Digital Live Console Touring Package (Flightcased)
Midas PRO9 Control Centre (surface only) digital audio mixing system, capable of 80 mic/line inputs + 8 aux/line inputs x 35 buss/outputs, (in custom touring flight case) NO CARDS INCLUDED.
(Requires Midas DL371PRO9-01 for operation, sold separately.)
Midas Pro9 Overview
The Midas PRO9 sits at the top of the Midas PRO Series, featuring a massive 88 channel input count and 35 buses, with the dual stage boxes offering placement flexibility up to 200m apart and 500m from the FOH position.
The PRO9 benefits from the full range of Midas I/O box options, including the DL251 fixed format stage box, the highly acclaimed DL431 24 channel 5-way mic splitter offering three mic preamps per channel and dual digital network connections, both with full redundancy. Flexibility can be further increased by adding the Klark Teknik DN9650 digital format converter offering MADI and Dante connectivity.
The Midas PRO9 comes complete with the features that have been made popular by established Midas digital systems, the XL8 and the PRO6. This includes the hugely successful VCA and POPulation groups, which allow users to navigate channels intuitively, without the confusion caused by layers or pages of faders. It features the legendary and much-loved Midas sound characteristics, which have their roots in the classic Midas analogue consoles. The PRO9 also benefits from the same comprehensive choice of effects and dynamics processing as the PRO6 and XL8, including the acclaimed XL8 compressor styles. Expandable modular connectivity means the system can be upgraded to meet any applications.
MIDAS Digital Sound QualityThe MIDAS reputation for fantastic audio quality has evolved over 40 years of development and research. By designing the best mic pre’s, equalisation and using the superior components, MIDAS has carried this tradition into the digital realm. Adding the best converters and custom processing algorithm to the mix MIDAS, takes audio quality to another level. In addition MIDAS digital systems are the only live sound systems in the world to have a comprehensive and automatic latency management system. Which, in addition to managing all internal routing and processing latency, also includes compensation for external analogue inserts. This means that all audio samples are synchronised before summing, resulting in absolute phase coherency at all outputs.
MIDAS digital feels, as well as sounds superb. All the variable controls on the console are genuine analogue high precision potentiometers, not mechanical encoders. These access the FPGA-DSP engine through precision instrumentation A-D converters and MIDAS’ custom interpolation algorithms. This means that as well as all audio, all operator input is fully interpolated to ensure a linear, analogue-style, silky smooth “feel” to your mix.
The MIDAS microphone pre-amp is the one by which all others are judged. Still built from discrete components, and still based on the designs which were so successful in the legendary MIDAS analogue consoles such as the XL3, XL4 and Heritage, the current expressions in the XL8 range and PRO Series sound better than ever. Whether you want pristine, transparent reproduction, or that renowned MIDAS warmth and colouration, MIDAS’ dual (analogue and digital) gain stages enable you to shape the mic amps’ character according to your own preference.
A major problem affecting many digital consoles is a lack of attention to delay management. All digital processing takes time to run – typically just a few samples, but never zero. ADCs and DACs have much bigger delays (typically a few milliseconds) so if analogue insert points are used, the channel in question will be delayed significantly relative to the others.
Mix engineers working on analogue consoles routinely combine signals with different signal paths and processing and expect to do the same with digital. On many current digital consoles, combining signals in this way leads to the summing of signals that are in effect partly out of phase. This causes undesirable “comb filtering” effects, where specific frequencies are cancelled out completely. All MIDAS digital consoles have comprehensive automatic time alignment to correct any path related delays. Plus the additional latency introduced by the A to D conversion on the analogue inserts is also automatically compensated.
Unique to MIDAS digital are the I/O and DSP units which can be freely distributed into multiple locations. In particular I/O units can be placed exactly where they are needed – on the stage, around the auditorium, at FOH or remotely in a broadcast truck. MIDAS’ digital audio network is easily configurable to route signals from where and by when they are needed since the patching is done a scene-by-scene basis.
Every transition of a network adds delay. MIDAS networks have only 70 micro-seconds of latency per hop so even a multi-hop routing has negligible aggregate delay (latency) making it perfect for in-ear monitoring. All inputs and all outputs are time-aligned to sample accuracy, no matter where they are in the network or how they are routed. This is another major contributor to the performance of a MIDAS digital console and that magical MIDAS sound.
VCA and POPulation GroupsWith the advent of digital technology consoles channel counts and processing features have grown to a point where it is just not practical to have all controls physically available at the same time. Additionally the logistical advantages of smaller control surfaces are attractive. MIDAS’ unique approach to solving this problem is to mirror the natural work flow used by sound engineers and to provide control and supporting feedback of system status at all levels, from the highest overview to the finest detail. This encourages the development of a mental picture, or “Mind Map”, of the whole system even though at times focus may be on one or two specific functions.
For example: as a default channel faders are not layered but scrolled; so the console faders act as a window onto the available channels in the system and allow you to think of them as a simple linear progression, like on an analogue console or a channel list, rather then having to remember which layer things are on. Unlike analogue consoles in this way the console comes to you rather then the other way around. But this is only the beginning.
At the heart of any MIDAS control centre are the VCA faders that provide primary mix control of multiple channels (typically grouped into musical clusters by sound engineers). A unique innovation in this established mixing approach is the ability to access all the channel faders belonging to any of the VCA groups at the press of a switch: again the channels come to you rather than having to go looking for them. VCA groups can be Solo’d and Muted.
If you think of the VCA faders as if they were each containers for all the channels they control then finding channels becomes a natural and easy task. This method is further expanded through the provision of user customised POP (POPulation) groups each of which can contain any combination of channels that you want to accesses instantly at the press of a switch. Rather like a VCA without a fader.
This work flow approach is applied to every area of the control surface ensuring ease of use and appropriately fast access to all controls.
To help further improve the “Mind Map” live sound engineers have typically used colour when navigating mixing consoles by applying different coloured adhesive tape and swapping coloured fader knobs to help make console navigation faster and more intuitive. MIDAS have taken this established principle of channel recognition and applied it to VCA and POPulation groups with assignable colour-coding and digital write on buttons.
The MIDAS commitment to innovation was recognised in 2009 with Alex Cooper, MIDAS R&D Director, receiving the prestigious Gottelier Award, only the third person to be so honoured. This award recognises the product developers who have made a significant and sustained contribution to the development of equipment and tools that have enabled entertainment technology practitioners to push the boundaries of event production, presentation and installation.
Selecting a VCA or POP group will bring all of the members of that group to the designated area of the control surface, populating from the VCA area outwards. If the group has more members than visible channels, the group can be viewed by scrolling the input bay.
AutomationAll MIDAS digital consoles are purpose-designed for easy, instant-access to all key functions when mixing, however, should the operator require the console to manage mundane repetitive tasks, or control complex and wide-reaching changes during a performance, the onboard automation system can handle all requirements with ease.
Each show file within the consoles memory can contain many hundreds of “scenes” which can be individually recalled the instant their settings are required. Scenes can be recalled instantly, or with a configurable crossfade time, for more subtle changes, or by programming user-configurable crossfade “groups” complex timed events can be prepared with instant user-intervention if required including manual control of crossfades.
Each scene contains every parameter on the system, including all audio parameters, network routing, console configuration, FX type, routing and settings, even VCA and POP group deployment and screen brightness can be pre-programmed into a scene recall! MIDI or GPIO (contact closure) ports, provide control of external devices or allow the console to respond to external prompts, permitting many external 3rd. party devices to be incorporated into the MIDAS automation system.
MIDI, GPIO, and internal (crossfade and text note)“events” all have a comprehensive palette of options which include all the usual MIDI parameters, plus the ability to assign time delays or offsets to the implementation of the programmed event.
The dedicated automation GUI displays all scenes programmed into the show, and provides visual feedback for all automation events, an area for text notes, and the facility to quickly re-order the scenes, should the set-list or running order change at the last second!
For those times when a well-rehearsed and programmed show does change at the last second, the console has dedicated hardware controls for every channel enabling the operator to “safe” any parameter from automation control should the need arise. Software control of scene-specific automation “scope” is also provided, as well as the ability to “cut and paste” any real-time parameter changes to subsequent scenes via the onboard SHOW EDITOR.
Redundancy in MIDAS Digital SystemsMIDAS products are renowned for their reliability, nevertheless component failures can occur in anyone’s product at any time. MIDAS mixing systems are regularly used on events where a loss of audio would be catastrophic. At MIDAS we have gone to great lengths to build redundancy into our digital systems to minimise or avoid completely the impact of such problems.
The flagship XL8 uses a combination of dual redundancy and (n+1) redundancy schemes in such a way that no single failure in the system can stop the product operating. One example of dual redundancy is the complete duplication of all the audio network and router devices. An example of (n+1) redundancy is the DSP engine where nine units are active and the tenth one is an auto-deployed redundant unit.
A particular case in point is the main control software and associated processor which is often a part of a digital mixer which will stop the audio if it fails or the software crashes. The Master Controller on the MIDAS XL8 and all PRO Series consoles is fully dual redundant. The backup unit is always running in the background and is kept constantly up to date with all audio and control parameters, enabling a completely seamless swap should a failure occur.
This is not a new concept at MIDAS. Dual master controllers have been part of the automation on the Heritage range of analogue consoles for ten years! At MIDAS we know that our customers are absolutely reliant on our products and we pride ourselves on meeting and exceeding their expectations.
PatchingMIDAS digital systems are much more than a “mixer” – they are complete digital audio distribution networks.
The XL8 has a network capacity of 432 inputs and 432 outputs, and the PRO3, 6, and 9 all have capacities of 288 inputs and 294 outputs. All of these network connections can be patched and routed independently of the audio passing through the “mixer”. Any correctly-directioned connector can be mapped to any node on the mixer, and any correctly-directioned node elsewhere on the network, simultaneously! Modular I/O devices (DL451, DL351 and PRO3/6/9 control centres) feature a modular, user-configurable card-based system which permits any combination of analogue and/or digital inputs and/ or outputs to be deployed depending upon the requirements of the event.
The patching GUI is presented to the user in a highly visual, easily understood pictorial format, enabling quick, easy operation and comprehension of a large and potentially complex audio network. The format, configuration, routing and patching of the entire network can be re-configured instantaneously on a scene-by-scene basis by using the consoles automation system.
Areas A and BMIDAS’ digital control surfaces can be divided into two areas, Area A and Area B facilitating dual operator use. The input channel area on the far right of the surface (4 channels on a PRO series and 8 channels on an XL8) can be designated as Area B by selecting the Area B button located below the scroll buttons in the “input select” area. The input control channels on the right-hand side of the Control Centre can now be used independently of those on the left.
VCA and POPulation groups can be pre-selected to populate either Area A or B. This means a group of inputs can populate different areas of the surface. The engineer brings the required inputs to their local work surface, where they are quickly and easily identified and changes implemented.
There are two independent stereo solo busses available. Any input or output channel can be assigned to either monitor buss. Allowing two operators to work simultaneously or for stage monitor and in ear monitor systems to be separated.
Third Party System IntegrationThe MIDAS XL8 range and PRO Series systems incorporate several special features to aid real world integration with other important sub-systems.The MIDAS digital snakes (HyperMAC), both CAT-5e and Fibre Optic versions, carry embedded control signals for general usage. Signals carried include standard Ethernet traffic, MIDI messages and GPIO (general purpose input and output signalling). This is a great advantage since it avoids extra cables, extends the range of, for example MIDI, a long way beyond normal limits and provides a free Ethernet range extension.
The Ethernet tunnel provides a 10Mbit/sec standard Ethernet connection from an Ethercon RJ45 connector on the control surface to a similar connector on the stage router unit (DL461, DL361) for use by third parties. Applications include carrying control signals from a PC or Mac at FOH to a radio mic receiver rack on stage and similarly, control signals from a PC or Mac to a system controller on stage. External standard Ethernet network hubs can be used to connect many different systems together via the MIDAS snake, which also provides redundancy in case of cable damage.
MIDI messages and GPIO (contact closure) signals can be sent and received by the MIDAS Console Automation System to local connectors at the console position and remotely to MIDAS I/O devices which can be 500m away.The XL8, PRO3, 6 and 9 control surfaces incorporate a KVM switch (Keyboard – Video – Mouse). This switch allows one screen on the control surface plus the keyboard and trackball to be switched to one of three external computer connectors. This is a great way of reducing “clutter” at the control surface position. A control surface screen, keyboard and trackball can be used to control up to three other systems where the computers are placed out of harms way. These external systems, such as ProTools*, Waves* Multi-Rack, Shure* UHF-R radio mics and Dolby Lake* System Controllers, then appear on a MIDAS control surface screen and are controlled by the surface keyboard and trackball.
As described above the Ethernet tunnel can then be used to pass the Ethernet messages from these computers to the devices they are controlling on stage via the MIDAS snake. As an extra refinement the automation system can be used to communicate with external systems via MIDI thereby integrating these systems into the MIDAS scene automation.
Additional I/O Box Options
- 288 inputs x 294 outputs (max capacity) point-to-point routing anywhere within the Network
- 80 primary inputs
- 8 return inputs
- Up to 104 simultaneous mix channels
- 16 Group/Aux & 16 Matrix - 32 Mixes in “monitor” mode
- 35 mix busses
- 10 VCAs
- 6 POPulation Groups
- 8 Effects devices
- Up to 36 KT Graphic EQ’s - with optional DN9331 Rapide control
- Configurable “Area B”
- Standard surface I/O
- (3 configurable card slots)
- DL443 “TRS” card
- DL452 AES/EBU Input and Output “D” card
- DL442 Analogue Output “O” card
- Stage I/O
- DL351 56 in / 8 out configurable I/O
- DL451 24 in configurable I/O
- Dual-Redundant HyperMac (192x192) CAT5-e digital snake included
- Fibre Optic connections
- Control centre supplied in flight case
- 16U flight case supplied for DL371 DSP and DL351 I/O**
I/O Card Options
- DL431 24 in 5 way split: fixed configuration I/O
- DL251 48 in / 16 out fixed configuration I/O
Control Centre Weight and Dimensions
- DL441 Analogue Mic / Line Input “I” card
- DL442 Analogue Output “O” card
- DL443 8 Analogue Line In and 8 Analogue Line Out “TRS” card
- DL452 AES/EBU Input and Output “D” card
- DL444 8 Analogue Mic In and 8 Analogue Line Out “D Sub” card
- Option of 150m Fibre Optic cable
- Width 1365mm x Depth 924mm (53.7” x 36.4”) Weight: 97Kg (213.4lbs)*
- *weights are approximate and out of flight case ** Packing may vary by territory
- Klark Teknik DN9331 Rapide Graphic Controller
- Klark Teknik DN9696 96 track High Resolution Audio Recorder
- Klark Teknik DN9650 Network Bridge (MADI, Dante, Aviom, Ethersound, CobraNet)