POLAR supplies MIDAS console for The Crossing

Forty years in the business have seen Nils Edstrom cover the full range of audio engineering duties. Having started life as a performing musician, Nils moved into studio engineering, where he amassed credits on more than a hundred and fifty commercially released albums. After that, itchy feet took him out on the road as a freelance touring engineer, a role he occupies to this day alongside his gig as an educator at South and City College (SCCB) in Digbeth, Birmingham.

Edstrom has enjoyed a plethora of career highlights, not least of which was the Easy Star Allstars performance of Dub Side of the Moon on the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, next to the Lovell Telescope at Bluedot Festival. Punjabtronix at Washington’s Kennedy Centre, Maximo Park at Kendall Calling, and a series of TEDGlobal events, are further examples of Edstrom’s versatility. He is also justifiably proud of his role in helping to establish The Crossing in Digbeth as a successful U.K. touring venue.

It was for this 600-capacity space, part of SCCB, which acts as both live venue and teaching space, that Edstrom recommended the Midas HD96 console. In teaching successive generations of engineers, the College seeks to stay ahead of the curve with technical provision for its Birmingham City University-franchised BA and Foundation degrees. Nils comments:

“I’d used an early pre-production HD96 for Urban Audio as we came out of lockdown on a reggae festival, and then at Camper Calling Festival. I was blown away by the sound of the console and the capabilities it offered. SCCB already owned a Pro Series console and stage boxes, so the decision to purchase was very much influenced by the ease of integration into existing systems.”

Now sitting front of house at The Crossing, the HD96 is used for both commercial shows and education. It has already proved immensely popular with visiting engineers and students alike, according to Edstrom: “To begin with, it’s a Midas, so the audio quality is unparalleled. It has a very fast ‘learning curve’ with most functions being quite intuitive – it also has the flexibility to work in very individual workflows.

As a house engineer living with this console for a number of months now, I’ve been amazed at the positive response from visiting engineers, and how quickly I’ve been able to implement their workflow on the HD96. The internal EQ, dynamic processing and effects have been an eye-opener. This is a top line console at a price point that makes it very hard to ignore.

“I must add that we’ve experienced extremely good after-sales serve from supplier and distributor alike, so top marks to Urban Audio and POLAR. I’m really looking forward to seeing an increasing number of these desks out in the (often muddy) field!”