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Author Topic: ssl's rule  (Read 9827 times)

Podgorny

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Re: ssl's rule
« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2009, 10:54:20 pm »

SuperAnalogue pres are actually pretty good.
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"Nobody cares what the impedance is; all they care about is when you can walk into the room, set up a mic, turn the knobs, hit record, and make everybody go 'wow.'"

MI

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Re: ssl's rule
« Reply #16 on: July 13, 2009, 03:29:38 pm »

It's interesting to see Michael Wagener's got a AWS 900+SE in his studio having replaced the 2 Sony's.

MI
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Colin Miller

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Re: ssl's rule
« Reply #17 on: July 22, 2009, 02:19:59 pm »

The E series Pres are some of my favorite pres. I have used them in conjunction with 1073a, 1081s, and 512s, and they stood up great. I would happily choose between any of those 4 and not feel any compromise. The G series and up however I have no desire to use unless there are no other options.
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Teaboy Audio
Audio Recall Software
http://teaboyaudio.com

zmix

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Re: ssl's rule
« Reply #18 on: July 25, 2009, 12:11:49 pm »

It's great to read this post...J



I have to laugh at the SSL bashing that goes on by people who mix ITB... Rolling Eyes

j.hall

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Re: ssl's rule
« Reply #19 on: July 29, 2009, 12:35:10 am »

thanks Chuck!!  it's been nice putting my hands back on audio.  
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compasspnt

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Re: ssl's rule
« Reply #20 on: July 29, 2009, 02:22:03 pm »

Yeah, probably only about 60-70% of hit records historically were mixed through SSL's.

Pretty lame.
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marcel

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Re: ssl's rule
« Reply #21 on: July 29, 2009, 07:50:16 pm »

compasspnt wrote on Wed, 29 July 2009 11:22

Yeah, probably only about 60-70% of hit records historically were mixed through SSL's.

Pretty lame.


Historically since the '80s, or historically since the beginning of Billboard, Terry?  I bet there was a period of time (late '80s to early '90s) where that figure was more like 90%...
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Best, Marcel

compasspnt

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Re: ssl's rule
« Reply #22 on: July 29, 2009, 08:48:26 pm »

Well, of course I was guessing, but I did mean probably since the beginning of recorded music.

But certainly since they have been available, and you are probably right that it was closer to 90% in those years.
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j.hall

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Re: ssl's rule
« Reply #23 on: July 30, 2009, 04:21:47 pm »

with those stats, the console clearly cannot pull it's weight.  i mean, what are all the top mixers thinking?????..................still enjoying the 6k.  dave mcnair is right though, noise floor is a bit high.  then again, it's kinda nice to hear "tape hiss" again.....HAHAHAHAHA
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tom eaton

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Re: ssl's rule
« Reply #24 on: July 31, 2009, 12:47:09 am »

compasspnt wrote on Wed, 29 July 2009 14:22

Yeah, probably only about 60-70% of hit records historically were mixed through SSL's.

Pretty lame.



Yeah, those were the hits that no one liked to listen to.  I will only work on an SSL "A" series console myself.  Who needs all this "sounds better" and "added functionality" stuff anyway.  

Ten years ago there were three 4000 series SSLs in and around Boston (Sound Techniques, BlueJay, Prism).  I don't think there's one anywhere in Massachusetts anymore.  In fact I don't think there's any version of a large format analog SSL in state anymore.

tom

MI

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Re: ssl's rule
« Reply #25 on: July 31, 2009, 09:57:52 am »

But who needs a console when they tell us Waves plugins sound JUST LIKE a 4000!.... Rolling Eyes

MI
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MI

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Re: ssl's rule
« Reply #26 on: July 31, 2009, 09:59:08 am »

BTW Carter, any update on the AWS900+ ?

MI
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CWHumphrey

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Re: ssl's rule
« Reply #27 on: July 31, 2009, 12:24:44 pm »

Still in process.  We're hung up by the floor, so it may be another couple of weeks.  The board is setup temporarily and I've had very little time on it.

However, I did show off some SSL-isms the other night to some students, namely the E series EQ's, the dynamics sections and the "quad" compressor and it sure did bring me back to my days of mixing on SSL's!

So, initial impressions are this baby is an SSL!

Cheers,
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Carter William Humphrey

"Indeed...oh three named one!" -Terry Manning
"Or you can just have Carter do the recording, because he's Humphrey."-J.J. Blair

CWHumphrey

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Re: ssl's rule
« Reply #28 on: August 29, 2009, 09:46:45 pm »

So we're getting real close here.  

We moved the console on Friday into its permanent home.

I'm currently putting the patchbay labels together and need to test everything.

Then I'm planning on recording some bands and we'll see what this AWS is made of!

Cheers,
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Carter William Humphrey

"Indeed...oh three named one!" -Terry Manning
"Or you can just have Carter do the recording, because he's Humphrey."-J.J. Blair

ssltech

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Re: ssl's rule
« Reply #29 on: September 11, 2009, 10:05:51 am »

A post in defense of E and G series:

mcsnare wrote

I didn't realize it was a 6K. I dislike the sound of those even more!



I don't care for 6k's operationally, and the added complexity of the 688 section does raise the noise floor unnecessarily if you're not actually USING it for three discrete stereo stems, which was what the 6000 was designed for (Music, Dialog and FX).

mcsnare wrote

patch around the A/B/C bus crapola,


That's certainly a worthwhile thing to do if you're not using the 688 section...

mcsnare wrote

leave the master status in Record and deal with the routing accordingly (you can't move the dynamics around to diff places for one thing).



For clarity here, you seem to mean that you'd be mixing using only the MONITOR path here. -You can still most definitely move the dynamics pre and post EQ and insert in the channel while in record just as well as you can in mix.

The only things in the signal path you really skip by staying in record which I can think of off the top of my head, is the input amplifier, the polarity reverse buffer, and the insert buffer. -If that makes a significant sonic difference to you, then I can't argue, though I would volunteer that I've never found these stages to be particularly unpleasant sounding. -What you DO disable by following your suggestion however, is the following:

You can no longer use the insert, unless you pull every single SL611 I/O module, remove the cards, unsolder the jumper links and resolder some more links in the "insert follows EQ" locations, which is utterly impractical for a single session. -If you OWN the console, feel free. If you're using someone else's console, you can't use the inserts.

You can no longer alter the sequence in which the major blocks are assigned, specifically the SSL's wonderful ability to have the insert BEFORE or AFTER the EQ, and the dynamics before both or after both. 'Mix' mode allows the following options:

Dynamics/insert/EQ
Dynamics/EQ/insert
Insert/EQ/Dynamics
EQ/insert/Dynamics

Working in record doesn't give you any options, and usually in fact completely removes the insert, as noted earlier.

Oh, it also removes the option for you to dial-back a little on the levels if the ARE a little hot. -Working in record, you can somewhat more easily clip the EQ if you're boosting significantly. In mix, you can dial this back, but unfortunately not so in record with EQ-to-monitor.

mcsnare wrote

IMO opinion all E series and many G series open up a LOT when not in MIX status.



I can't argue with your opinion of course, but I've NEVER noticed this, nor heard from anyone else who has suggested that it's bothered them.

But while I've mentioned the parts of the signal path which you OMIT by working in record and presumably mixing through the MONITOR path, I should also mention that you also introduce one rather unnecessary part into the signal path: the 'Supercue'/monitor switching circuit.

The monitor path switches between [tape]/[group]/[tape-group-mixed-at-3dB-down] and uses some logic and a multiple FET bank together with an additional summing stage to achieve this...

mcsnare wrote

Also you might try patching around the whole master bus VCA section and use an outboard compressor, then group the VCA grps to a master group for an automated master fader. Works wonders.



...except that it won't fade any effects returns or anything returned on a non-VCA fader return (small fader, etc.) unless you use a PATCHABLE VCA, which doesn't seem to make much sense to me, because firstly it's the SAME voltage-controlled amplifier circuit which you just went to some trouble to bypass, and secondly it wasn't available on the E-series, so the option simply isn't there.

The other line of common-sense reasoning against doing this is that the buss compressor is one of the favourite tools on the SSL console, as demonstrated by the number of outboard versions (both genuine and clone) which people use. -It also appears to me to be one of the particularly popular plug-ins for those who don't even HAVE the hardware option. -While I've so far limited myself to writing about facts instead of opinions, I'll momentarily depart from that approach and add my personal feeling here that the SSL buss compressor is one of the best things ever built for doing what it does.

mcsnare wrote

Lastly, mute any channels not used AND mute the small fader send. You can hear the noise floor drop as you are muting!



For what you describe to happen with faders down, there has to be something seriously wrong with the console. -In fact, I'd go so far as to suggest that -if you're talking about a 4000- you may have imagined this piece. If you're talking about a 6000, there is a way, but NOT with the mute buttons... -There is no way to do this with a 4000. Ever.

The noise floor of the summing amps on the SSL is governed by its gain, and the gain is set by the source resistance feeding it. The more sources are attached, the lower the effective parallel source resistance, and the higher the summing amp gain to restore unity. With a 6000, the A/B/C switching connects or disconnects the source resistors, and noise on any given buss can be heard to lower.

-With an E-series, the mute button does something which you don't expect... it shuts down the INPUT amplifier (so any compressors or gates inserted in the channel also stop responding... which also handily allows only the devices on ACTIVE channels to keep working when you solo something... actually BRILLIANT for times such as when you have something soloed and your assistant has mislabeled the Drawmer gates for example... you solo the kick, look at the Drawmer and you can SEE that the one labeled 'Snare' is moving, then you call him over and give him a friendly slap before suggesting to him that he find anything ELSE which he mispatched or mislabeled... before YOU find it! Wink )

But the mute button leaves the VCA in circuit...  and it leaves the output connected to the pan pots, and the output of the pan pots is still resistively connected to the buses... and the noise level remains resolutely the same. I regularly do exactly that measurement using an audio precision, and as chance would have it, I'm presently working with a Canadian studio to make sure that their noise floor is as low as it can possibly be. -They (or any other SSL E/G owner) should confirm that the mute button has NO effect on noise floor, given of course that the fader is down (which I would expect since you specified unused channels).

When I was an active engineer back in the 1980's, we had a couple of SSLs, and we also bought a couple of Neve V-series. I would happily confess that the SSL's were not the best-sounding consoles to record on, but they were SO helpful, SO assistive, SO flexible, and relieved the operator of SO much in terms of having to concentrate on getting signal to go from a to D via B and C in the right order, that I wasn't usually very concerned if I couldn't do the tracking in a Neve room... I would record on the Neve, but occasionally curse the fact that I wasn't quite so able to concentrate on the MUSIC, because of how much I was able to RELAX when I was at the SSL.

Now while I would record on either board, I would almost only EVER mix on the SSL. -Period. -The Couple of times when we mixed on the NEVE -whether because of client preferences, booking conflicts or whatever- I would grumble under my breath, furrow my brow and generally not have such a mentally liberated time.

Do they sound the cleanest in the world? -No. Not ever. -You find me anyone who claims that the E or G-series was a sonically pristine board, and I might even openly laugh at them... And I'm perfectly willing to accept that the 'imposition' of their 'sonic character' is too 'wrong' for some people, and I fully respect anyone's preference for working with less-powerful (but significantly more to their sonic taste) consoles. -But I would humbly also advance the opinion that -by being so damned EXCELLENT at helping the engineer- they also liberated so many engineers' minds and helped the session along in ways which other consoles could NEVER do.

Once, when I worked with Mick Glossop on a Waterboys album, we even did one particularly complex trick which was -and potentially still is- simply IMPOSSIBLE on ANY other console... but on the SSL required only three TT patchcords... and it was sonic genius. -I won't add to an already excessively lengthy epistle by describing it in detail right now, but here's a link.


Sometimes, they really are the only console that can do the job.

Other times, something else may be better. (but only if it's pretty damned good!)

A suggestion also for anyone working with an analog machine which is fully-integrated with an E or G-Series... -I would  strongly suggest that you DO NOT MIX IN 'RECORD' MODE, but instead, if you wish to investigate McSnare's thoughts, work instead in 'REPLAY' mode.

Replay mode will likely sound better for one very significant reason... your multitrack now will be in 'Repro', instead of 'Sync'.

Keith
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MDM (maxdimario) wrote on Fri, 16 November 2007 21:36

I have the feeling that I have more experience in my little finger than you do in your whole body about audio electronics..
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