A Midas PRO6 digital mixing system at front of house, with an additional PRO6 and the new PRO2 on monitors, specified by live sound supervisor and supplied by Britannia Row Productions, were utilized at this year’s Brit Awards, held for the second year running at London’s O2 Arena .
The Brit Awards, the biggest event in the British music industry’s calendar, is one of the most challenging shows to stage, with a multi-artist line-up that this year ranged from the simple guitar and vocal of Ed Sheeran to the full band, backed by choir, of Blur, all broadcast live on TV to an audience of over six million.
Nine artists performed on the night, the line-up also including Adele, Bruno Mars, Coldplay, Florence and The Machine, Noel Gallagher, Olly Murs and Rihanna. All were mixed on the PRO6.
Britannia Row’s Josh Lloyd, who served as front of house engineer, notes, “The PRO6 was perfect for the job. Its unique ability to be pretty much completely reconfigured from scene to scene meant that I could have one band on a scene, hit next and I’d be ready for the next band. In that new scene I would have changed patching, bus configuration and fired midi messages to my external effects. The desk can load a scene or show instantly, with no delay.”
Some bands required multiple scenes for cues or different songs, while Lloyd himself used the notes as prompts for cues in the show once he had fired the scene.
On monitors, the PRO6 was used for six of the nine bands while the PRO2, the latest addition to the Midas range of PRO consoles, mixed the choir monitors and the stems for FOH and broadcast for Blur’s performance.
The consoles were networked via four Midas DL431 mic splitters for all inputs, a Midas DL251 I/O unit for the PRO2, a Midas DL351 to bus all the monitor I/Os and two Midas DL451 I/O units for insert and FXs. Additional equipment included two Midas DL371 audio system engines and a Klark Teknik DN9650 network bridge which was used for virtual soundchecks at FOH in conjunction with laptops with Madi interfaces.
“The use of the network gave us huge flexibility with signal routing and linking consoles in a seamless fashion,” reports Lloyd. “The whole set-up delivered just what you need in a show with such fast turnarounds and such short periods for line-checks: speed, flexibility, reliability and, of course, that great Midas sound.”