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AES News: SSL XLogic E Signature Channel

Solid State Logic debuted the XLogic E Signature Channel, a new member of the XLogic Series, at this year’s AES Convention.

The XLogic E Signature Channel brings the classic sound of the original early ‘80s E Series console to the outboard rack of today’s engineers and producers. The E Signature Channel delivers the choice of selectable transformer driven or Variable Harmonic Drive (VHD) mic amps and the Listen Mic Compressor.

The XLogic E Signature Channel is designed to complement the XLogic SuperAnalogue Channel. The E Signature Channel’s input section contains two completely independent mic preamps. The primary mic preamp is a classic transformer coupled design using the same Jensen transformer as the first E-Series channel strips. The second option offers a brand new electronically balanced design with SSL’s unique Variable Harmonic Drive circuitry. This unique preamp precisely emulates the overload characteristics of a traditional valve/tube design but with the ability to tailor the warmth or musicality via the DRIVE control. This feature shapes the overload curve to provide a user-controlled blend of the 2nd or 3rd harmonic distortion so desired by the enthusiasts of tube-based gear.

The dynamics section returns to the circuit and key components that defined the sound of the original E-Series channel strip. This all-discrete design is identical to the circuit of the Class A VCA chip used in the early consoles. The classic compressor circuit contains additional switching options to defeat the over easy curve in favor of a linear release.

The EQ section defaults to the original “Brown Knob” circuit that was standard on all early production E Series consoles. The two parametric mid-band sections feature SSL’s classic logarithmically symmetric design that ensures that the 3dB down points retain the same musical interval from the center frequency regardless of settings. The two shelving sections are traditional 6dB/octave designs with an option for a fixed Q parametric response (Bell). The high and lowpass filter sections feature 12dB/octave slopes. The CT OUT switch defeats the inherent non-interactive nature of the design and introduces subtle control interactions similar to those found on earlier parametric units. It also offers a different gain law with increased resolution in the critical initial boost or cut area, which can be selected individually for each band.

In 1983 a new version of E Series EQ was developed in conjunction with legendary Beatles producer George Martin for the first SSL console to be installed at AIR Studios. The Black Knob EQ, as it became known, features enhanced cut and boost ranges together with a different control law as well as a steeper 18dB/octave highpass filter for tighter control of low frequencies. The XLogic E Signature Channel faithfully reproduces this classic EQ.

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