Home » Live L550 consoles used on Robert Plant and Alison Krauss’ Raise the Roof tour

Live L550 consoles used on Robert Plant and Alison Krauss’ Raise the Roof tour

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Live L550 consoles used on Robert Plant and Alison Krauss’ Raise the Roof tour

Live L550 consoles used on Robert Plant and Alison Krauss’ Raise the Roof tour

When FOH mixer Mark Kennedy was preparing for Robert Plant and Alison Krauss’ month-long European and American tour “Raise the Roof”, he knew there was only one console to choose from – the Solid State Logic Live L550. “I’ve used a lot of other consoles over the years, but this one sounds better than any other, and it’s the perfect fit,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy first worked with SSL Live in 2015 during his 20th anniversary tour with British electronic band Faithless. When he started working with Plant in 2018, he also mixed for Robert Plant and the Sensational Shape Shifters – always specifying the Live L550 on tour when he was FOH mixer.

The most perfect-sounding mixer in the world
The best sounding console in the world

Kennedy likes the sound of the SSL Live console over other consoles for a number of reasons, he explains: “I can really hear the difference between consoles from different manufacturers. That’s why we Reason for using the SSL Live console – it sounds exceptionally good, very transparent and clear, but not brittle or harsh. And the low frequency cutoff is really good.”

He says the clarity of the SSL Live consoles was particularly noticeable during Plant and Krauss’ summer festivals in Europe, where sound pressure levels are often regulated. At one music festival, someone checking for compliance was surprised to find that Kennedy’s mix was below the maximum SPL limit. “It sounded really loud! But not at that massive SPL. Just because the console has that quality and depth of sound,” he said.

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Great support from DCR Nashville
Unwavering support from DCR Nashville

Paul Owen, President of DCR Nashville and Account Manager for Plant, has worked with Plant over the years in various production roles. He supported Raise the Roof on two US tours. Kennedy said: “DCR Nashville has been fantastic and supportive. Paul has worked with Robert longer than I have.”

Owen added: “Robert Plant transitioned to SSL Live a few years ago. In 2008 I was lucky enough to provide audio for Robert Plant and Alison Krauss’ first tour ‘Raising Sand’. When the tour came to light Knowing how popular it would be, DCR Nashville stepped up and bought our first SSL L550. From the artist’s performance to Kennedy’s mix, the results were stunning.”

Clair Global’s Britannia Row Productions provided Live L550 consoles and controls for the European leg, including performances at Glastonbury Festival in the UK and Roskilde Festival in Denmark.

SSL EQ, onboard processing and effects
SSL EQ, onboard processing and effects

Kennedy likes to keep things simple in the band, which consists of five musicians in addition to Plant and Krauss. “I don’t like to overcomplicate things with too many effects or too many compressors,” he says. He does it on channel strips in the SSL Live mixer. I find the native compressors on the channel strips to be more than adequate .Then I used some individual effects for things like double bass, vocals and whatnot.”

He continued: “FX-wise, it’s pretty simple, just the instrument reverb and the vocal reverb. I find the new reverbs on the mixer really good. They sound great, especially on the vocals. I just An external effects unit was used, an old TC Electronic D2 Echo, which we used on Robert’s voice to achieve the sustained vocals he did.”

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As for the EQ on the SSL Live console, he says, “It’s flexible and precise. I find myself using a very narrow Q, surgically precise. But sometimes you just want to push the guitar hard in the mids, That way you can use it wide and it gives you a big lift.”

Kennedy, who frequently uses the mixer’s all-pass filter, says, “It’s an experiment, especially with acoustic instruments. For example, with multi-instrumentalist Stuart Duncan, I have ) prepared a mic. Sometimes he gets close to the mic and I can add an all-pass filter and turn the tone up. You don’t have to look at the exact graph, when it sounds right, it’s right. You can look at the graph and just Just turn the knob and hear what happens.”

Easily manage I/O
Managing I/O with simplicity

To manage his inputs, of which there are about 56 on this tour, he reports: “I use a Layer for the inputs and a Bank for the content of a particular song. I put all the guitars for a song in the together, so everything I need is within easy reach. I use Fader Tile 1 to place the busses, whether it be VCAs, matrices, or effects. Then I duplicate everything on Tile 2 and Tile 3, That way I can tune the vocals at the same time as I tune the guitar, or whatever.”

On the output side, Kennedy uses Matrix for the PA speaker output, usually configured with left, right, subwoofer, infill, outfill and delay. Aside from the mixer, he continued: “I really like the fact that there is a cent output on the SSL box, it’s very useful. You can give the OB direct cents through the box and it sounds really good too. “

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easy navigation
Easy navigation on the fly

What Kennedy really appreciates about SSL Live is the ability to quickly access the controls needed at the moment. “I love the Navigate Up button, it takes me straight to the gain, and from there I can switch to trim, invert and pad. You can select right away, which I find really helpful.” Thanks to Plant and Krauss didn’t usually audition with the band, and Kennedy had to be on his toes once the show started. He concluded by saying: “In the first song, I was flat, so it’s all about speed. And once you think about it you realize that the Live mixer is really fast to navigate. .”

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