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SSL Nucleus

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Advanced DAW control, transparent SuperAnalogue monitoring, high class analogue mic pres, pro quality USB audio interface and bundled SSL Duende Native plug-ins


The centre of your professional audio environment

Nucleus re-defines the professional project studio with a perfect blend of advanced DAW control, transparent SuperAnalogue� monitoring, high class analogue mic pres, pro quality USB audio interface and bundled SSL Duende Native plug-ins. There is no other product available which offers the professional producer/engineer all these elements, with benchmark audio performance and elegant ergonomics. Not only is it unique but Nucleus is also outstanding value; these elements bought separately would cost more and deliver a less elegant solution.

Nucleus is a compact, portable desktop unit that creates a comfortable, efficient, hands on operating environment for DAW based Music and Film/TV Post production. It provides everything you need to record and monitor audio and to control your DAW quickly and efficiently without resorting to your mouse. Nucleus streamlines your workflow and helps you focus on your sound, not your screen.

Nucleus� DAW Control is based on the concepts developed for the SSL Matrix. Up to 3 different DAWs can be connected simultaneously and you can switch between them with a single button push. Nucleus uses either HUI or MCU protocols ensuring compatibility with all leading DAW applications including Pro Tools, Logic and Cubase/Nuendo and can transmit MIDI CC data. Nucleus provides a complete set of dedicated and assignable hardware controls that is easily customised to suit individual user preferences, for all major DAW and plug-in parameters. Two banks of eight channels each provide; 100mm motorised Faders, fully user definable soft keys and V-Pots, dedicated Select/Solo/Cut buttons and 10 point channel level meters. The Nucleus centre section DAW controls provide; large heavy duty transport buttons, a high quality jog/shuttle wheel, bank/channel/ layer selection & navigation/global DAW parameter selection and additional USB keyboard emulation buttons. Bright LCD Digital Scribble Strips, DAW audio level meters, self illuminating buttons and LED status indicators ensure excellent visual feedback even in low light conditions. System configuration is via a remote �SSL Logictivity� browser, which allows differing control profile sets to be stored and recalled. It is here that the user defines exactly how the Nucleus behaves.

Nucleus offers a unique combination of audio capabilities. At its foundation is a SSL SuperAnalogue� signal path providing benchmark audio quality monitor output to separate +4dBu & -10dBV connections. A high quality 2+2 Ch USB audio interface provides a record and playback path for your DAW. Two Combi XLR mic/line/instrument level inputs can feed the audio interface and the monitor outputs simultaneously. Digital I/O via S/PDIF feeds the AD/DA of the audio interface (pre insert) enabling both a �digital to DAW� record path and a �mic/line/instrument to digital� output path. The Digital input can use Ch 3&4 of the audio interface so can be recorded to separate channels in your DAW in parallel to the incoming analogue mic/line/instrument inputs. A wet/dry control enables balancing of analogue (and digital) input and DAW playback for zero latency record monitoring. The Nucleus mic pre�s are SSL SuperAnalogue� Mic Pre�s, identical to those used on SSL Duality and AWS consoles and our X-Rack system� giving Nucleus a professional standard transparent mic record path. The mic inputs have 80Hz High Pass Filters, Phase Reverse and Phantom Power. A pair of insert send/return connections for incorporation of processing or effects default to the mic/line/instrument inputs but can be moved across to DAW playback for mixdown. An additional �external� stereo analogue input provides a transparent SuperAnalogue� monitor path for another audio interface, or any other analogue device. There is an accurate analogue output level meter. A stereo minijack connection makes monitoring from an iPod or any other portable audio device straightforward. Two headphone outputs complete the monitoring options.

Nucleus connects to your computer via high speed Ethernet for DAW control. It also features a USB connection and appears to your host computer as a standard keyboard enabling key command emulation. There are four USB ports on the back which operate as a USB hub. A standard jack footswitch connection is also included and there is also an SD card slot for Profile storage. Configuration and mapping of Key commands and DAW Commands is via a remote �SSL Logicitivity� browser, which allows differing control profile sets to be stored and recalled.

We could have stopped there but because we can, we chose to endow Nucleus with one final killer feature; it includes the Duende Native Essentials Bundle. This includes the new Duende Native versions of the SSL Channel EQ & Dynamics and Stereo Bus Compressor VST/AU/RTAS plug-ins. The EQ & Dynamics Channel is the classic SSL Console Channel Strip with 4 band parametric EQ, Compressor/Expander/Gate, High Pass and Low Pass filters. The Duende Native Bus Compressor is the sound of the classic SSL Stereo Bus Compressor from the 1980's G Series analogue console delivered in plug-in form.


Key Features

- Ethernet connected DAW Controller re-defines the professional project studio

- Compatible with ProTools, Logic, Cubase/Nuendo and all major DAW applications

- Switch between 3 connected DAW�s with a single button press

- Two banks of 8 channel controls plus centre section controls

- Touch sensitive 100mm motorised faders

- Digital Scribble Strips with assignable V-Pots and soft keys

- Completely user customisable DAW & Key Command mapping

- Remote Logictivity Browser for effortless configuration

- SD card for non volatile project storage

- Large heavy duty transport buttons and high quality jog/shuttle wheel

- Excellent visual feedback via self illuminating buttons, LED�s and DAW Level Metering

- A unique audio nerve centre for your project studio

- Benchmark SuperAnalogue� quality output to separate +4dBu & -10dBV connections

- High quality USB audio interface (44.1kHz - 192kHz, 24 Bit)

- Two Combi XLR mic/line/instrument level inputs to audio interface and monitor outputs

- Digital S/PDIF I/O to the AD/DA of the audio interface

- Zero latency Rec monitoring with wet/dry control to balance input and DAW playback

- SSL SuperAnalogue� Mic Pre�s�, identical to those used on SSL Duality and AWS consoles

- Mic inputs have 80Hz High Pass Filters, Phase Reverse and Phantom Power

- Insert send/return connections switched between inputs and DAW playback for mixdown

- Additional �external� SuperAnalogue� input monitor path for another audio interface

- Two headphone outputs and one iJack monitor input

- Standard 1/4� Jack footswitch connection

- Four USB sockets for use as a 4 port USB hub


Physical *


385mm / 15.25"

including trim, excluding connectors


120mm / 4.75"

including feet


730mm / 28.75"

including trim


7.5kg / 16.5 pounds



< 90 Watts


Boxed size

460mm x 200mm x 800mm / 18.25" x 8.0" x 31.5"

Boxed weight

8.0kg / 17.75 pounds



* All values are approximate






+5 to 30 deg. C



–20 to 50 deg. C


Max. gradient:

15 deg. C/hour

Relative Humidity


20 to 80 %



5 to 90 %


Max. wet bulb: (non-condensing)

29 deg. C



< 0.2 G (3 – 100Hz)


Non-operating, power off:

< 0.4 G (3 – 100Hz)



< 2 G (10ms max.)



< 10 G (10ms max.)

Altitude (above sea level)


0 to 3000m



0 to 12000m





IEC320 3-pin connector, 100 – 240 Vac, 50 – 60 Hz, < 2.5A


8P8c modular connector; ‘RJ-45’ type (100bT, Cat5)


1 x type-B chassis socket, 4 x type-A chassis sockets


RS232, 9-pin sub-D (SSL diagnostic use only)

External In

Balanced, 3-pin XLR-F, Zi > 10k

Pre-amp In

Balanced, 3-pin XLR-F, Zi ≈ 1k2/10k
Balanced, 1/4" stereo jack socket, Zi > 10k/1M

Pre-amp, Monitor Out

Balanced, 3-pin XLR-M, Zo ≈ 100Ω

Monitor –10dBV

Unbalanced, phono (RCA) socket, Zo ≈ 100Ω


Balanced, stereo 1/4" jack socket, Zi > 10kΩ, Zo ≈ 100Ω


Stereo 1/4" jack socket, Zo ≈ 75Ω


Stereo 1/4" jack socket (2 circuits)


Stereo 3.5mm jack socket, Zi ≈ 10k



Performance Specification

Frequency Response

(+/- 0.1db 20-20kHz)

THD +N (1kHz)

0.001% @ +24 dBU

Soundcard Specs

44.1kHz-192kHz - 24 Bit

Max Headroom (INPUT)

+26 dBU

Max Headroom (OUTPUT)

+25 dBU

Dynamic Range

>115dB A weighted

Equivalent Input Noise

-128dBU A weighted




System Requirements



- Intel only, 1.2GHz or faster

- OS X Version 10.5.8 or greater ('Leopard' or 'Snow Leopard') (32bit only)

Note: Apple Mac computers using the Haswell chipset will require an external Thunderbold to USB3 adaptor for reliable operation due to a performance issue with their internal USB3 port. Click here for more information. 


- Pentium IV or equivalent, 1GHz or faster

- Windows XP SP3, Vista SP1 or higher, or Windows 7 (32 or 64bit)

- 512MB RAM

- 15MB Hard Disk space

- VGA colour screen (1024 x 768 pixels or higher)

- Internet connection (for product registration and software upgrade)





All things considered—including overall performance, features and price—I see Nucleus as an essential buy...

This is clearly a sign that the company understands what smaller studios need and want

Mix Magazine


Read the complete review here



A high-quality DAW controller and soundcard that requires investment but will pay back in productivity...

his is a pleasing, easy-to-use unit that has true pro quality, making something you'd want to add to, not improve. Just add DAW and speakers.



Read the complete review here



I'm happy to say that on the whole the Nucleus delivers its advertised feature set in a solid and dependable way. If you're working with software and can afford the price‑tag, it has the potential to transform the way you work, as well as providing a great‑sounding, general‑purpose, analogue front end for overdubbing, and a well‑respected suite of high‑quality processing plug‑ins.

Sound On Sound

Read the complete review here