Buyer's Guide: SSL AWS Delta Recording & Mixing Console

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Solid State Logic AWS Delta Recording & Mixing Console

Solid State Logic has a wide range of consoles for both recording and mixing purposes. Finding the right one to fit the needs of your studio is not a problem – it’s a solution waiting to be discovered! Today we’ll be talking about the AWS 900 Delta Series recording and mixing consoles.

If you’re running a mid-sized production facility, the Solid State Logic AWS 900 Delta Series is most likely the answer for you. These full featured hybrid consoles that combine Superanalogue™ sound with a DAW controller. The AWS 900 Delta Series offers a choice of three different channel sizes and configurations. All three contain a variety of inputs within a compact frame size of 24 faders:

AWS 916 Delta: 16 mono input channels
AWS 924 Delta: 24 mono input channels
AWS 948 Delta: 48 mono/24 stereo input channels

SSL AWS 948 Delta recording console

An Overview Of The Solid State Logic AWS 900 Delta Console

For those choosing the entry-level AWS 916, have no fear of obsolescence: the 916 comes fully wired for an eventual upgrade to the 924 console configuration.

Common Features For All Solid State Logic AWS 900 Delta Consoles

  • Form factor: 24 fader compact size: perfect for smaller control rooms
  • Mic preamps: SSL SuperAnalogue™ pre’s for a transparent tracking path
  • Equalization: SSL 4-Band EQ w/ independent E/G Series curve switching on certain bands, offering comprehensive sonic sculpting
  • Mix Bus: SSL SuperAnalogue™ for pure & transparent audio
  • Processing: assignable Dynamics & SSL Master Bus Compressor
  • Metering:
    • Phase and VU meter w/ source selector
    • Comprehensive metering of all outputs and inputs
  • Monitoring:
    • 5.1 Surround monitoring
    • Monitor calibration including Bass management
  • DAW Control:
    • δ-Ctrl DAW plug-in for advanced console integration
    • DAW & console data via Contiguous Digital Scribble Strips
    • Multi-layer workstation control via MIDI over Ethernet
  • Automation:
    • SSL’s unique Total Recall™ system with ‘TR Autoscan’
    • Session management via SSL Logictivity Remote Browser
  • Eco-friendly ‘green’ manufacturing with reduced power consumption

Additional Features For The Solid State Logic AWS 948 Delta Console

For the AWS 948 console only, the following additional features apply:

  • 24 Dual Path Channels w/ three different operating modes:
    • In-Line Tracking = 1 mic + 1 monitor input (48 inputs total)
    • In-Line Mix = 2 x mono line inputs (48 inputs total)
    • Stereo Mix = 1 x stereo line input (24 stereo inputs total)
  • Stereo Channel Outputs:
    • Single pass recording of a stereo channel stem (post pan)
  • Independent Insert IN/OUT switching on In-Line channels:
    • Expands the flexibility of the Monitor path, simplifies installation
  • Enhanced Small Screen Signal Flow graphics:
    • Dynamically displays processing order on the Chan Setup page & the IN/OUT status on In-Line and Stereo channels

Breaking Down The AWS 916 Delta and AWS 924 Delta Channel Input

Both the AWS 916 and 924 are a continuation of the classic AWS 900 design.

Input

The AWS 916/924 Channel Input section features:

SSL AWS Delta channel input
  • Line Input: Balanced, with gain of +/-20dB
  • Mic Amp: SuperAnalogue™, continuous gain control of +15 to +75dB
  • Phase: Normal or reverse
  • Phantom power: 48V (switchable)
  • Instrument D.I.: for high impedance sources (e.g. guitars)
  • Flip control: overrides the global Master Mic/Line input selection

Equalization

Each channel features the legendary XL 9000 K Series EQ:

SSL AWS Delta channel equalizer
  • E Series (default) or G Series tonal curves and control interaction.
  • HMF – High frequency mid-band EQ - parametric
  • LMF – Low frequency mid-band EQ - parametric
  • HF – High frequency EQ - shelving
    • Switchable to fixed Q parametric response via the Bell switch
  • LF – Low frequency EQ - shelving
    • Switchable to fixed Q parametric response via the Bell switch
  • HPF – 18dB/Octave high-pass filter with a detented bypass

EQ Routing

  • The INS IN switch routes the channel via the balanced Insert Send and Return
  • The PRE switch 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 changed

Routing & Sends For Each Channel

SSL AWS Delta channel routing section
  • 2 main Stereo Busses (RECORD and MIX)
  • 2 Stereo Cue busses
  • 4 mono FX sends
  • Direct Channel Output (CH OP)
  • 8 independent Track Busses
  • "EFX" system enhances creativity via free assignment of send controls

Digital Scribble Strips

  • Analogue Focus Mode
    • Name & parameter info is displayed for the selected analogue path
  • DAW Focus Mode
  • DAW channel & processing parameters displayed
SSL AWS 948 Delta scribble strip

Faders

  • Touch sensitive 100mm motorized faders
  • Analogue mode:
    • Fader controls the analogue signal path of either the Channel input or DAW Return path
  • DAW mode:
    • Fader controls the channel level control (default); assignable for other DAW parameter controls
SSL AWS 948 Delta faders

Breaking Down The AWS 948 Delta Channel Input

The AWS 948 contains all of the above, plus additional features:

Input

The AWS 948 Channel Input also includes:

  • Line Input: a second Input, balanced, with gain of +/-20dB
  • Pad: -20dB attenuation for hot signal sources such as high output mics
  • Insert: routing functions depend on the three operating modes

Pan

  • In-Line Tracking = Standard L/R Pan control
  • In-Line Mix = Standard L/R Pan control
  • Stereo Mix = Stereo Width control

Pan/Width

  • Normal stereo image in the center
  • Pan pot right: introduces an out of phase left component to the right signal, and vice-versa, to widen the signal beyond the speakers
  • Pan pot left: similarly introduces in-phase components to narrow the width (fully left = mono)
  • Channel V-Pot also controls the stereo signal balance

The Master Section Of The AWS 900 Delta Series Consoles

The Master Section of the AWS 900 Series contains all of the tools essential to maximize the tonality and simplifying the workflow of your tracking and mixing.

Dynamics Processing

  • 2 Dynamics strips per channel w/ Compressor & Gate/Expander
  • RMS Compressor:
    • Switchable to peak sensing, w/ hard knee character
  • Expander/Gate:
    • Range, threshold, hold and release controls
  • Dedicated Metering & Key Input
  • Fast attack selector

Stereo Bus Compressor

SSL AWS 948 Delta bus-compressor

Often imitated but never equaled, the center section compressor from the 1980's G-Series analogue console is an audio production legend. It is a simple unit with a simple purpose; it makes complete mixes sound bigger, with more power, punch and drive. It brings cohesion and strength to your mix without compromising clarity. To this day it remains a key element of the SSL sound and has featured on countless classic recordings.

  • Based on the classic G-Series bus comp
  • Assignable to either the REC or MIX stereo buses
  • Improved SuperAnalogue™ input and output circuitry
  • Six ratio settings ranging from 1.5:1 to 20:1
  • Five release settings and Auto Release function

Communications

  • Dedicated independent buttons for foldback sends
  • GPIO connection
    • SLATE
    • LMC Input
    • RED light activation
  • Stereo Mix = Stereo Width control

Monitoring & Metering

  • 2 independent 5.1 mains outputs
  • 2 stereo “mini” outputs
  • Dedicated headphone output
  • Comprehensive Bass Frequency Management
  • Dedicated Stereo VU Meter for MIX, REC, Monitor & Solo buses
  • VU Phase Meter
  • 5.1 monitor metering
  • 8x individual Track Bus meters
  • Cue & FX Send level indicators
  • Dual 12-segment meters per channel for DAW Stereo tracks
  • Latency free punch-in
  • External source selector: sum, assign & route four 5.1 & four stereo sources
  • Control 2 DAW’s simultaneously
SSL AWS 948 Delta meters

Summing Bus Injects

  • Summing Bus Injects
    • DAW tracks can access the Cue and FX Sends:
    • Dedicated Cue mixes can be created
    • DAW tracks can be processed via outboard gear

Further Features Of AWS 900 Delta Series Consoles

Automation – Plug-In to a Power Outlet

TotalRecall™ is a system patented by SSL to save and recall analogue control settings for any session or project. The system creates a snapshot of the current console settings, saving it via the Logictivity Browser. The Center Section TFT display shows a graphical representation of this information, allowing the engineer to manually reset the various controls. For even more efficiency, the AWS includes the "TR Autoscan" feature, which highlights only those channels needing adjustment from their present settings.

SSL δelta-Control

The one-of-a-kind SSL δelta-Control (δ-Ctrl) automation system combines the best analogue automation with a DAW based workflow. Your DAW will view the automation data just like a plug-in.

δ-Ctrl Single Fader Plug-In

The δ-Ctrl Single Fader Plug-in is a native AAX/AU/VST/VST3 plug-in that provides automation of AWS mix bus and channel volume as though it were a DAW plug-in. By inserting 24 instances into the DAW session, control of cuts and volumes for all 24 AWS channels is provided.

The DAW’s automation system is used to record and playback AWS volume control data. This can be entered either right from the console faders or from the plug-in GUI fader. The δ-Ctrl plug-in is inserted into a DAW mixer audio or aux channel.

The plug-in then uses a high speed ethernet network to send/receive volume data from the AWS. Audio on the DAW track passes unprocessed through the plug-in slot so it can be combined with other DAW plug-ins.

The δ-Ctrl plug-in GUI shows the AWS Volume and Mute switch as parameters and their automation data is recorded to the automation lane of the selected DAW channel. His is converted during playback into δ-Ctrl messages and routed back to the AWS via the ethernet connection.

δ-Ctrl 24 Channel Plug-In

The δ-Control 24 Channel plug-in provides compatibility to Logic users and also offers alternative workflow possibilities to other DAW users. Using one plug-in GUI, all the features of an AWS channel can be automated including:

  • Fader levels
  • Cuts & Insert Points for Channel
  • Cuts & Insert Points for Monitor
    • (Absolute and Trim)
  • Equalization
  • Cue switch
  • FX switch

δ-Ctrl keeps all the key elements of SSL’s Signature Mix System with beloved features such as JOIN, REVISE, MOTORS OFF and SNAP. Assignable hardware buttons can override all actions. The MOTORS OFF mode not only offers the full non-moving fader SSL VCA mix, but the new Touch Write mode emulates the SSL G Series Mix system ‘Immediate Pickup’ (IP) option.

SSL AWS 948 Delta automation section

AWS 900 Delta Series Console Upgrades

There are currently three upgrade options available to bring all previous generations of AWS console (the 900, 900+ and 900+ SE), as well as the 916/924/948 versions up to the current AWS δelta feature specification.

DAW Control Center

Not only does the SSL AWS 900 Delta Series provide a huge variety of analogue features in a small footprint, but its hybrid design also allows the engineer to integrate a variety of DAW applications such as Logic Audio®, Pro Tools®, Sonar® Nuendo® and a host of others. All key functions such as recording, mixing, routing and editing can be controlled via the console.

Plug-In Control

The Center Section of the console sports a TFT to show DAW status and Plug-in parameters, as well as other console set-up info. Below the TFT display is the DAW HUI Plug-in/Process Controller, with 4 rotary encoders that are auto-mapped from the DAW, with integral push-push switches, and 4 assign keys. A pair of extra keys allow for page up/down control. The channel SEL switches assign the Plug-in Editor, along with the EDIT switch. The faders can also control the plug-ins, via the Mackie Control protocol.

DAW Mixer and Transport Control

The DAW channel and send levels, along with routing, can be assigned by the user to separate channel rotary encoders that have rotary LED level display. The Channel and Send levels can be "flipped" on to the main channel fader.

There are buttons dedicated to the typical Transport functions of PLAY, RECORD, REWIND, FAST FORWARD and STOP. 10 other buttons are provided for typically used shortcut keys. Also included are controls for navigation, simple zooming, and selection of DAW objects. There is even a jog/shuttle wheel for scrub and track navigation.

Logictivity Browser Software – The AWS Remote:

All sessions can be easily managed using the AWS Remote, powered by Logictivity. An onboard SD card saves all session data, which can be transferred to a USB thumb drive or sent by email, making your session highly portable.

  • Connect to a computer by standard Ethernet
  • Java application runs on both PC & Mac
  • Saves, names, restores any Total Recall™ & AWSomation data
  • Add names to channel scribble strips
  • Connect directly to X-Rack and integrate X-Rack Recall

The AWS Series is a SuperAnalogue™ console that boasts the features and performance specs that have made it the industry standard for pristine analogue audio. The combination of ridiculously low noise floor, THD and crosstalk allows the clarity of your recordings to come through, without all the baggage. Extended headroom lets that clarity breathe, with plenty of space to spread out your mix, and run it hotter if you prefer. To determine which 900 Series is best for you, contact your Vintage King audio consultant today.

SSL AWS Delta Console Pricing

SSL AWS 916 Delta

$73,000
$68,000
Instant Rebate through 12/31/18

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SSL AWS 924 Delta

$86,000
$76,000
Instant Rebate through 12/31/18

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SSL AWS 948 Delta

$106,500
$91,500
Instant Rebate through 12/31/18

Shop Now


Documents


PDF icon
SSL AWS Delta Console Manual (11.1 MB)

Jeffrey Ehrenberg
If you’re interested in getting more information or ordering a Solid State Logic AWS Delta Series recording console, contact a Vintage King Audio Consultant via email or by phone at 866.631.0213.

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