Andrew Jones
‘Having missed out on his preference for a Midas XL8 on the grounds that it was too expensive, Paul Weller’s FOH engineer returned to the safe ground of the the XL4 for a while. Weller’s current tour across the UK and Ireland, however, saw a Andrew Jones with an XL8 at front-of-house.

After console training, Tech Support Mike Savage helped with the initial set-up and was also able to use the console for the tour's support acts. His first task was to build the entire show from scratch – a big job for an artist who draws on an extensive repertoire for his sets where no two shows are ever the same. But the basic show with 20 or so scenes was ready to go pretty quickly, and his final set up using some 45 scenes.

Using the XL8’s modular system, they decided on three DL431 splitter units to create a total of 72 available channels, plus an isolated split to allow for any outside broadcast or recording system requirements. A single DL451 I/O box with AES input and output cards on stage allowed transmission of digital or analogue signals to and from stage.

Two DL451 I/O boxes FOH – one set up with AES and two input cards, and one with AES and two output cards – were housed in the outboard effects rack to facilitate ease of cable patching in the units, while a separate PA Drive Rack housed the processing. Just two AES cables were needed to link the two racks together.

Separate show files were used for each of the bands, with each song having its own scene within the show, containing its various different settings and Midi changes for the external effects. ‘We really expect a lot from this or any desk when it comes down to the automation side of things,’ says Savage,’ and the XL8 managed all these tasks with ease.’

Stand-out features for Jones and Savage include the POP(ulation) and VCA groups, ‘A fabulous feature that makes moving round a large channel list simple,’ says Savage, while both engineers used the XL8’s on board FX and dynamics to full effect, praising the variety of compressors, the simplicity of the gates, the convenience and flexibility of being able to scope these in each scene and, of course, the great Midas sound. ‘It sounds like a Midas with extra added Midas icing on top,’ says Jones. ‘The EQ is the finest I have used; faultless, superb.

‘I will find it difficult to return to another console,’ he considers. ‘The sound, the ease of the layout and the feel of the controls smacks of the quality I would expect, and then some. Having driven the Rolls it would be hard to step back into the Ford.’

More: www.midasklarkteknik.com

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