Allen Heath ML3000 Console

The ML3000 is a dual-mode console, that is useable as both a monitor or front-of-house (FOH) desk, offered in 24, 32 or 40-channel input configurations.
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Allen and Heath is a British console manufacturer, that has been around for some time, purveyors of good, user-friendly consoles, offered at a reasonable price.
Product PointsApplications: Live sound, installation

Key Features: FOH or monitor modes; 24, 32 or 40-channel; 100mm faders; pan controls; multipurpose auxes; high-pass filter; pad; linkable

Price: $18,800

Contact:Allen & Heath/North American Pro Audio at 800-431-3129, Web Site.

Features

The ML3000 is a dual-mode console, that is useable as both a monitor or front-of-house (FOH) desk, offered in 24, 32 or 40-channel input configurations.

The ML3000 offers a wide assortment of goodies for an inexpensive, small footprint console. In addition to the regular input channels, the console has two additional stereo input channels, regardless of frame size.

Each channel offers a wide ranging input sensitivity control, with both pushbutton pad and boost of level, as well a conventional rotary pot for exact level matching. The EQ section is a four-band type, with the LF shelved at 60 Hz, the HF shelved at 12 kHz, and the two mid sweeps taking up the rest of the spectrum, and all cut and boost being up to 15 dB or bypassing completely through use of a push button. This section also incorporates the high-pass filter, infinitely variable from off to 400 Hz, at 12 dB per octave. The auxiliaries are arranged in an initial group of four mono sends (1 through 4), followed by two stereo sends (5/6 and 7/8), each group of auxes having its own pre/post control. Just below the Aux section, is the pan (LCR), group assign, mute, PFL, input prefader level indicator LED bank and the channel's 100mm fader.

The output section is located in the center of the 40-channel frame, which is the size console we tested.The output section contains the four group faders, the three master faders (left, center and right), and eight VCA controls. In addition to the main outputs, there is a matrix output section that allows each of the four audio groups, or the left, center or right main mixes to be routed to any of the four matrix masters.

The output section also contains the controls that change the output sections of the ML3000 from FOH to monitor modes. In FOH mode, the console has four sub groups, and left, center and right access from the channel faders. The auxes will function as four single (mono 1 through 4) group assigns and four auxes (stereo pairs 5/6 and 7/8), with both of the pairs assignable as a stereo send.In stage monitor mode, the ML3000 functions as eight actual sends, with 1 through 4 acting as mono sends and 5/6 and 7/8 acting as stereo or mono sends. Additionally, you could use the L/R master faders as side fill masters, essentially giving you two additional monitor mixes.

The back panel contains all the XLR type inputs and outputs, with each channel having an actual input connector, a direct out (TRS) and a single point TRS insert jack that falls post high-pass filter, but pre-EQ. Single point TRS inserts are available at the master outputs (L, C and R), as well as the eight master faders in monitor mode and the four matrix masters in any mode. The ML3000 also has provisions for stacking multiple consoles via multipin cabling, or through the matrix extension input, which allows four matrix master outputs form another ML3000 (or any other console) to mix directly into the matrix master of the chief console.

In Use

We used the console on numerous occasions, from small concert applications, to educational events, and on a couple of gigs we employed it as a monitor console. It would also be good for church sound installation.

On one show, I personally mixed the Phoenix Symphony on the ML3000, and found the console to have decent EQ, good output level/drive abilities, and fairly quiet mic preamps. On rock'n roll gigs, it responded well, but I did run out of fader room on a couple of occasions, and needed to reassess the gain relationships from mic pre-to-channel fader-to- group-to-master in order to bring out certain channels in the mix.

Summary

Overall, I found the Allen and Heath ML3000 to be a good console for its intended applications.It does not have the functionality of higher-class consoles but it also doesn't have the higher-class price tag.. The MSRP of $18,800 provides a nice amount of goodies in a package that takes up a fairly small footprint in the truck as well as at the gig. This price includes the shipping case and two power supplies, which was a nice, stout little travel package.

If you are in the market for an affordable, no-frills, but do-able package, you should check out the Allen & Heath ML3000.

Review Setup

Yorkville TX8 and TX9, JBL Eon15 speakers; dbx 1231 graphic equalizer.