500 series gear (or outboard gear in general)

Ok so,

With the 2400 on the way and my soon to half way progression to being “otb” i’m also considering the option of getting some outboard gear to go along with it, preferably the 500 lunchbox series.

Have been thinking about which pieces I should be purchasing, and since they are far from cheap every decision is a nerve racking experience.

I make hip hop, boom bap beats mainly.

9 times out of 10 my tracks in a daw will be grouped to 3 tracks.

Drum group, Bass, Sample group.

In an ideal world where I’m made of money i’d get a string of eqs and compressors that i can apply to each aspect of my tracks, one for kick, one for snare and so on and so on, or even in a slightly less ideal world where I’m kinda made of money, one for the drum group, one for the sample group etc .

But its just not realistic on my budget, i can get 1 nice eq, 1 nice compressor, but ill be limited to how i can use them (by using it on one track then resampling that track and then using it on something else and repeating the process)

So i’m thinking maybe it’s a better idea to basically save all that for when I bounce tracks from the s2400 into my daw and use plugins.

And instead maybe focus on getting some nice pre amps that just make things sound “better”

My process of making beats in the beginning stage (in terms of effects processing) is basically limited to low/high pass filtering and basic eqing…which is why id be keen on getting a chain of outboard eqs. But the s2400 already has the filters which appear to be nice too, and maybe a basic eq is on the way (fingers crossed).

So yeh…after all that babbling on.

What do you think?

What outboard gear would you recommend?

A cliche question but, is outboard gear really worth it?, is an outboard SSL 611 that much superior in terms of sound compared to a Waves or UAD SSL plugin?

Anyone care to share their process of how you do things?, what stuff you use?, pros cons etc.

Basically anything related to anything I’ve mentioned I’m all ears and appreciate any feedback.


My advice is start with end of 2bus for mixing group channels like you described into a stereo mix. Check out Louder Than Liftoff Chromas. get a pair of those with SSL hitmaker colour module and I bet you’ll flip out on how good it sounds. After that a stereo compressor before or after would be ace.


Im in the same boat but already have a 500 series. The Cranborne stuff is is amazing. Camden 500 is like $350 and has a “mojo” circuit that is pure magic. Also the DBX560a is cheap and does wonders for all instruments. I would think that a stereo bus compressor would be a great step in that direction but here is another idea that I am going to go with. Look at the SSLsix. Summing mixer but perfect for grouping out your stems as mentioned and it has a G Bus compressor. Youll spend much more getting into a 500 series but maybe that should come after the Six. Just my 2 cents.

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Thanks for this, seen the company but was not at all aware of this “Plug-in module” business.

Looks like a very cool format indeed…and seems like a way more than affordable route in comparison to buying new 500s every time for a different “colour”.

…this is right up my street. Gonna be diving deep into videos and stuff on these modules for sure. Cheers

Yeh, the dbx just for price seems worth it, amongst all the positive things I’ve read on it.

Is definitely on the list of maybe’s.

Yeh did have my eye on the SSLsix, i kinda gave up on the idea of getting one, but you kinda just re ignited that flame…lol

The only thing that turned me off really was a lack of confidence it’s actually “what it says on the tin”.

4 channel strips with an SSL G series buss compressor (just the 500 series of the G series comp alone is almost a $1000 extra than the cost of the SSLsix, so I dunno, just doesn’t seem to add up to me).

I have heard good things about it, but also not so good.

I’m with you and totally agree. G Bus has fixed ratio(4;1) and Sidechain is 60hz…That Kick will still pop through which is good but it will sound different. Good luck and please let us know what you decide.

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Just looking into it more, forgive me for the gear rookie questions but, am I right in thinking that most 500 series are mono ?

Meaning for a stereo channel id need to buy two (and the same goes for the ‘colour add ons’) ?

Also, have you ever tried out the DIYRE stuff? Or HRK? If so what you think?

On the DIYRE site it has the Louder Than Liftoff colour cards as an option too so I’m guessing they are all inter-compatible with one another…which is cool.

500 series comes in mono and stereo modules. mic pres and EQ are usually mono, so yes you would need a pair. But I have stereo compressors as well. I don;t tend to give advice on what specifically to buy as ANYTHING HW based will add dimension and girth to your sound that will make you wonder how you lived so long without knowing it. However, buy a pair of Chromas (or Silver Bullet if you have the money). It’s the quickest and cheapest way to get “that” console sound.


@chazemphatic was listening to your 2400 tape yesterday and would be curious how you treated the drums. They sound great, a bit of saturation and harmonics but still a lot of knock to them.

Thanks! I sample from vinyl, chop in MPC, sometimes add reverb to snares maybe run kicks through the MPC60 vintage effect (but not all the time). Then I sample the selected pieces into 2400 at 26K mono, at respectable level (not clipping but solid level). No sorcery to be honest!


Yeh seen a lot, and i mean A LOT of good stuff said about the silver bullet, basically nothing bad whatsoever, absolute rave reviews on it. Im very tempted by it to say the least.

From what iv’e gathered the chromas have much of the silver bullets charm.

And the ability to add the “colour” add ons.

If i go the silver bullet route i will lose out on the opportunity to get the add on colours etc, but from the sound of it the silver bullet is more than i need and i doubt id be complaining. there is something about it that just screams fucking wow.

However if I go the chroma route, i might be tempted to go with the Chroma X, I haven’t invested into the 500 series world yet, so id still need to get the rack chassis, but ignoring that, the 500 Chromas are $650 a piece, then the add ons around £100. Basically comes to the same price as the Chroma X, 1 stereo 19inch rack piece, if it only needs 1 add on card and still be in stereo then that kinda wins it for me. But, either option is still open to me.

Will see what happens anyway.

And by the way, I more than welcome you recommending stuff like this.

Was around a month ago you put a track out (“smartest man in the room”) and i remember thinking it sounded so fucking warm and gushy and all the rest of it, saw someone commenting and you talking about having some nice outboard gear. And I refrained from pestering you with “what gear exactly!!??”.

So you replying to this thread is an absolute fucking god send.lol

Also, just to be clear I wouldn’t run out and buy something just because someone says, but I doubt I would’ve gone this chromas and silver bullet route. I didnt even know about the format of interchangeable colour cards. So its been a big help really.



Heart is well and truly set on the Silver Bullet now…

Few more months and should have the funds to splurge out on that bad boy, cant wait…

And for the future my plan is to still get into the “colour” world.

But am I right in thinking with having the silver bullet there is no longer the need for the chromas as a “housing” for the colour add ons?

And instead going for the DIYR “palettes” would make more sense?

$150 for an empty 500series palette with 3 slots for colours…

Very exiting stuff all this to me…I’m probably about 10 years late to the party but hey…

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For 2Bus a pair of chromas would be somewhat redundant if you opt for silver bullet. While SB doesn;t have colour options it has it’s own circuits that are hihgly desirable as well and should cover all your bases.

Yeh i thought as much, more colours would be nice but if i get the silver bullet id probably be more inclined to get the diyre colour box with tape delays, pultec eqs etc…

Only problem im having now is ive recently became obsessed with getting a moog sub 37…totally thrown a spanner in the works…

I basically have just enough to get the silver bullet now.

But i’d still need to get an audio interface (either a rme FF 800 or a new Audiofuse 8pre) which wouldn’t take me too long to save up or after I splurge all my cash on the SB.

Or, get a sub 37, and an interface. With a tiny bit of cash leftover to start the SB saving fund.

I really wish I hadn’t seen this sub 37 now…

But I basically want to have my hands on something analog asap…looks like Ill be waiting a while for the s2400. the sub 37 looks absolutely fucking epic and i’ll hold my hand up and say yes…yes thats a reason I want it…but I have researched a lot about it and I cant find a bad word on it sonically…the only bad things I found was the key bed…and coming from an actual keyboard I use in Ableton currently (the abc keyboard) i am sure i wont find that a problem…

If worst comes to worse ill flog it and get the SB…

But id rather have something I can enjoy the fuck out of than getting the SB first, as versatile a bit of kit (and cool) it is, I doubt I will get the same enjoyment out of it as I would the sub37…

But I could be wayyyyy wrong, never had a synth, its gonna be a learning experience…but Id rather live and learn rather than never try so
I thought fuck it…

Sub 37 is a beast! You won’t hear me say anything bad about it. I had the Slim Phatty for a little while thinking it would be like a smaller version of the 37 but alas it wasn’t even close. If you want to have fun get the Moog first but don’t forget to add some op amps and transformers to your 2bus!

This was exactly the message (that makes me feel good about blowing a grand) i was looking for… :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Basically with that and a decent audio interface, I’m flat out broke…im crossing my fingers my brothers still got a bunch of his guitar pedals. So the next purchase will be the SB. Not gonna be easy saving up…basically my full years savings of 2020 has gone (or very soon will be) on the s2400, akaiS900, sub 37, audio interface.

Planning for around 6 months till can get the SB.

Maybe will sell the s900 if can get a really good price on it. Out of all of them thats the only thing I don’t think ill really “need”, just bought because was brand new, untouched…seemed kinda rare. And also, its a S900…why not.

OTB set up is coming along nicely…cant wait to get my hands on it.

Currently in Indonesia, haven’t smoked in over a year…you have no idea how happy I’m gonna be when i get back to england, get that first bag of green and start turning moog knobs…

…Im gonna well and truly rape Lockdown a new arsehole


Got the Sub37, absolutely buzzing. Was literally two seconds away from paying a grand on reverb, with 50 for delivery…thought id just give a quick check on ebay again before i did, saw someone had just posted one in perfect condition etc…850 with 25 delivery…bish bash bosh SOLD.

Anybody tried the Zulu tape emulator ?

If so, what you think?

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I have a Zulu. It sounds good on drum bus to my ears. I prefer more top end freq in mixes and tape (whether R2R, cassette, or Zulu etc) roll off the highs a bit so I don;t use much for running entire mixes through. That being said, I also have 3x 4-tracks and a Otari Reel to Reel so I have ample choices if I want that sound.

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Damn…you got everything ha

But yeh from the demos I heard it sounds good, especially on drums.
Been using the cassette plugin from waves factory a lot recently, basically can’t stop myself from adding it to every track…every new session backing off the settings a bit…starting to find a balance somewhat…but yeh (i never used real tape btw) rolls off a lot of highs, basically all the processing after that is making it brighter again and less muddy…but i do love what it does to the sound…i like the fact that the Zulu has the cassette setting as well as reel to reel…seems more subtle than the plugin i use, which is kinda what I’m after.

Seen a few people saying it’s a really nice combo with the SB, the SB definitely has the capability of brightening it up a bit if it did take out too much high end, or so I’ve heard, the eq on there seems to be very good at boosting the highs without it sounding harsh.

Don’t know exactly what ill use it for yet but the idea of having the SB/Zulu on my signals going into my daw and then being on the master buss kinda make me feel comfortable using everything ITB to process inbetween.

Just wish they had dealerships in the UK
customs and delivery charges are starting to piss me off.

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I just sold over $10K worth of gear but I’m in one of those don’t own more than you use mind sets now that the world is on fire. But yeah quality of gear like LTL SB plus anything will be amazing TBH. But Bus compressor is also mandatory when you find budget. I’d say even more than EQ. I prefer HW compressor and digital EQ over the opposite any day.

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