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Solid State Logic SL 4064 G/G+

Here is a unique, pre-owned 64-channel console currently configured in a wrap-around configuration (can be reconfigured straight if needed for installation). The console is a G series console, upgraded to G+ with G+ computer, with VCA Automation, Total Recall, VU Meters, E242 "Black" EQ throughout, right-hand patch bay, dual producers desks, tower rack, computer, and all manuals.

The SL 4000 console is about as rock and roll as you can get (unless you’re using it for hip-hop and rap, for which it was equally popular). The favorite console of A-list mixers, including Chris Lord-Alge, Tom Lord-Alge, Andy Wallace, Bob Clearmountain, Mark "Spike" Stent, Will Schillinger and Alan Moulder. While the G and G+ series each represent an upgrade in electronics, center section form and functions and computer power over the E series, SSL remained sensitive to user feedback and allowed various elements of each series to be combined in custom configurations. In the 80s, as these upgrades appeared, it was not uncommon for studios to order an SL 4000 G/G+ consoles with E-series EQs, just like this pre-owned 4064 G/G+. It’s fitted with E242 black-knob EQs, G-series electronics and center section, and the more powerful computer from the G+ series. The SL 4000 G-Series console has four output buses, so you can do a little “Brauerizing*” to your mix if you so desire. And for single operator use, the frame features integrating angles to create a “U” shape, providing easier physical and visual access to controls and meters respectively.

Solid State Logic SL 4064 G/G+ —Just the Facts

  • 64 input channels with transformerless G-series preamps
  • E-series “Black knob” equalizers on each channel
  • G-series console electronics and center section with Quad compressor
  • G+ computer
  • Eight VCA fader groups
  • Total Recall snapshot automation and settings recall
  • Right-hand patch bay
  • Dual producer’s desks
  • Tower rack
  • All manuals

Solid State Logic SL 4064 G/G+ —Beneath the Surface

When the E series was introduced, it was designed as a system; not just a mixing console but a central control station for signal processing, machine control including track arming, fader automation, and Total Recall. After 500 installations, the system underwent another major change (the fourth in SL 4000 history). Most of the audio circuitry was redesigned to improve sonic performance by reducing cross-talk, distortion, and noise. The entire tracking system featured new EQ, mic and line amps, group amps, and monitor sections. In essence, it was the precursor to SSL’s DC-coupled SuperAnalogue signal path that appeared for the first time in the XL 9000 J console.

SL 611G Input/Output Module

The I/O module has two independent main signal paths. Each has its own input and output section and a fader to control the level. One path, normally controlled by the large VCA fader is designated “channel,” and the second signal path, normally controlled by the small fader is designated “monitor”. The two outputs are the quad bus pans at the bottom of the module and the multi-track group routing matrix at the top of the module.

EQ, filters, dynamics, and aux send controls are available on each module, which may be switched into either signal path, even at different points. As opposed to the limitations of fixed signal paths, the SL 4000 has many routing permutations that allow you to configure the desk to any task you may face during a session.

G-Series Preamps  

The G-Series features transformerless mic preamps that have an improved gain performance over the E Series, and as a consequence, don’t require a 20dB pad switch. The preamp can handle a much wider dynamic range due to some clever design work from SSL engineers. The gain control is stepped in 6dB increments. A red LED indicates mic input selection. Each channel has a Flip button that reverses the Mic/Line selection, phase reverse, and +48V phantom power.

Dynamics Section

The dynamics section comprises a compressor/limiter and expander/gate, which use the same gain-change element. Both sections work independently but can be operational at the same time, providing sophisticated dynamics control of either the channel or monitor signal. Dynamics can be switched into the signal path pre or post EQ, and into the monitor audio path.

Filters and Parametric Equalizer Section

While the 4000 G EQ has features unique to the series, this console is fitted with the E242 “Black Knob” equalizers.

Black Knob EQ

In 1983 a new “242” EQ circuit was developed in conjunction with the late Sir George Martin for the first SSL console to be installed in AIR studios. The “Black Knob” EQ, as it became known, featured enhanced cut and boost ranges (±18dB instead of ±15dB) combined with a different control law and a steeper 18dB/octave high-pass filter for tighter control of low frequencies

For added flexibility, the module input and output gain can be set to operate at a nominal level of either +4dBu or –10dBV, using a switch on the connector panel. Plus, you get recallability via the X-Rack’s Total Recall feature.

SSL E-Series EQ Module Controls

This is a four-band equalizer that can be switched between two different sets of curves: one based on SSL’s “02” (“Brown Knob”) EQ and the other based on the latest version of the classic “242” E-Series (“Black Knob”) EQ.

HF Band Controls:

  • Frequency: Variable from 1.5kHz to 16kHz
  • Gain: Variable between ±15dB (Brown) Variable between ±18dB (Black)
  • “Q” (on BELL setting): 0.8 (Brown); 1.3 (Black)

HMF Band Controls:

  • Frequency: Variable from 600Hz to 7kHz
  • Gain: Variable between ±15dB (Brown) Variable between ±18dB (Black)
  • “Q”: Variable from 0.5 to 2.5 (Brown); Variable from 0.5 to 4 (Black)

LMF Band Controls:

  • Frequency: Variable from 200Hz to 2.5kHz
  • Gain: Variable between ±15dB (Brown) Variable between ±18dB (Black)
  • “Q”: Variable from 0.5 to 2.5 (Brown); Variable from 0.5 to 4 (Black)

LF Band Controls:

  • Frequency: Variable from 30Hz to 450Hz  
  • Gain: Variable between ±15dB (Brown) Variable between ±18dB (Black)
  • “Q” (on BELL setting): 0.8 (Brown) 1.3 (Black)

Cue and Aux Sends

This section comprises one stereo and four mono sends. Either audio path, controlled by the large or small fader, may be routed to any of the send buses in any pre- or post-fader permutation. Each send has a level control with a built-in on/off push switch so that levels may be set and easily switched in and out. The stereo send also has a pan control.

During the recording process, the stereo and first two mono buses may be used as headphone feeds. All aux send bus outputs can be used as feeds to effects units. The first two mono sends are also routed back to the center section where talkback, reverb returns, and additional stereo feeds can be added via the Cues pot.

G-Series consoles are fitted with a Local (split) Aux Sends panel in the center section. Sends on the modules to the right of the center section always route through the main Aux and Cue system. Modules to the left of the center section feed out of the console through the control on the Local Aux Sends panel. The Split buttons on the panel allow the left-hand feeds to be mixed in with the six main sends or split off on their own.

Group Output Section

This section comprises a group mixing amplifier with gain control and the Float and Direct routing buttons. The mix amp takes its input from the associated multi-track mix bus. The Group Trim control attenuates the combined level of signals routed to the group when several channels have been routed to the group and overall signal level is too high. Group Trim can be adjusted to send an optimum level to the multi-track.

When a Group is not used as a multi-track send, it can be routed to the corresponding Channel Input Section. The channel will now act as an audio subgroup and the Group Trim control acts as the channel input gain control.

Float: While the Status logic switching on the master module normally determines the output destination of the two faders on each module, the Float control re-routes whichever of the two faders is currently assigned to the main Quad Bus Pans (disabling the other), up to the Routing Matrix, in order to facilitate track bouncing and audio subgrouping arrangements. This is not a flip fader button.

Direct: This button provides a means of routing the post-channel fader signal on that module directly to the corresponding multi-track group output, bypassing the routing matrix group mix bus, group mix amp, and group trim control. This improves noise specs but disables all other channels routed to that group output. The Direct button also allows channels above 32 to access their own group output.  

Solo Isolate

The Group Trim control if fitted with a pull-up switch (not found on E-Series consoles), which isolates the corresponding VCA fader from the VCA solo cut bus. This is very useful for preventing echo returns from being muted when a source is soloed, allowing the sources to be heard with their effect returns.

SL611G I/O Module Routing Matrix

The console has as many group outputs as there are I/O modules. The routing matrix allows any module to route to the first 32 of these output groups, as well as the main Quad Bus. The matrix may be fed from either fader path depending on the console status selection and the individual module Float buttons.

The Matrix has Four (4) Main Uses

  • Channel signal can be fed to any multi-track group for track layering from either large or small fader
  • In Mix status signals can be fed to the routing matrix for subgrouping of any of the first 32 channels (also from either fader depending on Float button selection)
  • In Mix mode, the small fader can be used as an additional send via a group. Channel signal, pre-signal-processing, or pre/post VCA fader can be routed to a multi-track group and then patched to an effects unit input
  • In mix mode, the routing matrix can be used as a way of accessing the main Quad outputs from the small faders

VCA Fader Subgrouping

Controlled by the large fader, the module VCA can be assigned to one of eight VCA group faders in the center section. VCA group faders can also be assigned to other VCA group faders, enabling many combinations of subgrouping. The levels of VCA faders can be independently set.

SL 651G Master Facilities Module and Center Section

The center section of the G-Series console is fitted with three center divisions, each four faders wide. Located to the right of the center section, the SL 651G Master Facilities Module houses the master logic controls, monitoring and metering controls, aux send and echo return masters, communications facilities, power supply rail indicators, and a test oscillator. There are four stereo patchable VCA faders below the module.

A full-sized keyboard (as opposed to the small one found on the E-Series desks) is located to the left of the SL 651G and spans two center section widths. Eight VCA faders alocated directly below the keyboard. The Local Aux Sends panel is situated to the left of the SL 651G at the top of the section, and a built-in TV monitor is fitted directly above the keyboard.    

G-Series Center Section Enhancements over the E-Series

  • Channel input to meters
  • Solo link
  • Master ready group
  • Master cues cut
  • Cut and Solo
  • Patchable VCAs
  • Split cues system

Control Room Monitoring System

Featuring a main level control, the monitors are normally fed from the console’s Quad output, but alternative sources may be selected.

Buttons Labeled Monitor “Matrix” Act as Follows:

  • Mono—feeds a mono sum of the Quad bus to all monitor outputs
  • Stereo—selects on the LF and RF Quad bus signals to the monitor outs. When stereo and Quad are selected, the Quad signal is folded down to the front pair of monitor outputs
  • Quad—sends the Quad bus directly to the four monitor outputs

Monitor Buttons

  • ALT—switches the mini or main monitor feed to a third pair of speakers via an external relay box
  • MINI—feeds the monitor bus to the Mini LS output via the Mini LS pot
  • DIM—dims both main and mini speaker outputs et by the Dim Level pot
  • CUT—cuts whichever pair of monitors have been selected. Activated automatically by the Omni and Listen Mic To Tape buttons

Two separate control room loudspeaker outputs are provided for the Main monitors and for a second pair of speakers designated MINI L.S. The four main monitor outputs can be muted individually with the Cut switches. The multi-turn posts above these switches allow speaker centering with ±3dB of gain offset.

Studio Loudspeakers and External Sources to Cue Sends

The Studio Loudspeaker (SLS) output is an additional speaker feed provided for foldback or playback in the studio area. The External To Studio button provides a means of routing the studio loudspeakers, headphones (stereo cue and cue 1&2); any of the sources named on the 13 switches located directly above. The SLS control feeds the selected source to the Studio Loudspeakers. The Cues control adds the selected source to the existing Cue feeds, rather than being an exclusive alternative source.

The Cues control allows, for example, a stereo tape source to be added to the headphone feed so that a musician can play along. It can also enable an announcer to be cued over headphones from an external source.  

The Quad Compressor

Switching this compressor in introduces no additional audio circuitry into the Quad outputs since it uses the same VCAs as the main output fader and Autofade circuit on the Quad bus. It’s a high-quality Quad compressor with straightforward controls and commonly heard enhancing the final mix of countless hits over the years.

*PAD For the Record: Coming across an SL 6000 caused a light to go off for mix engineer Michael Brauer, who, like many engineers, was frustrated by the problems that mixing to a single stereo bus compressor introduced. Realizing that he could send different groups of instruments to each stereo bus would prevent excessive energy certain instruments from pulling down the entire mix. This led to his multi-bus compression mixing scheme. The SL 6000 had the ability to send each sub stereo bus to the other two busses. Initially, he had compressors across the A and B bus (drums and bass on B, vocals, and instruments on A). These were sent to the mysterious bus C, had an Aphex B Aural Exciter, which was kept off the mix until the end. Currently, Brauer uses the SSL XL 9000K console at Electric Lady Studios, which has four stereo busses, just like the XL Desk. (Coincidence? You decide). Bus A has a Neve 33609 into Pultec 1A3S EQ and gets vocals and instruments in the upper midrange; Bus B has a pair of Empirical Labs Distressors and used for foundational instruments such as bass, drums, and percussion; Bus C has a Pendulum Audio ES8 and is reserved for instruments with transient midrange power, such as guitars; and Bus D, with an Inward Connections TSL-1 tube limiter (or any limiter) gets legato instruments needing warmth (strings, pads etc). Bus A, B, C, are routed to D for a little extra glue, while the main mix bus has no processing.      

While we’ve only scratched the surface of what the Solid State Logic SL 4064 G/G+ can do for your productions, not to mention its ability to attract clients by simply being seen in your control room, you can get the full story from your PAD Studio Integrator. Call or chat online today.

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