The MIDAS XL8 range and PRO Series systems incorporate several special features to aid real world integration with other important sub-systems.
The MIDAS digital snakes (HyperMAC), both CAT-5e and Fibre Optic versions, carry embedded control signals for general usage. Signals carried include standard Ethernet traffic, MIDI messages and GPIO (general purpose input and output signalling). This is a great advantage since it avoids extra cables, extends the range of, for example MIDI, a long way beyond normal limits and provides a free Ethernet range extension.
The Ethernet tunnel provides a 10Mbit/sec standard Ethernet connection from an Ethercon RJ45 connector on the control surface to a similar connector on the stage router unit (DL461, DL361) for use by third parties. Applications include carrying control signals from a PC or Mac at FOH to a radio mic receiver rack on stage and similarly, control signals from a PC or Mac to a system controller on stage. External standard Ethernet network hubs can be used to connect many different systems together via the MIDAS snake, which also provides redundancy in case of cable damage.
MIDI messages and GPIO (contact closure) signals can be sent and received by the MIDAS Console Automation System to local connectors at the console position and remotely to MIDAS I/O devices which can be 500m away.
The XL8, PRO3, 6 and 9 control surfaces incorporate a KVM switch (Keyboard – Video – Mouse). This switch allows one screen on the control surface plus the keyboard and trackball to be switched to one of three external computer connectors. This is a great way of reducing “clutter” at the control surface position. A control surface screen, keyboard and trackball can be used to control up to three other systems where the computers are placed out of harms way. These external systems, such as ProTools*, Waves* Multi-Rack, Shure* UHF-R radio mics and Dolby Lake* System Controllers, then appear on a MIDAS control surface screen and are controlled by the surface keyboard and trackball.
As described above the Ethernet tunnel can then be used to pass the Ethernet messages from these computers to the devices they are controlling on stage via the MIDAS snake. As an extra refinement the automation system can be used to communicate with external systems via MIDI thereby integrating these systems into the MIDAS scene automation.
* All trademarks acknowledged.