With the advent of digital technology consoles channel counts and processing features have grown to a point where it is just not practical to have all controls physically available at the same time. Additionally the logistical advantages of smaller control surfaces are attractive. MIDAS’ unique approach to solving this problem is to mirror the natural work flow used by sound engineers and to provide control and supporting feedback of system status at all levels, from the highest overview to the finest detail. This encourages the development of a mental picture, or “Mind Map”, of the whole system even though at times focus may be on one or two specific functions.
For example: as a default channel faders are not layered but scrolled; so the console faders act as a window onto the available channels in the system and allow you to think of them as a simple linear progression, like on an analogue console or a channel list, rather then having to remember which layer things are on. Unlike analogue consoles in this way the console comes to you rather then the other way around. But this is only the beginning.
At the heart of any MIDAS control centre are the VCA faders that provide primary mix control of multiple channels (typically grouped into musical clusters by sound engineers). A unique innovation in this established mixing approach is the ability to access all the channel faders belonging to any of the VCA groups at the press of a switch: again the channels come to you rather than having to go looking for them. VCA groups can be Solo’d and Muted.
If you think of the VCA faders as if they were each containers for all the channels they control then finding channels becomes a natural and easy task. This method is further expanded through the provision of user customised POP (POPulation) groups each of which can contain any combination of channels that you want to accesses instantly at the press of a switch. Rather like a VCA without a fader.
This work flow approach is applied to every area of the control surface ensuring ease of use and appropriately fast access to all controls.
To help further improve the “Mind Map” live sound engineers have typically used colour when navigating mixing consoles by applying different coloured adhesive tape and swapping coloured fader knobs to help make console navigation faster and more intuitive. MIDAS have taken this established principle of channel recognition and applied it to VCA and POPulation groups with assignable colour-coding and digital write on buttons.
The MIDAS commitment to innovation was recognised in 2009 with Alex Cooper, MIDAS R&D Director, receiving the prestigious Gottelier Award, only the third person to be so honoured. This award recognises the product developers who have made a significant and sustained contribution to the development of equipment and tools that have enabled entertainment technology practitioners to push the boundaries of event production, presentation and installation.
Selecting a VCA or POP group will bring all of the members of that group to the designated area of the control surface, populating from the VCA area outwards. If the group has more members than visible channels, the group can be viewed by scrolling the input bay.