The latest addition to SSL’s growing range of plug-ins captures the sound of one of their most iconic products, the 4000E large-format console. The 4K E Plug‑in is said to authentically recreate the sound, processing and workflow of the revered console, bringing its sonic character to DAW users.
The plug-in’s signal chain starts with an emulation of the console’s transformer-balanced preamp, which used a Jensen JT-115K-E in place of the JE-115K-E employed in the 4000B console. The change to the design resulted in more even harmonics than the previous console’s circuitry, offering a different sonic character.
The following section houses both high- and low-pass filters, along with all three EQ variants that were found in different iterations of the 4000E: the original 02 Brown knob version, renowned for its ‘gritty’ sound; the rare passive 132 Orange knob; and the cleaner-sounding 242 Black knob which is often praised for its ‘weighty’ low-end response. The high- and low-frequency bands provide ±15dB of adjustments along with a choice of operating frequencies, and can be switched between shelf or bell filter types. whilst the high- and low-mid controls are also kitted out with a Q control.
Next up is the dynamics section, which comes equipped with Revision 4 of the console’s compressor circuitry, which considered by many to be the pinnacle design. Ratio, Threshold and Release parameters are joined by a button to chose between slow or fast attack times, and the processor offers a soft knee and a logarithmic release curve. A gate/expander follows, equipped with Threshold, Range and Release controls, as well as buttons to change the attack time and engage the expansion mode.
The output stage models the DBX 202 ‘gold can’ VCA fader, which introduces some subtle saturation at the output stage. An output trim control is also included, making it possible to push the fader higher for effect and then bring the overall level back under control. There are also Width and Pan controls for adjusting the image of stereo material, along with built-in Solo and Cut functions.
As you’d expect, the plug-in integrates seamlessly with the company’s 360 Plug-in Mixer ecosystem, and can be fully controlled from their UC1, UF1 and UF8 hardware control surfaces. We’ve put the UF8 and UF1 surfaces to the test here at SOS, you can take a look at the articles below to find out more.
Pricing & Availability
The SSL 4K E Plug-in is available now, with perpetual licenses priced at $329.99£263.99 excluding VAT. It can also be purchased via the company’s Rent To Own plan, and is available as part of the Complete Access bundle, which combines SSL’s Complete and Slate Digital’s All Access Pass subscription bundles.