Solid State Logic's (SSL) THE BUS+ is the ultimate and most versatile incarnation of its legendary Bus Compressor. THE BUS+ builds on the original bedrock design of the Bus Compressor, which first appeared on SSL's 4000 B console in 1976. Remaining faithful to the original circuit design, THE BUS+ features 2181 THAT VCA's in its audio path and offers the classic time constants and compression ratios which have glued records together for over four decades. Analyzing feedback from key-users and looking at modern production workflow, including how the plug-in equivalents are being utilized, several new processing tools and sonic colouration options feature on THE BUS+ including, four modes of operation: Classic Stereo, Σ S/C Stereo, Dual Mono and Mid-Side, and three distinct compression colours: LOW THD, F/B and 4K MODE. New time constant settings, including ‘Auto 2’ and compression ratios are also added to the THE BUS+ to create ‘the compressor package’.
In addition to its compression versatility, THE BUS+ features an all-new powerful 2-band parallel Dynamic Equaliser (the D-EQ), with compression/expansion modes and adjustable frequency selection. To round things off, innovation is found in almost every area of THE BUS+, including the use of stepped pots, read by a microcontroller that manages the analogue circuit, making make THE BUS+ not only perfect for mixing but also for precision-tasks such as mastering.
Whilst the core design of THE BUS+ remains faithful to the original, a number of advanced processing tools have been added to create the most versatile Bus Compressor ever. In addition to D-EQ and Transient Expander, THE BUS+ features three unique compression colours; LOW THD, F/B and 4K MODE. Each ‘colour’ offers a different characteristic and can be combined for very unique compression styles.
LOW THD MODE introduces a special circuit modification in the side-chain, helping to limit the amount of low frequency distortion compression can create, especially with fast release times. Subjectively, LOW THD 'cleans up' the bottom-end, allowing you to achieve 'cleaner' gain reduction.
F/B (FEED-BACK) MODE takes the signal feeding the side-chain from a feed-back position (i.e. after the main gain-reduction VCA in the audio path). This results in a more 'relaxed' style of compression, in contrast to the traditional 'grab' of the Bus Compressor.
4K MODE changes the operation of the VCA from balanced to unbalanced (matching how the Bus Compressor in a 4000-series console was implemented). It also introduces a variable amount of harmonic distortion via the VCA. These two factors combine to allow for a more 'coloured' sound. THE BUS+ allows you to adjust the distortion amount which 4K MODE offers. You'll find there's a certain 'sweet spot' (depending on your mix level) in which your material will become more cohesive, thanks to the added thickness.
THE BUS+ incorporates a host of advanced processing tools including the new Dynamic Analogue Equaliser (D-EQ).
The D-EQ is a 2-band parallel Dynamic EQ. Each band has 16 frequency points to choose from, allowing complete control over which part of the frequency spectrum you want to affect. The High Frequency band can also be changed from a shelf filter to bell curve.
Compression / Expansion: Each band has a 31-position stepped control labelled with COMP and EXP at the extremes of the control. As you turn the control clockwise from the centre position '0' (no effect), you start dialling in an expansion effect. Moving the control anti-clockwise, you start dialling in a compression effect.