SSL 4K Series Plugins; Drunken Monkey Comparison (remade)

Discussion in 'Computer Hardware' started by KungPaoFist, Jul 12, 2018.

  1. KungPaoFist

    KungPaoFist Platinum Record

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    I re recorded and put together an all new demo sampler which now includes more of the different SSL 4000 series plugins for anyone interested in checking out rough comparisons. This time I used more accurate metering tools so volumes and curves should be more on point.

    Versions (All Mono):
    XLogic Superanalogue Channel (Emode and Gmode engaged), Waves SSL E and G Consoles, BX_console SSL 4000E & 4000G, Acustica Audio Sand, Analog Obsession SSQ

    I gave a 6db boost at 7k leaving the Q curve in the middle. The difference in 6db positions on the G and E was taken into consideration.


    I’m assuming the “E mode” on the XLogic reflects the bell curve of each series and not the entire circuitry differences between them.

    I’m interested in your thoughts!

     
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  3. Herr Durr

    Herr Durr Guest

    @KungPaoFist nice work.. thanks for the comparison..

    couldn't tell you why exactly .. but I liked the Waves SSL G and E over all the rest.. with the Acusticas a close 2nd
    with the Waves E being top pick

    maybe my ears are more attuned to what brings the most "clarity" and the Waves deliver that
    ( which I suppose could also be called "in your face" per @LHO )
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 12, 2018
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  4. LHO

    LHO Member

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    Hey KungPao, thanks for providing these tracks! I think it's really interesting to focus on the little differences and train your ears a bit. Just gave it a quick listen through my laptop speakers (2014 MBP) and my studio headphones (AKG 702). Not quite sure what kind of feedback you're after, so here's just some things I noticed:

    > Laptop Speakers: The XLogic versions seems "brightest" to me, kinda pleasant. Think that one's my favourite. The Acustica version seems like it has the "best" note separation to me, but feels a little aggressive. The Waves pair sounds kind of "in your face", whereas the Brainworx pair seems a little more dark and moody than the others. The differences are very small though I'd say.

    -> Headphones: More differences, who would've guessed... The Brainworx versions (especially E) seem to add a bit of noise and a little saturation, which I really like. The Brainworx E definitely is my favourite over headphones. I just have a soft spot for that kind of dark sound. The Waves and XLogic versions sound a bit "compressed" to my ears. The Acustica version feels like it highlights the bass notes a little more than the others, which I really like as well. The Analog Obsession one sounds a tad muffled.

    -> Overall: Not sure wether it's the type of treatment or my listening situation or something else, but I don't really feel that any one of the plug-ins delivers that kind of "head and shoulders above the rest" vibe. They all have their own kind of sound (at least over headphones) which might be more or less useful in any given situation, but yeah... Interested to hear what others think!

    Peace
     
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  5. Talmi

    Talmi Audiosexual

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    Waves and sand are cool. Xlogic is indeed brighter on my monitors.
     
  6. KungPaoFist

    KungPaoFist Platinum Record

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    I was stoked on BX when doing this in my mix headphones but after checking everything again on monitors with fresh ears I'm kind of surprised.

    The Waves G sounds great to me as comparable to the XLogic G. Thinking based on price point I would go with the Waves as a go-to. Then you can save all those precious pennies that Brainworx wants for the sweet mother of BAX EQ that I just found out about at the BX site.

    I feel like AA Sand nails the E, so price point makes this one favorable for me as well.

    SSQ because why the fuck not? AO stuff colors if you just plop on track as is so it will always have a special place in my projects.
     
  7. dbmuzik

    dbmuzik Platinum Record

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    This isn't a broad handling test. But based on the parameter/s tested alone.. The Waves SSL E has the best dynamic clock preservation. The Acustica Sand has the best color preservation, but poor clock preservation. And the BX SSL E is a compromise in the middle.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2018
  8. KungPaoFist

    KungPaoFist Platinum Record

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    Fair enough, however all cocks aside I use the E for color and sidechain stuff in my case. What I found out here was that the Waves G sounds like an amazing G series that you could make a whole track sound good with, as opposed to any of the color stuff. I haven't mixed a whole song with AA yet but everyone else seems to have a boner that's lasted more then 4hrs on it so I'm in.

    The reason I like AA is because of the crunchy fat high frequencies that aren't in the Waves E the same way.., for me
     
  9. LHO

    LHO Member

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    That's a fancy term. Can you elaborate a little? Google doesn't spit out anything useful for me...
     
  10. GodHimSelf

    GodHimSelf Producer

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    Sweet mother of Sand. I am also interested in that clock term. As "convolution" is what AA wants, it causes delay when handling, but sound quality is awesome.
     
  11. SquareDjay

    SquareDjay Platinum Record

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    They are all very similar.But to my ears the Acustica is the less aggressive,the "smoothest",the most natural.
    The Waves are great too,and the Brainworx sound a bit "harsh" to me.
    I don't like the Analog obsession,it's dull.
    The winner is the XLogic E ,it i is the best compromise.
    The "G" sound is more,or too "in your face".I liked it at the first listen but finally the "E" is less agressive.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2018
  12. dbmuzik

    dbmuzik Platinum Record

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    Sorry for the confusion. "Dynamic clock preservation" is not a common phrase term. It's simply three individual words I used in a sentence. Dynamics can change the perceived tempo based on an intermittent change in ADSR. Although there is no global tempo change, the rhythmic "clock" can obviously speed up or slow down internally. For example.. in the comment by @SquareDjay right above.. two key words were used to describe what they heard. The word aggressive is the clock sped up. And the word smoothest in reference to the Acustica Sand is the clock slowed down. As far as the 6dB boost that was made at 7k in the test, the Waves SSL E did the best (to my ear) at preserving the timing of the original.

    There is nothing wrong if the ear calls for something to be more aggressive, or more smooth. That's a basic judgment call in mixing. The best advice I can give from personal experience is this: When the groove of your song is locked in just right but you still need to apply cuts, boosts, compression, etc. that alter ADSR.. don't be afraid to change the start time of each effected track to be a few ms early or late in order to keep your groove locked in.

    I've noticed quite a few people request feedback on their mixes here, and they get hit alot with the "this sounds too early, and this sounds too late". It's because "it is" too early or too late. Everything was clocked fine until you did all the EQing and compressing on your tracks. Now the tone and energy is great, but the groove is rhythmically fucked. Again, trust your ears and don't be afraid to shift the start time of those tracks after you've applied all the effects that impose on ADSR.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2018
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  13. LHO

    LHO Member

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    Thanks for the answer! I definitely noticed that some compression-treatments can alter a groove quite drastically, but never noticed something similar with EQ. Will pay more attention to that in the future. Thanks again for clearing that up!

    EDIT: bad quoting practice...
     
  14. KungPaoFist

    KungPaoFist Platinum Record

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    Liking your observations, might be worth noting that the harshness of the G's might be from the EQ boost which I did just for tonality purposes, as well as the general way the G's and E's color things. The Brainworx stuff sounds really great and generally rivals anything said about UAD imo. The higher price points for BX are no doubt justifiable, but for the SSL's might not be something I'd spend the that bread on unless it was a tax write-off. Speaking from a more consumer level, I was also able to get a similar SSL "analog-ish" tonality from their bx_digiV3 EQ (minus all of the other V3 features).
     
  15. SquareDjay

    SquareDjay Platinum Record

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    The Brainworx are probably awesome,but in this example they weren't the best to my ears.I haven't downloaded the demo yet,I can't say if they are worth the money or not.
    I have the SSL Duende bundle but I don't use them.I use the Fabfilter proQ and proG as EQ and gate and the Arousor as compressor at the moment.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2018
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