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Shocking industry news: Behringer takes over Midas and Klark


Mark Schmieder

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http://www.sonicstate.com/news/2009/12/08/midas-and-klark-teknik-taken-over/

 

Can't believe the industry's two greatest brands are now under the same umbrella as one of the industry's most, uh, "controversial" companies.

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

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quote from Alex Cooper:

 

I am convinced that working with the MUSIC Group will provide us with advantages that will help us maintain our high standards and grow the business for the long term.

 

Uh, how much of a bonus did they give you to say that, knowing full well that they bought your company strictly to try and teach their Chinese production people how to make a proper circuit?

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I'll never forget the time Peter Frampton's Midas board EXPLODED during a concert in Detroit a couple years ago. I went over and looked at the boards, the midas was smoking.

-Greg

Motif XS8, MOXF8, Hammond XK1c, Vent

Rhodes Mark II 88 suitcase, Yamaha P255

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I'll never forget the time Peter Frampton's Midas board EXPLODED during a concert in Detroit a couple years ago. I went over and looked at the boards, the midas was smoking.

 

Interesting story.

 

I've been a Midas user since about 1979 or 1980, when we had one of the few Midas consoles in the country and acts like Dire Straits would rent it from us for their American shows. Outside of those cheap Venice and Verona consoles aimed at a budget audience, their gear is pretty much the most respected in the industry. The XL4s in our theaters here could be sold today for more than what they cost to buy when they were brand new. I have an XL42 in my personal rack. Midas and Paragon own the analog touring console market, with Midas selling many more consoles than ATI.

 

I don't know what in a console would smoke, as the rails are low voltage,probably -/+ 18 or so, and the 48 volt phantom. All the high voltage is handled in the external power supplies. I would expect anything that smoked to be there, not in the console itself. I wonder if something back-fed voltage down from the stage and through the input circuitry?

 

I was working an outdoor gig, and someone wanted to sabotage it, for political reasons. they traced the camlok feeding the power to the site, and lifted the neutral. This doubled the voltage going down the rails, but halved the current. That means that the fuses would not blow. Smoke poured from the front of almost all the gear.... the 31 band eqs looked like something from a horror movie. But the console was spared, as the damage was isolated to the console power supply.

 

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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Just kind of curious from those of you with more high-end (especially large touring acts) experience. I've played through a lot of sound systems ranging from low-end, to mid-range, to high-end.

 

The casino we play at has always had high end stuff - currently one of those $60,000 digital yamaha boards. Another venue has a Midas. Most common are probably the A&H, SoundCraft, and then there's quite a few with the Mackies.

 

OK, my point is this (and i'm really not intending to stir things up, I promise). It seems like the only problems I've experienced with FOH having mixer problems - like a group going out, having to re-route around bad sends, bad channels, etc., is on the high end stuff. The mid range stuff seems to work like a champ. Now granted - they probably have much less routing capabilities, maybe lower quality mic pres and EQ's. But I would think for touring acts, reliability would be first and foremost.

 

Is it just pure chance that this has been my experience and that it's not the norm?

 

Is it just that those venues are running more acts and the law of MTBF is kicking in?

 

Did those companies just do a better job of getting on the riders for all these tours?

 

I'm not trying to knock them - it just seemed unexpected and odd to me the amount of problems I've experienced compared to the mid-tier stuff.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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Its not the car, its the driver?

 

anyway, 'bad' sends, 'bad' groups... sounds to me like poor or no maintenance. On the level at which I work, there is too much at stake to piss around like that.

 

I was working a presidential gig, and the PA supplier was trying to get over with a shoddy console. The Colonel in charge asked me what I thought, and I told him the truth. He told the PA supplier that if they didn't replace the console with a more acceptable model, he was going to pull out his .45 and fix the console for them. The console was replaced with an acceptable model. Its nice to have the Secret Service on your side. With big guns.

 

No PA provider worth his salt sends out shoddy gear. But there are times when a client busts your chops about price, and maybe the A rig is booked, so you send out whatever is in stock. That is, I guess, fair enough. But sending out broken gear is strictly an amateur move. But in these days when every venue is busting chops to try to make more profit, I can see where the good and knowledgeable providers might have finally said, "Nope." to the constant whine about price, and told the venue to go ahead and rent from the guy who will do it for next to nothing. You get what you pay for.

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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For the most part, I don't have any problems with the sound companies I hire. This is mostly "House" sound. For instance, before the Casino got the Digital board, they had a Crest that barely worked. They had sent it out for service and it came back worse than it was when they sent it.

 

The venue that has the Midas board with a bad group (it hums and doesn't work) - who knows the story behind that. They probably got it used.

 

But I'm sure some of the mid-tier stuff (Mackie, Alesis, etc) gets abused pretty bad in these environments and seems to hold up - and I know it's a hell of a lot cheaper. I just wonder how much is the name and the fact that they get on all the riders. But again - as you say, in my (admittedly few) cases, the stuff just may not have been maintained.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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We have never had a Midas board go out in any of the top shows we have produced (this is not the royal "we" as I am not involved at that level, but rather everyday co-workers).

 

Midas owns the top end on quality points as well as reliability. Like my own company in the sound reinforcement end of things, you either have the dough or you don't -- that's the choice, as opposed to whether you like someone else's gear better.

 

It's always an odd place to be in the industry and can lead to arrogance and hubris, but I don't think that's the case with Midas. Or with Klark-Teknik (who don't quite as assuredly own their best-known business of EQ, but are tops nonetheless).

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

XK1c, Voyager, Prophet XL

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We have never had a Midas board go out in any of the top shows we have produced (this is not the royal "we" as I am not involved at that level, but rather everyday co-workers).

 

I've often wondered, for example a mainstream arena type act, if they ever have epic failures that stop the show due to equipment, who is held responsible? In my business, we "back-charge" the offending contractor to recover money lost because of customer demands. But for these mainstream acts, I suppose the dollar amount associated to recover from these type of epic failures would put an audio provider out of business. I suppose it would be a legal battle anyways, but does anyone know of any examples of this. Bill H? anyone? Does the customer in this case (audience) just lose out?

-Greg

Motif XS8, MOXF8, Hammond XK1c, Vent

Rhodes Mark II 88 suitcase, Yamaha P255

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A while after the Frampton incident at DTE, in the same year even, at a Bonnie Raitt concert I was at, was more show stopping sound issues. This was in Detroit area as well, MeadowBrook. That was another outside venue and the moisture in the air was obviously main factor.

-Greg

Motif XS8, MOXF8, Hammond XK1c, Vent

Rhodes Mark II 88 suitcase, Yamaha P255

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I just got around to reading this. When did Music Group get formed? Has B*ger always been a sub of that?

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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It seems fashionable for "music groups' to buy up brands/companies and put them under corporate umbrellas. For example, LOUD owns Mackie, Ampeg, Tapco, Crate, EAW, Alvarez, and Martin Audio. Korg owns Marshall and Vox. This can have some negative effects to the consumer... for instance, when a company buys a brand it doesn't mean they will still support models of that brand made prior to acquisition. Sometimes they buy name-only and not stock, parts or service manuals/schematics. It's a problem I run into all the time in pro audio repair.

 

I have to work with Behringer regularly for parts and support, and that's sometimes challenging. I don't envy current Midas product owners.

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[

I've often wondered, for example a mainstream arena type act, if they ever have epic failures that stop the show due to equipment, who is held responsible?

 

I don't know who is held responsible, but most arena shows carry insurance. It's similiar to movies that have some kind of "completion insurance" in case a star dies.

 

In the 90s, I did a national tour of "Bugs Bunny on Broadway", it played all the major outdoor venues like Wolf Trap and Red Rocks. The last show was in San Francisco. The truck carrying all the equipment broke down en route, and apparently the truck drivers slept instead of getting it fixed. There were 13,000 people at the show, and after waiting til 9, there was an announcement that the show was cancelled. They all had to go through gates to get their parking money back. :evil: The band left on a bus, and I thought the audience was going to kill us, seriously. :laugh:

 

Ultimately, the show's producers had insurance kick in, as that could have cost over a half-million bucks.

 

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It seems fashionable for "music groups' to buy up brands/companies and put them under corporate umbrellas. For example, LOUD owns Mackie, Ampeg, Tapco, Crate, EAW, Alvarez, and Martin Audio.
I know, that's why I was asking. I wondered if B*ger was copying Mackie yet again. :laugh:

 

And actually, Mackie bought some of those other brands, and LOUD was originally Mackie Designs Inc. or something like that, a slightly different name than the mixer/speaker/etc. company. Then they renamed Mackie Designs to Loud Technologies Inc. since the old name was confusing.

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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It seems fashionable for "music groups' to buy up brands/companies and put them under corporate umbrellas. For example, LOUD owns Mackie, Ampeg, Tapco, Crate, EAW, Alvarez, and Martin Audio.
I know, that's why I was asking. I wondered if B*ger was copying Mackie yet again. :laugh:

 

And actually, Mackie bought some of those other brands, and LOUD was originally Mackie Designs Inc. or something like that, a slightly different name than the mixer/speaker/etc. company. Then they renamed Mackie Designs to Loud Technologies Inc. since the old name was confusing.

 

I bet one day we learn that Behringer has been a contract designer and manufacturer for all these guys and many others. And won't that be a kick in the ass.

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It seems fashionable for "music groups' to buy up brands/companies and put them under corporate umbrellas. For example, LOUD owns Mackie, Ampeg, Tapco, Crate, EAW, Alvarez, and Martin Audio. Korg owns Marshall and Vox. This can have some negative effects to the consumer... for instance, when a company buys a brand it doesn't mean they will still support models of that brand made prior to acquisition. Sometimes they buy name-only and not stock, parts or service manuals/schematics. It's a problem I run into all the time in pro audio repair.

 

I have to work with Behringer regularly for parts and support, and that's sometimes challenging. I don't envy current Midas product owners.

 

Don't forget Numark owning Alesis and Akai. The MPC5000 is surprisingly similar in features and architechture to the now discontinued Fusion.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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I bet one day we learn that Behringer has been a contract designer and manufacturer for all these guys and many others. ...

 

you won't learn that.

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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When Peavey bought Crest, the promise was that they were not going to change anything. But it wasn't long until Crest people started to bail, because Peavey bean counters started to interfere in quality issues. It has ever been so. If you talk to anyone in the know about how microphones are made, they will likely tell you to stay away from Sennheiser made Neumanns.

 

One thing that i do know.... my vintage collection of mics and guitars and amps will always be high quality, as they were built when quality was the hallmark.

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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..., if they ever have epic failures that stop the show due to equipment, who is held responsible? ...

 

When I was a production guy back in the 70s, we bought one day/event insurance. I believe that it has always been a requirement in major venues, but I'm not sure.

 

I know that, with some difficulty, I could run FOH from the monitor console, monitors from the FOH console, and most every show tours with twoi or more FOH consoles these days, so if one smokes for whatever reason, I would be able to repatch, maybe toss out some extraneous channels, and have a show.

 

On the other hand, I've seen Yngwie stomp off stage and cancel a show because his wireless guitar rig didn't work. It was a small stage, no reason why he could not have just used a guitar cord to go from his guitar to the pedal board at his feet. But that is only one reason why I have so little respect for him.

 

If anyone saw the Stevie Wonder portion of the Rock Hall celebration in NYC, that whole first chunk happened because there was a big PA failure, but Stevie is a performer and he made it work while the technical guys got things going again.

 

In the end, there would be a big meeting,. If it is professionally run, the cause of the failure would be determined, and things would proceed from there. I was working a gig with Nelson Mandella right after they released him from prison and he went on a US tour. We had rented an Aggreko generator to provide sound power for all the media. Aggreko is well known as a supplier of generators for mission critical events all over the US. Through a day of rehearsal and an morning and afternoon of checks, no problem. In the midfdle of the event, the power goes out. I was FOH, and when I looked around and saw that all the TV and network technical power was out while lighting power was still functioning, I knew it had to be a power feed problem. I went running backstage.... and almost got shot by the Secret Service.

 

In the ensuing meeting, an independent engineer examined everything and proclaimed that nothing was done in error or by omission by anyone involved. "Stuff breaks", he said. No one was happy, but no one got fired, and no vendor was forced to try to justify a decision.

 

 

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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But I'm sure some of the mid-tier stuff (Mackie, Alesis, etc) gets abused pretty bad in these environments and seems to hold up - and I know it's a hell of a lot cheaper. ....

 

That is not considered 'mid tier'. Mostly in the pro world it is considered 'junk'. When the term 'bang for the buck' enters into the conversation of system design, you're already dead.

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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But I'm sure some of the mid-tier stuff (Mackie, Alesis, etc) gets abused pretty bad in these environments and seems to hold up - and I know it's a hell of a lot cheaper. ....

 

That is not considered 'mid tier'. Mostly in the pro world it is considered 'junk'. When the term 'bang for the buck' enters into the conversation of system design, you're already dead.

 

That's not really accurate. I see Mackie line mixers at major shows all the time. Paul Shaffer used one for his keyboard rig at the Rock Hall gig, touring shows like "Light in The Piazza" use them in the pit. Yeah, for the big board I doubt it's a Mackie, but both companies have smaller units that are or were used all the time. The Andromeda synth would hardly be considered "junk".

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Really when I said mid-tier, I was thinking more of the A&H and Soundcraft stuff, which I see a lot. While Mackie and Alesis are lower tier, they aren't down to the level of Behringer. I think it also depends on which series - some of their larger format mixers are certainly better than their low-end stuff.

 

The other thing to realize - only a small handful of places I play do touring acts. Most of them are clubs doing local acts only. But the higher end systems are definitely at the places that bring in the touring acts.

 

The one that surprised me for a while was the Casino, whose upcoming acts include Foreigner, Vince Neil, Marshall Tucker Band, The Guess Who. Now that they have new FOH and Monitor boards, they haven't had problems. But the AV Techs have told me horror stories about having national acts in there and having to pull a console out of storage and swap out their FOH board because something went out. And I know for a while, they were having to do some weird routing just to get it to work when we were playing there. I know it's a corporation and they have to get budget approval, but I'm surprised they didn't catch more flack than they did.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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When pro sound folks discuss gear, Mackie and Midas aren't in the same conversation. They might use both mixers but for different purposes.

 

It is similar to the belief that a Hyundai is a car and a Bentley is an automobile. :cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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When pro sound folks discuss gear, Mackie and Midas aren't in the same conversation. They might use both mixers but for different purposes.

 

It is similar to the belief that a Hyundai is a car and a Bentley is an automobile. :cool:

 

Very accurate depiction, too, since a Hyundai isn't the bottom of the barrel. Behringer would be the Kia in this conversation. ;)

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Behringer would be the Kia in this conversation. ;)
Griff, you surprise me! I think that's giving B*ger too much credit. I'd think they are more like Vaz.

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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