The AWS 916 Delta is a SuperAnalogue™ console with advanced DAW control featuring 16 mono mic pres, 16-channel summing, motorized fader mix automation, 4-band EQ with independent curve switching from the 4000 E- and G-series consoles (black/brown knobs), Listen Mic Compressor, and Total Recall system with “TR Autoscan”
The SSL AWS 916 Delta is the entry-level version of the AWS-series consoles. It shares the same features as the 924 with the only exception being the number of inputs. While both are built on a 24-fader frame, the AWS 916 is a 16-input desk, featuring 16 SuperAnalogue preamps, whereas the AWS 924 has 24 preamps. In keeping with SSL’s forward-thinking approach to console design, AWS frames are fully wired so that the AWS 916 Delta can be upgraded to AWS 924 specification at any time—great for a small studio that’s growing. The AWS 916 Delta delivers 16 channels of SSL’s ultra-transparent SuperAnalogue summing and mic pres, classic SSL dual-curve EQ from E-series and G-series consoles on every channel, two assignable dynamics processors, the legendary Stereo Bus Compressor, Total Recall™ snapshot automation, and full 5.1 monitoring. In addition to on-board classic SSL Automation, the AWS 916 also features the revolutionary A-FADA mode where motorized analog faders follow DAW Automation data. Summing it up (see what we did there?) the AWS 916 Delta gives you the sonics of SSL’s flagship XL 9000 K-series console, a large-format console feature set, and seamless integration with major DAWs in a compact chassis that will make your control room seem bigger on the inside.
Solid State Logic AWS 916 Delta unique features:
- Combination of SuperAnalogue console and advanced DAW controller
- SSL SuperAnalogue mix bus provides pristine audio foundations
- SSL SuperAnalogue mic pres provide transparent record path
- Delta-Control advanced integration of console and DAW automation
- SSL Delta Control 24 Plug-in bringing Delta Control to Logic Pro users
- Elegant project setup via SSL Logictivity Remote Browser and SD card storage
- Total Recall system with “TR Autoscan”
- AWSomation SSL motorized-fader mix automation based on the heritage of G and K series Ultimation
Solid State Logic AWS 916 Delta—Just the Facts
- Control of recording, routing, mixing, and editing functions in all major DAWs including Pro Tools, Nuendo, Ableton Live, Sonar, and many others
- Comprehensive metering of all inputs and outputs
- VU and Phase meter with source selector
- δ-Ctrl DAW plug-in
- Versatile 4-band channel EQ, assignable dynamics, and SSL Master Bus Compressor
- 4-Band EQ design with independent E/G curve switching on selected bands
- 5.1 Surround monitoring and Monitor calibration including Bass management
- MIDI over Ethernet multi-layer DAW workstation control
- Contiguous Digital Scribble Strips for console and DAW data
- Elegant project setup via SSL Logictivity Remote Browser
- SSL’s unique trademarked Total Recall system with “TR Autoscan”
- Responsible “green” manufacturing and reduced power consumption
- Compact 24-fader frame ideal for small control rooms
SSL AWS 916 Delta—Beneath the Surface
The AWS 916 Delta is the apex of several SSL achievements, starting with the SL 4000 E and G, on which more hits have been mixed than any other consoles. Rather than cling to the old ways like other analog consoles, the AWS 916 combines Ethernet connectivity for hardware control over your Digital Audio Workstation, with SSL’s Superanalogue circuitry. Superanalogue is defined by DC-coupled circuitry, which eliminates ICs, electrolytic capacitors*, and transformers in the signal path. DC-coupling provides an extraordinarily transparent audio path with flat, ultra-wide frequency response, extremely low distortion, and an almost immeasurable noise floor. SSL’s SuperAnalogue’s bandwidth is greater than 192kHz recorders and has a dynamic range well beyond 24-bit ADA converters. SuperAnalogue circuits are designed to be the fastest-acting, most tonally accurate audio circuits possible.
PAD Tech Note: SSL avoids using electrolytic capacitors for de-coupling between analog stages. The performance of an electrolytic capacitor is rendered imprecise by virtue of its physical construction, which makes it vulnerable to electromagnetic interference. Even expensive, high-quality electrolytics are not up to the specifications required by Superanalogue standards. Doubtless, you’ve heard the word, “recapped” when it comes to console maintenance. Due to temperature variations over time, electrolytic capacitors degrade and become leaky, resulting in significant noise issues, altered tonal characteristics, and a shortened product life.
Hardware DAW control over Ethernet
While the AWS goes further than any other analog console by integrating seamlessly into a DAW-based facility by incorporating hands-on control of important recording, routing, mixing, and editing functions in all major DAW applications including Pro Tools, Nuendo, Ableton Live, Sonar, and many others. The AWS features Ethernet connectivity for streamlined hardware control of your DAW, delivering elegant, ergonomic physical control over your entire studio environment with dedicated heavy-duty DAW transport, V-Pot multifunction encoders with position indicating LED's, Digital Scribble Strips, DAW fader mode, global and channel routing control, and built-in TFT display for advanced plug-in editing. Project session management is kept simple through SSL's proprietary Logictivity interface. The AWS also has three rear-panel MIDI ports for hardware control, or you can use MIDI over Ethernet.
Delta-Control Single-Fader Plug-in for AWS
The Delta-Control (δ-Ctrl) Single-Fader Plug-in is a native AAX/AU/VST/VST3 plug-in that allows automation of AWS channel and mix bus volume as if it were a DAW plug-in. The δ-Ctrl plug-in is inserted into a DAW mixer audio or aux channel. Inserting 16 instances into the DAW session will allow control of volumes and cuts for all 16 AWS channels. The automation system in the DAW is used to record and playback AWS volume control data entered either directly from the console faders or from the fader in the plug-in GUI. The plug-in then receives and sends volume data from the AWS via a high-speed Ethernet network connection. Audio on the DAW track passes through the plug-in slot unprocessed so the plug-in can be combined with other DAW plug-ins. In playback, the plug-in converts the stored automation data from the DAW into δ-Ctrl messages and routes these back to the AWS via the network connection.
Delta-Control 24-Channel Plug-in for AWS
Delta-Control 24-Channel Plug-in is a native AAX/RTAS/VST/VST3/AU plug-in that lets you automate the entire AWS console as if it were a DAW plug-in.
The Delta-Control 24-Channel Plug-in provides compatibility to Logic users while also offering alternative workflow options to users of other DAWs. All AWS channel features can be automated from one plug-in GUI, including fader levels, cuts, and insert points for both channel and monitor paths (absolute and trim). In addition, EQ, Cue, and FX switches for every channel can also be
The Delta-Control Advantage
- All fader moves are captured and played with the same accuracy as any other DAW automation parameter – moves are no longer quantized to Timecode frames and sub-frames
- True 10-bit fader resolution
- TCP/IP Network based control protocol – not embedded MIDI messages
- Console Automation data automatically tracks all DAW audio editing operations
- DAW editing tools can be used to draw and edit console fader and switch automation data
- Console automated objects are automatically reset when a DAW project is loaded
- All Trim moves are relative to a fixed Null point matching Pro Tools HD workflow
- Fader Trim automation does not require the purchase of HD software or hardware
- Full implementation of SSL Signature Mix System features such as JOIN, REVISE, Motors Off and SNAP Override bypassing having to use the DAW automation menu
- Motors Off mode offers the full non-moving-fader SSL VCA-style mix experience as preferred by key industry re-mixers
- Motors Off, Touch Write mode emulates the SSL G-Series Mix system Immediate Pickup (IP) option
- Automatic null Fader positioning when Trim mode enabled regardless of Motors On/Off mode
- On-screen display of the DAW timeline counter in the center section δ-Control automation menu
- Channel and Master Fader level bar-graph displays on automation display screen
AWSomation is an automation package developed from SSL’s renowned G and K Series Ultimation systems, but with an enhanced feature set designed specifically for the AWS 900. With the classic SSL look and feel, already familiar to engineers the world over, AWSomation adds dynamic fader and cut automation to the console. Use of SysEx (System Exclusive) MIDI data transfer allows mixes to be saved to a workstation or SysEx librarian, retaining the integrity of the project data.
AWSomation key features:
- Frame-accurate fader and cut automation data
- Moving and non-moving fader modes
- Fader Links - group fader control
- Mix Pass history
- Variable fader glide times
- Fader safe mode
- Fader update status lock
- Match and Play cut automation updates
- Mixes and Fader Links are saved as Sys-Ex MIDI data together with the Total Recall Data
TotalRecall is a proprietary SSL technology that facilitates saving and recalling analog console control settings for a specific project or session. The system takes a snapshot of current console settings and saves it via the SSL Logictivity Browser. A graphic representation of this information is displayed on the AWS 916 center-section TFT display to enable manual reset of the controls. The AWS includes the time-saving "TR Autoscan" feature which draws the operator’s attention to only those Channels that need adjustment.
Stereo Bus Compressor
The AWS master section stereo compressor is based on the legendary G Series bus compressor used on countless top 10 hits and can be assigned to either the REC or MIX stereo busses. In use, the AWS Stereo Bus Compressor instantly adds cohesion and strength to your mix without compromising clarity, bringing the classic SSL "audio glue" to your mix with spectacular SuperAnalogue audio performance. Combined with improved input and output circuitry, the bus compressor provides superb audio performance while retaining the characteristics that the world's best audio engineers have come to rely on.
Two classic SSL Channel Dynamics processing strips with separate compressor and gate/expander sections can be assigned to any channel. The assignable Channel Dynamics section features SSL's standard RMS compressor, which is switchable to peak sensing with hard-knee characteristic via the "PK" button. There are separate controls for the Expander/Gate section encompassing range, threshold, hold, and release. Each processing strip includes dedicated metering, fast-attack buttons, and dedicated key input.
The AWS features comprehensive talkback routing with dedicated communication buttons for independent cue (foldback) sends. A full complement of GPIO (general purpose input/output) connection, Slate, the famous Listen Mic Compressor* (LMC) input and Red light activation are all standard on the AWS.
PAD For The Record: The sound of the SSL listen mic compressor (LMC) was made famous by Hugh Padgham on Phil Collins’ drum track for “In The Air Tonight,” heard in the pilot episode of Miami Vice. In the 80s, consoles normally had a talkback mic for the engineer to communicate with the artist, but nothing that enabled them to hear the artists. A standard trick for bi-directional communication was to set up a mic in the middle of the live room plugged into a spare channel on the desk with a compressor inserted. The compressor was set at the highest ratio with the lowest threshold. The reason for this was to prevent the band playing in the room to overload the listen-back mic and melt the engineer’s face in the process. During normal speech, the compressor would be at nominal operating level, so you could hear everyone in the room. The instant the band started playing, the compressor would squash the mic’s pickup, thus preventing overload and causing the sound of the mic to disappear underneath the band’s performance in case the mic was left on.
On a session with ex band-mate Peter Gabriel for his third solo album, Padgham, who frequently collaborated with Collins, was using the SSL 4000’s listen mic. At one point, Collins stopped talking and played the drums. According to Padgham, “The most unbelievable sound came out because of the heavy compressor. I said, 'My God, this is the most amazing sound! Steve (Lillywhite), listen to this.' But the way the reverse talkback was set up, you couldn't record it. So I had the desk modified that night..." Subsequently, SSL made Padgham’s modification a standard feature so you could record the LMC at the touch of a button.
Monitoring and metering
The AWS offers a new level of sophistication when working with control room monitoring. The center section affords total control over two independent 5.1 main loudspeaker outputs plus two stereo "mini" LS outputs, and a dedicated Headphone Out. Comprehensive Bass management is also included. A highly flexible external source selector section can sum, assign and route up to four 5.1 sources, and four stereo input sources to either the control room, studio loudspeaker, and headphone foldback feeds. A six-channel wide monitor insert point and a separate six-channel external meter output allow full interfacing with additional third-party monitoring systems and 5.1 surround encoder/decoder combos.
There is a dedicated Stereo VU meter for the MIX, REC, Monitor and Solo busses, a VU Phase meter, 5.1 monitor metering, 8 individual Track Bus meters, and all Cue and FX send level indication. Each channel sports a dual 12-segment meter which allows DAW Stereo track monitoring. Other features in the AWS include Autocue functionality, Monitor Volume Pot Calibration, Solo Isolate, the ability to control two DAW's simultaneously, and the addition of Soft Boot power cycling. Above all, latency-free punch in record monitoring is standard—after all, we’re talking analog.
Summing Bus Injects for the Cue and FX buses
To accommodate modern production methods the AWS consoles now feature an independent Summing Input which allows additional Tracks from the DAW to access to the Cue and FX send busses, therefore allowing those DAW tracks access to hardware outboard units, plus the creation of dedicated Cue mixes form the DAW.
AWS 916 channel module
The AWS 916 Channel Input section features a balanced line input with +/-20dB of gain and a world-class SuperAnalogue mic preamp, featuring continuous gain control (+15 to +75dB), phase reverse, and switchable 48V phantom power. An Instrument DI allows for high-impedance instrument input of guitars, bass, keyboards, etc. The Flip control overrides the Master Mic/Line input selection assigned globally via the console center section.
Taken from the legendary XL 9000 K Series console and its current successor Duality, the AWS 916 features a highly flexible EQ section, switchable between a default E Series operation and the characteristic G Series curves and control interaction. (Referred to by experienced users as Brown (E series) or Black (G series) EQ due to the color of the low-frequency knobs). An “Insert In” switch routes the channel via the balanced Insert Send and Return. Pre places the Insert before the EQ section. In conjunction with the dynamics CHIP and CHOP (channel input/output) routing keys, the order of the EQ, Insert and Dynamics blocks can be re-ordered.
- HPF—18dB/Octave high-pass filter with detente bypass position
- G-EQ Curve switch—toggles between the default E-Series and G-Series tonal characteristics and control interaction
- HF—High-frequency shelving equalizer switchable to fixed Q parametric response via the Bell switch
- HMF—High-frequency parametric mid-band EQ section
- LMF—Low-frequency parametric mid-band EQ
- LF—Low-frequency shelving EQ Switchable to fixed Q parametric response via the Bell switch
Routing and sends
Each channel has access to two main stereo busses (Record and Mix) in addition to two stereo cue busses and four mono FX sends. Every AWS channel features a direct channel output (CHOP) and can also feed eight independent track Busses. SSL's unique "EFX" system is available on all channels, which allows free assignment of send controls, further enhancing creative applications.
Digital scribble strips
When the AWS is in analog focus mode, the Digital Scribble Strips display name and parameter information for the selected analog signal path. When the AWS is in DAW focus mode, the scribble strips display DAW channel and processing parameters, depending on selected DAW functions.
The AWS features touch-sensitive 100mm motorized faders. In analog mode, they control the signal path of either the channel input or DAW return path. In DAW mode they default to control over channel-level control but can be used for other controllable DAW parameters.
A true renaissance console, the AWS 916 Delta combines SSL’s modern SuperAnalogue sound with their classic EQ and compression, enhanced automation, and comprehensive DAW control. For more information, call or chat online with your PAD Studio Specialist today.
- +26dBu (onset of clipping)
- Microphone input > Insert Send: 20Hz–20kHz ±0.2dB ( 0dB applied, mic gain at minimum)
- Line input > Direct out: 20Hz–20kHz ±0.1dB [0dB applied, Line gain at detent (unity gain)]
- Line input > Track/Aux Bus out: 20Hz–20kHz ±0.1dB [0dB applied, Line gain at detent (unity gain)]
- Line input > Mix/Rec out: 20Hz–20kHz ±0.1dB [0dB applied, Line gain at detent (unity gain)]
- Microphone input > Insert Send: <-127dBu (Typical EIN. Max mic gain, 20Hz–20kHz filter)
- Line input > Direct out: <-89dBu (20Hz–20kHz filter)
- Line input > Track/Aux Bus out: <-89dBu (No channels routed, 20Hz–20kHz filter)
- Line input > Track/Aux Bus out: <-88dBu (One channel routed, 20Hz–20kHz filter)
- Line input > Track/Aux Bus out: <-77.5dBu (All channels routed, 20Hz–20kHz filter)
- Line input > Mix/Rec out: <-91dBu (No channels routed, 20Hz–20kHz filter)
- Line input > Mix/Rec out: <-88dBu (One channel routed, 20Hz–20kHz filter)
- Line input > Mix/Rec out: <-77.5dBu (All channels routed, 20Hz–20kHz filter)
THD (+20dBu, 1kHz, 20Hz–80kHz filter)
- Line input > Direct out: <0.002%
- Line input > Track/Aux Bus out:< 0.005%
- Line input > Mix/Rec out: <0.005%
- Height: 36.417" / 925 mm (to top of meter trim)
- Height adjustment: 0 .787" / 0 +20 mm
- Width: 56.889" / 1,445 mm
- Depth: 34.370" / 873 mm
- Weight: 238 lb. / 108 kg (including legs, 8.8 lb. / 4 kg each)
- Heat dissipation: 430W
- Voltage: 100-230V ±10%
- Current: 7.5-3.1A
- Inrush Current: 4.6A initial; 4.6A after 5 seconds
- Power factor: 0.95
- Fusing: n/a
- Noise: Fanless
- Mains input: IEC male
- Serial: 9-way D-type female
- VGA out: HD 15-way D-type (640 x 480 60Hz)