Solid State Logic used the 119th AES convetion to debut the XLogic E Signature Channel, bringing the classic sound of the original early '80s E Series console to the outboard rack of today's engineers and producers. The E Signature Channel delivers the clever choice of selectable transformer driven or Variable Harmonic Drive (VHD) mic amps and the world renowned 'Listen Mic' Compressor--the secret weapon of many producers.
The XLogic E Signature Channel is designed to act as a perfect complement to the XLogic SuperAnalogue Channel. The XLogic SuperAnalogue Channel delivers the sound of the SSL XL 9000 K Series console using SuperAnalogue processing. The new E Signature Channel perfectly recreates the sound of the early '80s E Series SSL console using modern discrete electronic circuits to emulate components that are long obsolete, such as the original E Series 'Class A' VCAs.
The input section contains two completely independent Mic pre-amps. The primary Mic pre-amp is a classic transformer coupled design using the same Jensen transformer as the first E-Series channel strips. The second option offers a brand new electronically balanced design with SSL's unique Variable Harmonic Drive circuitry. This unique pre-amp emulates the overload characteristics of a traditional valve/tube design but with the ability to tailor the warmth or musicality via the DRIVE control. This feature shapes the overload curve to provide a user-controlled blend of the 2nd or 3rd harmonic distortion so desired by the enthusiasts of tube-based gear.
The dynamics section returns faithfully to the circuit and key components that defined the sound of the original E-Series channel strip. This all-discrete design is identical to the circuit of the Class A VCA chip used in the early consoles. The classic compressor circuit contains additional switching options to defeat the over easy curve in favor of a linear release. The result is a compressor with three distinct voicings, all of which contributed to the many '80s records tracked and mixed on E Series consoles. Additionally, the SSL 'Listen Mic' Compressor, originally designed to prevent overloading the return feed from a studio communications mic, found its way into the production stream by savvy producers of the day. The compressor's fixed attack and release curves were eminently suitable for use on ambient drum mics and was a definitive feature of the classic 'big' drum sound of early '80s recordings.
The EQ section defaults to the original "Brown Knob" circuit that was standard on all early production E Series consoles. The two parametric mid band sections feature SSL's classic logarithmically symmetric design that ensures that the 3dB down points retain the same musical interval from the center frequency regardless of settings. The two shelving sections are traditional 6dB/octave designs with an option for a fixed Q parametric response (Bell). The high and low pass filter sections feature 12dB/octave slopes. The CT OUT switch defeats the inherent non-interactive nature of the design and introduces subtle control interactions similar to those found on earlier parametric units. It also offers a different gain law with increased resolution in the critical initial boost or cut area, which can be selected individually for each band.
In 1983 a new version of E Series EQ was developed in conjunction with legendary Beatles producer George Martin for the first SSL console to be installed at AIR Studios. The Black Knob EQ, as it became known, features enhanced cut and boost ranges together with a different control law as well as a steeper 18dB/octave high pass filter for tighter control of low frequencies. The XLogic E Signature Channel faithfully reproduces this classic EQ.
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