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Calvin Harris Found SSL

The “We Found Love” hitmaker has been on the road with SSL in tow.

New York, NY (October 3, 2019)—DJ Calvin Harris has been touring in recent months, with FOH engineer Nathan Lettus and an SSL console L100 live desk in tow, provided by audio vendor Major Tom.

Lettus, who had just come off this spring’s Frank Zappa hologram world tour, joined up with Harris’ production team when the previous FOH engineer left the tour at the last minute. Major Tom was able to find an L100 to use on the Harris tour, and Lettus quickly took to the console’s 12 + 2 fader configuration frame, access layer / bank switching, and Super-Q technology.

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“I’d been eyeballing the L100 since it came out,” he said. “At one point, it looked like from a logistical standpoint it was easier to go with another console, but SSL and Major Tom worked it out, and I’m way happier having L100 with us. Calvin’s live gigs get quite loud, but he’s a really good producer and engineer in his own right, so he is doing stuff live; it’s not like he’s just playing tracks. He is up there mixing songs on the fly. All of the tracks he has sound really good, so the quality is always very good.”

Lettus noted he was running more channels than one might expect with Harris: the primary channel is the stereo digital at 96 kHz which comes direct from Harris’ DJ rig, plus a backup, and then two further analog backups.

“We’re backed up multiple times, just in case anything were to happen,” said Lettus. “There’s a split off of his mic, so I have individual control over his vocal from the booth, and there are four RF mics in case we have any guests pop in. I can fit everything in on 12 faders – that’s all channels, and also any reverbs for the guest mics – and on a secondary layer, I’ll have outputs for the PA.”

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Harris flies in a few hours before every show before heading back. Lettus, however, arrives approximately five hours before a gig, he said: “So I’m actually not really hearing the system. I go to these shows and hear one note from Calvin when he starts. Yet I find that we are very consistent in the booth for the entire rig – the only thing that changes is the PA, and then it’s just the empty house verses the full house. I have to fine tune the PA on the fly due to the nature of flying in on the day of the show for the festivals.”

Solid State Logic •