Midas digital enthusiast Ian Bond is using his newly-purchased PRO2 live audio system for a solo tour by Porcupine Tree frontman Steven Wilson, while an SSE Audio-supplied PRO6 is accompanying The Kooks on the band’s European tour.
Bond – a long-time Midas fan – recently became one of the first clients to purchase both a PRO2 and a PRO2C live audio system. The FOH engineer acquired the desks for his rental company, IPB Audio.
“I initially saw some drawings, and as usual, gave my feedback to (designer) Alex Cooper,” said Bond. “One of the great things about Midas is that they always listen to people’s opinions. The price of the PRO2 means that there’s going to be a lot of people who can afford to have a Midas digital console and, importantly for me, people who can now afford to rent it. They can now have the same sound as an XL8 for a lot less money. It’s going to shake things up a bit.”
Bond has used his PRO6 extensively on FOH for Porcupine Tree, and is currently deploying his PRO2 for a lengthy solo trek by PT vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and singer Steven Wilson.
Speaking before the tour kicked off earlier this month, Bond remarked: “We’re playing venues up to about 1,000 capacity, so it’ll be great to have the smaller footprint, and I’m also doing monitors from FOH, like I did several years ago on a Midas XL8 with King Crimson. Steve’s got an immense band, with six musicians and a lot going on onstage, and I’m confident I can give them the stadium-style PA and service they expect in the smaller venues we’ll be playing.”
Another recent live outing for Midas’s PRO series saw a PRO6 accompany The Kooks on its latest European dates. FOH engineer Russ Tite selected the console – which was supplied by SSE Audio – after being reacquainted with Midas analogue during the summer festival season.
“I’d been using another brand of digital desk, but this summer I was rocking up to festivals and using an H3000 or XL4, and found I loved it again, it sounded like a console should,” said Tite. “We were almost going to take an XL4, but you can’t really fit one on a tour like this, so I decided to try the PRO6, and it sounds incredible.
“Once I’d got used to how the POPulation and VCA groups worked, I’ve been finding it a much quicker way of working. Now I don’t use the right hand side of the desk at all, as everything I need pops up right in front of me.
“I’ve set up VCA groups for things like kick and snare drums, toms, bass, guitars etc, then I’ve set the POP groups up so there’s a show start, with everything needed to open the show: playback, intro channels, vocals etc. The guys do a separate acoustic section so all my channels for that are easily accessible. I also have a couple of others that pull up kick and snares with guitars so I can quickly set a balance when it’s all going mad.”
Tite is using a Klark Teknik DN9650 network bridge to connect the PRO6 to his laptop running recording software.
“I’m recording 42 channels, so in the morning I can just put my headphones on and play it back for a virtual soundcheck,” he said. “That function alone, using the DN9650, saves the expense of renting in a complete outboard recording rig. If the record company or management want a recording, I just have to put a couple of ambient mics up. One of the tracks I’ve recorded in this way has ended up being used for a B side.”