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Using Waves SSL BUS COMP - should I get real thing?
Old 13th September 2019
  #1
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Using Waves SSL BUS COMP - should I get real thing?

I’m using the Waves SSL bus comp on every mix and love the sound, should I bother to get the SSL bus comp 500 series? Would I love it even more? If yes, why? If no, why not?
Old 14th September 2019
  #2
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BIG BUDDHA's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by erike123 View Post
I’m using the Waves SSL bus comp on every mix and love the sound,
personally i have found that the sound from Plugins is far beneath the sound of a real Analog unit.

i have UAD and Waves SSL versions in software.

they dont get used at all. Sorry about that but that is my honest opinion.

Buddha
Old 14th September 2019
  #3
Here for the gear
 

I can only speak for myself, but I just recently sold my SSL hardware compressor. The reason why is because of the Waves version. I decided to get the demo of the Waves version to test against my hardware, and I was able to basically match the sound, but most of the time I actually preferred the Waves. It clearly had a better sounding low end to my taste. The kick drum sounded a tad punchier, and the hardware sounded a tad pillowy compared to it. They both are great to me, but there was no way I could justify keeping the hardware.
I can’t believe how many times I’ve read about people saying on here that the Waves version is no good or whatever.
Old 14th September 2019
  #4
I actually like the waves version. I have owned several ssl bus clones and also had access to a real g384. What the waves version really nail is how hard the knee is, that really locks the kick in.
The real g384 gives almost a saturated sound in the mids, very crunchy which i heard no clone nail. Maybe that's the old dbx vca's?

I think plugins are good enough in this regard. Yez the Hw sounds a bit more open and hifi but i don't think it's worth the hazzle. Maybe you feel it is!?

Demo it and make up your own mind. All clones nail the ssl punch but the g384 sounds best ro my ears but is quite expensive.
Old 14th September 2019
  #5
The hardware is much better. Its snappier and has more punch. I have the Waves and UAD version of the SSL plug in as well.
Old 14th September 2019
  #6
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thismercifulfate's Avatar
I don’t like how the Waves SSL collapses the stereo image. The UAD one doesn’t, and has the benefit of having a variable sidechain hpf.
Old 14th September 2019
  #7
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e-are's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaviT View Post
I can only speak for myself, but I just recently sold my SSL hardware compressor. The reason why is because of the Waves version. I decided to get the demo of the Waves version to test against my hardware, and I was able to basically match the sound, but most of the time I actually preferred the Waves. It clearly had a better sounding low end to my taste. The kick drum sounded a tad punchier, and the hardware sounded a tad pillowy compared to it. They both are great to me, but there was no way I could justify keeping the hardware.
I can’t believe how many times I’ve read about people saying on here that the Waves version is no good or whatever.
You wouldn't happen to have files would you? Not that I don't believe you but I need to hear that. I may want to get some lessons from you.
Old 14th September 2019
  #8
Gear Nut
 

Dave pensado uses the Cytomic Glue. Josh Gudwin uses a software ssl bus comp. And there are many more who use software.
Would it give you (much) more work and your invest returned easily because of your purchase?
Old 14th September 2019
  #9
Gear Addict
 

While I have the Waves SSL, I much prefer using my Serpent SB4001
Old 15th September 2019
  #10
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by e-are View Post
You wouldn't happen to have files would you? Not that I don't believe you but I need to hear that. I may want to get some lessons from you.
My test was just to determine if I should sell the compressor or not. I had no interest in any other persons thoughts about it. I thoroughly tested side by side, and it wasn’t something I needed to think of much. The Waves version to my ears sounds pretty much spot on except for having a bit more solidity in the low end. The hardware was just a bit softer sounding specifically on kick drum whether I had it on the drum mix alone or on the entire mix. I’ve heard many people on this website say this and that about the Waves like it messes with stereo image or it’s not even close or whatever. It just shows not to trust words from people on here.
Old 15th September 2019
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob2018 View Post
Dave pensado uses the Cytomic Glue. Josh Gudwin uses a software ssl bus comp. And there are many more who use software.
Would it give you (much) more work and your invest returned easily because of your purchase?
For me it’s more about that I have the Waves SSL bus comp set-and-forget on every mix, and if the harware version is 2, 3 or 4 percent more desirable, that would be a no brainer investment.

What amazes me about forums like this is that one person says: «It’s not worth it cause you can’t hear the difference» then the next person says «The other one is soo much better you can’t even compare them»
Old 15th September 2019
  #12
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by erike123 View Post
For me it’s more about that I have the Waves SSL bus comp set-and-forget on every mix, and if the harware version is 2, 3 or 4 percent more desirable, that would be a no brainer investment.

What amazes me about forums like this is that one person says: «It’s not worth it cause you can’t hear the difference» then the next person says «The other one is soo much better you can’t even compare them»
Yes I get you. But will that 2% ssl bus comp make a difference in a hit on billboard or because it’s a software emulation it will flop? I don’t think investing that much money for 2% wil help. Rather spend that money in online courses!
Old 15th September 2019
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob2018 View Post
Yes I get you. But will that 2% ssl bus comp make a difference in a hit on billboard or because it’s a software emulation it will flop? I don’t think investing that much money for 2% wil help. Rather spend that money in online courses!
Online courses?
Old 15th September 2019
  #14
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e-are's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaviT View Post
My test was just to determine if I should sell the compressor or not. I had no interest in any other persons thoughts about it. I thoroughly tested side by side, and it wasn’t something I needed to think of much. The Waves version to my ears sounds pretty much spot on except for having a bit more solidity in the low end. The hardware was just a bit softer sounding specifically on kick drum whether I had it on the drum mix alone or on the entire mix. I’ve heard many people on this website say this and that about the Waves like it messes with stereo image or it’s not even close or whatever. It just shows not to trust words from people on here.
I can dig it. I like the Black Box HG-2 plugin so much, I'm pretty sure, for me, The xtra $ for the hardware might not be worth it. I do have 3 ssl clone bus comps and many plugs. Shot them out many times, and always liked the hardware better. There are times the uad33609 is close enough that I have gone with that on the drum bus. I don't even want to test a hardware 33609 be it Neve or clone.
Old 16th September 2019
  #15
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BIG BUDDHA's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by erike123 View Post
What amazes me about forums like this is that one person says: «It’s not worth it cause you can’t hear the difference» then the next person says «The other one is soo much better you can’t even compare them»
the reason for this is that some of the people posting are Posties and Bankers and Cooks and cleaners, etc etc, and they do music for fun, now and again, and some of the people who post, own studios, or have worked in them, all day, every day, for 10 or 15 or 25 years or even longer.

so the comments are not coming from equivalent backgrounds, experience and quality of audio analysis.

a Real engineer hears all types of stuff, that the layman will miss.

thats why some people get paid to do it.

Buddha
Old 16th September 2019
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIG BUDDHA View Post
the reason for this is that some of the people posting are Posties and Bankers and Cooks and cleaners, etc etc, and they do music for fun, now and again, and some of the people who post, own studios, or have worked in them, all day, every day, for 10 or 15 or 25 years or even longer.

so the comments are not coming from equivalent backgrounds, experience and quality of audio analysis.

a Real engineer hears all types of stuff, that the layman will miss.

thats why some people get paid to do it.

Buddha
quoted for emphasis!


___


btw: i'm not getting why so many folks seem to be obsessed with the hypothetical question how close a clone, analog or digital, gets to the original: if one wants the real deal, get the original or at least rent it for evaluation!

imo there is no way around hands-on, real-world testing in one's own environment for an extended period of time with different projects: no video or audio-clip, written report of a 'shoot out'/comparison can reveal much meaningful details.

this is not meant to put down all clones: in fact, some of them are good/close enough to the original, yield very good results and can maybe save you some money - and then, some even improved on the original design and outperform it in certain ways.


___


back to the original topic: the g-series compressor is a very efficient and pretty easy to handle compressor with a typical character.
- if you're into 'that' sound, get the original! be prepared that it's somewhat limited regarding is function/application due to it's specific character (as any other comp using a specific design)
- if you're into 'that kind of sound', get a clone (analog or digital)
- if you're into versatility, get something else! can recommend crane song, distressor...
...or then (for a different character) summit, tube tech, dbx, focusrite, weiss, waves, sonnox etc.

maybe get two with entirely different charcteristics! :-)
Old 17th September 2019
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismercifulfate View Post
I don’t like how the Waves SSL collapses the stereo image. The UAD one doesn’t, and has the benefit of having a variable sidechain hpf.
This was my impression also and it detracted me from how the compression itself performed.

But regarding the OP question.... There is a big thread: SSL Bus Comp Shootout (SSL X-Rack, Stam SA-4000+, Duende, Slate, Waves, bx_townhouse)
Which has some comparison files, and I struggled to pick the hardware comp, and actually found the SSL Duende the most pleasing to the ear, and I'm one of those believers in 'hardware sounds better than software' people.
Old 18th September 2019
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismercifulfate View Post
I don’t like how the Waves SSL collapses the stereo image. The UAD one doesn’t, and has the benefit of having a variable sidechain hpf.
Agreed. I have both but pretty exclusively use the UAD version recently.
Old 18th September 2019
  #19
Gear Addict
 

Cytomic The Glue is a good alternative. I have the SSL BUS Comp in the Xrack, the main difference to plugin version is the 3D sound stage the hardware gives. The plugins compression action is pretty much there, but the 3Dness of the hardware is worth keeping it around.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #20
It`s not easy to hear the difference between the HW and good Software emulations, however I find that when you want to be more aggressive with with the compression, the plugins can`t keep up.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by deondamage View Post
It`s not easy to hear the difference between the HW and good Software emulations, however I find that when you want to be more aggressive with with the compression, the plugins can`t keep up.
On point.

With a HP filter the sweetspot for a HW unit can easily be 6-8db on the master buss. On SW I'd say never go beyond - 4db


Still HW that's still worth printing for me is 1176+cl1b on vocals since that usually gets smashed. For soft kissing anything i stay ITB these days
Old 4 weeks ago
  #22
Gear Nut
 

Try Slate Digital, FG- Grey.. the Neve transformer integrated with ssl's bus compression won in blind test against hardwares, when top producers compared it.
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