imgNew York (May 16, 2014)—Legendary guitarist Carlos Santana has been touring the world recently, playing the Dubai Jazz Festival, Johannesburg’s FNB Stadium, Cape Town’s Grand Arena and more, hitting each stop with longtime monitor engineer Brian Montgomery in tow to mix stereo wedges and IEMs on an SSL Live console.

Montgomery has mixed Santana’s monitors for 16 years. “I was an analogue guy for a long time, but it got to where I’d actually outgrown most of the analogue consoles on the market,” he explains. “I’m an old school guy and I like that SSL has an additional focus channel screen, which gives me all of the control that I need, alongside the main screen. This setup lets me have multiple modes of accessibility to my work surface, which is key.”

Montgomery was introduced to SSL Live by Rob Mailman, FOH for Santana and GM of Touring for Sound Image, which supplied the console. With eight stereo wedge mixes across the front of the stage, Montgomery has them set as post-fade mixes that are tapered, so when Santana is near somebody, the sound is turned down a little to give him an even mix across the stage. With this setup, the guitarist can go anywhere and still hear what he wants or move away from sounds that he’s not interested in hearing.

“I’ve always liked to have Carlos’ setup accessible through post-fade on my surface so that I can do anything for him at any point in time, even if I’m messing around with the mix for somebody else in the band,” continues Montgomery. “Most of the band members are on in-ear monitors, so I need the versatility to mix Carlos while I’m changing the IEM feed for another band member. With many other digital consoles, that’s difficult to do because you have to stop what you’re doing for one performer to do something for another. With the SSL Live, I don’t have to do that. I tap the screen for the mix and I can change something for someone else rapidly without popping through four different layers.”

Solid State Logic