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Fusion Stereo Image User Guide

Introduction

About SSL Fusion Stereo Image

The SSL FUSION Stereo Image plug-in brings SSL FUSION’s mid-side circuit to your DAW, for spatial manipulation of the stereo field. 

SSL FUSION is a hardware mix bus processor, delivering five powerful analogue colouration tools — Vintage Drive, Violet EQ, HF Compressor, Stereo Image enhancer, and SSL Transformer — from SSL, the Masters of Analogue.

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Key Features

  • Modelled on the SSL Fusion Stereo Image processor
  • Based on EMI engineer Alan Blumlein's invention of modern stereo in 1931: Stereo Shuffling
  • WIDTH control lets you increase the level of the side signal to narrow or widen the stereo image
  • SPACE control allows you to experiment with a broad bass-frequency boost or cut in the side signal
  • SHUFFLE parameter allows additional tweaking to the frequency cut-off in the SPACE circuit
  • Visualise the stereo image of the signal using the polar sample plot vector scope
  • Use SOLO SIDE to audition the stereo component of the signal
  • M/S monitoring
  • Modelled using a combination of real-life measurements, analogue circuit designs, and close collaboration with the original analogue designers of the SSL FUSION hardware
  • Preset management and A/B-ing system
  • Comes loaded with presets from world-class producers and engineers, including: Adrian Hall, Alan Moulder, Caesar Edmunds, Charlie Holmes, Michael Brauer, Romesh Dodangoda and Sean Divine

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.

Licencing

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

Using SSL Fusion Stereo Image

Interface Overview

The basic interface techniques for the Fusion Stereo Image are largely identical to those for the Channel Strip.

Presets

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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.

Automation

Automation support for Fusion Stereo Image is the same as for the Channel Strip.

Interface Controls

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Input Meter

Segmented metering showing the input level, with 3s 1 peak hold, for a clear indication of peaks in the signal.

Mid/Side Monitoring

Segmented metering showing the input level, with 3s 1 peak hold, for a clear indication of peaks in the signal.

Input Gain

Applies gain to the input signal.

Plug-in Bypass

The IN switch located in 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.

Vectorscope

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See how ‘stereo’ your signal is.

The central polar sample plot lets you visualise the stereo image of the incoming signal. As you adjust the SHUFFLE, SPACE, and WIDTH controls, you will see the signal become wider or narrower.

Samples (dots) appearing within the 45° lines indicate that they are in-phase.

Shuffle

Changes the cut-off frequency for the 'SPACE' control.

Space

Broadly boosts or cuts bass frequencies, based on the 'Stereo Shuffling' technique.

Width

Widens or narrows the stereo image by applying a gain to the side signal. Our sweet spot is between +2 and +4 dB!

Output Trim

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Applies gain to the output signal

Solo Side

Listen only to the side (stereo image) of the signal.

Output Meter

Segmented metering showing the output level, with 3s peak hold, for a clear indication of peaks in the signal.

Mid/Side Monitoring

Switches the output meter to show mid signal on the left, and the side signal on the right.