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Florence touring with Midas machines

A Midas PRO2 was added to an XL8 desk for Florence and the Machine's recent three-day run at Ally Pally in support of the Ceremonials album.

­­­ Touring in support of her Ceremonials album, Florence and the Machine ­­was joined by a 12-piece choir and 12-piece string section at a recent three-night run at London’s Alexandra Palace. A Midas PRO2 live audio system was used on monitors, and an XL8 at FOH, both of which were provided by Britannia Row Productions. Engineer Mike Gibbard (pictured) used the PRO2 to provide monitor mixes for the choir and string section, and to send stem feeds to the band’s monitor and FOH desks. “The PRO2’s a natural choice for this really,” said Gibbard. “I take a band mix from the monitor desk, a dry vocal mix of Florence and a click, which I then send to the choir and string section. I have nine hardwired mixes for the choir, and I’ve broken up the string section into cello mix, violin mix and viola mix and we’re using Britannia Row’s customised headphone system to distribute that to each of them.| “I send left and right stem feeds to the band monitor desk and FOH. It frees up those engineers from having to deal with the choir and string section, as it’s a lot of extra inputs to have to deal with. FOH engineer Ian Laughton, who mixed Florence’s previous gigs on a PRO6, added: “We’ve got the budget now to use good old Midas everywhere in the world. I’d got so used to the PRO6, so it was amazing to be back on the XL8 and have even more room. Josh Lloyd from Britannia Row, who is more than my right hand man, has Area B to himself, which means he can get into any channel he wants while I’m mixing at the other end. It’s especially good as we have two drum kits, so while the two drummers are playing together, which is a massive thing, I can be mixing that while Josh is taking care of Florence’s vocal.” Every Florence and the Machine show is being recorded from the XL8 onto the Klark Teknik DN9696 audio recorder. “It’s just eight cables in and out, and it all comes back through the desk, so you can do a virtual sound check,” said Laughton. “This way of working is becoming a must when using a digital desk. The recorded sound is great; we played it back to the band at rehearsals and it gave them so much more confidence to hear what they sounded like, playing live.”