MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds’ current world tour, in support of the group’s Chasing Yesterday album, has included stops in Asia, the U.K. and across Europe, before beginning its two-month U.S run in early May. Having already appeared at the likes of Manchester Arena, Dublin’s 3Arena and London’s O2 Arena, the band will return to Europe in the summer for music festivals across the continent. The band, led by former Oasis lead guitarist and writer Noel Gallagher, brought along veteran monitor mixer Nahuel Gutierrez, who selected an SSL Live. L500 console.
An independent engineer, Gutierrez is another Oasis cross over, having joined the crew in 2004 before becoming a mixer on the band’s 2008-2009 farewell tour. Since then, he has worked for The Cure, Jamiroquai, Jake Bugg, The Prodigy and The Vaccines as well as concerts featuring composer Hans Zimmer’s classic soundtracks at London’s Hammersmith Apollo. Gutierrez first came on as monitor mixer for High Flying Birds’ inaugural tour in 2011 and has returned again for their latest stretch. Calling on his years of experience in the industry, Gutierrez selected the SSL Live. L500 console, supplied by Britannia Row Productions, to address the band’s evolving monitor needs.
“My favourite feature is the stems.” comments Gutierrez. “I send the individual keyboards to Mike [Rowe], so he gets all the keyboards without going through the keys stem, but, for everyone else, I just use the stem, so it’s just one fader. The same goes for the horn section; the horn players get individual channels, but everyone else just gets the horn stem, just one fader. It has made my life so easy.”
Gutierrez uses three reverbs: one for vocals, one for horns and a third for the acoustic guitars, plus a delay for Gallagher’s vocal. “Live’s effects are beautiful, definitely one of the biggest improvements from the desk that I was using before.” adds Gutierrez. “The overall sound from the SSL is beautiful, the top-end particularly is amazing. It is crisp, round and especially natural. I can personally hear that SSL Live sounds different in my in-ears, which are always my reference.”
The flexible and powerful automation features of the SSL Live have proven particularly useful to Gutierrez. “The automation is amazing” he says. “If the bass player wants a little more bass overall you can add 1.5dB on an absolute or relative basis across every scene, or every scene in a group. It’s very intuitive. And having the group, relative, and absolute buttons right there at the touch of your fingers is one of the handiest things I’ve ever had. I made it really easy for myself, to be honest. I made a mix for every single song and after two months now I’m getting to the point where I can fully enjoy the ease-of-operation.”
Gutierrez also mentions that one of his favourite features of the console is the ability to move faders around or even reconfigure the desk by adding channels, sends or stems without losing audio. “I had to add channels one day while the band was rehearsing and it did it without any problems or stopping the audio,” he continues.
“It’s really impressive how stable this desk is. It’s rock solid. Everything has worked flawlessly and I’m really happy I made the change.”
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