SSL 2 Audio Interface

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Benedict
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Location: Gold Coast, Australia

Post 30 Jun 2020

Hi ALl

I have finally managed to get my sticky fingers on a new (used) Win 10 machine. it rounds from an SSD so it ti lovely and smooth. The only drama being that my much-loved Balance interface is not willing to play on Win 10. This means new USB Interface time.

Sadly with COVID-19 there is very little stock of anything in Oz. There is one place that claims to have quite a few of the SSL 2 interface which I must say intrigues me as it seems to have a great spec as well as really nice usability (top knobs mmm).

Has anyone been using me of these with Reason (or anything else)?


Thanks
:-)

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tronam
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Post 30 Jun 2020

Julian Krause is amazing and one of the most gloriously geeky audio interface reviewers on YouTube. I bought the MOTU M2 recently on his recommendation.
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EdGrip
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Post 30 Jun 2020

I bought a Motu M4 before I saw his reviews, but his obsessive geekiness certainly gave me confidence in my purchase!

No experience with the SSL, but I have found its best to turn on the M4 after the computer has finished loading, otherwise it can do odd things with sample rate. Putting on an episode of Succession and everyone has suspiciously high voices...
I was getting the same behaviour (and sometimes complete disappearance) with my old UR22 interface, which is one reason I decided it was time for a change. So I think that's either a Win10 thing or a my specific computer thing, rather than any particular interface.

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Benedict
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Post 30 Jun 2020

Thanks but I was hoping to hear about the SSL not the MOTU (altho I see them around).
Maybe no one has used one???

:-)

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pushedbutton
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Post 30 Jun 2020

Never seen one but welcome to the Ex-Balance Users Club.
@pushedbutton on twitter, add me, send me a message, but don't try to sell me stuff cos I'm skint.
Using Reason since version 3 and still never finished a song.

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Benedict
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Post 30 Jun 2020

Yes it is sad but it is Win 7 on my old computer forever or a new machine and something else new.

Besides my Balance is incredibly sticky. That rubbery material was not such a good choice after all. Same on my P6 so I imagine a manufacturer sold the material to everyone, not realizing what would happen to it over time.

This is a downside of no true Pro Audio stores withing 2-hours drive (and even then stock of everything is really low with COVID) so to get a sale I'll just be pushed into a Focusrite, Steinberg, Behringer or maybe a Presonus. Not that they would be terrible but I want something special.

:-)

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Boombastix
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Post 30 Jun 2020

Presonus and MoTu are both DC out and pretty high voltage so you can run CV to Euro Rack. Not that many can.
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Benedict
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Post 30 Jun 2020

Boombastix wrote:
30 Jun 2020
Presonus and MoTu are both DC out and pretty high voltage so you can run CV to Euro Rack. Not that many can.
That'd be great if I wanted to do that but I assure you my hardware days are OVER, esp it if required CVs for patches.

:-)

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tronam
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Post 30 Jun 2020

Benedict wrote:
30 Jun 2020
Thanks but I was hoping to hear about the SSL not the MOTU (altho I see them around).
Maybe no one has used one???

:-)
I was mainly tossing in a thumbs up for Julian Krause. If he recommends the SSL, I think it’ll be a safe buy. Aren’t they fairly new to the mainstream audio interface market? There might not be many out in the wild yet, so not as much real world feedback from users.
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Benedict
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Post 30 Jun 2020

Yes I have seen Julian K a few times and he seems less colored than many other YouBoobers.

Yes the SSL is a new player at this level but it has been out for a few months now (I think).

I was just checking to see if there were any known dramas like shoddy drivers or the like. So far, I am not seeing anything negative that looks particularly credible so maybe...

:-)

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Dante
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Post 01 Jul 2020

Have you tried awave ? https://awave.com.au/product-category/c ... nterfaces/

I have a Zoom https://www.storedj.com.au/zoom-uac-8-u ... -interface (they have a cheaper 2 channel one in same price range as SSL2) and an XITE - but Id be looking at a UAD2 Apollo with a view to using Unison preamp technology with my 8 core UAD2 PCIe card.

DaveyG
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Post 01 Jul 2020

It's not an interface that seems to get much attention . I guess that's because it's new into a crowded market.
I'd have two doubts about it:

1. Why is it the only interface you can find in stock?

2. SSL are not a new company but they are new to making interfaces. They may even have farmed out the design (not necessarily a bad thing). Maybe this is the start of a range of great interfaces or maybe it does not fly as well as they hoped and gets quietly dropped from their catalogue, along with support.

On the upside you'd expect top notch sound from SSL and your setup would boast an SSL badge!

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Benedict
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Post 01 Jul 2020

DaveyG wrote:
01 Jul 2020
1. Why is it the only interface you can find in stock?

2. SSL are not a new company but they are new to making interfaces. They may even have farmed out the design (not necessarily a bad thing). Maybe this is the start of a range of great interfaces or maybe it does not fly as well as they hoped and gets quietly dropped from their catalogue, along with support.
I meant I had found only one place claiming to have the SSL in stock. Everyone advertises it but are out of stock. Everyone is mostly out of stock of almost everything right now.

The latter is my worry, but that said even Balance had a super run for me and is still in-use in the lounge room as my old Win 7 machine whips the X-Box as a media machine.

:-)

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Benedict
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Post 01 Jul 2020

Dante wrote:
01 Jul 2020
Have you tried awave ? https://awave.com.au/product-category/c ... nterfaces/

I have a Zoom https://www.storedj.com.au/zoom-uac-8-u ... -interface (they have a cheaper 2 channel one in same price range as SSL2) and an XITE - but Id be looking at a UAD2 Apollo with a view to using Unison preamp technology with my 8 core UAD2 PCIe card.
I forgot about awave. They didn't show on any of my searches. They don't exactly have a classy store page.

I think that Zoom is a bit outside my use-case as I never have more than 2 inputs in use at once, and even then mostly only the mic for screencasts like Mix Walkthroughs or if recording some vinyl to mp3.

:-)

EdGrip
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Post 01 Jul 2020

Probably the thing to do (as I'm sure you know!) would be to go to the bigger forums and go through them for threads about the SSL interfaces.

I seem to remember from when I was looking at them, that their drivers are standard class-compliant drivers used by other companies (including Presonus, maybe?) - meaning they aren't THE fastest but still fast and solid.

FWIW, I think it's unlikely that they'll drop support. SSL are a big company built entirely on reputation. They don't *need* this product line; probably part of the reason for moving into this product area was to get the brand out to new artists and home studio owners, building trust and loyalty. They'll want to avoid pissing all those people off 3 years later.

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Benedict
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Post 01 Jul 2020

Thanks Mr Grip, I was wondering if Drivers were class compliant. It seemed that way from an install vid I saw so that is reassuring. So long as it keeps working for a reasonable number of years (and doesn't become too sticky) I will be happy.

I am also wondering on the cheaper Audient Evo 4 as a possibility as it seems equally classy in the "guts" and the top knob is what I prefer. Waiting for someone to talk to me from a store...

:-)

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Dante
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Post 01 Jul 2020


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Benedict
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Post 02 Jul 2020

Thanks everyone

I just put in an order for the Audient Evo 4 thru Better Music. Top volume knob. Well priced and well-reviewed.

:-)

DaveyG
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Joined: 03 May 2020

Post 02 Jul 2020

Benedict wrote:
02 Jul 2020
Thanks everyone

I just put in an order for the Audient Evo 4 thru Better Music. Top volume knob. Well priced and well-reviewed.

:-)
I reckon that's probably a better choice. :thumbs_up:

Our "knob preferences" are exact opposites (pauses for smutty joke..)
I much prefer the Focusrite style of form-factor - almost a mini-rack approach with controls on front and connections distributed between front and back so you can install it under a desk or similar. Horses for courses I guess. :D

Enjoy your new interface. Everything you do will sound better because you've bought a new thing. At least I think that's how it works. And your PC is 3 better than the previous one, that's almost a 50% improvement! :thumbs_up:

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Benedict
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Post 02 Jul 2020

DaveyG wrote:
02 Jul 2020
Benedict wrote:
02 Jul 2020
Thanks everyone

I just put in an order for the Audient Evo 4 thru Better Music. Top volume knob. Well priced and well-reviewed.

:-)
I reckon that's probably a better choice. :thumbs_up:

Our "knob preferences" are exact opposites (pauses for smutty joke..)
I much prefer the Focusrite style of form-factor - almost a mini-rack approach with controls on front and connections distributed between front and back so you can install it under a desk or similar. Horses for courses I guess. :D

Enjoy your new interface. Everything you do will sound better because you've bought a new thing. At least I think that's how it works. And your PC is 3 better than the previous one, that's almost a 50% improvement! :thumbs_up:
I twist my knob a lot, all day. The knob on top is just ergonomically better for that seeing it is on my desk next to my Panorama ExterNal Six :hihi:

:-).

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Proboscis
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Post 03 Jul 2020

Benedict wrote:
30 Jun 2020
Balance interface is not willing to play on Win 10.
As an interim solution to keep you making music until you get a new interface, I will offer this. There is an issue with Balance and Win 10 (if I recall, this may have even reared its head on Win 8) that does not create the connection when the PC is booted up. It can be remedied by pulling out the rear USB-B plug and re-inserting it. This problem is common enough to have been mentioned a few times previously, to suspect that it's not isolated to my unit only.

Once you do this, you should have no trouble (if indeed this is the root of your issue), until the next time you reboot your PC. Personally, I almost never shut my computer down so I don't have to do this process too often.

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Benedict
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Post 03 Jul 2020

Proboscis wrote:
03 Jul 2020
Benedict wrote:
30 Jun 2020
Balance interface is not willing to play on Win 10.
As an interim solution to keep you making music until you get a new interface, I will offer this. There is an issue with Balance and Win 10 (if I recall, this may have even reared its head on Win 8) that does not create the connection when the PC is booted up. It can be remedied by pulling out the rear USB-B plug and re-inserting it. This problem is common enough to have been mentioned a few times previously, to suspect that it's not isolated to my unit only.

Once you do this, you should have no trouble (if indeed this is the root of your issue), until the next time you reboot your PC. Personally, I almost never shut my computer down so I don't have to do this process too often.
Thanks Mr Boscis

I read of those things and through, Ok, yeah, I can live with that. Until that was not what happened for me. I had balance leaving the building as a moved apps like Reason & a music player. Interestingly ASIO4All did the same thing just with the Realtek device so no go for them. For now straight to the Realtek and no dramas (not even bad latency).

Still eager for my new toy to arrive next week those as I super miss that knob.

:-)

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Proboscis
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Post 03 Jul 2020

Benedict wrote:
03 Jul 2020
I read of those things and through, Ok, yeah, I can live with that. Until that was not what happened for me. I had balance leaving the building as a moved apps like Reason & a music player.
Ah well.. Sorry to hear that. Figured it worth a mention anyway, perhaps it will be of help for future readers of this thread. It's one of those 'easy fix' situations that for a while I even forgot about from time to time and ended up scratching my head as to how to get audio out working.

Have you been getting BSOD's ? (Blue Screen of Death). Another issue I experience is the occasional BSOD, and over time if I'm fast enough to read the error it says something about 'balance_sys'. While I can never quite replicate the circumstances that lead to it, it does have an origin on a conflict between Reason and other apps that use audio, usually when I close something down.

Which does make me cuss at my interface a lot, because I have not seen a single BSOD on Windows for more than a decade, between three different WinOS computers, apart from the Balance-related thread.

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Proboscis
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Post 03 Jul 2020

DaveyG wrote:
01 Jul 2020
1. Why is it the only interface you can find in stock?
There have been major supply / demand issues for some industries during COVID-19, driven by three predominant factors

1. Chinese factories have had significantly reduced output

2. Shipping containers do not sail unless they are at 85% capacity (which ties in with point 1) in order for them to remain profitable

3. Since people have been in lockdown, some products have seen a massive uptick in local demand. It doesn't surprise me about what Benedict reported - home studio gear seems precisely the kind of thing that might see an increase in sales. I've just started getting into Mountain/Trail riding since the pandemic, and it took me 6 weeks to find an appropriate bike. Plus the after-market gear I've been purchasing for my new beast is reduced greatly in brand & price variety.

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Benedict
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Location: Gold Coast, Australia

Post Yesterday

Thankfully no BSODs on Win 10 (yet). I was finding my Win7 machine increasingly lumpy & unstable but as soon as it went into the lounge it has been super fast again. I think maybe one or more of the apps I run regularly may fragment my RAM (Chrome, Reason, HitFilm Express, Inkscape, Steam/Crimsonland).

Yes I bet Audi Interfaces have been hot property over the last little while with everyone deciding they are in actual fact a repressed Rap superstar and a Focusrite + overpriced Mic (they have no idea how to use) will see that resolved :roll:

This is Oz too so we can't just pop over to Poland or Spain. Every direction is water full of sharks.

:-)

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