SSL AWS 924 Delta Analog Mixing Console
Digital Control for Analogue Souls
The AWS (Analogue Workstation System) reinvented the professional production console by combining classic SSL SuperAnalogue console technology with comprehensive DAW control hardware in a single work surface. The AWS is now used by leading international recording artists, producers and engineers and has shaped expectations for session workflow within today’s and indeed tomorrows’ production environments. The spring 2015 release of SSL AWS 924 delta saw another significant step in the constant evolutionary development that has characterised its enormously successful life. delta-Control (d-Ctrl) is a completely new analogue console automation platform for SSL studio technology that unites the very best of automation in the analogue console domain with DAW based workflow. All new AWS consoles feature delta technology and console upgrades are available for all preceding models. In October 2016 SSL released an update to the AWS 948 (detailed here) that introduces new channel hardware to provide Stereo Channel Outputs and a new independednt Insert IN/OUT switching system.
Designed for mid-scale commercial recording and production facilities, the AWS is available with 16 inputs (AWS 916), SSL AWS 924 with 24 inputs (AWS 924) or 48 inputs (AWS 948) within a compact 24 fader frame. The AWS 916 has 16 mic pre’s, the AWS 924 and 948 have 24 mic pre’s. The AWS 916 & 924 have mono channel strips and the 948 has stereo/dual mono channel strips that offer a second line level input per channel to provide 48 summing channels. All models deliver pristine SuperAnalogue summing, 24 ultra-clean SSL SuperAnalogue mic pre’s, classic SSL dual curve EQ on every channel, two assignable SSL Dynamics channels, legendary Stereo Bus Compressor, TotalRecall and full 5.1 monitoring. In addition to on board classic SSL Automation, all models feature the new d-Ctrl system.
The SSL AWS 924 also features Ethernet connectivity for streamlined hardware control over your entire Digital Audio Workstation environment. AWS delivers elegant, ergonomic physical control with dedicated heavy duty DAW transport, V-Pot multifunction encoders with position indicating LED’s, Digital Scribble Strips, DAW fader mode, global and channel routing control and built-in TFT display for advanced plug-in editing. Project Session Management is kept simple through SSL’s proprietary Logictivity interface.
The AWS is an SSL SuperAnalogue console, featuring the audio performance specifications that have established the benchmarks by which other manufacturers are measured. Exceptionally low THD, noise floor & crosstalk levels keep your audio absolutely pristine, while our legendary headroom carries every nuance of your audio and allows engineers to mix ‘hotter’ without distortion.
- NEW! SSL Delta Control 24 Plugin bringing Delta Control to Logic Pro users
- NEW! Stereo Channel Outputs provide post pan, stereo channel stem recording in a single pass (948 only)
- NEW! Independent insert IN/OUT switching on In-Line channels simplifies installation and expands the versatility of the Monitor path (948 only)
- NEW! Enhanced Small Screen Signal Flow graphics in the Chan Setup page dynamically displays processing order and IN/OUT status on Stereo and In-Line channels
- Combination of SuperAnalogue console and advanced DAW controller
- SSL SuperAnalogue mix bus provides pristine audio foundations
- SSL SuperAnalogue mic pre’s provide transparent record path
- Innovative Dual Path Channel with three versatile operating modes (948 only)
- 48 inputs on AWS 948;
- IN-LINE TRACKING = 1 mic + 1 line inputs per channel
- IN-LINE MIX = 2 x mono line inputs per channel
- STEREO MIX = 1 x stereo line input per channel
- NEW! Delta-Control advanced integration of console and DAW automation.
- AWSomation SSL motorised fader mix automation based on the heritage of G and K series Ultimation
- Versatile 4 band channel EQ, assignable Dynamics and SSL Master Bus Compressor
- 4-Band EQ design with independent E/G curve switching of HF/LF (Stereo on 948 only)5.1 Surround monitoring and Monitor calibration including Bass management
- MIDI over Ethernet multi layer DAW workstation control
- Digital Scribble Strips for console and DAW data
- Elegant project setup via SSL Logictivity Remote Browser and SD card storage
- SSL’s unique trademarked TOTAL RECALL system with ‘TR Autoscan’
- Responsible ‘green’ manufacturing and reduced power consumption
- Compact 24 fader frame ideal for small control rooms
The unique SSL Delta-Control (D-Ctrl) console automation system unites the very best of automation in the analogue console domain with DAW based workflow.
Delta-Control Single Fader Plug-in for AWS
The Delta-Control (D-Ctrl) Single Fader Plug-in is a native AAX/AU/VST/VST3 plug-in that allows automation of AWS channel and mix bus volume as if it were a DAW plug-in. Inserting 24 instances into the DAW session will allow control of volumes and cuts for all 24 AWS channels. The automation system in the DAW is used to record and playback SSL AWS 924 volume control data entered either directly from the console faders or from the fader in the plug-in GUI. The D-Ctrl plug-in is inserted into a DAW mixer audio or aux channel. The plug-in then receives and sends volume data from the AWS via a high speed ethernet network connection. Audio on the DAW track passes through the plug-in slot unprocessed so the plug-in can be combined with other DAW plug-ins. AWS’ Volume and Mute switch are represented as plug-in parameters in the D-Ctrl plug-in GUI and their automation data is recorded to the automation lane of the selected DAW channel. In playback, the plug-in converts the stored automation data from the DAW into D-Ctrl messages and routes these back to the SSL AWS 924 via the network connection.
Delta-Control 24 Channel Plug-in for AWS
The introduction of the Delta-Control 24 Channel Plug-in brings compatibility to Logic users whilst also offering alternative workflow options to users of other DAWs. From one plug-in GUI, all SSL AWS 924 channel features can be automated including: Fader levels, Cuts and Insert Points for both channel and monitor paths (Absolute and Trim) In addition to this EQ, Cue, and FX switches for every channel can also be automated.
Industry Leading DAW control
While the SSL AWS 924 offers a powerful large format analogue console feature set within a compact console design, it also goes further than any other analogue console by integrating seamlessly into a DAW-based facility by incorporating hands-on control of important recording, routing, mixing, and editing functions in all major DAW applications including Pro Tools®, Logic Audio®, Nuendo®, Sonar® and many others.
In the console Centre Section the DAW Control Panel includes a high quality TFT to display DAW status and Plug-in parameters, plus additional console set-up information. Below this is the DAW HUI Plug-in/Process Controller – four rotary encoders auto mapped from the DAW with integral push-push switches, and four assign keys. Two additional keys are for page up/down control. The Plug-in Editor is assigned via the channel SEL switches in conjunction with the EDIT switch. Plug-ins can also be controlled via the faders by using the Mackie Control protocol.
DAW Mixer & Environment Control
Users can assign DAW channel levels, send levels and routing functions to individual channel rotary encoders with rotary LED level display. Channel and Send levels can be “flipped” on to the main channel fader. Duality features a DAW panel in the console centre section with five vertical buttons (the Window Select Keys) allow for quick access to the most commonly used DAW windows such as the edit/arrange window or the DAW mixer window. The four uppermost buttons duplicate commonly used keyboard functions on a standard computer keyboard, including ESCAPE, UNDO, SAVE and ENTER. The lower four buttons shadow the keyboard modifier keys. In combination these buttons can remove the need for a keyboard and mouse for almost all tasks. The DAW control panel includes a Master Rotary Encoder, together with six function keys and a 2-digit display.
DAW Transport Control
Dedicated transport buttons allow easy access to PLAY, RECORD, REWIND, FAST FORWARD and STOP buttons. A further 10 buttons are available for various commonly used shortcut keys. Controls are included for simple zooming, navigation and selection of DAW objects. The jog/shuttle wheel supports scrub and track navigation functionality.
Logictivity Browser Software – The AWS Remote
The AWS Remote, powered by Logictivity, simplifies session managment. Project data is saved onto the on board SD Card. Archived console data can be treated as standard computer data and sent via email, transferred to a USB stick, etc., greatly simplifying data exchange between sessions. First introduced on the SSL Duality console, the software allows the AWS to connect to a standard computer via a simple Ethernet connection. The browser software is a Java application that runs on both Mac and PC. Currently supported functionality includes the saving, naming and restoration of Total RecallTM and AWSomation data, the ability to add names to the channels’ scribble strips, and a number of other studio session project management tools. Furthermore the SSL AWS 924 can connect directly to SSL X-Rack outboard for integrated X-Rack Recall.
Stereo Bus Compressor
The SSL AWS 924 master section stereo compressor is based on the legendary G Series bus comp and can be assigned to either the REC or MIX stereo busses. Activated, the AWS Stereo Bus Compressor instantly adds cohesion and strength to your mix without compromising clarity, bringing the classic SSL “audio glue” to your mix with spectacular SuperAnalogueTM audio performance. Combined with improved input and output circuitry, this improved unit provides superb audio performance, while retaining the dynamics characteristics that have provided numerous hit mixes for the world’s best audio engineers.
Two classic SSL Channel Dynamics processing strips with separate Compressor and Gate/Expander sections can be assigned to any channel. The assignable Channel Dynamics section features SSL’s standard RMS compressor, switchable to Peak sensing, with hard knee characteristic via the “PK” button. There are separate controls for the Expander/Gate section encompassing range, threshold, release and hold. Expansion is selected via the “EXP” switch. Each processing strip includes dedicated metering, fast attack buttons & dedicated key input.
The SSL AWS 924 features comprehensive talkback routing with dedicated independent communication buttons for independent foldback sends. A full compliment of GPIO connection, SLATE, the famous LMC input, and RED light activation are all standard on the SSL AWS 924.
Monitoring & Metering
The SSL AWS 924 offers a new level of sophistication when working with control room monitoring. The centre section affords total control over two independent 5.1 main loudspeaker outputs plus two stereo “mini” LS outputs, and a dedicated Headphone Out. Comprehensive Bass management is also included. A highly flexible external source selector section can sum, assign and route up to four 5.1 sources, and four stereo input sources to either the control room, studio loudspeaker and headphone foldback feeds. A six channel wide monitor insert point and a separate six channel external meter output allow full interfacing with additional third party monitoring systems and 5.1 surround encoder/decoder combos.
There is a dedicated Stereo VU meter for the MIX, REC, Monitor and Solo busses, a VU Phase meter, 5.1 monitor metering, 8 individual Track Bus meters and all Cue and FX send level indication. Each channel sports a dual 12-segment meter which allows DAW Stereo track monitoring. Other features in the AWS include AUTOCUE functionality, MONITOR VOLUME POT CALIBRATION, SOLO ISOLATE, the ability to control two DAW’s simultaneously, and the addition of SOFT BOOT power cycling. Above all, latency free punch in record monitoring is standard, this is analogue!
TotalRecallTM is SSL patented technology that aides the saving and recalling of analogue console control settings for a specific Project or Session. The system takes a snapshot of current console settings and saves it via the SSL Logictivity Browser. On the AWS a graphical representation of this information can then displayed on the Centre Section TFT display to enable the operator to manually reset the controls. The AWS includes the timesaving “TR Autoscan” feature which draws the operators attention to only those Channels that need adjustment.
Summing Bus Injects for the CUE and FX busses
To accommodate modern production methods the AWS consoles now feature an independent Summing Input which allows additional Tracks from the DAW access to the Cue and FX send busses, therefore allowing those DAW tracks access to hardware outboard units and the creation of dedicated Cue mixes form the DAW.
AWS 916/924 Channel
The AWS 916/924 continues the classic design of the AWS 900.
The AWS 916/924 Channel Input section features a balanced Line Input with +/-20dB of gain and a world class SuperAnalogueTM Mic Amp featuring continuous mic gain control (+15 to +75dB), phase reverse and switchable 48V phantom power. An Instrument D.I allows for high impedance sources such as guitars. The Flip control overrides the Master Mic/Line input selection assigned globally via the console centre section.
Taken from the legendary XL 9000 K Series console and its current successor Duality, the SSL AWS 924 features a highly flexible EQ section, switchable between a default E Series operation and the characteristic G Series curves and control interaction. The INS IN switch routes the channel via the balanced Insert Send and Return. PRE places the Insert before the EQ section. In conjunction with the dynamics CHIP and CHOP routing keys, the order of the EQ, INSERT and DYNAMICS blocks can be re-ordered.
Routing & Sends
Each channel has access to 2 main Stereo Busses (RECORD and MIX) in addition to 2 Stereo Cue busses and 4 mono FX sends. Every AWS Channel features a Direct Channel Output (CH OP) and can also feed 8 independent Track Busses. SSL’s unique “EFX” system is present on all channels significantly enhancing creativity by allowing free assignment of send controls.
Digital Scribble Strips
When the AWS is in analogue focus mode the Digital Scribble Strips display name and parameter information for the selected analogue signal path. When the AWS is in DAW focus mode they then display DAW channel and processing parameters dependent on your chosen DAW and selected functions.
- HPF – 18dB/Octave high-pass filter with detente bypass position
- G-EQ Curve switch – toggles between the default E-Series and G-Series tonal characteristics and control interaction
- HF – High frequency shelving equalizer switchable to fixed Q parametric response via the Bell switch
- HMF – High frequency parametric mid-band EQ section
- LMF – Low frequency parametric mid-band EQ
- LF – Low frequency shelving EQ Switchable to fixed Q parametric response via the Bell switch
The AWS features touch sensitive 100mm motorised faders. In analogue mode they control the analogue signal path of either the Channel input or DAW return path. In DAW mode they default to control over channel level control but can be used for other controllable DAW parameters.
To learn more about Solid State Logic, Click Here