500 Format Modules Classic SSL analogue processing for the API 500 format rack

Classic SSL analogue processing for the API 500 format rack

The SSL big console sound has been available in 12 different modules for our own modular X-Rack system for many years. The system enjoys a large and enthusiastic customer base with more than 15,000 modules sold. X-Rack users reap the benefits of the very high-quality power supply and on board TotalRecallTM offered by the X-Rack system. The release of modules for the widely-used 500 format modular rack platform makes a small slice of the SSL sound available to a wider group of users.

SSL's range of modules for the 500 series rack format currently consists of five different modules; the classic Stereo Bus Compressor which has featured on every model of SSL large format analogue console, E-Series EQ and E-Series Dynamics modules which deliver the legendary sound of the channel strip processing from SSL's 1980's E-Series console, and the incredibly versatile VHD Pre input module which can deliver ultra-clean recordings or a range of more saturated tonal characteristics and the LMC+ module, a new twist on the legendary SSL Listen Mic Compressor.

Stereo Bus Compressor Module

Stereo Bus Compressor module for 500 format racks

The legendary sound of the SSL Stereo Bus Compressor has been glueing mixes together for 35+ years... available for 500 format racks.

Often imitated but never equaled, the centre section compressor from the 1980's G-Series analogue console is an audio production legend. 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. To this day it remains a key element of the SSL sound and has featured on countless classic recordings. The availability of the Stereo Bus Compressor in a module for the 500 format makes this essential audio production tool available to users of the popular API 500 format modular rack platform.

Key Features:

  • Legendary sonic character of SSL Stereo Bus Compression
  • Six ratio settings ranging from 1.5:1 to 20:1
  • Five release settings and Auto Release function
  • Now includes a High Pass Filter that ranges from 'off' to 185Hz
E-Series EQ Module

E-Series EQ Module for API 500 format racks

The E-Series EQ Module for 500 Series racks reproduces the legendary sonic signature of an early 80's classic, the Solid State Logic SL 4000 E console channel strip, which has featured on countless classic recordings from the 1980's to the present. The E-Series EQ Module features two different EQ's found on editions of the console produced between 1981 and 1989. Each EQ has unique response curves and tonal character. Historically the type of EQ fitted in an individual console was distinguished by the colors used on the LF knob caps so the two flavors have become known as the 'Brown' and 'Black' EQ's. On the E Series EQ Module you can switch between these two different flavors of EQ that have been loved by generations of professional producers.

Key Features:

  • Immortal SSL 4000 E Series circuitry
  • "Black-242" and "Brown-02" twin EQ design
  • Versatile 4 band channel EQ
  • Bell curve option on HF and LF
  • Fully parametric LMF and HMF with Q
  • Based on classic 611E console channel strip

The 'Brown' EQ, featured on the discontinued SSL E-Signature Channel Strip, is now uniquely available on the E-Series EQ Module.

A little SSL EQ history

Prior to 1987 SSL used the colour of the Low Frequency EQ knob caps to indicate which type of EQ was fitted. All consoles were custom built and could feature different combinations of EQ module. The following colour codes apply:

E-Series BROWN: The original SSL EQ fitted to all consoles prior to the summer of 1985. Despite the rumours these equalisers only came in one version. The EQ card was called the '02'.

E Series ORANGE: The infamous EQP equaliser. This was a variation on the Brown EQ with controls simulating the curves of a valve type EQ. Very few were sold. This card was named the '132'.

E-Series BLACK: The last version of the standard E series EQ. It evolved in the early 1980's from discussions with many top engineers and proved very popular. The EQ card was called the '242'.

G-Series: With the arrival of the G Series console in 1987 the colour coding was abandoned and the classic SSL end cap colour scheme used today was adopted. First introduced in 1987 the original G Series EQ introduced Q characteristics which were proportional to gain settings and had a degree of over shoot when boosting and under shoot when cutting.
The current generation of SuperAnalogue console EQ (featured on Duality, AWS 900 + SE & the X-Rack EQ module) are switchable between EQ characteristics that offer either the E-Series 'Black' EQ or the G Series EQ.

E-Series Dynamics Module

E-Series Dynamics Module for API 500 format racks

The new E Series Dynamics Module for 500 Series racks reproduces the legendary sonic signature of an early 80's classic, the SL 4000 E console channel strip, which was featured on countless 1980's recordings. 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.

Key Features:

  • Immortal SSL 4000 Series circuitry
  • Class A VCA replication
  • Expander/Gate
  • Based on classic 611E console channel strip
VHD Pre Module

VHD Pre module for 500 format racks

Uniquely versatile mic pre and processor delivers everything from ultra-clean to slightly warmed to heavily distorted recordings.

The VHD Pre Module for the popular 500 format modular rack platform makes the uniquely versatile VHD based preamp technology from Duality, SSL's industry leading large format studio console, available for studios of all sizes.

The VHD Pre is an immensely versatile recording and processing device. It can deliver ultra clean SSL SuperAnalogueTM grade recordings but also features a switchable VHD mode. SSL's patented Variable Harmonic Drive (VHD) system uses a 100% analogue signal path to generate rich harmonic distortion. As you increase VHD input gain, the Variable Harmonic Drive process introduces either 2nd or 3rd harmonic distortion or a blend of the two to your source material. At lower gain settings it adds gentle valve-style warmth or a touch of transistor edge. As the gain is increased the more extreme the distortion becomes until at high gain settings it delivers fierce trashy transistoresque grunge. The VHD Pre gives the user ultimate versatility from a studio grade preamp. Whether it's ultra-clean traditional SSL, subtle warming or totally trashy transistor distortion, VHD will change your expectations of what a preamplifier should deliver.

The VHD section of the VHD Pre Module has three rotary controls: a Drive control selects 2nd harmonic or 3rd harmonic distortion or a continuously variable blend of the two. A +20/+75dB gain control sets input level. A -20/+20dB trim control adjusts the output level from the circuit to enable level matching with other devices, because by its nature the VHD circuit can significantly increase signal levels. The VHD Pre Module has a selection of other essential professional preamp features: a signal present LED, a switchable 15Hz to 500Hz LF Filter section, Hi-Z impedance switch for mic impedance matching, +48V phantom power, PAD to enable the VHD system to be used as a line level processing device and a Phase Invert Switch.

Key Features:

  • Uniquely versatile recording and processing
  • Ultra clean SSL SuperAnalogue grade preamp
  • Switchable VHD system adds controllable 2nd or 3rd harmonic distortion
  • Switchable LF Filter (15Hz to 500Hz)
  • Hi-Z switch for high impedance microphone use
  • +48V Phantom Power with status LED
  • PAD for use with line level source material
  • Phase invert switch
LMC+ Module

SSL LMC+ Module for 500 format racks

The classic SSL Listen Mic Compressor with an added creative twist.

The LMC+ Module brings a new and significantly enhanced version of the classic SSL Listen Mic Compressor to 500 format racks. This famous processor from the legendary SL4000E console was the secret weapon in many producers sonic arsenal of recording techniques. Originally designed to prevent overloading the return feed from a studio communications mic, its fixed attack and release curves were eminently suitable for use on ambient drums mics. This all-new version includes a pair of classic SSL High Pass and Low Pass filters to allow targeting of a specific frequency range, a filters to compressor side chain option and a wet/dry blend control. Two additional superb new tools are added to give the LMC+ a distinctive sonic twist; a 'Scoop' button that phase inverts the wet signal, as well as a unique 'Split' button that engages a bandpass subtraction mode. Used together and separately and in conjunction with the filters and sidechain, the new controls give LMC+ a distinctive tonal edge with a range of creative possibilities.

Key Features:

  • Enhanced version of the classic SSL Listen Mic Compressor
  • from the legendary SL4000E console
  • Fixed attack and release curves ideal for use on ambient drums mics
  • SSL High Pass and Low Pass filters
  • Filters to compressor side chain feature
  • Wet/dry blend control
  • 'Scoop' button that phase inverts the wet signal
  • 'Split'button engages a bandpass subtraction mode
SSL βeta
500 Format LMC+

SSL βeta - Hardware Development Kit for 500 Format Racks

Now audio electronics enthusiasts can build creations that will look as cool as they sound and feature real SSL controls.

SSL βeta, a unique 500 format module Hardware Development Kit that offers a little SSL style, quality and some SSL specific components to the community of ‘build your own’ audio electronics enthusiasts. βeta offers a very cool self-illuminating Perspex front panel that allows enthusiasts to devise and build creations that will look fantastic in their racks with a window through to their very own electronic creations within. The panel is supplied with a collection of components that are identical to those used in SSL’s industry leading large format consoles. The kit includes five log, antilog and linear pots (including centre detent versions) with SSL’s signature knob caps, a selection of two and four pole switches and dual colour status LED’s. The components mount within the front panel in a fixed configuration but are of course freely assignable to any function. The panel and controls attach to a stylish blue solderable breadboard with a standard 500 format edge connector and is supplied with resettable fuses. In true hobbyist tradition none of the elements of the βeta HDK are pre-assembled – it is a kit of parts for users to assemble from scratch. Additional components, such as potentiometers with alternative laws and tapers, can be purchased through SSL’s online store.

SSL βeta is not a kit of parts to build any specific SSL processor, it is intended as a fun blank canvas upon which users can create their very own unique audio processing ideas. SSL is excited to see what people create so if you use βeta to make something you are proud of you are encouraged to post photos or videos and tell us what you have done on the SSL Facebook page or email via support@solidstatelogic.com.