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SSL X-Desk
Old 28th May 2020
  #991
Here for the gear
Hi Xdesk-ers and Slutz,

First time poster here so please be gentle..

How are people using their Xdesk's with regards to operational signal? As in, do you run hot signals into it, so they're yellow on the meters? I'm plugging my Mytek into it and I have reduced the output quite a bit to prevent too much amber light in my eyes. As it's a clean desk I guess there's no saturation by going orange?

To keep my 0300's balanced i'm either putting them on 0 or -24 (there's not steps). If on 0 the monitor controller never passes 10pm, at -24 I can take it full. What would anyone recommend?

I have an Api 3124 which I use on the Cue send to get some preamp goodness, I've not done a proper test to see if this is giving me extra benefits or the opposite, I have it so its used! I tried it on the master insert first and had to use the pad while adding no gain on the pre, changing to the Cue out I can change signals sent to the pre and use the gain.. Again, is there any good ways to do this?

Lastly, I'm using an external reverb, for the moment I have 8 outs and can use fx1 and fx2 to send left right independent. How do the fx sends work if I had a 16 out soundcard (using alt inputs)?


Thanks
Old 3rd June 2020
  #992
Lives for gear
As to levels, mine are fairly low. Just imagine X desk is not there and u recording API to computer. It doesn’t have a sound so no benefit running it hot. As to FX sends, u can also use CUE send. Better for reverb as don’t have to move two knobs for a stereo reverb send. Then bring it back through alt inputs or direct into fx returns or direct into Comp if recording it. Congrats I would be dead without an x desk
Old 21st June 2020 | Show parent
  #993
Here for the gear
Thanks MoonDog007
coming from a mackie onyx I can say the x-desk is a leap forwards. I never used the onyx Eqs or pres, and the pots feel totally different on the x desk.

I get what you mean with the FX send.. I'm dealing with using both as the cue it sending to 2 channels of an api pre.

there's a lot of control packed into a single box


ahem.. time to get productive

Thanks again
Old 28th June 2020 | Show parent
  #994
Lives for gear
 
HansMues's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moondog007 View Post
As to levels, mine are fairly low. Just imagine X desk is not there and u recording API to computer. It doesn’t have a sound so no benefit running it hot. As to FX sends, u can also use CUE send. Better for reverb as don’t have to move two knobs for a stereo reverb send. Then bring it back through alt inputs or direct into fx returns or direct into Comp if recording it. Congrats I would be dead without an x desk
i differ. It CAN be clean when you do not push it. When you do, it first compress a bit. Push a little more, and then crunches in a good way. Push more and then you have unpleasant distorition. Use your ears. The level you push into it should depend on the style and the sound you want to get. This is why it is so versatile


best
Old 29th June 2020 | Show parent
  #995
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andrewj's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moondog007 View Post
Just imagine X desk is not there and u recording API to computer. It doesn’t have a sound so no benefit running it hot.
API pres do not have a sound?
Old 29th June 2020 | Show parent
  #996
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewj View Post
API pres do not have a sound?
Of course THEY do. The question is does the x desk?
Old 29th June 2020 | Show parent
  #997
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HansMues View Post
i differ. It CAN be clean when you do not push it. When you do, it first compress a bit. Push a little more, and then crunches in a good way. Push more and then you have unpleasant distorition. Use your ears. The level you push into it should depend on the style and the sound you want to get. This is why it is so versatile


best
I replied but don’t know what happened. How hot u pushing x desk in terms of the colours? Red orange etc. On channels or at bus stage? I must confess, I usually run it medium and never truly did an AB comparison so maybe u totally right. I run two electrodyne preamps after it pad them down and then do make up gain just for colour. Yes I know u guys all spell colour differently in USA
Old 29th June 2020
  #998
Yes i agree that X-Desk nicely colors and compresses the sound if you're push it into the yellow on the edge of red. It behaves exactly like most "big" consoles like when if you get scared to overload and back it off a bit you can easily lose the mix. The punch and that soft sweet gluey saturation is gone.
Old 29th June 2020 | Show parent
  #999
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HansMues's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moondog007 View Post
I replied but don’t know what happened. How hot u pushing x desk in terms of the colours? Red orange etc. On channels or at bus stage? I must confess, I usually run it medium and never truly did an AB comparison so maybe u totally right. I run two electrodyne preamps after it pad them down and then do make up gain just for colour. Yes I know u guys all spell colour differently in USA
i do not have rules, i use the ear, the output goes to a burl bomber adc, that has an attenuator AFTER the input transformers, so the hotter i hit this transformers also add to the sound. I know some would say, here is where he´s getting his colour but no, the burl came after more than 6 years of x-desk use. i also have the mastering chain on the main instert, and when client approves mix, then i turn the mastering chain on and also switch the attenuator of the burl off, to where i get some desired ad clipping. i deliver both unmastered mix and mastered mix in minutes. As i said, the amount of pushing on the console depends on the material and style.

best

Hans
Old 29th June 2020 | Show parent
  #1000
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HansMues's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Veseli View Post
Yes i agree that X-Desk nicely colors and compresses the sound if you're push it into the yellow on the edge of red. It behaves exactly like most "big" consoles like when if you get scared to overload and back it off a bit you can easily lose the mix. The punch and that soft sweet gluey saturation is gone.
yes, and is difficult to back off with analog, sometimes i do have to back up a bit, tough, and it also can be done digitally
Old 3rd September 2020
  #1001
Here for the gear
 

Hi everybody, now I' m an ssl desk owner. try to summing a mix with all 16 channels (8 line input and 8 alt input).
I connect master MIX insert Send and Return to my bus compressor (Serpent sb4001) but the compressor seems to work only on the LINE INPUT and not for the Alt line in.
Is there anybody can clarify about it?
Old 3rd September 2020 | Show parent
  #1002
Have you pressed "Cue to Mix" button ?
Old 30th September 2020
  #1003
Gear Addict
 

Hey

I've got a hybrid setup - some synths, drum machines, an SSL Fusion, some 500 series units - and currently all interact via a Focusrite Clarett Pre X interface + ADAT. Basically, no desk. Ive bought some patchbays recently but not connected them up yet

But I feel I need a desk to tie it all together, but I dont want a massive desk and I dont want to spend £10,000+

Been looking at the SSL X Desk and have a couple of questions

-- to be clear, basically you get 16 inputs but its 8 live inputs from synths etc, and 8 from the DAW via the ALT? Or can it be 16 of live inputs from synths? I need a minimum of 16 tbh

-- is there one stereo aux and 2 x Mono (1 stereo)? Not clear

-- is there an insert across the master? Im considering putting my SSL Fusion across it

thank you!
Old 30th September 2020 | Show parent
  #1004
Gear Nut
 
Modular_8's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gypsymoth View Post
Hey

I've got a hybrid setup - some synths, drum machines, an SSL Fusion, some 500 series units - and currently all interact via a Focusrite Clarett Pre X interface + ADAT. Basically, no desk. Ive bought some patchbays recently but not connected them up yet

But I feel I need a desk to tie it all together, but I dont want a massive desk and I dont want to spend £10,000+

Been looking at the SSL X Desk and have a couple of questions

-- to be clear, basically you get 16 inputs but its 8 live inputs from synths etc, and 8 from the DAW via the ALT? Or can it be 16 of live inputs from synths? I need a minimum of 16 tbh

-- is there one stereo aux and 2 x Mono (1 stereo)? Not clear

-- is there an insert across the master? Im considering putting my SSL Fusion across it

thank you!
i don't own one but have researched them some. all those questions (and more) are answered in the manual

https://www.solidstatelogic.com/asse...User_Guide.pdf

each channel has 2 mono FX sends + a stereo cue that you can also use for FX but is labeled cue for typical use when tracking and setting up a cue mix for the headphones of whoever is playing/singing etc.

it has 2 inputs per channel. you can plug whatever you want into them but the intention is the have record returns going in there for monitoring while recording.. but yeah.. they're just more inputs so plug whatever you want into them.

yes there is an insert on the master bus.
Old 1st October 2020 | Show parent
  #1005
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gypsymoth View Post

Been looking at the SSL X Desk and have a couple of questions

-- to be clear, basically you get 16 inputs but its 8 live inputs from synths etc, and 8 from the DAW via the ALT? Or can it be 16 of live inputs from synths? I need a minimum of 16 tbh

-- is there one stereo aux and 2 x Mono (1 stereo)? Not clear

-- is there an insert across the master? Im considering putting my SSL Fusion across it

thank you!
Been using the x-desk with the panda for 6 years - I love it! But that's for me and my workflow. Sure seems like it should work for you, given what you wrote.

For the first two questions, it depends: Yes, you get 16 line inputs from whatever source you want, but you lose the stereo aux send. If you only use the first 8 inputs then you retain the one stereo and two mono aux sends. But, you also have two stereo returns that can act as another 4 line inputs if you're not using them as effects returns.

For the third question, yes, you get a master insert that the Fusion would be perfect for. The first 8 inputs also have inserts.

Hope that helps :-)
Old 1st October 2020 | Show parent
  #1006
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisbramble View Post
Been using the x-desk with the panda for 6 years - I love it! But that's for me and my workflow. Sure seems like it should work for you, given what you wrote.

For the first two questions, it depends: Yes, you get 16 line inputs from whatever source you want, but you lose the stereo aux send. If you only use the first 8 inputs then you retain the one stereo and two mono aux sends. But, you also have two stereo returns that can act as another 4 line inputs if you're not using them as effects returns.

For the third question, yes, you get a master insert that the Fusion would be perfect for. The first 8 inputs also have inserts.

Hope that helps :-)
I have x desk and can confirm this is all perfectly correct! Just keep in mind, u can only use 1-8 tracks for recording because the other tracks do not have individual track outs. I Love my x desk and would be lost without it. I have no idea how people work without something like this honestly. My only complaint is I’d love one more stereo fx send and motorised faders. I know that would add to the price by a couple of grand but it would be so worth it. Version 2.. are u listening SSL?
Old 1st October 2020
  #1007
Gear Nut
 

Excellent point about the first 8 channels having direct outs for recording, Moondog. Having the panda I forget about that limitation, but that might be a deal breaker for you, gypsymoth. My wishlist is that I miss groups, and I really want a master fader. I got around the lack of busses (mostly) by normaling my insert sends to a Speck X.Sum, which has switchable stereo outs that normal back to the stereo input channels on the panda (an X.Sum might be worth looking at, gypsymoth). I haven't found an off-the-shelf solution for the master fader yet though.....
Old 1st October 2020 | Show parent
  #1008
Gear Addict
 

Thanks guys

I think in summary, the limited track count might be problematic if I'm running lots of drum tracks in. Will look into that X sum

Just a real pain - the perfect mixer doesnt exist!

I'd love to be able to track 16+ channels, have a couple of aux sends, some inserts, switchable inputs so I can sum.... but in a smaller form factor that doesnt cost the earth. Not too fussed about EQ because I do that ITB
Old 4th October 2020
  #1009
Gear Addict
 

How are you guys adding your EQs to this beast? On the inserts I assume?
Old 5th October 2020
  #1010
Gear Nut
 
Modular_8's Avatar
 

anyone care to comment on the build quality of the X-desk? i've read that they're nice and solid but a few people report noise issues in the main out at the fader and some high pitched noise when control room volume is at max. there's some videos showing it. seems it's a mature product now and perhaps those issue are fixed in more recent versions? i wonder if they've done any revisions to the circuits?
Old 5th October 2020 | Show parent
  #1011
Solid State Logic
 
Jim@SSL's Avatar
 

Exercising the pots usually gets rid of any unwanted noises. Static builds up on the wipers and good wiggle gets rid of it fast enough.
Old 5th October 2020 | Show parent
  #1012
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Exercising the pots usually gets rid of any unwanted noises. Static builds up on the wipers and good wiggle gets rid of it fast enough.
Hey Jim. Hope you're well. Would you mind answering a couple of questions for an SSL newb who's considering this desk?

-- there appears to be 8 inserts on each channel, that can also be used on the ALT inputs? Is that correct?

-- how is the master bus insert connected up? via the centre D-SUB?

-- how many stereo AUXs are available to me if I'm tracking all 16 channels thru main and ALT? I'd like to send signals to my stereo reverb and stereo delay simulataneously if possible

-- Can the ALT LEFT and ALT RIGHT (yikes) be used as an output for something else in the signal chain?

Thank you!
Old 6th October 2020 | Show parent
  #1013
Solid State Logic
 
Jim@SSL's Avatar
 

Insert point follows whatever is selected at the top of each channel. There are only 8 of them but they follow after the input select switch. However if you select ALT at the top of the channel the MAIN input doesn't get sent into the CUE ST bus. ONly ALT inputs can be fed into the CUE TO MIX.

There's an output DSub and an input DSub for the centre section. Sends on one, returns of the other.

None. If you are sending ALT input into the MIX then you use up the stereo CUE. You are left with 2x mono sends which you could connect to the stereo returns (assuming your FX can run mono in stereo out)

Not in the way you are thinking. You could however use the X-DESK LINK OUT DSub to grab the MIX or CUE buses.
Old 3 days ago
  #1014
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once a roadie's Avatar
 

Hey Jim,

Can the x-desk mix bus link out be connected to the six "passive split Main L and Main R" on the output d-sub? IE - is that a direct injection point to the six mix bus?

Any tips on connecting the two mixers?
Old 2 days ago | Show parent
  #1015
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by once a roadie View Post
Hey Jim,

Can the x-desk mix bus link out be connected to the six "passive split Main L and Main R" on the output d-sub? IE - is that a direct injection point to the six mix bus?

Any tips on connecting the two mixers?
I have both the X-Desk and the Six. If you’re asking about directly connecting the two desks via a DB25 to DB25 cable (with no patch bay in between), you can do this one of three ways:

X-Desk into Six

1. Connect the X-Desk Centre Out to the SiX DB25 In/Return. In this case the X-Desk Mix Out (L/R) on 3-4 will connect to the SiX’s Channel 1-2 Insert Return. So you’d push the INSERT buttons on the SiX’s channels 1 and 2 and be able to sub in the mix from the X-Desk.

2. Connect the X-Desk Link Out to the Six DB25 In/Return. In this case the X-Desk Mix Bus Link on 1-2 will connect to the Six’s Main Insert Return. So you’d push the INSERT button next to the SiX master fader to sub in the mix from the X-Desk.

SiX into X-Desk

3. Connect the SiX DB25 Out/Send to the X-Desk Centre In. In this case the SiX Main Out (L/R) on 5-6 will connect to the X-Desk FX Return 1 (L/R). You’d push the MIX button under FX Return 1 on the X-Desk to sub in the SiX’s mix.

I use the SiX as my main desk/monitor controller and use a patch bay to patch the X-Desk in via the Six’s EXT 1 stereo input.

Nigel
Old 2 days ago | Show parent
  #1016
Here for the gear
 

By the way, if anyone is interested in a brief comparison between the X-Desk and the SiX, I posted this a week or so ago...


SSL 6 vs SSL X-Desk sound quality for summing
Old 22 hours ago | Show parent
  #1017
Solid State Logic
 
Jim@SSL's Avatar
 

or you could go out of the SiX into the Insert return of the X-Desk and hit the Insert Sum switch.

If you really really wanted you could use the link out connector, but the solos and FX sends wont cascade like the do between 2 X-Desks.
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