After three days of testing audio consoles, Amsterdam music venue, Paradiso, chose SSL Live consoles for both its front of house and monitor positions.
Supplied by Dutch pro audio specialist and SSL partner Audio Electronics Mattijsen (AEM), an SSL L500 will be used for FOH and an L300 will be used for monitors.
Paradiso began in 1968 as the ‘Cosmic Relaxation Center Paradiso’, after an abandoned church was squatted in 1967 by hippies intending to turn it into a music venue. Since then it has played host to some of the biggest bands and artists in the world such as the late Prince, The Rolling Stones, Red Hot Chili Peppers and U2
Marian Emmen, head of sound and production at Paradiso says: “Because of the names we have coming here, we have to be at the top of our game. System failure is not an option. Around 20-30 per cent of acts bring their own front of house desk, or monitor desk, or both. The rest will be using the SSLs, and might only have ten minutes to learn to use them… Sometimes we do mini festivals where we have five bands on in a night… We have one sound check, and the rest has to be done on-the-fly.”
It was during the test sessions that Paradiso’s principal sound engineer Dick Versteegh was convinced about the SSL. “It got into me,” he explains. “It has the wow factor… Other consoles have a lot of toys but with the SSL I thought, ‘this is a sound desk… Everything has its place. It sounds musical. Everything has space without being separate…’
“I also like the crazy amount of routing you can do. Some like it easy and simple, I sometimes like it a bit complicated. With this you can do either. With the Stem busses, being able to route to an output or another buss, I find myself dreaming about how I might layer a drum-kit!”
For visiting engineers who have not experienced SSL Live before, the set-up can be easily simplified to familiar input channels, traditional buss types, and straight-forward fader layouts. “If you set it up properly,” continues Versteegh, “An engineer can ‘get it’ within five minutes and start mixing straight away… And of course it really helps that you can change things without disturbing the sound… That’s a big improvement on what we can do now…”