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Relles Sound adds SSL Live to its inventory

“The SSL Live has magnificent EQ, is very precise to mix on and is sonically very warm and fat”

Jun 15, 2015

George Relles with his L500George Relles with his L500

EUGENE, OREGON – Celebrating 40 years in the business, Relles Sound, Inc. has purchased an SSL Live. L500, used most recently for the Eugene Ballet Company’s Tommy the Ballet, featuring music from The Who’s classic rock-opera Tommy and original choreography from Artistic Director Toni Pimble. Relles Sound owner George Relles utilized the console to mix FOH for the show at the Hult Center for the Performing Arts in Eugene, Oregon. The sole audio vendor for the Center since it was built in 1983, Relles has also been the main audio supplier for many local events, such as the Britt Festival, the Grass Valley Father’s Day Bluegrass Festival, the River Rhythms Series and The Festival at Sandpoint. Relles’ symphony clients include Mason Williams, the Oregon Bach Festival and Osvaldo Golijov's ‘LaPasion’ world tour, as well as the Utah, Spokane, Eugene and New World Symphonies.

The Eugene Ballet Company’s Tommy rehearsals were Relles’ first project with the console, which was supplied through collaboration between Hi-Tech Audio and Delicate Productions. “First of all, I have to say that the SSL Live sounds great,” he remarks. “I haven't mixed on a console that sounds this good since my old Gamble, which I still take out on occasion to remind myself of what a great console sounds like. Like that board, the new SSL, also uses a servo input with no electrolytic capacitors in the signal path. It gives me that same feeling like, ‘wow this is different than anything else.’

“The EQ on the L500 is very smooth-sounding, and the mix tends to fall into place with a lot less effort,” says Relles, who worked closely with Louis Adamo of Hi-Tech to specify the system and refine all of the required elements. “With some other modern systems, you can’t get a mix to fall into place; it just doesn’t really ever seem to gel and you’re never really quite sure why. So, you play around with EQ and you go ‘no that’s not right, that’s better but still not it.’ But this isn’t the case with the SSL Live console.”

A longtime Meyer Sound dealer, Relles deployed a Meyer JM-1P array-able loudspeaker system at the Hult Center. “The console made the Meyer system sound even more fantastic,” he adds. “Both shows were fabulous. The performers received lengthy standing ovations and I had many people compliment me on the great sound. Overall, I found the SSL Live has magnificent EQ, is very precise to mix on and is sonically very warm and fat. It doesn’t suffer from the sonic phase shift quality of most other high-end consoles available today. I’m really excited to also hear how the SSL Live sounds with my new Meyer Lyon linear sound reinforcement system.”

Finding the console’s gates to be rather impressive, Relles used them on everything from kick, snare and five toms to tympani and French horn, as well as the iPod deployed for sound effects. “I used the gates much more liberally than I would with other consoles because they worked so well,” he continues. “This allowed me to really clean up the mix, especially using its filters. I ended up using my Waves C4 and Renaissance DeEsser for the production, and SSL Live’s dedicated FX loop perfectly patched in my Waves Multi-Rack.”

Relles additionally utilized an RME MADIface to connect his L500’s dedicated optical MADI FX Loop to his MacBook Pro. “I also used my personal outboard FX rack, with a Bricasti M7M, Lexicon PCM 91, TC M5000, TC 2290 and an Eventide H3000,” he adds. “I was using a lot of my local analogue I/O, but I still have the option to expand for future productions since there’s space on the rear of the desk to add another 16 mic/line inputs and 16 line outputs.” Relles also kept his SSL Live-Recorder in his outboard effects rack. “The Live-Recorder was invaluable to fine tuning all my settings on individual channels in rehearsals, for use during the main production. All in all, it was a great first experience, and I am just beginning to see the capability of this fantastic console.”

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