Jim Ebdon (left) and Chuck Wells at the Midas XL8 used on Aerosmith’s recent world tour.New York (November 30, 2007)–Aerosmith just finished yet another world tour this fall, and while longtime FOH engineer Jim Ebdon was back in the saddle for the jaunt, he had a new tool along for the ride: A shiny new Midas XL8 live performance system.
When the console joined the tour, “The lid came off to ‘oohs and ah’s’ from the few of us standing by,” recaps Ebdon. “It looked beautiful, and was smaller than I remembered, which was a good thing. I started to program the console and very quickly found my way around setting it up, patching input channels, routing, effects, sends and returns, and outputs. I had the crew band play for me, which is how we sound check, and within a few minutes I was confident with the console and had them sounding very good. I had very good results from the first show, and gained even better familiarity with it for the rest of the tour.”
Ebdon and the XL8 saw plenty of live action and racked up the miles as they took the tour’s homecoming stretch of the North American tour up to Toronto. Along with Ebdon at FOH, Chuck Wells acted as assistant FOH engineer besides handling systems technician duties.
“I’ve been a user of digital consoles since they were first introduced to the market and have really tried them all,” continues Ebdon. “However the XL8’s audio quality is above and beyond anything I’ve heard in the digital realm. It has that warm Midas analogue sound – both the pre’s and EQ’s are what you’d expect from Midas. Plus, you’ve got the VCAs (variable controlled associations) and POP (population) groups which allow you to quickly grab any channel assigned for easy control.
“Add the fact that its work surface is completely intuitive – very much like an analogue desk – and it’s been a real treat to use on this tour. Plus, it integrates very nicely into our Pro Tools HD system. From the sound of the plug-ins to the work surface and Linux operating system design, to the first-class EQ and pre’s, to its virtually limitless networking potential, the XL8 is a fantastic console. I look forward to using it on more high profile jobs in the near future.”