Anyone here with an Solid State Logic SSL 12 Audio Interface?

Want to talk about music hardware or software that doesn't include Reason?
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reason2dance
Posts: 89
Joined: 15 Jan 2015

Post 25 Jan 2024

Hello,

I'm thinking about replacing a Propellerhead Balance with another audio interface after many years.

In this context I came across the SSL 12 from Solid State Logic.

Is anyone here already using it and can report on their experiences?

Other recommendations are of course also welcome. It could be a 2-channel interface, but like Balance it should have several switchable connections so that you don't have to keep plugging and unplugging cables all the time.

I recently read somewhere that the Focusrite Scarlett interfaces, like Balance, also have "Clip Save". Does it work in exactly the same way and can it be operated in Reason's Sequencer in exactly the same way as with Balance?

Thanks in advance for any helpful hints! :-)

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selig
RE Developer
Posts: 11736
Joined: 15 Jan 2015
Location: The NorthWoods, CT, USA

Post 25 Jan 2024

I don’t have experience with this SSL product, but it looks like a really nice desktop interface. Looking over the features it has stuff I know would be useful for me because I use similar features in other interfaces (my Apollo). These include a very workable monitor section which was able to replace a dedicated monitor (Prosonous Central Station) to provide multiple speaker switching, optional functions able to be assigned to front panel controls to choose alternate functions like switching monitors, selecting between cut/dim/mono/polarity flip (left) etc. plus it looks like a decent headphone output level (levels are good all around including 62dB gain on the mic preamp, plenty for low output mics like SM7b). Plus you have the option to add 8 additional inputs via ADAT for future expansion.

That said, you only have four outputs total so if you use a second pair of monitors (always handy to have) you won’t have a way to add a ReAmp or other external loop-back gear. Also I assume you’re OK with a desktop coming from Balance, it just means all cables have to come to this box.

The new Focusrite do indeed have a “clip safe” feature. How useful it is will be up to you to decide, but to be honest I never needed it. I record all signals peaking at -12dBFS so I literally have not clipped a recording in many many years now! Also not sure how well the “auto level’ feature works, again setting levels isn’t at all complicated especially if you’re recording the same instruments day to day (as opposed to being a freelance engineer working in different studios every day).

That said it appears they only have this feature in 4th gen devices, and the only product that comes close to the SSL features is the 4i4 at $280 USD compared to $500 for the SSL. Both come with decent looking software packages and have similar features. But the SSL offers two more mic inputs (with the option to add 8 more via ADAT), double the headphone outputs, and from what I can tell from the specs slightly hotter levels overall. As far as I can tell the Focusrite also lacks any monitor control options such as alternate monitor selection, dim/cut options etc. making it a less powerful studio control center IMO.

I don’t know about the SSL monitor software, but the Focusrite is functional and solid but nothing to get excited about. The SSL software claims to support multiple independent headphone mixes, though I’m not sure how often you’d need that!

All in all I’d say it is very much a “get what you pay for” comparison here since the SSL offers a bit more but also costs a bit more. For me, the monitor control would tip the balance in the SSL’s favor, and I’ve been a happy Focusrite user over the years with 3 different interfaces to date. It will all come down to what features are most important to you.
Selig Audio, LLC

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reason2dance
Posts: 89
Joined: 15 Jan 2015

Post 25 Jan 2024

Thanks, selig. Really appreciate your thoughts on this topic!

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