New Music Gear Monday: 16 Channel SSL ORIGIN Mixing Console

We live in a DAW world where outboard mic pres can suffice for most recording projects, but if you’re tracking and need a fair amount of mic pres, then there’s no solution like a real console. Most small studios don’t need a huge number of inputs that a large format desk can bring though, and that’s where the new 16 channel SSL ORIGIN console comes in. If you always wanted an SSL in your room but didn’t have the room for a big desk, this one might fit the bill.

16 channel SSL Origin console on New Music Gear Monday

The 16 channel ORIGIN has most of the same features as its larger 32 channel brother except for the smaller footprint. Same modules (more on that later), same center section, same meter bridge, same 19″ rack in the center for additional SSL accessories or your own gear – just in the smaller format.

The Details

It has 16 mono in-line channels, 16 track busses, 8 stereo subgroups, 4 stereo returns, and a total of 56 inputs at mixdown. As stated before, it has the same comprehensive master section with the same extensive monitoring options as the larger version.

If we look at the specifics, the PureDrive™ mic preamps inherit the clarity and purity of previous SSL Mic Pre designs, but can also switch to a warm, harmonically rich tone that varies with mic pre gain when the “Drive” function is activated.

The EQ is the same acclaimed SSL E-Series ‘242 type’ four band parametric channel EQ that engineers have loved since the first E-Series debuted in 1979. Plus you get the famous Classic SSL Buss Compressor that’s been a staple (and some say “the” sound) of SSL desks from the beginning. This one has a bit of an improvement as it also has sidechain access and a high-pass filter.

New vs Vintage

About now you might be thinking, “Why should I buy this when I can get an amazing deal on a large vintage SSL?” One big reason is that SSL claims that the ORIGIN circuit architecture delivers much lower noise floor and greater headroom thanks to SSL’s latest summing bus technology.

Yet another reason is that vintage consoles are energy hogs, and with the cost of power already pretty high and going higher, that’s an unseen cost that can really hurt your bottom line. ORIGIN has a unique Auto Sleep mode that enables automatic detection of prolonged inactivity that puts the console in stand-by, reducing power consumption and making ORIGIN significantly more efficient than legacy SSL consoles.

Needless to say, this is the broadest overview of the product that you can get, so you’ll want to dive in to check out all the details of what’s possible with this desk.

The 16 channel SSL ORIGIN retails at $39,999. Yep, that’s pretty expensive in the home studio world but you get the sound, the flexibility and the brand that only an SSL can bring.

You can find out more here, or watch the video below.

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