SSL Duende Native Plugins: EQ & Dynamics Channel
Every once in a mythical moon the release of a VST product will impact on the music scene and capture our imagination. The rising of our latest moon has been conjured by the world’s leading manufacturer of professional digital and analogue consoles Solid State Logic (SSL). With the release of their - Duende Native Plug-in Suite - SSL introduce a superb collection of highly respected audio processing tools. The Duende Native Plug-in Suite extends the SSL professional audio quality, superior precision and advanced production performance for all DAW users. SSL introduce the plug-ins as ‘functionally and sonically identical’ to the DSP powered Duende plug-ins which provide the legendary characteristics of two of SSL’s most revered classic consoles – C200 HD & the G9000. The moon is high, the spell is cast – now is the time for magic!
The full Duende Native Plug-in Suite includes:
An EQ & Dynamics Channel (processor Strip) - SSL Stereo Bus Compressor – Drumstrip (task specific processor) – Vocalstrip (task specific processor) – X-EQ (mastering grade EQ) - X-Compressor (mastering grade Compressor) – X-Verb (high end algorithmic Studio Reverb). All Duende Native Plugins are available for both PC and Mac in both mono/stereo versions compatible with any DAW supporting VST (including VST3), AU or RTAS plug-ins. They fully support 64 bit processing and up to 96Khz sampling rate.
Discussing The EQ & Dynamics Channel: Digitally extracted from the C200 HD console it is a superior multi performance SSL Channel Strip plugin. It is defined by its three processing sections: Filter – EQ and Dynamics. The Filter section consists of a High Pass Filter (ranging 20hz – 500hz) and a Low Pass Filter (ranging 3Khz – 22Khz) with the added option to switch into the channel’s Dynamic Side-Chain (Dyn S/C) processing path. The EQ Section is a Solid State signature 4 band Parametric EQ with ‘Bell’ mode options that switch both the Low and High EQ bands from ‘shelf’ to ‘parametric’ mode filters. There are options in the SSL EQ & Dynamics Channel for changing the ‘Channel Processing Orders’, which allow up to 4 different ways of routing a signal through the plugin’s processing chain. By default, the plug-ins Channel Processing Order will route the incoming audio signal through the – Filters – EQ – and Dynamics stages. However, as you switch between the different processing order options, the Filter, EQ and Dynamics sections become interchangable and can be placed either at the start, in the middle or at the end of the processing chain.
*The plugin provides a visual guide of the the Channel’s process ordering as a diagram at the foot of the interface*
The Compressor and Gate/Expander: The Dynamics sections of the SSL EQ & Dynamics Channel clearly defines the plug-in’s musical versatility by way of an independent Compressor & Gate/Expander. The Compressor can perform in 3 different processing modes – RMS – Peak - Limiter – via its switchable signal detection circuit. By default the Channel compressor is in RMS mode which affects the average density of a signal and can be switched into Peak (PK) mode to control the peaks and spikes of an audio signal. Further, the compressor can also function as a Limiter by dialling the ratio rotary to its maximum value clockwise.
The control panel for the Gate section provides: Threshold – Range – Release and Hold rotaries as a powerful processing unit that tightens the rhythmic value of a sound which creates the necessary space in the mix for other transients to sit in. The Gate also doubles as a switchable Expander (Exp) providing a subtle musical effect which reduces the dynamic of an instruments phrase ending or duration. Both the Compressor and the Gate/Expander are equipped with a switchable ‘fast attack’ option, to grab hold of early transient emphasis, which defaults at 3ms of attack.
Dynamic Side Chain: The the EQ & Dynamics Channel plugin does not support side-chain from an external source, instead, it provides a powerful Internal Side Chain engine. Through the subtractive technique of Frequency Compression the plug-in’s processor units combine to create a high quality engineering tool capable of precision sound sculpting. The plug-in is easily switched into the Dynamic Side-Chain which allows both the EQ and the Filter sections to shape the side-chain signal. The results of the processed side-chain signal can be monitored at the master output of the Channel strip by activating the ‘S/C Listen’ switch.
The depth of design reflected in this superb multi-performance plugin is further demonstrated by the Switchable EQ feature. Switchable EQ provides a user option to process a signal using the classic SSL EQ characteristics of either the ‘E Series’ or ‘G 9000 Series’ consoles. Finally, there is a ‘Bypass All’ button for A/B comparisons of the signal which feeds the monitoring stage at zero latency.
Every parameter in each of the SSL Duende Native plugins can be automated in host applications that support automation. Each Duende processing unit performs at zero latency which adds a huge confidence factor when tracking, mixing or mastering. The combination of SSL’s superior sound quality and the unique capability to intechange between a multi-level feature set is conducive with a high quality processor workflow. Duende Native Plugins empower the producer with the sound quality, precision and flexibility needed to meet the demands of producing contemporary professional grade music. It is on this foundation that Duende Native Plugins excel.
All Duende Native Plug-ins are available for a free, fully functional initial 30 day demo AND for ongoing periodic free demos.
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