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Waves SSL

Waves SSL G-Master Buss Compressor

User reviews on Waves SSL products

Great single channel eq and compression (Waves - SSL 4000 Collection)

By James..., 04/08/2011
Install is quick and easy. I wouldn't expect any less from Waves. It comes with some VERY usable presets including the ones from CLA if you want fast results. But I expect most users will read the manual and want to learn the ins and outs. Everything is laid out as if you had the console in front of you. Accurate controls and everything. The accuracy to the original here is very impressive and clearly Waves did a good job making a solid recreation here.

SUITABILITY/PERFORMANCE

I've used a lot of channel strip eq/comp plugins. Some cheap ones and some really expensive ones. If there's one thing I know it's that there's always something better. But I've been using the SSL for a couple of years now and for full band mixes, I'm convinced this is the best. For an EQ/comp strip this is the one I keep coming back to. It just has that magic tone that no other plug seems to give me. What's even odder is that the presets are actually usable. I can load up a whole project with drums/guitar/bass/vocals/keys and use the presets on all 10 or 15 tracks or so...and it works well. Sounds good. In that respect it's pretty incredible. I've never encountered a vst that can do that. The cpu use is great too. After you load up more than 6 or 7 you might have to freeze them individually depending on cpu use.

OVERALL OPINION

The SSL is on almost everything I do with a full band. On acoustic or relaxed mixes it can be a bit much but when you have a big mix, it goes a long way toward organizing the chaos. Both the eq and compression is gives to every channel is awesome and better than about anything I've used. The only thing that comes close for compression is T-racks plugs for me. The price isn't dirt cheap, but considering how much use I get it's a tremendous value.
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I like it...I like it a lot. (Waves - SSL 4000 Collection)

By James..., 11/08/2011
Waves installs are easy. Not issues with compatibility in Cubase 64 bit. That's always nice. I'm not sure if this has a manual because I've never really read it. I just sort of learned it as I went which in retrospect was probably not the best idea because this thing can be tricky at first. Honestly though I think the learning curve doesn't matter too much due to the great presets included. You can do a lot with this out of the box just with the presets alone. Even cut a full mix if you are patient. I found the channel strip to have a medium difficulty to use. It's not super complicated but it is tricky at first. Not a gripe. Just honesty.

SUITABILITY/PERFORMANCE

I use it with Cubase and it works fine. Does take up a fair amount of resources but I can imagine with all the emulation going on this is to be expected. If you end up using this as often as I do then you might want to think about getting a fast rig. Mine is top of the line and I still have trouble with keeping a few of them running sometimes. In some mixes I will have 6 or 7 at once and have to start freezing.

OVERALL OPINION

This has become my most used all in one comp and EQ plugin. It does both wondefully. Adds a serious punch to everything works miracles for a song that is in danger of crowding. The comp can be a bit much on some slower songs when dynamics need to be left low but I must say the EQ sounds great on everything no matter what. There's some kind of magic sauce going on here...and I don't know why but I love what it is. There have been days where I have tried 10 or 20 other plugins on a track just to go back to the SSL. It's that good. If you are just getting started in the VST game then I would suggest you buy this pack first. You can do a lot with it and not have to make another purchase for some time. I highly recommend it for the price. I just wish I would've found it sooner. This is one of those vsts that makes you want to load up ALL your old projects and put the SSL on them to see what wonders it can do to a remix.
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Modeled Analog Glue (Waves - SSL G-Master Buss Compressor)

By tarrtime, 09/12/2012
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.
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The Go-to channel strip (Waves - SSL E-Channel)

By tarrtime, 14/02/2013
Waves makes easy to use plug-ins. They are easy to install - you just download them off their website. They are easy to authorize - you can use any USB stick as a dongle, or use their software application to authorize if your computer connects to the internet. They are stable - you don't have to worry about it crashing your recording session. They can be used in almost any DAW. They don't take up a lot of CPU - you can pretty much run this channel strip on every track in your session without maxing out your CPU. They are easy to get started with - Waves plug-ins come with great presets if you don't want to mess around with all the details or you aren't very experienced at mixing. The SSL E-Series channel strip comes with tons of amazing presets from top producers. I highly recommend using these, and at the very least just looking at the settings in the presets to give you some ideas for your own mixing.

SUITABILITY/PERFORMANCE

I have been using this plug-in on every session that I record since I bought the SSL bundle. The eqs sound smooth, but more importantly I love the dynamics section. The compressor is intuitive and does exactly what you would want it to do. It has its own 'analog' color/sound. The Expander/Gate is my favorite part of the plug-in. I almost never used to use an expander/gate when mixing, but that was mostly because I had been using stock plug-ins in Pro Tools. The gate in the E-series plug-in does amazing things for drums, it can really clean up a mix and make your drums punch. I also think the gate is awesome for vocals. It is great at cutting out the background sound between singing.

OVERALL OPINION

The Waves SSL E-Series channel strip is probably The Most Important Effects Plug-in released in Native or TDM format. UAD has their own version of the E-series channel, but that requires a UAD-2 card. I say it is the most important because the SSL sound is the most famous sound of modern music from mixing boards. The eq curves and dynamics (compressor/gate) have touched a ridiculous number of tracks on almost all music made in the past 25 years. Sure there is other famous outboard gear (1176, LA-2A, Lexicon Reverbs, etc), but as far as mixing desks go, SSL is king. Bringing this sound into the digital DAW world opens up the possibility for almost anyone to add this sound to their tracks.
With that being said, these plug-ins have been around a long time. Waves really needs to re-model them assuming their modeling technology has advanced in the past 10 years. I would love to see these plug-ins released 2.0 with the same controls and flexibility of the new REDD plug-ins.
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News Waves SSL

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