MIDAS’ compact but powerful PRO2 Digital Console has been praised by FOH sound engineer Dan Lewis for adding great tone to the sound of Beady Eye whilst protecting precious punch at the band’s recent gig at Manchester’s Heaton Park.
Lewis, who is a Director of Urban Audio Productions, comments: “When you’re dealing with a band that has a big guitar sound you need a console that is sympathetic to that sound and not too analytical. All the MIDAS PRO series have what many engineers call this ‘warmth’ to them and it is this sound that I feel helps to tame really raw sounding instruments whilst preserving what you are really after in a mix.”
A long time MIDAS user and fan, Lewis has already purchased a PRO2 and a PRO2C console for his company Urban Audio Productions and has previously used a MIDAS PRO6 for Beady Eye live shows. But for this performance, as Gallagher’s Beady Eye supported The Stone Roses, it was all about the MIDAS PRO2.
“I specifically chose to use the PRO2 for this performance – Beady Eye is not a complex band but what it does require is the best quality signal possible,” says Lewis. “When I learned of the PRO2 system late last year I liked the compact surface layout, and the comprehensive feature set carried over from the other PRO series consoles. It immediately seemed to fit well with how I mix, feeling very intuitive and quick to use, and by no means least of all, it still retains the excellent MIDAS sound from the XL8 and XL4 before it.”
For the Heaton Park show Lewis’s Urban Audio Productions supplied the FOH MIDAS PRO2 and Britannia Row supplied the onstage PRO2 and monitor rig. Both PRO2 consoles shared a pair of DL431 mic splitters with all the mic inputs being taken from these units. Onstage there was another 451 I/O box to allow some extra FX to be patched into the monitor board but all other I/O was taken care of on by the onboard surface sockets.
“One of the most useful things in the MIDAS PRO2 effects rack is the dynamic EQ, which I used over Liam’s vocal as a de-esser and for some more tonal shaping,” says Lewis. “It’s a powerful unit and I only wish we could run more of them. In addition to the usual basics of high and low pass filters and a bit of channel EQ – which is really responsive – I mainly used the onboard processing, only relying on a TCM2000 reverb for vocal reverb and an SPL Vitalizer to spice up the bass guitar a bit. The onboard DN780 multi FX sorted out my drum reverb and a vocal slap delay, plus one instance of the stereo studio delay for vocal repeats. I was also using a Klark Teknik DN9650 Network Bridge to take 32 channels of audio to my Laptop via a RME Madiface for multitrack recording and virtual soundcheck. The DN9650 has worked flawlessly ever since we opened the box, it is so simple to use. Translating multi track audio between different network formats at different clock rates and bit depths with totally separate master clocks, sounds like a complete nightmare, but the DN9650 makes it an absolute breeze to do.
“But most of all, now that I’ve had some hands-on time with the MIDAS PRO2, it’s a straightforward decision for me to spec it for any future Beady Eye shows.”