NAMM 2020 VIDEO: SSL’s new budget audio interfaces promise studio quality at affordable prices

NAMM 2020: In a significant development, pro audio specialist Solid State Logic is stepping into the home recording market with two affordable USB audio interfaces: SSL 2 and SSL 2+. 

This was one of the biggest stories of NAMM 2020, so we caught up with Andy from SSL to talk it through. For more info, read on, and watch our on-the-spot findings, above.

SSL 2 and 2+ audio interfaces

(Image credit: SSL)

Both promise “class-leading” mic preamps, a Legacy 4k enhancement mode that’s inspired by the classic SSL 4000 series consoles, and studio-quality monitoring. They also ship with the SSL Production Pack software bundle.

Operating at 24-bit/192kHz, the SSL 2 is a 2-in/2-out interface that features a pair of analogue mic preamps, a headphone output, a simple monitor mix control and balanced monitor outputs that promise impressive dynamic range. That Legacy 4K mode, meanwhile, is designed to add some SSL 4000-style analogue character and sparkle to the inputs.

The SSL 2+ adds another headphone output with independent monitor mix, MIDI I/O and unbalanced outputs for DJ mixers.

“Raising the bar”

There’s nothing particularly revolutionary about the specs here - plenty of other audio interfaces come with similar ones - but Andy Jackson, SSL Studio Product Manager, claims that there is an ‘SSL difference’.

“We focused on developing the best sounding and performing audio interfaces at this price point, and then raising the bar again with features and add-ons that make a significant difference when creating,” he says.

SSL 2 and 2+ audio interfaces

(Image credit: SSL)

“Our attention to excellence even goes down to the use of Neutrik connectors and Alps pots throughout, because anything else is a compromise. We are fortunate to have a phenomenal heritage of product, technology and successful artists to draw on during development, so if you’re starting out in recording music, why wouldn’t you start with the best?”

Both interfaces ship with the SSL Production Pack, a software bundle that contains the SSL Native Vocalstrip 2 and Drumstrip plugins (plus a 6-month trial of the other ones in the collection), Avid Pro Tools | First, Ableton Live Lite, NI Hybrid Keys and Komplete Start, and 1.5GB of samples from Loopcloud.

Perhaps the biggest news here, though, relates to price: $230/£150/€180 for the SSL 2, and $280/£200/€240 for the SSL 2+ (all prices are minus VAT/tax). If these interfaces deliver anything like the level of performance that SSL claims, the company could have a pair of winners on its hands.

Find out more on the SSL website.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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