New SSL UF8 DAW Cotroller

Very good price point! €1299,-

It’s HUI based, so I guess this is MIDI resolution right?

I wonder what sort of protocol it uses. If it is not as accurate as EuCon, it can basically not get bought by me. :wink:

MIDI = 128 steps.
EuCon = 1024 steps.

it is HUI/MCU…

Surprising they ha ent embraced the midi 2 protocol which is bidirectional with over 16,000 channels, 32/64 bit resolution

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HUI is not Midi CC 128 steps 7 bits resolution !

HUI is 14 bits : 16384 steps.

Only the high 10 bits from 14 bits are required in the transmission. This mean a 1024 steps minimum required protocol resolution.

The same for MCU protocol.

Real resolution is dependent from hardware implementation. I think it’s probably 10 bits or more for recent hardware but could be 9 bits for older control surfaces.

Eucon protocol resolution is 32 bits float or 32 bits integer. Real resolution depends about implementation (and more importantly real resolution and quality of faders).

It’s probably better to have a good quality 10 bits fader using HUI or MCU protocol than a bad 16 bit fader using Eucon !

Testing… Testing…


Thanks for the clarification.

As a side note i’m a bit spetic about Eucon because the lack of serious support that translate into never solved problems.

HUI / MCU seems more supported, the drawback is that they have only a fraction of the capabilities compared to Eucon or other modern DAW control protocols.

Hopefully in ten years we’ll have an open protocol, a programmable software interface, and DAW controllers with open firmwares so that we can have a long term support and a full set of capabilities.

This is not the case actually and in the past. This translate to many high cost remote control devices that became unusable after a few years because the protocol had been dropped or was not updated seriously.

My advice would be in the meantime to never buy high cost DAW controllers if you cannot recoup their cost in a few years. A good mouse with large monitors and a few low cost DAW controllers using HUI or MCU or even MIDI (MIDI is good enough for the control room section) can do a good job too and is almost assured to work flawlessly.

Because of those considerations, this new SSL DAW controller seems rightly priced but needs to be tested, (true product review, with real performance measurements specially for resolution, latency and reliability). This mean not trusting the few googled reviews you will find eventually here and there.

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I’m sure it will do the job as it says on the tin, i.e. Not sure if HUI is bidirectional so that means if you click on a track in the mix console on screen, the controller won’t respond and jump to that track with the 7 corresponding tracks after it. The video shows a short section on the mix console responding but never went into depth. Another issue would be expanding, it has a dedicated socket for daisy chaining with other units but doesn’t say anything about all the duplicated buttons, knobs and wheels. Maybe it’s intended to be hard wired into discrete right tracks , four banks from 1-32 but sort of defeats really. It’s surprising they haven 't thought of just a simple fader expander. It’ll will be interesting to see what reviews and further statements from ssl say. I asked about duplicating the buttons and controls by expanding it but whoever replied asked where on earth I got that info from so I pointed them to their own website description and video :slight_smile:

My problem with SSL Controllers is they are way to Menu Laiden! You have to go through numerous folders to get to the simplest controls! Even this new unit makes you switch modes just to get to Transport OR Panning Or accessing banking. The entire point of Controllers is to get closer to the “1 Button/Knob = 1 Function” Goal! THAT’S why the big buck controllers charge what they do for actually speeding up your work flow. You have in 2 clicks or less access to any function! You’re not paging through menu after menu to get to turn something on or off.

That’s why i think that a mixed setup with mouse control and a small DAW controller is better when we can’t afford a big DAW controller.

After all mouse / monitor screen control is not so bad for plugins and other controls.

A small DAW controller is then used only for fader leveling and panning. In this area it is important to have a direct natural control to concentrate on sound, even if you are not watching the monitor.

If you add a small MIDI controller for control room levels controls, cueing controls, and monitoring switching, then you have a low cost setup with reasonable functionality for less than 2000 €.

This is the solution i did choose and my setup is still working after many years (Akai AFX for control room, JL Cooper MCS-3000 for the DAW controller).

I like the dual function jog/shuttle wheel on JL Cooper devices, this is something that is missing on actual low cost DAW controllers. The UF8 does not have that unfortunately.

If the SSL device is precise and reliable at the motorized fader level then it could be a good product, if the driver is well supported, bug free, and seriously updated.

I still hope that the (major, hopefully all) Eucon issues get fixed (maybe already with the .20 update)!
Then Eucon / Avid controllers are a professional solution on a budget and a perfect match imho


Seems there may be another one on the pipeline now!

A side note : a 100mm modern full digital flying fader with 1024 steps (probably the most common resolution for a good fader) gives around 0.1mm absolute positioning precision. This translate to about 0.1 dB precision. This resolution is available with HUI or MCU standard 10 bits implementation.

Seems quite good !

It’s probably possible to design higher end faders (using for example a linear motor and an optical scale), with 0.01mm precision, and drive them with a full 14 bits implementation of HUI or MCU, or with Eucon, but is that really useful ?

Conclusion : for level control and automation, HUI or MCU is precise enough for music work. Eucon and other modern protocols adds a lot of capabilities probably at the expense of bugs or bad long term support. See how many users are still hopping Eucon bug corrections that seem to translate in a ping pong game (often with a missing ball) between Avid and other parties ?

Complex things are hard to manage specially when original developers are leaving the team. See the Nuendo automation, very complex, still uncorrected bugs.

Hope is good, mixing is better !


Huh! Call me old-fashioned, but rounded fader-caps have a somewhat toy-like look-and-feel …

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Perhaps they are compatible with P&G fader knobs ?

I prefer that too !

I assume they have to be touch-sensitive.

Oh Yes. There are metallic versions too.

Where did you get this picture? I can’t find anything on Nucleus 3 even on the SSL website! :open_mouth:

Disappointingly it’s a mock up someone came up with and it’s everywhere now! It is rather a lovely looking but of kit though and in sure would prove a sure fire winner for SSL, especially if dropped the ip networking thingy they released with nucleus.