The MIDAS reputation for fantastic audio quality has evolved over 40 years of development and research. By designing the best mic pre’s, equalisation and using the superior components, MIDAS has carried this tradition into the digital realm. Adding the best converters and custom processing algorithm to the mix MIDAS, takes audio quality to another level. In addition MIDAS digital systems are the only live sound systems in the world to have a comprehensive and automatic latency management system. Which, in addition to managing all internal routing and processing latency, also includes compensation for external analogue inserts. This means that all audio samples are synchronised before summing, resulting in absolute phase coherency at all outputs.
MIDAS digital feels, as well as sounds superb. All the variable controls on the console are genuine analogue high precision potentiometers, not mechanical encoders. These access the FPGA-DSP engine through precision instrumentation A-D converters and MIDAS’ custom interpolation algorithms. This means that as well as all audio, all operator input is fully interpolated to ensure a linear, analogue-style, silky smooth “feel” to your mix.
The MIDAS microphone pre-amp is the one by which all others are judged. Still built from discrete components, and still based on the designs which were so successful in the legendary MIDAS analogue consoles such as the XL3, XL4 and Heritage, the current expressions in the XL8 range and PRO Series sound better than ever. Whether you want pristine, transparent reproduction, or that renowned MIDAS warmth and colouration, MIDAS’ dual (analogue and digital) gain stages enable you to shape the mic amps’ character according to your own preference.
A major problem affecting many digital consoles is a lack of attention to delay management. All digital processing takes time to run – typically just a few samples, but never zero. ADCs and DACs have much bigger delays (typically a few milliseconds) so if analogue insert points are used, the channel in question will be delayed significantly relative to the others.
Mix engineers working on analogue consoles routinely combine signals with different signal paths and processing and expect to do the same with digital. On many current digital consoles, combining signals in this way leads to the summing of signals that are in effect partly out of phase. This causes undesirable “comb filtering” effects, where specific frequencies are cancelled out completely. All MIDAS digital consoles have comprehensive automatic time alignment to correct any path related delays. Plus the additional latency introduced by the A to D conversion on the analogue inserts is also automatically compensated.
Unique to MIDAS digital are the I/O and DSP units which can be freely distributed into multiple locations. In particular I/O units can be placed exactly where they are needed – on the stage, around the auditorium, at FOH or remotely in a broadcast truck. MIDAS’ digital audio network is easily configurable to route signals from where and by when they are needed since the patching is done a scene-by-scene basis.
Every transition of a network adds delay. MIDAS networks have only 70 micro-seconds of latency per hop so even a multi-hop routing has negligible aggregate delay (latency) making it perfect for in-ear monitoring. All inputs and all outputs are time-aligned to sample accuracy, no matter where they are in the network or how they are routed. This is another major contributor to the performance of a MIDAS digital console and that magical MIDAS sound.