SSL G Buss or API 2500
Looking at adding another 2-bus comp to my chain. I'm going to get them both sooner or later but just wanted to hear some opinions. Please chime in and share your experiences on either of these.
it appears a lot of studio engineers like to track Neve / API and mix SSL ... pick your poison.
I mixed on an SSL G Series Console a few times. Have also had the opportunity to work with API, Trident, Harrison, Fairchild, UA, etc.
(I never actually owned any of this stuff... my studio was considered "mid grade" with gear like Neotek (Elan), Amek (Scorpion), Soundcraft (DC 20-20) Yamaha (O2R) etc., but, I did work on the high caliber equipment mentioned above as a hired gun engineer working at other studios besides my own)
I would agree with Kurt that SSL tends to be more "transparent", while the Neve and API stuff does have its own "sound"... but I think you're still probably looking at six in one hand / half a dozen in the other, sonically.
In short: I don't think you're really gonna go wrong with anything of true pro quality, and in saying that, I don't believe we are telling you anything you don't already know, Chris. You're living proof of what can be accomplished by having a highly skilled engineer on high caliber gear.
I suppose that perhaps the question you need to ask yourself, is what you expect to get out of any gear you'd buy.
If you're looking for coloration within the application, well, IMO, you've already got a lot of that going on in your Neos and your OB rack with your LA2's, 1176's, etc.
So maybe something a bit more transparent would be in order as it would give you the choice of which to use, depending of course upon the application at hand.
IMHO of course.
I guess that's what Kurt is talking about also? But that's not really George's version of an SSL. That's George's version of George's version. I guess they both use VCA's? And probably the same ones? And George's also gives you the option of peak, fast RMS and slow RMS sensing. I just can't get my head around " Crest Factor "? Reminds me of the Spectra 610 Sonics Comp Limiter, which I also could never figure out what it was good for LOL? I sold off my pair from a bulk purchase of used audio gear. All I could do was get them to pump in a nasty way I didn't care for much LOL. Almost the same with those API 525's. Though there are folks that swear by those. I just swore at them.
for rucks Chris, you should get a Valley People dyna-mite. they're cheap and unique. as far as i'm concerned a DBX 160 or a dyna-mite are the only vca comps i like. everything else is opto.
The GML 8900 is the one I think you are all thinking about, yes, or the GML 2030?
I think the SSL is going to be it though but please try and talk me out of it lol. My STC-8 is relatively close the 8900. I know its not a GML and George would cringe hearing this but its somewhat similar, so I'm told. The STC-8 might have a bit more colour which is more like sliky sheen. before I bought that, I was looking at the 8900 but finally jumped on the STC-8. I love it.
I do want the API because I need something colourful and useful for Rock and Bluesy Stems including 2-bus tasks but the SSL might be the better choice after the STC-8. I hate trying to decide.
audiokid, post: 403290 wrote:
I do want the API because I need something colourful and useful for Rock and Bluesy Stems including 2-bus tasks
then i would just snagg the API!
Pan, I want both, API 2500 and the SSL.! Need money more money!
Thanks for the suggestion Kurt, but I have enough UA now but they would look great!
McMurphy, post: 403278 wrote: Reminds me of the Spectra 610 Sonics Comp Limiter, which I also could never figure out what it was good for LOL? I sold off my pair from a bulk purchase of used audio gear. All I could do was get them to pump in a nasty way I didn't care for much LOL. McMurphy
I had a 610 & I didn't like it on anything! I even sent it back to the factory assuming that it must be defective. When it came back, it was different but still unusable. There must have been something about this that I just didn't get because others seem to have had good experiences with them.
Kurt Foster: "a pair of LA3's & LA4's would be nice"
Let me tell you about my experience with these things. I loved the LA-3's right from the start. I still do. They just seem to be so perfect for everything. I never had a problem with an LA-3. This is from over 35 years of experience with them.
Back in the 1980's, I got a job designing a facility & I wanted to use some LA-3's but they didn't make them anymore so I specified LA-4's. IIRC I had 6 of them. When the operators started using the facility, they immediately complained that some of them sounded horrible. I looked into it and found that indeed some were fine but others sounded terrible! I pulled one of the terrible ones and put it on an analyzer. It had very low distortion below threshold. Also, at large amounts of gain reduction, it had very low distortion. But, at around 6 dB of gain reduction, the THD was several percent. After some trading around, I found this to be a function of the photocells that they used. Some were much better than others. UREI sold replacement photocells as selected parts but they were selected to make the gain reduction metering track the actual action, not for THD. The only alternative was for me to buy a large number of photocells and hand select them myself for distortion. I did that...it wasn't that bad. Most of the ones I bought were pretty good. So, beware if you buy a hardware LA-4, it may require some attention.
There is a problem with all of this. You are lucky if you have something that is really, really, obviously bad. That way you know that it needs some attention. If you are unfortunate enough to get one that is just a little bad, you might not even know it. You might even mistake the distortion for some 'character.' I was lucky to have a number of different LA-4's to compare and contrast. If you have just one, you might not know if it is ok.
mberry, thanks for that info. I have 3 UA with bad VU meters dead and they are only a year old. Just sent them off for warranty.
I have a chance to get a used SSL that I want but the input light is dead on it. It shouldn't effect the sound of it, apparently it functions perfect other that that. I never buy used. hmm
Anyway...He's all about the SSL bus comp. He's building a clone with a bunch more headroom than the SSL has. Why? Because he can. You'd like this guy Chris. He's talking hybrid and does serious Pop music. Like you he thinks this is the HARDEST stuff to do right.
But most of his racks are handmade clones with improvements. BTW....His Dad builds amplifiers. I have one.
Thanks for your suggestion but I have a good deal on a second hand SSL G XLogic, so I'm just waiting to rack it.
Even though I'm somewhat inclined to believe clones might be as good or even better/different, I think there is a sound to the real SSL that the others might not have down exactly. Some say the real one can squish the bottom when pushed hard, I tend to think this might be one of the best assets why it works so well. I actually need to tame my bottom end down because the NEOS is so HUGE coming out the other side lol. That bass and space is where all the magic lives.
Thanks for thinking about me and chiming in on this, I really appreciate it. Maybe your friend can send me one in exchange to promote it here. I would love to compare it? Please pass that on!
I'm definitely having fun in analog world now, no return for me. Welcome back Dave! That's how I see it. Yup, welcome back to how it was before audio got all sterilized sounding.
As far as the bus comp, another buddy has a 2500. Its pretty good but like Kurt I think for your situation the SSL is going to be the candy.
I've had a Manley vari-mu on my 2-bus for half a decade and don't feel the need to change but I always wonder what I'm missing.
I've got the SSL G on order (I hope the deal goes through) and I'm planning to get a 2500 ASAP. Once I'm familiar with these two staples, I'm going to do some comparisons for us all. I think it will be fun and helpful.
The Vari Mu is on my list but not sure about it yet. I've heard from many that is kind of a Jeans and T-Shirt , which sounds pretty cool to me too.
I like sharing mixes to. I guess I need to break down and get a sound cloud account:)
The glue thing is truly the buzz/sonic quest for us.
Do you keep the Mu on your 2-bus while tracking and mixing right from the start or how do you roll along?
How did your re-do of the studio go? Are you all back up and running? What did you do?
My mu enters the equation as soon as I start mixing.
My studio is almost complete. I am up and running though because with my client load a week down is almost unbearable. I have made a desk/console cabinet for my gear that is far more efficient then ever. I purposefully did not put a finish on it because I know I'll be tweaking things. After a few months. I'll finish it when it stabilizes.
I am waiting on some RME Convertors I've purchased(not high end to you but more then adequate to my ears).
What did I do. Built a better reception desk, built console cabinet, built a "tool room" at the studio for repairs to instruments, tool storage and general tools.
I have eliminated patchbays from my system. I find them totally unintuative after a decade of being tethered to one I feel free. I now have my live room snakes wired into my consoles direct. This gives me 12 D&R pre/eq channels. I can use the eqs as I mix at the push of a button. As well 8 audient mic pres with various API eq's and compressors set up on inserts as well as a couple 1176's. In addition I have 8 tonelux spaces. I have a PCM 70&90 on their own converter channels as well. And my mu stays on the focusrite 2802 2-bus. It is a very convenient system. I basically can easily select a preset labelled each peice of hardware with logic's plug in. Running about 40 channels of I/o
So Chris and Audiofreek are in the same Great White North town. Do you guys know each other? And Chris...Mr. Freek has a ViPre. Go hear it. Really. The way the transformer works and the variable rise time settings will make every mic a multi0tonal weapon of choice and you've never heard a 57 until you hear one through one of these.
That would be another best for my room. And for all you naysayers on U87's.....old ones sound better than new ones. And sending yer U87 to be fiddled with by Klaus is the best investment on an already expensive mic you can make.
A Vari Mu, ya! The Knife is on my list but not for a while. I'd love to hear from more using it, especially engineers doing the hybrid thing. Hybrid is a combination of mixing and mastering technology, best of both worlds. I'm finding opinions not to be completely accurate to my process unless it comes from users in hybrid mode. Mixers love the Vari Mu and Mastering guys favour it less. Hybrid is a combination of the two.
Most ME say a Vari Mu its a good one but something less used. I see it as an essential flavour for hybrid though so I can't always trust ME opinions. I see it ideal for stems and occasional mastering tasks.
The more I Neos ( I like that term lol) , the more I find people not wanting colour added to their sound. Majority love the BIG vibe transparent to what they already finished. This is where the clean with a vibe becomes baby steps. Its easy to go to far. Its becoming very detailed to me now. Fun fun, but man, do I have to be listening close at this point.
An STC-8 is a monster for this so I'm I'm playing with combinations. Any tips there?
This SSL is touchy. Im getting onto it after about 30 mixes. Its like an 1176 without the big mojo. I'm backing off more and more with this and finding it to be very sweetening. Its easy to sqaush a mix. Its a good one for guitars and drums. I love how it lifts the bottom end into a mix while adding a bit of silk. The key is , less is more with this.
I did a mix for Donny using the Kultube on the 2-bus and man is that thing underrated. I cannot understand how so many people miss that company.
Got to try an API 2500 next.
thanks for chiming in everyone. Please don't stop.
audiokid, post: 403749 wrote: Been comparing mixes with the SSL G for the last 2 hours. I wasn't sure about it until I combined it with an STC-8 . Now we're getting somewhere!sweet!
Keep us posted for sure.
I have the API 527's linked and like them to the point the API 2500 as my interest.
The A-Designs NAIL get most my two bus duty.
p.s congrats audiokid, hope ya love it! you aren't dealing w/ small potatoes. (been lurking thread)
Nice suggestion on the 160SL, I've been looking at that for a few years. I ended up with the STC-8 for that task but would still love to have one, or at least try it out one day. I've read they add just enough of that DBX VCA sweetness which might make a really good combination.
And now I just discovered the [[url=http://[/URL]="http://www.retroins…"]176 Retro[/]="http://www.retroins…"]176 Retro[/], which is an 1176 on steroids. Looks like an amazing piece for vocals
you're going to need 2 of them Chris. howdy
Man they look nice eh. Very smart design.
they look like the old ones Putnam built ... here's https://studioelect… a link about the history of development by Putnam.
I have plenty of comps ( NOT!! ), for now, LOL: ) . I think I am leaning to the API 2500 next but who knows.
Being a 500 format slut there are a few 500 formats comps I plan on checking out first just to stay up on them.