New Music Gear Monday: SSL BiG SiX Mixer/Interface
No one ever expected SSL to enter the inexpensive interface market, and yet they have with the SSL 2. Likewise, no one ever thought that they’d see a small desktop mixer/interface from the company, but then came SiX. Of course, all that did was whet the appetite of many users for more features similar to what was available on the company’s large studio desks. If that’s you, your prayers have been answered with the introduction of SSL’s brand new BiG SiX mixer/USB interface.
Many users felt the they didn’t have enough horsepower with the smaller SiX, but there’s plenty more with BiG SiX. There are 4 SuperAnalogue channels, for instance. Each of those has a 3 band EQ, 2 aux sends, switchable channel insert, a simple compressor, XLR and hi-Z phone jack inputs, and can also send directly to your DAW or receive a DAW input via USB.
Next comes 4 stereo channels also with gain and balance controls, 2 stereo aux sends, and 3 band stereo EQ. In addition, the rear TRS Jack inputs have an automatic ‘Mono From Left’ feature so that if only a single jack connector is used in the Left input, then the same signal is fed to the Right input. When a jack is inserted into the right input, the Left and Right signals are passed separately through the channel. There’s also a front panel MONO switch which mono’s both left and right inputs as well.
Lots To Monitor
The monitor section is also rather extensive for a desktop package. Not only are there Main and Alt loudspeaker outputs with MON, DIM and CUT controls, but BiG SiX also has has two independent stereo headphone outputs. By default, the headphone outputs follows the MONITOR SOURCE selection, but the headphone outputs can also be switched to monitor Stereo Cue buses 1 and 2 independently of the Monitor selection.
BiG SiX also has what I would think are probably the most requested features from its studio desks – the famous Buss Compressor (although a simplified version) and a dedicated talkback mic input with its switchable LMC (Listen Mic Compressor) made famous by the Phil Collins “In The Air Tonight” drum sound. Oh, and the channel faders are all 100mm just like on a larger desk.
There is so much more than meets the eye here that you really have to study this mixer for a few minutes to understand its flexibility and user features. One of the best and most understated is the fact that the back panel nomenclature is both right side up and upside down so you can tell which jack you’re inserting regardless of whether you’re looking directly at the back or over the top of the mixer from the operator’s position.
SSL BiG SiX retails for $2,999 USD. It may not be one of their big desks but it will get you closer to that sound than you ever thought right from your desktop.
Find out more here, or watch the video below.