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Solid State Logic B-DYN

500-series Dynamics Processor By Matt Houghton
Published April 2024

Meet the older, hard‑hitting version of SSL’s 4K channel compressor!

Solid State Logic B-DYNSSL’s new B‑DYN 500‑series module is based on the peak‑sensing VCA compressor and expander/gate from the 4000B console, an early version of the famous ‘4K’ console released in 1976. While modern components and manufacturing methods are used here, the B‑DYN is faithful to the original design, except that there’s no output level control that would be a counterpart to the console’s channel faders (which operated on the same VCA as the dynamics processor did). There’s an automatic gain makeup facility, though.

The compressor has fixed attack (circa 30ms), which tends to let through transients and note onsets but little else before you notice the gain reduction. Consequently, it can sound pretty ‘snappy’ or ‘grabby’. There’s a good range of release options, including a programme‑dependent Auto setting. The expander (2:1 ratio) and gate (20:1) have a fixed attack, continuous range and threshold controls, and a choice of four release times.


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