Sound on Sound's 'Gear of the Year 2018' is the editor's choice of the best hardware & software from the past 12 months. This year's list includes new products from Solid State Logic and Cranborne Audio.
Fusion is a new analogue colouration tool from SSL, featuring 5 brand new circuits to enchance stereo mixes and stems. Here's what SOS editor Hugh Robjohns had to say about it:
"Mention SSL and most think of mixing consoles, bus compressors, and 'Superanalogue' preamps. So their Fusion, with eight separate stereo signal processing tools that have been expertly honed to introduce 'analogue colour' during mixdown and/or mastering, came as a big surprise. An adjustable high‑pass filter is followed by a 'vintage drive' harmonics generator, a sublime two‑band EQ, an HF compressor, a stereo‑width processor, a switchable output transformer, and a configurable insert point, with left‑right or Mid‑Sides modes, but the impressive ensemble adds up to so much more than these processors on their own. The user interface is gloriously simple and understated, too. It really is a very classy sound‑polishing box."
Camden 500 is Cranborne Audio's debut signal processor. It's an impressively transparent 500 series preamp with 'Mojo' - a brand new type of saturation circuit. This was also one of Hugh Robjohn's choices for 'Gear of the Year 2018':
"What I want of a mic preamp is 'wire with gain' — sonic transparency, ultra‑low noise, plenty of clean gain, and a simple set of controls. Most that offer all this are prohibitively expensive, so the surprisingly affordable Camden 500 was a revelation. This superbly clean and quiet preamp offers almost 70dB of gain, can handle instrument and line inputs, and has all the standard facilities such as polarity reversal, high‑pass filter, and phantom power. A rotary gain switch avoids the all‑too‑common gain‑bunching, and the ingenious Mojo facility allows you to dial in different tonal characters. If I had to use just one mic preamp evermore, I'd be quite happy for this to be it!"