German rental company Padco has supplied a Midas PRO6 for a spectacular European tour by Queen Esther Marrow and the Harlem Gospel Singers. The tour, which moved through Denmark, France, Austria, Switzerland and Germany, ended in Belgium at the end of January.
Putting the system through its paces on this brilliantly vibrant show was German Front of House Engineer Werner Schmidl who, by his own admission, didn’t get to choose the audio equipment on this tour.
“As someone who was used to using another brand of digital console, it was hard to convince me, especially as I only had a few hours to get into the PRO6,” he says. “However Lars Lüdemann (from Midas’ German distributor Mega Audio) did a great job in training me quickly. The whole system can be easily set up in a few minutes. The PRO6 is very logical and user friendly to operate.
“The control surface, which works with all the parameters of a channel strip, is very intuitive, and the POP(ulation) groups make it easy and clear, bringing everything to where you want it on the console.
“The EQ and dynamics function in a similar way to their analog counterparts, and for the first time I experienced an EQ which did exactly what I expected. It was also a great idea to provide a choice of different compressors. I’ve never worked on a digital desk which sounded as good as the PRO6.
“In total I had just 33 Inputs from the stage, 22 for Instruments and 11 for choir and solo vocals,” Schmidl continues. “This meant I could play around with the possibilities the VCA and POP(ulation) groups offered.
“I only needed to use one button for all vocals, one for choir, one for each of the keyboard players, the drums, the whole band etc I thought of using snapshots, but the POP(ulation) and VCA groups gave me everything I needed at my fingertips, so It was easier to work without them. The desk’s reverb and delays sounded nice and natural, and the reverb gave the choir a warmth which I combined with some delay effects if needed.
“But what really surprised me was the multiband compressor. I used it on Queen Esther’s vocal and was overwhelmed by the quality. It did what I needed, without influencing the color of her voice,” he concludes. “The possibility of splitting the PRO6’s control surface allowed me to have all Instruments and the choir on the left side of the desk and Queen Esther and effects on the right side, switching POP and VCA for each side independently. It was great fun and very clear to work with, and there was no need for big outboard racks at FOH.”