UK band Friendly Fires has been playing its biggest tour to date with a Midas PRO6 live audio system on monitors, supplied by SSE Audio.
It was the band’s vocalist Ed Macfarlane who prompted the change to Midas. “We did a couple of shows with an XL3 and he loved the sound of it,” explained monitor engineer Simon Lutkins (pictured). “We then encountered some PRO6s and XL8s at festivals, which sold it to us both. I had used Midas digital before on FOH and knew the sound quality was equal to, if not better than, most analogue desks. When I started using the PRO6 in rehearsals I knew it was going to work straight away. I now have the best of both worlds – a great familiar Midas analogue sound in a flexible digital package.”
Working with between 32 and 40 inputs per show, Lutkins is dealing with four stereo IEM feeds, six wedge mixes and sidefills. “I’m using AES outs for my wedge mixes, and I have a DL351 and a DL451 loaded up to give me 56 inputs, 24 analogue outs and eight AES/EBU I/Os,” he said.
Lutkins is using the PRO6’s POPulation Groups to populate Area B of the PRO6’s control surface. “I have a POP Group for my click channels which are available on Area B the whole time so I can keep an eye on them,” he explained. “I need to send click all through the set to the drummer, and also to other members at various points, so it’s a great help to have them there to grab and monitor.
“I’m using eight channels of the onboard graphic EQs; they are very similar to analogue KT graphics, which is great. I’m also using six KT DN780 reverbs for the vocals, kit and brass; I find them easy to use and they sound great. I’m finding the talk input to the solo bus useful; I have shout mics with the backline techs running in this way, and having dedicated controls for this on the surface makes it really easy.”
Lutkins also praised the PRO6’s ease of operation and “brilliant Midas sound. It means I have to mix less, and everything has its place in a much bigger sound than I was used to with other digital desks.”
Friendly Fires continues its tour in 2012 across Australia, Asia and into South America, and Lutkins is excited about the possibilities afforded by the new Midas PRO2. “The unveiling of the PRO2 made the move to the PRO6 really sensible,” he remarked. “I’m looking forward to transferring my files over and having a smaller, more cost-effective option available when required.”