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SSL Waves Plugins?
Old 5th May 2019
  #1
Gear Head
SSL Waves Plugins?

Anyone using these SSL 4000 plugins from Waves thats used the real thing? Im considering a 3rd party plugin. I use mostly hardware instruments and racks so this is a first for me as far as buying plugins and not just using the stock stuff.

Little history: Ive been using logic for 5 or so years and use a TC Helicon voicelive for a mic channel and just an analog style Yamaha mixer with guitars and synths. I make mostly alt rock and reggae music but I do record other acts occasionally. I use mostly hardware but the majority of the albums I listen to were produced on the consoles that those SSLs are mimicking.

Ive done a ton of youtube research and they sound somewhat decent but thats through the interwebs garble so Im sure it will be better in real life.

So has anyone used the real consoles and the SSL plugins that can vouch for them? THanks!
Old 5th May 2019
  #2
You can always download trial versions to sample any plug-ins you desire to test before buy.
Old 5th May 2019
  #3
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabizzle View Post
You can always download trial versions to sample any plug-ins you desire to test before buy.
I just downloaded the G strip. Its nice. Im not in love with how it clicks when I switch the bypass on and off. Its only annoying in headphones. I won't be purchasing any time soon.
Old 5th May 2019
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Russfar View Post
I just downloaded the G strip. Its nice. Im not in love with how it clicks when I switch the bypass on and off. Its only annoying in headphones. I won't be purchasing any time soon.
I love the E Strip better, I hardly use the G Strip, but all comes down to taste and what you're working on.
Old 5th May 2019
  #5
Lives for gear
 
bgood's Avatar
Plenty of records made with those plugins... check out the bx versions at Plugin Alliance... newer SSL endorsed versions... different
Old 5th May 2019
  #6
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgood View Post
Plenty of records made with those plugins... check out the bx versions at Plugin Alliance... newer SSL endorsed versions... different
Just checked them out and they want $100 more for the bundle. Also the min requirements for RAM and graphic Rez is much smaller, which seems odd.
Old 5th May 2019
  #7
Gear Addict
 
M.Retra's Avatar
I have the E-Channel and the SSL Comp. I have no need for the two, redundant G-Channel and-EQ. IMO, there is really no point in those last two. Therefore, I never bought the bundle.

I am mixed on the SSL Comp. I want to like it fully, and I do feel it is better than and has more flavor than Cytomic's the Glue and Ableton Live's built-in Glue compressor (also by Cytomic, but maybe slightly "stripped down?"), but the "magic mojo" of the SSL Comp may be a little lost on me. Since I really have no reference to an actual SSL console, the plugin is just another compressor, IMO. And since the plugin is an emulation of one, particular console, how can we prove it's the best sounding console, or one that has the most mojo? We can't.

Now, the E-Channel plugin--I like this one. The EQ and filters are musical. The compressor is solid and can get pretty wacky fast, all leading to interesting and creative results. The Gate and Expander are also quite useful. Input trim is helpful too, as well as the I/O metering. Not sure if the Analog button does anything special.

This is a great comparison article by Waves: https://www.waves.com/ssl-e-channel-or-g-channel. Check it out!
Old 6th May 2019
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by M.Retra View Post
Since I really have no reference to an actual SSL console, the plugin is just another compressor, IMO. And since the plugin is an emulation of one, particular console, how can we prove it's the best sounding console, or one that has the most mojo? We can't.
Well no one was saying it was THE BEST console in any way. You couldn't prove it anyways. Whatever evidence you bring up proving the SSL 4000 is the best console, would just get knocked down by someone with the same evidence claiming their API/Neve/Trident/etc was the best console.

Individual preference doesn't mean something is #1 , its just another flavor to add to the mix along with the rest of the ingredients. You're burger might use peppercorns instead of ground pepper, and client B and C love the crap out of it because they love that stuff. But mine has a little steakhouse flavoring in the meat and client A and D think its the best thing they've ever tasted because that's their thing. Its an SSL plugin. Regardless of how it stacks against a real SSL or another modeled plugin, its whether you like it or not and it works for you.

OP - sorry never used a real SSL but, I use the bus comp in every project (I can definitely hear 'the glue' that it does when its turned on) and its great. I own the E and G channels too but have only used them a handful of times here and there because Im an API fan and go for those EQs with the CLA comps instead of the SSL strips (I don't have the separate G channel EQ plug since I have the strip and the eq is the same thing). When I have used them, they are definitely nice and 'punchy' without coloring as extremely as the API. The V-Series Neve stuff is rad for a smoother color though. You can get away with fully cranking the boosts most of the time and really soak it without any nasty dirt. They did an awesome job on the V and APIs so Im guessing the SSL is probably pretty damn close to the particular console(s) they were working with when they did it.
Old 27th May 2019
  #9
Lives for gear
 

E or G, the both are great. The E's eq is a "bit" more flexible, but the G is easily utilised, you just need to think slightly differently about eq'ing. The G sounds a bit more modern, bit more forward. while the E is slightly more vintage and a bit more chilled. Both have their uses, even in the same mix.

I will say though, the new MixHub, which is another E model, ups the ante with it's buckets workflow. I'm now wishing every channel strip had this feature built in!!
Old 27th May 2019
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by simon.billington View Post
I will say though, the new MixHub, which is another E model, ups the ante with it's buckets workflow. I'm now wishing every channel strip had this feature built in!!
Haven't really looked into that one too much.. So the one with Mixhub is a different E channel than the one with the SSL bundle?? I take it they modeled one of the channels in his own desk this time?
Old 4th June 2019
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monotremata View Post
Haven't really looked into that one too much.. So the one with Mixhub is a different E channel than the one with the SSL bundle?? I take it they modeled one of the channels in his own desk this time?
Yep that's exactly what happened. According to an interview I read he said he didn't even get it maintained, but gave them a strip that he thought represented the average, or middle ground of all his channels.

The thing that many people seem to overlook is no two analog units are alike. You'll see m remind people of this all the time. So no two SSL E consoles are alike. This is due to various things like component tolerances, slight design changes, wear and tear, and maintenance. The older something is, the greater the variation.

In this instance what we have is CLA acknowledging that no two strips in his console are alike. This is why companies like Brainworx came up with their Tolerance Modelling Technology, or Waves came up with NLS. It's to acknowledge these variations within a console and allow you to emulate it to a large degree.

It's not necessary, but I do like taking advantage of this type of tech myself. It seems to add an extra dimension, or depth to a mix. It's subtle, but it's there. I only wished they incorporated this type of thing in MIxHub. According to that interview with CLA Waves did offer to build the plugin that way, but it was CLA who declined. He wanted something reliable and constant.

Damn.
Old 8th June 2019
  #12
Gear Addict
 
djrustycans's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by simon.billington View Post
Yep that's exactly what happened. According to an interview I read he said he didn't even get it maintained, but gave them a strip that he thought represented the average, or middle ground of all his channels.

The thing that many people seem to overlook is no two analog units are alike. You'll see m remind people of this all the time. So no two SSL E consoles are alike. This is due to various things like component tolerances, slight design changes, wear and tear, and maintenance. The older something is, the greater the variation.

In this instance what we have is CLA acknowledging that no two strips in his console are alike. This is why companies like Brainworx came up with their Tolerance Modelling Technology, or Waves came up with NLS. It's to acknowledge these variations within a console and allow you to emulate it to a large degree.

It's not necessary, but I do like taking advantage of this type of tech myself. It seems to add an extra dimension, or depth to a mix. It's subtle, but it's there. I only wished they incorporated this type of thing in MIxHub. According to that interview with CLA Waves did offer to build the plugin that way, but it was CLA who declined. He wanted something reliable and constant.

Damn.
It’s one thing to accept that all hardware pieces have differences between channels/units. This is fine in most cases, but we’re all kidding ourselves if we think that the sonic variables between plugin emulations and their hardware counterparts are comparable to the differences between two channels on an SSL 4000E for example.

Yes, plugins can sound different from the hardware they are modelled from but the problem here is that the difference is a ‘not as good’ difference. I seem to recall Raal saying something similar in the Mixhub thread.

Btw, I know that’s slightly different from what you were talking about in your post! I appreciate that we should be implementing some kind of variance between channels. However, even just adding one or 2 choice pieces of hardware in your mixbus can make some of these details less important. I’ve just added a Louder than Liftoff Silver Bullet and SSL bus comp clone to my rack which has stopped me from chasing (plugin) rainbows!
Old 21st June 2019
  #13
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by djrustycans View Post
It’s one thing to accept that all hardware pieces have differences between channels/units. This is fine in most cases, but we’re all kidding ourselves if we think that the sonic variables between plugin emulations and their hardware counterparts are comparable to the differences between two channels on an SSL 4000E for example.

Yes, plugins can sound different from the hardware they are modelled from but the problem here is that the difference is a ‘not as good’ difference. I seem to recall Raal saying something similar in the Mixhub thread.

Btw, I know that’s slightly different from what you were talking about in your post! I appreciate that we should be implementing some kind of variance between channels. However, even just adding one or 2 choice pieces of hardware in your mixbus can make some of these details less important. I’ve just added a Louder than Liftoff Silver Bullet and SSL bus comp clone to my rack which has stopped me from chasing (plugin) rainbows!
I do agree for the most part. It’s the “not as good” that will always be a relevant thing. Sticking to hardware, some people will argue that the E is not as good as the G, others will make the counter argument. Then some people will say neither of them are as good as the K or J. Then there’s always that dude that will say, Nah a Neve is better.

This is in the hardware world.

So some hardware sounds arguably better to some than others. That’s totally understandable. But its the same level of discernibility and preference that people apply when comparing plugins to hardware or plugin to plugin. People seem to see something not sounding “as good” a fault in the design, but how can it be when there is others that appreciate it. How can you fault an E console?? How can you fault a G?! Or a Neve. They all sound different from one to the next.

If the variation in the sonics were to come from another identical looking console people would just accept it. There would be none of this questioning. But if it’s presented as a plugin then suddenly all these confirmation biases come into play. It’s really just psychology.

At the end of the day none of it really matters. You can make a world class mix with the plugins found in the average DAW. Everything else is window dressing. Well, not exactly, but almost.

As they say, it’s the ear not the gear. Certainly this applies even more so to the more subtle variations between plugin emulations.
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