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Midas XL8

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by Eboy87, Apr 2, 2008.

  1. Eboy87

    Eboy87 Well-Known Member

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    FIrst off, let me just say, I love this school :cool:. Jack Alexander set up a demo for us with the rep for Bosch Communications (Midas, Klark-Teknik, EV, Telex) with the XL8. He spoke in class this morning about the field, which turned into a BS session with Jack (the kibitzing kind, not the other meaning). I just got back from the demo with the surface.

    Let me jsut say, this is one amazing piece of equipment. I've been on a D5, been on Yamaha 01V96, and will be on an LS9 in a week or two, but nothing compares to this.

    The demo was in our dance center's receital hall, a very nice space. Mains were some flavor of Meyer, can't recall the model off the top of my head, probably UPM's. Subbage was some one-note wonder Bag End I was told, and were probably unplugged.

    This surface is increadible, if I haven't mentioned that already, I'm running out of adjectives. Things are pretty easily figured out by a trained monkey, and it's all wehre you'd expect it. THe only thing that threw me for a loop were the recall safes. They were at the top of what might be considered a channel strip to the right on each bay, directly under the direct out section. You can also get to them through the menus in the master section.
    A handy little feature I found was the keypad on each bay. I had been scrolling through the layers with the left/right arrows, but you simply need to punch in what channel you wanted to go to, hit enter, and the layer it's on would pop up with said channel selected.

    There's more than one way to get things done, case in point being the EQ section. I can select which band, high, high-mid, low-mid, low, by the buttons in each channel, or by simply clicking the up/down buttons by the knobs themselves. Holding those two buttons in for a few seconds sets your EQ flat.

    Here's the meat of the input bays
    [​IMG].
    I apologize, I only had my camera phone with me.

    And its corresponding screen.

    [​IMG]


    Also, the knobs are touch sensetive. If I put my finger on the pot, a little box does a little dance on the screen in front of me. Handy if I'm watching the stage and don't look down to see what knob I'm on, since the way I set up, those screens are in my field of vision. Also, each channel's scribble strips (which double as select buttons, sort of like the D5 IIRC) have a little horizontal bar on them that shows the pan. When the knob turns, a little arrow moves to the left or right.

    VCA assignment is a breeze too. Just hold down that VCA's scribble strip, then push the scribble strips of the channels you want assigned there. You can obviously write what the fader does on each scribble strip. They're also color codeable, something I really use a lot when mixing, only I'm used to doing it with colored sharpies. THis saves people from the fumes, unless that's your thing :lol:.

    You have the ability to put your entire script on the surface in a digital form that shows up on the screen wth the master section. Each screen also has a help function where if something breaks, you can see exactly what. I was told the next release of software would also spit out information about each CPU's power draw, temperature, etc.

    I asked about how it would adapt to the world of theater, and I wished I had a tape recorder with me. From what I can remember, Jim (the rep) said they were going to up the matrix outs for it. There's also be features that would let you track understudies filling in for the lead, and also track mic changes where two actors/actresses swap body packs.

    THey do have a smaller version of the surface in the works, it has the VCA section, the master section, and a single input bay.

    Jim also mentioned the ability to run a sort of cue light system off the console. He gave the example of having the patch monkey by the input rack, and a light to cue him when to make a re-patch of something. I walked in at that point so I might have missed a few details.

    I'm kind of drawing a blank right now on anything else. Oh yes, plug ins can be manipulated by the knobs already on the surface. I'm trying to figure out if the graphics can be manipulated by the faders. It slipped my mind to ask.
    Here's the Flickr album for it. XL8 Demo

    All in all, I had a blast. I realize few here can afford such a desk right now, but it's fun to dream, and to show off cool toys. Anyone wanna lend me $300k? I promise to let you play on it :lol:

    EDIT: Forgot to mention, the control latency was incredibly little, to the point of not being noticeable when using the pots. You could sort of tell with the track pad on each bay.

    There's tons of USB ports to plug peripherals into, including a mouse or joystick to play asteroids on during boring parts of the show, as Jim put it. You can also slave your laptop to it and control it from the desk, letting you browse the web on the surface through your computer (though of course no one would ever do that...right?).

    Supposedly the pots are actual pots, and the faders are actual faders, neither being encoders. There's a circuit in there that measure the voltage/current/whatever and that's how the DSP gets its commands. Both felt very nice when manipulating. Though I don't think he understood my question about if someone were to accidently set their script or something on the fader tray, then switch cues, if that would damage the motorized faders. I heard a rumor that doing that can seriously eff up a D-show.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2008
  2. Andy_Leviss

    Andy_Leviss Active Member Premium Member

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    This can damage ANY console with motorized faders. Most if not all modern consoles do have sensors so that they'll stop trying to move if they sense resistance, but they don't always work, and fighting the fader when it wants to move can seriously damage the motor. Bad idea, on any digital console.

    If you need to put a script on the console, especially a $300,000, spend the extra $100 or two for a proper script tray!

    --A

    P.S.-You want to see a sexy control surface, try to play on a CueConsole.

    P.P.S.-Subject for another thread, but since you actually study with Jack, can you explain what the heck he's talking about when he goes on about "EQ splitting"? Without pictures, the descriptions in his LSI articles make NO sense. Then again, this is a guy who said in print that he can really hear the difference between different brands of high premium IEC power cables on different brands of gear, and apparently has time on live gigs for upwards of a dozen mics in a grand piano, so I take it all with a grain of salt or ten, but I'm curious all the same.
     
  3. Eboy87

    Eboy87 Well-Known Member

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    Never tried the CueConsole. I know Ka is using one in Vegas. Are they common on Broadway?

    My question about the faders was more if someone else (A2, director, LD, etc) accidentally set their script on there and I miss it when changing cues. A few others knew what I meant at the demo, just not Jim. Oh well, I figured with the amount of money the board costs, there's probably sensors in there that'll stop it. Still, I'll gladly spend the money for a table or scriptslide.

    Also, check your PM's.
     
  4. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    There are a couple of homebrew script slides out there that could easily be adapted for an XL8.
    -
    Like this one for the Venue:
    http://mysite.verizon.net/amassinger/scriptslide/
     
  5. Andy_Leviss

    Andy_Leviss Active Member Premium Member

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    They're starting to show up a bit, particularly via Jonathan Deans, who designed Ka and Love, as well as The Pirate Queen and Young Frankenstein. They've also been on a few tours; last I heard, Duncan Edwards was using them for some (all?) of his tours (I think JCS was on one, although I'm not positive; I know an early version was out on the short-lived first outing of Doolittle [pre-Tommy Tune overhaul]).

    They're very cool, since they're physically modular (although in larger blocks than, say, a Cadac, which is individual strips), so you can layout your console in a frame however you need. They're also fully programmable, so while apparently tedious to initially program, they're amazing in their flexibility. Any button, knob, or fader, can do pretty much any function. Multiple "Go" buttons, with built-in programmable debounce? Sure. Training a sub? How's a second set of mirrored "drivers ed" style DCA faders sound?

    And on Pirate Queen (and I presume YF), they had it running with touchscreen LCDs, so you had a bank showing every meter of every channel in every layer simultaneously, and touching a channel would pop up it's EQ graph, where you could drag the curve around with your fingertip. Crazy.

    Anyway, getting way off on a tangent, so I'm out for now!

    --A
     
  6. museav

    museav CBMod CB Mods Departed Member

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  7. Andy_Leviss

    Andy_Leviss Active Member Premium Member

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    Yeah, I've got two definitions of sexiness for gear. One is, "Wow, that looks pretty, but useless", like that one, and "Wow, that looks cool, and would be awesome to mix on." I hafta say, after so many "futuristic" looking consoles, I really dig the look of the CueConsole. Then again, I tend to be a "pretty girl next door" kinda guy, rather than a "vacuous supermodel" one, so I suppose it makes sense :)
     
  8. erikwithak

    erikwithak Member

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    ^ i agree there:lol:
    and that would be the supermodel:rolleyes:
    that is cool! im guessing thats the nerdy girl down the street?:lol:(my favorite;))
     
  9. Andy_Leviss

    Andy_Leviss Active Member Premium Member

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    I dunno, looks-wise, the CueConsole has that cute but nerdy thing that works for me. Venue's still on the prettier side, although from what I hear very functional, too, so maybe a happy medium :)
     

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