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SSL Channel Plugins- is there a cheap alternative? Channel Strip Plugins
Old 4th August 2015
  #1
Gear Nut
 

SSL Channel Plugins- is there a cheap alternative?

Hi,


One of my favourite plugins is the Waves SSL Channel Strip, having used it in different studios, only thing it's too expensive for me at the moment.

Until I can go out and get the Waves or UAD versions, i'd like to know if there are any alternatives while i'm on a low-budget?

I basically need a channel strip with a nice bit of character, nothing surgical or anything.

Thanks in advance!
Old 4th August 2015
  #2
Lives for gear
 
noah330's Avatar
SSL's Duende plugs are fantastic and they go on sale every now and again. I just picked up X-EQ (which I love) for $99 a couple weeks ago. It's usually $300.

Waves also runs specials every month. This month they have API on sale, but on the weekends they offer different plugs/bundles. Probably worth watching.
Old 4th August 2015
  #3
Moderator
 
matt thomas's Avatar
this? Still $200 though

products - Slate Digital

matt
Old 4th August 2015
  #4
Here for the gear
 

I could be wrong on this, but think IKMultiMedia makes a British channel strip based on SSL. You'll have to research that a bit.
Old 4th August 2015
  #5
Old 4th August 2015
  #6
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noah330's Avatar
Good call! The NI Solid Mix series (some of which are included with Komplete) are really nice!
Old 4th August 2015
  #7
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The most economical would be just use the stock plugins that came with your daw software, some can be quite good depending on what you have. In the meantime try lots of demos to see what you like best, then when you can afford it, buy that.

If you are set on getting something now, then get something non-SSL that will complement your eventual SSL purchase.
Old 4th August 2015
  #8
Gear Nut
 

Thanks for the response peeps much appreciated. Shortly after I posted I purchased the Metric Halo Channel Strip because it was on sale (just $79) and they claim it sounds like the SSL stuff.


Very happy with it so far, I love how the compressor has different types of circuitry but i'm looking for a list which says which circuit is based on what piece of gear.


Will probably look to get the Slate stuff next time because it's almost in my budget. The MH Channel Strip is pretty powerful stuff though I look forward to using this for a while.
Old 4th August 2015
  #9
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e-are's Avatar
I 2nd the SSL Duende plugs. Great investment and very good on cpu. Bus and channel strip are still very good.
Old 4th August 2015
  #10
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apartment dog's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thierryhenry View Post
Thanks for the response peeps much appreciated. Shortly after I posted I purchased the Metric Halo Channel Strip because it was on sale (just $79) and they claim it sounds like the SSL stuff.


Very happy with it so far, I love how the compressor has different types of circuitry but i'm looking for a list which says which circuit is based on what piece of gear.


Will probably look to get the Slate stuff next time because it's almost in my budget. The MH Channel Strip is pretty powerful stuff though I look forward to using this for a while.
I had SSL Duende essential Bundle (CS plus Bus Compressor)
Was not completely satisfied with the bus comp for my music and after demo-ing the Metric Halo CS I bought that and sold SSL Duende bundle. I had bought PSP Oldtimer ME that could take care of the punchy compression for me. Works great in combination with the MH CS compressor on vocals for instance.
The MH CS eq is very rewarding to work with for me.

Of course it would be nice to keep it all but that's not possible for me.

I don't need them professionally so I can swap easily.

I demo'd PA Vertigo SC2 buscomp and that's on my wishlist now.

I have SPL Passeq which supplements SSL (and now MH CS) eq nicely. But I also learned how to use the VoS SlickEQ for cleaning up and I bought SPL EQRangers on a great sale so now I'm selling SPL Passeq.

Plugins come and go and you keep what you can't replace. MH CS is a very good choice imo.

These days I prefer to sell some plugins and buy stompboxes for my guitar. Much more bang for the buck for my recordings compared to the small differences between the quality plugins. But I can imagine that the differences matter to professional mixers.

Last edited by apartment dog; 4th August 2015 at 10:38 PM..
Old 4th August 2015
  #11
Gear Addict
 
Mix2Master's Avatar
Overtonedsp? Ex ssl engineers working with then and they have both an ssl eq and compressor at about £20 -30 each.
Old 4th August 2015
  #12
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Dr. Mordo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by matt thomas View Post
I haven't heard these plugins yet, but T-Racks has been doing amazing work lately, so they'd be at the top of my list.

That said, I'm a Duende guy - absolutely great plugins.
Old 4th August 2015
  #13
Lives for gear
 

Metric channel strip is great. I know a few people that use it almost exclusively. The high end eq is sweet with that plugin
Old 4th August 2015
  #14
Lives for gear
If you're on PT the Avid Channel Strip followed by any good (subtle, very subtle)
saturation plugin wil get you kind of the same workflow..

As far as the sound, no, if you want that sound you need the Waves SSL
and imho, that plugin is nowadays probably the most ubiquitous plugin
out there a big part of modern sound.
I'm gonna say something i know many will not agree with
and/or laugh about but, is 2015 the Waves SSL bundle came out when,
10 years ago?
I am pretty sure since the bundle came out it has been massively used
on a big % of commercial and independent eleases, its sound is a modern classic, regardless how different is from an actual SSL.
Old 4th August 2015
  #15
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GJ999x's Avatar
if you use logic, search for lagerfeld's ssl presets. they are gooood. check the glue as well, and combined with sknote's strip? not an eq but an eq-like flexible console colour plug, with glue cleanly nailing the ssl compression sound? very much my 2c
Old 5th August 2015
  #16
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blackcom's Avatar
 

Duende CS is that one plugin i allways go for first. Sometimes i need to use Eqlibrium (surgical stuff) or VMR instead. Softube Tubetech and Summit CS's sometimes even.

But Duende CS ends up on most of the tracks.
Old 5th August 2015
  #17
Gear Addict
 
Hide's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackcom View Post
But Duende CS ends up on most of the tracks.
Same here.
I use Duende Channel Strip and mostly no need inserting any other plugs on each tracks.
Old 5th August 2015
  #18
Lives for gear
 

My favorite is also Duende CS, it is the most used plugin, I have.

Waves channel is bit different. There is always slight harmonic distortion simulation and switchable added noise floor using Analog button, SSL is comletely clean. Waves has tighter Q's for EQ bands, so it can be more surgical, if you need. Its EQ has decramped frequency magnitude response for filters, so its shape isn't distorted towards Nyquist frequency.
Duende has switchable detector mode between RMS and peak at its dynamic section. Its compressor and gate is bit cleaner and punchier compared to Waves for me.

Both plugins are good though and choice is more matter of personal preference.
I haven't tried NI Solid series, because there isn't channel strip version AFAIK. This was essential thing for me, I like having all functionality at one plugin, where I can do almost all task including filters, eq, gate, gains to balance levels before faders..
I also love option to use EQ for direct shaping of compressor sidechain, although it is possible to do that using other plugins with compressor key input, where you put EQ.. This is much faster for me and use it quite often to increase sensitivity of compressor to particular frequency area.
Generally to me is all is more about quick workflow, which I can apply to any DAW (having license for my Duende on iLok, I can bring it anywhere), than particular sound.

To your question regarding alternatives, it is always subjective and depends on approach during work.. I'm not aware of any alternative to mentioned plugins, which is magnitude cheaper or freebie. Although you can do similar sounding thing with several others processors, you can already have, until you'll purchase it.

Michal
Old 6th August 2015
  #19
Deleted User
Guest
I like the Waves SSL also. As an alterative and less pricey you can consider these and try the demo.

TheStrip | DDMF

Sonimus: Products

www.sknote.it - Hardware and Software Products for Audio
Old 6th August 2015
  #20
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Dr. Mordo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bassist30 View Post
I like the Waves SSL also. As an alterative and less pricey you can consider these and try the demo.

TheStrip | DDMF

Sonimus: Products

www.sknote.it - Hardware and Software Products for Audio
I hate to be the guy who points it out, but neither Sonimus nor SKnote offer a "cheap alternative" to the Waves SSL Channel strip. Sonimus has an eq with somewhat similar eq functions but no compressor or gate, and the SKnote channel strip has compression but the eq is not remotely as useful as the SSL channel strip.

I don't know anything about the DDMF strip, but for $50 I'd lean towards the T-Racks pack since you also get the buss compressor and a respected brand name.
Old 6th August 2015
  #21
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BM Grabber's Avatar
 

One more for the Duende Channel Strip
Old 6th August 2015
  #22
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Dr. Mordo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BM Grabber View Post
One more for the Duende Channel Strip
I have to say that I didn't realize Duende is cheaper than Waves SSL; for some reason I thought Waves had dropped the price substantially over the years. I've spent much time with each, and there is no question I'd choose Duende over Waves at any price.

If Duende is cheaper than Waves, it's a no-brainer.

That said, the Duende Drumstrip is pretty damn useful as well. The gate is amazing; it ends up on most of my drum tracks that require gating.
Old 6th August 2015
  #23
Cheap channel strips = Eareckon CS87 and nomad factory analog Trackbox, but I suspect they don't sound anything like the Waves CS. Still both very useful for speedy mixing, though.
Old 6th August 2015
  #24
Gear Addict
 
LejonBrames's Avatar
 

You will not find a better, cheaper SSL Channel compressor than the OverToneDSP DYN4000 plugin.

As far as I know they do not do an SSL EQ, but there are tons of great EQ options you can find.

I personally love to pair the HoRNeT SW34EQ with the DYN4k and make some kind of weird Frankin-console.
Old 6th August 2015
  #25
Lives for gear
 

The new slate monthly payment deal… Not exactly the ssl channel strip but you're getting a ssl style eq… ssl style master bus comp and tons of other cool plugins. cheap and flexible enough to try it out for a month and see
Old 6th August 2015
  #26
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GJ999x's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by phanlon View Post
The new slate monthly payment deal… Not exactly the ssl channel strip but you're getting a ssl style eq… ssl style master bus comp and tons of other cool plugins. cheap and flexible enough to try it out for a month and see
A tiny bit less cheap when you factor in the chance that you'll use them more than you intend during the free month, then have them baked into your song catalogue and be forced to pay slate forever...

Remember Slate studied marketting and music at uni! I speak as a huge fan of his products, but I'd only buy into the subscription model as a slate shareholder, rather than a customer, my 2c

EDIT: Go demo VMR, and make sure you check the prices (i.e. the full purchase, not rent) at the plugin discounts website, they are cheeeeeeap. My point was only, dont under-estimate the cost to the consumer of the subscription model - Slate certainly isnt For every consumer who carefully uses the subscription to demo plug ins for a long time and then disregard, there'll be another 50 or so who find after a year that they cannot drop the subscription without needing to remix a large number of their tracks that year - i.e. totalyl workflow-destroying, and in fact probably worse (anyone tried to recreate a mix made with tools no longer to hand? It aint easy, it aint fun)

Last edited by GJ999x; 6th August 2015 at 12:33 PM..
Old 6th August 2015
  #27
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turk sanchez's Avatar
...one more Duende lover here. I use channel strip on everything, the buss comp is great, I also have the X Saturator.

The compressor on the channel strip is really nice. I even use it on lead vocals (for a little extra compression after my analog blue strip 1176).

The EQ on the channel strip is great, the gates rule on drums, nice filters...love this thing.
Old 6th August 2015
  #28
I must agree that the Duende is excellent.
Old 7th August 2015
  #29
Gear Addict
 
Hide's Avatar
SSL Duende IS SSL.
Period.
Old 7th August 2015
  #30
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BM Grabber's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hide View Post
SSL Duende IS SSL.
Period.
Bulls eye

Nobody knows SSL better than SSL.....

Even though the SSL Duende Channel Strip is taken from their C200 series mixer (not the 4000-E or G), it is the best SSL channel strip out there IMO.

Great sounding, easy to operate, and my SSL fav

PS. DDMF's The Strip has a GREAT sounding eq (5 band + HP/LP filters), the compressor is ok (but the mter is a bit wonky). Overall a great unexpensive channel strip.
The eq is exactly the same as the praised 6144 (based on the Neve 5033), which is a fabulous eq.
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