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First off, the angled design just makes perfect sense for the desktop studio. When using most small devices when seated, unless it’s right under your nose, you’ll constantly be craning your neck to see the controls at the back. It’s one of those “how come we don’t see this more often” moments.
Channels 1 and 2 are mono inputs, each with a long-throw 100m fader (nice touch), XLR and 1/4” inputs and feature SSL’s legendary SuperAnalogueTM preamps with the option to insert external effects. Stereo cue, high and low EQ controls with bell or shelf curves and compression round things out nicely. We must point out, specifically, that the compression on your input channels might just be worth the price of admission alone. Placing this in front of your digital interface rig may be just the home studio upgrade you need to go from “demo” to professional sounding recordings with taking up a lot of real estate.▼ Article continues below ▼
Anyway, the remaining channels are grouped in stereo (3&4, and 5&6) and are a bit more streamlined, lacking the EQ, and individual compression features but offer the same stereo returns as inputs 1 and 2. Have no fear though, there is a fantastic bus compressor available, based on SSL’s SL4000G console. There’s full monitoring control and bussing options, as well as a talkback mic XLR connection for your gooseneck (with an inline Listen Mic Compressor!) and two sets of stereo inputs. Impressively, SiX offers a total of 12 inputs at mixdown, if you include channel and master bus inserts.
Output wise, there are XLR outputs, as well as two sets of monitor outs, which can be configured for bus outs. The large serial ports are send/returns for mix bussing, and inputs. The remaining 4 outputs cover multiple headphone connections or more monitoring options. Whew! It’s a lot to digest. But suffice to say, in such a small package you’re essentially getting large-format SSL sound and features at a fraction of the price. So, if you don’t need a million faders at once, this might be just the thing you didn’t know you needed.
OK, with all those options it can easily be paired with an existing DAW interface (perhaps an SSL 2+, for example) and be used as a master mixing console to feed a stereo session into a simple 2×2 input device. Why would you use it like that, you ask? Well, with all of the live streaming happening these days, feeding in a small 4- or 5-piece band, with vocals, guitars, bass and percussion, and summing it all up to a stereo output makes a 2-channel interface more powerful, without having to deal with figuring out individual monitoring. Oh yeah, and with just a simple glance at the manual, getting a grip on connectivity was super easy.
Even using it in front of an interface for a normal recording situation and getting those great SSL preamps and compression right at the start, is a no brainer. It’s not just your typical mixer, it’s more of a central workstation that can pull double duty on your desk for recording sessions, as well as at the club for your combo’s live shows.
The big thing that a lot of folks pointed out upon release was the price; at $1499 it’s not cheap. It does sound fantastic, the design is great, and has pretty much every routing option a home-recording engineer could think of to fit in a small format, and for those musicians looking for a mixer as an analog front-end to their DAW, you might want to give this a look.
This is a serious piece of kit, as the British would say, and the professional features and options have a price, but for someone who is serious, this is a jack of all trades unit, that is a master of all of them. SSL sound and features at this price point? Color us interested.
Great angled design, excellent sounding preamps.