Dolly Parton has taken to the road with a pair of digital consoles from the Midas PRO range in support of her world tour.
Supplied by Thunder Audio of Detroit, a PRO6 is being used at FOH, while a PRO9 is taking care of monitors.
Parton’s monitor engineer Jason Glass commented on the assets of the PRO9 with regards to the complex and varied nature of the show, which changes from bluegrass to pop and gospel throughout. “I’m using scenes extensively as I have a lot of changes happening on layers that are out of sight and out of mind while I’m paying attention to Dolly,” he said. “It really simplifies the show for me; it’s also reliable and consistent. If I have a cue in the show, it’s exactly when I recall the scene, instead of dialling it in on the fly.
“I also love the POPulation Groups. Everything I need is always right in front of me, just where I want it to be. I work so that the console’s Area B on my right is always Dolly, with my left hand for the band’s channels. I’ve set up a VCA group for each player, with one for the backing singers, and then I use POP groups for things like audience mics and reverbs. So aside from having the POP buttons in front of me to call it up, I also have the faders for each musician. If a player changes their instrument and I don’t like where it’s sitting in the mix, I have their VCA right in front of me, no matter what they’re playing.
“The scene editor is brilliant and I use it all the time. If a player asks me for a change, I can go to the scene editor and propagate that change through all the scenes and know with confidence that the next time I call up a scene, it’s not going to reverse my change. I also really like how specific it is; you can dial it in right on any parameter on any input or output.”
Touring with no outboard effects, Glass is relying solely on the PRO9’s onboard selection. “I love the reverbs. In the past I haven’t used a plate reverb on drums as I never liked the way it worked out, but the plate in this console is perfect for drums,” he says. “It’s the reverb that isn’t there; it puts a space around the kit without sounding like a brash, horrible snare drum reflection. The DL431s mic splitters are as perfect as a preamp can be. In the smaller venues it’s a bonus not having an extra rack of effects, and it also means I don’t have to chase hums and buzzes in analogue cabling like I used to.”
At FOH, Mike Fechner is equally appreciative of the PRO6 system. "As a Nashville based FOH mixer for nearly two decades now, from carrying full production to guest mixing on the console du jour, I've laid hands on just about every digital desk there has been,” he said. “Quite simply put, the Midas PRO6 does not sound like a digital console - period."