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Review: Waves Solid State Logic 4000 Plugins Page 2

Review by George Spanos

SSL G-Master Buss Compressor

The G-Master Buss Compressor is intended for use across your final mix bus. But I actually found that it can be quite effective as a stand-alone compressor on any given track.


There has to be something said for transparent sounding compressors. The Master Buss Compressor does not disappoint in this arena. When placed across my music mixes I was able to achieve a fair amount of control over peaks while smoothing out the average volume level of the track. Plenty of make-up gain here as well to recover the lost average volume during compression. Use of the Analog Mode button did not seem to affect the overall sound of the mix, but this compressor is already pretty warm sounding so that setting was not missed.


Sound Design

I put this compressor across the master fader of a sound design project I was working on. The project consisted of organic Foley type sounds like sword swipes, footsteps, melee hits and even some creature death sounds. Heavy handed compression was really transparent sounding with very little "pumping" that was immediately obvious. One can really drive this compressor and achieve impressive results.

Plenty of make-up gain is offered but I did find that adding a brick wall limiter to the track was necessary to fine tune my output level. But that is to be expected with this plugin. Again, the Analog Mode button had little perceived effect to me but it did tend to warm things up a bit... but maybe that's just because I was expecting it to. I honestly could not tell too much of a difference between the setting in the "on" or "off" position.

SSL G-Equalizer

The G-Equalizer is simply the equalization module taken from the G-Channel. It's great to have this section broken out to handle equalization duties and not waste any DSP on compression if you don't need it.


Again, the equalization section is where this plugin package really shines. The interface is clean and simple and very intuitive. I was able to apply EQ to any number of acoustic instruments as well as soft synths and shape the sound to my heart's content. The G EQ is really musical and I often found it to add more of a sonic shaping to my sound. It does act very much like a separate instrument that can be used to radically alter a given sound? this is the way equalization should work!


Sound Design

When I first inserted the G Equalizer into one of my sound design projects, I was taken aback at how well I was able to shape ordinary sounds. Usually I find that most equalizers when applied to non musical elements can sometimes require much fiddling with in order to cut and boost certain frequencies. I was able to cut most offending frequencies out of my sound effects tracks with ease.

For most applications the G Equalizer was perfectly suited although sometimes you need more bands with which to work. The low mid and high mid bands are the only two that feature adjustable bandwidth with a low and high filter setting that only provides frequency and boost/cut settings. There is also a high pass filter that lets you cut low frequencies up to 350 Hz. Again, for a lot of applications this was fine but if you need more precise control of a given sound you may find yourself turning to another EQ plugin or even calling up two of the G Equalizers into your track (though doing this will need more CPU overhead).


So, do I regret the purchase of this package? Absolutely not. I have owned this set for over six months now and even after the novelty has worn off, I still find myself using these plugins on a regular basis. If you are looking to subtly alter your sound with ease and control, then this is a plugin package worth looking into.


-Professional sounding plugin package modeled after one of the world's finest consoles.
-Really musical in the ability to interact with your tracks.
-Buttery and warm sounding out of the box.
-Clean sounding and relatively easy to use.
-Ability to hone in on certain frequencies is unparalleled.


-Sound designers may find a few lacking features in the equalizer and compressor controls. Nothing that should make you turn away from using them, however.
-Lack of true limiting functions, though with careful setup you can definitely achieve desirable results.
-Pricey, but worth the money.


-Sound: 5/5
-Ease of Use: 4/5
-Variety of applications: 4/5
-Long term value: 4/5

Overall: 4.5/5

Studio setup tested with

-CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6700 running at 2.66 GHz
-RAM: 4 GB
-OS: Windows Vista, 32 bit
-DAW: Pro Tools 7.4 LE
-Speakers: Powered Dynaudio Acoustics BM5A (stereo)

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