XL-DeskThe smart dumb analogue console.

SSL AWS at Factory Studios, London

Channel Strips

Classic SSL channel versatility

XL-Desk may be compact but it features all of the classic SSL channel strip features which make our consoles so versatile and accommodate such a wide range of production requirements. XL-Desk has 20 channel strips. The first 16 channel strips are dual input mono, meaning they can be switched between a main input and a DAW return whilst tracking. The Remaining four strips are stereo channels. Channels 1-8 have VHD mic pre's. Channels 9-16 are line level but can use the 500 rack for mic inputs if desired. Each mono channel can access a corresponding 500 format module and also has a separate traditional Insert point. The four stereo channels cannot access the 500 rack and do not have Insert points. All of the channels have an additional Direct Output to facilitate printing processed material to your DAW and this can be switched between pre-/post fader. Each channel has a +/-20dB Trim control which can be used in a couple of ways: for VHD channels in can be used to control the output level from the VHD into the channel when using heavy distortion, when used with a 500 rack module it can be used to drive the level into the inserted module. There is a phase invert switch. Beside the Trim control is a tri-colour signal indicator LED. The metering on XL Desk can be switched between +24dBu and +18dBu Scale to give the following LED settings.

LED +24dB Scale +18dB Scale
Green -24dBu -24dBu
Yellow +4 dBu 0 dBu
Red +21 dBu +16 dBu

Each channel has a CUE Stereo section with Level and Pan Controls and a pre/post fader switch. When tracking this would typically be used to feed one of the headphone busses. The mono channels have an ALT button which switches the CUE ST section to sourcing its signal from an additional rear panel ALT input, which is then summed into Mix A. This ALT input means we have 32 inputs to the mono channel strips for Mixdown. There are two Mono Aux Sends (globally switchable pre and post fader) and two Stereo Returns (the Returns also have Direct Outputs for DAW printing). Each channel has a Pan/Balance Control and buttons for routing to the four Mix Busses. Completing the channels are 100mm faders which give hands on, precise level control.

Channel Features

  • 16 dual-input mono line inputs channels with 100mm faders
  • 4 stereo line-input channels with 100mm stereo faders
  • Tri-colour signal level indication LED on every channel
  • Phase invert switch
  • CUE Stereo section, switchable between pre and post fader on each channel
  • Direct Channel Output switchable between pre and post fader on each channel
  • '500' button can insert associated 500 slot into the channel
  • Regular Insert Point (send always active) - 'INS' button
  • Aux 1 and Aux 2 globally switchable pre and post fader
  • Pan/Balance Control
  • Mix Bus A, B, C, D routing buttons
  • SOLO and CUT buttons. Solo system can work in solo-in-place (SIP)
  • 'ALT' button sources second channel input to the Stereo Cue Bus, providing 16 extra summing inputs on mixdown