Pro Audio

Engineering the Sound: digital shimmer and echoes with the SSL X-Delay

SSL has an unparalleled history of success in the hardware world. But can this classic firm bring its A-game to the X-Delay plugin? Engineering the Sound investigates.

Solid State Logic (better known by all studio types as SSL) has a pedigree like no other. Hitting it big in the ’70s and ’80s, their innovative large-format console played a massive role in shaping modern mixing. The X-Delay, a new plugin from SSL, aims to bring that iconic tonal character to your DAW.

Unlike a lot of delay plugins to emerge in recent years, the X-Delay is unashamedly digital — steering away from the more lo-fi tones of classic tape echoes. It’s a feature-packed beast, with four independent delay lines that are capable of creating everything from subtle modulation to eternal repeats. Engineering the Sound was keen to get hands-on with this plugin.

The X-Delay has four configurable delay taps. They each have an on/off switch, sync (to host tempo), time, level, panning, and ping pong. In sync mode, you can choose between straight, dotted or triplets, and there is a global multiplier where you can halve or double your delay times simultaneously.

The bottom panel hosts a huge range of global functions and SSL commits to the digital sound here with suggestions of 80s tones — especially with its built-in reverb diffusion.

SSL X-Delay

The bottom panel has an input control, modulate, and saturation controls, a diffuse (the aforementioned reverb) control, a de-ess control, freeze and kill switches, a feedback control, SSL high pass and a low pass filter, mid/side width, a mix and output controls.

The look of X-Delay is true to the classic SSL style with its black, white, red, blue and grey knobs, clean and clear layout, and muted colour palette.

Head over to SSL for more details.