SSL in the mix with Pedro Abrunhosa
Wednesday, 14 August 2019
joao-bessa-2webFOH engineer Joao Bessa relies on an SSL L200
Portugal - Singer, musician, and songwriter, Pedro Abrunhosa is currently on tour across the country. Known for his large, live band and penchant for straddling different genres of music, the singer’s FOH engineer, Joao Bessa, relies on an SSL L200 to make his hands-on approach to live jamming a breeze.
Starting out in the studio and honing his craft for 14 years on an SSL 4000E console, Bessa eventually made what he calls the 'natural transition' to live engineering.
“The transition between the studio and the road was so natural to me: in my head, it's just mixing sounds and textures, and that is the thing I like to do,” he explains. “It's a completely creative art, and it's that which really interests me. I have tech knowledge, but I am not scientific - I just need to know the tools, and to know what I am doing, then switch that off and take care of the creative stuff.”
Bessa has been a freelance FOH engineer on the live circuit for 12 years, and currently spends the majority of his time split between touring with Abrunhosa and internationally recognised Portuguese fado singer, Ana Moura, who herself has gigged with Prince and The Rolling Stones.
“Abrunhosa has been a very big star in Portugal for the last 25 years, and I have known him for 12 years on the road,” says Bessa. “He has a big band - his music goes for a very broad style. He does great funk, and rock and roll and ballads: a real, complete artist, and a great composer for other artists, too. A stage animal - every concert is a huge party.”
Helping Bessa thrive during Abrunhosa’s concerts is an SSL L200 console, supplied by rental company, Audioglobo.
One of Bessa’s favourite console features is the space to fill in the mix that the SSL L200 provides. “Simply, I can balance the mix and fill the spaces, adding lots of inputs - and everything fits tightly, with elegance; no other console can do this,” he insists. “And that's without the mix being too dense, or the sound becoming claustrophobic. The sound stage and the depth is huge.
“I am a studio guy and I want to do the same thing as on the records, but out on the road,” he explains. “The digital sound was not working for me, back then; after a while, I was doing many turnarounds with plugins on top of plugins just to correct things that were not good at the front of the mixer.”
(Jim Evans)

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