SSL THE BUS+
The Ultimate SSL Bus Compressor
If there is a single piece of analogue processing equipment that is synonymous with SSL, it must be the SSL Bus Compressor. From the very first commercially released SSL 4000 B console in 1976 and through many generations of SSL consoles that have followed, the Bus Compressor has always been the stalwart of the console centre section.
For many of the world’s top engineers and producers, the Bus Compressor continues to be the most relied upon processing tool for making mixes sound bigger and more complete, with drive and energy from adding that legendary SSL glue and punch.
With THE BUS+, Solid State Logic has been on a mission to create the ultimate and most versatile incarnation of the Bus Compressor ever. The bedrock of the design remains faithful to the original circuit and using this as the foundation, they’ve built upon it, adding several unique colouration options and advanced processing tools.
If you need it to be clean and punchy like the SuperAnalogue TM 9000 Series version, it can be. If you need it to be gritty and grungy like an early 4000E, it can do that also. Or if you need over-the-top, saturated parallel compression for the drums, THE BUS+ has got you covered.
THE BUS+ circuit design not only utilises high-grade components, such as the 2181 THAT VCAs in the audio path for superior analogue performance, it is also incredibly flexible, offering four modes of operation and three distinct compression colouration options that can be combined to perfectly suit the genre you’re working on.
As if that wasn’t enough, THE BUS+ features an all-new Dynamic Equaliser, a Transient Expander and comprehensive connectivity and routing options.
All of the pots on THE BUS+ are stepped and read by a microcontroller which translates the pot's position into the required circuit configuration or electrical parameter. This innovative approach not only makes recall significantly easier, but it also means THE BUS+ is not subject to pot tolerances, perfect for precision processing applications like mastering.
Whilst the core design of THE BUS+ remains faithful to the original, a number of advanced processing tools have been added to create the most versatile Bus Compressor ever. In addition to D-EQ and Transient Expander, THE BUS+ features three unique compression colours, LOW THD, F/B and 4K MODE. Each 'colour' offers a different characteristic and can be combined for very unique compression styles.
LOW THD MODE introduces a special circuit modification in the side-chain, helping to limit the amount of low-frequency distortion compression can create, especially with fast release times. Subjectively, LOW THD 'cleans up' the bottom-end, allowing you to achieve 'cleaner' gain reduction.
F/B (FEED-BACK) MODE takes the signal feeding the side-chain from a feedback position (i.e. after the main gain-reduction VCA in the audio path). This results in a more 'relaxed' style of compression, in contrast to the traditional 'grab' of the Bus Compressor.
4K MODE changes the operation of the VCA from balanced to unbalanced (matching how the Bus Compressor in a 4000-series console was implemented). It also introduces a variable amount of harmonic distortion via the VCA. These two factors combine to allow for a more 'coloured' sound. THE BUS+ allows you to adjust the distortion amount which 4K MODE offers. You'll find there's a certain 'sweet spot' (depending on your mix level) in which your material will become more cohesive, thanks to the added thickness.
After a considerable amount of research and development, SSL has introduced the first-ever SSL Dynamic EQ (the D-EQ) as part of THE BUS+. The side-chain is a specially adapted version of the Bus Compressor side-chain with additional circuitry such as the gain reduction limiter for the Range parameter. The D-EQ is every bit as musical and powerful as the Bus Compressor itself. It can enhance the top and bottom end of your mix with ease, making it an extremely powerful companion alongside the Bus Compressor.
The D-EQ is a 2-band parallel Dynamic EQ. Each band has 16 frequency points to choose from, allowing complete control over which part of the frequency spectrum you want to affect. The High-Frequency band can also be changed from a shelf filter to bell curve.
Compression / Expansion, each band has a 31-position stepped control labelled with COMP and EXP at the extremes of the control. As you turn the control clockwise from the centre position '0' (no effect), you start dialling in an expansion effect. Moving the control anti-clockwise, you start dialling in a compression effect.
- The ultimate, the most versatile incarnation of the Bus Compressor ever
- Authentic SSL Bus Compressor circuit utilising high-performance 2181 THAT VCAs.
- 4 modes of operation - Classic Stereo, S/C Stereo, Dual Mono or Mid-Side.
- New Attack and Release time constant options - more flexibility to shape the Bus Compressor, including the new 'Auto 2' setting.
- 3 distinct compression colouration options, can be combined or used individually:
- 4K Mode – single VCA operation with variable harmonic distortion to bring some 'grit' and 'grunge' to the mix.
- LOW THD Mode reduces low-frequency distortion caused by compression, cleaning up the bottom end.
- F/B Mode alters the compression characteristics for a more 'relaxed' style of compression.
- Outstanding sonic performance and stepped pots designed for mastering and precision processing applications.
- Built-in 2-band Dynamic EQ (D-EQ).
- Transient Expander.
- Configurable processing order - Bus Compressor pre D-EQ (default) or post.
- External side-chain inputs and sends.
- Variable side-chain High-Pass Filter control up to 300 Hz in 10 Hz steps.
- Mix control for instant parallel compression.