The SSL Stereo Bus Compressor 500 Format Module is a two-space compressor module for the 500 Format that comes from the center section of the 1980's G-Series analog console
The SSL Bus Compressor is one of the most famous and widely used components of SSL lore. It’s been used on the 2-bus of more hit singles than any other compressor, and by top mixers in its rackmount form. It has also been copied by several boutique manufacturers who want to bask in the halo of SSL’s legendary bus compression. It is a simple unit with a simple purpose; it makes complete mixes sound bigger, with more power, punch, and drive. It brings cohesion and strength to your mix without compromising clarity. It has a knack for filling out the midrange, which is usually lacking in digital mixes. The Stereo Bus Compressor Module brings this classic audio glue to you with spectacular SuperAnalogue audio performance as found in the XL 9000 K series consoles. And if you’re not sure about your 2-bus compression skills, the Auto release works like magic on just about any and every mix.
SSL Stereo Bus Compressor 500 Format Module—Just the Facts:
- The legendary sonic character of SSL stereo bus compression
- Creates mix cohesion with full midrange, size, and clarity
- Six ratio settings ranging from 1.5:1 to 10:1
- Five release settings and Auto Release function
- High-pass filter from “off” to 185Hz
- API VPR-Alliance compatible
SSL Stereo Bus Compressor 500 Format Module—Under the Hood
The Stereo Bus Compressor’s main VCA is permanently in the circuit. The compressor sidechain is enabled by the In switch. The other sidechain controls are equally straightforward. The attack, ratio, and release controls are multi-position switches; the threshold and make-up controls are continuously variable potentiometers.
To use the Stereo Bus Compressor most effectively, it’s important to note that the knee of the compressor, which is set with the threshold control, purposely changes depending on the setting of the ratio control. Decreasing the ratio lowers the effective threshold (see Pad Tech Note below), hence maintaining the perceived loudness of the compressed signal.
The compressor features a classic dominant sidechain architecture. The left and right channels are independently rectified using a true peak full-wave detector circuit, with the louder channel (dominant), controlling the gain reduction of the overall stereo level via user-selected time constants. The Stereo Bus Compressor also features a high-pass filter in the sidechain, which is controlled by a multi-position switch. The illuminated compression meter at the top of the module displays gain reduction for the compressor.
PAD Tech Note: Since the threshold and ratio controls of the Bus Compressor are interactive, with lower ratios decreasing threshold, it follows that the threshold should be the last parameter set once you are satisfied with the effect achieved by attack, release, and ratio settings. Otherwise, if you set the threshold and then lower the ratio, tail chasing will ensue since threshold changes with ratio.
The 500 series, which has taken the industry by storm, began with API founder Saul Walker and his innovative modular console designs. API founded the VPR Alliance, the industry standard for 500-series modules, to ensure compatibility among all manufacturers off 500-series modules. This SSL module has been specifically designed to operate in an API 500-series power rack such as the API lunchbox or its equivalent.
Whatever you choose to put in your lunchbox, make sure you leave room for the Stereo Bus Compressor if classic mix glue and the big picture is what you’re going for. For more information, call or chat online with your PAD Studio Specialist today.
- Threshold: -20 to +20 continuously variable
- Attack (ms): .1, .3, 1, 3, 10, 30
- Release (sec.): .1, .2, .4, .8, 1.6, Auto
- Ratio: 1.5:1, 2:1, 3:1, 4:1, 5:1, 10:1
- High-pass filter (Hz): Off, 30, 60, 105, 125, 185Hz
- Nominal input/output level +4dBu
- VPR-Alliance compliant