Simon Biddulph (left) of System Sound,
and Richard Sharratt, Proms in the Park
engineer, with 2 Midas XL8s in Hyde Park.London, U.K. (November 2, 2010)–Midas XL8s played a role at three of the U.K.’s biggest outdoor events of the year as London’s Hyde Park hosted the BBC’s Proms in the Park, BBC Radio 2’s Elvis Forever tribute and Pope Benedict XVI’s Evening Vigil.
The consoles were rented from Britannia Row by London-based System Sound, which has been providing the PA and broadcast splits for the last night of the Proms and other Hyde Park events for 15 years. “This year, we had the best-sounding system we have ever had,” says System Sound’s Simon Biddulph. “The XL8s contributed to that in a huge way.”
Hundreds of musicians in orchestras and bands, plus singers and speakers, participated across the three events before a combined live audience of over 140,000, with millions more tuning in to the events on radio and television. Explaining the challenges the events threw up, Biddulph says, “The dynamics of orchestral pieces means that any flaws are heard, while the range of musical genres in any one night means that speed of operation for the engineers is crucial. The XL8s delivered in both cases.”
In one of the most eclectic assemblages in live performance history, the XL8s processed everything from the spoken prayers of the Pope to the opera-trained vocals of Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, from the BBC Concert Orchestra to 14-year-old Britain’s Got Talent star, Liam McNally, from celebrated guitarist Brian May to the legendary Tom Jones singing Elvis classics.
Two XL8s were deployed at each of the three events, with one console dedicated to the orchestral performances and the other for all other acts. For the Pope’s Vigil, the second console looked after everything from the three priests to the Pope’s own microphones.