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SSL Bus Comp Shootout (SSL X-Rack, Stam SA-4000+, Duende, Slate, Waves, bx_townhouse)
Old 9th October 2019
  #181
Gear Addict
 
prismtheory's Avatar
 

1 D - clarity/fullness
2.C - basically tied for 1st with D for the same reasons
3.B - nice little low freq bump
4.A - most neutral
5.E - little duller/flatter
6.F - dullest flattest

All of them sound fine for me, the difference is certainly, in my opinion, too close to matter in the real world.

But I'd love to know the results!

-T
Old 10th October 2019
  #182
Gear Nut
 

I liked B and E the most - seemed to keep the transients and top end more intact but they all did a useable job. I did not listen in my studio - plain HiFi speakers.

PM?
Old 11th October 2019
  #183
Quote:
Originally Posted by prismtheory View Post
1 D - clarity/fullness
2.C - basically tied for 1st with D for the same reasons
3.B - nice little low freq bump
4.A - most neutral
5.E - little duller/flatter
6.F - dullest flattest

All of them sound fine for me, the difference is certainly, in my opinion, too close to matter in the real world.

But I'd love to know the results!

-T

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Squeezer View Post
I liked B and E the most - seemed to keep the transients and top end more intact but they all did a useable job. I did not listen in my studio - plain HiFi speakers.

PM?
Thank you both, PMs on the way!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #184
Gear Addict
nice test, thanks for putting this up!
I only had a listen to the "regular" files, without reading any of the comments above:
D stood out strongest to my ears,
B second, a bit less "analog" sounding, less compression but still nice,
C has more compression than A and B but does it in a nice way, a bit too over the top for me though
wasn't really feeling F, A or E

would love to know the products behind the letters
Old 4 weeks ago
  #185
Quote:
Originally Posted by mart View Post
nice test, thanks for putting this up!
I only had a listen to the "regular" files, without reading any of the comments above:
D stood out strongest to my ears,
B second, a bit less "analog" sounding, less compression but still nice,
C has more compression than A and B but does it in a nice way, a bit too over the top for me though
wasn't really feeling F, A or E

would love to know the products behind the letters
Thanx for chiming in, PM on the way.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #186
Here for the gear
 

hi,
thx for taking the time. As i did my shoot out between ssl style compressors, i had a hard time too.

well, i think there is a kind of difference between the files. what is small to some, could be big for others.
To me i like D cause it clamps the highs down a bit. C had more bass focus and A had sharp highs. That could fool me into something: I could go with A on the bus and handle the highs on the tracks.

Hard to tell, i would go with D or the ik multimedia thing. ;-)

One thing took my attention: BGVs seems relatively unaffected by the compression like there is are small portion going through direct.

cheers, Rop

plz message me the results

Last edited by RopTerzett; 3 weeks ago at 07:33 PM.. Reason: typo
Old 3 weeks ago
  #187
Quote:
Originally Posted by RopTerzett View Post
hi,
thx for taking the time. As i did my shoot out between ssl style compressors, i had a hard time too.

well, i think there is a kind of difference between the files. what is small to some, could be big for others.
To me i like D cause it clamps the highs down a bit. C had more bass focus and A had sharp highs. That could fool me into something: I could go with A on the bus and handle the highs on the tracks.

Hard to tell, i would go with D or the ik multimedia thing. ;-)

One thing took my attention: BGVs seems relatively unaffected by the compression like there is are small portion going through direct.

cheers, Rop

plz message me the results
PM sent, thanx for participating.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #188
Gear Head
 

My findings:

F - Bass boost, round, flabby, snappy snare
E - like the clarity and overall tone
d - don't like that one too much
c - openness, round low end
b - like the vocal on that one, sounds a little bit "closed" (i mean that "neutral")
a - ok, don't like it that much, smeared in the mids/highs?

Except the low end boost on F it's not a night and day difference between the files though.

+3

F like, bass round, clarity could be better
E likey
D nothing special to mention
C round low end, full, nice tone
B like, upper mid drive, nice bass, forward
A a little washy, not that defined

I would probably go with E. Also like C and B (on the +3). I think F could work on some sources as well, but would rather dial that low end in with an EQ.

Great great shootout! Looking forward to the results
Old 5 days ago
  #189
Lives for gear
Can you please PM the results to me? Thanks in advance.

Dean

Quote:
Originally Posted by JSchlomo View Post
This is the followup to my original shootout which can be found here:

Another SSL Comp shootout - sorry, no SSL involved :-)

Wanted to do this again with the "real" thing involved and include the bx_townhouse plugin as well, so I took the X-Rack hardware version with me from the studio over the weekend.

Sound/Song snippet is exactly the same as in the original shootout as I reopened the original session.*

The hardware contenders:

- Stam Audio SA4000+ (this time without the Carnhill transformers engaged as this is not the original design of SSL bus comps)
- SSL X-Rack Stereo Bus Compressor (in thy Mynx rack)

The software contenders:

- Waves SSL Bus Comp
- SSL Native v6 Bus Comp (files are called Duende for better separation from the HW SSL))
- Slate FG-Grey (which emulates transformers, can't be switched off)
- Plugin Alliance bx_townhouse (which emulates the original comp from Townhouse Studios which itself was kind of a Franken-SSL with original parts)

I spent a lot of time and care to match the amount of compression and levels, I think I did pretty well.

Settings are 4:1, 30ms attack, .1 release (which is my go-to on SSLs)
Compression was calibrated so the tone read 4db of GR on all of these.
In fact they are compressing 1-3 db when the music plays.

This time I included a second set where I raised the level INTO the bus comps 3db to make them pump harder. I wouldn't go that far in real life, but it makes the different tones a little more obvious.

All WAV files are matched to the same LUFS level and are randomly numbered, so they have the exact same loudness and do not correspond to the above order! Should be fun, right?;-)

Here's the link to the files, feel free to import them in your DAW and compare.
Dropbox - SSL Shootout NEW.zip

Very curious about your opinions.
PM me for results, will post them here later.

* A short, but the busiest section of the song (from "Dueling Mixes" in December 2017, really liked the tune, sometimes they have amazing stuff). This is kind of an advanced rough mix, so only levels, panning, some basic FX, HP/LP and my "Brauerizing"-style template before the final stereo compressor.
Old 5 days ago
  #190
Quote:
Originally Posted by drichard View Post
Can you please PM the results to me? Thanks in advance.

Dean
Sure. Would you mind sharing your findings first?
Old 5 days ago
  #191
Gear Nut
 

Thanks for doing this shootout!

I like A, C, D. The rest doesn't seem to sound good on this song, for differrent reasons.

PM the results?
Old 4 days ago
  #192
Lives for gear
Honestly, I would prefer to use the comparison and the results as a learning experience. I don't have experience with a real SSL, and don't have a good ear for the differences between the plugins. My hope is to train my ear to hear the differences.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JSchlomo View Post
Sure. Would you mind sharing your findings first?
Old 3 days ago
  #193
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_mixer View Post
Thanks for doing this shootout!

I like A, C, D. The rest doesn't seem to sound good on this song, for differrent reasons.

PM the results?
Interesting, thanx for participating. PM on the way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drichard View Post
Honestly, I would prefer to use the comparison and the results as a learning experience. I don't have experience with a real SSL, and don't have a good ear for the differences between the plugins. My hope is to train my ear to hear the differences.
Do that, PM on the way.
Old 3 days ago
  #194
Lives for gear
Having spent some time with the files, I will still say the differences are very subtle IMO. I am quite surprised, even as I train myself to hear the differences. I think people are going to be very impressed with how close the SW and HW are.
Sounds like this test might help some people save some money.

My first overall comment is that you did an outstanding job with the level matching. I have participated in blind tests when the level matching is not done well, and it skews the results. This is so well done. It makes for a much better test. Thank you for your time and effort, it paid off.

I like E quite well, and B was good. My order would be:

E, B, D, F, C, A

Quote:
Originally Posted by drichard View Post
Honestly, I would prefer to use the comparison and the results as a learning experience. I don't have experience with a real SSL, and don't have a good ear for the differences between the plugins. My hope is to train my ear to hear the differences.
Old 3 days ago
  #195
Gear Head
 

Hi, thanks for this shootout. For me the differences are not night and day. So my preferences are based on the fact that i heard that plastic sound of plugins or not. I prefer A, B and E the most. Curious to see the results, on pm.
Old 3 days ago
  #196
Quote:
Originally Posted by drichard View Post
Having spent some time with the files, I will still say the differences are very subtle IMO. I am quite surprised, even as I train myself to hear the differences. I think people are going to be very impressed with how close the SW and HW are.
Sounds like this test might help some people save some money.

My first overall comment is that you did an outstanding job with the level matching. I have participated in blind tests when the level matching is not done well, and it skews the results. This is so well done. It makes for a much better test. Thank you for your time and effort, it paid off.

I like E quite well, and B was good. My order would be:

E, B, D, F, C, A
Thanx for the kind words!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inge View Post
Hi, thanks for this shootout. For me the differences are not night and day. So my preferences are based on the fact that i heard that plastic sound of plugins or not. I prefer A, B and E the most. Curious to see the results, on pm.
On the way!
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