Waves SSL Channel-------Oh Baby!

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by DAB, Feb 15, 2006.


  1. DAB

    DAB Member

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    Have any of you other closet mixing engineers and home hobbyists ever wondered why your mixes sound dull, or bright, or plain, or harsh and nothing at all like the "pros" mixes? I have always been frustrated by this. I know I don't have the equipment they have, the mics (I get by with my AKG414), the compressors, pres, the huge SSL or Neve console etc. etc.

    Well I downloaded the new Waves SSL plugins for a demo run with my Pro Tools rig. It is a plugin version of the SSL 4000G console channel strip, a separate EQ and supposedly the 4 Bus Compressor which I didn't see in the pack.

    Anyway, I took some covers I had done previously and remixed them using SSL Channel and VOILA!! They sound so sweet and the instruments are clear and I can finally fit a vocal in the mix without having it sound like it was being sung in a different state from the rest of the band.

    Yeah not mastered by Bob Ludwig but to me they are the first time my stuff sounds "professional".

    I can't say enough good things about this new tool. Very expensive (for my budget) at $1600 and Waves can be a pain with their WUP support costs but I have not seen any other plugin get it right like this one.

    If you use Pro Tools (it will probably work with others as well) do yourself a favor and download the free demo and try it yourself.

    If anyone is interested I can post a couple of mixes.

    Dave

    :dude:dude:dude:dude
     
  2. killerburst

    killerburst killerburstguitars.com Silver Supporting Member

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    If you have an iLok, download a demo of the URS classic console plugs and let us know how they compare.
     
  3. DAB

    DAB Member

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    Yeah, I noticed out on the Digi Forum that there is a lot of discussion about the comparison between them. I will do that in the next few days.

    Dave
     
  4. KungFuLio

    KungFuLio Senior Member

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    i work on SSLs a lot. the plug-in is really good
    ...but it ain't no jack kennedy
     
  5. DAB

    DAB Member

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    "I knew Jack Kennedy senator......I worked with Jack Kennedy....you are no....

    You have a great facility and the name is just killer.

    Dave
     
  6. LSchefman

    LSchefman Supporting Member

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    I was never fond of the SSL onboard compressors, but that's another story.

    What makes an SSL sound so good, just my opinion, is the summing amplifier (the thing that combines the sound of all the channel strips) and the openness of the channels. There's gobs of headroom, and a very clear, open sound.

    One of my plans is to replace my console with a good summing amplifier (a few companies make them in the 2-10K range), and higher quality input strips for synths, etc. I'll go direct with mic pres. I think that this will be a significant improvement for my studio.

    I love a good plug in, and I'm sure that this software version of the SSL is a good thing, but what REALLY makes an SSL sound like one is a combination of stuff that at present can't be modeled in software.
     
  7. DAB

    DAB Member

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    Les, I would certainly defer to your knowledge in this area. My comments relate not what a "real SSL" can do but rather how much better and sweeter this plugin sounds than any others I have tried (and I have tried a lot of them either through purchase or demo).

    This plugin has the sweetness that takes away the digital harshness I otherwise hear, the EQ stays musical no matter how screwed up I set it. As much as that though it just places things clearly in the mix. The muddiness is gone, the highs are not shrill...blah...blah...blah...you get the idea. I am just stoked because its a first for me since I bought Pro Tools 4 years ago (started with a MixPlus and now have an HD Accel2.

    To your point about the summing amplifier, I split my stereo track to mono in a separate (mastering) session. I then wash each track through my Avalon Vt737SP (its mono). This is the only real classy piece of gear I have in this area.

    So I have been considering a 2Bus or other stereo summing gadget and would be interested on your thoughts on the various ones out there.

    Dave
     
  8. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    Yes, yes, and more yes. I'm reminded of an aerosol can of "Fresh Air scent." Unless you open the door and step away, it ain't fresh air.

    I'm all for great simulations, but I am extremely skeptical of any plug claiming to simulate the openness and air of great electronic circuitry.

    But dig it - if it sounds better, it is better. Same as aerosol - if it smells better than before, that's a good thing. ;) So if you like what it does, that's great news!
     
  9. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    As you probably know, that's not the same as analog summing. But it might be a cool thing to do anyway. I've had an Avalon AD2055 stereo EQ as the last output on an analog mix and it definitely added a certain very nice "something." But a nice summing bus will not make "screwed-up" EQ suddenly sound right. Have you tried using the VT-737's EQ on the back end?

    I don't have firsthand knowledge of any outboard summing busses so I can't help you there. But I'll say this: using an Apogee converter/clock helped to open up my in-the-box mixes enormously. If you're using the 96 I/O, there are much better clocks and converters available. That could account for your digital harshness, brittle high end and lack of clarity. Just a thought...
     
  10. DAB

    DAB Member

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    I am using a 192 I/O so i don't know how that compares clockwise to the Apogee (BigBen?). I would get one if it is way better than the 192.

    Yep, I am hep on the summing amp, it's just the Avalon's the only way for me to get some analog pixie dust on my mixes at the moment. I do in fact use the pre, the compressor, and the EQ when I put them through it.

    What I really want is a stereo GML EQ or a MassivePassive for eq and a summing amp. having the money to buy that stuff...........priceless.

    since I will never have a big API, Neve or SSL or have 24 channels of their strips in a lunch box I am going to have to hope that a plugin can get me close and that some analog stuff on the end will top it off.

    Thanks for the feedback bud!!!

    Dave
     
  11. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    Nope, what you already have is up there with the big boys. Any difference would just be very small and just a matter of taste. And from what you're describing, not money well spent.

    That's a rather unusual – and very expensive – system for a home hobbyist with such a small amount of front end gear. And running only one input at a time...?? That's a system that commercial studios use. Kinda like chartering the Queen Mary for a day of fishing, or buying a 38" 6-color Heidelberg Web press to print your kid's homework.

    Just out of curiousity, why did you choose it?
     
  12. DAB

    DAB Member

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    Uuuuuhhhhh.....I don't know???
    Probably the same reason I bought Robben Ford Ultra SP and a Bruno Super 100 and a Lexus GX470........too stupid to know better.

    Really the deal is I could afford it (at the time) and I always wanted to be a real recording/mixing engineer (when I found out I couldn't be a rock star). I wanted to use the same gear as the pros whenever I could afford it so that if I got to go into a real studio I wouldn't have such a big learning curve.

    I recorded my band's live practice so I actually didn't have enough inputs to do it right and I also have a Mackie 1604 VLZ Pro and the pres aren't too bad in it really so i had more than one input.

    I also finished my basement with a tuned (semi) control room and a tracking room (replete with window between them) and..........

    Shoot that's a really good question Michael........I have no idea.

    Dave:jo
     
  13. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    See, that's all stuff I can understand for one person with a few bucks.

    But if you had bought a 12-piece orchestra, a line array stadium PA and a Boeing 757, I might have asked the same question. ;)

    Look, it's a great system and I'm just kidding around 'cause it's kind of unusual. Enjoy it. :)
     
  14. elambo

    elambo Member

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    All of this begs the question: what other software eqs and compressors have you used? What are you comparing it to?
     
  15. headstack

    headstack Member

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    Just saw this plug package and wondered if it comes with all the hiss and phase shifts of the real thing???!!!
    I used to work on a few SSLs and did a lot of repair on two of them.
    I liked the automation and the image, but I dod a lot of eq with the rack of Neves and the Tubetechs at hand.
    Buss compression was okay if you used it lightly. I'd like to play with the latest versions of these consoles and see what they have done.

    BTW, the LED lighting for the meters? You are welcome!! :)
    One place I worked had nearly all the lights out in the SSLs and a re-bulb was well over $1000. The owner was too cheap to but bulbs, so I suggested we switch to LEDs and forever have light. (still had to talk him into my fee plus the parts) I asked SSL about this plan and they said "well, you could, but why would you?")
    Lo and behold, the next years edition had the LEDs.
    I loved stirring the pot when I was in the middle of it all!!!:D
     
  16. DAB

    DAB Member

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    Good question. At one time or another I have tried the following EQ and/or compressor plugs (actually probably some others that I don't remember):

    Focusrite D2/D3
    Waves Renaissance Compressor and EQ
    Forte
    Sony Oxford
    Waves C4 Parametric (which I like A LOT)
    Waves Q10 (OK but not great)
    TRacks Mastering stuff (this is actually not bad and it comes with the most usable presets I have ever seen)
    Metric Halo Channel Strip (the new one for HD is much better than the old)
    McDSP
    JoeMeek
    All the Bomb Factory Stuff

    I haven't tried the URS stuff yet.

    IMHO the Waves SSL is way way better than those above with the exception of the C4 (which is not as good but still a good plug)

    Dave
     
  17. elambo

    elambo Member

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    I was pretty sure you hadn't. If you had, I doubt you'd feel that the SSL was such a leap forward. IMO, URS has already taken that leap.
     
  18. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    What's the point, that he shouldn't like the SSL plug? Or that he should like it less?
     
  19. Gravity

    Gravity Member

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    I've worked pretty extensively on SSL g series consoles (I spent almost every day on a 4040G+ for 8 months...) And I am personally in love with SSL desks. When I booted up this bundle for the first time the other day Waves had some pretty big expectations to live up to. (I have used the Rack Bus comps before, and I actually have one being built for me right now) I'm pretty intimately familiar with the real units.

    Quite honestly I was astounded. In fairness I haven't tried the URS series stuff yet (though I would like to) but the SSL bundle is so far the most accurate digital model of a real world device I've ever heard. Right down to the unique way the SSL comp operates. I was floored. I wasn't expecting much, and at least as far as the bus comp is concerned it sounded exactly like what I would expect from the desk or the rack unit. Waves has thoroughly impressed me. and at $800USD from Waves, it's a damn sight cheaper then the $3500 for the Comp or the $4000+ for the E channel.
     
  20. LSchefman

    LSchefman Supporting Member

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    I'm gonna download the demo just to see what it's like; as long as it sounds good, I'll be interested.
     

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