The SSL X-Rack E-Series Dynamics Module is an authentic reproduction of the channel dynamics processor from the famous SL 4000 E-Series SSL console, featuring switchable VCA and Over-Easy compression plus an Expander/gate with key input
When SSL introduced the SL 4000 series console, engineers sat up and took notice, since it was the first console to feature dynamics processors on every channel as well as SSL’s TotalRecall automation. In short, it addressed every inconvenience and workaround engineers had to deal with during tracking, mixing, and setup. At the time, you had to route to external compressor/limiters (the most popular were VCA and “over-easy”) and choose which tracks were going to get the benefit of the few compressors sitting in the racks. The SSL 4000 E-Series console changed all that by not just including dynamics processors, but with gain elements switchable between VCA and over-easy. The E-Series channel dynamics also included an expander/gate, which enabled engineers to effect noise reduction when tracking drums, regardless of how big the kit and number of mics used, reduce headphone bleed for vocal ensembles, and buzz from multi-miked guitar cabinets, without running out of gates or complex patching. While we may not do as much live, large-ensemble tracking these days, the X-Rack E-Series Dynamics Module retains all the features and sonic signature from the original channel processors, plus the recallability via the X-Rack.
SSL X-Rack E-Series Dynamics Module—Just the Facts:
- Immortal SSL 4000 Series circuitry
- Class A VCA replication
- Expander/Gate with Key input
- Based on classic 611E console channel strip
SSL X-Rack E-Series Dynamics Module—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. For added flexibility, the module input and output gain can be set to operate at a nominal level of either +4dBu or –10dBV, using a switch on the connector panel.
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
Combine an SSL X-Rack E-Series Dynamics Module with the E-Series EQs, and build a mini 4000 E-series console to mix with the sound and fury of SSL. For more information, call or chat online with your PAD Studio Specialist today.
- Frequency response: ±0.25dB from 20Hz to 20kHz; –3dB at 130kHz
- THD + N (+20dBu applied): < 0.05% at 1kHz
- Output headroom: 26dBu at onset of clipping
- Noise: < –75dBu
- Depth: 7-15/16" / 200 mm (including front panel knobs, excluding connectors)
- Depth: 10-15/16" / 275 mm (including front panel knobs and connectors)
- Height: 6-3/4" / 171 mm
- Width (Front/rear panels): 1-3/8" / 35mm
- Overall width (front and rear panels are offset): 1-15/16" / 49 mm
- Weight: 9.5 oz. / 260g
- Reference frequency: 1kHz
- Reference level: 0dBu, where 0dBu ≈ 0.775V into any load
- Source impedance of Test Set: 50 ohm
- Input impedance of Test Set: 100k ohm
- All un-weighted measurements are specified as 22Hz to 22kHz band limited RMS and are expressed in units of dBu
- All distortion measurements are specified with a 36dB/Octave low-pass filter at 80kHz and are expressed as a percentage
- The onset of clipping (for headroom measurements) should be taken as 1% THD Unless otherwise quoted all figures have a tolerance of ±0.5dB or 5%
- All measurements are made with the operating level switch set for +4dBu