SSL UF8 Controller is a winner

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SSL UF8 Controller is a winner

Post by Glenn Bucci »

I had the Mackie Controller and Expander in my studio for many years and I figured it was time to try out the new SSL UF8 controller. I will get to the negative news first. There are no dedicated transport controls or jog wheel. Currently the fader volume number does not show up in the scribble strip in Cubase even though it does with Pro Tools, Studio One and Ableton. I am hopeful this changes in the future.

The good news is the faders seem to be a little better than the Mackie Controller. With using USB C instead of midi, the fine tuning on the faders is much improved over older midi controllers. Everything is right in front of you with one glance. With Soft Keys 1 input, the transport controls you want are there on the top buttons. I purchased two UF8's which allowed me to have Soft 1 key provide the transport controls on the first unit, while the 2nd controller has marker controls, punch, solo defeat, EQ and save under Softkey 1. One very nice feature it has that the Mackie Controller lacked is when put a command for a button, it tells you what the command is for each button the the scribble strip. On my Mackie I had to use a label maker which looked messy. I also liked the the meters show up in the scribble strip as well. Working with the SSL 360 software is another plus and it makes it more flexible.

The UF8 has a channel knob that can be a jog wheel. On the bottom right are zoom features which are excellent for moving on the screen or adjusting the vertical and horizontal on your project page. You can arm tracks, activate your monitor button in your DAW track by pushing in your fader knob, and you can adjust plug in controls with the channel knob which is another plus. In Cubase I use the Send buttons on the left to switch from different tracks I want to see. On the mixer page in Cubase in the middle you can save different tracks to view. So after saving all tracks, you can create only show the drum tracks and save it. The UF8 then allows you to see just the drum tracks on the controller and Cubase by pushing the Send button 2 or go back to viewing all the tracks if you hit button 1.

You can customize 8 buttons on 5 soft keys, as well as the Quick 3 buttons. I highly recommend it. I have tried it with Pro Tools as well and it works very good with both DAW's. Needless to say I am keeping both UF8 controllers which has made my experience in mixing in my studio more enjoyable.
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Re: SSL UF8 Controller is a winner

Post by Glenn Bucci »

If you think the UF8 is too expensive, they added in the Drum and Vocal channel plug ins from SSL with a purchase of the UF8. So your getting a bit more for your money. :clap:
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Re: SSL UF8 Controller is a winner

Post by BobTheDog »

What I don't understand about the UF8 is no transport buttons, why did they do that?
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Re: SSL UF8 Controller is a winner

Post by blinddrew »

I would guess it's so that they can subsequently sell you an SSL UT controller with all your transport buttons.
Also, if you have multiple fader banks you'd have multiple (redundant) sets of transport controls.
Maybe.
;)
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Re: SSL UF8 Controller is a winner

Post by Luke W »

blinddrew wrote: Fri Sep 17, 2021 9:26 pm Also, if you have multiple fader banks you'd have multiple (redundant) sets of transport controls.

That would certainly be quite a silly use of space.

But yes I'm also thinking a logical addition to the range would be "master section" type controller.
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Re: SSL UF8 Controller is a winner

Post by RobinC »

Glenn Bucci wrote: Mon Aug 30, 2021 7:12 pm With using USB C instead of midi, the fine tuning on the faders is much improved over older midi controllers.


It’s still using midi pitchbend messages, the resolution of the faders isn’t really any better than any other mackie controller. The faders themselves may move smoother and be less noisy than other devices.
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Re: SSL UF8 Controller is a winner

Post by BobTheDog »

blinddrew wrote: Fri Sep 17, 2021 9:26 pm I would guess it's so that they can subsequently sell you an SSL UT controller with all your transport buttons.
Also, if you have multiple fader banks you'd have multiple (redundant) sets of transport controls.
Maybe.
;)

What about all the other buttons that would be replicated?
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Re: SSL UF8 Controller is a winner

Post by blinddrew »

BobTheDog wrote: Sun Sep 19, 2021 5:28 pm
blinddrew wrote: Fri Sep 17, 2021 9:26 pm I would guess it's so that they can subsequently sell you an SSL UT controller with all your transport buttons.
Also, if you have multiple fader banks you'd have multiple (redundant) sets of transport controls.
Maybe.
;)

What about all the other buttons that would be replicated?

A good question, well asked, and not one I have any answers to.
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Re: SSL UF8 Controller is a winner

Post by N i g e l »

I use PC / cakewalk:

A PC numeric keypad costs < £10, the keys may be mapped as hot keys to any function in the DAW eg for transport controls.
Keypads tend to be basic USB 1 so adding an extender cable means you can control your daw from a reasonable distance eg when being accoustic in a nice sounding studio area or playing keyboards which are up against the side walls.

I have an old V1 presonus "Fader Port" which is similar but a bit more classy.
It needs a 2A PSU to operate the moving fader but if thats not needed, will work at a distance with USB in a mobile friendly fashion.
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Re: SSL UF8 Controller is a winner

Post by Glenn Bucci »

BobTheDog wrote: Fri Sep 17, 2021 8:56 pm What I don't understand about the UF8 is no transport buttons, why did they do that?

With the Key1 pushed, the transport controls are on the top buttons and they work well With 2 controllers, I keep the one UF8 on Softkey 1 and use the 2nd one on different favorite commands.
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