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X-ValveComp User Guide

Introduction

About SSL X-ValveComp

X-ValveComp is a fully-featured channel compressor with valve emulation, side-chain with filters and a wet/dry “Mix” control for parallel processing. 

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Key Features: 

  • Mode: Switches between Peak & RMS response. 
  • Input side-chain filtering. 
  • Valve In switch; introduces a tube compressor emulation for saturating the signal by adding harmonics. 
  • Auto make-up gain. 
  • Threshold, ratio, adjustable knee. 
  • Mix control for parallel compression.

Installation

You can download installers for a plug-in from the website's Download page, or by visiting a plug-in product page via the Web Store.

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.

Licensing

Visit the online plug-ins FAQ for guidance in authorising your SSL plug-in.

Using SSL Native X-ValveComp

Overview

The illustration below gives an overview of some of the X-ValveComp features which are described in full over the following sections. 

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Interface Overview

The basic interface techniques for the X-ValveComp are largely identical to those for the Channel Strip. In addition to these basic techniques, the following are also available: 

To control Input and Output levels, click and drag upwards or downwards. 

To enter a precise value for any parameter, double-click on its value display, enter a value on your computer keyboard and press the Return key. 

Threshold and Ratio values can also be controlled directly within the Compression Law display. Move the left hand node along its diagonal line to control the Threshold, and move the right hand node up and down to control the ratio. 

Automation 

Automation support for X-ValveComp is the same as for the Channel Strip. 

Plug-in Bypass

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The power switch located above the Input section provides an internal plug-in bypass. This allows for smoother In/Out comparisons by avoiding the latency issues associated with the host application’s Bypass function. The button must be ‘lit’ for the plug-in to be in circuit.

Presets

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

Mac: Library/Application Support/Solid State Logic/SSLNative/Presets/XValveComp

Windows 64-bit: C:\ProgramData\Solid State Logic\SSL Native\Presets\XValveComp

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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.

Preset Management Display

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There are a number of options in the Preset Management Display:

  • Load allows loading of presets not stored in the locations described above.
  • Save As... allows for storage of user presets.
  • Save as Default assigns the current plug-in settings to the Default Preset.
  • Copy A to B and Copy B to A assigns the plug-in settings of one comparison setting to the other.

A-B Comparisons

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The A B buttons at the base of the screen allows you to load two independent settings and compare them quickly. When the plug-in is opened, setting A is selected by default. Clicking the A or B button will switch between setting A and setting B.

UNDO and REDO functions allow undo and redo of changes made to the plug-in parameters.

Input and Output Sections

The input and output sections at either side of the plug-in window provide input and output gain control, along with displays of the following information: 

 

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When clipping occurs, the meter will turn red. It will remain red until the meter is reset by clicking on the meter. 

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Turn the GAIN knob in the input section to control the level of the incoming audio signal. The post-gain signal level is shown above. 

Turn the GAIN knob in the output section to ensure that the signal retains a good signal level post-processing. The output signal level is shown above the knob. 

Knee 

The Knee controls how focussed the threshold level is: 

  • With a hard knee (knob at minimum) the compressor’s parameters all come into force at precisely the point at which the threshold is crossed. In the Compression Law diagram, this is shown by a sharp change in gradient at the threshold. 
  • With a soft knee, the ratio is introduced gradually, starting below the threshold and reaching its full value above the threshold. In the Compression Law graph, this is shown by a curve in the gradient around the threshold. 
  • The Knee control also affects the main threshold point. 

Valve In 

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Valve in introduces a tube compressor emulation for saturating the signal by adding harmonics. 

Side-chain 

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Hi- and Lo-pass filters are available for the Compressor side-chain. To switch the filters into the compressor side chain, switch the S/Chain in button on. To listen to the Compressor side-chain, click on the Listen button. Adjusting the filter controls will change the signal that triggers the gain reduction; removing low-end frequencies from the side-chain can reduce unwanted pumping effects, for example. 

Mix 

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Dry/Wet option for parallel compression. 

Auto Gain

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You can allow the plug-in to set the make-up gain automatically by clicking the Auto button (towards the bottom of the screen).