Will the real SSL please stand up?
Well it can’t because it’s a plugin. These 4 plugs claim to give you that SSL sound, but one of them is wayyyyyyyy better than the others.
The UAD 4K? Yea it’s a good compressor, it works, it’s reminiscent of an SSL and has the look and feel, but it’s not the best.
The UAD G series stereo does a good job of replicating SSL hardware, you could argue it’s therefore the best soft SSL buss compressor.
The Waves G master buss compressor made under license from SSL? Yes it’s ok, i don’t think it’s quite as good as the UAD G tho, and it’s a tad squashier in a soft forgiving way than the original, and is not really the same when you hammer it.
The Duende SSL buss compressor? Yes it’s the best, it’s the punchiest SSL-i-est nicest sounding software buss compressor. It’s not exactly like the G, it’s better. It feels like an evolution from the philosophy that brought you the G, but they’ve taken a bolder step further.It’s punchier, but doesn’t sound like it’s destroying anything. Ok it doesn’t have a fade out, but do you really need that when you have a million different ways to automate a track? At the end of the day, the sound it makes kicks ass.
It doesn’t allow data entry ( at the moment) and host bypass is not supported, only the bypass button on the plugin, but who cares about that really. I expect they did that because host bypass is often nasty and clicky anyway on several plugins
Previously, SSL duende kinda sucked when you had to rely on SSL’s horrible duende hardware. Why was it horrible?
1. Because it used firewire 400 - way to ruin all our lives, they later improved this with a PCI card
2. Because you had to send it back to England if you wanted to change license ownership. WTF guys
Anyway those bad old days are gone, you can get a nice 64bit native, and apart from having to deal with their own proprietary copy protection system and not popular ones like synchrosoft or ilok, it’s worth the trouble.
So the best SSL soft compressor is EASILY the one .. made by…SSL