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SSL Talkback Limiter
Old 10th December 2002
  #1
SSL Talkback Limiter

I'm wondering about the modus operandi of the fabled abuse of the SSL talkback limiter for smashing, crushing, or nuking a drum bus. Looking at the schematics I've gotten my hands on, there are mic pre's (for the talkback mics, naturally), but I'm wondering if these are utilized in the typical abuse or whether you just feed it a line level later in the chain? The thread on Fletcher's PSW forum had talked about overdriving the RNP on a drum bus, so it got me wondering.

Bear
Old 10th December 2002
  #2
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
Seeing as the Alan Smart C-2 in "crush" mode does a similar thing to the SSL 'talkback' compressor... I somehow doubt that there are mic-pre's involved. I have a feeling that it's more of a fast attack, high [as in near infinite] ratio, and a bit of gain prior to the detector so that everything comes out at one level... period.

[please note, I really don't have any idea of what I'm talking about... this is all purely conjecture... ]
Old 10th December 2002
  #3
Gear Addict
 
Curious G's Avatar
 

Quote:
[please note, I really don't have any idea of what I'm talking about... this is all purely conjecture... ]
Wow, can I use this as my signature?
(Doh!... did I say that out loud?)

heh
Old 10th December 2002
  #4
Here for the gear
 

Re: SSL Talkback Limiter

Quote:
Originally posted by Gone Fission
I'm wondering about the modus operandi of the fabled abuse of the SSL talkback limiter for smashing, crushing, or nuking a drum bus. Looking at the schematics I've gotten my hands on, there are mic pre's (for the talkback mics, naturally), but I'm wondering if these are utilized in the typical abuse or whether you just feed it a line level later in the chain? The thread on Fletcher's PSW forum had talked about overdriving the RNP on a drum bus, so it got me wondering.

Bear
The SSL talkback limiter is in fact a feedback FET type device and can only limit (well almost). To use it at line level you need to tap into it after the mic console mic stage. An easier way is to use an attenuator of around 40dB.

The limiter makes a good sound because it distorts quite nicely on LF parts of the music (was designed for speach) and also being a feedback type is has quite a lot of gain overshoot.
Old 10th December 2002
  #5
I spent about 4 years working on the SSL B model that was THE actual "Phill Collins console" that put that talkback mic technique squarely on the map (my employers, Matrix, bought it cheap from Londons Town House studios second hand & falling to bits) unfortunately we never hooked up and used the legenday talk back mic (perhaps someone pulled it out and racked it!)....

The central compressor was cool n all but - thats normal.... for an SSL..

grudge
Old 10th December 2002
  #6
My whole reason for asking is to figure out what's essential to the sound before fumbling around adapting it to some kind of DIY project, as the basic components are pretty obtainable. The concept of abusing the pre's still does interest me, but probably not enough to cough up for the input transformers just so as to torture the limiter a bit more. Any old mic pre running in at line level will probably do fine for this experiment.

Bear
Old 11th December 2002
  #7
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Gone Fission
My whole reason for asking is to figure out what's essential to the sound before fumbling around adapting it to some kind of DIY project, as the basic components are pretty obtainable. The concept of abusing the pre's still does interest me, but probably not enough to cough up for the input transformers just so as to torture the limiter a bit more. Any old mic pre running in at line level will probably do fine for this experiment.

Bear
Your right that the mic input stage is not the major cause of the sound. All you need is the gain control bit of it. And thats not expensive.
Old 11th December 2002
  #8
High End Moderator
 
mwagener's Avatar
That talkback limiter was a major factor in the drum sound on the first Skid Row album. The drums were set up in a convention center (Royal Recorders, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin) and we had a 57 hooked up as a talkback mic for the drummer placed right above his head. I ended up recording that mic on a track and used it a lot in the final mix. To me it sounds like a 1176 in "british mode".
Old 11th December 2002
  #9
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally posted by mwagener
That talkback limiter was a major factor in the drum sound on the first Skid Row album. The drums were set up in a convention center (Royal Recorders, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin) and we had a 57 hooked up as a talkback mic for the drummer placed right above his head. I ended up recording that mic on a track and used it a lot in the final mix. To me it sounds like a 1176 in "british mode".
Yes there's a good reason for that - the 1176 has a similar gain control circuit.
Old 11th December 2002
  #10
Lives for gear
 
atticus's Avatar
i'm kinda carrying this from another thread, but Gyraf audio has a DIY section on their website that has projects for both an 1176 style comp and an SSL style comp. Here's the link:

http://www.gyraf.dk/gyraf2/gy_pd/gy_pd.htm

Good luck with the project!
Old 11th December 2002
  #11
Here's a schematic for the talkback limiter.

http://www.gyraf.dk/gyraf2/oldpix/SS...3_Talkback.GIF

If it were in ready to go form, with the board layouts available online, no contest, it'd beat the 1776 and bus comp clones in cost and ease of build. It seems entirely like a one trick pony, though. But we can always do the other projects after this one's in the stable.

Bear
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