Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Midas introduces PRO6 networked digital audio system
Midas has introduced the PRO6 networked digital audio system, featuring technologies developed for the flagship Midas XL8 in a smaller footprint and offering the same sample-synchronized audio. The standard PRO6 system comprises a control center with a footprint comparable to a 32-channel Verona and only two 7RU rack units, yet provides up to 80 simultaneous input processing channels and up to 32 (+3) discrete mixes, all with EQ and dynamics processing options. All variable controls on the PRO6 are genuine potentiometers, not encoders, accessing the FPGA engine through A-D converters and Midas’ interpolation algorithms for a smooth, linear, analog-style feel.
Requiring only mics, amps and speakers to provide a complete audio system, the PRO6 networked audio system is compact enough for space-critical environments, but can be easily expanded for more demanding applications. With additional I/O hardware, the network can be expanded up to 264 inputs and 264 outputs that can be patched and routed on a scene-by-scene basis using snapshot automation. The PRO6’s Linux-based FX and dynamics algorithms are incorporated within an automatic delay management system, so wherever they are patched, the audio will be phase-coherent when summed into the mix.
Microphone preamps are based on classic Midas analog consoles, and the PRO6’s dual (analog and digital) gain stages enable users to shape the mic amps’ character according to preference. The PRO6’s control center design uses the concept of “bringing the console to the engineer,” freeing the operator from the typical groups of layers or pages. Instead, the PRO6 uses configurable color-coded VCA and population groups, which are deployed onto the control surface at the push of a button, an intuitive console navigation method pioneered on the Midas XL8.
Designed for live sound, the Midas PRO6 features a comprehensive automatic latency management system that manages all internal routing and processing delay and also includes compensation for external analog inserts. This means that all audio samples are synchronized before summing, resulting in phase coherency at all outputs.
For reliability, all PRO6 hardware elements feature redundant power supplies. The FPGA processing engine is modular, with the option of a spare module that automatically deploys in the event of an engine module failure. Digital audio transport uses the international AES50 standard, featuring feed-forward error correction to protect against lost data packets and synchronization. All links between hardware elements support redundant cables for both copper and optical options, and the control center houses dual-redundant Linux master control computers, switchable without any loss of audio.
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