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SSL XL Desk Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 29th June 2015
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
farhadkd's Avatar
 

SSL XL Desk

I'm thinking, dreaming more like, of an XL Desk. I'm NOT interested in loading it with any 500 modules OTHER than E series Eq and Dynamics from SSL. Say I had to choose between having one or the other. That is, only EQ with the buss comp or only dynamics with the buss comp (please DO NOT suggest other modules manufacturers and combos) Which one would you go with? And why? Only Eq? Only Dynamics? Desk is to be used in a mixing only scenario.

Thanks.
Old 30th June 2015
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Ghost Logic's Avatar
 

Most mixers (prior to the summing mixer era) came with EQs on every channel and few (apart from the old SSLs) came with dynamics on every channel. When mixing you are more likely to need an EQ on a channel than you are a compressor, so I'd say go with the EQs. SSL's own AWS console has EQs on every channel, not compressors. You can always get an X-Rack filled with the dynamics and use that as well (that would be a killer combo with the XL Desk). A contrary argument is that EQs are more "perfectly" replicated in the box, so go with the compressors since the benefit to using the real hardware compressor will be greater. If it was me I would go with the EQs.
Old 30th June 2015
  #3
Gear Maniac
 
farhadkd's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost Logic View Post
Most mixers (prior to the summing mixer era) came with EQs on every channel and few (apart from the old SSLs) came with dynamics on every channel. When mixing you are more likely to need an EQ on a channel than you are a compressor, so I'd say go with the EQs. SSL's own AWS console has EQs on every channel, not compressors. You can always get an X-Rack filled with the dynamics and use that as well (that would be a killer combo with the XL Desk). A contrary argument is that EQs are more "perfectly" replicated in the box, so go with the compressors since the benefit to using the real hardware compressor will be greater. If it was me I would go with the EQs.

Hence the dilemma!!
Old 30th June 2015
  #4
When I kitted out the 40 slots in my Ocean Ark recently, my first though was SSL EQs for the drums. So that's what I'd do. They will hold their value so you can trade them later if you need too. Without so many slots I would get a separate rack of Dynamics as it would be the EQ I would want as a priority right in front of me on the board. Dynamic wise there are also cheaper options that don't sound dissimilar but the EQ is unique to my ear.
Hope this helps.
Old 30th June 2015
  #5
automating in the box won't really affect EQs in a board - yes maybe if you really push the channels, but generally not so much. It certainly will affect dynamics - and the X-desk has no automation post-EQ.

If you need dynamics, you can always add X-racks on inserts as required.
Old 30th June 2015
  #6
Lives for gear
 
fwet's Avatar
What about a classic ssl? With that same amount of money could you get a 4000 or 9000?


Funny, SSL calls the xl desk the smart dumb analogue console!
Old 30th June 2015
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
farhadkd's Avatar
 

Thanks for your replies. These are all the things I ponder on. My head says EQ with my fave comps on the Busses. My heart says dynamics, since I use them a lot to colour stuff without necessarily compressing, limiting or gating. Also, I'm trying to reduce use of dynamics on each channel/stem to keep more dynamic range. I'm also reducing Eq use to mostly very small cuts and notches which is better served (IMHO, YMMV etc) with digital plugin EQs. Therefore the questions. Maybe it's time to unlearn. I already have an XRack, and Sigma for automated summing which is fed from 16 channels of Symphony IO with 16 analog EQs running into 16 analog comps with an XPatch in between to allow switching. Since I'm not tracking, everyone's advice to me is that the XL desk will not add anything to my workflow, (I cannot keep both, I'd have to sell a very significant part of my existing gear to aid the purchase of a loaded XL Desk) but for me a console just ties everything together.

While I'd love a classic SSL, (it's not off the table yet) the size, power considerations don't bother me as much as possible maintainence and parts issues here in India. I'm old and experienced enough to know that the difference between a classic SSL and the new ones is really large, in terms of flexibility, Routing and sound. It's always there in the back of my mind.
Old 30th June 2015
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Ghost Logic's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by farhadkd View Post
Thanks for your replies. These are all the things I ponder on. My head says EQ with my fave comps on the Busses. My heart says dynamics, since I use them a lot to colour stuff without necessarily compressing, limiting or gating. Also, I'm trying to reduce use of dynamics on each channel/stem to keep more dynamic range. I'm also reducing Eq use to mostly very small cuts and notches which is better served (IMHO, YMMV etc) with digital plugin EQs. Therefore the questions. Maybe it's time to unlearn. I already have an XRack, and Sigma for automated summing which is fed from 16 channels of Symphony IO with 16 analog EQs running into 16 analog comps with an XPatch in between to allow switching. Since I'm not tracking, everyone's advice to me is that the XL desk will not add anything to my workflow, (I cannot keep both, I'd have to sell a very significant part of my existing gear to aid the purchase of a loaded XL Desk) but for me a console just ties everything together.

While I'd love a classic SSL, (it's not off the table yet) the size, power considerations don't bother me as much as possible maintainence and parts issues here in India. I'm old and experienced enough to know that the difference between a classic SSL and the new ones is really large, in terms of flexibility, Routing and sound. It's always there in the back of my mind.
Unless you need OTB fx sends and busses the XL desk sounds like a step backwards from your current setup. Why not run your Xracks on I/O inserts ITB and then some select hardware comps and eqs on your stems running into the stereo inputs of the Sigma. You'd need a few more converter channels but that would be a killer setup. If you need tactile control grab a nucleus or an Avid S3.
Old 1st July 2015
  #9
Gear Maniac
 
farhadkd's Avatar
 

Anyone else?? Just checking.....
Old 1st July 2015
  #10
Solid State Logic
 
Jim@SSL's Avatar
 

Horses for courses...

Sigma and X-Rack make a great hybrid system. Recall, headroom, snap. Job done.

XL-Desk has faders, buses, and makes a mix a performance instead of a programme.

Both sound good. Both suit different ways of doing stuff.
If you need lots of recalls and mix revisions, stick with what you have. Sigma gets recalled from your DAW session and X-Rack has TotalRecall (which you could save as a midi dump as part of your PT/Logic/Cubendo/WHY session too).
If you want to "play" mixes, print channels and stems for quick level tweaks after the event make a change.

Tough choice...

Me?
I'm with your "heart". XL-Desk with 8 EQs in ch 1-8, and switched in to the buses 4x dynamics (for 2 buses), extra Bus Comp, and 2x LMC+ modules for mega parallels. As an add-on, if you ever need to track XL-Desk absolutely slays a Sigma/X-Rack combo.




But then I only mix for myself and NEVER have to do endless mix revisions.
As I said, horses for courses...
Old 2nd July 2015
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
farhadkd's Avatar
 

Thanks Jim for that eloquent answer!! Just makes me want the XL Desk more though.
Old 28th January 2019
  #12
Here for the gear
 

XL Desk Owner

I really like the bussing on the XL Desk. I have 4 different stereo compressors with different colors on the 4 mix busses. On each track you can audition any track through any compressor combination. To me this is the biggest advantage of the board. I have 9 eq's and need a couple more. I run a lot of tracks with no eq at all or just a little in the box. The board sounds great with no eq at all.
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