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SSL AWS-900 Analog Console + DAW Controller
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Charles Dye
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13th April 2004
Old 13th April 2004
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SSL AWS-900 Analog Console + DAW Controller

I just received this email from John Sawyer of GC PRO. Thought you'd like to see it.
Quote:
Hello-

I wanted to be the first to inform you about a new console SSL has just
announced.

The AWS900-Analogue Workstation System is a world class analog mixing
console and comprehensive DAW controller. The product will have its public
unveiling at the NAB convention next week. The AWS900 will sell for $85k
and is expected to start shipping in June.

I am attaching a pdf brochure for the AWS900. Feel free to contact me with
any questions.

Thanks,
John Sawyer
GC PRO
john@gcpro.com
Here's the PDF:
Quote:
From the SSL brochure
Solid State Logic AWS 900 – Analogue Workstation System


The Centre of Your Production

Solid State Logic's AWS 900 is the unique combination of a world-class analogue mixing console and comprehensive DAW controller. Based on SSL's flagship XL 9000 K Series console, the AWS 900 provides everything you need to record, edit and mix professional projects - just add the workstation of your choice.

An SSL Console

The AWS 900 is a compact SSL console, with all of the audio quality, robustness and advanced ergonomics that this implies. AWS 900 offers no-compromise audio performance, equivalent to SSL’s celebrated XL 9000 K Series mixing console which is a feature of major studios the world over.

The AWS 900 provides:
  • Legendary SSL sound quality
  • Identical SuperAnalogue™ technology to SSL’s flagship XL 9000 K Series console
  • Greater bandwidth than 192kHz recorders
  • 24 ultra low-noise dual impedance mic amps
  • 24 channels with twin curve SSL E and G Series 4-band parametric equalisation
  • Assignable SSL dynamics sections with gate, expander and compressor/limiter
  • G Series Stereo main mix buss compressor
  • Comprehensive 5.1 monitoring and Bass management
  • Complete tools for running zero latency tracking sessions
  • Highly flexible Cue/FX sends system with EFX reassign
  • Flexible ordering of channel processing
  • Balanced circuitry throughout
  • Metering on all console channels and main outputs
Integral DAW Control

DAW's provide the power and convenience of recording and editing your audio, but a PC/Mac is not the most intuitive way to access these functions. AWS 900 provides an integrated solution by combining an outstanding console with SSL's famed control surface ergonomics. The result is the first DAW control interface designed by SSL.

The AWS 900 provides:
  • Direct access to all major DAW mixing, editing and automation parameters
  • Direct control of Plug-In settings
  • Dedicated control CPU to maximise performance
  • Integral colour TFT display with dedicated control keys
  • User-definable controls on every channel
  • High quality motorised faders to write/replay level moves in your DAW
  • Simple switching between console and DAW control layer
  • Full remote control implementation
  • Operation independent of platform – works with ProTools™ Nuendo™, Logic Audio™ and many more
What do you guys + gals think?
Attached Thumbnails
SSL AWS-900 Analog Console + DAW Controller-ssl-aws-900.jpg  
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#2
13th April 2004
Old 13th April 2004
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Re: SSL's New AWS-900

Hard to say... If it were a Neve, I'd definitely buy one.

But SSL... Hmm, hard to say. I get good enough results with what I have now which includes several SSL comps including an Alan Smart, along with quite a few EQs as well.

In my opinion, I can 'match' SSL mixes (yeah right!) but I still would like to get that 'big image' that Neve consoles easily do for me....

Still it's a great buy! Just not for me right now....

Hey, no ssl yet, great time to get one and change your name!




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13th April 2004
Old 13th April 2004
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Hi Charles-

Glad to see you recieved my message ok.

Thanks for getting the info out to the masses.

Anyone out there who is looking for any more information feel free to contact me.

Thanks,
John
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13th April 2004
Old 13th April 2004
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Given the design is very close to the DD Control 24, and that it's in the same price range as the C24 (correct me if I'm wrong though), it looks like SSL wants a piece of their cake.. which is very cool with me - I don't like the C24 very much (mostly because of the preamps).
I'd love to check it out.

But still (even though SSL is SSL), it seems kind of hard to judge a desk by the cover so to speak
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13th April 2004
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Makeshift SSL

This is a sign that SSL views Daw's as here to stay and they r jumpin in. I can see this being a good product for rap/rnb studios ( mine!!)

Add this board $85G's
Protools HD computers n converters 20G's
and outboard and mics 35G's
to a good room and for one budget you have a world class quality room for $150G's

Which has me thinking

If I add a couple of good converters say apogee ad and da 16x and 2 folcroms
an SSL Bus comp
a few dbx 160xt's (which remind me of the SSL channel comps)
and some good pre/eq channels (vintech/avalon/tubetech etc...)
would this yield results of similiar quality??
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13th April 2004
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It doesn´t look like a SSL console.... =(
How about expansion? More analog inputs is needed. A kind of Dangerous 2bus rack with XL electronics would do it.

/Solid Neve
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Waddaya think about it Charles by the way? Would it be an asset to your setup? Do you think your mixes would improve compared to the way you mix today?
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13th April 2004
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Quote:
Originally posted by bobby_z
Given the design is very close to the DD Control 24, and that it's in the same price range as the C24 (correct me if I'm wrong though),
yeah, a little bit wrong...i think about $83k ish wrong
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I'd like to see a version without mic preamps. I think its safe to say that many who would have the scratch to buy this board would also have a butt load of fancy schmancy pres.... And while your at it, you could have it be expandable in 24 channel buckets. Make it so.
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Can't speak for everyone else, but i may take the plunge on this one.
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14th April 2004
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It DOES vaguely resemble the control 24.... boy is it me or is this thing OOOOOOOOOOOOGLEEEE!!!
it better sounds way better than it looks! cuz the ICON thingy wins on sexyness... but then again, it has no sound of it owns... I guess I'll stick with outboards for now
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14th April 2004
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I think this board looks quite workable, I don't need too many colored lights, (I would also like to purchase it without the pre's if possible). I like the look of this better than the new digidesign piece, and I might also think about this for my setup.
If anyone has a chance to evaluate or any additional info please pass it on.

Maybe????

Makoto
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14th April 2004
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So it uses its own computer but doesnt have total recall? That seems like it means an awful lot of charting of eq settings, cue/fx sends and the like...
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14th April 2004
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FUKKIN AWESOME!!!!! thumbsup thumbsup thumbsup
A promising sign of a better sounding future of music.
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14th April 2004
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This new unit has my attention thats for sure. I'll have to try it. Wow, wasnt expecting this from SSL.

Shane
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no automation on the desk?
This would put all the analog stuff post-fade if doing rides
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Quote:
Originally posted by Petermix
It DOES vaguely resemble the control 24.... boy is it me or is this thing OOOOOOOOOOOOGLEEEE!!!
it better sounds way better than it looks! cuz the ICON thingy wins on sexyness... but then again, it has no sound of it owns... I guess I'll stick with outboards for now
It is kinda ugly, that's for sure. It doesn't look like an SSL to me... more like a Tascam.. Sorry, but you know what I mean, right?

But looks aside, IF it had dynamics on each channel, total recall, moving faders (not controller ones), I really would consider buying it...
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14th April 2004
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lindell 2nd
Waddaya think about it Charles by the way? Would it be an asset to your setup? Do you think your mixes would improve compared to the way you mix today?
Contrary to what others are saying I think it's pretty good looking. But the D-Control is one helluva sexxxy beast! Since my studio The Gate is only used for mixing, I wouldn't really benefit from all the pre's. Re sound @ this time I'm pretty partial to the sound of the PT mix bus. All that said, I would like to try one.
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14th April 2004
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14th April 2004
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I'll wait and buy in the used market

Some will jump in and fall on financial troubles in the future ( I hate to plan for someone's missfortune, but it will happen)

I'd get one if it went down alot and my income went up (after grad school next semester)

However, I don't think my mixes in protools are $85G's off
for much less I could add to my current set up

2 millenia origins 5K
2 vintech x73Is 3K
2 distressors 2.5K
either 2 dangerous 2busses or folcroms 6K max
Pultec EQp-1A 4.5K
6 dbx 160xt 1.5K
Stir in a Lunchbox full of 550's, an LA2A, a GML 8200, a massiive passive and an SSL Bus comp

and for half of the SSL you have a much more versatile set up
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I got the word yesterday. $87,000.00, no discounts initially.

I'm still having a hard time wrapping my head around this one. Looks like it'd be great for tracking. But for mixing it sorta misses the mark. Being that it's only 24 tracks, you'll almost certainly need to use stems from your DAW. So no matter how much you dislike the DAW summing you're still going to need to do SOME mixing ITB. Additionally, the omission of even snapshot automation reduces the ability to recall mixes quickly, which is a real selling point for mixing in a DAW in the first place. Another item, is how well it's going to integrate as a DAW controller. If indeed it is going to use the HUI spec and use midi to connect, I see that as being a drawback. I'm going to sit back and watch as the chaos ensues...

Also, I wish it looked more like a 9k and less like a Tascam as well.
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Call me kooky, call me wackiy but this thing appears to have both VCA automation AND flying fader DAW automation. If you can truly "flip" the fader banks, then the analog faders must simply control VCAs or else your mix would change every time you did the flip. This is interesting as it reopems the old debate about the sound of SSL VCA automation. I wonder if there's some sort of "unity bypass" mode where the VCAs can be diabled and the fader only controls DAW functions. Perhaps the analog fader section would be switched to unity gain only (a hard wired resistor) and not routed through the fader at all. This would give the user the ability to use the analog section as a summimg box while bypassing any "negative" effects of VCAs in the signal path. Of course, this would most likely render any analog channel dynamics pretty much useless. I'd be really curious to hear how this thing actually sounds....
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I think it's very ovious what the advantages are of this particular console/control surface. It has the pre's, as well as a way to do analogue summing. And is a control surface as well.
It's not limited to PT's only.
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Quote:
Originally posted by nlc201
Call me kooky, call me wackiy but this thing appears to have both VCA automation AND flying fader DAW automation. If you can truly "flip" the fader banks, then the analog faders must simply control VCAs or else your mix would change every time you did the flip. This is interesting as it reopems the old debate about the sound of SSL VCA automation. I wonder if there's some sort of "unity bypass" mode where the VCAs can be diabled and the fader only controls DAW functions. Perhaps the analog fader section would be switched to unity gain only (a hard wired resistor) and not routed through the fader at all. This would give the user the ability to use the analog section as a summimg box while bypassing any "negative" effects of VCAs in the signal path. Of course, this would most likely render any analog channel dynamics pretty much useless. I'd be really curious to hear how this thing actually sounds....
You sir, are Kooky. Happy now?
It appears to me to be motorised faders- Not VCA based. Only the small faders and the master fader on a 9000 are VCA based.
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where do you see automated faders on it? besides the "look of them" which are missing the buttons to enable? if no ability to automate the board... this is worthless and probably better off getting a folcrum/d2b/or other overhyped analog summing device.

24 channels.... at LEAST 8 too short, but more like 24 too short.

mic pres? who cares about ssl mic pres?


i dont get the purpose of this other than to advertise your studio as an "SSL" studio.


though it does look purty.



wait wait wait.... faders are bankable AND motorized for the DAW but NOT for the analog path? and do the faders affect the analog path? if so, is it a layer control for them to move for the DAW.... and then assuming that, how do they control the analog portion and CAN they be automated for analog?
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Since the faders are motorised (you can switch them from console to DAW control, and switch DAW control in banks of 8 faders) and just controllers for the console as well (if you switch to DAW control, the analog channel volumes won't change of course although the faders will be repositioned), i see no reason why it wouldn't be possible to control the console faders with some signal coming from your favourite program (PT, Logic, Nuendo, whatever, ...).
I'm not saying it actually is, but sure would be possible and i would find it strange if they didn't implement the possibility to do this.
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Seems like there are too many unanswered questions there AJ. We'll just have to wait and see.

The biggest for me are: No connectors of any kind for connection to the DAW and no mention of onboard automation on the PDF.
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I think it looks like a control 24 with balls...

Anyone else notice it's an 8 buss? that's annoying.

It does have direct out's though.......

I like it. It's sexy....
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jan Folkson
The biggest for me are: No connectors of any kind for connection to the DAW and no mention of onboard automation on the PDF.
Indeed: it isn't known how it connects to the DAW for controlling it. LAN? mLAN? Midi?
It has no onboard automation as i understand, i GUESS you'll be able to use your DAW software to automate it.
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