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Steve Reich Season Marks Debut For Barbican’s New Midas

United States
English
13 October 2006 — The Barbican, Europe’s largest multi-arts and conference venue, has invested in a new 32-channel Midas Heritage 2000 console with 16-channel stretch, all flightcased and fully mobile. The desk makes its major debut in the main Theatre auditorium for the first shows in the special season celebrating the work of American composer Steve Reich. During the Reich festival, the console will also be used in the Pit Theatre for other events.

Steff Langley, the Barbican’s Head of Sound, ordered the desk from Richard Nowell Sound Services with a brief “to keep us as mobile as possible. All our outboard is also flightcased, as we move systems not only between the various venues here at the Barbican, but also outside the theatre, to other locations. There’s no point in spending £50K on a console, but not spending £1K on a flightcase.”

The Barbican’s 2006 programme includes performances by companies from Russia, Japan, Korea and America, amongst others, and Langley explains that his choice of console was dictated by the international appeal of Midas. “We’re working with the top theatre companies in the world, and they will all include a Midas mixing desk on their technical riders; it fits the bill every time. We have demo’d digital desks, but, with so many touring companies arriving here with their own engineers, our own staff would be tied up babysitting if we presented an unfamiliar digital control surface. We’re still in the analogue world when it comes to theatre touring.”

The Barbican plan is to move the new Midas Heritage 2000 into the control room position, which will release seats in the back row of the main auditorium. However, the console will still be part of the sound department’s “Mixer City’, the mobile stock of pro-audio equipment that moves around the Barbican complex.
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