Producer/artist Wade Martin installed four Solid State Logic XLogic X-Rack modular rack systems in his WM Studios in Phoenix, Ariz. Martin purchased the units from pro audio/musical instrument retailer Sweetwater. Martin has worked with Matthew Earl Jones, Joni Sledge, Yes, Michael Mancini and the Rolling Stones.
“The SSL X-Rack technology effectively provides a million-dollar console without spending a million dollars or sacrificing all the physical space,” Martin says. “It’s the same technology that comes out of SSL’s 9000 K Series console. Compare the two and SSL is definitely not lying—they sound identical.
“I’m using the X-Racks in two ways,” Martin continues. “First and foremost I’m using it for summing, so all my channels are not confined to the digital domain. This is giving me more space, in layman’s terms, in my stereo field. The X-Rack summing has given me a lot more room to breathe. I’ve summed with other consoles and other units, but I’ve found that there’s nothing better than SSL.”
Martin also employs the X-Rack’s Dynamics and Channel EQ modules, as well as the Eight Input Summing Module, Four Channel Input and Mic Amp. “Once again, these are directly out of the 9000 K Series, but with a twist. I recently used the EQ module in the X-Rack at a mastering session, and it was a pleasure to be able to toggle between the G Series and the E Series. That was really cool for the application, where I was looking for a vintage EQ feel. It delivered exactly that.”
The X-Rack, says Martin, “really helps people like me that subscribe to the theory of ‘getting out of the box’ to fatten things up. And the Total Recall is awesome too. The X-Racks provide the ability to save your settings for each session. That makes life a whole lot easier.
“I love outboard gear and have a whole slew of it,” Martin concludes. “I’m in my A studio right now and there is outboard gear all over the place. Sometimes I may want to bypass SSL and go out of the box straight into a limiter, for example. If you’re running a console, invariably you’re not going to be bypassing it; everything is hard-wired directly into it from your interfaces. In the configuration I have now, I have the versatility of taking advantage of SSL, and also of other outboard gear, without anything in between.”