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SSL UF8 | Our 5 Favourite Features
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SSL UF8 | Our 5 Favourite Features

The UF8 from Solid State Logic is a new & advanced USB control surface for digital audio workstations. It's a culmination of SSL's vast expertise in the areas of audio production workflows and studio ergonomics. We've lived with it for a little while, and can safely that UF8 is a brilliant studio tool that would compliment a wide variety of setups. But what exactly makes UF8 so special?

The answer is quite a lot... but we've still managed to pick 5 of our favourite features of UF8, to help summarise why we think it's an excellent controller. This video & blog isn't a deep dive into some really specific stuff, but it does give you an idea of the clever ways in which SSL design their audio hardware. So, in no particular order, let's take a look at some of our favourite features on UF8.

Feature 1: Faders & V-Pots

Solid State Logic have built the UF8 with premium quality, 100mm motorised faders. We're happy to report that they definitely live up to SSL's usual high standards. They feel smooth as you mix, and really precise to use your software. They're also pretty quiet as the move, and whilst switching channels they zip reliably into position every time.

The V-Pots are are also pleasing to work with. These 8 encoders give you precise control over a large number of parameters, including pans, sends, plugins and more. You can press the 'flip' button on UF8 to exchange parameter controls between the V-Pots & Faders. Putting controls on the faders makes it really easy to ride parameters on faders while recording automation. Once you're done, a simple press of 'flip' brings you back to the default channel volume levels.

Feature 2: The LCD Screens

The 8 x TFT (Thin Film Transistor) screens add another dimension to the control surface on UF8. They display a lot of useful information direct from your software, so that you always know exactly where you are in your mix. They display track names, vu meters, record arm states, mutes, solos and more. They also show you all your custom commands (which we'll talk about in a sec). 

These screens are full colour, bright and high definition, and easy to read in any environment. With Pro Tools, you will also find the colour scheme adapts to the mode you're working in, which is a really nice touch.

Feature 3: SSL 360 Software

SSL 360 is a software hub / configuration tool for UF8. It has its own dedicated button on UF8, which gives you immediate access to 360 without even leaving your music software! 

It makes it really, really simple to get your DAW and UF8 configured to work together. Just select your DAW from the profile list and it gives you the virtual connections you need. If you need more help getting started, SSL have provided some handy setup guides that explain setting up with different software.

From the 360 software, you can configure UF8 to control 3 DAWs independently. Just select one of the three layer tabs to switch software control instantly. This is really useful for certain types of work, and is a featured seen on their Matrix Hybrid Desk

Once you're connected to your software, 360 allows you to program and store 43 custom commands, including 5 x banks of 8 buttons and 3 quick buttons for favourites. These commands can be built in DAW commands, or a string of keyboard shortcuts. You can achieve some pretty advanced actions in this way

Feature 4: Foot-Switch Control

Have you ever tried to record yourself playing guitar or keyboard and felt like and extra set of hands to control the computer would be really useful? Well you don't need more hands with UF8, just your feet - and a programmable foot-switch.

The foot-switch inputs on UF8 are a really handy addition for all those solo musicians and recording artists out there. Simply plug in a foot-switch (or two) and you can start recording / playback without even taking your hands off your instrument. 

SSL 360 makes it possible to assign any number of commands to the foot-switch as well. So whatever controls you might find useful under your feet, you can put them there.

Feature 5: Desktop Stands

One final feature to leave you with - the included desktop stands. No doubt some of you with desktop devices may have bought a stand for them, perhaps to make it easier to see or use. SSL have included 2 x legs that bolt onto UF8 to achieve the same thing. 

They're solid, simple and best of all they're a real space saver! They can be attached in 3 positions with 2 leg lengths depending on which way round you attach them. Although it may not seem like the most exciting feature on UF8, it's one we found extremely useful

So, those were just 5 of our favourite features on UF8. It's safe to say there's plenty more that we love about this new USB DAW controller from Solid State Logic. 

If you want to learn a bit more about UF8, why not read our 'First Look' article here, which takes you on a full tour of the controller.

Where To Buy SSL UF8 in the UK

Andertons Solid State Logic UF8
Gear4Music Solid State Logic UF8
Guitar, Amp & Keyboard Centre Solid State Logic UF8
KMR Audio Solid State Logic UF8
Studio Spares Solid State Logic UF8
StudioCare Solid State Logic UF8
SX Pro Solid State Logic UF8

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This new blog is presented by the team at Sound Technology Ltd, a leading distributor of musical instruments and pro audio equipment in the UK and ROI.