The Sage Gateshead – now widely regarded as one of the UK’s most eminent multi-disciplinary performance venues – has selected a Midas PRO9 to serve at FOH in its main auditorium.
The venue’s sound team was first alerted to the Midas PRO series three years ago when a PRO6 was used on a surround sound opera production. When it came time to upgrade to a digital multicore system and new FOH console, many of the leading offers were explored, but the team decided that the Midas solution provided the necessary flexibility and sound quality.
“Our demands range from small school concerts to large conferences and orchestral events to world class amplified artists,” said Chris Durant, The Sage Gateshead’s head of technical operations. “The various I/O boxes available as part of the Midas digital system means that we’ve been able to come up with solutions for all of these, as well as applications that were previously impossible. We found that we were able to justify investing in a PRO9 which, offering 88 inputs, means we should never run out.”
The PRO9 has been integrated into the venue’s comprehensive CAT6 network, allowing it to be installed with minimal disruption.
“The PRO series has been obviously designed from the ground up as complete audio system; it’s not just a console and stage box solution,” said Durant. “192 channels of 96k in and out down one CAT6 cable is also pretty amazing for the main multicore run! This suits us perfectly as we will be using the I/O boxes in four separate locations: patch bay, recording room, stage, FOH, and each input is freely patchable to every output on the system."
The four I/O boxes – a DL251, DL252, and two DL451s with D Sub I/O cards – provide flexibility throughout the building. “We went with the I/O boxes to give us a variety of options,” continued Durant. “The DL251 will be our main stage box, inside a custom-built 48-way split rack. One of the DL451 units is located in our patch bay, handling all the feeds to the house PA and enabling inputs from the existing analogue infrastructure. The other 451 will be a floating rack, providing higher channel count on stage, for more inputs at FOH or elsewhere, or for use on its own on smaller events where we don’t need the full stage split system. Finally we needed to interface with touring or additional consoles if needed. The DL252 will be used as a complete digital multicore system with the DL251 on stage or connected to the AES50 ports on the control centre.”
Durant added that the new system had proven “really easy to get to grips with”, and concluded by paying tribute to the support received from Midas throughout the process. “We’re very grateful to Rob Hughes and Jason Kelly from Midas for advising us during the purchase of the system, as well as for the comprehensive training for the team, and we look forward to using the console when events restart in the autumn,” he said.