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User Review

Modeled Analog Glue - Reviews Waves SSL G-Master Buss Compressor

The Waves G-Master Buss Compressor is part of the SSL 4000 Collection. It is a plug-in that can be used inside a DAW. The software is downloaded straight off the Waves website for installation. Authorization with Waves v9 plug-ins can be done with any USB device or over the internet if your computer is online.
There are only a few controls on the compressor, so it is really easy to get started.

SUITABILITY/PERFORMANCE

The SSL Buss compressor is arguably the best compressor on a mix buss. I have never used the hardware version, so I don't know how accurate the Waves model is to the hardware. This software version definitely can add some analog sounding 'glue' to your mix. I like to set the attack time to '3' or '10' and release time to 'Auto' on a mix. A ratio of '2' or '4' can add plenty of compression, when I drop the threshold to achieve a maximum of 4 dB gain reduction. I have read about engineers that use the SSL Buss compressor for even less gain reduction - around 1 or 2 dB. To me, when a mix is really dense with a lot of instruments, I don't compress it as much. However, if a mix is sparse like a piano and vocal, I compress the mix around 6 - 8 dB of gain reduction prior to limiting. This plug-in sounds much better than a lot of other software compressors that I have tried with higher compressor settings.

OVERALL OPINION

Unless you have access to a SSL console, it is worth looking into a software model of the SSL Buss Compressor. Your mixes with thank you. I haven't tried the Duende or UAD versions of this compressor. I have tried the Native Instruments version, and the Waves version sounds significantly better to my ears. Although this compressor can be used very effectively on a drum bus, or on a submix of guitars or piano, the SSL compressor is best as a mix bus compressor. Your mixes with sound better with some analog 'glue', and this Waves version does a decent good if you are mixing in the box.