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McDSP Channel G vs. Waves SSL
Old 29th August 2008
  #1
Gear Head
 
certain someone's Avatar
 

McDSP Channel G vs. Waves SSL

hello everybody,
i just bought Pro Tools Digi 003. i can't afford to buy a great mixing console, so all of my EQ-ing will be done inside of my computer. i've been looking for an EQ plug in that will make my recordings sound more like i'm using a real board... at least as much as possible. i've narrowed it down between the Waves SSL and the McDSP Channel G. the Channel G sounds cool because not only does it give you an SSL option, it also gives you a Neve and API option too... which could be useful. Waves has better marketing, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's the better sounding product. i was just wondering if the sound quality of the McDSP Channel G is as good as the Waves SSL. has anyone used both of these and have an opinion on which one sounds more like a real board?

thanks a ton!

ps. i've read that the SSL duende sounds the most like a real board, but i've also heard that there are a lot of problems when using it with Pro Tools LE... and i don't want to deal with all that.
Old 29th August 2008
  #2
Gear Addict
 

Imo, i would choose MCdsp. It's sound great. But Waves stuff sounds amazing too. If you plan to use other DAWs aside Pro Tools get Waves. I use Waves on every mix I do (Logic & PT), but I reallly love MCDSP sound. My preference. Others may feel different.
Old 29th August 2008
  #3
Gear Head
 
certain someone's Avatar
 

thanks. yah, i'll only be using it for Pro Tools LE. whichever one sounds the best is the most important thing to me and it sounds like you're saying that McDSP sounds better. thanks. that's one vote for Channel G.
Old 29th August 2008
  #4
Gear Addict
 

NO problem dude. but I will say try the demo to make sure they suit your taste. The SSL bundle really emulate the "sound of the board" well and accurate. But I still like the MCdsp's very much better.
Old 29th August 2008
  #5
Lives for gear
 
Igotsoul4u's Avatar
The mcdsp is more flexible and its pretty easy on my system. The SSL sounds awesome and "sounds like the board" The mcdsp sounds just as good but I don't associate it with any specific console. I think thats a weird way to think anyway. If you are working in protools, its never going to sound like a million dollar console.
Old 29th August 2008
  #6
Lives for gear
 
imloggedin's Avatar
 

I like the UAD stuff better than the Waves SSL
Old 29th August 2008
  #7
Gear Head
 
certain someone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by imloggedin View Post
I like the UAD stuff better than the Waves SSL

i've heard that the SSL duende has a real bad delay/latency problem when used with Pro Tools LE. Does the UAD stuff have that same problem?
Old 30th August 2008
  #8
Gear Addict
 
AudioFocus's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by certain someone View Post
i've heard that the SSL duende has a real bad delay/latency problem when used with Pro Tools LE. Does the UAD stuff have that same problem?
You will encounter latency from plugins on PTLE no matter what you use. LE has no delay compensation like HD does, however I think there is a plug out there to solve it.

I have both Channel G and Waves SSL. Personally I think that the waves plugs do a better job of "emulating" an SSL than the Channel G does. The thing with the McDSP plug is that it's not really emulating each individual EQ but giving you the frequency selections, curves, and bandwidth commonly associated with those consoles. I like it for the Neve setting myself.

I would say go with Channel G if you can only pick one. It'll give you more options when mixing. IMHO if you use too much of the same EQ on your mix it sounds weird. I like Waves SSL and API better than the McDSP "emulations" in Channel G but if you can only get one, start with Channel G.
Old 30th August 2008
  #9
Gear Addict
 
AudioFocus's Avatar
 

Actually now that I think about it... If you are looking for a "console" sound try McDSP Analog Channel 1. It's a saturation plugin that mimics the type of solid state saturation you get when you are mixing on a console.
Old 30th August 2008
  #10
Lives for gear
 
Mikey MTC's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by certain someone View Post
ps. i've read that the SSL duende sounds the most like a real board ....
.
Presuming we're talking about an SSL analog board, the is really ironic because Duende is emulating a digital SSL board - the C200 from memory.
Old 30th August 2008
  #11
Lives for gear
 

I have both. I like Channel G a lot but don't tend to use the SSL settings, they just don't do it much for me. I bought the SSL Waves a couple weeks ago and I like it a lot, very useable and sound very, very good. Now you get the G channel as well a the E Channel and the E-EQ and G Comp. Its a good bundle.

What I like about G console is the flexible routing options. Also the compressor models are very, very good.

So....with SSL I find it easier to get things going quickly. I like the interface. With Channel G I find maybe too many options. If your brain can cope with that go with it, for me I just want to get going without switching between EQ models all the time.

I don't know if that helps?
Old 30th August 2008
  #12
PDC
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igotsoul4u View Post
The mcdsp is more flexible and its pretty easy on my system. The SSL sounds awesome and "sounds like the board" The mcdsp sounds just as good but I don't associate it with any specific console. I think thats a weird way to think anyway. If you are working in protools, its never going to sound like a million dollar console.
That's not exactly true. It comes close. But this is no slam on PT or any other DAW. There were no analog boards that sounded like SSLs either. Even the aftermarket compressors are not the same exactly.

I was around when SSLs hit the scene. Peope bitched and moaned about all kids of things that they did not like about the SSL sound. They liked to mix on them because of the automation. In my world people tracked in a Neve or API room, and then mixed on SSL. The sound became fashionable. Now people want it again. Fair enough.

This is what we used to tell people when I was in sales. "You don't have to have an SSL to make a great sounding record." This now applied to the hardware AND software. But, if you want that one trick pony sound and it fits your music, then there are few better.
Old 30th August 2008
  #13
Gear Head
 
DROSS's Avatar
 

If you're talking about eq , the SSL bundle is probably the best Waves has to offer but only mediocre compared to some other respected plugins. The URS eq's are some of the best emulations I've heard (along with UAD). URS offers an SSL bundle(and the neve , API , and Pultec) where the eq is spot on . Waves is cool but if I'm eq'ing vocals, the channel and standalone eq (E series) tend to get unforgivingly sibilant. The URS's seem to get cleaner as I get more dramatic (use em all the time). However... the compressors on the URS bundles have left me looking for more while the Waves SSL Gbus and channel have been the key tools I've needed in the compression world. But since you're looking for eq's, URS executes what Waves was trying to do in their "Studio Classics" bundles. But make your choose after you've tried them for yourself.
Old 30th August 2008
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by DROSS View Post
I. Waves is cool but if I'm eq'ing vocals, the channel and standalone eq (E series) tend to get unforgivingly sibilant.
Kind of like a real SSL then?! SSL EQs don't suit everthing.

To the OP - if you're new to PT, hold off spending the cash just yet until you know what you've already got. The Digi EQ3 is a very servicable bog-standard EQ. Not "characterful" as such, but it does the job. If you bought the 003 with the Factory Pack, maybe you've got some other EQs there as well? Get to know them as well.

You owe it to yourself to get some of the Massey plugins before anything - the Tape head will help with your "console sound", and the limiter is great also (from personal experience - I've not yet got the others myself, but you'll only find praise on here!). For the price, they can't be beat.

If you know and want the sound of an SSL (or you download the demos and decide you like what they do, with respect to what you already have) THEN start splashing the cash.

But there's no plugin, EQ or otherwise, that is "console mix in a box". The great ITB mixers learn how to mix through experimenting, transferring and adapting good OTB practice, and by developing new techniques to fill in the gaps. Certain plugins may help, but nothing is a Holy Grail of ITB mixing.
Old 30th August 2008
  #15
Not a fan of McDSP's analog channel. I much prefer Tape Head. All of the Massey plugins are great and inexpensive.

And instead of the Waves bundle or Channel G, I suggest you get the Music Production Toolkit and the Native version of Metric Halo's Channelstrip.
Old 30th August 2008
  #16
Lives for gear
 
T_R_S's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by PDC View Post
People bitched and moaned about all kids of things that they did not like about the SSL sound.
Guys like Steve Vai
Old 30th August 2008
  #17
Gear Addict
 
KarmaPolice's Avatar
 

+1 on the Metric Halo Channel Strip. The Eq is great. The Dynamics are usefull.
Used on every track of a session it rather helps your mix than making everything
kind of flat, which is what I experienced with some other plug ins that might sound
nice on soloed tracks. Great affordable native allround plug in.
Old 30th August 2008
  #18
Gear Addict
 
telejustin's Avatar
 

I love the way the McDSP stuff sounds, but the SSL and UA are great too. I would go McDSP, however, because of the latency issue. Only 1 sample of latency with most of the McDSP stuff. It's way easier to manage that than a huge amount like you get with others. This also means that you can track with McDSP stuff which is really nice. And they don't kick your processor's ass, either.

The McDSP a killer set of plugins and I'd highly recommend getting the whole lot if possible. I'm not nuts on the reverb, but everything else is sweet. Also, get the Massey stuff for some variety for not a lot of bux. I mix most of my stuff with almost nothing but McDSP and Massey these days...

Justin
Old 30th August 2008
  #19
Gear Head
 
certain someone's Avatar
 

wow, thank you everyone for all of your input! there is a lot of good information here. i probably need to read it about 5 more times to soak it all in, and then start downloading demo's before i buy anything.

this is my first posting on GearSlutz, and i just have to say that this is an awesome website and valuable resource. it's so fantastic that those of you who have so much knowledge in certain areas are willing to take the time to share it with those of us who don't. thank you very much. what cool community!

by the way, just for the record, i currently have the Ignition Pack 2 Pro, the Music Production Toolkit, and Altiverb....... and a big imagination.

if anyone has any other suggestions, i would be happy to read it. thanks again!
Old 30th August 2008
  #20
Lives for gear
 
Mr.HOLMES's Avatar
I mean what is the prob?
You have two great choices pick the one you like.....taht is why the companies have demos..did you heard about that??heh
Old 30th August 2008
  #21
Gear Addict
 

About the Waves E and G channels. Wasn't the E considered the better sounding board?
Old 30th August 2008
  #22
Lives for gear
 
Mr.HOLMES's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbsg02 View Post
About the Waves E and G channels. Wasn't the E considered the better sounding board?
Cant believe it ....

A lot engineers out there love their 4000 G console as far as I know Mr. Chris Lord Alge is one of those crazy lovers.
He is the patron for the Waves SSL collection and he normally makes no advertising for any company.
For me this means the Waves SSL must be ****ing good and this should changed his opinion about plug ins.
Old 30th August 2008
  #23
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.HOLMES View Post
Cant believe it ....

A lot engineers out there love their 4000 G console as far as I know Mr. Chris Lord Alge is one of those crazy lovers.
He is the patron for the Waves SSL collection and he normally makes no advertising for any company.
For me this means the Waves SSL must be ****ing good and this should changed his opinion about plug ins.
In this interview it says CLA uses an E series(Secrets Of The Mix Engineers: Chris Lord-Alge). I'd be glad to have either of those consoles though!
Old 31st August 2008
  #24
Lives for gear
 
Mr.HOLMES's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbsg02 View Post
In this interview it says CLA uses an E series(Secrets Of The Mix Engineers: Chris Lord-Alge). I'd be glad to have either of those consoles though!
Interesting in an interview with CLA I read he said that the Waves stuff is coming near his console and I always thought the Waves Plug Ins are G series models.

So the question is what is he using E or G ...

Anyway if G or E we can see even today in a lot of studios G Series desks righT?
By the way Waves made E Channel too....I just do not have it because I have to pay WUP.

I love the waves Plugs they sound great they even can saturate a bit...and the EQ is just musical the HF is not too harsh.
For me the Waves SSL is a sign that we can have great sound ITB.

In combination with DSP power by UAD I am done in 90% of the mixes.
I just can say there is nothing what I miss and for the money.....no way to book a real console in a studio for 1000$ a day.

So I would say buy the Waves ....
Old 31st August 2008
  #25
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.HOLMES View Post
Cant believe it ....

A lot engineers out there love their 4000 G console as far as I know Mr. Chris Lord Alge is one of those crazy lovers.
He is the patron for the Waves SSL collection and he normally makes no advertising for any company.
how much did he get?
you can buy anyone for less than one could think.
anyways, waves ssl sounds good, recently got it.
not so much for vocals though.
somehow the brightness that you get on other stuff using W SSL doesn't really work there. some may think differently of course
still about going UAD2.
Old 31st August 2008
  #26
Lives for gear
 
robot gigante's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
Kind of like a real SSL then?! SSL EQs don't suit everthing.

To the OP - if you're new to PT, hold off spending the cash just yet until you know what you've already got. The Digi EQ3 is a very servicable bog-standard EQ. Not "characterful" as such, but it does the job. If you bought the 003 with the Factory Pack, maybe you've got some other EQs there as well? Get to know them as well.

You owe it to yourself to get some of the Massey plugins before anything - the Tape head will help with your "console sound", and the limiter is great also (from personal experience - I've not yet got the others myself, but you'll only find praise on here!). For the price, they can't be beat.

If you know and want the sound of an SSL (or you download the demos and decide you like what they do, with respect to what you already have) THEN start splashing the cash.

But there's no plugin, EQ or otherwise, that is "console mix in a box". The great ITB mixers learn how to mix through experimenting, transferring and adapting good OTB practice, and by developing new techniques to fill in the gaps. Certain plugins may help, but nothing is a Holy Grail of ITB mixing.
This is really good advice.

I use the free EQIII and comp III over Channel G all the time. Demoed the Waves SSL but passed. Use the Massey plugins all the time, the compressor is definitely good for a plugin, better than Channel G imho.

Don't get suckered into thinking these are going to do that much over the stock plugins... there is not even a regular old grail, much less a holy one when it comes to plugins.
Old 31st August 2008
  #27
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DROSS View Post
If you're talking about eq , the SSL bundle is probably the best Waves has to offer but only mediocre compared to some other respected plugins. The URS eq's are some of the best emulations I've heard (along with UAD). URS offers an SSL bundle(and the neve , API , and Pultec) where the eq is spot on . Waves is cool but if I'm eq'ing vocals, the channel and standalone eq (E series) tend to get unforgivingly sibilant. The URS's seem to get cleaner as I get more dramatic (use em all the time). However... the compressors on the URS bundles have left me looking for more while the Waves SSL Gbus and channel have been the key tools I've needed in the compression world. But since you're looking for eq's, URS executes what Waves was trying to do in their "Studio Classics" bundles. But make your choose after you've tried them for yourself.
Amen...+1 thumbsup
Old 31st August 2008
  #28
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Flexibility may not be the best thing. I recently went back over a bunch of mixes and found the best had used only the waves API 550 eq. The frequencies available are very limited and the gain settings are 2 dB. steps. Seriously NOT flexible!

I had done this as an experiment because I always loved the way recordings I made using API 550s back in the '70s sounded. The best sounding settings I could find within the limitations ended up sounding better than using all of the more flexible stuff. This has been some real food for thought!
Old 31st August 2008
  #29
11413
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
Flexibility may not be the best thing. I recently went back over a bunch of mixes and found the best had used only the waves API 550 eq. The frequencies available are very limited and the gain settings are 2 dB. steps. Seriously NOT flexible!

I had done this as an experiment because I always loved the way recordings I made using API 550s back in the '70s sounded. The best sounding settings I could find within the limitations ended up sounding better than using all of the more flexible stuff. This has been some real food for thought!
very interesting.. i've always preferred simplicity with plugs over bells and whistles..

need to explore this more
Old 31st August 2008
  #30
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbsg02 View Post
In this interview it says CLA uses an E series(Secrets Of The Mix Engineers: Chris Lord-Alge). I'd be glad to have either of those consoles though!
It'll be a G+ computer with E-series EQ then.

the most obvious difference is the G-eqs have a "x3" multiplier button for the low mid frequency sweep, and the E-series have a "bell" button to switch the low frequency band from shelving to peaking type. Plus people say they sound slightly different anyway.
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