How To Listen: SSL Compressor Edition

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In the latest edition to our How To Listen series, award-winning engineer Fab Dupont explains one of the most famous compressors of all time, the SSL Bus Compressor.

Known for it's predestined use on the 2 bus of SSL consoles, it was quickly revered by many engineers as the secret glue for mixes. Fast forward 30 years, and there is a myriad of emulations in both the hardware and software domains, and it continues to find it's way on to countless productions.

In this tutorial, Fab explains:

  • The controls of the SSL Buss Compressor
  • What an I/O Loop Insert is so that you can hear the tonal impact of going through converters when using hardware inserts
  • How to calibrate levels when using external hardware for a fair level matched comparison
  • The effect of Pan Law
  • Multiple styles of compression on the 2 Bus, Drum Bus, and Synth Bass, giving you a wide range of options with one compressor.
  • How to listen to the differences between the hardware and different software emulations.

After you have seen the video, download the presets Fab creates in the video and the example files to put what Fab taught you to use.

Learn how to get the most out of one of the most coveted compressors in history, from Fab Dupont. Only on

Exercise files
Equipment & Software
  • UAD SSL G Bus Compressor
  • Process.Audio Decibel
  • Solid State Logic XLogic G Series Compressor
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Fab Dupont

Fab Dupont is an award-winning NYC based record producer, mixing/mastering engineer and co-founder of

Fab has been playing, writing, producing and mixing music both live and in studios all over the world. He's worked in cities like Paris, Boston, Brussels, Stockholm, London and New York just to name a few.

He has his own studio called FLUX Studios in the East Village of New York City.

Fab has received many accolades around the world, including wins at the Victoires de la Musique, South African Music awards, Pan African Music Awards, US independent music awards. He also has received Latin Grammy nominations and has worked on many Latin Grammy and Grammy-nominated albums.


David Crosby

Queen Latifah

Jennifer Lopez

Mark Ronson

Les Nubians

Toots And The Maytals

What do you have to say?
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2021 Mar 10
Hi Fab, May i know whats the Song title?
2021 Feb 22
Awesome that you take so much time truly comparing it. I really like when you teach "what to listen for"! That is gold for me. I rewind your lesson a lot and listen a few times, but it immediately clicks with me when you point out the differences.
2021 Jan 12
Great lesson!!! Top basics!!
Castor X
2020 Dec 25
ich liebe diese detaillierten Vergleiche und Erläuterungen. Da ich das UAD Plugin selbst habe ,hat mir des Video wieder sehr geholfen.
Mitchell Faraday
2020 Oct 29
So much useful information here! This is a goldmine ahah
2020 Aug 14
I thought Fab's outboard SSL sounded way better. Does anyone know if the Stam SA4000 MK2 is a close comparison?
2020 Jun 16
Thanks for the great video and info. It's become very apparent to me from this that I cannot hear all the subtle differences Fab is demonstrating here. I hope it's just due to my monitoring sucking and not that my ears are no good (career change required). I'll try adjusting my monitoring environment until I find a result that does allow me to hear the differences provided in this video. If I can succeed, then I'll know I actually have a fighting chance of making better sound design decisions and choices for myself in the future with my gear - I must've just been guessing up to now - crykie!
2020 May 17
Incredible video, thank you so much!
2020 Mar 26
Your lessons are changing my life. blessings to you and the whole pureMix Crew
Tazmanian Ninja
2020 Mar 05
17:52 In a matter of fact tone: "This is the smell of the 80s." Best laugh I've had today :D
2020 Feb 28
Awesome video thank you.
2020 Jan 22
Fab i have been following you for a long time everywhere i see your video lecture, its a must watch for me. very technical stuff, you make them very easy to understand you are FABULOUS!!!
2020 Jan 09
Fab this was fab! I have the Tegeler Creme (VCA SSL-like buss compressor), a Stam SA4000 clone, and a Schwerkraft Maschine which has a VCA/SSL mode on it. Going to load up the UA plugin and do some comparing between the units as you've suggested. Excited to hear the actual differences! Internalizing tonal differences is going to be so useful. I appreciate you taking the time to do this! Sometimes when I am mixing, the analog stuff just can't be beat. Other times, I have an all digital mixbuss going that can't be beat. It really just comes down to the characteristics needed for that mix.
2020 Jan 04
well done very informative.
2020 Jan 03
Great video! Unfortunately, the presets cannot be used with Logic Pro X :(
2020 Jan 03
Spanish PLEASEEE :=)
2019 Dec 27
This has been my very first video and couldnl't start better : ) really professional and interesting video, also very honest. 10/10 for me this one. Congrats!
2019 Dec 22
WOW! great tutorial!
2019 Dec 18
Very interesting and well done!!! Tnx Fab!!!
2019 Dec 14
Super, super informative! Thx! (when compared, I did prefer your hardware unit)
2019 Dec 07
Thanks, really helpful! I learned a lot! In the end you said that the UAD vs you hardware might sound different, because they modeled a different Compressor, as every compressor is slightly different. I think the hardware sounded MUCH better then the UAD Software. I am wondering if I would feel that way, if you would compare 3 other SSL hardware units to the Plugin. If all of the hardware units would sound better than the plugin, I will get me hardware! Thanks for the Video!
2019 Dec 07
I have SSL Buss Comp in my AWS console and it's very help me this video . thanks Fab
2019 Dec 04
lol. the smell of the 80's.
2019 Dec 04
Brilliant lesson Fab, have learned more about compression and what to listen for here than in 20 years of lessons, mixing and sharing with others. Keep them coming! Maybe do one on the 1176? :)
Mister Branch
2019 Dec 02
Clear! en very important fundamentals, thanks Fab.
2019 Dec 01
Información imoortsnte, debería estas con subtitulos en Español!
2019 Nov 30
Excellent and clearly done, as always Fab!
2019 Nov 30
thank you Fab! very informative!
2019 Nov 29
Another in a long line of clear, concise, professional videos - and thanks for consistently making me happy with my choice of UA plugins/interface.
2019 Nov 29
Very good tutorial, really was able to get what he was talking about. Did not know the software has that vibe the analog has.
2019 Nov 29
More UAD plugins tuts pls!
2019 Nov 29
Great ! I like this series. it would be better if there are subtitles.
2019 Nov 28
en español por favor
2019 Nov 28
The basic fundamentals are what you need in any learning environment. You have always left the choice to us children, but always apprise us of the reasoning behind a particular concept. In this case the SSL. As always very informative... thanks Fab!
2019 Nov 27
Thanks Fab! Got ta know the fundamentals.
2019 Nov 27
Great video. Thanks.
L Pass
2019 Nov 27
Very cool.
2019 Nov 27
Teaching fundamentals at it's best. Truly useful and instructive.