As the heavy metal band Five Finger Death Punch tours North America in 2012, front of house engineer Bruce Reiter will be mixing them on his new desk: the Midas PRO2C digital mixing system.
“I was looking for a compact console and saw it online,” Reiter states. “I was considering a lot of different desks, but then I had the opportunity to touch the PRO2C for the first time at the NAMM Show. I decided then and there that I had to have it.”
Two things combined to convince Reiter to invest in Midas digital.
“First and foremost, it actually sounded good,” he says. “The preamps and EQ define the basic sound of any console, and in my opinion, MIDAS digital sounds as good as my old analog console of choice, the Midas XL3. The other thing was the way it’s laid out. It’s comfortable to mix on, and incredibly fast to get around. Everything is right at your fingertips.”
That navigation is a product of the PRO Series architecture that eliminates layers in favor of multiple channel grouping options called VCA, MCA, and POPulation groups, to enable flexible configuration and instant recall of associated channels. The PRO2C and its sister console, the PRO2, both utilize the MIDAS DL251 fixed I/O stage box, which provides 48 inputs and 16 outputs, with eight more inputs and eight effects returns available on the mixing surface.
On-board processing includes six multi-channel FX engines and up to 28 Klark Teknik 31-band graphic equalizers. The only significant difference between the consoles is that the PRO2 includes eight more physical faders on the mixing surface. “Originally, I was looking at the PRO2,” notes Reiter. “But once I tried them both, I just fell in love with the 2C. It has all the same I/O and effects, and is a perfect fit for my style of mixing.”
In fact, the PRO2C is the most compact Midas digital console available, measuring less than 35 inches wide and weighing just over 80 pounds. Working with a band like Five Finger Death Punch, that was another big selling point for Bruce Reiter. “On this tour, we have one truck and two 15-foot trailers being pulled behind two buses,” he reports. “That has to hold everything: sound, lights, backline and merchandise. Every bit of space counts, and having a console you can literally lift up and stack on top of the pack is really convenient. Being able to do that while improving the sound of the show is like icing on the cake.”
Having now had the PRO2C on tour, Bruce Reiter is more convinced than ever that he made the right choice. “I’ve mixed on just about every digital system out there and, at some point in our travels, I’m sure I will again,” he says. “But as long as I have control of it, the PRO2C or something else from the PRO Series will be my preference. Sonically, nothing else comes close.”
While most tours opt to rent their consoles, Reiter sees things a little differently. “Like most independent sound engineers, I’ve always had a certain supply of equipment that I bring to the party,” he notes. “Back in the day, it was a big rack full of effects. Later, that became a USB stick with plug-ins and licenses. This is the next step. The PRO2C takes up less space than my old effects racks, and it’s got everything I need to mix a killer show. It’s the perfect tool for me.”