I was very excited to find out about the new SSL Stereo Analogue Colour processor, The Fusion and I was even more excited when the good people at SSL called me to say they were sending me one. In this article we are going to show you what the Fusion can do enabling you to see the unit, find out more about it and then hear it in the best way possible.
Solid State Logic Fusion
The new SSL Fusion is a 2U rack mounted processor containing 5 stages or circuits of gorgeous analogue processing. I/O to the unit is through balanced XLR connectors. There is also an insert, which can be pre or post the built in EQ also using XLRs. Other than that just hook up a conventional power supply cable and your good to go.
Five Stages Of Processing
In the video below you can check out how I have been using the five processing stages of Fusion and how I have used it to process a drum kit stem.
Vintage Drive: Is a non-linear saturation circuit. Think of this as a way to bind your track together and give it a feeling of power. By blending the Drive and Density controls you can achieve everything from a gentle harmonic saturation and soft compression to a pumping thick almost overdriven sound.
Violet EQ: Is an all new SSL EQ. Violet EQ is a minimum phase-shift, two-band shelving EQ that is extremely musical. Use the carefully selected frequencies to cut or boost in a very pleasing way. it’s almost impossible to go to far.
HF Compression: If you do think you have overcooked the top end with the Violet EQ then you can keep the shine but reduce the harshness using the HF Compression circuit. Choose your cross-over frequency and gently pull back those spiky tones in an almost “Tape” like way.
Stereo Image: This is a Mid-Side (M/S) process allowing you to widen the stereo image using the Width control then choose where you want the low end to be by pulling back the Space control to keep it in the middle of the image or boost the Space to push the low end energy out to the sides.
Transformer: This custom transformer along with it’s newly designed circuit adds that classic gentle transformer thickening saturation to the low end while sweetening the highs. It’s a one push “better” button.
Below you can find 3 audio examples of how I have been using the SSL Fusion. Each example contains a photo so you can see the settings I have used as well as a Processed and Bypassed audio file.
I have to admit when I heard the news that SSL, an institution of the British audio industry had been sold I was worried. I was even more worried when I saw the ‘Made In China’ mark on the back of the Fusion. SSL had always made their kit in the UK in their factory near Oxford. However, as soon as I started to the use the Fusion my worries immediately vanished. This is SSL quality of old in a sleek new design. The build of the Fusion is excellent. The pots and soft push buttons all have a quality feel to them, as you would expect of a piece of kit with the SSL branding. The brushed finish to the front bezel is also really rather lovely.
Fusion is so easy to use, it’s all about using your ears and dialling in a tone that you like. It’s how audio should be. No messing about, reach out and make it sounds better. As I said in the video, Fusion to me is five ‘magic bullet’ processors in one easy to use rack processor. Don’t get hung up on where the dials are or what the meters are reading. This is old school audio engineering with a new school twist and if this is the kind of quality product that the SSL team are going to be bringing out with the help of some new outside influence then I’m all for it.
What’s In A Name
At first I was a little confused about the name and strap line: Fusion, Stereo Analogue Colour, but actually that’s absolutely what this unit is. Fusion is to audio, what grading is to video. It is a way to make the best of what is there already by enhancing the good bits and pulling out the bad. Nice work SSL.
You will be able to get an up to date price of the SSL Fusion from a dealer in your location but I can tell you right now, this one is staying. Sorry SSL you are going to have to send me the invoice.
You can find out more about the SSl Fusion at the Sold State Logic website.