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API The Box vs SSL XL Desk & SSL Matrix
Old 6th August 2016
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
jffmusic's Avatar
 

API The Box vs SSL XL Desk & SSL Matrix

Hello,

I'm a producer and do mostly rock and pop rock music. I'm building a medium size studio. I already have enough Neve and API pre amps for a session.

I would like to know from people that have had the experience with these consoles what you think about functionality, sound, etc.

I believe both API and SSL are top brands as a part of the studio for the Clients. I think it would be a plus to have a console where I can get different functions such us monitoring control, summing, center routing control, extra preamps+Eq's, etc.

Please let me know what you like and what you don't like from these desks.

Thanks!
Old 6th August 2016
  #2
Gear Addict
Why not the SSL XL desk filled with API Eqs? Clean summing with colored pres and Eqs.
Old 6th August 2016
  #3
Gear Maniac
 
jffmusic's Avatar
 

Thanks!

Yes that's a possibility.You mean in that sense I can combine both colors.

Also I would like to know about functionality and versatility if somebody has the experience.

Do you have experience with the XL Desk or any of these consoles?
Old 6th August 2016
  #4
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by jffmusic View Post
Thanks!

Yes that's a possibility.You mean in that sense I can combine both colors.

Also I would like to know about functionality and versatility if somebody has the experience.

Do you have experience with the XL Desk or any of these consoles?
Not those particular desks but other desk. id have to look at the block diagrams to see whats going in under the hood. Just fron reading this list id say the ssl has a little more functionality than the API The Box. If it were the API 1608 then that's a different story.

20 + 1 fader, over 40 input SuperAnalogue™ SSL console
•8-built in Variable Harmonic Drive (VHD) preamps
•16 dual input mono channels (switchable between main input or DAW return)
•4 stereo channels (switchable to mono for tracking)
•The legendary Stereo Bus Compressor, with new high-pass filter sidechain
•18-slot 500 Series rack built-in, accessible from channels or mix busses
•In addition to a 500-series rack built-in that accepts both single and doublewide modules, accessible from channels or mix busses
•4 stereo Mix Buses with their own insert points and access to the 500 rack
•One stereo and 2 mono aux sends. Two dedicated stereo return inputs
•Direct outputs on every channel, stereo return and mix bus for stem printing
•Fully-featured monitoring section with bass management
•Foldback A and B with individual talkbacks for headphone mixes
•Built in Listen Mic input + classic compressor circuit, with its own direct output
•AFL and Solo-In-Place solo modes, with Solo Clear and Solo Safe (Protect) modes
•Balanced D-Sub rear panel inputs/outputs & Front panel headphones & iJack sockets
•High quality internal PSU
Old 6th August 2016
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
daddykev's Avatar
I was a previous owner of the SSL XL-Desk, and am a current owner of the SSL Matrix2. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, but I think your choice between them should be based on utilization. If you're tracking full bands on a regular basis, the XL-Desk is the superior choice, absolutely. If you're mixing more often than recording, the Matrix will be a better solution for you.

How much outboard will you be integrating? If you have a bunch of 500 series modules already, the XL-Desk is made for you. The 4th stereo bus of the XL-Desk, as well as the second insert point on each bus of the XL, are features that I definitely miss after transitioning to the Matrix. The XL-Desk was seemingly designed the multi-bus compression/"Brauerize" approach in mind. I certainly do not miss the lack of automation and total recall features, which is where the Matrix truly shines IMHO.

Insofar the sound of each is concerned, I found the summing of the XL-Desk and Matrix to be very close, if not identical. And please note, the Matrix has a much higher learning curve than the XL-Desk. Expect to spend some time with the Matrix manual. I found the XL-Desk to be a more intuitive console.
Old 7th August 2016
  #6
Gear Addict
 
shalimo's Avatar
 

ive own two ssl matrix at the same time, it's an awesome piece of kit for what it does plus it's love at first site when you see the lights and the flying faders

Last edited by shalimo; 7th August 2016 at 01:17 PM..
Old 8th August 2016
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
Remy Leloup's Avatar
I got the same decision to take and I decided to start from scratch with a white canvas where I could paint in every color that I want API , Neve , Helios you name it ...

I chose Lilo Speck 16 channels and surrounded her with aml audio 1073 / 2254 and plenty other gear to plug in tons of eq end comps to make the most fantastic combo outboards / mixer summing system

it's a very cool solution not to mention all the routing possibilities that are remarkable !!
Old 6th September 2016
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
jffmusic's Avatar
 

Tree Audio Roots Console

Hey Guys have you compared or have any opinion about the Tree Audio Roots Console?? And how it compares in quality/ sound with the API The Box and SSL XL Desk??

Thanks!
Old 6th September 2016
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by jffmusic View Post
Hey Guys have you compared or have any opinion about the Tree Audio Roots Console?? And how it compares in quality/ sound with the API The Box and SSL XL Desk??

Thanks!
Afaik it isn't being made any more. Closest thing I can think of is the Purple Audio console.

Audient also makes top notch boards.

Another great option would be to go hybrid. I find the hybrid workflow much quicker and space efficient.... Get some great converters, a dangerous monitor st and 2 bus+, some 500 series pres and eqs... Custom patchbay etc. much more flexibility for less $$$.
Old 6th September 2016
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
jffmusic's Avatar
 

What is AFAIK??

I believe a good console gives a good vibe into the studio too.
Old 6th September 2016
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by jffmusic View Post
What is AFAIK??

I believe a good console gives a good vibe into the studio too.
Afaik... As far as I know.

Agreed. We have both styles of studio setup at our facility. The big board is great for some things and a huge pain for others.... One of the biggest pros to a hybrid setup is much improved acoustics and better acces to outboard in the mix position. Also, being modular, hybrid systems have less downtime if something decides to fail.

Boards are great fun though. We have a very special DDA console bought from a Brooklyn studio, with many platinum hip hop hits under its belt. Just sitting in the room with it gives me goosebumps. Def adds to the vibe.
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