Back To Where It SSL Began
Solid State Logic recreates its SL 4000 B console with 4K B plug-in.
Solid State Logic continues its foray into creating the most faithful and authentic emulations available for its legendary hardware and recording consoles. Its latest plug-in is a faithful emulation of one of the rarest recording consoles in the world: the SL 4000 B-Series. Originally released in 1976 and famously used in London’s Townhouse Studios, the SL 4000 B’s sound can be heard on iconic records including The Buggles’ ‘Video Killed The Radio Star’, Phil Collins’ ‘In The Air Tonight’, Peter Gabriel’s ‘Intruder’, and many others.
The new 4K B plug-in — available exclusively with SSL Complete or UC1 hardware — is the company’s most authentic channel strip model yet and has been precisely modelled down to the component level according to the original schematics designed by SSL. The 4K B also presents a contrasting ‘sonic flavour’ to Channel Strip 2, which has become regarded as the SSL 9000 series plug-in.
“The 4K B represents a new milestone in what is possible using plug-in technology, done the way that only SSL can do,” commented Enrique Perez, Chief Technology Officer of SSL. “We’ve not only used original hardware schematics to meticulously model the 4000 B console, but created analogue simulations and detailed hardware prototypes, making the 4K B plug-in ultra-realistic; we’re particularly pleased with the Mic Drive and Dynamics section, they’re full of ‘early’ SSL character.”
4K B Character
The SL 4000B console was extremely unique, specifically its EQ, dynamics, and transformer-based mic pre-design. The ‘B-series’ EQ was a precursor to the ‘Brown Knob’ EQ found on the 4000 E, a very musical sounding EQ, capable of fine tuning and sculpting, with a warm and rounded presentation. The 4K B dynamics section is based on the SSL Bus Compressor design: peak detection and with a feedback VCA topology in the sidechain.
It also features a unique De-Esser mode. SSL’s meticulous hardware modelling process has captured all the subtly of the original 4000 B console in the new 4K B plug-in. The Mic drive section is full of rich non-linear analogue character thanks to its Jensen JE-115K-E transformer. Additional authentic analogue character is added via the dbx 202 ‘black can’ VCA fader.
SSL Opens A New Era Of Plug-In Technology
The new 4K B plug-in — based entirely on SSL’s proprietary technology — was designed to work seamlessly within SSL’s own 360° software ecosystem and with its UC1 and UF8 control surfaces. While only six physical SL 4000 B consoles were ever built, they were installed in some of the most iconic studios in the world including ‘The Stone Room’ at Virgin’s Townhouse Studio and Record Plant in Los Angeles. Famous for their unique tone and punch, the SL 4000 B was a favourite of legendary producers and engineers such as Steve Lillywhite, John Leckie, Mick Glossop, Tony Platt and many more.
Movin’ On Up Into SSL Complete
Customers can access the new 4K B plug-in through the SSL Complete subscription, or as part of the software bundle included with SSL’s UC1 control surface. Additionally, UC1 and UF8 control surface owners will be able to access the entire range of SSL plug-ins via an extended six-month SSL Complete trial. Meantime, anyone can access a 14-day trial of 4K B by downloading the plug-in and clicking the ‘try’ button when prompted. Alternatively, users can trial SSL Complete for 30 days, which includes 4K B and every other SSL plug-in.
SSL 360° – Key Enhancements In V1.4
In parallel with the new 4K B plug-in announcement, SSL has made significant enhancements to its 360° software ecosystem (V1.4). First and foremost, this includes an update to the 360° Plug-in Mixer ecosystem, which allows seamless integration of the new 4K B plug-in — making it fully interactive with SSL’s UC1 and UF8 control surfaces. Additionally, Channel Strip 2 and Bus Comp 2 have been updated to be fully Apple Silicon M1/ARM native. The updated Channel Strip 2 plug-in also includes new features such as Pan, Width and Compressor Mix controls.
Finally, the SSL 360° V1.4 update (now also M1/ARM native) features adds LUNA and Pyramix DAW profiles for the UF8, and deeper Plug-in Mixer DAW integration for Ableton Live, Studio One, and REAPER on the UC1 — including Follow Selected DAW Track, Solo and Mute.
Detailed Circuit Modelling (Down To Component Level):
- Jensen JE-115K-E Transformer Mic Pre
- dbx ‘black can’ 202 VCA fader
- The 4000 B EQ
- The 4000 B Compressor
4K B Plug-In Features
- First class integration with UC1 and UF8 via SSL 360° and the Plug-in Mixer
- 4000 B-series EQ, the precursor to the Brown Knob EQ found on the 4000 E
- 4000 B-series Channel Dynamics (Compressor/Gate/Expander/De-Esser) based on the Bus Compressor design: peak detection and with a feedback VCA topology in the sidechain
- Switchable mic preamp with variable drive
- VCA fader saturation
- Expanded output section features a virtual fader and stereo image control with the addition of Fader Level, Pan and Width parameters
- Enhanced processing. Compressor Mix, reroutable processing and sidechaining.
- Apple Silicon M1/ARM native support: 4K B Plug-in is a universal binary