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SSL EQ famous?? Other Modular Audio Processors
Old 17th October 2009
  #31
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Seditionary's Avatar
 

balanced 502's on mix buss vs plugs

i found a chap who's selling a racked pair of dual, balanced 502's who swears that they are awesome on the overall mix buss. you guys would stay with a plug-in inside the daw though? would probably be cleaner, yeah? (or leave it up to the mastering engineer)? the money i'd spend on the 502's + rack could be used instead to get me another channel of pre or mic, which might serve me better -- just would love to get some thoughts.

thanks all
Old 17th October 2009
  #32
Gear Head
 

Hmmmm, buss EQ...?.

Well, if you cut only it will be an excellent trouble solver, but you'd better cut the problems out before bussing. But don't expect it to be an equaliser that makes your mix fatter/more exciting/whatever if you use the EQ to boost frequencies.

Don't get me wrong, the 502 is a very good equaliser. It's just as good as the 4k/6k brownknob EQ's.
(okay, it hasn't got pots for bandwidth. Instead you have switches for bell/curve).

If it would be a wise addition to your studio depends on what stuff you already have, and if you use a few outboard compressors into a summingbox.

IMO a good micpre is way more important than an expensive outboard equaliser. And there are plenty of excellent plugin EQ's !
Old 17th October 2009
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GANGI View Post
i found a chap who's selling a racked pair of dual, balanced 502's who swears that they are awesome on the overall mix buss. you guys would stay with a plug-in inside the daw though? would probably be cleaner, yeah? (or leave it up to the mastering engineer)? the money i'd spend on the 502's + rack could be used instead to get me another channel of pre or mic, which might serve me better -- just would love to get some thoughts.

thanks all
How much does he want for them?

And who is the chap? A professional?

I'm sure they are nice EQs, but in my long career as a recordist and having used SSL desks, I never used an SSL EQ on mix buss, nor have I ever heard of that.

But you never know till you try right?
Old 17th October 2009
  #34
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GearHunter View Post
I never used an SSL EQ on mix buss, nor have I ever heard of that.

But you never know till you try right?
Well, there are 5K consoles with 522 EQ's on the subgroups. (522's are the stereo 3band version of the 502). Which doesn't mean they'll be perfect for that. It was the only option for stereo EQ-ing that SSL had to offer for the 5k consoles.......

But now I'm thinking of it, Recycled Audio built stereo masterbussracks consisting of a 521 stereo inputmodule, a 522 EQ, and a 520 busscompressor.

I forgot to add, the low- and hicut filters aren't located in the EQ modules. They're fitted in the inputmodules.
Old 17th October 2009
  #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont View Post
The preamps were notable for being bad. heh
82E01 pre's were nice sounding though ...
Old 17th October 2009
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helterbelter View Post
Well, there are 5K consoles with 522 EQ's on the subgroups. (522's are the stereo 3band version of the 502). Which doesn't mean they'll be perfect for that. It was the only option for stereo EQ-ing that SSL had to offer for the 5k consoles.......

But now I'm thinking of it, Recycled Audio built stereo masterbussracks consisting of a 521 stereo inputmodule, a 522 EQ, and a 520 busscompressor.

I forgot to add, the low- and hicut filters aren't located in the EQ modules. They're fitted in the inputmodules.
I am familiar with the broadcast and vid desks -- the 5000 series -- that had EQ modules in the master section. I'm sure they were cool for some corrective work or whatever -- a quick way to make things clearer or more defined --- but I never heard of music/record producers using them on mix-buss. Certainly the master compressor was and is still used to create that punchy, smacking SSL sound. If it were me, I'd get one of those before just about any EQ.

Get an SSL Mynx rack with this in it!
Old 17th October 2009
  #37
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SSL eq's

Well, unfortunately I was unable to make the SSL purchase, instead found Quad Eight/Westrex 4 band parametrics which I have upgraded the IC's on and added old Marinair transformers on the outputs. Tough times call for tough measures.....
Old 17th October 2009
  #38
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Knox's Avatar
 

I can only assume you were not around in the earlier stages of SSL consoles. What's sad is . . . those early SSL influenced sounds somehow became the norm and are still influencing people's choices today. One in particular is the paper bag snare sound (among many others). I once worked on a very large, (brand new) SSL console in the 80s where the mixes sounded so bad we called SSL . . . they told the studio owner that if we wanted it to sound "right" they could offer some mod ideas!! As you can imagine . . . the studio owner was pissed . . . as we were, cause we could not make the mixes work for us. I ended up taking the project to Sigma and we happily re-mixed it on the old Neve they had. It's the way it was with SSLs. I still don't want to use them if I can get away with it. btw . . . it was not the studio . . . as he had replaced an old Neve with the SSL. We used to get wonderful sounds from that room and the Neve. Of course much of the SSL 'sound' in the early days came from too much gating and compression that everyone was using on the channels simply because they were 'there' . . . but much was the sonics of the SSLs themselves.

Quote:
Originally Posted by antoniosolo View Post
That is a very serious statement! Can you link someone to that statement please?
Old 17th October 2009
  #39
Gear Addict
 
StudioKing's Avatar
If anyone is interested I have a recycled audio rack, it is brand new and has the following ssl 500 modules in it:

2 x sl501 mic pre
2 x sl502 eq
1 x sl520 stereo comp

All of the modules have been fully serviced.
PM me.

Thanks
Old 21st October 2009
  #40
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Seditionary's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GearHunter View Post
How much does he want for them?

And who is the chap? A professional?

I'm sure they are nice EQs, but in my long career as a recordist and having used SSL desks, I never used an SSL EQ on mix buss, nor have I ever heard of that.

But you never know till you try right?
The chap was on craigslist. It was a really good deal on a racked pair of them, but I've decided to save up instead towards a mic. He probably sold them by now, but if anyone is interested, and if he hasn't sold them, I could dig up his email for you.
Old 21st October 2009
  #41
Quote:
Originally Posted by antoniosolo View Post
That is a very serious statement! Can you link someone to that statement please?
Just re-read some old Mix interviews from the 1980's. You will find folks bitching about the SSL's lack of low end, grungy mids and VCA dirt on their mixes. In other words, they were perfect for 80's rock.

Similar statements were also made in the past regarding discrete transistor consoles like Neve, Electrodyne, Langivine, etc. An article in 1968 in the LA Free Press interviewed engineers from Sunset Sound and other long time LA studios.

They complained that they didn't like the new transistor desks. They said they sounded harsh, sterile and brittle. They asked, "please put back in the tube consoles". That didn't happen.

Fast forward to 2000. Now engineers pay heavily for those same old discrete transistor consoles, the same ones that sounded horrible back when they were new.

Fashion in audio.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 21st October 2009
  #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
I thought it was Tony Bongiovi who did that not Bob C.

Also SSL mic pres get a bad slack, but if you pull them out of the console or bypass the channels and take a feed directly from the mic pre the later ones sound pretty good.

Lastly the 242 EQ in conjunction with the filters is very underated and some day will be considered classic. I would choose them any day for mixing over API EQ's and some Neve's.
yes,it was Tony Bongiovi /Power Station who came up with the concept of having 24 Pultecs in each room.
I worked with him and at Power Station many,many times during their heyday.

BTW..there was a Neve 8008 in the A room.

I dont care for SSLs on their own at all.
very over rated,in imho.
Old 26th October 2009
  #43
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why did i spend my money on waves ssl if the ssl sound isn't even something to shoot for

dfegad
Old 26th October 2009
  #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dullfangs View Post
why did i spend my money on waves ssl if the ssl sound isn't even something to shoot for

dfegad
Even though the SSL sound was "slammed" when it first came out, and promted people to get external mic pres (and to a lesser extent EQs), over time the sound became associated with the big hit-record sound. Mostly it was the mic-pres people didn't like. Plus, the big studios weren't tracking on them, the SSLs were used as computer-automated mixing desks,

The first generation EQ, the E-02 "Brown" was very mid-agressive and grungy. But SSL answered the critics by designing the E242 "black" EQ, which most people agree is the punchiest, most musical SSL EQ, especially for rock/pop. Then they came out with the G292 EQ which was very clean and more neutral sounding. I personally was never a fan of that one. The very first generation G desks sounded awful IMO, but again SSL answered the call and introduced the G+ which was available with either the black EQ, the G EQ, or both. Those are freakin' great sounding desks, and the one that most of the better studios and producers want. They also improved the VCAs and introduced moving faders.

What people always LOVED about SSL consoles was the dynamics on every channel and especially the BUSS COMPRESSOR. That was a huge part of the SSL sound. It's why the mixes sounded so big, glued-together and in your face.

As far as Waves, those are good plug-ins and you need good flavors of plugs to work-with. I am sure that the 4000 channel-strip EQ is based on the E 242 "black" EQ.

I have the Waves SSL and I use that 4000 channel-strip all the time.

Why don't you consider getting the very affordable SSL Mynx 2-channel desktop system with two of the 4000 E EQ modules (switchable black or brown), or one EQ and one dynamics module?
Real analogue! thumbsup
Old 26th October 2009
  #45
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Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

SSL had the first recall and automation that worked reliably. Artists and producers jumped at the ability to recall a mix and get back more or less the same thing only with any changes they wanted. They were willing to trade degraded sound for what they believed to be better mixes musically-speaking. Any studio that didn't offer SSL mixing couldn't attract flies for many years.

Today's DAWs offer the same level of recall and automation. This has resulted in a migration right back to APIs being the console of choice. It was more or less precisely where we were at before the "SSL revolution!" If API had offered recall, SSL would probably have never sold a console to a major facility!
Old 27th October 2009
  #46
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You mean people didn't like ARMS?
Old 27th October 2009
  #47
Quote:
Originally Posted by GearHunter View Post
it was the mic-pres people didn't like. Plus, the big studios weren't tracking on them, the SSLs were used as computer-automated mixing desks,
Actually in the beginning alot of people were but soon found out it wasn't a sound they were used to. Lots of hit records have been done on SSL's exclusively but people just didn't know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GearHunter View Post
The first generation EQ, the E-02 "Brown" was very mid-agressive and grungy. But SSL answered the critics by designing the E242 "black" EQ, which most people agree is the punchiest, most musical SSL EQ, especially for rock/pop. Then they came out with the G292 EQ which was very clean and more neutral sounding. I personally was never a fan of that one. The very first generation G desks sounded awful IMO, but again SSL answered the call and introduced the G+ which was available with either the black EQ, the G EQ, or both. Those are freakin' great sounding desks, and the one that most of the better studios and producers want. They also improved the VCAs and introduced moving faders.
The main difference between the brown EQ and the Black EQ is the pull stop switch in the filter section which takes its out of the circuit. On the brown EQ's it always runs through the filter circuit even when set to zero. This modification was attributed to Hugh Pagdham who swore he could hear it every time it was in the circuit. You can hear a difference if you listen carefully. I personally thought the VCA's did more damage to the sound than the Filter circuit. I prefered to shorten the paths by mixing of the tape monitor returns and using the line inputs for automating effects. It opened up the sound completely but you couldn't really automate the channels.

The main differences between the G series and the G+ is the automation. Same line amps and VCA's which were a significant improvement over the E series. On the later G+ they used the oxygen free cables throughout plus the availability of the fancy phase meter one can retrofit in the center section. Also they made the Bob Clearmountain aux mod optional. I've heard stories of a cap free center section on the raven series but have never heard it first hand since i always bypass the monitoring section when i work on most consoles.

People have to understand that over the years like Neves the SSL's have gone through many minor modifications and upgrades in their circuits. They dynamics and EQ cards made especially on requirements from the broadcast industry. I have an SSL broadcast console and its the most open, dynamic and cleanest SSL i've heard that isn't a J series. It has all of the electronic upgrades before they discontinued the old series of consoles. Its a very different sounding SSL console than most are used to.



Quote:
Originally Posted by GearHunter View Post
What people always LOVED about SSL consoles was the dynamics on every channel and especially the BUSS COMPRESSOR. That was a huge part of the SSL sound. It's why the mixes sounded so big, glued-together and in your face.

As far as Waves, those are good plug-ins and you need good flavors of plugs to work-with. I am sure that the 4000 channel-strip EQ is based on the E 242 "black" EQ.


It is based on CLA's old E console which i think belongs to Resonator and that console was modified and upgraded. It still has the E sound though and you can hear it in the difference between CLA's old mixes and new stuff.

Its also a channel modeled through the VCA which i thought was a mistake personally.





Quote:
Originally Posted by GearHunter View Post
I have the Waves SSL and I use that 4000 channel-strip all the time.
I am one of those that can stand the sound of the plugs. No depth to the sound at all. It has a little of the old E character though which is why it comes across to gritty sounding at times.
Old 16th March 2010
  #48
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by StudioKing View Post
If anyone is interested I have a recycled audio rack, it is brand new and has the following ssl 500 modules in it:

2 x sl501 mic pre
2 x sl502 eq
1 x sl520 stereo comp

All of the modules have been fully serviced.
PM me.

Thanks
hey you still have it available? i have had some x rack e series eqs on loan. what is the general feeling of the e series superanalogue compared to the affordable 502 , is there a huge amount of difference in tone? the x logic stuff is pretty clean .. anyone made an A/B test?
Old 16th March 2010
  #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robmix View Post
That's pretty much the reality. Anyone who came up in the 80's into the early 90's will freely tell you that early SSL's did not sound great. Clearmountain used to stack Pultecs on the inserts of the SSL to get some decent EQ in there. But the ergonomics, automation, and recall made everyone take notice. It wasn't until the G and G+ series came out that things started to sound better, and even then the mic pre's weren't totally usable until the J series.
I'm not disputing what you are saying but not every mix Bob did was the same treatment.I sat right next to Mr Bob Cleamountain on an album mix at Bearsville for 2 weeks.No Pultec in sight.Not one.All eq was on the SSL-4000e console.Some DBX de-essers here and there.His modded LA-3A's.His Spanner/sample switcher/..His Sony Dash 3348.His Space Station...The SDE 3000's...Eventide h-3000/rev-7/blah blah ...AMS dmx rmx....blah....Sorry...No pultecs.No tubes.
Old 16th March 2010
  #50
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

But did he bypass the Pultecs mixing at Power Station?
Old 16th March 2010
  #51
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I'd dare to guess the homemade pultec stacks at the pwr station were always hooked up inline with the tape machines....Going to or coming from depending on what was being done.No reason to bypass.Just a hunch.I think the SSL's get a bad rap due to the other arrivals of early 16bit PCM/dat/8 and 12 bit samplers gated reverb abuse and the overly processed records in general.Nothing wrong with an SSL other than it's easy to go too far with the eq and hitting the stereo buss hard does not make the sound mo "Phat".What the hell do I know.Use whatever works for the music.
Old 16th March 2010
  #52
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

We're talking about 1977, a time before digital multi-tracks.
Old 16th March 2010
  #53
Gear Nut
 

Just to clear this up, I generally didn't have the Pultec rack patched across the inputs or outputs of the tape machine, mainly because doing that restricted where in the chain all the Pultecs could be patched. For mixing, I'll often want the EQ after a compressor which would be impossible if they're all stuck on the O/P of the tape machine. Also, they weren't all EQP-1A3s. A few of them were MEQs so there was no way of re-patching them to other instruments (we couldn't simply re-assign outputs in those days!) if I wanted to. And it was a rack of 24, so if I wanted one on a track that was on a slave I'd be out of luck. And, of course, Pultec #24 was usually wasted as that was usually the timecode track. I could go on and on...
The ability to stick them across the tape machine was really just a gimmick dreamt up by Tony Bongiovi that sounded like a cool idea but was simply never practical.

Clearmountain
Old 16th March 2010
  #54
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syra's Avatar
Well said Bob.

Here is my view copied from another thread regarding the SSL EQs.

"I haven't posted a new thread in a while but after yesterday's acoustic mix I decided to comment on the SSL EQ on the Duality. I never thought of SSL EQs as a "must-have" before I spent months with this console. They always felt to me a little dry. Where Neve or API would be full of life and space around them, the SSL always felt kind of 2D. It definitely has its own very distinct sound. Its just not a "wow" sound.

But.

I don't know how to explain it but these EQs over the last 3 years have grown on me so much I can't imagine a better EQ to have 48 of. I guess what finally pushed me to post my observations was yesterday's mix. A guitar/vocal kind of thing that I was sure the APIs and GMLs would be perfect for. No. Nothing touched the SSL. It just sounded more like a finished product with them. They are more flexible than APIs and NEVEs and sound more colored than the GML in a "record" kinda way. Not that I don't LOVE those other EQs. I use them all constantly and wouldn't have it any other way. Its just that while by itself the SSL EQ will never wow you - in the mix it's an amazing tool second to none.
"
Old 16th March 2010
  #55
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by syra View Post
They are more flexible than APIs and NEVEs and sound more colored than the GML in a "record" kinda way. Not that I don't LOVE those other EQs. I use them all constantly and wouldn't have it any other way. Its just that while by itself the SSL EQ will never wow you - in the mix it's an amazing tool second to none.[/I]"
Well said, back at 'ya! Although I do really love the 80-series Neves.

I dunno, I've always felt this way about the E-Series SSL EQ. Never had a problem with the preamps, either. Didn't have a problem on Bowie's "Let's Dance" (SSL E recorded & mixed) or Roxy Music's "Avalon" (same E-series mixed, drums & perc recorded) albums. I guess I'm biased, but I thought the sound of those records was passable.
Old 16th March 2010
  #56
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
...It is based on CLA's old E console which i think belongs to Resonator and that console was modified and upgraded...
My understanding is that the Waves SSL plug-ins were all modeled from prototype modules that SSL loaned them. A real problem with plug-ins is that each instance is absolutely identical while no two real hardware modules are ever absolutely identical.
Old 16th March 2010
  #57
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syra's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MixShmix View Post
I guess I'm biased, but I thought the sound of those records was passable.
Yes quite passable if I may say so heh

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
A real problem with plug-ins is that each instance is absolutely identical while no two real hardware modules are ever absolutely identical.
That's a very good point. An important charm of analog that rarely gets mentioned, is that nothing sounds exactly the same. Even identical - matched - sequential serials - units are different. Hell even when the panpot on my duality channels lock into place in the center, at least half of my channels are noticeably off! So when I think everything is panned hard center, its not. The accumulation of all these little inaccuracies give analog that "living/breathing" element that digital lacks. Its as if in the digital world you're only looking at a snapshot instead of live action. Coming back to Bob Olhsson's point, thats exactly what plugins are. Snapshots.
Old 16th March 2010
  #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MixShmix View Post
I dunno, I've always felt this way about the E-Series SSL EQ. Never had a problem with the preamps, either. Didn't have a problem on Bowie's "Let's Dance" (SSL E recorded & mixed) or Roxy Music's "Avalon" (same E-series mixed, drums & perc recorded) albums. I guess I'm biased, but I thought the sound of those records was passable.
hehhehhehheh
Old 16th March 2010
  #59
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by syra View Post
...when the panpot on my duality channels lock into place in the center, at least half of my channels are noticeably off! So when I think everything is panned hard center, its not...
Which is why a lot of old guys mixed to L, R or both busses completely bypassing the panpots. Hard center accuracy is a big deal when it comes to vinyl singles.
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