Ssl Buss Compressor Settings

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Waves SSL G-Master Buss Compressor Tips This compressor does not have a mix knob so be careful with the fast attack settings. You don’t want to kill your transients. Attack settings of. The SSL Duende Bus Compressor is the most analog emulation for an SSL mix bus compressor plugin on the market. Though this Mix Bus Compressor has fierce competition in the mixing and mastering plugin market, it stands out for tone and the ability the represent analog character in the box. With companies like Cytomic, Slate Digital, Waves, IK Multimedia, Native Instruments, Universal Audio,.

The original SSL consoles were the sound of '80s & '90s pop and rock. The Waves SSL 4000 collection brings the 4000 E & G consoles to software and we've compiled 5 tips to help you get the most from i

The Waves SSL 4000 Collection is a faithful emulation of two classic SSL consoles from the ’80s—the 4000 E and 4000 G. The originals were responsible for the sound of countless recordings, with their distinctive EQ and dynamics sections lending that “sheen” that defined the sound of pop and rock tracks in the ’80s and ’90s.

Watch the second part 'The Glue Compression with Cytomic: What's different?' : Save an additional 10% off any purchase at Waves w. The SSL Duende Bus Compressor is the most analog emulation for an SSL mix bus compressor plugin on the market. Though this Mix Bus Compressor has fierce competition in the mixing and mastering plugin market, it stands out for tone and the ability the represent analog character in the box. With companies like Cytomic, Slate Digital, Waves, IK Multimedia, Native Instruments, Universal Audio,. The Helios stayed in Studio 1 until 1984 when it was replaced by an SSL 4000E, the Helios went to the newly acquired Townhouse 3. This early exposure to the SSL bus compressor via the B series in Studio 2 must have fed the desire to have access to a similar bus compressor in the Helios equipped Studio 1. Build Your Own SSL Bus Compressor.

Waves has modeled the complete channel strips from both the 4000 E and G series—which featured slightly different EQ characteristics—and the collection also provides a separate G-series EQ and the famous Buss Compressor from the G-Series center panel.

But—vintage pedigree aside—what do these processors offer over and above the many other EQ and dynamics plug-ins out there, including the ones that come with every DAW? Here are a few tips and suggestions for getting the most out of the SSL 4000 Collection.

1. Channel the ’80s

Obviously, one of the reasons for going with a set of processors like this is their ability to emulate the sound of the vintage gear they’re modeled on. In this case, that’s the sound of the console(s) probably used on more recordings throughout the ’80s and ’90s than any other single piece of gear. What gives both the originals and these models their particular quality? Most people would attribute the characteristic “SSL sound” to the EQ sections, primarily. Compared with the relatively broad, smooth curves of many competing products (like the classic Neve EQs), the SSL’s EQ—captured faithfully here—offers up the potential for an edgier response. Sharper curves and a wider “Q” (bandwidth) range let you dial up a bit more of the distinctive ’80s crispness and punch that characterizes the sound of so many recordings from that era. And the included dynamics section, with its variable attack and soft-knee response, provides a compression characteristic between the sound of vintage tube and FET units and the squash of modern devices.

2. Alphabet soup: A/B E & G

But the 4000 Collection doesn’t just provide one sound. There are no less then three variations of the classic SSL EQ on tap here—the ones in the E-series and G-series channel strips, and the separate G-series EQ, which is based on a different circuit than either of the two versions included in the channel strips. Each has its own slightly different response. The E-series channels strip’s EQ was developed with the input of George Martin (how’s that for a pedigree); while similar in layout, the G-series channel strip EQ has a slight pre-boost dip and pre-cut rise—a response characteristic prized in the classic tube-era Pultec EQs—that distinguish it slightly from the E-series curves.

If you’re having trouble honing in on the best EQ settings, trying the same settings with both the E and G channel strips can offer a subtle but distinctly different tonal imprint, which can sometimes help nudge you in the right direction.

Audio Example 1—Acoustic Guitar 1) All EQs Bypassed, 2) E-Channel EQ, 3) G-Channel EQ with identical settings to the E-Channel in (2), to highlight the differences; 4) G-Channel EQ set to more or less match the tonal curve of the E-Channel:

3. Get that Analog edge

All of the 4000 series plug-ins feature a switch simply labelled “Analog”.

Fig 4 The “Analog” switch in the various SSL 4000 Collection plug-ins.

Ssl

This may seem like a throwaway—an extra effect on top of the modeled character—but it is, in fact, part of the key to that character. While duplicating the curves of a particular EQ and the response of a specific compression circuit (like the ones in the original 4000 consoles) can go a long way to emulating the sound of the original gear, there’s more to it than that. The original analog components had a unique way of breaking up when driven, and those non-linearities (distortions to the layman) are a major contributor to the classic “sound” so sought after in models like these. While there may be situations where you just need the most neutral, transparent response possible, the point of collections like this is not neutrality, but color! Making sure this switch is on (it should be by default, but you never know) will insure that you’re getting all the analog “character” that makes these processors so distinctive, and so like the originals they’re based on.

4. Pump the drums

Compression has always been used in recording—originally it was meant to simply contain the dynamic range of music to fit into the limitations of traditional analog media (tape & vinyl). But talented and creative engineers started to use it as an effect, even as far back as the Beatles and other ’60s recordings. With dynamics on every channel of the classic SSL 4000-series consoles, compression really came into its own in that era, where it was used liberally on any channel that needed a little extra push. The SSL compressors—both the channel strip dynamics sections and the G-series Master Buss Compressor—helped to define the sound of the modern drum kit, with punchy compression on both individual drums, and on stereo overheads and drum masters.

For that kind of push, instantiating one of these channel strips on each track—kick, snare, toms—and possibly a G-series Buss Compressor on the Drum Master, can take a more traditional, laid-back drum sound, and both tighten it up and add a little bloom (ambient tail). Add a little of that characteristic crisp SSL EQ, and you’ve got that bigger-than-life ’80s drum sound you grew up with.

Audio Example 2—SSL 4000-series compression on drums: Bypassed (1st 4 bars); On:

Ssl Buss Compressor Settings Hp

5. Add the “Glue”

Of all the things the SSL 4000-series consoles are known for, one of the most famous is the ability of the G-series Master Bus Compressor—the stereo dynamics processor in that console’s center panel, strapped across the L/R output—to add what’s come to be known as “the Glue” to a finished mix.

Fig 5 The Waves SSL 4000 G-series Master Buss Compressor.

Long before people were routinely smashing the hell out of their mixes with digital brickwall limiting (in the never-ending “Loudness Wars” for greater level), engineers would take a more subtle approach when it came to the master stereo bus. A little gentle compression (a medium-low ratio, subtly applied), with the compression circuit that was built in to the 4000 G console, was renowned for adding that final touch that could make all the elements of a mix gel—providing the “glue” that would hold the mix together. This gave rise to its nickname (the “Glue”), which has become a catchphrase for that final bit of master bus processing that helps keep up a mix’s energy and “push”, but does so without robbing it of its musical dynamics and punch.

And nothing does a better job of this—in the opinion of a great many experienced engineers—than the SSL 4000 G Master Buss Compressor. Duplicating the response of the original’s twin-VCA design—along with the “Analog” characteristics of the actual hardware—insures that this version is capable of that same magic. Just strap it across the mix bus and take advantage of its unique properties. But—like with any dynamic processing—just be sure not to push too hard! As I said, a medium-low ratio and a gentle hand will be the ticket to get you where you want to go.

Audio Example 3—The “Glue”: The SSL Master Buss Compressor applied to a mix: Bypassed (4 bars); On (4 bars); Bypassed (4 bars); On (4 bars):

The Waves SSL 4000 Collection offers a comprehensive set of tools, not only for those used to working on the original, who want to recapture that experience, but also for newer engineers and mixers, who are looking for a bit of the magic that launched a thousand records. With a judicious touch, and a little creative experimentation, you too should be able to find ’80s Nirvana with this capable bundle.

For a limited time, the Wave SSL Collection is on sale for $299!

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Buss compression is certainly not a new concept, however, it is an effective and reliable engineering tool and its basic principles are vital considering you are affecting multiple voices. When approaching buss compression, there are two essential tools at your fingertips: Attack and Release – these two tools, when properly utilized, will have the ultimate say in the outcome of your efforts.

The attack and release functions of a compressor will tell its detector how to react to signal that passes through. An effective use of attack and release will essentially allow you to make conscious envelope changes to the signal rising above the threshold at the detector. This brings about the main philosophical concept behind compression, which is to shape the signal, rather than merely restrict its dynamic range (dynamic restriction is part of shaping the signal, not the end purpose). The attack and release controls are what really provide the push and pull effects of compression.

With this in mind, I have provided examples of effective and ineffective buss compression, focusing on attack and release settings, for a few simple approaches.

All of the following audio passed through the same compressor with the same settings (beside attack and release) and a ratio of 1.5:1 with an average gain reduction of 4 dB.

Original Track (with no buss compression):

https://theproaudiofiles.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Original-Track.mp3

Effective Transient Compression:

Ssl Buss Compressor Settings Regulator

https://theproaudiofiles.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Effective-Transient-Compres.mp3

Attack Setting: 8.5 ms
Release Setting: 7.5 ms

Why? – The quick attack captures the transient before it reaches it’s fullest point, and the release lets go during the decay, allowing the transient to be tamed while the rest of the signal passes through unchanged. The push and pull is effectively centered over the rise and fall of the transient, making its response symmetrical and maintaining the integrity of the attack and decay slopes.

Ineffective Transient Compression:

https://theproaudiofiles.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Ineffective-Transient-Compr.mp3

Attack Setting: 16.0 ms
Release Setting: 32.0 ms

Why? – The attack setting coincides with the peak of the transient and the release lets go during the sustain of the signal, smearing the punch of the transient and causing a noticeable dynamic hiccup after the decay of the transient. This is an arhythmic push and pull.

Effective Sustain Compression:

https://theproaudiofiles.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Effective-Sustain-Compressi.mp3

Attack Setting: 32.0 ms
Release Setting: 10.0 ms

Why? – The attack captures the signal during the sustain causing the transient to be unaffected, while the release lets go quickly enough as to not overlap with the following transient. In other words, only the sustain of the signal is affected. The push and pull is centered over the sustain, bringing it to the forefront while maintaining the integrity of the sustain slope.

Ineffective Sustain Compression:

https://theproaudiofiles.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Ineffective-Sustain-Compres.mp3

Attack Setting: 83.0 ms
Release Setting: 51.0 ms

Why? – The attack grabs the signal well after the beginning of the sustain causing an unnatural sounding sustain, while the release overlaps the following transient, causing a blur that does not rhythmically coincide with the music. This is also an arhythmic push and pull.

Effective Combined Compression (Transient and Sustain):

https://theproaudiofiles.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Effective-Combination-Compr.mp3

Attack Setting: 5.5 ms
Release Setting: 97.0 ms

Why? – The attack grabs the signal before the transient is at it’s peak, and holds for the duration of the sustains, letting go before the following transient. In other words, these settings are rhythmically harmonious with the music. The push and pull between transient and sustain is achieved.

Ineffective Combined Compression (Transient and Sustain):

https://theproaudiofiles.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Ineffective-Combination-Com.mp3

Attack Setting: 4.0 ms
Release Setting: 620.0 ms

Why? – The attack is okay, but approaching a dangerously fast zone where if it were any quicker, the attack of the signals envelope would lose most of it’s slope, causing the transient to sound unnatural or “over-compressed.” Additionally, the release setting lasts way too long, making all settings irrelevant. This is all push and no pull.

Do you use buss compression when you mix? Why or why not?

Here’s a tutorial from Matthew Weiss on using Slate Digital’s FG-Grey on the stereo mix buss to enhance the sense of groove, a shootout from Ian Vargo comparing the SSL Duality with the Waves G-Channel Buss Compressor plugin, and a walkthrough of David Glenn’s two-buss signal chain.

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