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SSL Console 4000 E/G+ Or 9000J, or Bunch of Outboard Gear for Hybrid Mixing Control Surfaces
Old 27th September 2017
  #1
Gear Head
 
ibeenajro's Avatar
SSL Console 4000 E/G+ Or 9000J, or Bunch of Outboard Gear for Hybrid Mixing

Hello guys I'm in the middle of a dilemma, I have a budget that will allow only the purchase of a console, either a 4064 E/G+ or a 9000J (Have both sellers on my go) and ADAT converters, but.... I'd have to sell almost all my outboard gear... now I've got a lot of plugins for different flavors etc, but I'm sure they can't really replace the actual rack pieces. Anyway I've always wanted a console, yes this would be my first console purchase, what would you guys do? SSL console only or, 40K USD worth of outboard gear for a hybrid mix set up or what not.
Old 27th September 2017
  #2
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gainreduction's Avatar
 

The monthly powerbill for running a 9000 is crazy high. Unless you are swimming in money, stay away.
Old 27th September 2017
  #3
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Showcase's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gainreduction View Post
The monthly powerbill for running a 9000 is crazy high. Unless you are swimming in money, stay away.
Aprox. How high?
Old 27th September 2017
  #4
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Oldone's Avatar
You should ping James Lugo who hangs out here. He went from ITB to Hybrid to owing an SSL 4000 back to hybrid. He can tell you all about owning a large console, the repair and upkeep.
Old 27th September 2017
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

I have an SSL 4056 G and the power bills aren't that high. Also you can get the Atomic power supply and cut down the power draw significantly. Also, in the 4 years I have owned my desk, I have had very few repairs I have needed to do to the console. The 4000s are a pretty solid console and easily serviceable.
Old 28th September 2017
  #6
It's kinda pointless owning a large console if you don't have the hardware to augment it with if you ask me.

You won't get the best out of it.
Old 28th September 2017
  #7
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Jeff Hayat's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
It's kinda pointless owning a large console if you don't have the hardware to augment it with if you ask me.

You won't get the best out of it.
Agree with this 100%. Part of the fun - and mojo - of using a LFAC involves the OG. Having the former w/o the latter is like having Veal Parmigian without the breading and the tomato sauce. It's like having a Jack and Coke without the Jack. It's like having an audio internet forum without a bunch of people telling the rest of us that all DAWs do not sound the same.

Do not sell your OG to get the SSL. You might love it at first, but you are going to have serious withdrawal in short order.

Cheers.

Last edited by Jeff Hayat; 28th September 2017 at 03:28 AM..
Old 28th September 2017
  #8
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Wiggy Neve Slut's Avatar
 

Yeah the workflow on a SSL of that magnitude is very cool if you're used to it.

Totally agree you need all the 'gravy' in terms of outboard to make it really sing.

Wiggy
Old 28th September 2017
  #9
Gear Head
 
ibeenajro's Avatar
I thought so, and I've read that the console maintenance is not as much as people make it seem to be, the person who's offering me the SSL 4064 E/G+ shared with me he doesn't spend much on the bill, and he turns off the console every night without issues, and I must say his console is in very good shape from what I was able to see and hear. but you guys are right... I'd miss my outboard gear, but that's where I think plugins can aid a bit.

I'm also looking at it as a business stand point, I know the console would draw in more clients and raise my prices due to pedigree of owning a console and I'd slowly build back the outboard gear collection again, but I can't help to wonder... so many consoles at "great deals" now.. makes me think maybe they're becoming a thing of the past... so you guys say stay hybrid? forget the console?
Old 28th September 2017
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by ibeenajro View Post
I thought so, and I've read that the console maintenance is not as much as people make it seem to be, the person who's offering me the SSL 4064 E/G+ shared with me he doesn't spend much on the bill, and he turns off the console every night without issues, and I must say his console is in very good shape from what I was able to see and hear. but you guys are right... I'd miss my outboard gear, but that's where I think plugins can aid a bit.
You're kinda missing the point with plugins vs outboard gear.

Getting a console for mixing, means you want the hands on aspect. If you're then going hands OFF by mixing with plugins for processing..well, that's kinda backwards. You'll end up just using the console as a big stemming machine.

Bearing in mind I have a studio full of outboard AND a big console, I still mix totally ITB - for workflow AND sonic reasons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ibeenajro View Post
I'm also looking at it as a business stand point, I know the console would draw in more clients and raise my prices due to pedigree of owning a console and I'd slowly build back the outboard gear collection again, but I can't help to wonder... so many consoles at "great deals" now.. makes me think maybe they're becoming a thing of the past... so you guys say stay hybrid? forget the console?
If you operate a tracking room, I wouldn't want to be without a console. But it possibly wouldn't be an SSL (well, it might be, but it wouldn't be the J. Maybe an SSL AWS).

For mixing - if you're aiming at a decent level of client, you need to be able to offer quick recalls.

I met up with one of the UK's top mix engineers a month or so ago, when I was travelling. He's well known for being an "SSL guy", and he has his own facility. He told me he doesn't really touch the console anymore, it's useful for summing and mixbuss comp, but he does all his hardware on analogue inserts (And then it's the CLA "minimal changes" methods) and the rest is ITB.

Mixing on a console, in the pro world, really is very much on the decline - it's simply not feasible, either practically or economically, for anyone but a few.
Old 28th September 2017
  #11
Gear Head
 
ibeenajro's Avatar
psycho_monkey, It's really not plugins vs outboard gear, it's SSL console + Plugins vs Outboard Hybrid Set up, both would end in Pro Tools
but I understand now, I appreciate your input,
Yes I was looking at an AWS as well! they're nice, sucks that they don't have dynamics on every channel, but yeah actually that could be one of my options as well

Ahhh I mean yeah you're right.. plugins have came a long way and great results could be achieved ITB
Old 28th September 2017
  #12
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
Bearing in mind I have a studio full of outboard AND a big console, I still mix totally ITB - for workflow AND sonic reasons.
Can you elaborate a bit please? Are you saying you prefer the ITB sound? I get the "workflow" argument but, sonic reasons?
Old 28th September 2017
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by ibeenajro View Post
psycho_monkey, It's really not plugins vs outboard gear, it's SSL console + Plugins vs Outboard Hybrid Set up, both would end in Pro Tools
but I understand now, I appreciate your input,
Yes I was looking at an AWS as well! they're nice, sucks that they don't have dynamics on every channel, but yeah actually that could be one of my options as well

Ahhh I mean yeah you're right.. plugins have came a long way and great results could be achieved ITB
You can add dynamics to the aws in the form of x-rack though - and include them in the recall.

I just feel that if you don't have the outboard worthy of the console, you're compromising the experience. You can't really "mix OTB" if you've put some of your. Idea back in it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tkmin View Post
Can you elaborate a bit please? Are you saying you prefer the ITB sound? I get the "workflow" argument but, sonic reasons?
I'm saying I don't really feel like plugging in external boxes gives me anything I can't do in the box. I find that the liberation of quick recalls means that sonically I get where I want to go quicker, with less fuss. I switched from a hardware mixbuss chain a couple of years ago, and I really don't miss it.

I do use all the outboard when tracking though!
Old 28th September 2017
  #14
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Wiggy Neve Slut's Avatar
 

I've gone through a big sea change in work flow and aspirations over the last year.

As someone who loves consoles the more modern offerings such as aws and Neve Genesys are really where it's at.

I was considering a 4040G+ then a 4024 and now it's looking like a AWS or Genesys black.

With their new work flows, superior sonics and daw integration it's pretty much a no brainer now and THEN I'm hanging my racks off the back to insert and have fun.

Plus they're new without many maintenance hassles and still readily supported. I'm hopefully going to have a try of both in the coming months and see which one does it for me.

I re read the Genesys black thread the other day and listened to some files and it sounds awesome. The future is here with these sorts of tools!

Wiggy
Old 28th September 2017
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
It's kinda pointless owning a large console if you don't have the hardware to augment it with if you ask me.

You won't get the best out of it.
Of course!
Andy Wallace

The OP is asking about mixing, not tracking, isn't it ?

Only a console for mixing:
Reverb and delay effects from plugins.
And we leave aside the masterbuss rack at the moment.



R.
Old 28th September 2017
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Wiggy Neve Slut's Avatar
 

As cool as the SSL eq is for carving and shaping, pultecs, API and neves are quite handy to take thing to the next level and provide some extra magic and girth.

I think the fx plug are pretty darn good now but having them return to an analogue solution adds that extra bit of jenne se quis imho.
Old 28th September 2017
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggy Neve Slut View Post
I've gone through a big sea change in work flow and aspirations over the last year.
Me too.

My vote goes for a GOOD console, rather than hybrid mixing, but like Wiggy said, a SSL AWS
(AWS 948 with delta control used for 30-50k).
Again, we are talking only for mixing, not tracking !!

R.
Old 28th September 2017
  #18
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ibeenajro View Post
Hello guys I'm in the middle of a dilemma, I have a budget that will allow only the purchase of a console, either a 4064 E/G+ or a 9000J (Have both sellers on my go) and ADAT converters, but.... I'd have to sell almost all my outboard gear... now I've got a lot of plugins for different flavors etc, but I'm sure they can't really replace the actual rack pieces. Anyway I've always wanted a console, yes this would be my first console purchase, what would you guys do? SSL console only or, 40K USD worth of outboard gear for a hybrid mix set up or what not.
If you care about ultimate sonics, Nothing will beat a console.. In addition the hybrid issue really does not work in my opinion .. For the reason of: sending +4 converter output into hardware does NOT sound as sweet as running a single ended SSL channel insert output to hardware.. For sure I have done extensive tests on this..

+ if you sell time commercially the console will give you the wow factor ..
Old 28th September 2017
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolf Ebitsch View Post
Of course!
Andy Wallace

The OP is asking about mixing, not tracking, isn't it ?

Only a console for mixing:
Reverb and delay effects from plugins.
And we leave aside the masterbuss rack at the moment.



R.
That's true, AW is known for minimal outboard. However, the OP seems to think he needs his outboard, and will be replacing it with plugins. I don't think it's a great idea to ditch all the outboard if you're used to it - and using plugins as "ITB outboard" only works well if you're running HDX/TDM. If you're running on high buffer sizes, forget tempo-based delays ITB.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelAngelo View Post
In addition the hybrid issue really does not work in my opinion .
As with everything, you are welcome to your opinion but given that even the guys who still (just about) work on consoles are using hardware inserts now...it works well. Or at least their work sells and wins awards, and is critically and commercially acclaimed. Maybe you're right and ultimate fidelity is only achieved with an SSL's inserts. Or maybe it works just fine the way it's designed. I've never had an issue with hardware inserts. I HAVE had occasional issues with pieces of hardware not playing nice in chains...

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelAngelo View Post
+ if you sell time commercially the console will give you the wow factor ..
If you sell attended tracking sessions, sure (I like console-based tracking). See above though - are we talking mixing or tracking?

If you work remotely, it could cost you time and money.
Old 28th September 2017
  #20
Honestly, If I was just mixing, I'd probably get something like an SSL Matrix and just hang my outboard off it.
Old 28th September 2017
  #21
Lives for gear
 

In this day and age I don't think I would want a console. HDX plus a good fader solution with eucon is super functional and easy to navigate. And it's easy to integrate analog outboard in that sort of scenario. If I did insist on a console, it would be something like an AWS.

There are situations when a very large- e.g. 72 channel ssl- console is much more ergonomic for the job, but those jobs are mostly few and far between for most guys.
Old 28th September 2017
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
That's true, AW is known for minimal outboard. However, the OP seems to think he needs his outboard, and will be replacing it with plugins. I don't think it's a great idea to ditch all the outboard if you're used to it - and using plugins as "ITB outboard" only works well if you're running HDX/TDM. If you're running on high buffer sizes, forget tempo-based delays ITB.




As with everything, you are welcome to your opinion but given that even the guys who still (just about) work on consoles are using hardware inserts now...it works well. Or at least their work sells and wins awards, and is critically and commercially acclaimed. Maybe you're right and ultimate fidelity is only achieved with an SSL's inserts. Or maybe it works just fine the way it's designed. I've never had an issue with hardware inserts. I HAVE had occasional issues with pieces of hardware not playing nice in chains...



If you sell attended tracking sessions, sure (I like console-based tracking). See above though - are we talking mixing or tracking?

If you work remotely, it could cost you time and money.
Hello Psycho Monkey

We have wrestled with this before.. I see you don't hear any difference .. I can respect that.. Is it not obvious we are making really low fi records these days?

Of course there are hits with lesser quality of sound I grew up with.. The artist/song/production is always first and foremost importance.. Always was and always will..

I been running my major facility for 40 years, but still listen to my clients. Most want "better" sound when they can afford it. Since I have 6 rooms, I have low budjet rooms for those that feel quality is not so important, or think it really does not matter in general , especially when it hits spotify!

I remember recording and mixing Public Enemy's biggest seller, they always wanted a "certain" sound.. More on the low fi tip.. But they did a few albums with me for a certain sonic quality and the way there music hit!

What I don't understand about some comments of yours is why justify less quality audio just because we need the production flexibility? I mean I get it.. The song, arrangement, production comes first.. But from the audio God's the rules are the rules.. meaning there is no free lunch.. What do I mean about that?

I believe the better the sonic quality a album is, the more chances the listener will RE-visit that recording and enjoy it.. Now thats my philosophy! I am not convinced very low fi music streaming and recording will age well! Or will be regarded as classic's in 20 years.. This is not my words.. these are my clients thoughts.. I just happen to agree..

I also want to mention, . Since I made my fortune in the heyday of the 80's and 90's when people paid for music. I can live in the sonic art for the ART! Its a amazing place to be, when clients want the cheaper burger, I sell it to them, when they want the better one, I can offer them that! I make money both ways, so therefore I have no bias, or preference.. I post hear to educate younger people looking for "better sonics" and for me to view user opinions.

When you shoot down my 40 years of research, I am not offended, everybody is welcome to there opinion ..
Old 28th September 2017
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
That's true, AW is known for minimal outboard. However, the OP seems to think he needs his outboard, and will be replacing it with plugins. I don't think it's a great idea to ditch all the outboard if you're used to it - and using plugins as "ITB outboard" only works well if you're running HDX/TDM. If you're running on high buffer sizes, forget tempo-based delays ITB.




As with everything, you are welcome to your opinion but given that even the guys who still (just about) work on consoles are using hardware inserts now...it works well. Or at least their work sells and wins awards, and is critically and commercially acclaimed. Maybe you're right and ultimate fidelity is only achieved with an SSL's inserts. Or maybe it works just fine the way it's designed. I've never had an issue with hardware inserts. I HAVE had occasional issues with pieces of hardware not playing nice in chains...



If you sell attended tracking sessions, sure (I like console-based tracking). See above though - are we talking mixing or tracking?

If you work remotely, it could cost you time and money.
Also lets not forget console tracking can provide latency free cue monitoring.. This is a important fact.. No wonder why so many great musical performances are sound replaced and gridded.. The poor musician had 8 milliseconds of delay in his cans, (headphones) when he was performing...
Old 28th September 2017
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelAngelo View Post
Also lets not forget console tracking can provide latency free cue monitoring.. This is a important fact.. No wonder why so many great musical performances are sound replaced and gridded.. The poor musician had 8 milliseconds of delay in his cans, (headphones) when he was performing...
Right Michael, absolutely very important !

But this thread is about console or hybrid ONLY for mixing.
Consequently for the OP and his question irrelevant.

R.
Old 28th September 2017
  #25
I have gone from:

ITB
to Hybrid with large format analog console & outboard
to Hybrid with Avid Icon with Neve summing and 2bus

I am now thinking about dropping the outboard altogether.

I spent a very long time trying to replicate what the hardware was doing (in my case Neve summing added color and width/depth that I couldn't do ITB).

My position has changed. I discovered a combination of plugins that gave me everything the Neve summing was doing to the point that I can't tell the difference in a blind test. Same for some of the 2 bus pieces. There are still a few crazy "color" boxes that exist with no good plugin equivalent, but those are REALLY few lately and honestly aren't critical (for my needs, YMMV).

Do I like mixing with outboard? Yep, I LOVE IT. Does it get me better results sonically? A few years ago I would have said yes. I can't honestly say that anymore......

To each his own, I don't claim to have golden ears. I'm not saying ITB is right for everyone or that plugins always sound as good as hardware, but am just suggesting that people be open to what is possible. I know a few people who claim outboard is better but have not gone to the same lengths as I have to replicate it ITB.

I surprised myself!

Last edited by bambamboom; 28th September 2017 at 08:05 PM..
Old 28th September 2017
  #26
Gear Head
 
ibeenajro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolf Ebitsch View Post
Right Michael, absolutely very important !

But this thread is about console or hybrid ONLY for mixing.
Consequently for the OP and his question irrelevant.

R.
although, yes I put "mixing" in the title, I track in here too so that's another important part too.

Michael, Thanks for the input !
Old 28th September 2017
  #27
Gear Maniac
 
Rythm'BackStudio's Avatar
 

I see the AWS mentioned a lot lately. How many of you have actually worked on it multiple times? I have, and for me there is NOTHING exciting about it, sonically. I would rather be ITB than having an AWS. Other larger SSL's are a different story to me, way more exciting and worth going out and in of a converter for.
Old 28th September 2017
  #28
Gear Head
 
ibeenajro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rythm'BackStudio View Post
I see the AWS mentioned a lot lately. How many of you have actually worked on it multiple times? I have, and for me there is NOTHING exciting about it, sonically. I would rather be ITB than having an AWS. Other larger SSL's are a different story to me, way more exciting and worth going out and in of a converter for.
can you elaborate as to why you'd prefer plugins over the AWS, usually you hear nothing but great things about it here. but nobody can argue about the real consoles vs aws' differences in sonic qualities
Old 28th September 2017
  #29
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IM WHO YOU THINK's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Hayat View Post
Agree with this 100%. Part of the fun - and mojo - of using a LFAC involves the OG. Having the former w/o the latter is like having Veal Parmigian without the breading and the tomato sauce. It's like having a Jack and Coke without the Jack. It's like having an audio internet forum without a bunch of people telling the rest of us that all DAWs do not sound the same.

Do not sell your OG to get the SSL. You might love it at first, but you are going to have serious withdrawal in short order.

Cheers.
So what's like Jack and coke without the Coke? I could deal with that one. No HFCS lol


I wanted a LFAC since I was a kid, but now not so much. An SSL G series doesn't sound like API/Neve/Pultec/1176/LA2A/Distressor etc...

I started out studying recall notes from some of my favorite mixers when I was younger. The list of outboard stuff in addition to the console was pretty extensive and consistent. SSL/API/DBX160x/Pultec on Drums. LA2a/StaLevel/GML/1073 on vox etc...

I used to think I would waste money collecting outboard gear, because digital would "get there" and I'd feel I wasted a bunch of money. But then I added up what I spent on digital gear over the years and what it's worth now.

Now, I feel like I add pieces for specific purposes. Plugins may get there, but if I continue building my rack, I'm not guessing what it may become. I'm not caring about resale value. I'm buying what sounds good to me now.

Last edited by IM WHO YOU THINK; 28th September 2017 at 10:04 PM..
Old 28th September 2017
  #30
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IM WHO YOU THINK's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
You can add dynamics to the aws in the form of x-rack though - and include them in the recall.

I just feel that if you don't have the outboard worthy of the console, you're compromising the experience. You can't really "mix OTB" if you've put some of your. Idea back in it.



I'm saying I don't really feel like plugging in external boxes gives me anything I can't do in the box. I find that the liberation of quick recalls means that sonically I get where I want to go quicker, with less fuss. I switched from a hardware mixbuss chain a couple of years ago, and I really don't miss it.

I do use all the outboard when tracking though!
What did you have on your 2bus in analog hardware? What did you switch to itb plugs?

You raise a good point about HDX/TDM vs high buffer sizes in native when trying to run all ITB "outboard".
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