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ssl nucleus for electronic music? Studio Monitors
Old 16th December 2010
  #1
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ssl nucleus for electronic music?

hey guys,
I'm in the market for a couple of preamps and a ad/da converter to run along with PT9. I'm looking to spend about $5,000US. i really enjoy the way the song "scary monsters and nice sprites" by Skrillex sounds. when the beat drops it sounds so punchy and aggressive. Exactly the effect I'm looking for.

here a link to hear the song:
YouTube - SKRILLEX - Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites

i feel the ssl nucleus has everything i need but will the converter sound as good as, lets say, the Orpheus or the Rosetta? I've heard the Superanalogue pre's are punchy and transparent but i still ask myself if I'm even looking in the right direction...
what do you guys think?
sorry if i come off as a complete newbie.
Oh yeah im running a combination of virtual synths and hardware synths.

i hope i didn't leave anything out.
thanks for your help!
Old 16th December 2010
  #2
Gear Addict
 

I think the nucleus is an interesting concept, but is very overpriced, no way im going to pay 5k for a control surface.

maybe.. if you dont have so great monitor invest money in that and acoustic treatment!
Old 16th December 2010
  #3
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GeorgeHayduke's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Enderbot View Post
hey guys,
I'm in the market for a couple of preamps and a ad/da converter to run along with PT9. I'm looking to spend about $5,000US.
If you need both control surface, converter and preamps it seems a good solution. Personally, I'd be much more interested if it was just a controller, at a lower price, but I already have converter and preamps. I wouldn't call the Nucleus a thrifty choice, but it is always nice to get quality components, that's basically what you'd be paying extra for.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Enderbot View Post
i really enjoy the way the song "scary monsters and nice sprites" by Skrillex sounds. when the beat drops it sounds so punchy and aggressive. Exactly the effect I'm looking for.
Any decent converter and preamp could handle that, it is irrelevant. It is far more relevant that you get a good synth and learn how to program it. And good monitors so you can hear what you're doing. Dive-bomb basses are very easy to make on any analog or VA synth.
Old 16th December 2010
  #4
yeah its a lot of money the Nucleus...although you do get 2 nice(ish) Pres, a good 2 channel converter, and the channel strip and buss compressor plugins...

Still...I'd definitely spend that $5k differently...I think a Nucleus is better served to a small ITB mix studio rather than an electronic music artist....
Old 16th December 2010
  #5
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Skrillex produces well mixed songs out of talent and years of experience.

Whatever converters he uses is pretty much irrelevant.
Old 16th December 2010
  #6
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wwjd's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by wafflesomd View Post
Skrillex produces well mixed songs out of talent and years of experience.
Whatever converters he uses is pretty much irrelevant.
my thoughts EXACTLY, and even worded better than I would have
Old 16th December 2010
  #7
+1 on above posts. Such great mixes are 90% experience and the rest is gear. Do You have Your room treated? No? There goes Your 5K
Yes? Than I would go for a nice modular like, Serge or so. 5 k is just about the Animal goes for.
Old 18th December 2010
  #8
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Sorry i guess i didn't really explain myself too well...
im not trying to do dub step, i just enjoy the way skrillex makes his synths upfront and punchy. i understand that it has 90% to do with his mixing and i suppose im asking about the other 10 percent. i already have two sets of speakers. i own some ns10's and my buddy whom i write music with owns a7's. we already have had the room treated. we want to run our virtual instruments out of our interface and run it into different preamps to give more warmth and character to allow the synths to sit better in our mix. We currently own the Maudio project mix and im not a huge fan of the preamps or the converter...
all we really need is a great converter and a couple more great preamps to achieve better vocals, guitar tracks etc... we want a nice punchy tone (but im still a firm believer in dynamic range)
we currently own:
two kiwi's
sm7b
ns10's
a7's
hs10w sub
presonus monitoring station
audix dp elite mic pack
Maudio project mix I/O
Akai mpk 49
ableton
akai apc 40
Reason 5
NI komplete 7
arturia analog factory
pro tools mpowered 8
guitar amps
guitars

you get the picture.
our style of music is electro but we dont always stick to drum machines and virtual software for percussion.

hopefully this paints a better picture for you.

i thought the nucleus was the end all solution for us. i was curious if you felt i could go in another direction with the same amount of money to achieve better results.

thanks again guys!hehthumbsup
Old 18th December 2010
  #9
Gear Addict
 

Nucleus seems to be a professional solution for production studios in a professional enviroment where workflow is essential, because you sit in front of your DAW 9 or more hours per day. Basically it's a DAW Controler with integrated preamp and converter. I think it makes only sense to buy it, if you work in a professional studio.

5000$ is a lot of money, for this I would buy a subwoofer for your A7s, a good converter and a good preamp. You already got an APC 40 an it's integration concerning workflow in Ableton will be much better than with Nucleus.
Old 18th December 2010
  #10
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i'd be afraid to buy any specialized controller like that for that price.. because i'd be worried at some point it would go unsupported by the manufacturer and abandoned after a few years.. no drivers etc. that'd be a bummer.. not that SSL has that kind of track record but.. just saying.. it's a specialized controller.

probably better off with separate pieces.. a nice ad/da, decent controller and some outboard gear.. i think a couple compressors will go further than a pre in your case though. just my 2 cents.

i'd say practice mixing your songs and in some time re-exam the idea of outboard gear. maybe you won't need it?
Old 18th December 2010
  #11
If You want punchy and fat than running virtual instruments thru outboard is only curing the disease. Not to say that You cant get any punchy stuff out of virtuals (lets not go there ). But in my opinion its better to get the right source firstmost than curing the virtual sources. Therefore my vote still goes to a modular synth. Afterwards I would go for some compressors and boxes like Culture Vulture.
Converters are the last thing You should worry unless You have some really ****ty ones. Especially that You dont mix jazz but electro.
Old 18th December 2010
  #12
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makes perfect sense guys. thanks for your input. so maybe i'd be better off with two channel strips like the avalon 737vt and a two channel ADDA.
Old 18th December 2010
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by vibralux View Post
If You want punchy and fat than running virtual instruments thru outboard is only curing the disease. Not to say that You cant get any punchy stuff out of virtuals (lets not go there ). But in my opinion its better to get the right source firstmost than curing the virtual sources. Therefore my vote still goes to a modular synth. Afterwards I would go for some compressors and boxes like Culture Vulture.
Converters are the last thing You should worry unless You have some really ****ty ones. Especially that You dont mix jazz but electro.
Guy asks about a DAW control surface/Pre/Interface and you recommend a Modular synth - thats a good synth-slut effort!
Old 19th December 2010
  #14
Hmmm- are You sure he wants a controll surface? From the OP I have understood that he wants a "punchy and aggressive" stuff. And yes - since I have acquired my Serge Animoo few weeks ago, I am telling all people to get it - no matter what their needs are I just like to share the great experiences of mine
Old 19th December 2010
  #15
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When I first learned of the Nucleus and heard of it's price, I honestly didn't think much of it. I didn't think it really looked like a great product and that it was, quite frankly, over-priced. But then as I had the chance to sit down and play for awhile, listen to it, touch it, use it, etc.... I really started to "get it". Personally I would like to have seen this with 8-in/8-out but after hearing the quality of the converters I realized that would certainly have made this even more money---and that wasn't the intention of the Nucleus. For a serious home or project studio as well as secondary rooms for big studios, this is a serious product with some serious bang for the buck and one I think some of my clients would really want.

The size is JUST right---- it's not too big it won't fit on a typical home studio desk, but not too small that it feels cramped. The buttons are big, for ease of control---but sturdy for longevity. Keep in mind this isn't a cheap SSL product, it's an inexpensive product---meant to serve a purpose without cutting corners. The converters ARE indeed very nice, smooth and transparent---what one expects from SSL. The pre's too are VERY good---actually, better than I expected to be due to the power supply and internal audio-path circuitry. You could easily plug your favorite microphone in and get top-quality sound. But my favorite feature is the monitor bus---too many times these kinds of products have a cheap monitor bus that takes away the audio quality itself. Not so with the Nucleus! AND a bonus---you get the Duende Native plugins with it!

All in all---yeah, the Nucleus is a wonderful solution. It's not going to light the world on-fire like the 003 from AVID does---it's a much higher price point. But this is a product that for this wishing to ante-up will get more than they expect. I truly feel the Nucleus is going to be a hit product for SSL and one of the best products of the year for 2011.
Old 19th December 2010
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by BradLyons View Post
When I first learned of the Nucleus and heard of it's price, I honestly didn't think much of it. I didn't think it really looked like a great product and that it was, quite frankly, over-priced. But then as I had the chance to sit down and play for awhile, listen to it, touch it, use it, etc.... I really started to "get it". Personally I would like to have seen this with 8-in/8-out but after hearing the quality of the converters I realized that would certainly have made this even more money---and that wasn't the intention of the Nucleus. For a serious home or project studio as well as secondary rooms for big studios, this is a serious product with some serious bang for the buck and one I think some of my clients would really want.

The size is JUST right---- it's not too big it won't fit on a typical home studio desk, but not too small that it feels cramped. The buttons are big, for ease of control---but sturdy for longevity. Keep in mind this isn't a cheap SSL product, it's an inexpensive product---meant to serve a purpose without cutting corners. The converters ARE indeed very nice, smooth and transparent---what one expects from SSL. The pre's too are VERY good---actually, better than I expected to be due to the power supply and internal audio-path circuitry. You could easily plug your favorite microphone in and get top-quality sound. But my favorite feature is the monitor bus---too many times these kinds of products have a cheap monitor bus that takes away the audio quality itself. Not so with the Nucleus! AND a bonus---you get the Duende Native plugins with it!

All in all---yeah, the Nucleus is a wonderful solution. It's not going to light the world on-fire like the 003 from AVID does---it's a much higher price point. But this is a product that for this wishing to ante-up will get more than they expect. I truly feel the Nucleus is going to be a hit product for SSL and one of the best products of the year for 2011.
The Nucleus does indeed look like a nice Pro Audio product...however for the money I dont think it plays to the strength of an electronic music artist-where music making and sound outweighs a posh control surface IMO....Small Mix focussed ITB studio yes perhaps....
Old 19th December 2010
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enderbot View Post
I've heard the Superanalogue pre's are punchy and transparent but i still ask myself if I'm even looking in the right direction...
what do you guys think?
ime transparent, quick preams like SSL are good in accurate representations of what you put into them. that means, they are only "punchy" if the signal/source you put into them is punchy. therefore, not a good choice if you are dissatisfied with ITB sources, to add them balls going out to analog world.

if you want to add punch and character, it is done best with coloured preamps that offer fine saturation and balls, and optionally a nice compressor. adding life to ITB sources, i'd first look into audio outboard made by likes of API, Great River, Avedis, A Designs, Phoenix etc. these make wonders for lifeless signals, and make nice ones like hardware beatboxes and synths even better more focused. channels like that fit in the mix much better later on, with greater degree fo channel separation and character. less work to do to get a nice glued mix i.e. "like a record".

depending on how many channels you want, you could look into standalone 2 or 4ch units like Great River ME-2NV or API 3214. if you want more, an API style 500-format modular rack is most cost effective way to go - API500 rack and cpl of API512, Avedis ME5, Pacifica or GR NV500 inside. you can also add some compressors too.

it all depends on depth of your pocket.





of course processing the tracks in this context, doesn't stop with pres and compressors. theres also the world of analog effects, pedals, reamping thru some amp/speaker/mic, room mics, reel to reel recorders etc etc.

it may seem a lot of work sometimes, to apply extra attention to each and every track, but the results in the end, are so worth it.
Old 19th December 2010
  #18
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GeorgeHayduke's Avatar
 

Very true.

That's exactly the reason I hope they make a 'lite'-version with no audio path because it looks like possibly the best controller out there, for my use anyway, in a small home studio with only one room. Looks good too!
Old 20th December 2010
  #19
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wakestyle's Avatar
hey I was looking at it, pretty sweet... I would like it for personal use if only it could integrate using another interface for audio i/o and perhaps digital out of the preamps. I think it makes more sense as just a DAW controller though. A stunning interface. Price would be nice if they took out all the audio pathing in it!
Old 20th December 2010
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clusterchord View Post
ime transparent, quick preams like SSL are good in accurate representations of what you put into them. that means, they are only "punchy" if the signal/source you put into them is punchy. therefore, not a good choice if you are dissatisfied with ITB sources, to add them balls going out to analog world.

if you want to add punch and character, it is done best with coloured preamps that offer fine saturation and balls, and optionally a nice compressor. adding life to ITB sources, i'd first look into audio outboard made by likes of API, Great River, Avedis, A Designs, Phoenix etc. these make wonders for lifeless signals, and make nice ones like hardware beatboxes and synths even better more focused. channels like that fit in the mix much better later on, with greater degree fo channel separation and character. less work to do to get a nice glued mix i.e. "like a record".

depending on how many channels you want, you could look into standalone 2 or 4ch units like Great River ME-2NV or API 3214. if you want more, an API style 500-format modular rack is most cost effective way to go - API500 rack and cpl of API512, Avedis ME5, Pacifica or GR NV500 inside. you can also add some compressors too.

it all depends on depth of your pocket.





of course processing the tracks in this context, doesn't stop with pres and compressors. theres also the world of analog effects, pedals, reamping thru some amp/speaker/mic, room mics, reel to reel recorders etc etc.

it may seem a lot of work sometimes, to apply extra attention to each and every track, but the results in the end, are so worth it.
what are your thoughts on the chandler germanium? would this add the "balls" im looking for?
Old 17th February 2011
  #21
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Nucleus as seperates

I'm looking to upgrade my I/O & add a control surface too.

How would anyone put together an equivalent of something like the Nucleus?

Eg:
Mackie Control + Expander (to get 16 motorised faders)
Focusright ISA 1 + digital out (and that's only one mic pre)
Benchmark DAC 1
RME Fireface (are the mic pre's on this as good as SSL or a stand alone box?)

Or are the Metric Halo interfaces equal to SSL as far as mic pre / DA converters go?

Are the SSL DA converters as good as something like the Benchmark?

Still going to add up to a similar price all in. The Nucleus looks a good deal to me!
Old 17th February 2011
  #22
I'm pretty sure Skrillex mixes almost completely ITB

just saying..
Old 17th February 2011
  #23
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BTByrd's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by vibralux View Post
If You want punchy and fat than running virtual instruments thru outboard is only curing the disease. Not to say that You cant get any punchy stuff out of virtuals (lets not go there ). But in my opinion its better to get the right source firstmost than curing the virtual sources.

+1. Given what you already own and the type of music you make, you may be putting a lot of money in the wrong place if all you want to do is improve your synth sounds. For Electro, there are a lot of great hardware synths on the market... Voyager, XS, Cwejman S1MKII, or yes (GASP!) even modular stuff. If you're not satisfied with your current synth sounds, I seriously doubt you're going to get there just by running VSTs through nice pres. That helps, but it's not exactly a game-changer.

However, if you want/need nice preamps for other purposes (tracking with mics, for instance) or you really want a control surface, a synth obviously isn't going to be able to deliver in these departments.

What is it that you really want? If your primary aim is to improve your synth sounds, it's really misguided to drop 5K on nice pres (even if you get a control surface to go with). If you want to bring your entire studio up to the next level and maybe get some new synths later on, maybe the Nucleus is for you.
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