New Gear Review: Softube Console 1 XL9000 Update


Softube updates their Console 1 hardware controller/software plug-in system with the availability of the Solid State Logic XL 9000 K channel strip. Console 1’s SSL XL 9000 K channel strip offers the clean and forward sound of this famous console as an alternative to the grittier-sounding SL 4000 E already included with Console 1. Obtaining the best of both SSL channel strips, you may freely substitute the XL’s EQ section, gate and its compressor into those sections of the SL 4000 E strip. If you own other Softube plug-ins, in most cases you can substitute them into sections of Console 1.

I found the Shape section of the XL 9000 K for Console 1 more controllable as a gate than the 4000 E’s Shape section. Gating drum tracks and noisy guitar amps is easier to do with the 9K’s Shape section.

Console 1’s XL 9000 K channel strip also includes a model of Solid State Logic’s VHD (Variable Harmonic Drive) circuit, a popular part of the SSL Duality series consoles mic pre-amp. Console 1 uses its Drive control to change the amount of VHD distortion and its Character knob as a blend control for mixing the “color” of the distortion.

Softube’s Console 1 Solid State Logic XL 9000 K channel strip upgrade is $219 MSRP with a 20-day demo license available.


Barry Rudolph is a recording engineer/mixer who has worked on over 30 gold and platinum records. He has recorded and/or mixed Lynyrd Skynyrd, Hall & Oates, Pat Benatar, Rod Stewart, the Corrs, and more. Barry has his own futuristic music mixing facility and loves teaching audio engineering at Musician’s Institute, Hollywood, CA. He is a lifetime Grammy-voting member of NARAS and a contributing editor for Mix Magazine. barryrudolph.com