Monitor engineer Jimmy Nicholson has been using the Midas PRO2C live audio system for Jessie J dates in Australia and Asia. This included an early afternoon slot at the Future Music Festival in Brisbane and a headline tour of small arenas in tandem with a Midas PRO6 at FOH.
Nicholson’s setup for these shows started life on a Midas XL8 during a promo gig before being loaded into a PRO6 for a UK tour last autumn. Importing the show file into the PRO2C meant than Nicholson, a long term fan of Midas Digital, could replicate the show across the globe in a small, easily transportable package.
“Convincing our production team to ship a PRO2C to the other side of the world was easy - and now they’ve seen it in action, they want to take it everywhere with us!” he says.
“The PRO2C met all my requirements; in fact I found the layout a little easier to use than the PRO6, and some of the new shortcut buttons make things even easier than they already were. It’s still amazing to think that almost all the processing power of a PRO6 can be squeezed into such a small console. The sound quality goes without saying - the fact you can now get the sound quality of an XL8 in such a compact package will, I think, be a game changer in the industry.”
Nicholson had around 38 inputs from the stage, plus ‘shout’ microphones for every band member to communicate with Nicholson and their techs during the show.
“I ended up running 12 IEM mixes, one for every band member, plus backline crew and Jessie’s security,” he explains. “In addition I was running an entire shout system from the PRO2C, which when coupled with the PRO6 at FOH for our headline shows allowed both engineers and backline crew to don IEMs and headphones and carry out a line-check with full back and forth communication on the headsets only. We cleared the stage of wedges and I was running subs for the drummer, keyboard player and a couple of subs per side for side fills.”
Nicholson appreciated the ability to deploy his favourite Midas digital features on the PRO2C. “From day one with MIDAS Digital, the VCA and POPulation group system has been the key winner for me,” he says. “I was more than happy to use a control surface with only eight input faders, as I know from previous experience that once you start using the POP and VCA groups, you only need a few faders to the left of the master section.
“The ability to patch internal busses to the ‘external in’ and PFL and AFL bus direct inputs of the monitor section meant I could run the shout system from the console, instead of requiring an external solution. The fact that the band could communicate with myself and their techs if they need to meant I could concentrate solely on Jessie for the show, and if they needed me I’d hear them ‘shouting’ in my IEMs.”
This being one of the first outings for the PRO2C in the region, curiosity ran high as people spotted the tiny work surface on stage.
“I had a number of people, audio engineers included, come over and ask me if it was the lighting desk,” says Nicholson. “I know it’s a cliché, but it’s so small you can forgive them. The look of puzzlement changes to disbelief when I explain it’s actually a 64 input, 27 bus audio console that sounds like an XL8.”