Midas announces the worldwide public unveiling of its second networked digital audio system, the Midas PRO6 Live Audio System at PLASA 2008. Anticipating the interest this launch will generate, four systems are available for demonstration throughout the show.
Employing technologies developed from the groundbreaking XL8, the PRO6 offers the same exemplary sample-synchronised audio performance in a compact package.
Although the PRO6 standard system comprises a Control Centre with a footprint comparable to a 32 channel Verona and only two 7U 19" rack units, its diminutive size belies an ability to provide up to 80 simultaneous input processing channels and up to 32 (+3) discrete mixes, all of which feature EQ and dynamics processing options. By adding additional I/O hardware the PRO6's network can be expanded up to 264 inputs and 264 outputs. These connections can be patched and routed on a scene-by-scene basis, by use of the PRO6's powerful snapshot automation.
The PRO6's FX and dynamics algorithms are more than high quality, easy-to-use Linux-based FX processing. They are incorporated within the PRO6's automatic delay management system, so that wherever they are patched, the audio will be absolutely phase-coherent when summed into the mix.
The Midas microphone pre amp has become the benchmark throughout the audio world, and its current expression in the PRO6 sounds better than ever. Still built from discrete components, and based on the designs which were so successful in Midas analogue consoles such as the XL3, XL4 and Heritage, the PRO6's dual (analogue and digital) gain stages enables users to shape the mic amps' character according to preference.
The PRO6's Control Centre has been designed as the optimum size for its function. All controls are within easy reach, and the concept of "bringing the console to the engineer" is fully exploited, freeing the mix engineer from thinking in terms of "layers" or "pages". Instead, the PRO6 uses configurable colour-coded VCA and POPulation groups, which are deployed onto the control surface at the push of a button. This method was pioneered on the Midas XL8 Live Performance System, which is acclaimed by live sound engineers worldwide as making console navigation faster and more intuitive. Midas has designed the PRO6 Control Centre entirely around this concept, using different colours to navigate input channels in the same way that engineers have traditionally used coloured tape and fader knobs to aid in console navigation.
The Midas PRO6 is the world's second live audio console to feature a unique and comprehensive automatic latency management system which, in addition to managing all internal routing and processing delay, 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.
The Midas PRO6 feels, as well as sounds superb. All variable controls on the console are genuine potentiometers, not encoders. These access the FPGA engine through A-D converters and Midas' custom interpolation algorithms ensuring a linear, analogue-style, silky smooth "feel" to the mix.
Reliability is a key concern with all Midas products, and all PRO6 hardware elements feature redundant power supplies as standard. The FPGA processing engine is of modular construction, with the option of a spare module which will automatically deploy in the event of an engine module failure (n+1 model). Digital audio transport uses the international AES50 standard, featuring feed-forward error correction which provides superior protection against lost data packets and synchronisation issues when compared to Ethernet-based systems. All links between hardware elements support redundant cables for both copper and optical options. The Control Centre houses dual-redundant Linux master control computers (MCs), both running full versions of the PRO6 Linux software. Either one is capable of running the entire system on its own, and operation can be switched between the two MCs without any loss of audio.
Requiring only mics, amps and speakers to provide a complete audio system, the Midas PRO6 networked audio system is compact enough for minimal environments, yet can be easily expanded for more demanding applications.