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SSL Bus Comp Shootout Pt. 3 (SSL, Smart, UAD, bx, Waves, Slate, IK, Glue, DMG + freebie)
Old 16th February 2021
  #31
Lives for gear
 
mu:zines's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Well that was interesting!

I certainly don't consider myself a golden-ear type, but it is very difficult to find obvious differences with the normal set - you really have to hyper-analyse the tiny details (differences which no-one would care about in a non-comparison shootout of course), or just go by "feel".

My procedure was to load the tracks into Logic, with MetricAB on the master bus and the raw/dry file loaded in there as the "B" reference. So I could just flip between whatever track I wanted to play and the raw file.

I did some rough notes of the normal set, then ran through the heavier set.

Overall I tend to prefer F which was a little brighter and I think is the characteristic of the SSL Native.

B I'd guess at the Townhouse which is darker and thicker - I think it's autorelease behaviour might be a little slower than the G bus. D might also be a contender for the Townhouse as a second guess.

G & H were probably my next favourites in no particular order, with J in fourth place.

There were a few which sounded a little clamped, C maybe, also K. E was also a bit brighter which I liked.

But really, I figure they are all pretty much in the ballpark of what a G Bus does, with F and B for me being the ones a little different (in a good way, F brighter, and B thicker.)

I don't really have much experience of the other plugins of hardware to start to attach guess for each file.

One definite takeaway is I really liked the track!

I'd appreciate the cheat sheet, thanks! (And thanks for doing this.)
Old 17th February 2021
  #32
Here for the gear
 
Nice comparison

F has more glue to it. Can u reveal the results.
Old 17th February 2021 | Show parent
  #33
Lives for gear
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by mu:zines ➑️
Well that was interesting!

I certainly don't consider myself a golden-ear type, but it is very difficult to find obvious differences with the normal set - you really have to hyper-analyse the tiny details (differences which no-one would care about in a non-comparison shootout of course), or just go by "feel".

My procedure was to load the tracks into Logic, with MetricAB on the master bus and the raw/dry file loaded in there as the "B" reference. So I could just flip between whatever track I wanted to play and the raw file.

I did some rough notes of the normal set, then ran through the heavier set.

Overall I tend to prefer F which was a little brighter and I think is the characteristic of the SSL Native.

B I'd guess at the Townhouse which is darker and thicker - I think it's autorelease behaviour might be a little slower than the G bus. D might also be a contender for the Townhouse as a second guess.

G & H were probably my next favourites in no particular order, with J in fourth place.

There were a few which sounded a little clamped, C maybe, also K. E was also a bit brighter which I liked.

But really, I figure they are all pretty much in the ballpark of what a G Bus does, with F and B for me being the ones a little different (in a good way, F brighter, and B thicker.)

I don't really have much experience of the other plugins of hardware to start to attach guess for each file.

One definite takeaway is I really liked the track!

I'd appreciate the cheat sheet, thanks! (And thanks for doing this.)
Thanx for your detailed response, very interesting. Great you liked the track, too. PM coming.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mumby6 ➑️
F has more glue to it. Can u reveal the results.
PM coming.
Old 17th February 2021
  #34
Lives for gear
 
mu:zines's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Interesting - thanks for the results.

I haven't had a re-listen but just comparing the results to my notes is fascinating.

One in particular was a surprise, as it really didn't match my pre-expectations. It really shows I think just how much influence the eyes and other biases (ie, the gui, and the performance of the meters in the gui) can influence your perception (yes, we knew this already, but it's still sobering to get a practical demonstration sometimes!).

For typical uses though (ie the normal set of files), the differences are far more minimal than I might have thought going in.

Last edited by mu:zines; 17th February 2021 at 02:20 PM.. Reason: Edited for spoilers.
Old 17th February 2021 | Show parent
  #35
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by mu:zines ➑️
?? was a surprise, as it really didn't match my pre-expectations. It really shows I think just how much influence the eyes and other biases (ie, the gui, and the performance of the meters in the gui)
Spoiler alert!

May be better if you don't associate letters with words like "gui".
Old 17th February 2021 | Show parent
  #36
Lives for gear
 
mu:zines's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
True, but something like 80% of them *are* plugins, so...

Anyway, edited, thanks...
Old 17th February 2021 | Show parent
  #37
Lives for gear
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by mu:zines ➑️
True, but something like 80% of them *are* plugins, so...

Anyway, edited, thanks...
Much appreciated, thanks!
Old 17th February 2021 | Show parent
  #38
Lives for gear
 
mu:zines's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
No probs.

It is a shame that we have no opportunity to actually meaningfully discuss the results though, but it is what it is...
Old 17th February 2021 | Show parent
  #39
Lives for gear
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by mu:zines ➑️
No probs.

It is a shame that we have no opportunity to actually meaningfully discuss the results though, but it is what it is...
I know where you're coming from, but I think hearing these completely unbiased and not in knowing of anything is even more meaningful. Thanx for understanding!
Old 19th February 2021
  #40
Here for the gear
 
I do not have ssl style comp in my arsenal. Trying to decide between townhouse and ssl native as they are on sale both. Just recieved PM with results, did not read them yet.

I liked G the most, others sounded very similar but some of them I did not liked at all. G seemed to give more depth to the mix on my monitors and overall sounded more vibey. let me check the results now.
Old 28th February 2021
  #41
Here for the gear
 
F have a special bright, I like it!
In the other hand, C has a harsher sound to me


Can you PM the results please? (From the Pt.1 too). Thanks!
Old 1st March 2021 | Show parent
  #42
Lives for gear
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by VincentVega ➑️
F have a special bright, I like it!
In the other hand, C has a harsher sound to me


Can you PM the results please? (From the Pt.1 too). Thanks!
Done! Thanx.
Old 3rd April 2021
  #43
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
Thanks for doing this again, it's a fun ear exercise! I both look forward and am nervous to learn the answers...

I listened on my monitors to the "normal" ones.

My thoughts:
A: it's always hard to accurately describe the first one you listen to relative to the others, but going back to it at the end I thought it was "pretty good", somewhere in the middle of the pack

B: added a little harshness and felt a little pinched/congested

C: much darker and muffled, the vocals got lost a little

D: vocals much more present than C, but the stereo field felt pinched a little

E: pinched/congested and kind of grainy sounding. Which is actually good sometimes, but not for this song. It reminded me of what I remember the Waves sounding like years ago (but I'm probably wrong)

F: stereo field much wider and more open, my 2nd favorite

G: feels like the compressor is grabbing harder than the others, the vocals get sucked back

H: stereo field very similar to F, but maybe a touch grainier

I: much darker, stereo field pressed in, almost sounds a little comb filtered

J: bass comes through clearly on this one, all the elements sit nicely, my 3rd favorite

K: vocals sit great and everything feels "taller", stereo field is wide and natural, all the elements feel like they're sitting in the right spot, like a gently massaged version of the dry mix, my favorite
Old 3rd April 2021 | Show parent
  #44
Lives for gear
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by wadesey ➑️
Thanks for doing this again, it's a fun ear exercise! I both look forward and am nervous to learn the answers...

I listened on my monitors to the "normal" ones.

My thoughts:
A: it's always hard to accurately describe the first one you listen to relative to the others, but going back to it at the end I thought it was "pretty good", somewhere in the middle of the pack

B: added a little harshness and felt a little pinched/congested

C: much darker and muffled, the vocals got lost a little

D: vocals much more present than C, but the stereo field felt pinched a little

E: pinched/congested and kind of grainy sounding. Which is actually good sometimes, but not for this song. It reminded me of what I remember the Waves sounding like years ago (but I'm probably wrong)

F: stereo field much wider and more open, my 2nd favorite

G: feels like the compressor is grabbing harder than the others, the vocals get sucked back

H: stereo field very similar to F, but maybe a touch grainier

I: much darker, stereo field pressed in, almost sounds a little comb filtered

J: bass comes through clearly on this one, all the elements sit nicely, my 3rd favorite

K: vocals sit great and everything feels "taller", stereo field is wide and natural, all the elements feel like they're sitting in the right spot, like a gently massaged version of the dry mix, my favorite
Thanx for listening and sharing your findings, PM coming!
Old 4th April 2021
  #45
Here for the gear
 
Hello,
My thoughts,

F
C (smart maybe?)
K

PM please
Thanks.
Old 4th April 2021
  #46
I will participate in this when I have time. But what I discovered is how great the UAD SSL G MKII is!! I sold my Smart C2 after extensive testing and blind tests with peers. It’s really a remarkable plugin. It also has extremely low aliasing as well.
Old 5th April 2021 | Show parent
  #47
Lives for gear
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChusD ➑️
Hello,
My thoughts,

F
C (smart maybe?)
K

PM please
Thanks.
Coming.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #48
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by wadesey ➑️
Thanks for doing this again, it's a fun ear exercise! I both look forward and am nervous to learn the answers...

I listened on my monitors to the "normal" ones.

My thoughts:
A: it's always hard to accurately describe the first one you listen to relative to the others, but going back to it at the end I thought it was "pretty good", somewhere in the middle of the pack

B: added a little harshness and felt a little pinched/congested

C: much darker and muffled, the vocals got lost a little

D: vocals much more present than C, but the stereo field felt pinched a little

E: pinched/congested and kind of grainy sounding. Which is actually good sometimes, but not for this song. It reminded me of what I remember the Waves sounding like years ago (but I'm probably wrong)

F: stereo field much wider and more open, my 2nd favorite

G: feels like the compressor is grabbing harder than the others, the vocals get sucked back

H: stereo field very similar to F, but maybe a touch grainier

I: much darker, stereo field pressed in, almost sounds a little comb filtered

J: bass comes through clearly on this one, all the elements sit nicely, my 3rd favorite

K: vocals sit great and everything feels "taller", stereo field is wide and natural, all the elements feel like they're sitting in the right spot, like a gently massaged version of the dry mix, my favorite
Nice to see you're hearing similar things as I do!

I was kind of surprised some people prefered E and C, whereas imho they are the worst in this comparison.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #49
Gear Head
Hello!

My fav are F and K, J and A.
K is more punchy but F has more "glue effect".
J is darker but with good vibe... A sounds like a brighter "version" of J
Can I have the result please? :-)

Thanks!!!
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #50
Lives for gear
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiotales ➑️
Hello!

My fav are F and K!
K is more punchy but F has more "glue effect".
Can I have the result please? :-)

Thanks!!!
Coming up, thanx!
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #51
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSchlomo ➑️
Coming up, thanx!
Thanks Mate!
Got it!

...what I've learned from this shoutout is that you don't have top notch converter is better to stay ITB! :-)
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #52
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Great idea. Can I have the result please?
Thanks
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #53
Lives for gear
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by lydfar ➑️
Great idea. Can I have the result please?
Thanks
Absolutely. PM coming.
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #54
Ged
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Ged's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Loved this ! thanks for doing this shootout Jschlomo

Well I enjoyed all of them, nothing really jumped out as being worse than the other

My ears tended to like C , D and E the most
Some sounded a tad wider than other but honestly they were all great
good song too !

It would be impossible for me to tell which was HW or SW I was impressed by each clip

Thanks again
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #55
Lives for gear
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ged ➑️
Loved this ! thanks for doing this shootout Jschlomo

Well I enjoyed all of them, nothing really jumped out as being worse than the other

My ears tended to like C , D and E the most
Some sounded a tad wider than other but honestly they were all great
good song too !

It would be impossible for me to tell which was HW or SW I was impressed by each clip

Thanks again
Thanks for the kind words, man!
Old 2 weeks ago
  #56
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
I liked J the best because of how the bass guitar sounds. That bass had the most growl preserved. Listening on B&W MM100 speakers.

E I think creates the best balance

I would try editing the mix listening through J.

It sounds like the drums were mixed with a lot compression "fapp" sound (Distressor?). Many make that detail a bit much.
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #57
Lives for gear
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by elegentdrum ➑️
I liked J the best because of how the bass guitar sounds. That bass had the most growl preserved. Listening on B&W MM100 speakers.

E I think creates the best balance

I would try editing the mix listening through J.

It sounds like the drums were mixed with a lot compression "fapp" sound (Distressor?). Many make that detail a bit much.
Thanx, man. PM coming. The drums had some different parallels going and went through a Drawmer 1978 with 2:1 ratio, med attack, fast release into a Phoenix DRS Q4 EQ, together with the bass.
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