Launched in 2004, the AWS (Analogue Workstation System) reinvented the professional production console by combining classic SSL SuperAnalogue™ console technology with comprehensive DAW control hardware in a single work surface. Over 550 consoles later the AWS is now used by leading international recording artists, producers and engineers and has shaped expectations for session workflow within today’s and indeed tomorrows’ production environments.
Designed for mid scale commercial recording and production facilities, the AWS is available in 24 input (AWS 924) or 48 input (AWS 948) variants within a compact 24 fader frame. Both models deliver pristine SuperAnalogue™ mixing, 24 ultra-clean SSL SuperAnalogue mic pre’s, classic SSL dual curve EQ on every channel, two assignable SSL Dynamics, legendary Stereo Buss Compressor, TotalRecall™ and full 5.1 monitoring. In addition to on board classic SSL Automation, both models also feature the revolutionary new A-FADA mode where motorized analogue faders follow DAW Automation data.
SSL AWS 924 & 948 also feature Ethernet connectivity for streamlined hardware control over your entire Digital Audio Workstation environment. AWS delivers elegant, ergonomic physical control over your entire studio environment with dedicated heavy duty DAW transport, V-Pot multifunction encoders with position indicating LED’s, Digital Scribble Strips, DAW fader mode, global and channel routing control and built-in TFT display for advanced plug-in editing. Project Session Management is kept simple through SSL’s proprietary Logictivity interface.
The AWS is an SSL SuperAnalogue™ console, featuring the audio performance specifications that have established the benchmarks by which other manufacturers are measured. Exceptionally low THD, noise floor & crosstalk levels keep your audio absolutely pristine, while our legendary headroom carries every nuance of your audio and allows engineers to mix ‘hotter’ without distortion.
- Combination of SuperAnalogue™ console and advanced DAW controller
- SSL SuperAnalogue™ mix bus provides pristine audio foundations
- SSL SuperAnalogue mic pre’s provide transparent record path
- Innovative Dual Path Channel with three versatile operating modes (948 only)
- 48 inputs on AWS 948:
- In-Line Tracking = 1 mic + 1 line inputs per channel
- In-Line Mix = 2 x mono line inputs per channel
- Stereo Mix = 1 x stereo line input per channel
- A-FADA Mode where motorized analogue faders follow DAW automation
- Versatile 4 band channel EQ, assignable Dynamics and SSL Master Bus Compressor
- 4-Band EQ design with independent E/G curve switching of HF/LF (Stereo on 948 only)
- 5.1 Surround monitoring and Monitor calibration including Bass management
- MIDI over Ethernet multi layer DAW workstation control
- Digital Scribble Strips for console and DAW data
- Elegant project setup via SSL Logictivity Remote Browser and SD card storage
- SSL’s unique trademarked Total Recall™ system with ‘TR Autoscan’
- Responsible ‘green’ manufacturing and reduced power consumption
- Compact 24 fader frame ideal for small control rooms
The AWS 924 Channel Input section features a balanced Line Input with +/-20dB of gain and a world class SuperAnalogue™ Mic Amp featuring continuous mic gain control (+15 to +75dB), phase reverse and switchable 48V phantom power. An Instrument D.I allows for high impedance sources such as guitars. The Flip control overrides the Master Mic/Line input selection assigned globally via the console center section.
Taken from the legendary XL 9000 K Series console and its current successor Duality, the AWS 924 features a highly flexible EQ section, switchable between a default ‘E Series’ operation and the characteristic ‘G Series’ curves and control interaction. The INS IN switch routes the channel via the balanced Insert Send and Return. PRE places the Insert before the EQ section. In conjunction with the dynamics CHIP and CHOP routing keys, the order of the EQ, INSERT and DYNAMICS blocks can be re-ordered.
- HPF - 18dB/Octave high-pass filter with detente bypass position
- G-EQ Curve switch - toggles between the default ‘E-Series’ and ‘G-Series’ tonal characteristics and control interaction
- HF - High frequency shelving equalizer switchable to fixed Q parametric response via the Bell switch
- HMF - High frequency parametric mid-band EQ section
- LMF - Low frequency parametric mid-band EQ
- LF - Low frequency shelving EQ Switchable to fixed Q parametric response via the Bell switch
Routing & Sends
Each channel has access to 2 main Stereo Busses (RECORD and MIX) in addition to 2 Stereo Cue busses and 4 mono FX sends. Every AWS Channel features a Direct Channel Output (CH OP) and can also feed 8 independent Track Busses. SSL’s unique “EFX” system is present on all channels significantly enhancing creativity by allowing free assignment of send controls.
Digital Scribble Strips
When the AWS is in analogue focus mode the Digital Scribble Strips display name and parameter information for the selected analogue signal path. When the AWS is in DAW focus mode they then display DAW channel and processing parameters dependent on your chosen DAW and selected functions.
The AWS features touch sensitive 100mm motorized faders. In analogue mode they control the analogue signal path of either the Channel input or DAW return path. In DAW mode they default to control over channel level control but can be used for other controllable DAW parameters.
This console ships to your door for a flat rate of $1000 USD.
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Check out this SSL AWS 924/948 Review in TapeOp!