The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee concert this month saw one of the largest Midas console networks ever constructed deployed to handle mixing duties at the prestigious event.
FOH engineer Josh Lloyd, of live audio specialists Britannia Row, specified a substantial network made up of two Midas PRO9s and one Midas PRO2C console at FOH, while XL8, PRO9 and PRO6 consoles were selected to handle monitors. Additionally, Lloyd employed 14 Midas DL431 digital mic splitters to take care of 96 channels of house band plus 96 orchestra channels.
Over 250,000 people crammed into The Mall, St. James’s Park and around the Queen Victoria Memorial in front of Buckingham Palace to watch an array of high-profile performers honour the Queen, with millions more watching around the world on TV.
Rapid 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 down to Lloyd to ensure each act’s markedly different requirements garnered the best results.
“We chose Midas for a number of reasons,” said 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 fast changeover of artists, it was vital that Lloyd was able to change settings on a scene-by-scene basis. He explained: “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 handle 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,” said 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 house band, the orchestra, the section leaders as well as orchestra stems from FOH.”
The PRO6 and PRO9 were used on a flip-flop basis, which was designed to enable 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 house band, and a Klark Teknik DN9696 to record rehearsals, allowing him to fine tune the mixes and automation for the show, as well as produce a reference recording for the TV production team.
“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,” Lloyd stated. “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 backup we get from the Midas engineers is second to none and makes it a lot easier to manage.”
Midas Brand Development manager Richard Ferriday commented: "It is gratifying to see Midas consoles deployed in this way. Britannia Row’s 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."
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