SSL L500 joins Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in Shanghai
“I knew the L500 would be reliable and that it would sound great…. The EQ, dynamics and summing sound incredible.”
Victoria’s Secret flagship fashion show, arguably the most expensive runway event in the world, has debuted in China at the Shanghai Mercedes-Benz Arena in November 2017. As the first Victoria’s Secret show ever in Asia, attendance was by invitation only with no official tickets for sale. However, demand for admission was so high that tickets were rumoured to fetch up to 400,000 RMB (61,400 USD) on the internet!
Two SSL L500 Plus consoles - Production mixing studio at Mercedes-Benz Arena Shanghai
At the heart of the event’s sound system lay two Solid State Logic L500 plus consoles in a main and backup configuration. DMT provided the console and had the opportunity to speak with Mark Vreeken - production engineer for the show.
Production Engineer Mark Vreeken at VS show production studio
Mark is a multiple nominated industry pro with an impressive list of credentials including Leonard Cohen, Prince and King Crimson. “...I think the L500’s EQ and Compression are amazing, just like any SSL. I like the C200 a lot and the L500 is a lot like it, it sounds exactly the same,” said Mark. “The mic preamps are great, the compressor is great, you can hear it right away… I love the sound, it really is excellent!” He shares his experience of the show with SSL in this interview:
Can please tell us why you chose SSL L500 Plus for the Victoria's Secret show?
I knew it would be reliable and that it would sound great. This was my first time using the L500 and it was very easy to learn. I've always been a fan of SSL - I've used the older analogue consoles a lot in the studio and had used the C200 for a number of projects. The EQ, dynamics and summing sound incredible.
Can you please describe the system at the show?
They were used to do the production mix which is usually done in the video truck. That mix is used as the main reference show mix until we do the post-production. The console becomes a hub for routing different audio elements to and from the TV truck to the stage. It was also used to create multitrack recordings in case of a failure with our mobile flypack that does the main music recording. This show is very diligent about having backup plans in case anything ever fails mid-show or during rehearsals. Although it is “taped”, it's approached like a live show.
Are you happy with the performance of the consoles?
I was very happy and most importantly my clients were happy.
Is there anything that SSL does particularly well?
Customer support. They listen to what people who are using their products want. Another amazing thing they do is not try to reinvent themselves every time they make a new product. If you've used an SSL before you will be comfortable operating any of their desks. They keep improving their systems but the user interface is familiar and that lets people get on with mixing their show not waiting around for tech support.
----------------------------- Mark Vreeken
Mark started working for a regional sound company in Kingston, Ontario in 1987 and got on the road touring as an FOH mixer a year later with the Canadian band The Tragically Hip. Over the years, he has toured as FOH engineer for many world’s top artists including Leonard Cohen, Prince and King Crimson. Since 2002, Mark has been increasingly doing sound design and FOH engineering for award shows and large-scale events like the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show that have a broadcast element.