Waves SSL E-Channel
Waves SSL E-Channel

SSL E-Channel, Software channel strip from Waves in the SSL series.

tarrtime 02/14/2013

Waves SSL E-Channel : tarrtime's user review

« The Go-to channel strip »

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Waves makes easy to use plug-ins. They are easy to install - you just download them off their website. They are easy to authorize - you can use any USB stick as a dongle, or use their software application to authorize if your computer connects to the internet. They are stable - you don't have to worry about it crashing your recording session. They can be used in almost any DAW. They don't take up a lot of CPU - you can pretty much run this channel strip on every track in your session without maxing out your CPU. They are easy to get started with - Waves plug-ins come with great presets if you don't want to mess around with all the details or you aren't very experienced at mixing. The SSL E-Series channel strip comes with tons of amazing presets from top producers. I highly recommend using these, and at the very least just looking at the settings in the presets to give you some ideas for your own mixing.


I have been using this plug-in on every session that I record since I bought the SSL bundle. The eqs sound smooth, but more importantly I love the dynamics section. The compressor is intuitive and does exactly what you would want it to do. It has its own 'analog' color/sound. The Expander/Gate is my favorite part of the plug-in. I almost never used to use an expander/gate when mixing, but that was mostly because I had been using stock plug-ins in Pro Tools. The gate in the E-series plug-in does amazing things for drums, it can really clean up a mix and make your drums punch. I also think the gate is awesome for vocals. It is great at cutting out the background sound between singing.


The Waves SSL E-Series channel strip is probably The Most Important Effects Plug-in released in Native or TDM format. UAD has their own version of the E-series channel, but that requires a UAD-2 card. I say it is the most important because the SSL sound is the most famous sound of modern music from mixing boards. The eq curves and dynamics (compressor/gate) have touched a ridiculous number of tracks on almost all music made in the past 25 years. Sure there is other famous outboard gear (1176, LA-2A, Lexicon Reverbs, etc), but as far as mixing desks go, SSL is king. Bringing this sound into the digital DAW world opens up the possibility for almost anyone to add this sound to their tracks.
With that being said, these plug-ins have been around a long time. Waves really needs to re-model them assuming their modeling technology has advanced in the past 10 years. I would love to see these plug-ins released 2.0 with the same controls and flexibility of the new REDD plug-ins.