West specifies SSL Live for Phoenix tour
Thursday, 20 December 2018
matt-westfohphoenixwith-ssl-l500FOH engineer Matt-West with the SSL L500
Europe - FOH engineer Matt West (Motorhead, Snoop Dogg, The Cure, Eminem) has specified Solid State Logic L500 live mixing desk for the latest tour of French indie pop band Phoenix.
The band's latest Album, Ti Amo, came out last year and has been the focus of their most recent world tour. While West has extensive experience on digital consoles, he says he has mostly used them for ergonomic reasons, rather than sound. "I'm an analogue engineer and I come out of that world,” admits West. “Perhaps it's semantics, but there's a warmth that you don't normally get with zeros and ones - at least that’s what I thought that until I came across the SSL.
"On previous tours I had an outboard rack that I'd carry everywhere with me, with some nice compressors like DBX160s, Distressors, 901s. All that lovely sort of stuff. During rehearsals I thought I’d try out the onboard dynamics. The console sounded great, so I don't use that rack any more, and I haven't missed it."
Phoenix takes a very creative approach to its live sound, and West is invited to be part of the performance, playing in filter sweeps, muting parts of the PA, and so on. "We have a great relationship, and the desk is all-important in that because that is my tool, my instrument," he says. "If I'm not able to do things on a console that we’re trying to reproduce then I find limitations. To date we've been able to do everything the band or I have thought of. And that says it all.”
(Jim Evans)

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