SSL Live. L300
Part of something special
The release of the new L300 means there are now two models available in the SSL Live console range, the larger L500 and the new more compact L300. Both consoles are perfectly equipped for applications in Touring, Installation, Houses Of Worship and Theatre. At SSL we believe that offering a more compact console should not mean compromising and reducing quality or features. Both consoles offer the same immaculate, huge SSL sound and the same superb operator experience. There are no compromises in build quality and both consoles use and can share the same Remote I/O. The L300 is physically smaller than the L500, so it is a more compact, lower cost option… with no hidden performance compromises – it’s that simple. Compact it may be but the L300 delivers the power and connectivity to handle large scale productions with up to 568 input/outputs, 128 mix paths (96 fully processed, 32 dry), a 32 x 36 matrix, 36 VCA’s, and 48 FX slots.
The key to a great control surface is a clear view of everything in your audio environment and finding exactly the control you need at your fingertips when you need it. With the Live SSL’s obsession with ergonomics and workflow has delivered an intelligent, elegant and comfortable layout. All of the most commonly used functions are carefully arranged so that they sit within reach where your hands naturally fall on the console. There is a wealth of visual feedback with carefully considered use of colour change technology that will not fatigue the user during long periods of operation. The Live control surface delivers a genuinely intuitive combination of gestural touch screen & hardware control and a whole collection of innovative features designed to streamline workflow.
The Power to Connect
The power within SSL Live consoles is provided by our new ‘Tempest’ platform, developed specifically to meet the demands of live production. We are of course very proud of our clever new processing technology, but at SSL our focus is always on what really matters and that is you having the power to do your job well. Live harnesses Tempest’s power in a sensibly flexible way to let you balance allocation of resource between signal processing and console architecture to suit each project. Thanks to the intrinsic flexibility of our approach, no matter how you configure it, when you compare the numbers, Live gives you more Inputs and Outputs, more Channels, Stem Groups, Auxes, VCA’s and Masters, more processing tools and more signal processing power than many consoles with much bigger price tags.
Such stuff as dreams are made on
Live consoles are powered by Tempest, a new fourth generation digital audio platform developed specifically to meet the demanding requirements of the live environment. Learning from more than 25 years of digital console development, Tempest is a ground up development. All legacy code – the key to the sonic excellence of previous generations of SSL digital consoles – has been rewritten in the latest software languages. The high capacity signal processing engine at the heart of Tempest uses SSL’s patented Optimal Core Processing (OCP) to deliver highly efficient and reliable performance with minimal latency. Tempest delivers all of the power required to equip Live with all of the mixer architecture, processing power and connectivity to handle large scale events. The Live signal processing engine is integrated entirely within the control surface.
Up Close and Personal
SSL Live control surfaces bring decades of design experience to the specific demands of live sound production. The result is uncluttered designs that are intuitive and ergonomically efficient with a collection of unique features to keep the operator in complete control at all times. The system lets you use your own balance of touch screen and hardware control to work the way you want to.
A single super bright, high resolution 19” central touch screen is the hub of the console, giving constant visual feedback and access to system configuration menus and the effects rack. It is the only touch screen available on a live console with true tablet style multi-touch gesture control, delivering an unprecedented degree of on screen parameter manipulation. The Console Overview menu provides a comprehensive view of all signal
paths including channels, VCA’s, Stem Groups, Auxes and more to provide immediate ‘at a glance’ feedback of all system levels and status without the need for any layer or bank navigation. The main screen is used in combination with the row of twelve ‘quick controls’ (a rotary control and three associated buttons) in the main fader tile. The quick controls can either be assigned to the same single parameter for all twelve channels or as ‘detail’ controls for individual EQ, Effects parameters etc. The quick control rotary functions can be flipped onto the faders. Colour coding ties together what is displayed on the screen, the quick controls and the Fader and Control Tiles.
The unique Channel Control Tile has its own dedicated high resolution touch screen surrounded by colour-coded rotary controls and rapid access selection buttons to provide instant physical control over EQ, Dynamics and insert effects for the currently selected signal path. The unique ‘Focus Fader’ enables the engineer to keep their hand in one place and have immediate fader control for the currently selected channel or user assigned and locked channel. The Focus Fader combines with the Channel Control Tile to form the Focus Channel.
Work Your Way
We are all different. We all have our own way of doing things and of course for all of us, our own way is the right way. When it comes to control surface ergonomics, the SSL way is to provide solutions that aim to let everybody work how they want to. With Live most things can be done either via the touch screen or via the hardware controls or you can combine both approaches. We provide the traditional tools you are used to, but we also love to find new ways of doing things.
Absolute Power and Ultimate Flexibility.
L300 processing power allocation and I/O architecture is extremely flexible. The console has 568 inputs and 568 outputs. It has 128 mix paths at 96kHz. These paths can be assigned as Channels, Stem Groups, Auxes and Masters to suit demands and configured as mono, stereo or LCR. A mono Channel consumes one path, a stereo two, and an LCR three. 96 of the mix paths are full processing paths and 32 are dry. The combination of full and dry path types can be allocated to suit different applications. Insert Effects have their own dedicated processing which is also dynamically allocated.
A 32 x 36 Output Matrix also has its own dedicated processing and can be segmented into four separate smaller matrices if desired. All 36 Matrix Output paths have High and Low Pass Filters, 4 band EQ, 2 seconds of delay and our unique All Pass Filters available. This is in addition to two inserts that can be used with both the internal Effects Rack and external processing.
MADI I/O connects the SSL Live-Recorder option, a robust 1U device that can record 64 tracks at 96kHz continuously from the console’s input stage and play back through the channels in Soundcheck mode.
SSL has always set the audio performance benchmark for others to reach and sound quality is the primary design consideration of the SSL Live. Nothing is sacrificed so that the ultimate sonic performance can be delivered. The Live local I/O and Stageboxes deliver SSL SuperAnalogueTM performance with better than industry standard studio grade mic pre’s combined with 24bit/96kHz DAC’s to deliver a frequency response that is within 0.05 dB of flat from 20 to 20 KHz (within 1.3dB down to 10Hz) and a THD of 0.005%. 64-bit internal processing is used throughout guaranteeing maximum precision to support the highest standards of audio performance within all our processors.
Audio quality is a key factor in the usability of Live. Users of the console report that they are able to achieve great mixes quickly and easily without the need to employ additional effects and processing to to compensate for inferior mic pre's, audio converters, internal audio path and mix bus. Live provides the audio processing toolkit that generations of SSL mix engineers have used to create countless hit recordings along with a suite of freshly developed processors. The full processing paths include a four band parametric that can be switched between a precise constant Q mode and ‘SSL Legacy EQ’ with our well known unique tonal character, hi- and lo-pass filters with selectable slopes, SSL dynamics presented as separate compressor, analogue style tube emulator, expander/gate as well as a delay line and cleverly configured all pass filter. The console also features precision analysis tools such as the fixed point per octave spectrum analyser and the acclaimed Dialogue Automix system from SSL’s broadcast consoles.
Two sizes one soul.
There are two models available in the SSL Live console range, the larger L500 and the smaller L300. At SSL we believe that offering a more compact console should not mean compromising and reducing quality or features. Both consoles use the same Remote I/O, use identical audio conversion and internal audio engine. Both consoles use the same Fader Tiles and although the layout of the Master Tile and Control Tile is brought into the same area of the control surface with the L300 the controls available are identical to those in the L500. The main touch screens are different – they both respond identically but the L300 screen has a lower maximum brightness – it’s still brighter than most and as bright as any competing screen. Both consoles use the same software with identical architecture, routing capability and of course audio processing tool kit – so a full channel on the L500 is the same as a full channel on the L300 and they both offer exactly the same outstanding collection of insert Effects. The differences between the two models centre on physical size, available channel paths and available I/O. The differences are so straightforward they are summed up extremely clearly in the comparison below.L300L500Paths128 (96 full, 32 dry)192 (144 full, 48 dry)Fader TilesTwo (24 +2 faders)Three (36 +2 faders)Matrix32 inputs / 36 outputs32 inputs / 36 outputsVCA's3636FX Slots4896FX types40+40+Sample rate96 kHz96 kHzLocal analogue I/O16 mic/line, 16 line outUp to 32 inputs and 32 outputsLocal AES/EBU I/O4 pairs (with SRC)Up to 8 pairs (with SRC)MADI ports (coax/optical)8 (4 redundant pairs)Up to 12 (6 redundant pairs)MADI FX loopOptical in/out x 1Optical in/out x 1BlacklightOptional redundant pairOptional 2 redundant pairsMaximum I/O568 in / 568 out962 in / 962 outChannel Control TileOptionStandardMain touch-screen19” 600 Nits19” 1,500 NitsPower SupplyTwo redundant as standardTwo redundant as standardWidth923mm (36.3”)1,191mm (46.9”)Weight81Kg (180lbs)90Kg (200lbs)SoftwareSSL Live V2.5SSL Live V2.5
The SSL OffLine Setup Application or SOLSA allows creation and editing of Live console Showfiles on your laptop or desktop PC. Almost anything that can be done on a console can now be manipulated and configured ‘offline’ when access to a console is not possible.
This includes console architecture configuration and setup of Fader Tile Layers and Banks. Stageboxes and I/O routing can also be assigned along with the creation of scenes and other automation editing. SOLSA also allows you to add effects, manipulate channel processing settings, bus routing and VCA assignments. SOLSA includes the same Help System as the Live console software, offering a built in user guide with tutorials and reference sections.
SOLSA is not a software console! The software is intended to enable engineers to configure Showfiles in preparation for shows and is of course a fantastic way for anybody to explore and learn about the SSL Live console. The software does not pass audio. Don't expect it to see your audio interface!
SOLSA is a powerful sophisticated application and consequently requires a powerful computer to run.
L300 Local I/O
Convenience and Connectivity.
L300 is equipped with a fully featured collection of Input and Output connectivity with the capacity to serve both Front of House and Monitor applications. L300 provides a versatile collection of local I/O built into the control surface so can operate without the use of any Stageboxes if required and has good connectivity for local peripherals when used in a pure FOH role. SSL Live consoles feature auto detection so identify any SSL Live I/O connected within the software routing pages.
L300 local analogue I/O configuration; 14 mic/line inputs, 2 dedicated Talkback mic/line inputs, 12 line outputs, 4 Headphone/Monitor outputs. AES/EBU digital I/O configuration: 4 pairs of inputs and 4 pairs of outputs. AES/EBU I/O has fully variable sample rate conversion. Standard MADI port configuration: 3 redundant pairs of coaxial and 1 redundant pair of optical. If redundancy is not required, these connections can be independent, providing a maximum of eight ports. In addition there is a separate optical MADI port (out/in), designed for use as an ‘FX Loop’ for connecting an external FX processing such as a system using Waves Multirack or a VST effects host. The standard configuration has no SSL Blacklight II connectors but there is an option to add one redundant pair. The back panel also accommodates connectors for MIDI, LTC, Wordclock and GP I/O. A 2nd redundant power supply is standard.
Flexibility and Scalability
A fully scalable set of remote I/O units are available for Live including analogue, AES/EBU digital and MADI devices. Interconnection between console and stage is via MADI. Remote gain control data is carried via MADI. For simpler systems standard coaxial MADI can be used to connect the console directly to analogue and/or digital AES/EBU Stageboxes. For higher channel count systems, SSL’s proprietary Blacklight II high bandwidth multiplexed MADI is used to reduce the number of interconnecting cables. Blacklight II carries 256 @ 96kHz audio signals, equivalent to eight MADI connections, bi-directionally down a single multimode fibre. A MADI Concentrator box located at the stage is then used to distribute standard coaxial MADI to the analogue and AES/EBU Stageboxes, a second SSL Live console or other MADI devices. When two SSL Live consoles are connected to the same I/O. arbitrated gain sharing allows specification of which console has master gain control. All I/O stageboxes are fitted with dual redundant power supplies.
Ready For The All Weather Hard Knocks Of The Road.
SSL has a global reputation for the highest standards of build quality and first class support. With Live we have taken things to the next level. At its heart Live has a steel chassis that is expecting a life on the road and it is well balanced with weight distributed carefully and well placed lifting points to make it a comfortable and safe two man lift. It is also designed for life in a wide range of environments... it isn’t waterproof but it is ready for any level of non condensing humidity planet earth has to throw at it. The Live is designed to operate in a complete spectrum of lighting conditions. It has the brightest touch screens available on a live console and powerful colour change LED’s throughout with the punch to remain crystal clear even in full daylight. There is a concealed light strip along the top of the front panel to illuminate the control surface in low lighting conditions. There are three front panel rotary controls to adjust brightness of the console: one each for the screens, control LEDs and light strip. These brightness controls respond to automation to aid blackouts.
The Console is not the only one who lives on the road so there is a front panel USB port which is there to enable complete show files to be saved and loaded via a USB drive. The automation system features an extremely powerful filter system which allows the operator to define on a global or per scene basis which settings will be recalled so that for example everything except Output Matrix EQ settings can be recalled for the show.