Interview with Gatis Balutis , CEO of SIA Euroshow Audio and Technical Director of SIA deBusul Music.
1. The pandemic has affected the entire event industry, including technical providers. Is this the right time to restart a business with new investment after two years of complete inactivity?
G. B. Yes, our company was also severely affected by this protracted pandemic period. We are no exception in the industry – over the course of these two years, we both experienced the initial shock and uncertainty about the future of the industry and tried our hand at various types of new projects that could be carried out during the pandemic. We recovered quickly from the first shock and jumped into action with outdoor cinema events and online and other events later on.
Our decision to acquire a new digital sound console did not come spontaneously. The decision to purchase the MIDAS HD-96-24 mixer had already been made right before the start of the pandemic. At that time, of course, it was cancelled.
Now that the event industry is back in business, this need has become relevant again. Upon returning to the market, it is important to not only keep going and observe what others are doing, but also to lead and be a step ahead of others. Let others observe us!
2. You have worked with different digital sound consoles before and they are used by the company. Why exactly MIDAS HERITAGE-D?
G. B. This is my twentieth anniversary year in the industry (Euroshow Audio has just turned 7). I have worked a lot as an audio engineer both in Latvia and abroad with Intars Busulis. That is enough time to learn and compare many things.
So, in part, the decision to buy this console was based on both the actual application and the desire to be ahead of the rest and be the first ones to offer this type of equipment in the Baltic countries.
3. What is your prior experience with MIDAS? What led you to choose HERITAGE-D specifically?
G. B. Looking back at the “analogue era”, MIDAS with its analogue Heritage consoles at the time was, without a doubt, the dream of any audio engineer. They all sounded fantastic, which is one of the key features of any console. There was even a saying at the time – “sounds like MIDAS”, which meant a very high standard of sound quality. Yet even in the “analogue era”, MIDAS had introduced automation capabilities that made the work of a audio engineer easier and more comfortable.
For some time now, MIDAS has also been offering a range of digital consoles – XL8, PRO series, M series and HERITAGE-D. Some of them (the first models developed) have been discontinued by now. All of these consoles still have something in common – they “sound like MIDAS”. Nevertheless, the aspect of ease of operation is still relevant in the digital world (whether there are sufficient channels, how fast and convenient accessing the required function is, etc.). Of course, every audio engineer may have a different idea of what makes a convenient console desk. It is a subjective matter that is also based on habits. I will admit that not all MIDAS digital consoles meet my personal comfort requirements. In my opinion, the best of the PRO series is the MIDAS PRO2, but it is already a fairly dated model and offers fewer features than we would need today. This is why we finally settled on the latest product – MIDAS HERITAGE-D.
4. What are the key criteria you set when choosing a console then?
G. B. Nowadays, many things have changed in the world of audio, for example, in-ear monitors are increasingly used and even solo artists feature orchestras at their shows, etc., etc. When working with Intars Busulis, I already need 18 AUX channels and many consoles lack them. The number of input channels and AUX outputs used in contemporary shows is only increasing. Previous MIDAS consoles also had an insufficient number of effect racks. The new HERITAGE-D console offers a sufficient range of all these features I am already interested in today, in addition to being futureproof.
How the console sounds is still a key factor – this is where the saying “sounds like MIDAS” is relevant again.
5. Did you have a chance to work with the MIDAS HERITAGE-D console before making the decision?
G. B. I have to “thank” the pandemic that put a halt to the entire events industry across the world. A shout out to SIA SGS Sistēmas, who in October 2019, during the Latvian Events Forum, managed to present this console, its features available at the time and development plans to the industry technical staff before the pandemic started. This was the chance to get a preview of the first prototype of MIDAS HERITAGE-D. It helped to make the decision.
Only after the order was placed, did we have the opportunity to provide sound for a concert – by the Irish singer Rosin Murphy at Palladium Riga, whose technical crew had HERITAGE-D consoles. Our audio engineer was doing the sound for the warm-up act and stood at this console for the first time. Everything went without a hitch, meaning that the philosophy of the console is clear and easy to understand, which is a good thing.
- 1 x Midas HD96-24-CC-TP – digital audio mixing console;
- 1 x Klark Teknik DN 9680 – 8 Port AES50 extender and multiplexer;
- 1 x Klark Teknik DN 9680-MM – multi-mode optical fibre module;
- 1 x Midas FIBRE 150M – multimode optical fibre cable.