One of the biggest names in the studio world for the past 40 years, Solid State Logic built an enviable reputation for top-end large format mixing desks; for a time, any recording studio wanting to play in the premier division had to offer their clients the experience of using an SSL or a Neve desk.
A mixer with the SSL badge on it has a lot to live up to - so is their new entry into the small-format market - the 'SiX' - worthy of the name?
We asked Gaz to take it for a test drive and find out.
On their website, SSL offer various scenarios the SiX could be used for; Recording, Music Production, Small Scale Post, Podcasting and Live on Stage - there are videos explaining how to configure the console for each use.
Gaz discovered that for his setup, the way to fully benefit from the features of the SiX was to connect it as the central 'hub' for his studio, it became the primary input stage for instruments & mics, with some hardware FX units connected via Aux's.
One thing that may be seen as a slightly surprising omission, was the total lack of any digital IO - this is not a direct interface to the DAW at all, it's a purely analogue device. As such, it requires a separate interface to connect your DAW, and for maximum flexibility, Gaz used several channels - a simple Stereo IO could work, but you wouldn't get the best out of it.
Given this, the price of around £1,100 GBP might seem a bit steep at first, but as Gaz explains in the video, having spent some time with the SiX, the benefits become more apparent, and the price more reasonable - but that's a call you'll have to make yourself, hopefully the video will help in that process.
Two mono channels with SSl SuperAnalogue Mic Pre's, and 66dB of gain. Switchable two-band shelf/bell EQ and Channel Compressor on each, with 100mm fader and fully-balanced insert.
Two Stereo input channels with -10/+20dB trim for line sources, with Balance control and 100mm faders.
G Series Bus Compressor on the main mix bus
Talk-Back mic input with the famous SSL Listen Mic Compressor (often used for drum sounds in the 80's ;-)
Master Section with two Stereo Cue buses (with level and pan controls); monitor source matrix + mono, dim & cut; fader channels have PFL and Mute button which routes the muted signal to a 'Bus B' (can be used as a DAW record send, but is also routed to monitor matrix to enable monitoring of a muted signal prior to dropping into the Main mix with the Mute button)