Front of House Engineer Mark Kennedy has been out on the road with an SSL once more, this time for rock legend Robert Plant. Kennedy has selected an SSL L500 live console, supplied by Solotech and Britannia Row Productions.
Apart from the normal channel processing, I use the SSL’s Bus compressor, reverbs, delays, the VHD Saturator, and the 31-band graphic EQ from the FX rack.Mark Kennedy
The current Robert Plant tour, according to Kennedy, has an 'organic' approach that works well. It is by no means a silent stage, with 15 monitor wedges plus sidefills in use, and in-ear-monitoring has been put aside. "It's a very real show," says Kennedy. "There's no playback, and quite a few acoustic instruments: Banjos, mandolins, acoustic guitars... And almost everybody sings."
His approach to the console and mixing the show has been back-to-basics: "I turn everything off and start with a blank slate - the simplest set-up I can create. Then as I need to I turn features on... Apart from the normal channel processing, I use the SSL’s Bus compressor, reverbs, delays, the VHD Saturator, and the 31-band graphic EQ from the FX rack."
Before this tour, Kennedy had used an SSL live console on the Faithless 20th Anniversary tour: "Since I have been using the SSL, a lot has changed... There have been a lot of small updates that have made it easier to use. The input and output routing, for example, has improved a lot. It has got better and better since I first used it... But the main thing has, of course, always been the sound. The clarity and the dynamic range is amazing."
Peter Frampton, concluded his final tour, where FOH engineer, Jim Yakabuski, used an SSL Live L550 console.