SSL X-Comp

VST, AU, etc. plug-in Virtual Effects discussion
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Rockatansky
KVRist
415 posts since 3 Jun, 2017

Post Sun Dec 05, 2021 3:08 am

I wouldn't call the Bus Compressor a mastering compressor, and I wouldn't call the X-Comp a bus-specific compressor. I assume people tend to call the X-Comp a 'mastering compressor' because the SSL product page says it delivers 'mastering grade audio fidelity'. Proof that marketing works. How they can call it that, though, is a complete mystery to me, since all SSL processors use single-precision floating point calculations instead of double-precision, so the more of them you use in your mix, and the more gain/compression is involved, the nastier things will eventually get. Whatever. It does have an 'SSL Bus Comp' preset, but that's only just 'because they have to' and all it does is pre-set the parameters, nothing internally turns it into an actual SSL Bus Comp emulation. It's MIF (most interesting feature) is restriction of the compression to a specific frequency range, which is what the High and Low Bleed are for. As I understand it, this is not a sidechain filter, where the detector signal gets filtered and triggers a wide-/1-band compressor. But it's essentially like having a 2-/3-band compressor, and only actually compressing the middle band, while the top and/or bottom can stay uncompressed. It's an interesting feature, like a frequency-selective dry/wet blend. Unfortunately, the crossover frequency ranges are laid out in such a way that this can't operate as a compressor that focuses in on just e.g. the low chugs of a distorted electric guitar, or tames just the kick drum in a drum bus. For the discounted price, it's definitely worth having in your arsenal.
Confucamus.

flori89
KVRist
195 posts since 19 Aug, 2021

Post Sun Dec 05, 2021 4:16 am

I bought it, seems like a great product. But no side chaining on a compressor that supposedly costs 300$? Lol, come on SSL, that’s a joke and proof that this product is in no way worth that money. The 15€ I payed seems about right to me.

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Aloysius
KVRAF
35249 posts since 11 Aug, 2008 from another dimension

Post Sun Dec 05, 2021 4:22 am

Mine doesn't even make the tea. What a joke.
Hi-de-Hi!

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lotus2035
KVRAF
4452 posts since 5 May, 2005 from Stockholm, Sweden

Post Sun Dec 05, 2021 5:54 am

Rockatansky wrote:
Sun Dec 05, 2021 3:08 am
I assume people tend to call the X-Comp a 'mastering compressor' because the SSL product page says it delivers 'mastering grade audio fidelity'. Proof that marketing works.
"Marketing Compressor" :hihi:

sl1200mk2
KVRist
213 posts since 6 Jun, 2003

Post Mon Dec 06, 2021 11:51 am

flori89 wrote:
Sun Dec 05, 2021 4:16 am
I bought it, seems like a great product. But no side chaining on a compressor that supposedly costs 300$? Lol, come on SSL, that’s a joke and proof that this product is in no way worth that money. The 15€ I payed seems about right to me.
https://www.solidstatelogic.com/assets/ ... 0Guide.pdf

Page 28 of the manual:

"The Bleed controls, located at the bottom of the X-Comp plug-in window, allow you to remove the compressor’s effect from high and low frequencies. Frequencies outside the mid-band bypass the compressor and are recombined with the compressed signal at the output. Note that the bypassed signal is not affected by the Make up gain."

flori89
KVRist
195 posts since 19 Aug, 2021

Post Mon Dec 06, 2021 2:15 pm

sl1200mk2 wrote:
Mon Dec 06, 2021 11:51 am
flori89 wrote:
Sun Dec 05, 2021 4:16 am
I bought it, seems like a great product. But no side chaining on a compressor that supposedly costs 300$? Lol, come on SSL, that’s a joke and proof that this product is in no way worth that money. The 15€ I payed seems about right to me.
https://www.solidstatelogic.com/assets/ ... 0Guide.pdf

Page 28 of the manual:

"The Bleed controls, located at the bottom of the X-Comp plug-in window, allow you to remove the compressor’s effect from high and low frequencies. Frequencies outside the mid-band bypass the compressor and are recombined with the compressed signal at the output. Note that the bypassed signal is not affected by the Make up gain."
Did you quote the wrong person, because this paragraph isn’t talking about sidechaining.

sl1200mk2
KVRist
213 posts since 6 Jun, 2003

Post Mon Dec 06, 2021 2:26 pm

flori89 wrote:
Mon Dec 06, 2021 2:15 pm
Did you quote the wrong person, because this paragraph isn’t talking about sidechaining.
No, I meant you. Unless you're talking about an external sidechain option? Otherwise, I'm completely missing something. For me, a sidechain in a compressor (an internal sidechain) is used to exclude a range of audio from triggering the compressor. Maybe you're wanting an external source to trigger the compressor?

The X-Comp has effectively two internal sidechains (albeit tied into one function) -- one for the low end and another the high end. There's even an option to hear what you're excluding from the compressor. That's more functionality than many compressor plugins that just allow you to exclude low end and no option to audition it.

User avatar
beely
KVRAF
1978 posts since 6 Jul, 2013

Post Mon Dec 06, 2021 2:42 pm

Normal compressors filter the sidechain to tune the compressor's response to various frequency ranges - the comp still compresses all frequencies present.

The Bleed function in the SSL comp is different, as in this case, it actually adds back in the dry signal in those frequency ranges, so they are *uncompressed*. It's not a common feature, and is rather different to a conventional filtered sidechain. In effect, with Bleed active, the compressor is only compressing the middle frequencies, and leaving the lower and higher parts uncompressed (depending on where you tune the ranges of course.)

sl1200mk2
KVRist
213 posts since 6 Jun, 2003

Post Mon Dec 06, 2021 2:50 pm

beely wrote:
Mon Dec 06, 2021 2:42 pm
The Bleed function in the SSL comp is different, as in this case, it actually adds back in the dry signal in those frequency ranges, so they are *uncompressed*. It's not a common feature, and is rather different to a conventional filtered sidechain. In effect, with Bleed active, the compressor is only compressing the middle frequencies, and leaving the lower and higher parts uncompressed (depending on where you tune the ranges of course.)
Understood and thanks for clarifying. I guess (right or wrong) in my mind the bleed is actually a more desirable effect at least in context for how I'm intending to use it. But I'm also using in more of a bus/master context and not as a single instrument compressor. For that use, it's not the right tool for a ducking effect or interaction with say a bass drum and bass line.

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H-man
KVRian
698 posts since 26 Dec, 2007 from Australia

Post Mon Dec 06, 2021 3:32 pm

sl1200mk2 wrote:
Mon Dec 06, 2021 2:50 pm
beely wrote:
Mon Dec 06, 2021 2:42 pm
The Bleed function in the SSL comp is different, as in this case, it actually adds back in the dry signal in those frequency ranges, so they are *uncompressed*. It's not a common feature, and is rather different to a conventional filtered sidechain. In effect, with Bleed active, the compressor is only compressing the middle frequencies, and leaving the lower and higher parts uncompressed (depending on where you tune the ranges of course.)
Understood and thanks for clarifying. I guess (right or wrong) in my mind the bleed is actually a more desirable effect at least in context for how I'm intending to use it. But I'm also using in more of a bus/master context and not as a single instrument compressor. For that use, it's not the right tool for a ducking effect or interaction with say a bass drum and bass line.
Agreed. Volume Shaper from Cableguys is now pretty much unbeatable for the ducking-pumping thing. Precise curves, comp and band-split. Would be interested if there was anything more versatile than that one.

Agreed
KVRian
1342 posts since 3 Mar, 2009 from Colorado Springs

Post Mon Dec 06, 2021 4:15 pm

I use Klanghelm DC8C3 for ducking, highly configurable and has not failed me in dialing in the action I am looking for.

X-Comp is cool on instruments. Very configurable also, I actually like the bleed function as a sound design tool with synths and guitars, it's a different effect than a standard side chain for sure. I don't regret picking it up for the low sale price, and given the freebie from a company that has made two plugins I've tried that I like now.

flori89
KVRist
195 posts since 19 Aug, 2021

Post Mon Dec 06, 2021 10:21 pm

sl1200mk2 wrote:
Mon Dec 06, 2021 2:26 pm
flori89 wrote:
Mon Dec 06, 2021 2:15 pm
Did you quote the wrong person, because this paragraph isn’t talking about sidechaining.
No, I meant you. Unless you're talking about an external sidechain option? Otherwise, I'm completely missing something. For me, a sidechain in a compressor (an internal sidechain) is used to exclude a range of audio from triggering the compressor. Maybe you're wanting an external source to trigger the compressor?

The X-Comp has effectively two internal sidechains (albeit tied into one function) -- one for the low end and another the high end. There's even an option to hear what you're excluding from the compressor. That's more functionality than many compressor plugins that just allow you to exclude low end and no option to audition it.
I’m talking about an external sidechain option. Something most 20$ compressors will provide, but not a product that supposedly costs 200$.

I’m going to assume that if you pay 200$, this will be your go to compressor that you want to use on pretty much everything. But your creative options are going to limited here, so despite paying for a premium product you will have to supplement a 20$ compressor.

It’s fine for the 15€ I payed, but it shows that SSL is severely overpricing their products. Not unusual in this business but kind of a shame for such a big name.

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LeVzi
KVRAF
4070 posts since 8 Jul, 2008 from UK

Post Mon Dec 06, 2021 11:12 pm

OK i'm a bit confused. On the page I see an image at the bottom yeah, if you look closely, you can see 2A OPTO in the presets section
https://store.solidstatelogic.com/produ ... ive-x-comp

Yet I cannot find this at all in the plugin itself.

It says it's modelled after FET OPTO and Vari MU, so how do you change to these versions ?
"T!ts McGee"

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H-man
KVRian
698 posts since 26 Dec, 2007 from Australia

Post Mon Dec 06, 2021 11:22 pm

LeVzi wrote:
Mon Dec 06, 2021 11:12 pm
OK i'm a bit confused. On the page I see an image at the bottom yeah, if you look closely, you can see 2A OPTO in the presets section
https://store.solidstatelogic.com/produ ... ive-x-comp
True, nothing about it in the manual either.

Interestingly, if you look at the Channel strip (2) on the plugins page, you can see the compressor has an external sidechain setting :shrug:

User avatar
LeVzi
KVRAF
4070 posts since 8 Jul, 2008 from UK

Post Mon Dec 06, 2021 11:29 pm

H-man wrote:
Mon Dec 06, 2021 11:22 pm
LeVzi wrote:
Mon Dec 06, 2021 11:12 pm
OK i'm a bit confused. On the page I see an image at the bottom yeah, if you look closely, you can see 2A OPTO in the presets section
https://store.solidstatelogic.com/produ ... ive-x-comp
True, nothing about it in the manual either.

Interestingly, if you look at the Channel strip (2) on the plugins page, you can see the compressor has an external sidechain setting :shrug:
Yeah it does.

I think they are suggesting for X Comp that the controls allow for emulation of Vari MU and OPTO and FET etc. How that works is beyond me.
"T!ts McGee"

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