SSL G-Master Buss Compressor 

We are diving into the world of compression this month. We will provide an in-depth look at the SSL G-Master Buss Compressor by Waves, including the history of compresison, the G Master and its features, sound quality, and applications in mixing and mastering. As well as when to use compression and utilizing presets or making manual adjustments by ear.

History Of The  SSL G-Master Buss Compressor

The introduction of their compressor, which became known as the SSL G Series Buss Compressor. This compressor was designed to be used on the master bus of a mixing console, and it quickly gained a reputation for its ability to add punch, clarity, and cohesion to mixes. The SSL G Series Buss Compressor was soon adopted by major studios and producers, and it became a hallmark of the sound of popular music in the 1980s and 1990s.

The unique sound characteristics of SSL compression are a result of the design of the SSL G Series Buss Compressor. This compressor uses a VCA (voltage-controlled amplifier) design, which allows the dynamic range of the audio signal to have space. This monster also featured a unique ratio curve that creates a very musical compression effect, and its adjustable attack and release times allow for a great deal of flexibility in shaping the sound.

The impact of SSL compression on the music industry has been profound. It has become a staple of modern recording and mixing techniques, and has been used on countless hit records across a wide range of genres. The SSL sound has become synonymous with the big, polished sound of modern pop and rock music, and many engineers and producers continue to use SSL-style compression as a key part of their mixing and mastering process.

SSL G-Master Compressor Features




Multiple ratios


Sidechain filtering


External sidechain


A/B comparison


Zero latency


When To Use The  SSL G Master

The SSL G-Master Compressor by Waves is a high-quality plugin that emulates the famous SSL bus compressor found in many professional recording studios. Here are some reasons why you might want to use it in your audio production:

Mastering: The SSL G-Master Compressor is designed specifically for mastering tasks, making it an ideal tool to use when you need to bring together all the elements of a mix and create a final master that sounds polished and cohesive.

Glueing Elements Together: The G-Master can help “glue” different elements of a mix together, making them sound like they belong in the same sonic space. This is particularly useful for mixes with a lot of different instruments and sounds that need to be brought together into a cohesive whole.

Enhancing Dynamics: The SSL G-Master Compressor is great for enhancing the dynamics of a mix, giving it a more impactful and dynamic sound. It can help bring out the nuances in a mix and make it sound more exciting and engaging.

Tightening Up Bass: The SSL G-Master Compressor has a unique feature called the “Auto Release” function, which is designed to tighten up the low end of a mix without affecting other frequencies. This can be particularly useful when working with bass-heavy music.

Adding Analog Warmth: The SSL G-Master Compressor has a distinctive sound that adds analog warmth and character to a mix. This can be particularly desirable when working with digital audio, which can sometimes sound cold and sterile.

Overall, the SSL G-Master Compressor is a powerful tool that can help you create a professional-sounding master for your audio productions. Its unique sound and features make it a go-to choice for many professional audio engineers and mastering engineers.

Presets Or Manual?

Whether to use presets or manually adjust the settings on the Waves SSL G Master Buss Compressor depends on personal preference and the specific needs of the audio material being processed.

Presets can be a useful starting point for beginners or for those who are not familiar with the compressor’s controls. They can give a rough idea of how the compressor can be used for different types of music and help save time. However, it’s important to remember that every track and mix is unique, and presets may not always be the best fit for a specific project.

Manual adjustment can provide a more personalized and detailed approach. It allows the user to tailor the compression to the specific needs of the track, such as adjusting the attack and release times to better match the song’s dynamics. Manual adjustment also allows the user to experiment with different settings and find the best compression settings for their specific needs.

In summary, using presets or manually adjusting the settings on the Waves SSL G Master Buss Compressor depends on the user’s experience and comfort level with the compressor, as well as the specific needs of the project. It’s important to keep in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to audio processing, and experimenting with different settings is often necessary to achieve the desired result.

Compression For Final Master

Okay, so this will get some people talking as it always does. Compression and mastering for that matter are always up for debate in the music production world. Rightly so.

Compression on the final master can be a subjective choice and depends on the specific requirements of the project. Some music genres, such as rock or pop, often benefit from compression on the final master to achieve a more cohesive and polished sound. On the other hand, other genres, such as classical or jazz, may require a more dynamic range and therefore may not need as much compression on the final master.

If you are not confident in your mastering skills, it is often best to leave the final master to a professional mastering engineer who has experience and expertise in using compression and other mastering tools. A professional mastering engineer can help bring out the best in your mix and ensure that it sounds great across a variety of playback systems.

However, if you have some experience in mastering and are confident in your abilities, you can certainly try using compression on the final master. Just make sure to use a light touch and listen carefully to the effect that the compression is having on the overall sound. It is always a good idea to reference your mix on a variety of playback systems to ensure that it translates well across different platforms.


In conclusion, the Waves SSL G Master Buss Compressor is a powerful tool that can greatly enhance the sound of your music. With its ability to add punch and glue to a mix, it has become a staple in the audio industry. It is important to understand the different parameters and settings of the compressor to achieve the desired effect on the final master. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced audio engineer, the Waves SSL G Master Buss Compressor can help take your music to the next level.

Now like all compressors this should come with a warning label! You are effectively squashing your audio whether you realize it or not it is effecting your output and less is more in my personal opinion. But if definitely can bring a mix together and polish a master. The Waves SSL G Master Buss Compressor has some great presets that you can tinker with to find your own space. But overall definitely worth looking out for as it goes on sale regularly!

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