The SSL AWS 948 Delta is a 48 input version of the AWS 916/924 console, featuring 24 SuperAnalogue mic pres, 48-input SuperAnalogue summing, dual-curve EQ on every channel, assignable dynamics, the famed Stereo Bus Compressor, Delta-Control automation, Total Recall™ snapshot automation, 5.1 mixing/monitoring, and unique input channel features
The AWS 948 Delta, while retaining the same fader count and physical size as the AWS 916/924 it doubles the number of inputs, making it, much like Doctor Who’s Tardis, bigger on the inside. SSL achieves this feat either through clever manipulation of dimensional physics or in lay terms, by cleverly implementing a unique dual-path channel strip design. Each if its 24 channels have a Superanalogue mic preamp and two line-level inputs, plus stereo EQ and stereo Insert. The channel offers three different operating modes: Stereo Mix, In-Line Mix, and In-Line Tracking, offering a wealth of creative and practical options. Along with the sonics of SSL’s flagship XL 9000 K-series console, its Delta Control enables the seamless use of standard DAW automation for control of the console analog signal path plus 948-specific channel hardware that provides stereo channel outputs and independent insert in/out switching system.
Solid State Logic AWS 948 Delta—Just the Facts:
- SSL Delta Control 24 Plug-in bringing Delta Control to Logic Pro users
- Stereo Channel Outputs provide post pan, stereo channel stem recording in a single pass (948 only)
- Independent insert IN/OUT switching on In-Line channels simplifies installation and expands the versatility of the Monitor path (948 only)
- Enhanced Small Screen Signal Flow graphics in the Chan Setup page dynamically displays processing order and IN/OUT status on Stereo and In-Line channels
- Combination of SuperAnalogue console and advanced DAW controller
- SSL SuperAnalogue mix bus provides pristine audio foundations
- SSL SuperAnalogue mic pres provide transparent record path
- Innovative Dual-Path Channel with three versatile operating modes (948 only)
- 48 inputs on AWS 948:
• In-Line Tracking = 1 mic + 1 line inputs per channel
• In-Line Mix = 2 x mono line inputs per channel
• Stereo Mix = 1 x stereo line input per channel
- δelta-Control advanced integration of console and DAW automation
- AWSomation SSL motorized fader mix automation based on the heritage of G and K series Ultimation
- Versatile 4-band channel EQ, assignable Dynamics, and SSL Master Bus Compressor
- 4-Band EQ design with independent E/G curve switching of HF/LF (stereo on 948 only)
- 5.1 Surround monitoring and Monitor calibration including bass management
- MIDI over Ethernet multi-layer DAW workstation control
- Digital Scribble Strips for console and DAW data
- Elegant project setup via SSL “Logictivity” Remote Browser and SD card storage
- 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
Solid State Logic AWS 948 Delta—Beneath the Surface
Designed for mid-scale commercial recording and production facilities, the AWS 948 has 24 mic pre's and stereo/dual-mono channel strips that offer a second line-level input per channel to provide 48 summing channels. Like all models in the AWS series, it features classic SSL dual-curve EQ on every channel, two assignable SSL Dynamics channels, legendary Stereo Bus Compressor, Total Recall, full 5.1 monitoring, and the-Ctrl system.
The AWS also features Ethernet connectivity for streamlined hardware control over your entire Digital Audio Workstation environment. AWS delivers elegant, ergonomic physical control 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.
What is SuperAnalogue?
The AWS is an SSL SuperAnalogue console, featuring exceptionally low THD, noise floor, and crosstalk levels, while SSL’s legendary headroom allows you to mix hotter without distortion. 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.
AWS 948 dual-path channel
The AWS 948 achieves its 48-input count via a unique dual-path channel strip design. Each channel has a single mic amp and two-line level inputs, a stereo EQ, and stereo insert. The channel enables three different operating modes: Stereo Mix, In-Line Mix, and In-Line Tracking.
In-Line Tracking is similar to the AWS 924 with either the MIC or the LINE signal providing the CHOP (channel output) and Track Bus source. Normally this primary signal is level controlled by the V-Pot. However through "fader flip" it’s possible to use the large fader instead. In this setup, the secondary signal (DAW output/Monitor Return or the even the CHOP) goes to the Large fader. Auto-M takes control of the Return switch to provide automatic monitor source switching between the channel paths, following the DAW transport status. The monitor path is heard in Play, and the input path is heard in Record or Stop. S-Cue employs automatic cue send source switching between the channel paths, following the DAW transport status, to provide full zero-latency drop-in and record monitoring, a sum of both paths is heard in Play and only the input is heard when in Record or Stop.
In-Line Mix provides identical operation to the AWS 924 channel strip with the exception that a second signal path is available as a Mix input in classic "In-Line" console fashion. In this mode the Channel V-Pot acts as the second input gain control (along with the associated Solo/Cut switches). Also, the V-Pot’s level and mute status can be automated. This allows all 48 channel signal paths level and cut automation in the analog domain. It’s also possible to move the Insert into the secondary path (ideal for X-Rack processing etc.).
Channel configuration and Setup is accomplished via the AWS 948 onboard TFT screen and soft keys. It’s even possible to move or divide the channels processing resources (EQ, Insert etc.) between each of the dual paths.
AWS 948 channel features
The AWS 948 Channel Input section features two balanced Line Inputs with +/-20dB of gain and a world-class SuperAnalogue Mic Amp featuring continuous mic gain control (+15 to +75dB), phase reverse and switchable 48V phantom power. The -20dB PAD is intended for use with very high output microphones. The routing functionality of the Insert varies according to the three different operating modes.
The Stereo EQ design featured on the AWS 948 is sonically identical to the SSL SuperAnalogue mono Channel EQ taken from SSL’s crown jewel, the XL 9000 K Series console and its current successor, Duality. It’s a highly flexible 4-band parametric EQ design. HF/LF and Mid Frequency bands are independently switchable between E- and G-series response curves and tonal characteristics. PRE places the Insert before the EQ section. In conjunction with the dynamics CHIP (channel input) and CHOP 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 with independent switches for the HF/LF and Mid Frequency bands
- LMF—Low-frequency parametric mid-band EQ
- HF—High-frequency shelving equalizer switchable to fixed Q parametric response via the Bell switch
- HMF—High-frequency parametric mid-band EQ section
- LF—Low-frequency shelving EQ Switchable to fixed Q parametric response via the Bell switch
Routing and sends
Each channel has access to 2 main Stereo Buses (RECORD and MIX) in addition to 2 Stereo Cue buses and 4 mono FX sends. In units produced from October 2016, every AWS 948 Channel features a Stereo Direct Channel Output (CHOP) and can also feed 8 independent Track Buses. SSL's unique "EFX" system is present on all channels significantly enhancing creativity by allowing free assignment of send controls.
In In-Line Mix and In-Line Tracking modes, the Pan control is a standard L/R pan control. However, in Stereo Mix mode it’s a stereo width control. For stereo signals, the pan pot functions as a width controller with the normal stereo image in the center. When the pan pot is turned to the right, an out-of-phase left component is introduced to the right signal, and vice-versa, resulting in a widening of the signal's width beyond the speakers. When the pan pot is turned left, in-phase components are introduced into the signal in a similar way, resulting in a narrowing of the width with fully left being mono. Furthermore, the stereo signal balance is controlled using the channel V-Pot.
Digital scribble strips
When the AWS is in analog mode the Digital Scribble Strips display name and parameter information for the selected analog signal path. When the AWS is in DAW mode they display DAW channel and processing parameters.
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 24 instances into the DAW session will allow control of volumes and cuts for all 24 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
Industry-leading DAW control
While the AWS offers a powerful large-format analog console feature set within a compact console design, it also 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, Logic Audio, Nuendo, Sonar, and many others.
In the console Center Section, the DAW Control Panel includes a high-quality TFT to display DAW status and plug-in parameters, plus additional console set-up information. Below this is the DAW HUI Plug-in/Process Controller, comprising four rotary encoders auto-mapped from the DAW with integral push-push switches, and four assign keys. Two additional keys are for page up/down control. The Plug-in Editor is assigned via the channel SEL switches in conjunction with the EDIT switch. Plug-ins can also be controlled via the faders by using the Mackie Control protocol.
DAW mixer and environment control
Users can assign DAW channel levels, send levels and routing functions to individual channel rotary encoders with a rotary LED level display. Channel and Send levels can be "flipped" on to the main channel fader. The four uppermost buttons duplicate commonly used keyboard functions on a standard computer keyboard, including Escape, Undo, Save and Enter. The lower four buttons shadow the keyboard modifier keys. In combination, these buttons can remove the need for a keyboard and mouse for almost all tasks. The DAW control panel includes a Master Rotary Encoder with six function keys and a 2-digit display.
DAW Transport Control
Dedicated transport buttons allow easy access to Play, Record, Rewind, Fast Forward and Stop buttons. A further 10 buttons are available for various commonly used shortcut keys. Controls are included for simple zooming, navigation, and selection of DAW objects. The jog/shuttle wheel supports scrub and track navigation functionality.
Logictivity Browser Software—The AWS Remote
The AWS Remote, powered by Logictivity, simplifies session management. Project data is saved onto the onboard SD Card. Archived console data can be treated as standard computer data and sent via email, transferred to a USB stick, etc., greatly simplifying data exchange between sessions. First introduced on the SSL Duality console, the software allows the AWS to connect to a standard computer via a simple Ethernet connection. The browser software is a Java application that runs on both Mac and PC. Currently supported functionality includes the saving, naming, and restoration of Total Recall and AWSomation data, the ability to add names to the channels' scribble strips, and a number of other studio session project management tools. Furthermore, the AWS can connect directly to SSL X-Rack outboard for integrated X-Rack Recall.
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, 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
Total Recall 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 924 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.
AWS 948 Master Section
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 (fold-back) 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 fold-back 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.
A compact 24-fader mixer with a large-format console on the inside, the AWS 948 Delta adds 48 channels of SSL’s modern SuperAnalogue summing; mono, stereo, or dual-mono channels with classic mono/stereo E- and G-Series EQ, Stereo Bus Compression, enhanced automation, and comprehensive DAW control. For more information, call or chat online with your PAD Studio Integrator 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: 650W
- 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: Fan-less
- Mains input: IEC male
- Serial: 9-way D-type female
- VGA out: HD 15-way D-type (640 x 480 60Hz)