SSL L500 praised for 'sound and reliability' on Kylie's Golden tour by monitor engineer

Kylie's monitor engineer for her Golden tour, Gavin Tempany, praises SSL for its "sound and reliability"
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Solid Stage Logic's L500 Plus was deployed by Kylie Minogue's production team for her Golden tour, following the release of her new album Golden.

Monitor Engineer, Gavin Tempany, said: "I just love the sound, and the reliability, of SSL Live."

The SSL L500 Plus was supplied by UK brand Capital Sound Hire. 

Kylie's stage musicians and backing singers; Dave Gilmour, Hans Zimmer, Will Young, and OMD, are supported at monitors by Tempany and an SSL console. Tempany described the vocal outputs of the show as "not too much compared to my usual madness." The monitor console position is under the stage, so video feeds are used for sight to stage. The backline is also under the stage, out of sight, as are the guitar and bass pedal boards.

Tempany is also the hub for band-to-band and band-to-crew communications. “There are a lot of talkback mics," he said. "I think I'm up to 17 channels of communications now. All the musicians and techs have shout mics and there are a few techs with switches that route their talk either to the band and crew or just to the crew.

"The production comms are also fed to my cue bus so we can follow what is happening at the top of the show. This all means that the Cue mix is quite busy with not only the solo bus in play, but a lot of information being passed around on top of it."

Kylie makes use of four microphones on stage. Tempany uses the SSL's Stem Group path type to group all four microphones as a single input to the monitor mixes. "It becomes one fader and one channel where I can adjust levels, EQ, and dynamics for all four mics during a show," he explains. "If one player wants to vocal up a bit, I simply do a group automation change in relative mode on that stem in their mix. It then scales for all mics through the show.”

Tempany’s uses of Stem Groups for the drum kit. He uses one stem for four kick channels, one for four snare channels (including reverb), and another for the remaining kit. "It makes dialling up mixes very fast, and changes really easy," he notes. "A request for 'more kick' translates into a single fader move on the kick stem. I don't have to search for which kick is used in that song. Everything happens fast, which is great for the band.”

Having had previous experiences with SSL Live consoles, Tempany had used an L500 Plus on Dave Gilmour's Rattle That Lock tour and at several WOMAD festivals. He commented: "One of the really useful new features is Screen Query, you can now query an on-screen channel rather than a fader-tile channel, so all the available tiles can be used for the query result. It's great if you have a lot of channels on an L500, or it can make using an L300 feel like using a three-tiled L500."

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