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An SSL Mixbus alternative for mastering Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1
An SSL Mixbus alternative for mastering

I'm using the SSL mixbus comp for many years on my SSL boards and am looking for an outboard unit for my mastering rig..
I'm using the comp for just one very specific sound, that SSL snap:

Ratio: 4
Attack: 10
Release: 100

The comp I'm looking for is got to have stepped pots for perfect recalls.

I've seen the TK Audio bus comp but seen feedback from users that it doesn't have that punchy Rock\Pop thing to it but a more smooth GR

I've also seen the Obsidian which I hear good things about but it has transformers which I don't look for in this kind of design, I've also seen it has a mono summed peak detectors which is different from the original SSL design.

Any thoughts ?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
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dhiltonlittle's Avatar
 

Have you looked at a Vertigo VSC-2?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #3
Gear Addict
 

Wesaudio Dione.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by dhiltonlittle View Post
Have you looked at a Vertigo VSC-2?
I’d love to try it, can it do that classic SSL thing which makes the mix “dance” with the kick/bass/snare ?

I currently have a SHMC which is pretty disappointing in the VCA glueing regard..
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
Gear Head
check out foote control system P3EX or other
excellent
Old 3 weeks ago
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by frabo View Post
check out foote control system P3EX or other
excellent
I really want to demo it because I've heard mostly good things about it,
although I'm a bit confused with the Foote line of products tbh,
many models and many variations for such a boutique company..

I read about some products which are described as very transparent while others are kind of hipsterish colored, from invisible to Germanium clipping which is confusing, what's Foote specialty ?

I really don't mean to dis anyone so please don't read me wrong, I know many great engineers are enjoying Foote products so they have my complete respect, I'll take a Foote tour guide one day to explore the models in person :-)

Can the P3S deliver the SSL punch and glue on the basic settings I've wrote ?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #7
Out of curiosity why do you want to switch to another compressor when the SSl snap is so good and has been used on thousands of records. What are you trying to get that the SSl does not provide?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason rocks View Post
Out of curiosity why do you want to switch to another compressor when the SSl snap is so good and has been used on thousands of records. What are you trying to get that the SSl does not provide?
Good question, mainly stepped pots for easy recalls, a side chain HPF could be useful too
Old 3 weeks ago
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by TanTan View Post
Good question, mainly stepped pots for easy recalls, a side chain HPF could be useful too
On my X Rack SSl Bus comp I am like you and for mastering I usually keep the same slow attack and fast release settings which is why I don't need to detent settings. Plus I have not found a nicer snappy comp over the SSl. I tried The Nail and many SSl clones and I just like SSl the best.

Good luck with your search
Old 3 weeks ago
  #10
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teebaum's Avatar
difficult, difficult...

i find the foote compressors a bit bigger, warmer, more organic in sound than the ssl, which has this "5532-ic-sound" for me, which can be a little bit tight and hard and which i personally like to do without when mastering.
i have "only" the p3s me and contrary to what is said here in the forum i don't find it versatile, the only thing i think it does well is "manual long attack, short relese, hp on" - sometimes feed forward, sometimes feed back.
the p4se is still loaded with better vca's, bold transformers and so on.
it is not an ssl-clone.
the tk bc-2 me seems to be a version worth mentioning to me - you would have to listen to it.
i should get a wes-audio dione for testing...
the vertigo is an exciting device - i should soon be able to try it out in kind, too.

if everything goes well, i'll soon put an api 2500 into the rack - of course no ssl either, but for me the more exciting and in some aspects more versatile vca at the moment.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #11
Gear Maniac
 

Neither the Foote P4S Me nor the VSC-2 Vertigo sound like an SSL to me.

An SSL G Comp is a special piece, but I dont like it for mastering at all.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by teebaum View Post
difficult, difficult...

i find the foote compressors a bit bigger, warmer, more organic in sound than the ssl, which has this "5532-ic-sound" for me, which can be a little bit tight and hard and which i personally like to do without when mastering.
.
There are many generations of 5532 and I don’t think it really degrades the sonics so much like the rumors says.. guys like Ted Jensen and Greg Calbi uses the old Focusrite 315 mastering EQ which is kind of a 5532 city !
Same goes for Focusrite 330 mastering comp and of course the older SSL gear.

It’s easy to replace a 5532 with a cleaner more modern alternative

The newer SSL’s however doesn’t have the same graininess of the company’s models from the 80’s but still got the snap, no stepped pots though
Old 3 weeks ago
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxtone View Post
Neither the Foote P4S Me nor the VSC-2 Vertigo sound like an SSL to me.

An SSL G Comp is a special piece, but I dont like it for mastering at all.
I agree the SSL not a classic mastering leveling compressor or an “everything sounds better through” kind of box, but it does a specific task very well and often enough the thing it does is exactly what a pop or rock mix asks for..

I’ve started using the UAD new generation SSL bus comp recently which also has a HPF sidechain and for what I’m looking, 0.5-1dB of GR it does the classic SSL tighter and punchier trick very well, actually better than the VCA part of my huge and very expensive Shadow Hills MC hardware.

I’d prefer having an analog unit but maybe it’s just because I’m biased in the hardware compression sounds better conception and UAD really nailed the SSL thing this time
Old 3 weeks ago
  #14
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teebaum's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TanTan View Post
There are many generations of 5532 and I don’t think it really degrades the sonics so much like the rumors says.. guys like Ted Jensen and Greg Calbi uses the old Focusrite 315 mastering EQ which is kind of a 5532 city !
Same goes for Focusrite 330 mastering comp and of course the older SSL gear.

It’s easy to replace a 5532 with a cleaner more modern alternative

The newer SSL’s however doesn’t have the same graininess of the company’s models from the 80’s but still got the snap, no stepped pots though
that's right, there are different 5532/5534's and they all sound different - i still don't like them, and one of my first actions is often to replace them.

it is also not uncommon that the devices you mentioned have been modified (i think brian lucey has also a modified 315).

focusrite blue 315 - who is using one?

in the end i don't really care what works in a setup of calbi or jensen, i'm not a fan of the 5532/5534 in most circuits and therefore i throw them out.

for me ssl compressors often have this sound aspect and you can't find it in a foote and vertigo unit - but also the regulation is different.

maybe you really have to take an original ssl.

Last edited by teebaum; 3 weeks ago at 01:16 AM..
Old 3 weeks ago
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by teebaum View Post
that's right, there are different 5532's and they all sound different - i still don't like them, and one of my first actions is often to replace them.

it is also not uncommon that the devices you mentioned have been modified (i think brian lucey has also a modified 315).

in the end i don't really care what works in a setup of calbi or jensen, i'm not a fan of the 5532 in most circuits and therefore i throw them out.

for me ssl compressors often have this sound aspect and you can't find it in a foote and vertigo unit - but also the regulation is different.

maybe you really have to take an original ssl.
I already have two SSL AWS 924 consoles with the original comp ;-)
I’m searching for a close enough alternative that would do the SSL thing (and than some) to my mastering rig.. it must have stepped pots for easy recalls
Old 3 weeks ago
  #16
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teebaum's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TanTan View Post
I already have two SSL AWS 924 consoles with the original comp ;-)
I’m searching for a close enough alternative that would do the SSL thing (and than some) to my mastering rig.. it must have stepped pots for easy recalls
if you can get the tk audio bc-2 me for viewing, i would listen to it - i don't have one, but it is considered one of the best ssl-alikes and is stepped
Old 3 weeks ago
  #17
Gear Addict
 
Magnus Lindberg's Avatar
 

As teebaum says, TK BC2-ME I would rate the highest of them all. I had it for several years now and like it a lot. Versatile!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #18
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DrSax's Avatar
Plus one for the Wes Audio Dione. I was seeking the same thing, chose the Wes Audio and am extremely happy with it
Old 3 weeks ago
  #19
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teebaum's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrSax View Post
Plus one for the Wes Audio Dione. I was seeking the same thing, chose the Wes Audio and am extremely happy with it
i have the wes dione in the rack since today and i am positively surprised how it fits into my chain.
i already have quite a few devices in my chain with transformers and / or tubes, so it's good in my situation that the dione is really "stright".
the usb control also works flawlessly and the additional features are very useful on the mix.
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Last edited by teebaum; 3 weeks ago at 12:27 AM..
Old 3 weeks ago
  #20
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Oh you just had to sneak in a bit of Pollock there. Damn you Teebaum!! My wallet curses you.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #21
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teebaum's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmanic View Post
Oh you just had to sneak in a bit of Pollock there. Damn you Teebaum!! My wallet curses you.
i have to admit, i underestimated a "hardware ssl" because i always thought that solidstate vca's software was pretty close to it.

i have to realize now - it is not

due to the emulations and an older ssl, which I didn't like from the boxtone point of view, i didn't pay enough attention to this kind of compressors on the mix
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