The SSL AWS 916 is a 16 channel configuration of the AWS 924. It’s equipped with all the features of the full 924 version. These include; AWSomation automation computer, A FADA Analogue automation via DAW control, Total Recall, 2 layer Ethernet based DAW control, Surround Mixing and Monitoring and the famous SSL Buss Compressor.
The AWS 916 Channel Input section features a balanced Line Input with +/-20dB 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 AWS 916 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.
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.
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.
The AWS centre section stereo compressor is based on the legendary G Series bus comp and can be assigned to either the REC or MIX stereo busses.
Two classic SSL Channel Dynamics processing strips with separate Compressor and Gate/Expander sections can be assigned to any channel.
The AWS features comprehensive talkback routing with dedicated independent communication buttons for independent foldback sends.
There is a dedicated Stereo VU meter for the MIX, REC, Monitor and Solo busses, a VU Phase meter, 5.1 monitor metering, 8 individual Track Bus meters and all Cue and FX send level indication. Each channel sports a dual 12-segment meter which allows DAW Stereo track monitoring.
TotalRecall™ is SSL patented technology that aides the saving and recalling of analogue console control settings for a specific Project or Session. The AWS includes the timesaving ‘TR Autoscan’ feature which draws the operators attention to only those Channels that need adjustment.
To accommodate modern production methods the AWS consoles now feature an independent Summing Input which allows additional Tracks from the DAW access to the Cue and FX send busses, therefore allowing those DAW tracks access to hardware outboard units and the creation of dedicated Cue mixes from the DAW.
- 16-channel/8-bus analog console
- 16-fader control surface (ideal for small control rooms)
- SSL SuperAnalogue signal path with component topologies found in K, E, and G series consoles
- SSL SuperAnalogue mix bus with SSL Master Bus Compressor
- In-line compression and EQ for each channel
- 4-Band EQ with independent E/G curve switching
- Compression based on the G series console
- A-FADA Mode where motorized analogue faders follow DAW automation
- Full MIDI/HUI-compliant control surface for use with any major DAW
- Digital Scribble Strips for console and DAW data
- Includes SSL's trademarked TOTAL RECALL system
- 5.1, stereo, or mono output
- Full 5.1 monitoring, including in-depth calibration and external metering options
- MIDI via Ethernet for DAW connectivity
- LOGICTIVITY browser for session management
- Responsible "green" manufacturing and reduced power consumption
SSL Delta-Control (d-Ctrl)
The Delta-Control is a unique new SSL console automation system unites the very best of automation in the analogue console domain with DAW based workflow.
d-Ctrl is a native AAX/RTAS/VST/VST3 plug-in that allows automation of AWS as if it were a DAW Plug-in. The automation system in the DAW is used to record and playback control data from the faders and switches on the console as an alternative to using the SSL legacy automation system in the console. The d-Ctrl plug-in is inserted into a DAW mixer audio channel. The plug-in then receives and sends control data from an assigned AWS channel, VCA or Master fader via a high speed Ethernet Network connection. Audio on the DAW track passes through the plug-in slot unprocessed so the plug-in can be combined with other DAW plug-ins. The console Fader, mutes and relevant switches are represented as plug-in parameters in a d-Ctrl plug-in GUI and their automation data is recorded to the automation lane of the selected DAW channel. In playback the plug-in converts the stored automation data from the DAW into d-Ctrl messages and routes these back to the console via the SSL Logictivity Network connection.
Automation data can be viewed and edited as normal plug-in data in the DAW tracks. The console Fader Absolute and Trim values are saved using the same dB law as your selected DAW automation so that the ‘Paste Special’ command can be used to copy existing DAW fader data into the plug-in. d-Ctrl retains all the key operational elements of SSL’s Signature Mix System with much loved features such as JOIN, REVISE, MOTORS OFF and SNAP Override all actions from dedicated front panel switches. The MOTORS OFF mode offers the full non-moving fader SSL VCA mix experience as preferred by key industry re-mixers. A new MOTORS OFF, Touch Write mode emulates the SSL G Series Mix system Immediate Pickup (IP) option. d-Ctrl also works with SSLDuality delta consoles.
The d-Ctrl plug-in uses iLok2 encryption. An iLok2 is not supplied with the console or upgrades. Five plug-in licenses are included with a console or upgrade purchase and additional licenses can be purchased form the SSL Online Store.
About d-Ctrl and Logic
Currently there isn't an AU d-Ctrl plug for use in Logic. During beta testing of the d-Ctrl automation system SSL uncovered a significant limitation in the way Logic handles automation data from the delta-control plug-in. For this reason, we put on hold our plans to release an AU version for use with Logic. SSL is researching ways to overcome this limitation and we will make an announcement of an AU delta-ctrl plug-in in due course.
Check out this SSL AWS 924/948 Review in TapeOp!