The SSL E-Series Dynamics Module is a 500-series format compressor/limiter-expander gate taken from the classic SL 4000 E console channel strip of the ’80s—and still shaping the sonic envelopes of hit music today
If you are a 500-series user, or didn’t want to go down the X-Rack path for only one or two channels of SSL E-Series console compression, the E-Series Dynamics Module for 500-series racks lets SSL’s classic channel compressor/gate take its rightful place of honor amongst your other 500-series compressors (which you may find yourself using less and less after the E-Series Dynamics Module joins your lunchbox. Bringing the legendary sonics of the SL 4000 E console dynamics processor to the 500 series, the E-Series Dynamics Module features a compressor/limiter and an expander/gate, both of which return faithfully to the circuitry and key components which define the sound of the original SL 611E Series channel strip. A true RMS converter is used in the sidechain while the gain element is an all-discrete design identical to the Class A VCA chip used in the original unit. The compressor contains additional switching options to defeat the over-easy curve and to use a linear release instead of the more usual logarithmic curve. The result is a compressor with three distinct voices, each with its own musical character—and pure SSL through and through.
SSL E-Series Dynamics Module for 500 format—Just the Facts:
- Immortal SSL 4000 Series circuitry
- Class A VCA replication
- Nominal input/output level +4dBu
- Based on classic 611E console channel strip
SSL E-Series Dynamics Module for the 500 Format—Under the Hood
The E-Series Dynamics Module features a compressor/limiter and an expander/gate, both of which return faithfully to the circuitry and key components which define the sound of the original SL 611E Series channel strip. A true RMS converter is used in the side chain while the gain element is an all discrete design identical to the Class A VCA chip used in the original unit. The compressor contains additional switching options to defeat the over-easy curve and to use a linear release instead of the more usual logarithmic curve. The result is a compressor with three distinct voices, each with its own musical character—all of which contributed to the many classic records tracked and mixed on early E Series consoles. As well as replicating the feel of the classic E Series dynamics, this module provides, with the exception of access to a “link” bus, the same facilities as the SSL X-Rack XR418 E Series Dynamics module.
E-Series Dynamics Module compressor/limiter section
The Compressor/Limiter has two different attack slope modes and release slope modes: Hard Knee and Over Easy/Logarithmic and Linear respectively. As their names suggest these modes affect the manner of response to incoming signals. Combining the two modes provides four very different modes of compression and limiting with the Hard Knee and Linear modes giving far more dramatic compression characteristics. LED meters independently indicate the amount of compression.
- Ratio (slope): Variable from 1 to infinity (limit)
- Threshold: Variable from +10dB to –30dB
- Attack slope: Normally Over-Easy, switchable to Hard Knee
- Attack time: Normally 30mS per 20dB, switchable to 3mS (Fast Att)
- Release: Variable from 0.1 to 4 seconds
- Release slope: Normally Logarithmic, switchable to Linear
This section can act as an infinity:1 gate or as a 2:1 expander when the EXP button is pressed. Multiple modules can be linked by pressing the LINK switch on those modules you wish to gang. When two (or more) Dynamics sections are linked, the control voltages of each section sum together, so that whichever section has the most gain reduction will control the other section. The side chain signal can be sourced either from the signal feeding the dynamic or the external Key input. LED meters independently indicate the amount of gating or expansion.
- Range: Variable from 0 to 40dB
- Threshold: Variable from –30dB to +10dB
- Attack time: Normally 1.5mS per 40dB, switchable to 100μs
- Release time: Variable from 0.1 to 4 seconds
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 module has been specifically designed to operate in an API 500-series power rack such as the API lunchbox or its equivalent.