Designing A Future Classic
Our goal for M32 LIVE was to combine the best of classic British console designs with advanced modern technology to completely redefine what a medium-format live console can offer.
We began the industrial design process by drawing inspiration from a somewhat unexpected source – the luxury and high-performance car industry.
Why High-Performance Cars?
Simply because the design teams at Aston Martin*, Bentley*, Rolls Royce*, and other leading manufacturers are skilled at introducing innovative technological advancements while simultaneously maintaining the feel, essence, and intangible qualities of their cherished brands. And in essence, that’s the challenge we too faced when creating the M32 LIVE console.
So in order to create a future-forward design that took the Midas legacy even further, we enlisted the help of Rajesh Kutty, a leading industrial designer known for his work with celebrated luxury auto manufacturers such as Bentley, etc.
Kutty started by examining the design elements that have made Midas consoles so highly sought after – from the straightforward, logical layout to the unparalleled usability and ergonomics. These are characteristics that live sound engineers around the world have come to rely on, and are key aspects of the Midas legacy.
With these design elements in mind, Kutty set forth to create a styling that would be modern, innovative, futuristic, and stunningly elegant.
Many different construction materials were tested. Countless design variations were explored. And in the end, a styling was chosen that represented the perfect marriage between aerodynamic artistry and uncompromising performance. The design is both ultramodern and distinctly classic at the same time.
The Landmark in Console History
A close look at M32 LIVE reveals that the styling is completely new in every sense of the word. Rajesh Kutty’s automotive-inspired design elements mesh perfectly with a recognisable Midas signature, setting the M32 LIVE apart from any other console. Its beautifully streamlined and elegant form factor completely revolutionises the experience of live mixing.
The Midas M32 LIVE construction is equally impressive, and is designed to offer you years of reliable performance while withstanding the demanding environment of live performance venues. M32 LIVE employs a predominantly space-frame construction, with parts of the sub-frame consisting of durable and lightweight carbon fibre and aluminium. Multiple alloys have been employed throughout to guarantee maximum component efficiency and an improved performance-to-weight ratio.
The M32 LIVE is an innovative, evolved design that brings together modern construction principles and high-tech materials into a styling destined to go down as a landmark in console history.
Midas is the Epitome of Excellence
In 2013, Midas approached me to create a new design language for Midas and with it a new mixing console. Having designed for Bentley, I am intimately familiar with the challenge of transforming a brand while retaining the precious heritage – in this case the 40 year old iconic British mixing console brand Midas.
Representing the pinnacle of its industry, Midas is the Epitome of Excellence. When it comes to ergonomics, performance and style, the aspects of a high-performance luxury car equally apply to a high-end mixing console. I was given a blank sheet of paper for my choice of materials. This meant considering lightweight materials such as carbon fibre and aluminum, while using a sophisticated steel construction, for high-impact structural areas.
High attention was paid to the tactile elements such as fader knobs and the illumination to work under all background conditions.
From the onset the idea was to break the would! Hence the form study deliberately tried to break away from the static, bulky feel of today’s mixing consoles. Instead making it more dynamic, ergonomic, yet luxurious. Colours, size, mobility and hardware were given equal importance to arrive at the M32 LIVE – a true projection of the brand, today.
Industry-Leading 192 kHz Precision
The groundbreaking M32 LIVE console combines legendary Midas sound quality with advanced digital technology, future-proof floating point audio engine, extremely low-latency design and industry-leading 192 kHz ADC and DAC converters, creating a revolutionary mid-format live console. M32 LIVE features ultra-sleek styling, offering you a truly luxurious mixing experience. High-end construction materials include carbon fibre provide unparalleled durability and strength, plus substantially lower weight than comparable consoles.
The M32 LIVE utilises award-winning Midas PRO Series microphone preamplifiers and the custom-designed Midas PRO motorised faders that are rated for 1 million life cycles-three times more than other leading consoles.
The Midas M32 LIVE is a future-forward console that completely raises the bar for live mixing.
Legendary Midas Sound Quality
While the Midas M32 LIVE design, styling, and construction will surely turn a lot of heads, it’s the sound that matters most to engineers and performing artists. And that’s where M32 LIVE shines even brighter – as the latest in a long line of pristine-sounding Midas consoles, it descends from a celebrated lineage that literally set the standard in electrical design and sound quality. Ever since Midas consoles first found fame 40 years ago with acts like Billy Joel, Yes, The Beach Boys, Pink Floyd and others, the Midas legacy has always been about uncompromising quality and the ultimate in sound reproduction.
Backing the analogue input section are audiophile Cirrus Logic multi-channel 192 kHz capable A/D converters, which boast a 114 dB dynamic range, ensuring impressively low distortion and low noise performance.
Built for Tomorrow
The M32 LIVE is a console built for today, and tomorrow – its rock-solid proprietary operating system and the 0.8 ms audio engine provide outstanding state-of-the-art audio performance for years to come.
Award-Winning Midas Mic Preamplifier
The Midas mic preamp is considered by leading live sound and recording engineers to be the very essence of the famous Midas sound. More than 40 years of design experience paired with the finest choice of premium-grade components lead to the acclaimed warmth and depth, bring out subtle ambience, maintain spatial positioning, and more effectively capture a precise image. The acclaimed sound of the award-winning Midas microphone preamplifier has inspired generations of live sound engineers to their best work, creating sonic landscapes that have captivated audiences worldwide.
Creating Sonic Landscapes
The Midas preamplifier design eliminates typical imbalances of gain-setting stages, thereby improving the common-mode rejection ratio (CMRR) and harmonic distortion to an almost immeasurable level. The constant high-frequency bandwidth topology assures excellent stability, RF rejection and noise performance at all gain levels, contributing to its transparent, open and dynamic sound. But it doesn’t end there, over the years many mix engineers have found that this robust and overload-tolerant design takes on a whole new dimension of sound when driven hard, the pristine audiophile reproduction giving way to just the right combination of harmonics, a warm and organic sound heard by millions of concertgoers and recorded for posterity on countless live albums over the years.
Since pristine sound always begins with the microphone preamplifier, the first point where your signal enters the console, M32 LIVE features genuine Midas microphone preamplifiers which faithfully reproduce every sonic detail so no part of a performance will ever be missed. Transparent and pristine sound, low noise and high common-mode rejection are all hallmarks of this classic design.
The microphone preamplifiers are the very same ones used in the industry standard Midas XL4 and HERITAGE 3000 consoles, which many consider to be the greatest analogue live consoles ever built. Over the past decade, the XL4 and HERITAGE 3000 have been utilised by countless top artists including Bon Jovi, Alanis Morrisette, AC/DC, Coldplay, Kid Rock, Metallica, Alicia Keys, Foo Fighters, Christina Aguilera, Sir Paul McCartney, Pearl Jam, and many more.
The M32 LIVE draws from this same legacy to bring you an elite professional level of audio quality and performance
What Makes the M32 LIVE Possible is – Everything
Whether you come from an analogue mixing background, or are accustomed to using other digital consoles, your first experience with M32 LIVE has been engineered to be intuitive, fluid and straightforward.
The brilliance of the M32 LIVE is its simplicity and workflow. Tactile controls allow smooth adjustments to critical elements as the mix progresses while the TFT screen keeps you informed every step of the way. This integration of tactile controls, motorised faders and the array of LCD and TFT displays makes the M32 LIVE experience the premiere solution for Live Sound, Broadcast, Studio Recording and Post Production applications.
M32 LIVE changes the game by completely rethinking what is possible in a digital mixer. An intuitive workflow coupled with a fully interactive user interface ensures immediate familiarity and instills confidence. Advanced engineering and meticulous design deliver stellar sonic performance at an extremely affordable price – changing the game entirely.
Industry-Leading Technology for More than 40 years
Midas’ experience spans over 40 years at the very top end of the live audio industry on countless world tours by the greatest artists and the most prestigious events. 40 years of relentless research, development with 300 of the world’s best engineers plus complete control over the manufacturing process. This is what powers the M32 LIVE.
Above all, M32 LIVE is designed to put the power of digital in your hands, without compromise. Midas’ singular focus on a matchless value proposition means M32 LIVE integrates advanced features such as motorised faders, LCD scribble strips, integrated personal monitor mixing and true high-speed digital audio networking as standard features.
Klark Teknik DN32-LIVE
The DN32-LIVE SD/SDHC and USB 2.0 Expansion Module for Midas M32 and Behringer X32 mixers provides 32-channel bidirectional audio I/O via USB 2.0 for both live performance and studio recording, plus comprehensive remote operation of your DAW via HUI/Mackie Control emulation. Dual SD/SDHC slots allow fully independent recording/playback of up to 32 channels of uncompressed WAV files in consistent sessions – to capacity of the SD cards. Now even without a computer, you can capture multichannel live or session tracks, perform virtual sound checks, add backing tracks, set and manipulate markers, and enjoy full remote operation via PC, Android* or iPad* apps, and X-TOUCH control surfaces.
Your “Mind-to-Sound” Interface
M32 LIVE is your “mind-to-sound” interface – the intersection of creativity and production.
Whether you’re accustomed to digital mixers or not, the M32 LIVE’s intuitive user interface offers a fluid mixing experience that instantly feels like home.
From the first moments of use, the workflow unfolds in a way that strips away obstacles, distractions, and hesitation.
The M32 LIVE Channel Strip puts the most important channel processing parameters into one section so that no matter which channel you are working on, the controls are always the same.
This highly-efficient layout stems from Midas decades of console design and input from our users. Optimized control illumination ensures a clear indication of levels or status from any viewing angle.
Illuminated rotary encoders and switches give you control of preamp settings, frequency shelving, dual dynamics sections, as well as multi-mode fully parametric EQ, bus sends, main, mono and stereo panning.
7″ Main Display
M32 LIVE’s 7″ day-viewable color TFT (Thin-Film Transistor) display shows the setting parameters you need when you need them.
Selected for its high-contrast performance and outdoor visibility, TFT is ideal for concert and open air festival venues. Flanked by high-precision, context-sensitive tactile encoders, the screen comes to life and immediately reports in high definition all adjustments applied to a wide range of parameters.
Intelligent design puts control of vital functions such as Effects, Metering, Routing and much more 1 or 2 button presses away.
Sends On Fader
M32 LIVE brings the convenience of digital mixing to your Aux and output bus mixes too, thanks to its integrated Sends on Fader feature. This incredible function allows you to build powerful, dedicated sub-mixes for monitor, secondary zone feeds, and much more – all without affecting the front of house mix or levels.
The M32 LIVE allows you to send your choice of signals to any Aux or output bus and then dial in the perfect mix via the channel faders.
The console remembers where you set the faders and instantly recalls them when you select a bus for quick adjustments.
DCA (Digitally Controlled Amplifier) groups allow control over several signals at once without actually mixing them into a subgroup bus. M32 LIVE’s 8 DCA groups let you control multiple signals via a single fader, such as the entire drum mix, the horn section, or the backup vocalists, etc.
DCA control affects the FOH mix, while allowing the individual buses to remain unchanged. The result is a customizable workflow that provides maximum flexibility, but still allows individual buses and subgroups to serve the purpose they were intended for, such as zone sends, broadcast feeds, etc.
Across the M32 LIVE you’ll find 11 strategically placed View buttons associated with various functions. These buttons enable immediate access to information about that specific function.
For instance, if you press the View button in the Equaliser section, information for that channel’s EQ is instantly shown on the main display, providing in-depth editing of all related parameters.
This direct access to visual fine-tuning gives the engineer a level of control previously available only on consoles costing exponentially more.
While some digital consoles offer a few user-definable controls, M32 LIVE’s Assign section sets a new standard by providing a total of 36 fully customizable controls on three separate layers.
As with channels and buses, individual Scribble Strips are provided for immediate identification. Buttons can be defined to toggle parameters on/off, adjust timing of effects by tapping, or jump to specific screen views.
Rotary encoders with LED collars can be assigned to specific channel parameters, or to additional parameters in the Dynamics section relevant to the current channel selection.
“Acoustic Integration” – the Live Sound Revolution
Legendary 40-year old British company Turbosound, famous for producing some of the world’s best speaker systems, have teamed up with Midas to seamlessly integrate mixer and speaker systems. We call it “Acoustic Integration”.
The M32 LIVE’s ULTRANET bus allows streaming up to 16 channels of pristine digital audio to an array of Turbosound iQ speakers – all on a single CAT5 cable, along with control data to set sound presets remotely.
Furthermore, the iQ Series features “True Physical Modeling” of some of the most popular speakers which can be easily remote controlled via the M32 LIVE, allowing the sound engineer to apply different speaker models in real time from the comfort of the mixing desk.
“Acoustic Integration” is the next live sound revolution.
100-Band RTA for all Channel/Bus EQs
The M32 LIVE includes a 100-band Real Time Analyser (RTA) with full bar and spectrograph views on the M32-EDIT control application. This high-resolution RTA displays the audio energy distribution in 100 frequency bands over time – capturing a sonogram window of a full 10 seconds.
You can switch between the large RTA view to display any available signal at full screen resolution, or the combined view, which displays the RTA view above each of the channel and bus EQ curves.
This feature lets you see the results of your filtering choices in the audio spectrum directly. Additionally, the RTA can be displayed on top of the 31-band graphic EQs in the FX rack.
Monitoring and controlling frequencies has never been easier!
16 Breathtaking FX “Plug-Ins” Based on True Physical Modeling
We’ve added 16 breathtaking FX “Plug-Ins” to the M32 LIVE, giving you access to a total of 50+ effects that would otherwise cost tens of thousands of dollars in hardware.
This new generation of high-end FX “Plug-Ins” is based on True Physical Modeling of classic audio hardware. We essentially “rebuilt” classic analogue gear in the digital domain and included models of legendary processors such as Urei’s 1176*, Teletronix LA-2A* and Fairchild 670* compressors as well as the legendary Pultec* EQP-1a and EQ5 equalisers etc. We also added a cutting-edge 5-band multiband compressor.
Last but not least, the M32 LIVE can now run 4 studio-quality stereo reverbs together with 8 channels of 31-band graphic EQ. This allows you to replace your old outboard gear with a fully recallable onboard solution.
Gain Splitting and Remote Control for FOH and Monitoring
A new Gain Split mode separates channel gain (trim) from the head amp gain, allowing both the FOH and/or the monitor engineer to adjust local trim digitally – and independently of the preamp gain.
Additionally, the new HA Gain Remote option allows console gains to be remotely controlled by an external console, such as when using the M32 LIVE as a stage box.
More Routing and Processing Flexibility
The M32 LIVE’s routing becomes even more flexible with this recent firmware upgrade. Output signals and XLR outputs are now treated separately, allowing signals from AES50 sources or expansion cards to be routed directly to the M32 LIVE’s analogue outputs.
For example, now you can use the outputs from an M32 LIVE for directly routing back PA or monitoring signals from a main or FOH console. New output tap points can be set as pre- or post-mute for greater usability with your P16 personal monitoring mixers. This is very useful in situations where you don’t want mute groups to interrupt your signal flow.
Mighty New Tools for Scene and Show Management
Introducing the Cue List, an innovative way to automate the loading of scenes and new “Snippets” at different points during a show. Each of the 500 Cue entries can load any of the 100 Scenes or Snippets separately or at the same time. This gives you an amazing total of 500 Cues x 100 Scenes x 100 Snippets!
For example, store your favorite EQ settings for drums on channels 1 – 8 as a Snippet, recallable in an instant as its own preset, completely independent of the console’s overall scene. It’s like taking a snapshot of a parameter on an input, return, FX slot, bus, Matrix, Main or DCA group – and saving it for quick access whenever you need it.
The Midas PRO FADER – Rated for 1 Million Life Cycles
In our pursuit to lead the industry in every possible aspect, we decided to design the world’s most reliable motor fader. We dove deep into materials science, employing semi-precious metals that offered the durability we desired. We took painstaking care to design a motorised fader that would provide continuous performance night after night, year after year.
After spending a great deal of time working with metal vendors, we developed precision components that offer high linearity, robustness, and smooth feel during operation. We needed ultra-straight high-grade steel guide rods with smooth polished surfaces – and we got them. We worked closely with our manufacturing partners to maintain the tolerance of our parts, always choosing the most suitable materials and controlling the processes to ensure consistent moulding quality and eliminating the warping and deformation caused by shrinking as the parts cool.
True, none of this was easy – we spent many long hours developing the Midas PRO FADER design. However the results speak for themselves.
Midas PRO FADERS are rated for up to 1,000,000 cycles – three times that of other leading manufacturers.
LCD Scribble Strips
A total of 29 programmable LCD Scribble Strips offer channel/bus identification that mirrors what is being controlled.
Use them to enter input/output tags, plus add icons you recognize at-a-glance. Then assign colors to create visual groups for immediate, on-the-fly recognition of similar inputs.
Simple, elegant and effective – plus you’ll never need masking tape again.
Virtual Effects Racks
M32 LIVE includes an extensive array of onboard effects, rendering outboard processing racks a thing of the past. The Virtual FX rack features 8 true-stereo, studio-grade effects engines each assignable to any input, group or output mix bus. Choose from high-end FX modules including a range of reverbs, delays, EQs, dynamics and much more.
Each FX algorithm has been completely re-imagined for stunning performance – typically costing several times the price of the M32 LIVE.
Custom-designed, and physically modeled after some of the most iconic and sought-after processors, all effects run inside the low-latency environment of the M32 LIVE mix engine, ensuring flawless performance, flexible routing and the end of cable faults forever!