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> Ssl 4000e 96 Channel Mixing Desk In Your Laptop?
Todd Simpson
post May 30 2014, 09:04 AM
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There is a new bit of kit that I keep seeing people rave about in various mixing rags called the SOFTUBE CONSOLE 1. IT's a small controller that comes with software to emulate something like this. (Approved by the folks @ SSL!)
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But stuffed in your laptop running as a plugin on ANY DAW controlled by this little controller.
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Here is a link to their site.
http://www.softube.com/console1.php

and a youtube vid about it. what do you think?



In Short
- Next generation mixer
- Tightly integrated hardware/software system
- Solid State Logic SL 4000 E model included
- Hands-on control and intuitive workflow
- Use with any major DAW
- Parametric equalizer, compressor, gate, transient shaper, high/low cut filters and harmonics/distortion
- Customize the channel by adding any Softube equalizer or dynamics plug-in
- The system will run and the settings can be adjusted without having the hardware connected

This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: May 30 2014, 09:05 AM


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Sensible Jones
post May 30 2014, 09:26 AM
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It's a great piece of Hardware/Software. A friend had one in his Shop for a while so I got to play with it one weekend.
Over here it retails for around £650 (839 Euro's) so it's not exactly cheap but overall it's not hugely expensive compared to renting an SSL kitted Studio for a day or two!!
biggrin.gif biggrin.gif

This post has been edited by Sensible Jones: May 30 2014, 04:18 PM


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Mith
post May 30 2014, 01:58 PM
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This is just a personnel thing but seems like so many software/plugin companies spend alot of time and money trying to recreate vintage equipment when they have the new platform (a computer) to make and create things never even heard of before.

I just find it Ironic that the things the are emulating are famous because they pushed technology into new grounds and we are using new technology to copy what they did.

All in all I am a fan of new software. I have the Waves SSL it goes well but I don't really use it because I'm always like "Why the hell am I using this when I could be using a 28 band parametric graphic EQ"

That or maybe I'm naive of the tonal qualities


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Mertay
post May 30 2014, 03:20 PM
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QUOTE (Mith @ May 30 2014, 12:58 PM) *
All in all I am a fan of new software. I have the Waves SSL it goes well but I don't really use it because I'm always like "Why the hell am I using this when I could be using a 28 band parametric graphic EQ"


Render the current mix, then insert a waves ssl channel on every track but bypass the eq and comp. on plug-in GUI (not on DAW) and ender again. So then you get the sampled preamp sound from the console, when compared the effect should be noticeable.

The reason they sound so clean (as if no coloration is happening) when inserted on a single track is because they're designed to work on 100's of tracks. The denser the mix, the more obvious the SSL sound becomes. If it was sampled to be more obvious on single tracks then it would mud the mix the more channels were used.

Every (decent) studio hardware goes through this mix test before marketed to the public.


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klasaine
post May 30 2014, 03:54 PM
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I've tracked dozens of things on actual SSLs (mic'd, direct, both). They all sounded different ... and the difference was determined by the guy or gal at the desk. I hear guys talk about the SOFTUBE console 1 and the software. They seem to like it as a tool but none ever discuss whether or not it 'sounds' like an SSL board.

Don't do a search ... What does an SSL (4000 series) board sound like? wink.gif They've been around since the late 70s.

This post has been edited by klasaine: May 30 2014, 04:21 PM


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SeeJay
post May 30 2014, 09:38 PM
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It's all a tool. Just depends on how you use it and if you vibe with it. I've been using the Waves SSL stuff for a while and it rocks! I pretty much stopped hunting for other SSL type things after I started using the Waves plugs.


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Mertay
post May 30 2014, 09:53 PM
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QUOTE (SeeJay @ May 30 2014, 08:38 PM) *
It's all a tool. Just depends on how you use it and if you vibe with it.


I do encourage to use console coloration for beginners and semi-pro's. Reason is most don't have a good sense of a mix sound as all of us are listening mastered (especially loud masters for a while now) song all the time.

This causes them to over use plug-ins. At least with SSL vibe and specially the buss compressor this helps them to achieve a close mastered sound without destroying the mix biggrin.gif

By the way as affordable alternatives, I recommend satson; http://dsp.sonimus.com/products/satson/ specially for beginners as its easy and sounds great. This freeware comp. should do the trick for compression although it isn't an SSL emulation http://www.tokyodawn.net/tdr-feedback-compressor-2/

For professional productions CLC by alexb; http://www.alessandroboschi.eu/html/alexb/...gic_console.htm but this works only with Nebula; http://www.acustica-audio.com/ and isn't easy to use but sounds amazing. Sampled compressor is sold separate http://www.alessandroboschi.eu/html/alexb/..._collection.htm

This post has been edited by Mertay: May 30 2014, 09:55 PM


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Todd Simpson
post May 30 2014, 11:08 PM
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IT's pretty spiff that you can apply this to every channel on pretty much any daw to help "glue" the mix together. Also pretty neat that you can skip the hardware controller if needed and still get great results just using a laptop. I wonder if they will release a software only version? It would have to be a cheaper I would think. Ahh technology smile.gif

QUOTE (Sensible Jones @ May 30 2014, 04:26 AM) *
It's a great piece of Hardware/Software. A friend had one in his Shop for a while so I got to play with it one weekend.
Over here it retails for around £650 (839 Euro's) so it's not exactly cheap but overall it's not hugely expensive compared to renting an SSL kitted Studio for a day or two!!
biggrin.gif biggrin.gif


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Saoirse O'Shea
post May 31 2014, 11:33 PM
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Like Ken I've ued SSLs and Neve consoles and quite a few others. Many of those who use plug in emulations haven't and to be a tad cynical don't arguably know the difference between one analogue console and the next and what the difference in sound, work flow etc are. A lot of what was mixed in Europe did not rely solely on the console's chanel strips.


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Mertay
post Jun 1 2014, 12:06 AM
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QUOTE (tonymiro @ May 31 2014, 10:33 PM) *
Like Ken I've ued SSLs and Neve consoles and quite a few others. Many of those who use plug in emulations haven't and to be a tad cynical don't arguably know the difference between one analogue console and the next and what the difference in sound, work flow etc are. A lot of what was mixed in Europe did not rely solely on the console's chanel strips.


Good point, I did read where someone modified his SSL to internally shorten the connections and commented the console sounded entirely different.


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klasaine
post Jun 1 2014, 04:41 AM
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QUOTE (Mertay @ May 31 2014, 04:06 PM) *
Good point, I did read where someone modified his SSL to internally shorten the connections and commented the console sounded entirely different.


And there in lies the little 'secret' ...

All- and I mean ALL - of the really high end Neves, SSLs, Tridents, APIs, Harrison, Toft, etc. have been modded or outright customized even when they were brand new and installed. Many times by the manufacturer. You don't just order a $150,000.00 to $600,000.00 board off the shelf. When you pay for that gear it's custom fitted and wired (to a point) for 'you', your needs and your studio. Every famous board I've had the honor, delight and privilege to sit beside and plug into has been modified in some way. Not too mention those boards need CONSTANT attention so parts are being swapped, changed and 'upgraded' all the time. *I've heard that almost every SSL 4k board was customized to order and that there are about 20 different versions of the 'same' board.

Tony offhandedly mentioned something really important - workflow. A lot of engineers love working on an SSL (they dig the routing) but don't necessarily dig the solid state logic pre amps. But, by the time SSL arrived on the scene many engineers had already begun to use 'outboard' pres and comps. SSL pres are super clean. They're not known for having a lot of 'mojo' or being fat and present or whatever other adjectives folks like to toss around.

If you want 'that' sound (of whatever board you think you want) ... buy a couple of channel strips from the original manufacturer. Better yet, rent them first so you can learn what they sound like and how they work.

This post has been edited by klasaine: Jun 1 2014, 05:06 AM


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Saoirse O'Shea
post Jun 1 2014, 12:04 PM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ Jun 1 2014, 03:41 AM) *
...

Tony offhandedly mentioned something really important - workflow. A lot of engineers love working on an SSL (they dig the routing) but don't necessarily dig the solid state logic pre amps. But, by the time SSL arrived on the scene many engineers had already begun to use 'outboard' pres and comps. SSL pres are super clean. They're not known for having a lot of 'mojo' or being fat and present or whatever other adjectives folks like to toss around.

If you want 'that' sound (of whatever board you think you want) ... buy a couple of channel strips from the original manufacturer. Better yet, rent them first so you can learn what they sound like and how they work.


Absolutely Ken.

Over here in Europe what many engineers really liked about the SSLs when they first came on the scene was recall and it was recall that helped SSLs sell their consoles to many studios. A lot of engineers initially were not that fond of the strips and just as you say used outboard. It wasn't until around when SSLfirst started to do the blackface strips that engineers really started to like and specifically use SSL for the SSL type sound.

Over the years I've spoken to quite a few people who rave about the SSL sound and when you dig a bit in to what some of them really mean they are actually confusing some outboard with SSL.

We still use Neve hardware for preamps and channel strips for the little recording and mixing we do as we like the Neve coloration. A Neve strip or pre etc. though is very different to say an API and just as Ken says you really should try a strip to get an understanding of what they sound like.If you're looking at a preamp/eq and like Neve then you should also be aware that the 1073 is different to a 1081 and the same is true of SSL 'E' series and 'G' series strips etc.

One of the things we've found is that there are many vsts that are emulations of Neve, SSL, API etc but all the ones we've heard still don't quite have it. To use the API 2500 as an example, the software vsts that we've A/B'ed drag the stereo field in compared to our hardware 2500. But that's a different 'can of worms'.

This post has been edited by tonymiro: Jun 1 2014, 12:23 PM


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Get your music professionally mastered by anl AES registered Mastering Engineer. Contact me for Audio Mastering Services and Advice and visit our website www.miromastering.com

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Cranesong Avocet II Monitor Controller, Dangerous Music Liasion Insert Hardware Router, ATC SCM Pro Monitors, Lavry Black DA11, Prism Orpheus ADC/DAC, Gyratec Gyraf XIV Parallel Passive Mastering EQ, Great River MAQ 2NV Mastering EQ, Kush Clariphonic Parallel EQ Shelf, Maselec MLA-2 Mastering Compressor, API 2500 Mastering Compressor, Eventide Eclipse Reverb/Echo.
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Todd Simpson
post Jun 2 2014, 09:09 AM
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Very true smile.gif Mostly, folks who grew up recording on a PC at home may have never even been in the same room with SSL. To be honest, I never have smile.gif

I have been in wads of studios with decent gear but never an SSL. Like many folks, the big name consoles are mostly branding to me. But it certainly comes off better than NO NAME CONSOLE EMULATION!! smile.gif



QUOTE (tonymiro @ May 31 2014, 06:33 PM) *
Like Ken I've ued SSLs and Neve consoles and quite a few others. Many of those who use plug in emulations haven't and to be a tad cynical don't arguably know the difference between one analogue console and the next and what the difference in sound, work flow etc are. A lot of what was mixed in Europe did not rely solely on the console's chanel strips.



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Todd Simpson
post Jun 2 2014, 09:35 AM
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It's probably a bit outside the range of most home recordists to buy really nice channel strips, to be honest. It's certainly outside of my budget smile.gif Those things can get pricey quick.

However, most folks have a computer of some kind, and they can make use of plugins/vst/etc. that do a fair job of emulating some of the pricey bits of kit such as channel strips, rack gear, tape machines, etc. That's what's great about technology IMHO smile.gif Sure, they are, in many cases, a very rough interpretation of what they are faking, but plugins can be pretty cheap and still sound good smile.gif

Of course, if budget/circumstances permit, it's a GREAT idea to have a nice channel strip (for those new to all this jargon, a channel strip is essentially one track/row of buttons/knobs from a mixing console and usually has EQ, compression, and a preamp and maybe a gate and fader)

For example here is a real SSL channel strip smile.gif It can only process one track at a time sad.gif It costs $1,000 US!
Attached Image

Here is an SSL "plugin" channel strip software version. It can work on many tracks as you like in your daw and costs $200
Attached Image

The software version does require a UA accelerator card. But thats only $300 and comes with a "Bundle" of plugins for free that would cost more than the unit! The "Analogue Bundle" has 7 PLUGINS covering limiters/compressors/reverb/channel strips etc.
Attached Image


So for HALF THE PRICE of one channel strip, you can get wads of great sounding plugins including the SSL channel strip that you can use on all 24 tracks of your daw smile.gif

Dollar for dollar, it just seems to make more sense for the home recordist to go the software route it seems. I am still drooling over this card and these plugins smile.gif Gonna have to spring for it soon!






QUOTE (tonymiro @ Jun 1 2014, 07:04 AM) *
Absolutely Ken.

Over here in Europe what many engineers really liked about the SSLs when they first came on the scene was recall and it was recall that helped SSLs sell their consoles to many studios. A lot of engineers initially were not that fond of the strips and just as you say used outboard. It wasn't until around when SSLfirst started to do the blackface strips that engineers really started to like and specifically use SSL for the SSL type sound.

Over the years I've spoken to quite a few people who rave about the SSL sound and when you dig a bit in to what some of them really mean they are actually confusing some outboard with SSL.

We still use Neve hardware for preamps and channel strips for the little recording and mixing we do as we like the Neve coloration. A Neve strip or pre etc. though is very different to say an API and just as Ken says you really should try a strip to get an understanding of what they sound like.If you're looking at a preamp/eq and like Neve then you should also be aware that the 1073 is different to a 1081 and the same is true of SSL 'E' series and 'G' series strips etc.

One of the things we've found is that there are many vsts that are emulations of Neve, SSL, API etc but all the ones we've heard still don't quite have it. To use the API 2500 as an example, the software vsts that we've A/B'ed drag the stereo field in compared to our hardware 2500. But that's a different 'can of worms'.



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