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Blitzer User Guide

Introduction

The SSL Blitzer plug-in is a multi-character compressor inspired by classic compressor hardware – capable of everything from soft, saturating compression to explosive brick-wall limiting.

 

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Key Features

  • Classic analogue knee compressor inspired by hardware such as the 1176 and LA-2A
  • Versatile character compressor delivers everything from soft saturating compression to explosive brick-wall limiting
  • 10 unique compression curves, each with a unique shape and tone
  • Add colour to your instruments using the DRIVE control; add gentle warmth or decimate your signal
  • Use the 1:1 ratio to warm your tracks with soft-saturation and gentle harmonics without compressing
  • AUTO GAIN maintains your levels based on the threshold and ratio
  • Use the MIX control to dial in parallel compression and punch
  • ATTACK and RELEASE controls let you tailor the compressor response to your source material
  • Dial in some of the dynamics of the original signal using the TRANSIENTS attack modification control
  • Slam room mics or energize your entire mix using the “all in” BLITZ! Mode
  • Use the HPF to remove unwanted low-end frequencies; perfect for drum busses
  • Tame unruly vocals and harshness using the detection sidechain bell filter
  • Built-in help – simply click the ‘?’ and mouseover the GUI to find out more
  • Cross-platform preset management
  • A/B for quickly switching between presets
  • Undo/redo

 

Supported Platforms and Hosts

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.

 

macOS M1/ARM Support

This plug-in is provided as a universal binary for macOS and features native M1 support.

Operating Systems

macOS

Windows 10, Windows 11, Gen 12 Intel

Windows

(Intel only) macOS Catalina, (ARM) macOS Big Sur, macOS Monterey, macOS Ventura

Hosts

  • FL Studio
  • Ableton Live

  • Logic Pro X

  • Reaper

  • Pro Tools

  • Cubase & Nuendo

  • Studio One

Formats

  • VST
  • VST3
  • AU
  • AAX

Demo/Trial

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

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.

 

Input/Output

The input/output area of the plug-in allows access to gain controls, MIX, and displays the current gain reduction on a VU meter.

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Input and Output Meters

The meters either side of the plug-in indicate the instantaneous input/output levels to/from the plug-in.

INPUT GAIN (IN)

Applies a gain to the input signal.

OUTPUT GAIN (OUT)

Applies a gain to the output signal.

AUTO GAIN

Automatically applies a makeup gain in addition to the OUTPUT GAIN, to compensate for the input gain.

MIX

Sets the blend between the processed signal and unprocessed signal.

VU Meter

Displays the instantaneous gain reduction applied to the signal, in dB.

 

Compressor

The center section of the plug-in lets you define the response of the compressor.

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DRIVE

Use this to dial in a vintage-style harmonic drive. The LEDs around the control indicates the amount of total harmonic distortion introduced.

RATIO

Sets the ratio of the compressor. Each ratio provides a unique compression curve and characteristic, including threshold offset.

When in BLITZ! mode,

See below for more information.

TRANSIENTS

Adds an addition modulation to the initial attack of the compressor.

See below for more information.

ATTACK

Sets the attack of the compressor envelope.

RELEASE

Sets the release of the compressor envelope.

BLITZ!

Overrides the ratio and drops into "all-buttons-in" BLITZ! mode for brick-wall limiting.

 

RATIO

Each ratio provides a unique compression curve and characteristic, including different threshold offset and attack and release responses.

When combined with different attack and release settings, you can emulate the different responses of a wide range of classic hardware compressors of different types e.g. opto, tube, VCA, FET.

1:1 drive only and no compression, for warming the signal add character
1.5/2/3:1 transparent and gentle compression with a wider "parabolic" knee and very gentle curves level your signal during tracking
4/6/8:1 easy slope after a narrower knee, and recommended starting points for most signals great for vocals, bass and acoustic instruments
10/20:1 these special "opto" modes can be used to closely emulate the nonlinearities of gain structures from vintage opto-VCA tube compressors and classic leveling amplifiers drums
BLITZ! brick-wall limiting smash room mics

Some useful starting points for different types are provided as presets, accessible via the Preset Manager interface.

 

TRANSIENTS

As you dial in this parameter, the shape of the initial attack will automatically slow down on more transient signals. This emulates an effect often present in older analogue compressors when processing heavily.

When used subtly, it introduces an overshoot to particularly percussive inputs. When used to the extreme, this will give the impression of a longer attack time.

 

Detection Sidechain

The Detection Sidechain controls allow you to apply filtering and EQ to the sidechained signal. This allows you to control which frequencies the compressor is most sensitive to, or which frequencies it ignores.

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SIDECHAIN HPF (HIGHPASS)

Removes low-frequency components from the sidechain signal, below the frequency specified.

Use the the highpass control to protect the compressor from low frequency, which can be especially useful to prevent kick drums and other low frequency instruments from causing pumping and modulation in the compressor response.

SIDECHAIN FREQUENCY (FREQ)

Sets the center frequency of a bell filter applied to the sidechain.

SIDECHAIN Q

Sets the Q factor of the sidechain bell filter.

SIDECHAIN GAIN

Sets the gain applied to the frequencies specified by the sidechain frequency and Q parameters.

SIDECHAIN LISTEN

Auditions the effect of the filters on the input signal. Note that this is not technically the sidechain signal, since the sidechain contains the compressed output, not the input. 

 

Presets

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]

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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.

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.

 

UNDO/REDO

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

  • UNDO undoes the current action in the history stack.
  • REDO re-does the next action in the history stack.

 

HQ mode

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Click the HQ button to drop the plug-in into High Quality mode. This introduces intelligent oversampling (introducing the minimum amount of oversampling required). 

 

Built-in Help

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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.

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Click the tooltip to cycle through the pages.