Montreal, Canada (January 4, 2007)–Studios Piccolo recently installed the new SSL Duality large-format production console. Duality combines the analog sonics of SSL’s E, G & K Series consoles with extended digital audio workstation integration capabilities. With the December installation in Studio B, Studios Piccolo becomes the first Duality-equipped commercial facility in North America.
Studios Piccolo co-owner Dominique Messier at the SSL Duality.Studios Piccolo’s 48-channel Duality joins another recent installation at the renowned facility–an SSL AWS 900 Analogue Workstation System is housed in Studio C.
“When I saw Duality, it made so much sense,” recalled Studios Piccolo co-owner Denis Savage, who also serves as the sound designer and front of house engineer for Celine Dion’s long-running show, A New Day, in Las Vegas. “It’s like something in between an AWS 900 and a 9000 K Series.”
Prior to Duality’s introduction, Savage and Studios Piccolo co-owner Dominique Messier had explored options including adding a second AWS 900 or buying a pre-owned console, and discussed next-generation console technology with SSL officials for several years. A subsequent visit to SSL’s Oxford, UK headquarters for an advance look at Duality convinced Savage that SSL had developed the ideal solution for Studios Piccolo.
“When I got to see Duality, I was blown away by how much farther they had gotten with the project,” he explained. “It’s really well suited for the kind of business we have in Montreal: music, and a lot of 5.1 mixing in that room. Duality can handle that. It doubles as a control surface for Pro Tools, which is a great plus. The fact that it has 48 channels of dynamics and a full 5.1 surround pan on every channel, and a full monitoring section, is fantastic. It does exactly what we want it to do. It’s terrific.”
The SSL Duality 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 2nd to 3rd harmonic drive control provides a range of tones, from the warmth of 50’s tubes to the ‘edge’ of 70’s transistors.
There are both E and G series equalizers and peak sensing or RMS/over-easy compression to choose from. Duality offers VCA style or moving fader automation and complete control over DAW parameters from the console channel rotaries. There are multiple stereo busses or multiple 5.1 stems to make the best use of a full set of 5.1 pan/positioning controls on each channel.
Duality features an engineer-familiar hardware control surface and adds TFT display across all channels to provide comprehensive visual feedback on signal levels, channel settings, system configuration & routing to deliver highly efficient multi-operator Total Recall. Duality is an analog console for the digital age, all for a price point that’s roughly half of its equivalent K-Series sister console.
“Duality incorporates all the things I was thinking about, and more,” Savage concluded, noting that the console replaces the workstation controller previously housed in Studio B. “We’re going from digital back to analog!”
Solid State Logic