Midas PRO6 handles Prince’s Electric Ballroom shows

Rental and production firm DB Audio has invested in two Midas PRO6 consoles for FOH and monitor duties at the Electric Ballroom in Camden, London.

Supplied by LMC Audio, the desks were used for the first of Prince’s ‘secret’ concerts, which took place at the venue recently.

DB Audio had seen a good number of digital consoles come through the Electric Ballroom in the last few years, but only a few delivered results that could compare with the older analogue system they were running at the front-of-house and monitor positions. One brand, though, did continually impress the DB team.

“The one which stood out from the rest in terms of sound quality was Midas, and when we saw increasing numbers of engineers touring with their own PRO2 and PRO1 consoles, we felt the time was now right to invest in our own,” said Richard Waterhouse, who owns and runs DB Audio with his brother Steve.

Choosing separate consoles for FOH and monitors consoles, the Waterhouses knew which PRO Series desk would be most suitable for them. “The Midas PRO series embodies scalability with the PRO3 upgradeable to PRO6 and PRO9 through the addition of extra processing cards,” Richard continued. “For us, the logical entry point was PRO6, upgrading our old 48-channel analogue system to 64 channels digital.”

Will Hinkly, technical field sales at LMC Audio, added: “Even though these are established systems within the market, they are proven in the field in terms of sound quality, flexibility and their scalability, catering to almost every eventuality.”

The consoles’ first test was a Black Rebel Motorcycle Club earlier this month, and the day after, DB was asked to provide an ‘open sound check’ for the Prince gig the following night. On arrival, Steve Waterhouse discovered that Prince’s engineer wanted to run monitors, in-ears and front-of-house from the FOH console. “Running monitors from FOH would have been an almost impossible task using our old system but with the new PRO6 it amounted to a simple re-patch,” he commented.

The new system uses the Midas AES50 network protocol, transporting both audio and data across Cat5. The I/O configuration consists of a DL351 stagebox equipped with 56 mic/line inputs and eight analogue line outputs, housed on-stage with the monitor console, and configured with two 8ch analogue output cards and one 8ch AES/EBU card. This is complimented by the front-of-house desk, which is configured with a standard 8 analogue line input card, 8 mic/line input card and an 8 analogue line output card.

“Our Midas PRO6 consoles are now the heart of our system, with channel dynamics really easy to use and reverbs which sound lush and expensive, we are impressed by the quality of what’s on offer and we are fully committed to digital technology,” concluded Richard.

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