I made a call to support at Allen & Heath. After a brief try I was informed that the units are not capable of synchronizing or daisy chaining at this time. This functionality was advertised as being available early 2013...well, Allen & Heath failed to deliver and have missed the promised date. This capability does not yet exist. I am very disappointed with the false promises and I am returning both units. In their place I a upgrading to an Antelope Orion 32.

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