Front of house engineer Marty Brugmans and monitor engineer Jelmer Dijkstra both specified Solid State Logic SSL Live consoles for award-winning Dutch band Racoon on its extensive but intimate theatre tour around The Netherlands.
Brugmans is utilizing an L500 at FOH while Dijkstra employs an L300 on monitors. Both consoles have been supplied by Dutch hire and events production company Stagelight, and they’re using Dante AoIP network technology for audio transport.
Brugmans was an early adopter of SSL Live technology, having already used the L500 on several large-scale events. “The first time I used it, everything became clear,” he states. “Everything you do comes out of the PA. SSL brings an exciting, transparent, uncompromised audio quality.”
With a wide variety of acoustic instruments in use on stage, including guitars, a grand piano, and two drum kits, Brugmans has to be certain of his signal path. He’s left many of his boutique mic pre-amps and outboard processing at home, opting for the console’s SuperAnalogue inputs, channel processing, and internal FX Rack instead. “I’m using a lot of the SSL processing,” he notes. “I especially like the channel dynamics with the Tube emulation. With other consoles, I just use the faders.”
The SSL L500 console offers 256 channel paths (208 fully processed, 48 dry) at 96 kHz, with channel, stem group, aux, and master channel and bus types. Processed channels have high- and low-pass filters, four-band parametric EQ (switchable between Legacy or constant Q), compressor with tube “warmth” effect), expander/gate, delay, panning, and an all-pass filter. The FX Rack can host up to 96 individual effects instances with comprehensive routing options in six racks that feature independent solo bus selection.
Brugmans uses snapshots throughout the shows, a strategy that he says could cause him problems with other consoles. “Every day we’re in a new venue,” he explains. “And everything about the environment changes… But this console sounds so great – it’s so close every time – that we can trust the snapshots. It’s really wonderful.”
Racoon is touring Dutch theatres until September 2016.