Six is a high-quality small footprint condensed console to work in the studio, in post-production, on the stage, or in the more 21st century worlds of streaming and podcasting. As the name implies it is a compact but fully featured six-channel mixer, but as the brand implies it has a lot of clever features under its deceptively simple hood.
We have 2x mono channels with an SSL superanalogue Mic’ Pre’; this is transparent, fast and more importantly has a much wider available gain range than you would typically get on a compact desktop mixer – 66dB of gain! It has phantom power, 75Hz high pass filter and also a separate line-level input which can be switched to an instrument level input with high impedance.
Following down the channel strip we have a brand-new one knob compressor circuit. This is a new feed-back circuit design and has a program-dependent attack time, a fixed release time. We chose to set a fixed ratio of 4:1 as this is very commonly used on the larger consoles. Simply adjust the threshold and watch the traffic lights flash to see how much compression you’re making and rely on the circuit settings to automatically adjust gain back up after compression.
Both of the mono channels have a two-band SSL EQ that may be independently switched between Shelf and Bell curves, with different centre frequencies for each type. These curves and frequencies were selected by our team as the most “musically useful” for a wide range of sources.
We spent some time working on alternate laws for the 100mm faders, and settled on a law that gave us the most control over the most useable gain range. This makes on-stage level control far more simple than it would be with a rotary or a 60mm fader as found on other compact mixers.
Next we have two stereo inputs with -10/+20 trim for line level sources such as synthesisers, drum machines, output from soundcards etc. These have their own balance controls. If only the Left input of a stereo channel is connected (and the right left free) the channel will automatically switch to mono, panned centre.
While six might be small it can handle a lot of inputs at mix-down! Using the two mono inputs and the two stereo inputs gives SiX its name, but we also have two stereo external inputs with volume control which can be sent to the Mix bus. Including the ALT inputs we have up to 12 channels that can be summed into the main mix bus.
To top this off as “the full SSL experience” we have a G series bus compressor on the main outputs. This uses the same circuit design as the legendary SSL bus compressor from our consoles but with a fixed ratio, attack, and release settings and a more modern VCA chips. The simplified controls make it very easy to get that SSL glue and snap on whatever you push through your master bus.
Of course with any mixer the engineer and the artists must hear what’s going on. There are two foldback buses for artists – ST CUE 1 and ST CUE 2. Each source has individual level and Pan controls for their contribution to the artist mixes. For the engineer main monitoring is very simple with all of the controls laid out exactly where the fingers need them. Main and alternate monitors as well as mono check, dim and cut can be accessed directly from the front panel.
We also have a talk back mic’ input with phantom power and SSL’s classic, crunchy listen mic’ compressor.