London (June 13, 2007)–You know that British pop band from the Eighties with the string of hits that got back together this summer for a reunion tour? “Which one?” you say. Well, The Police and Genesis may grab all the headlines, but they don’t have a Midas XL8, which is what OMD–who have also sucumbed to reunion fever–are traveling with these days.
OMD FOH engineer Stuart Mørch-Kerrison with the Midas XL8Their Architecture and Morality European tour in May saw founder members Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys perform together for the first time since 1988. The duo was joined by the band’s original line-up, together with FOH engineer Stuart Mørch-Kerrison who first mixed them back in 1984. Much has changed in the world of live sound since then, and Mørch-Kerrison became the first engineer to specify a Midas XL8 live performance system for an international tour. The system has been provided by SSE Hire, a member of the M7 Group set up to facilitate XL8 hire in the UK.
“I made it very clear that I had certain parameters, and one of those was the Midas XL8,” says Mørch-Kerrison. “I never thought about being the first; I just knew this was the tool I wanted to use. The great things about Midas are reliability, commitment to redundancy, and the fact it has to work every day–it should be able to fall out the back of a truck and still work.
Mørch-Kerrison is working the console quite extensively, using around 50 scenes during the show. “Certain songs have five or six scenes in them, to switch from verses to choruses etc,” he says. “I’ve discovered a lot about the architecture of the console and software because I need to switch instantly and seamlessly from one thing to another. Otherwise it’s not a huge set-up–36 inputs coming off the stage–but that’s not the issue; I wanted it for the sound, the capability, etc. We have the XL8 in a 48-channel format with two stageboxes, so it’s configured appropriately for the show.
“I was surprised by the responsiveness of the console and the dynamics are just superb, the EQ is fantastic, better than I thought it was going to be. I wanted it to sound like a Midas, but it sounds better than any Midas I’ve ever used, and also feels like the best analogue console. Midas has been incredibly supportive, keeping in contact all the time, and the software designers have also spent time with us.”
Due to the success of the tour, further dates have been added, in addition to OMD’s appearances at summer festivals across Europe, and the XL8 accompanies them all the way. As Mørch-Kerrison concludes, “XL8 has become a real part of the show.”