When it first came out, the game-changing SL 4000 E-Series SSL consoles made its bones with the SL 611 console channel strip that featured its seminal four-band EQ and VCA-based dynamics sections. The popularity of those sections and the Quad bus compressor—which in early days were only sold with the rest of the console attached— prompted SSL to eventually introduce the X-Rack outboard rack with those two and eight other SSL processors made into modules. But now SSL offers both the E-Series EQ and Dynamics sections in the popular API 500 Series modular rack format and I can’t wait to get a pair of these into my studio.
Faithful to the circuitry and key components that define the sound of the original, the E-Series Dynamics Module for 500 Series rack uses the same true RMS converter side-chain, while the gain element is an all-discrete design identical to the Class A VCA chip used in the original unit. The compressor switches between hard and soft knee compression and has a choice between linear or logarithmic shaped release time curves.
The E-Series EQ Module for 500 Series racks features the two different EQs found on the consoles produced between 1979 and 1987 with the ability to switch between them. Affectionately known as the “Brown” and “Black” EQs, the SSL channel EQ is a four-band design with fully parametric LMF and HMF sections and a choice between shelving or peaking (bell-shaped) equalizers for the LF and HF sections.
This is a great way to get the sound of SSL into your API 500 Series rack. For more about them, check out http://solid-state-logic.com/music/500%20series%20modules.
By Barry Rudolph
miniBio: Barry Rudolph is a recording engineer/mixer with over 30 gold and platinum RIAA awards to his credit. He has recorded and/or mixed: Lynyrd Skynyrd, Hall & Oates, Pat Benatar, Rod Stewart, the Corrs and Robbie Nevil. Barry has his own futuristic music mixing facility and also teaches recording engineering at Musician’s Institute, Hollywood, CA. http://www.barryrudolph.com