SSL duality for Think Loud Studios

Founding members of the band Live have chosen a 48-channel Solid State Logic Duality analogue console/controller for Think Loud Studios in their hometown of York, Pennsylvania.

“Part of the Live ‘signature sound’ is the sound of SSL,” says guitarist Chad Taylor. “There’s a convenience factor and a history of the SSL that exists through Duality. In the studio, I’m predominantly focused on the performance of the musicians and the arrangement of the song, and less on the technical aspect of the engineering. I found that those worlds got married very conveniently through the Duality.”

“My immediate reaction was that there’s a dimension and a spatial factor to the Duality,” says bassist Patrick Dahlheimer. “Perceptively, it was really very clear. There’s definitely a punch and a clarity, especially to the drum tracks. One of the other qualities is the bus compressor. Once you are in it, there’s cohesiveness to the songs that jumps out.

“It has a front-end signature, in particular with the mic pres and the EQs, that really plays into that soundscape,” says Dahlheimer. “That definitely helps our creative process.”

“One thing we took into consideration was that we still like to work in analogue,” Taylor adds. “With the convenient flexibility of Duality, we are able to switch very fast back-and-forth between our analogue and the digital workstations. Working with Duality pulls my brain from looking at music on a computer screen to actually interfacing with the console, like we did 20 years ago. The concentration is on ‘listening’ again, and not ‘seeing’ the music so much. That’s an important characteristic to the creative flow.”

The choice of Duality has paid immediate dividends as Live went to work recording its forthcoming album. “We had a bunch of tracks in a rehearsal state that had been recorded through various preamps,” Dahlheimer says. “We got a very polished sound through the Duality very fast. I was thrilled with that. Duality helps outboard equipment shine, but we found ourselves using a lot of the onboard preamps in tracking. In fact, we recently re-recorded existing drum tracks to take advantage of Duality’s sonic signature. There was definitely clarity, presence and dimension to the new tracks.”

Taylor also recalls having previously owned an SSL G+ console. “The format and feel of the Duality remind me of the G,” he says. “While it simultaneously moves into a new-world environment of, essentially, Pro Tools control and interface, but one that still has the markings of a traditional analogue console. I’m glad we stayed in the SSL family.”