SSL Nucleus2 The professional DAW & Studio Controller—The next step in the evolution of the award-winning SSL Nucleus, the Nucleus2 features Dante audio-over-IP, placing it firmly in the lead for professional-level, all-in-one DAW interface/controllers
Let’s say you wanted to build a professional all-SSL project studio for music recording or film/TV post. You’d need Alpha-Link AD/DA, at least a pair of console-grade SuperAnalogue mic preamps plus monitor control and talkback, a DAW control surface, Dante network audio transmission, and a suite of SSL Duende Native plug-ins to sweeten the pot (and your tracks). Of course, to buy all of that separately would set you back quite a bit—and then there’s the task of getting it all to play together nicely—unless of course, you went for a more elegant, cost-effective solution: the SSL Nucleus2 DAW and studio controller. Nucleus2 is an all-in-one SSL desktop DAW and controller that gives you hands-on tracking and mixing functionality in a convenient and portable (if necessary) streamlined chassis—a true SSL studio in a box if ever there was one.
SSL Nucleus2—Just the Facts:
- A unique audio nerve center for professional project studios
- Ethernet-connected DAW controller
- Compatible with Pro Tools, Logic, Cubase/Nuendo and all major DAW applications
- Switch between 3 connected DAW via a single button
- Two banks of 8-channel controls plus center section controls
- Touch-sensitive 100mm motorized faders
- Digital Scribble Strips with assignable V-Pots and soft keys
- Completely user-customizable DAW and Key Command mapping
- Remote “Logictivity” browser for easy configuration
- SD card for non-volatile project storage
- Large, heavy-duty transport buttons and high-quality jog/shuttle wheel
- Excellent visual feedback via self-illuminating buttons, LEDs, and level metering
- Benchmark SuperAnalogue-quality output to 2 stereo sets of +4dBu monitor outputs
- High-quality Dante audio interface (24-bit/44.1kHz – 96kHz) over Ethernet
- Two Combi XLR mic/line/instrument level inputs to audio interface and monitor outputs
- Digital S/PDIF I/O to the AD/DA of the audio interface
- Zero-latency record monitoring with wet/dry control to balance input and DAW playback
- SSL SuperAnalogue mic preamps, identical to those used on high-end SSL Duality and AWS consoles
- Mic inputs have 80Hz high-pass Filters, phase reverse, and phantom power
- Insert send/return connections switched between inputs and DAW playback for mixdown
- Additional "external" SuperAnalogue input monitor path for additional audio interface
- Talkback input path with switchable -20dB monitor DIM and adjustable gain. Can be switched to feed input 2 of the Dante soundcard for remote comms over the network
- Two headphone outputs and one 1/8" iJack monitor input
- Standard 1/4" Jack footswitch connection
- Three USB sockets for use as a 3 port USB hub
- Dual Ethernet ports for incorporating additional Dante devices into your studio
SSL Nucleus2—Under the Hood
Since its release in 2010, Nucleus has won TEC, Sound on Sound, Resolution, and MIPA awards. The Nucleus2 builds on that solid foundation with Dante Audio over IP. The core of Nucleus2 SSL’s SuperAnalogue DC-coupled signal path providing benchmark audio quality monitor output to main and “alternate" speaker sets via +4dBu connections. A high-quality, 2+2 Dante audio interface transmits bi-direction audio to and from your DAW or enables you to connect to a greater Dante IP audio network. Two combi XLR mic/line/instrument level inputs feed the audio interface and the monitor outputs simultaneously. Digital I/O via S/PDIF feeds the AD/DA of the audio interface (pre insert) enabling both a digital recording path and a mic/line/instrument-to-digital output path. The Digital input, using channels 3 and 4 of the audio interface, can be recorded to separate channels in your DAW in parallel to the incoming analog mic/line/instrument inputs.
Key to a solid musical performance is the absence of latency. Toward that end, the Nucleus2 has a wet/dry control that balances analog (and digital) input and DAW playback for zero-latency monitoring when tracking. Nucleus2 also has a talkback input that feeds the headphones, triggering a switchable -20dB dim in the monitor outputs. This input has an adjustable gain and can be switched to feed input 2 of the Dante soundcard for remote communications over the network.
SuperAnalogue* mic preamps
The Nucleus2 mic pres are identical to those used on SSL Duality and AWS consoles and the X-Rack system, giving Nucleus2 a professional-quality, ultra-transparent signal path, so when mix time comes, you can make intelligent decisions by hearing what you actually recorded. The mic inputs have 80Hz high-pass filter, polarity reverse, and phantom power. Also like a console channel strip, there is a pair of insert send/return connections for patching in external analog processors or effects. The inserts default to the mic/line/instrument inputs but can be moved across to DAW playback for mix bus processing. An additional external stereo analog input provides a transparent SuperAnalogue monitor path for another audio interface or any other analog device. Additionally, the Nucleus2 includes an accurate analog output level meter. You can also monitor from an iPod or another audio playback device via stereo mini-jack connection. Two headphone outputs complete the monitoring options.
*What is Superanalogue?
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. This is one of the factors that enables SuperAnalogue channels to be flipped out of phase with nearly 100% cancellation— a tricky thing to do in analog circuitry.
Nucleus2 DAW Control
Based on the functionality developed for the SSL Matrix, up to 3 different DAWs can be connected and switched between with a single button push. For compatibility with all major DAWS including Pro Tools, Logic, and Cubase/Nuendo, Nucleus2 uses either HUI or MCU protocols and can transmit MIDI CC data. Nucleus2 incorporates a complete set of dedicated and assignable hardware controls that are easily customized for all major DAW and plug-in parameters. On either side of Nucleus2’s center section are banks of eight channels with 100mm motorized faders for a total of 16. There are also user definable soft keys and V-Pots, dedicated Select/Solo/Cut buttons, and 10-point channel level meters. There are three USB ports on the back that operate as a USB hub, and a standard 1/4" footswitch jack is also included.
The center section DAW controls include large, heavy-duty transport buttons, a high-quality jog/shuttle wheel, bank/channel/layer selection, navigation/global DAW parameter selection, and additional USB keyboard emulation buttons. Bright LCD digital scribble strips, DAW audio level meters, self-illuminating buttons, and LED status indicators to ensure excellent visual feedback—even in low light conditions, so don’t be afraid to set the mood.
Ethernet computer network connection
For DAW control and Dante network audio, Nucleus2 connects to your computer via high-speed Ethernet. It also features a USB connection, appearing to your host computer as a standard keyboard, enabling key command emulation. System configuration is done via remote "SSL Logictivity" browser, which allows mapping of Key commands, DAW commands, and different control setups, or Profiles, to be stored and recalled. Plus, there’s an SD card slot for Profile storage. In essence, the browser is where you tell Nucleus2 how to behave according to your preferences—and best of all, it doesn’t talk back.
Duende plug-in processing
As a special bonus, Nucleus2 is endowed with one last killer feature; it includes the Duende Native Essentials Bundle. The bundle includes Duende Native versions of the SSL Channel EQ & Dynamics, and famed Stereo Bus Compressor plug-ins (VST/AU/AAX). The EQ & Dynamics Channel is the classic SSL Console Channel Strip featuring 4-band parametric EQ with high-pass and low-pass filters, along with compressor/expander/gate dynamics processing. The Duende Native Bus Compressor is the sound of the classic SSL Stereo Bus Compressor from the 1980's G Series analog console delivered in plug-in form.
What is Dante?
Nucleus2 is equipped with an SSL Dante Network I/O audio interface. Dante, by Audinate, is a high-speed, ultra low-latency networking technology used to pass audio in professional systems over a standard Ethernet cable. In a personal studio where direct connectivity to a DAW computer is all that’s necessary, Dante is an alternative to Thunderbolt or USB, with a latency of only 4ms when used with the supplied Dante Virtual Soundcard software running on your DAW computer. For large multi-room facilities, Dante is a state-of-the-art Audio-Over-IP networking technology.
With Dante, you can run up to 512 24-bit/48kHz audio channels on a single Gigabit network port; add as many audio channels to a network as you want, simply by adding other Dante-equipped interfaces. Adding new devices to a Dante network couldn’t be easier since it features automatic device discovery and assigns easily recognized device names. Dante can also use existing network infrastructure to send and receive audio in a multi-room facility. Finally, to ensure a “smart” network, the talkback signal can be switched to feed channel-2 of the Dante interface for remote communication to other rooms.
Only the Nucleus2 offers the professional producer a fully integrated studio system, with SSL’s SuperAnalogue sound plus elegant and intelligent ergonomics. For more information, call or chat online with your PAD Studio Specialist today.
- Frequency response : (+/- 0.1db 20-20KHz)
- THD +N (1kHz): 0.002% @ +24dBU
- Soundcard specs: 16 to 24 bit/44.1KHz-96KHz
- Max headroom (input): +27dBU
- Max headroom: (output): +26dBU
- Dynamic range: >120dB
- Power: External AC-DC Adapter, 24Vdc 5.0A 120W
- Network: 2 x 1 ‘RJ-45’ type (100bT, Cat5)
- USB: 1 x type-B chassis socket, 3 x type-A chassis sockets
- Terminal: RS232, 9-pin sub-D (SSL diagnostic use only)
- External in: Balanced, 3-pin XLR-F, Z > 10k
- Pre-amp in: Balanced, 3-pin XLR-F, Z ≈ 1k2, 10k; balanced, 1/4" stereo jack socket, Z >10k, 100k
- Pre-amp, Monitor, Mini Out: Balanced, 3-pin XLR-M, Zo ≈ 100Ω
- Inserts: Balanced, stereo 1/4" jack socket, Zi > 10k, 100Ω
- Headphones: Stereo 1/4" jack socket, Zo ≈ 75Ω
- Footswitch: Stereo 1/4" jack socket (2 circuits)
- iJack: Stereo 3.5mm jack socket, Zi ≈ 10k
Physical: (all values are approximate)
- Width: 28-3/4" (730mm); including trim
- Depth: 15-1/4" (385mm); including trim, excluding connectors
- Height: 4-3/4" (120mm); including feet
- Weight: 16.5 lb. (7.5kg)
- Power: < 90 watts
- Boxed size (W,D,H): 31.5" x 18.25" x 8.0" (460mm x 200mm x 800mm)
- Boxed weight: 17.75 lb. (8.0kg)
- Intel Core 2 Duo 1.2GHz or faster
- OS X Version 10.8.5 or higher
- 2GHz or faster
- Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10
- 4Gb RAM
- 15Mb hard disk space
Internet connection (for product registration and software download)