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SSL Sourcerer - User Guide

Introduction & Key Features

SSL Sourcerer is an advanced dynamics plug-in designed to eliminate ambient sound, feedback, and stage bleed, ensuring pristine audio clarity across a variety of settings. This plug-in excels not only in live environments but also in post-production for live studio recordings and during panel discussions, where maintaining the integrity of the primary audio source is important.

Sourcerer builds upon SSL’s history of digital processing, drawing from classic dynamics processors for its design. It provides precise control suited for both studio recordings and live performances. This ensures Sourcerer is effective in various audio settings, delivering clean sound while maintaining the original characteristics of the audio source.

The plug-in is equipped with intuitive controls tailored to speed up your workflow in a live environment. Featuring adjustable Threshold, Time, and Depth settings and with great results from the get-go, it allows quick modifications to fit various scenarios — be it a live concert, a live recorded studio session, or a broadcast panel.


Key Features

  • Dynamic Noise Reduction
    Effectively reduces or eliminates ambient sound, feedback, and stage bleed, enhancing the clarity of the primary audio source. This makes it ideal for both live and studio settings, including post-production and panel discussions.

  • Intuitive Controls for Fast Results
    Provides straightforward controls for Threshold, Depth, and Time, which allow quick adjustments suitable for dynamic live performance and controlled studio environments where achieving results quickly is important.

  • High-Pass and Low-Pass Filters
    Includes adjustable high-pass and low-pass filters to refine the sidechain signal, enabling users to focus dynamics processing on specific parts of the frequency spectrum and exclude unwanted frequencies from triggering the expansion.

  • External Sidechaining
    Offers the capability to use an external audio source for the sidechain. This feature allows for more flexible control over dynamics by using other tracks in the mix to trigger the noise reduction process.

  • Visual Feedback
    Features a real-time visual representation of the sidechain and filtered signals, as well as graphical displays of threshold levels and gain reduction, helping users make precise adjustments based on visual cues.

  • Dual Detection Modes
    Users can toggle between RMS and Peak detection modes to best match the material being processed. RMS mode offers smoother, averaged response suitable for continuous sounds, while Peak mode is better for handling fast transients.

  • Advanced Ducking Features
    Use ducking for more control in complex live situations, allowing gain reduction during periods of relative silence - useful in live settings or panel discussions where constant background noise can be intrusive. Includes an adjustable ducking delay to align the effect of ducking with the timing of the source material.

  • Threshold and Gain Controls
    Detailed control over the threshold for activation and gain adjustment ensures that users can fine-tune the dynamics to perfectly suit any situation.

  • Release Time Settings
    Configurable release time settings with options for slow, medium, and fast release allow users to match the decay of the gate to the natural release of the audio source, preventing unnatural cutoffs.

  • Sidechain Monitor
    Listen to the sidechain input directly, and set the correct detection and processing based on the actual signal that triggers the dynamics control.

  • Sidechain Source Selection
    Provides options for selecting between internal and external sidechain sources, giving users versatility in what triggers the dynamics processing, depending on the source material and desired effect.


Release Notes

V1.0.7 (June 2024)

  • Initial release.


Supported Platforms and Hosts

For compatibility information about plug-ins, visit the Plug-in Operating System and DAW Compatibility FAQ.

When we release an SSL plug-in, we test it on all Windows and macOS operating systems that aren't End-of-Life (EOL) at the time of release.

The versions listed below are the latest on which we have officially tested the the product.

It is possible for our products to work on platforms outside of this list. However, if your host, host version or operating system is not listed here, we recommend you demo the product before purchase to confirm that it works correctly.


Apple Silicon Support

This plug-in is provided as a universal binary for macOS and features native support for Apple Silicon.

Operating Systems

Please refer to the Plug-in OS Compatibility FAQ.


  • Pro Tools 2023

  • Logic Pro 10.7

  • Cubase 13 / Nuendo 12

  • Studio One 6

  • REAPER 6

  • FL Studio 21

  • Ableton Live 11

  • LUNA 1.5


Installation, Download and Licensing


To demo this plug-in, you can simply download it from the product page and run it up in your host - the software will guide you through the rest of the process.

  1. Download and install the plug-in.
  2. Open your DAW/host.
  3. Insert the plug-in to commence activation (sometimes this will happen when the plug-in is scanned on startup, depending on your DAW/host).
  4. When you see 'Activation is required', click 'Try'.
  5. Log into your iLok account and click 'Next'.
  6. Select a location to activate the license to, and click 'Next'.

Installation and Download

We recommend using the SSL Download Manager application to to easily manage all SSL plug-in installations all from one place, on both macOS and Windows. In addition to easily installing, uninstalling or reinstalling individual or every SSL plug-in at the click of a button, the SSL Download Manager also provides you with detailed release notes and lets you know when updates are available.

You can also download offline installers for a plug-in from here.

All SSL plug-ins are supplied in VST, VST3, AU (macOS only) and AAX (Pro Tools) formats.

The installers provided (macOS Intel .dmg and Windows .exe) copy the plug-in binaries to the common VST, VST3, AU and AAX directories. After this, the host DAW should recognise the plug-in automatically in most cases. Simply run the installer and you should be good to go. You can find more information about how to authorise your plug-ins below.


Visit iLok, Licensing and Activation for guidance in activating your SSL plug-in.


Quickstart Guide

  1. Insert Sourcerer on the desired channel.
  2. Set the Threshold: Adjust the threshold so that the 'Active' LED is on during active signal and off during periods of silence.
  3. Adjust Depth: Set the depth to determine the level of attenuation needed.
  4. Choose Detector Mode: Select between peak and RMS detection based on the desired response.


Bypass and I/O Controls

Press the ⏻ button to bypass the plug-in processing.


Main Controls

  • THRESHOLD: Sets the level above which the processing affects the signal. The top horizontal meter shows the level of the sidechain signal. The meter shows purple above the threshold and blue below.
  • DEPTH: Determines the amount of attenuation applied. 0 dB applies no attenuation, while -42 dB applies maximum attenuation. The bottom horizontal meter displays the current gain reduction being applied.
  • 'ACTIVE' LED: This LED lights up when the sidechain signal exceeds the threshold, and turns off during periods of silence.

In addition to using the Threshold and Depth pots, you can set the threshold and depth by dragging the needles on that meters directly. The top 



The sidechaining section allows you to filter high or low frequencies from the signal that is triggering the dynamics.

  • HPF/LPF: High-pass and low-pass filters for the sidechain signal, adjustable from 20 Hz to 2 kHz (HPF) and 200 Hz to 20 kHz (LPF). Toggle the 'Dot' to toggle the filter in and own. Hover of the flag and drag to change the filter frequency. You can click and drag between the filters to move both of them at once.
  • EXTERNAL SIDECHAIN (EXT): Allows routing an external signal to the sidechain that is triggering the dynamics process.
  • SIDECHAIN LISTEN (S/C): Solos the sidechain signal (post-filter) for monitoring purposes.


Detector Settings

The way that we detect the primary source can be configured with a combination of the HPF/LPF filters and PEAK/RMS Selector.

  • PEAK/RMS Selector: Switches between peak and RMS detection modes. Peak mode reacts faster to transients, while RMS provides a smoother response.



RELEASE sets the release time for the expander with options for FAST, MEDIUM, and SLOW.

  • SLOW (~500ms): perfect for vocals, especially in live settings, where you want to ensure that the phrases or words are not cut off too abruptly. Also good for other instruments with sustain, and ambient recordings.
  • MEDIUM (~250ms): versatile setting for a wide range of sources. Useful for instruments like guitars or brass where the sound decays moderately. This is also ideal for spoken word recordings.
  • FAST (~100ms): use this on transient heavy audio, such as drums or plucked instruments, or on speech with clear breaks.



This feature helps to improve the response of the Sourcerer when there is inconsistent noise in the background environment. For example, if a vocal microphone is picking up a lot of noise when no one is singing, you can use this feature to make the noise less noticeable.

You can expand and collapse the 'DUCKING' section using the disclosure arrow on the bottom left-hand side of the GUI.

How does it work?

When Ducking is turned on, Sourcerer adds a DC signal to the sidechain signal. This effectively raises the noise floor. This makes it easier for the Sourcerer to distinguish between actual sounds (like a person speaking or singing) and background noise, making the noise detection smoother and more reliable, especially for low-level signals.

  1. Turn on Ducking.
  2. Gently increase the ducking gain until you get a more consistent reduction of background noise when the microphone is not being used.

If you increase the Ducking Gain too much, because this can cut-off the beginning of endings of phrases.

  • DUCKING OFF/ON: Turns the ducking section off or on.
  • DUCKING GAIN: Sets the amount of ducking gain. Higher values m
  • DUCKING DELAY: Introduces an optional delay to the sidechain signal. You can use the plus and minus symbols to increase of decrease the delay, or use the dedicated pot.
  • DUCKING DELAY UNITS: You can set the delay units in milliseconds (ms), seconds (s), meters (m), feet (ft) or samples (smp).


Use Case 1 - reduce noise (internal sidechain, ducking off)

Simple gain reduction based on the channel's own input signal.

his mode is useful when you want straightforward gain reduction based solely on the input signal level, and there is a consistent noise floor.

  • A bass guitar DI box emits a hum when the bass is not being played.
  • A snare microphones pick up excessive stage or background noise during quiet passages.
  1. Insert the Sourcerer onto this channel.
  2. Set the Threshold and Depth.


Use Case 2 - handle inconsistent noise floors (internal sidechain, ducking on)

Similar to Mode 1 but adds ducking for smoother operation in noisy environments.

Sourcerer reduces the gain whenever the input signal drops below the threshold, just like Mode 1. Additionally, ducking introduces a DC offset (direct current) to the sidechain detector to raise the sidechains noise floor and make low-level detection smoother and more consistent.

  • Acoustic guitar microphones pick up audience noise between songs.
  • String section microphones in an orchestra capture noise from other sections during rests.
  • A vocal microphone picks up a lot of stage noise when it’s idle or when the performer tries to sing in front of the PA speakers.

This mode is ideal for handling environments with inconsistent noise, providing smoother and more consistent gain reduction.

  1. Insert the Sourcerer onto the channel.
  2. Set the Threshold and Depth.
  3. Turn on Ducking.
  4. Increase the Ducking Gain gently until you get a smoother response.


Use Case 3 - control multiple channels from a single source (external sidechain, ducking off)

Gain reduction controlled by an external source, allowing more complex signal management.

Sourcerer is triggered by the external sidechain input. Gain reduction occurs only when the external sidechain input level is below the set threshold.

  • String section all playing in unison.
  • Vocal stack where all vocals are singing together.
  • Audience microphones capture unwanted stage noise during a quiet theatrical performance.
  • Mixing a choir with multiple sensitive microphones, leading to potential stage noise leakage when the choir is not singing.
  1. Insert the Sourcerer onto each channel.
  2. Set the Sourcerer to use an external sidechain.
  3. Route the e.g. the strongest singer, lead local, or buss of all actor's microphones to the external sidechain of the plug-in. You could also set up a specific trigger microphone or route a particular track just for this use case.
  4. Set the Threshold and Depth.


Use Case 4 - handle complex scenarios (external sidechain, ducking on)

Combines external control with ducking, offering the highest level of control and consistency for complex audio scenarios. When there is a loud stage source, additional attenuation is applied via ducking to help manage the gain reduction more effectively.

  • A snare drum and electric bleeds into a vocal microphone.
  • Stage monitor feedback is captured by the drum overhead microphones.
  1. Insert the Sourcerer onto the channel.
  2. Set the Sourcerer to use an external sidechain.
  3. Route the the main mic for the sound that is interfering to the external sidechain of the plug-in.
  4. Set the Threshold and Depth.
  5. Turn on Ducking.
  6. Increase the Ducking Gain gently until you get a smoother response.
  7. Set the Ducking Delay to the distance between the interference sound and the main source mic.


SSL Plug-in Engine

The 'SSL Plug-in Engine' has several features that are available across our entire plug-in range.

NOTE: the available features in a plug-in might be or look different depending on what plug-in you are using, or when the plug-in was most recently updated.



SSL plug-ins come with a built-in undo/redo stack, in case your DAW doesn't handle this.

  • Undo (left arrow) undoes the current action in the history stack.
  • Redo (right arrow) re-does the next action in the history stack.



All of our plug-ins ship with carefully designed presets to aid your workflow.

Factory presets are included in the plug-in installation, installed in the following locations:

macOS: /Library/Application Support/Solid State Logic/PlugIns/Presets/[Plug-in Name]

Windows: C:\ProgramData\Solid State Logic\PlugIns\Presets\[Plug-in Name]

Switching between presets can be achieved by clicking the left/right arrows in the preset management section of the plug-in GUI, and by clicking on the preset name which will open the preset management display.

The Preset Management menu reflects the folder structure of the preset folder.

Revert Changes and Delete

  • Revert Changes discards any changes to the current preset.
  • Delete removes the current preset from the filesystem. Factory and Producer presets cannot be deleted from the plug-in GUI, although they can be manually deleted using the filesystem (Windows Explorer or Finder).

A/B and Copy

  • A/B allows you to toggle quickly between two presets. This is useful for comparing between two parameter settings.
  • COPY X TO Y is used to copy presets between A/B.


Version Number

Click the version number to display more information about the plug-in.

When logging a bug to our support team, always include the full version number e.g. v1.0.13.


Advanced Settings (not all plug-ins)

Some plug-ins have advanced functionality. Click the 'Advanced Settings' button to access advanced plug-in functionality.

This will drop the plug-in into 'Advanced Mode', exposing more settings, and allowing you to tweak the 'under-the-hood' behaviour of the plug-in.



The scale/zoom menu allows you to resize your plug-in from 50% up to 200%. 

Note that if resizing would cause the plug-in to go offscreen, then this option will be disabled. This is designed to prevent DAW resizing bugs that exist in some DAWs.

You can also right-click anywhere on the background of the plug-in to change the scale.


HQ or ECO Mode

Some plug-ins come with a HQ or ECO mode button. When in HQ mode, we introduce extra processing such as oversampling for higher quality, at the expense of more CPU. When in ECO mode, a plug-in will drop into a lower, less CPU intensive and low-latency mode (if possible).


Built-in Help


This plug-in features built-in contextual help. To turn this feature on, click the '?' in the bottom right-hand corner. Mouse over elements of the GUI to see some information about the feature.

Click the tooltip to cycle through the pages.