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Midas Pro40
Old 7th August 2006
  #1
Gear Head
 

Midas Pro40

Hi Gearslutz.

Only just got round to registering on this forum, and I have spent a while reading the Pornograffitti post (feeling a little starstruck) but now onto my main objective (if this is not High End then mods, feel free to move it).

I work in a small studio in the UK and we have just come into posession of a Midas Pro 40 desk. It needs a great deal of work, mainly a thorough clean, although some more technical stuff as well. I'm just wondering if anyone out there has used a similar desk or even this one. It was built in the early 80s, I think, for a company called Tasco, and was then moved onto Canegreen Audio. We bought it from an AV company in Belfast: how it got there from Canegreen is a mystery.

It's rumoured to have been used by Van Morrison, ELO, the Everly Brothers and Mike Oldfield.

Specs are as follows...
The master section has 14 mono channels, 8 stereo aux inputs. These go to 12 sub groups and the sub groups feed four matrixes (matrices?). The slave side has a further 26 mono channels and 8 stereo aux inputs.

The only inputs to each channel are on XLR. The inserts have been terminated on huge multi-pin connectors on the back panel of the desk, for breaking out to an external patchbay. Unfortunately we don't have the patchbay or the link lead. So, we need to reterminate all these to the back of each channel strip, which means figuring out where they leave the channel strip in the first place. Ditto the direct outs and the line inputs.

What we need is...
* to hear from anyone who's used it
* a manual or, better, a wiring diagram

Although I foresee this taking about a year to restore, since it's a spare time project, I'm excited about getting it back to working order and using it. Any advice/warnings/stories greatly appreciated.

I'll try and get some better pictures up soon, but here's one to be going on with.



It's the size of a small swimming pool, and weighs about as much as a cow. We brought it back from Belfast in a Skoda Octavia
Old 7th August 2006
  #2
Congratulations on your purchase.

It looks like it are two desks glued to one. Can you post a picture of one of them connectors, I imagine there are people here on the forum who can help you out with getting such connectors and maybe a patch bay.

Do you have any pictures of the space it will be in in the near future?

Any automation on it?
Old 7th August 2006
  #3
Gear Addict
 
tmarra's Avatar
That's a Midas live sound console. Quite popular in it's days. Used to interface out to a road case mounted rack patchbay. They sort of custom built them for various people. Tasco was a large Sound Reinforcement company.

Try calling Midas in the UK. There still in business and may have drawings of those old consoles.

-Tony

Last edited by tmarra; 7th August 2006 at 04:37 PM.. Reason: addition to post
Old 8th August 2006
  #4
Here for the gear
 
galimathias's Avatar
 

I Have one just like that

Hi optix.
Just signed in to the forum to answer.
I have a console just like that whit 25ch, 8 sub, 8 aux & 1 st-return and was going to do the same workthrough. Mine is in very god condistion so I hope I don't have to fiddle to much. Have the same problem whit wiring though. Everything has to be built to a patchbay. I'm a little in doubt if the console is already prepared whit direct-outs. Mine has holes for it under the XLR input, but I'm not sure if I just have to put in an XLR, and then I'm roling.
I do have a manual and schematics of mine. Must be the same.
I'll to try to find it. It's very big though 2xA4 size and the text is a little blury.
I'll se if I can get som decent pictures of it. would be the quickest way to copy it.

Kind regards Jonas
Old 9th August 2006
  #5
Gear Head
 

Hi Jonas, that would be fantastic if you could get me a copy of the manual and schematics, it would be so useful. Please keep me posted

muziekschuur, no automation at all as far as I can work out. I will post pictures of the connectors as soon as possible, along with some other pics too, but unfortunately we don't have a camera in the studio today, so I'm trying to work out how to get some pictures off a phone.

I am assuming that the channel strips (PR40A modules) do have the full complement of features, ie mic and line ins, direct outs and inserts. Does anyone know if the inputs on these modules share an XLR connector (ie mic and line) or if the line ins would have been broken out to a patchbay, in which case I'll need to install some jack sockets on every channel strip too? There are only three holes on the back of each module, so maybe some of those Neutrik combined XLR/jack panelmounts will be the way to go.

I think the channel strips are working OK, at least PFLing them I can hear the channel inputs in the headphones. However, the channels don't seem to be making it to the subgroups - the group select on the channels is by thumbwheels. Also, on our master section there is no L/R fader, only 12 subgroups, although on the back panel there is a "master out" which I can't get any sound out of. Bizarre! Any ideas? Surely it's not assumed that the subgroups are sent to the master out without a master fader being provided? However, the only alternative to this is to use a pair of the matrices for the master L/R out, which to me means lengthening the signal chain tutt
Old 10th August 2006
  #6
Since this is quite a remarkeble console I am quite sure the engineers who used to work with it, remember it quite well.

Is there any chance you are able to get hold of someone?

A conversation with one of those guys might enlighten you.

I have a Phonic Mrs-1-20 wich is a analog surround console. It is quite confusing for most people to figure it out, so sometimes words do help.

Usually Midas can provide a full manual. In your case I would contact them at:

http://www.midasconsoles.com .

This console looks like a custom job. So I am quite sure they are willing to help you out with any details.


Muziekschuur
Old 30th July 2007
  #7
Gear Head
 
Huptus's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by optix View Post
Does anyone know if the inputs on these modules share an XLR connector (ie mic and line) or if the line ins would have been broken out to a patchbay...
As long as i remember the Mic/Line switch is nowadays called PAD. There is no Line In.
Old 9th December 2009
  #8
Gear Addict
 
audioboffin's Avatar
 

I'm old enough to very fondly remember using these boards, they sounded GREAT. You may be lucky with getting schematics out of Midas, but they have changed hands in the mid eighties and again very recently. Often older tech info gets lost or filed away as it costs money to have people hunt up this sort of information. Owners of older dBx and Lexicon products will encounter the same problem when they ask the current companies for info on older gear.

If you don't find what you need from Midas it may well be worth hitting up some PA companies who used to run these in their hire stock. You just might find an enthusiast who will scan or photocopy the info you need.

Alternatively it isn't really rocket science to map out what's going on with those boards as far as inserts etc. I think most of these consoles were probably custom order, so it's a matter of what the original spec was whether they have a buffered tape output, otherwise the insert point wouldn't be a bad place to source your recording path.

Be prepared to do some recapping and a lot of switch and pot cleaning!
Old 9th December 2009
  #9
Lives for gear
 

Hi
It shouldn't be too difficult to work out on the rear connectors (not the XLR) where a channel signal comes out (feed into an XLR then listen with headohones with the 'cold grounded).
To finf where it goes back in to the routing, insert signal from a CD player or similar and monitor the various mix busses. There will likely be a pattern on thje multiways once you have got started.
There is probably not much 'electronics' after the fader circuit (the modules I was looking at recently didn't), but there seem to be a variety of versions. This insertion will probably be unbalanced unless your channel strips or chassis have a pile of transformers in them.
Matt s
Old 23rd December 2009
  #10
Here for the gear
 

You wont find schematics for that Pro 40 (Midas Midas disposed of them when they shut the line down when they were bought the first time)atleast from Midas under the current ownership. But you might be in luck! It just so happens my boss litterally has the last Midas Midas Pro40 to come off the line and he has the only set of schematics left know to man! I know this because he went to the factory when the console was being made and ive seen them and worked with them...we are refurbishing it and are converting all the mono channel strips to stereo per Midas Midas mfg standards! I cant wait to play with this console when its done! I will talk to my boss and see if he will let me get a set of schematics....it might take some sweet talking..that and he is a little sentimental because his name are on them because he had to recreated the originals at the factory when he went there to help finish the assembly. Good thing he did! There is a much lengthier story behind this console ...maybe I will elaborate when I get time lol its one of those holy crap that acctually happens kinda stories haha
Old 6th December 2017
  #11
Here for the gear
 

Hi guys.

I have paper schematics for
PR40a
PR41a
PR42a
PR43a
PR44a
PR45a

If somebody still need it
It's not digitalised yet.
Old 6th March 2019
  #12
Here for the gear
 

The desk you are referring to was originally built for Rob Cowlyn at TASCO. It was first used on the ELO spaceship tour and had a matching monitor desk. It was PRO4, not PRO 40. Might have been an early PRO4A. I know because I had the pleasure of touring with that desk for many years at TASCO. The really cool part was all the graphics were in black light ink and the work lights were black lights. It did have a aux rack with a full patchbay as well.

The multi pins on the desk sections went to the patch bay and all signals in/out, efx bus, etc all routed through the patchbay

Don't know if it ever toured with Van Morrison, the Everly Brothers and Mike Oldfield. It did tour with BOC, Ozzy and Nazareth, Sabbath to name a few. It was TASCO's #1 desk in the late 70's to early 80's.

You might want to contact the boys at Delicate as a few of old guys were original MIDAS boffins and may have actually built that desk. One thing to consider is that it was basically a one-off desk. The channel modules were production (other than the graphics), but the patch bay was not

I wish I had a picture of it as it was the most beautiful desk ever made

If anyone has a pic of it, please PM me
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