Casino Brings in Midas

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One of Canada’s leading luxury casino resorts, Fallsview (Niagara Falls, Ontario) offers a wide variety of top-tier entertainment on a nightly basis in its 1,500-seat Avalon Theatre. Recent performers include Gretchen Wilson, Donna Summer and Lionel Ritchie. PA Plus Productions of Toronto installed two Midas Heritage 4000 mixing consoles at Fallsview, along with Klark Teknik EQ and processing systems.

From left: Charlie Ferguson, Tom Keay, Wally Bodnar and Joe Natale

“Fallsview wanted a balance of rider-friendly brand recognition, application flexibility and flawless sound quality,” says Gabor Szepesi of PA Plus. “They previously had two digital consoles that were unfamiliar to a lot of the visiting engineers and decided an investment in large-format Midas analog consoles and Klark Teknik digital EQs would provide the best solutions for the broadest range of productions.”

Both FOH and monitor mix position feature a 64-channel Heritage 4000, each complemented by a Klark Teknik DN9331 Helix Rapide controller. A DN9848E system controller ties the system together with the main P.A.

The in-house production team at the Avalon Theatre includes Wally Bodner, Charlie Ferguson, Tom Keay and Joe Natale. “Whether you’re an engineer on tour or in-house, the Midas badge means reliability and responsiveness,” says Ferguson. “We all recognize the worksurface and know the mix will sound great through those Midas preamps. Any tour that comes here without a console is invariably happy to see Midas at FOH and monitor position. We also hear a world of difference between some of the digital desks that come in and our house Midas consoles—digital simply lacks the warmth. In that sense, the H4000s have made a huge difference to the audio in this room; they really enrich the performance of the whole P.A. system. In addition, the large amount of buses and stereo auxes give us the versatility to address any mixing or monitoring scenario—be that a stage full of in-ears, multitrack recording, special effects or sending mixes back to monitor world—all with pure Midas sound quality.

“Our team handles everything from symphonies to rock to jazz to blues to musicals in this theater,” Ferguson adds. “The P.A. is EQ’d to the house, but the EQ curve adjustments necessary from show to show are remarkably minimal. Even when the stage is full of headworn mics, it’s amazing how flat we can keep our graphs using these consoles with the KT Rapide system. When I make an EQ adjustment between shows, even between a rock band and a play, I maybe take half a dB to 1 dB of 400 Hz out of the P.A., along with 1.5 dB of 2 kHz and 1 dB of 3.15 kHz, and everything else is done on the desk via the most efficient and responsive EQs anywhere—you can hear the minutest cut or boost. It’s beautifully simple. And like the Midas desks, the Rapide console gives users the hands-on familiar feel of faders while they access [via Ethernet] the processing power of the rackmounted Helix. That’s what’s unbeatable about this equipment; it sounds great and it feels great. Aside from the Midas XL8, you won’t find that on a digital desk. It all completes an incredibly flexible system that really raises the bar for in-house casino sound.”