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Stagelight grows its business with SSL Live X 4

Stagelight grows its business with SSL Live X 4

The Netherlands – Stagelight is a successful Dutch hire and events production company that has been consistently dominant in the corporate events market for many years. More recently, the company has been expanding and aiming for an equally strong share of the public events and tour sound sectors. Part of this strategy has been investment in high-end, flexible technology, both in sound and in lighting. This includes the recent purchase of four SSL Live consoles – three SSL Live L500 consoles and one SSL Live L300 console – from Audio Electronics Mattijsen (AEM).

Jacco van der Heijden, managing director of Stagelight said: "For us, SSL complemented our own strategy of always delivering to the highest possible standards: A global reputation for excellence, teamwork, and reliability are key to Stagelight operations. We had to find a brand that would fit with our high-quality inventory. It had to be superior in all respects - no discussion – in the end, the choice was easy, and SSL delivered!”

Robert de Lorijn is senior project manager audio, and manager technical operations for Stagelight. He is also the FOH Engineer for Matt Simons – a US Artist who has found a large following in The Netherlands and who provided the first opportunity for De Lorijn to use the L500 on a big stage. In a single weekend Simons played the Brussels Summer Festival (Belgium) and the Strandfestival Zand (Netherlands) to a total of 35,000 people.

"We had already done rehearsals and pre-programming with the console, but of course it's always a different thing when the audience is there," reports De Lorijn. "You get the chance to compare your sound with the other bands, compare it to the sound you are used to on another console, and you get to see the reactions of the other engineers. The SSL made a big impression!"

When it comes to the sound, De Lorijn has a special way of describing the SSL Live consoles: "Singers always sound better when they smile. For me, the SSL makes every input smile. I think that's the best way to put it. You can hear the detail, you can focus in on every instrument, and the whole mix is ten times better than you're used to.

"I also love that there is always something useful in front of your hand – left or right. Sometimes I forget about the technical stuff and get carried away with the music, but my hands always find the control I need, and it's not always on the same part of the console. Sometimes I operate the EQ on the main screen, sometimes on the little screen, or sometimes I use the encoders."

Two of the Stagelight L500s are going out on a long tour with the Dutch Royal Airforce Orchestra (Orkest Koninklijke Luchtmacht). The other two consoles, an L500 and an L300, have immediately become part of Stagelight's primary hire stock – and Stagelight is already busy training freelance engineers.

"At the moment we are running short training sessions almost every day for top Dutch engineers," explains De Lorijn. "If the desk is already prepared for them, we can get them working in just a few minutes. When I explain how to prep' it themselves – starting with a blank file, building the console the way they want it to be, and starting a mix – the training takes between 30 and 45 minutes, which is really fast."

SSL Live setup can be done on the console itself, or with the SSL SOLSA Application – a PC-based online and offline remote control and editing application that offers full console configuration and show file creation.

Roland Mattijsen of AEM is confident that Stagelight's needs could not have been fulfilled by anything else: "The Live series ticks all the boxes for Stagelight. It's able to handle very complex events with high channel counts and lots of busses. They have been confident enough not only to put two L500s on a very important tour with the Royal Airforce Orchestra, but also to add another L500 and L300 to their hire stock. That's a fantastic endorsement of the product and we're very happy to be working with Stagelight on this."

The Royal Airforce Orchestra is currently rehearsing for its new tour at the Airforce base studios. For this project, Stagelight has Ted Masseurs on FOH, Jurgen Burdorf on Monitors, and the Stagelight project manager, Jan Willem Vos. The L500 monitor console supplies 12 stereo wireless and eight stereo wired IEMs, 22 mono ‘hotspot’ wedges, four additional wedges, and a ‘butt-kicker’. The response from the musicians was as overwhelmingly positive as it was from the crew.

"The show was in prep for a week," reports De Lorijn. "On the first day of rehearsals with the whole orchestra – the director is there, the whole production team is there – I got a text from the engineer – all it said was 'WOW'!”

“It’s a space they know really well, and of course they know the orchestra really well. To get a 'wow' under those circumstances is the best response we could hope for, even better than anybody expected."

1st October 2015

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