The Legendary Hit Factory Criteria Studios celebrated its 50th Anniversary by upgrading Studio F with a 48 channel SSL Duality console. Duality, dubbed the analogue console for the digital age, combines the legendary sound of the SSL XL 9000 K Series mic pre and SuperAnalogue signal path with the AWS 900+ inspired DAW control protocol to yield a magnificent creative tool for the contemporary recording studio.
Trevor Fletcher, VP and General Manager of the studio, notes, “The ability to use the Duality as a 48 channel analog console one moment and a 32 channel DAW controller the next is a huge plus.” Janice Germano, owner, and Bob Lanier, COO of Hit Factory Entertainment, echo that sentiment adding that, “The versatility of the console is probably the biggest thing for us and our clients. We are extremely excited to have the SSL Duality here at the Hit Factory Criteria.”
Hit Factory has a long-standing relationship with SSL, dating to Eddie Germano’s first console purchase in 1984 and an additional 23 consoles bought over the years between Hit Factory Criteria and the former Hit Factory New York Studios. The installation of Duality has created excitement from both clients and staff who are already familiar with the dependability and sound quality of SSL consoles. Fletcher mentions that with previous consoles from other manufacturers, “I was frequently confronted with trying to convince people to use them or trying to go into detail in terms of its abilities, sound quality, etc. People are more familiar with an SSL, so it takes less salesmanship and we can spend our time making sure the clients are happy instead of convincing them why they should be in that room.”
Since the upgrade, Duality has been used on projects ranging from hip hop to jazz to pop and all have been impressed with the features and the sound quality of the console. Fletcher says, “You may go in one day and have a salsa group being recorded and the next day its heavy metal! We have such a wide range of clients; it was an important consideration to make sure that the console was complimentary to our entire client base as opposed to a select percentage of it.”
Duality has also garnered praise among mix engineers at the Hit Factory Criteria. Eric Schilling, an SSL user since 1984, has mixed countless hits for top Latin artists including Gloria Estefan, Julio Iglesias, Shakira and Cachao. Schilling says that the flexibility of the console allows him to dial in great sounds faster. “Since most of our work is all DAW-based, the fact that I can access that side of the recording process from the board just makes my work move a lot faster. For a person like me who grew up on large format consoles, it’s very hard to spend a lot of time at a screen with a mouse because that’s not the way I want to mix. The fact that the console runs the hard disk system means that I can work the way that I’m used to; it’s much more tactile for me.”
Fabian Marasciullo, a long-time SSL fan, has mixed projects for T-Pain, Chris Brown, Lil’ Wayne and Flo Rida’s record-breaking #1 smash, Low. Marasciullo says that the Duality’s ease of use and minimal learning curve impressed him the most. “Coming from the J series, it’s very familiar territory. It’s very easy to work on, the session management makes things move smoothly and the EQ’s sound great!”
Designed to closely integrate with a variety of workstations, Duality offers tremendous creative and sonic options. The console has a unique split channel path that enables channel processing to be placed in the input or monitor path of the workstation. In addition to a SuperAnalogue mic amp, each channel features a Variable Harmonic Drive input stage designed to add analogue character to sterile workstation outputs. A second to third harmonic drive control provides a range of tones, from the warmth of 60’s tubes to the ‘edge’ of 80’s transistors.
Duality’s TFT displays across all channels to provide comprehensive visual feedback on signal levels, channel settings, system configuration & routing delivers highly efficient multi operator Total Recall. Duality offers VCA style or moving fader automation and complete control over DAW parameters from the console channel. Additionally, multiple stereo busses or multiple 5.1 stems make the best use of a full set of 5.1 pan/positioning controls on each channel.
Solid State Logic is the world’s leading manufacturer of analogue and digital audio consoles and provider of creative tools for music, broadcast and post production professionals. For more information about our award-winning products, please visit: www.solid-state-logic.com.