SSL ‘G’ COMP 500 Series Module

(first published in CX magazine – August, 2013)


A notable new tool perched on the outboard rack at The Mill currently is a Radial Workhorse Cube housing SSL’s new G Series Bus Compressor. The G Comp is a ‘double wide’ 500-format module based around the bus compressor from an SSL 4000 G console of yore. These original compressors have been strapped across literally millions of mixes over the decades, and for two simple reasons: their clarity and attitude.

The ‘G Comp’ 500-format equivalent relies on a third party’s power supply to drive it – in this case Radial’s three slot, carry anywhere Cube – so in some ways there’s much that’s different about the new ‘double wide’ SSL module.

Operationally, however, they’re much the same, sporting that now oh-so-familiar SSL compressor layout that’s penetrated virtually every home studio on earth courtesy of the countless plug-in GUIs that mimic it.

I really like this compressor. It’s fast and furious when you want it to be; clobbering mixes on the head mercilessly when required without the tonal balance shifting very far off course. The best thing about the G is that you can drive all your work through it without so much as a shadow of doubt about the quality of the signal path. SSL circuitry is as good as it gets, making it a safe bet for almost any mix.

Ironically, I found the G Comp so familiar that it quickly disappeared into the woodwork here. I have at least two other similar SSL bus compressors in my rack, and have used the 4000 console bus compressor more times than I could count.

If you haven’t used what is statistically the most famous mix bus compressor of all time, you owe it to yourself to try it out. A great way to get in on the act is with this little beasty. It ain’t cheap though. At $2699 it’s perhaps a little more expensive than I would have imagined.


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