Two years after the launch of its revolutionary XL8, Midas has unveiled its second networked digital audio system. Adapting hardware and software technologies from its larger sibling XL8, the new PRO6 offers the same sample-synchronized audio performance in a compact, more affordable package that combines digital mixing/processing and comprehensive audio distribution—all in a single system.
The PRO6 system comprises a Control Centre and two 7-rackspace units handling DSP and I/O. Despite its small 54x36-inch footprint (about the size of a 32-channel Verona mixer), PRO6 can deliver up to 80 simultaneous input channels and as many as 32 discrete mixes in monitor mode, with all channels having full EQ and numerous dynamics processing options. The standard PRO6 provides 56 channel inputs, eight returns, 41 buses (16 auxes, 16 matrix, three masters and six solos). Also included are eight internal stereo FX processors, parametric equalization (four-band on inputs; six-band on outputs), eight standard (up to 36 max) 31-band graphic EQs, 5.1 surround panning and comprehensive, easy-to-use routing. Automation includes up to 1,000 scenes with save/recall snapshot capability and archiving of show files.
This modular system allows for some variations in physical placement and system size. With the addition of more I/O hardware, the PRO6 network can expand up to 264 inputs and 264 outputs. All components communicate via a proprietary network over readily available, standard cabling and connectors that carry both control data and open architecture AES50 digital audio. Also standard is a dual-redundant 100-meter-long gigabit HyperMac (192x192) digital snake using Cat-5e copper cabling.
Based on familiar analog lines, the control surface is designed for intuitive operation. The surface is divided into three main processing bays for logical control of inputs, mix parameters and master (output, automation, communication and monitor) functions. Two large, daylight-viewable screens are dedicated to mix and master operations, showing parameters, effects, routings, etc. and Navigation is via a combination of hardware controls and two trackball controllers.
The PRO6 uses a stable Linux operating system and is designed to be tolerant of many types of hardware or software failure. This is achieved via dual-redundant systems where any key component has an identical redundant spare available to take over in the case of failure.
The Klark Teknik DN9696 Recorder can be used with the PRO6 Live Performance System for live multitrack recording and virtual soundcheck. Besides alternate I/O cards (analog mic/line, AES/EBU, etc.) optional equipment includes the XL8 DL451 I/O and DL431 splitter and the DN9331 RapidE for remote graphic EQ operation.
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