During 50 years of innovation, Solid State Logic has evolved to become the world’s leading manufacturer of analogue and digital audio consoles and provider of creative tools for live, studio, film and broadcast professionals.
SSL only make premium gear which is found in the very best recording studios in the world
Solid State Logic was founded in 1969 by the late Colin Sanders CBE. The company’s first products were switching systems for pipe organs for which Colin coined the phrase 'Solid State Logic' as a descriptor. Colin then started Acorn Studios in the village of Stonesfield, Oxfordshire, where he lived, and began making his own consoles.
By 1976 he had built the first A Series console; a total of two were made and sold. Always committed to improving things, the console was reinvented as the SL 4000 B Series, the first of which was made in 1976. Six B Series consoles were built and the beginnings of SSL’s international business commenced. The big breakthrough came with the introduction of the SL 4000 E Series in 1979, the console which transformed the music recording industry and whose variants, the SL 4000 G Series, 6000, 8000, 9000J and 9000K dominated the professional recording studio industry for two decades. SSL’s digital R&D started in 1985.
The first product, the 01, was an eight channel recorder/editor. This technology was then scaled up to create the A Series range of digital consoles, released through the 1990's, that spanned applications from Music Production through Broadcast and Post-Production. In 1986 the company moved its HQ to Begbroke Manor where it added a 4,000m2 manufacturing facility which opened in 1988. The company's UK headquarters are still based here today. The 90’s were another incredible decade of technology innovation for SSL. Within the music recording and studio market, SSL introduced ‘Ultimation’, our version of motorised fader automation, further developing the concept of mix automation. It also saw the introduction of SSL's first products designed for the professional project studio; the LogicFX G383 EQ and G384 Stereo Bus Compressor.
The major evolution was in analogue technology with the introduction of SuperAnalogue™ design, first implemented in the SL 9000 J Series console. A combination of elements including a DC coupled (capacitor free) signal path delivered very high bandwidth with extremely low distortion. Within the world of digital, SSL developed ScreenSound, an eight track DAW, VisionTrack, a random access video player, and Scenaria, the first fully integrated multi-track recorder, editor, digital mixer and video playback system and its multi-format movie post-production big brother, OmniMix. This technology was then scaled up to create the A Series range of digital consoles, released through the 1990’s and beyond.
The next generation of digital technology for broadcast and production launched in 2003. The C100 On-Air console and the C200 production console were followed in 2005 by the C300 Post-Production console, delivering 512 channels and multiple simultaneous mix and stem buses up to 7.1 surround sound. In 2008 SSL released the next generation C100 HDS and the newer C10 HD On-Air consoles, providing with true dual redundancy with routing system, signal processing and control computers fully mirrored. This was the decade we introduced a new generation of ‘hybrid studio’ consoles. AWS was introduced in 2004, followed by Duality in 2006, combining classic analogue console summing and processing technology with hardware control over DAW’s in a single user interface. This innovation has continued to evolve and is now at the heart of SSL music production range. DAW control is in many ways a natural evolution of the early SSL console design and the current range still features motorised fader automation, Total Recall and of course transport control.
The company reinvigorated its range for the growing smaller studio sector with the release of the SuperAnalogue™ Channel, Multi-Channel Bus Compressor and 1U Stereo Bus Compressor. The ‘hybrid studio’ approach was then carried into the project studio sector. Matrix, introduced in 2008, offered a 40 input summing system, advanced multi-layer DAW control and unique integrated software controlled patch system. Nucleus, introduced in 2010 took multi-DAW control a step deeper in SSL’s first dedicated DAW control surface.
SSL brought new patented technology to the project studio sector with the introduction of Sigma, the first of a new ‘Ctrl’ line of automatable analogue technology. These products have given thousands more users the opportunity to use SSL products and brought the SSL sound into a wide variety of production environments. In 2013 SSL launched its first ever console designed specifically for the live sound production industry: the L500. The SSL Live console was based on a completely new ‘Tempest’ processing platform and brought a range of innovations to the sector.
System T was then launched in 2016 to meet the demand for Broadcast production with an off-the-shelf IP infrastructure (Dante) and built on the Tempest platform developed for the Live consoles. 2015 saw the introduction of our unique SSL δelta-Control (δ-Ctrl) console automation system, uniting the very best of automation in the analogue console domain with DAW based workflow. This technology is now at the very heart of our AWS and Duality premium studio consoles. In 2017 SSL were acquired by Audiotonix, and since then the company has continued to innovate with new studio analogue products such as Fusion, SiX and ORIGIN.
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