MIDAS Majesty Ruled Sound Waves for Diamond Jubilee Concert
Jun 28, 2012
One of the largest MIDAS console networks ever constructed helped the
Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Concert entertain the world this month.
One of the largest MIDAS console networks ever constructed helped the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Concert entertain the world this month.
Front of House engineer Josh Lloyd, of live audio specialists Britannia Row, specified a substantial network comprising 2 MIDAS PRO9 and 1 MIDAS PRO2C consoles front of house - and XL8, PRO9 and PRO6 consoles in monitor land.
In addition to this, Lloyd employed 14 MIDAS DL431 digital mic splitters to take care of a whopping 96 channels of house band plus 96 orchestra channels.
More than 250,000 people packed into The Mall, St. James’s Park and around the Queen Victoria Memorial in front of Buckingham Palace to watch world-famous musicians honour Her Majesty with their best performance, with millions more watching around the world on TV.
Incredibly fast turnarounds between each performance saw acts such as Kylie Minogue, Annie Lennox, Elton John and Stevie Wonder taking to the stage in quick succession and it was Lloyd’s job to ensure each act’s markedly different requirements sounded royally fabulous.
“We chose MIDAS for a number of reasons,” says Lloyd. “Firstly, they sound amazing; arguably the best reason for choosing a console, and secondly, MIDAS consoles have proved themselves to be robust, reliable and ideal for meeting the challenges of working on an epic, multi band, fast turnaround show like this.”
With such a speedy changeover of artists, it was important that Lloyd was able to change settings on a scene-by-scene basis, which, as he explains, was made all the simpler using MIDAS Consoles.
“It was crucial on this project to have the ability to network more than one console together and then route stems and audio between them. This, combined with the head amp and split that the MIDAS DL431s deliver, has transformed, what is essentially a large and complex system, into a tidy package.”
Lloyd specified a MIDAS XL8 to take care of the house band monitors, which comprised six musicians, three backing vocalists and five brass instruments, along with an eight-section orchestra and conductor, as well as providing stem feeds to the other consoles. “In total the XL8 saw 192 channels of input as well as three MIDAS DL451 modular I/O units for outputs,” says Lloyd. “We also specified a MIDAS PRO6 and a MIDAS PRO9 console, each of which had access to all the channels from 96 Channels of houseband, the orchestra, the section leaders as well as orchestra stems from FOH.
The PRO6 and PRO9 were used on a flip-flop basis, which enabled the artists to get comfortable with their in-ear monitor mix and to line check, whilst the previous band was on.
Out front Lloyd utilised a MIDAS PRO9 to mix the houseband, and a KLARK TEKNIK DN9696 to record rehearsals to enable him to fine tune the mixes and automation for the show as well as produce a reference recording for the TV production team.
For well respected industry professional Lloyd this is one of the biggest events he has designed and staged: “I’ve been involved with a lot of large broadcast shows including the Brit Awards, MTVs and headed up other large projects however nothing quite like this. Heading up the technical side of the Jubilee Concert sound and designing the system from the ground up was at times a challenge. However the back up we get from the MIDAS engineers is second to none and makes it a lot easier to manage.”
Even though Brit Row carries every flavour of console MIDAS was Josh’s first choice. “I have got a long history with MIDAS. Ever since they went digital with the XL8 I’ve been involved. To me it’s the best sounding console by far. Not only that it offers huge programming flexibility and the ability to do stuff on the fly if I need to – something that would be much harder to achieve with other consoles.”
MIDAS Brand Development Manager Richard Ferriday comments: "It is gratifying to see MIDAS consoles deployed in this way. Britannia Rows' decision to use our unique integrated networking capabilities, which are also implemented on the new PRO1, is a glowing endorsement of their confidence in our systems."