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SSL XL vs Al Smart C2 comps
Old 21st March 2005
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
Jack the Bear's Avatar
 

SSL XL vs Al Smart C2 comps

I'm considering either a C2 or SSL XL comp as another flavor for mastering. While there's no substitte to actually mixing through an SSL for that "authentic" SSL sound, passing through either of thbese 2 boxes can be a pretty kewl thing especially with program mixed internally.

Anyhoo....anyone done head to head with these 2 units? Also there is a black faced and silver faced Al Smart. Any differences between these two other than cosmetics.

I'm not concerned about how they are for tracking....just as a mastering tool.

Thanks for anyone willing to input..

Cheers,
Old 21st March 2005
  #2
Lives for gear
 
SnakeCained's Avatar
 

Do a search this has been covered before. Personally I went for the older G384!
Old 21st March 2005
  #3
Guest
Guest
I have not heard the XL stuff.
However, I did an A/B of the C2 and the G384.

I prefered the 384 and own it now.
The guy I was with (more seasoned) prefered the Alan Smart.
Both were real close.

I felt the C2 did more of an enhancer thing and the SSL seemed to do more of a mid push.

I doubt either would be a bad choice.

D
Old 8th May 2005
  #4
Here for the gear
 

can anyone point me in a direction where I can purchase an SSL FX 384?
Old 8th May 2005
  #5
Gear Addict
 
edIT's Avatar
 

i owned an Al Smart C2 and there have been numerous threads of me being utterly confused as to why so many people are in love with it. Especialy on the stereo bus. I have not tried the SSL comp, but the C2 is quite a squasher. Most people use it on the stereo bus compressing about 1 to 2 dB, long attack quick release at a ration of 1.5 or 2. But at that point the effect is SO SUBTLE, you are pretty much using it for the makeup gain. So I didn't realy see the point. Also the Smart has a tendency to shave off really low subs and even some of the hi's an EQ afterwards is definitely much needed. As a tracking compressor it kicks ass. I LOVE it as a tracking comp, and the crush button can have it's place. But as a stereo bus comp, I think you'd better send a filtered signal to the sidechain in order to the most mileage out of it. It's a very sensetive and fast compressor. Any prominet kicks and snares will set the thing off. I sold mine and got a Crane Song STC-8 (instant gratification). Couldn't be happier.
Old 8th May 2005
  #6
If you want the SSL buss compressor sound buy the older G384.

If you can't one find try the Smart C1 which is closer to the sound than the C2.

If you want something more transparent and probably a little more versatile try the C2.
Old 9th May 2005
  #7
Lives for gear
If you can't mix through an actual SSL, i'm sure you can find other ways to make the sound thinner, more brittle and generally crummier.
Old 9th May 2005
  #8
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T_R_S's Avatar
I agree an SSL comp on the 2 bus will do things to bottom you may or may not like it.
I would reach for a Manley or a Neve before an SSL for 2 buss mix.
Old 9th May 2005
  #9
Lives for gear
 

the key to making the 384 work for me has been 10:1 and using the sidechain so it doesn't grab the bottom end. fantastic if used in moderation- and also a great tracking comp. for drums and acoustic guitars/piano.
Old 9th May 2005
  #10
Lives for gear
 

You got it right there, 10:1 and the sidechain. How do you do the sidechain trick again?
Sean
Old 9th May 2005
  #11
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by borau
thinner, brittle, crummier, if thats what you want to call it, is a very popular sound these days!
That's great... let's all do what's popular!! FWIW, 14% of the male population likes to get fukked in the ass... now that's a hell of a lot more people than the entire music industry from artists to recordists to kids in school and all or their friends... in other words, to a whole **** load of people there is no better sex in the world than having some man fukk them in the ass.

I don't care what they think, and I don't care what they do. For me, it holds no interest, much like that sound on my 2 buss holds no interest.

That said, I think the C-2 is one of my "would prefer to not ever have to live without it" tracking compressors, but I will agree with William and a lot of less "popluar" folk when I say I think it has no place on my 2 buss... then again I'm not too wild about the concept of a dick in my ass either... so I guess I'm just not into popular concepts.

As always, YMMV [not that there's anything wrong with that].

Peace
Old 9th May 2005
  #12
Gear Guru
 
Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

I'm kind of right in the middle here. I guess that makes me Bi-

I agree that an SSL is not a sonic masterpiece. But it does have a sound.

And sometimes that sound is what's required. Good or Bad.

I see the merits of a Neve and an SSL.

And FWIW, I believe that just using an SSL compressor can get you 1/2 the way there if you don't have a console.

Why aren't companies racking these G series compressors along with some SSL mic pre's for us Folcrom guys?
Old 9th May 2005
  #13
Lives for gear
 
robot gigante's Avatar
Does anyone know if you can get the C1 modded to have sidechain inputs?
Old 9th May 2005
  #14
Moderator
 
TonyBelmont's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher
That's great... let's all do what's popular!! FWIW, 14% of the male population likes to get fukked in the ass... now that's a hell of a lot more people than the entire music industry from artists to recordists to kids in school and all or their friends... in other words, to a whole **** load of people there is no better sex in the world than having some man fukk them in the ass.

I don't care what they think, and I don't care what they do. For me, it holds no interest, much like that sound on my 2 buss holds no interest.

That said, I think the C-2 is one of my "would prefer to not ever have to live without it" tracking compressors, but I will agree with William and a lot of less "popluar" folk when I say I think it has no place on my 2 buss... then again I'm not too wild about the concept of a dick in my ass either... so I guess I'm just not into popular concepts.

As always, YMMV [not that there's anything wrong with that].

Peace
This is the greatest post ever. Fletch, you sure have a unique way of illustrating your point. heh

I guarantee someone will be using this as their signature before the end of the day!
Old 9th May 2005
  #15
Moderator
 
TonyBelmont's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Produceher
Why aren't companies racking these G series compressors along with some SSL mic pre's for us Folcrom guys?
Because it would cost about $10k to do that...
Old 9th May 2005
  #16
no ssl yet
Guest
SO Fletch

Fletch u say you're not to wild about the thought, should we assume that means you have given thought to it LMAO heh
Old 10th May 2005
  #17
Gear Guru
 
Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont
Because it would cost about $10k to do that...
Not if they're ripped out of old G consoles that are broken.
Old 10th May 2005
  #18
Moderator
 
TonyBelmont's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Produceher
Not if they're ripped out of old G consoles that are broken.

Sorry, but you really have no idea what you are talking about.

How many broken SSL G series consoles have you seen floating around where someone just decides to rip out the center section and part it out???? It would probably be the single most ridiculous move you could do, as an owner of one of these consoles. The center section is the most expensive part of the console and they are roughly $30k+ new from SSL.. Good luck on your mythical journey to find a used SSL 4000 G series center section and someone to rack it up for under $10k. If you tried to purchase the cards that the compressor is made out of from SSL new, they would probably total $10k including finding someone to make the front panel for you, racking it up, and powering it, etc. Also good luck finding the DBX 202VCA which is key to the sound of those consoles and are impossible to find..

That's a conservative estimate, but you can call Bruce Millet at the Desk Doctor(probably the authority on such matters here in the states) and let him break your heart. Make sure to tell him you want to find a broken G series and you want to take just the stereo buss compressor out of it and rack it up. While your at it, ask him how much he thinks it will cost, assuming you could find a used one. I can only imagine the chuckle he would get out of it. It just would be to much hassle when the G384's that are 4 or more years old are essentially the same thing...
Old 10th May 2005
  #19
Lives for gear
 

I hear people dogg the 384 but that compressor has been used on some of the best sounding rock records of all time. Andy Wallace uses it on all his mixes, sometimes at 4:1 taking off 4-6 db! And his stuff sounds great.

I have a C-1 because Al Smart told me it was closer to the 384 but was not a clone. I use it mostly 4:1 attack on 3 auto release and take off 2-4 db and I love it, it adds a very polished "tight" sound and makes the transients "pop" in a nice way. Check out
www.blacklinerock.com/music/CC4.mp3

Steve
www.bangrecording.com
www.blacklinerock.com
Old 10th May 2005
  #20
Gear Guru
 
Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont
Sorry, but you really have no idea what you are talking about.

How many broken SSL G series consoles have you seen floating around where someone just decides to rip out the center section and part it out???? It would probably be the single most ridiculous move you could do, as an owner of one of these consoles. The center section is the most expensive part of the console and they are roughly $30k+ new from SSL.. Good luck on your mythical journey to find a used SSL 4000 G series center section and someone to rack it up for under $10k. If you tried to purchase the cards that the compressor is made out of from SSL new, they would probably total $10k including finding someone to make the front panel for you, racking it up, and powering it, etc. Also good luck finding the DBX 202VCA which is key to the sound of those consoles and are impossible to find..

That's a conservative estimate, but you can call Bruce Millet at the Desk Doctor(probably the authority on such matters here in the states) and let him break your heart. Make sure to tell him you want to find a broken G series and you want to take just the stereo buss compressor out of it and rack it up. While your at it, ask him how much he thinks it will cost, assuming you could find a used one. I can only imagine the chuckle he would get out of it. It just would be to much hassle when the G384's that are 4 or more years old are essentially the same thing...
I'll take you at your word on this one.

Would you think the same thing about the mic pre's?
Old 10th May 2005
  #21
Lives for gear
speaking of buggery {g}

"While there's no substitte to actually mixing through an SSL for that "authentic" SSL sound,..."


I actually can see making a case for using the C2 (for whatever you like it on)... it's the concept of wanting the ENTIRE "autnentic SSL sound" that I found amusing.

You can always strap a chain of way too many IC op amps in line if that's what you want.
Old 10th May 2005
  #22
Moderator
 
TonyBelmont's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Produceher
I'll take you at your word on this one.

Would you think the same thing about the mic pre's?
It's a much more conceivable option. I've had some clients think about doing this, but honestly the mic pre's are really not worth the trouble. Spending $3000 on a used channel strip and trying to rack them is just not worth it. Also, I think the XLogic Channel mic pre actually sounds better than the G series pre anyway..

The only SSL modules that are easily racked and affordable are the 5000 series modules, which can be had at a very reasonable price..

Honestly, I think I'd rather have an Aurora Audio GTQ2 less money instead.
Old 10th May 2005
  #23
how did the 5000 console sound though??? Anything like the "G"...
Old 10th May 2005
  #24
Moderator
 
TonyBelmont's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wwittman
speaking of buggery {g}

"While there's no substitte to actually mixing through an SSL for that "authentic" SSL sound,..."


I actually can see making a case for using the C2 (for whatever you like it on)... it's the concept of wanting the ENTIRE "autnentic SSL sound" that I found amusing.

You can always strap a chain of way too many IC op amps in line if that's what you want.
Don't forget 3 or 4 VCA's as well that each channel would touch on the way out the main outs... A lot of people forget that they really do add to the crunch of it.

Those consoles are full of a bunch of VCA's and 5534 IC's... things that are considered "horrible" in terms of audio quality, but people don't seem to mind when they are in an SSL... That's one of the great ironies of audio there..
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