Portugal (August 14, 2019)—Portuguese singer, musician and songwriter Pedro Abrunhosa has been on the road this year, and along for the ride is FOH engineer, Joao Bessa, mixing the nightly festivities on an SSL L200 console, provided by AUDIOGLOBO.
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 recognized Portuguese fado singer, Ana Moura, who herself has gigged with Prince and The Rolling Stones.
Bessa has used the L L200 console since the start of the year—though he got a headstart on New Year’s Eve with a marathon show: “My first ever concert with the SSL L200 was on New Year’s Eve 2018, doing a show for 200,000 people on the Main Square in Porto, Avenida dos Aliados—it was a four-hour, 45 minute show! Not bad for a first show with a new mixer! I just had the console at my studio for a few days to learn it and prepare some mix moves, and that was it. It’s been great ever since.”
Having since become familiar with the desk, he’s found one of his favorite console features is the space to fill in the mix. “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 said. “And that’s without the mix being too dense, or the sound becoming claustrophobic. The sound stage and the depth is huge.”
Coming from an analog-based studio background, he prefers the sound of a live desk itself to aid in a show’s sound: “The console had to be one I could operate as if it were analog, with hands-on faders and some automation. I needed a practical mixer that sounded amazing, and that is exactly what I found with the SSL L200. I am amazed by it! It was my first choice – this is the best-sounding digital desk, plus it sounds great right away, before you dial anything in.”
Aiding that, he felt, is the accuracy of the EQ and the desk’s stem-mix query functions. “The L200 doesn’t have a specific color, but the sound is full and quick—transients are all there, it’s transparent and it sounds really great,” said Bessa. “Maybe it’s the preamps, the converters, the summing; I don’t know. The whole combination is just perfect for me.”
All of that comes to a head nightly as he brings the exuberance on stage to the crowd surrounding the FOH position. “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!”
Solid State Logic • www.solidstatelogic.com