There are very few mixing consoles that over the years have gained the notoriety and the acclaim that the Solid State Logic G-Series console achieved. The G-Series seemed to be behind just about every hit song in the 80s and continued to deliver results as the demands of music changed over the decades. Today they are a sought after prize and those studios that feature a G-Series do so proudly in knowing what each element of that console can bring to a mix. One such element was the Stereo Bus Compressor found in the centre section of the console and one that to today has never had its legendary sound truly replicated. Until now.
500 REASONS TO LISTEN
For most of us, owning a G-Series console is all but a pipe dream. Considering the limited availability, the outrageous price tag and the amount of space they require, it isn’t a sensible idea to be bumping one of these into your home recording setup. Still, you can get the best parts of this great console in a 500 Series module and make the most of the sections you need. For those of your who don’t know of the API 500 format rack system, it is essentially a module console that is made up of modules from all number of manufacturers, bussed through a summing board and power supply to allow you to build your own unique signal paths. SSL have now released the Stereo Bus Compressor from the mighty G-Series console in a 500 series module so it can be harnessed in the simplest of setups.
For this exercise, I had a Radial Cube Workhorse 500 Rack with a Radial Power Tube preamp loaded into it before the SSL Compressor. This in itself is a nice starting point for a high end signal chain, but the addition of the G-Comp module just brought the unit to life. It is easy to see why this console gained so much fame with the way this module behaved. As a subtle compression setting, it just brings the mix to life. I ran the master inserts from my console though the compressor to hear a new life breathed into my old studio behemoth. It thickened up the tone and made the dynamic feel of the mix punchier and more vibrant. When I went hard on the compression and brought in the high pass filter a little, it allowed me to really squeeze the sound and make it even more powerful. It almost felt like you can’t push it too far, even though I knew I had on a few occasions. Bypassing the compressor simply left the mix sounding dull and lifeless.
When it comes to the G-Series Stereo Bus Compressor, this is about as close as you can get to the real thing, basically because it is the real thing. The only difference is you don’t have the rest of the console built around
the unit. So, with the ability to fit it into a desktop 500 Series rack and integrate it into any recording setup, this great little module is one device that should make a lot of engineers and producers very happy indeed. Now you can harness the power of the G-Series in your own home.