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Monday, April 13, 2015

New Music Gear Monday: SSL LMC+ 500 Series Module

The famous "Phil Collins drum sound" from his hit "In The Air Tonight" was an accident. While for years many thought it was the result of all manner of devices, it was actually the sound of the Listen Mic on the SSL4000 that was used by the engineer and producer to hear what the musicians were saying in the studio.

It's severe compression characteristics were discovered by engineer/producer Hugh Padgham while recording the song "Intruder" for a Peter Gabriel record that Collins played drums on. He then rewired the console so that it could be used while recording, and it seemed the perfect sound for "In The Air Tonight."

Solid State Logic has now released an enhanced version of the famed Listen Mic circuit in a 500 series rack module called the LMC+.

The LMC+ has the same fixed compression characteristics that made the SSL4000E listen mic a favorite on drums and guitars, but with some new features as well. These include high and low pass filters which can be switched into the sidechain, and a Wet/Dry control, along with the standard Trim and Threshold controls.

The really unique features include a "Scoop" button that flips the phase of only the wet signal, and a "Split" button that subtracts some of the bandwidth from the compressor so that only certain frequencies are affected.

SSL cautions that while many new sounds can be found using these controls, it can also result in something that might barely pass for audio as well if you're not careful. Cool, that's just how we like it! Let the experimenting begin.

The SSL LMC+ 500 series module retails for $649 and will be available in June.

Don't forget to check out my Music 3.0 blog for tips and tricks on navigating social media and the new music business.

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