New Toys: Solid State Logic UC-1 Controller

SSL's UC-1 is a hardware controller for SSL's Native Channel Strip 2 and Stereo Bus Compressor 2. Comparing to a full size SSL console, the control knob's order, layout, metering, and feel is identical to a SSL channel strip and stereo bus compressor, except it's all in a desktop unit.

Most of the popular DAW platforms for both MAC and PC support the two plug-ins as well as the SSL 360° control software. I tested it in Pro Tools 2022.4 HDX on an old Mac Pro and found the sound of the new SSL Channel Strip 2, with the Anti-Cramping algorithm, to sound excellent.

My first session was for mastering a song I had mixed. The left side of the UC-1 has controls for the channel strip equalizer and filters with the same colored knobs as the console; you may select between the E and G channel EQs. The right side of the UC-1 has the Dynamics section associated with that channel. After using the UC-1 for a week or so, I got to where I could just grab a control reactively while mixing without thinking too much. 

In between the two halves of the channel strip is the SSL Bus Compressor 2 with an actual moving coil gain reduction meter, just like the console. After making a slight EQ change on tracks with the SSL Channel Strip 2, I inserted the SSL Bus Compressor 2 on the stereo bus.

It will take a learning curve to maximize using the UC-1 on my sessions, but it's worth enjoying the "hands on" feeling of dialing in EQ and compressor settings conventionally. You can have a SSL Channel Strip 2 on every track, re-configure its chain order and program the extensive side-chain.

The UC-1 will work along side the SSL UF-8 controller, and the two make an awesome upgrade for any studio with the sound of the SSL as well as the tactile feeling and control! The UC-1 sells for $899.99 MSRP.