New Music Gear Monday: SSL UC1 Channel Strip Controller

SSL UC1 channel strip controller image

Most of us that grew up on real recording consoles have gotten used to using plugin processing, but still long for the tactile touch of knobs and faders. There are a lot of controllers now available to scratch that itch, but sometimes a dedicated one can make the job seem more familiar. If that describes how you miss the feel of a real SSL desk, then you’re going to love their new UC1 channel strip controller.

The UC1 replicates the layout of an original SSL module and its famous stereo buss, only on a larger scale so it’s easier to use. Remember that it doesn’t pass audio itself, only control some plugins, and SSL was kind enough to include its Native Channel Strip 2 and Bus Compressor 2 plugins so you’ll get as close to the real deal sound in the domain of your DAW as possible.

The controller is actually broken down into three sections. On the left is the EQ section, complete with High and Low-Pass filters and the famous 4 band G or E model (there’s a dedicated selector switch) EQ. Each rotary encoder also has series of 11 small LEDs (5 to each side) around it to indicate the amount of the parameter that’s selected.

The right side of the box contains the Compressor and Gate/Expander modules, complete with the same controls and meter as the real desk. The LED indicators used on the rotary encoders on the left side of the unit are also included here. At the bottom you also have some of the miscellaneous parameter controls from the desk, such as Phase, Sidechain Listen, Solo Clear, Channel In, Solo, Cut, and a Fine switch.

The center section contains the SSL buss compressor controls, along with input and output gain controls and stereo meters for both. On the bottom there’s a Channel selection control so you can easily scroll through your various DAW channels right on the controller, and various routing and preset controls.

It’s a slick package but that does come at a price. The SSL UC1 is $849, which seems steep for just a controller until you remember that both the Channel Strip 2 and Bus Compressor 2 plugins are also included (they’re worth $479 if purchased alone).

It’s shipping now, and you can find out more details here, or watch the video below.


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